The kids have been hanging out for them all year, and now the summer school holidays are here. Yes there’s Christmas in the middle, but you’ll need more than that to keep them entertained all summer. So to give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up the creative things to do in Brisbane these school holidays. There’s ballet, Christmas light gardens and brain-bending exhibitions, plus plenty more!
The Enchanted Garden
Roma Street Parkland will become a twinkling wonderland in the lead-up to Christmas. Decorations and music bring the light show to life, creating an enchanting place of discovery. The Enchanted Garden starts after sunset each day to put you into the festive mood.
8–17 December at Roma Street Parkland | Free
Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow
As part of GOMA’s summer Yayoi Kusama retrospective, the gallery has brought back the ever-popular Obliteration Room. Located in the Children’s Art Centre, this room allows children to obliterate walls, chairs, plates, a lamp and a piano with colourful dot stickers.
Until 4 February at GOMA | Free
The Kite Wishes Project
As part of the Mao’s Last Dancer exhibition, you can make your own kite when you visit Museum of Brisbane over the holidays. The Kite Wishes Project is inspired by Li Cunxin’s childhood love of making kites with his father. Head along to design your own kite with a wish in it. Send it flying or wait until 24 February to bring your creation to a special kite procession from King George Square.
From 1 December at Museum of Brisbane | Ticketed
Da Vinci Machines
There’s a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions waiting to be explored at Cobb + Co Museum. On loan from the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Italy, these machines were inspired by the original drawings of the artist, scientist and inventor, who was well ahead of his time. Da Vinci Machines features a bicycle, flying machines and a scuba suit, as well as actual-size digital prints of his works including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.
From December 9 at Cobb + Co Museum | Ticketed
Ever wondered how balance works? Or how your brain perceives the world around you? Perception Deception is an exhibition developed by Questacon that plays with your mind using sensory illusions. You will experience the strange sensation of floating arms, stare into infinity and wonder how a ball can disappear in mid-air.
Until 21 January at The Science Centre in Queensland Museum | Ticketed
The Summer Set
It’s a big summer of kids' theatre at QPAC. The Summer Set is a series of four shows that will provide highlights right throughout the holidays. December will see the antics of books Emily Brown and The Thing and The 78-Storey Treehouse recreated on stage. Come January, it’s time for songs and acrobatics at The Funatorium: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Then Brainiac Live! takes you into the whacky world of science with fun stunts and experiments.
12 December to 13 January at QPAC | Ticketed
Head to SLQ for its biggest school holiday program ever. The Summer Festival (pictured) presents a month of fun in the form of stories, crafts and even robotics. The program includes creative writing, coding and 360 filmmaking workshops, exhibitions and interactive installations.
18 December to 21 January at State Library of Queensland | Free and ticketed
Queensland Museum’s latest exhibition takes you back in time to the Colosseum’s heyday, when gladiators trained and fought for the masses. In its final month of Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum, the museum will host Gladiator School. Your kids will learn how to fight like a gladiator, try on costumes and strike a pose in front of a Colosseum backdrop, and construct their own mighty gladiator helmet.
8–19 January at Queensland Museum | Ticketed
The Little Mermaid
Take the little ballerina in your life to see The Little Mermaid come to life on stage. Presented by Ballet Theatre of Queensland, this performance takes you under the sea for an enchanting performance by young ballet dancers.
17–20 January at QPAC | Ticketed
Is there such a thing as a Gruffalo? Join mouse as he ventures into the woods and meets all kinds of characters, from an eccentric owl to a party mad snake. This theatrical adaptation of the popular children’s book The Gruffalo has toured New York and London, and returns to Australia for songs and laughs this school holidays.
19–23 January at the Roundhouse Theatre | Ticketed
What's on in Brisbane this December