The best museums for kids in and around Brisbane
Night at the Museum may have stolen our movie-loving hearts, but there’s even more fun to be had at the real deal right here in Queensland.
We’ve hunted down the best museums for kids in and around Brisbane and put them together in this ultimate checklist!
FIND YOUR NATURAL HISTORY
Queensland Museum, Brisbane
The Queensland Museum is top of the pops when it comes to museums. Not only will you walk under life-sized whales on entry (making life-like whales noises!), a life-sized dinosaur will greet you at the front door. There’s an abundance of interactive displays for kids, plus one-off exhibitions and school holiday programs including after-dark adventures. Boo!
Where: Cnr Grey and Melbourne Street, South Brisbane
Cost: General Admission is free, entry fees apply for special events and exhibitions
Open: Daily except public holidays, 9:30am – 5pm
Facilities: Prams are allowed in the museum and there are lifts. Or ask staff to park the pram up for you. There’s also a parent’s room on Level 2
It’s close to: Head to South Bank for a dip in the lagoon, have some lunch then head to the Queensland Art Gallery for more interactive kiddy fun
Abbey Museum, Caboolture
Got a wannabe knight on your hands or maybe a little viking? The Abbey Museum has 500,000 years of history within its walls including everything from prehistoric times to medieval and renaissance art and archaeology. Engaging family events, craft activities, games, school holiday programs and weekend activities are the norm here: check out their website for details.
Where: The Abbey Place, Caboolture – about 45 minutes north of Brisbane
Cost: Children (4-16) $7, Adults $12, Family $19.80-$25. Tours and activities extra
Open: Monday to Saturday (except public holidays), 10am – 4pm
Facilities: Pram friendly with parking at the door. Bring a picnic, there’s tables provided in the gardens, and a kiosk for light snacks
It’s close to: Family-friendly Bribie Island is about 15 minutes’ drive away. Watch the sun go down from Sandstone Point jetty, home to the historic Oyster Shed selling local seafood, fish and chips
GET THERE FAST AND THEN TAKE IT SLOW
Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich
Rail enthusiasts, unite! Kids will love getting hands-on in this train and tram museum where they can climb aboard kid-size or full-size carriages, dress up, change signals and control boom gates at level crossings. The Workshops Rail Museum also has almost 100m2 of model railway, featuring everything from suburban Brisbane to sugarcane and wheat fields, to tropical North Queensland tracks.
Where: North Street, North Ipswich – 40 minutes west of Brisbane
Cost: Children (3-15) $11.50, Adults $14.50, Family $44.50
Open: Daily (except public holidays), 9:30am – 4pm
Facilities: Prams are welcome plus there’s a parent’s room with change facilities. The Trackside Café serves coffee (hooray!), cake or lunch until 2:30pm. You can also bring a picnic!
It’s close to: Ipswich’s parks are as good as it gets – check out Robelle Domain parkland with its own lagoon, water play park and cafes, River Heart Parklands or Ipswich Nature Centre
The Australian Vintage Aviation Society Museum (TAVAS), Caboolture
From when fighter planes ruled the skies! There’s a reason this is Queensland’s premier flying museum, it houses very rare aircraft and the only collection of flying WWI aircraft in the country. Check out the replica early fighter aircraft as well as a full-size replica of the first aircraft to achieve powered, controlled flight. Psst! Keep an eye out for their annual Flying Display Weekend around April each year.
Where: 106/157 McNaught Rd, Caboolture
Cost: Children $10, Adults $15
Open: Wednesday to Sunday (except public holidays), 10am – 3pm
It’s close to: Caboolture Warplane Museum is just a hangar away (Hangar 104, McNaught Road) from Brisbane with fully-restored airplanes, model aircraft and helpful volunteers. Or pack your togs for a quick dip on Bribie Island‘s famous beaches
Queensland Maritime Museum, Brisbane
At the Queensland Maritime Museum, you can board the 1945 warship Diamantina – the only one of her kind in the world! Kids will also love the lighthouse exhibit, 1925 steam tug, Forceful, and about 300 model ships. Ahoy me hearties.
Where: Cnr Stanley and Sidon Streets, South Brisbane
Cost: Children $7, Adult $16, Family $38
Open: Daily 9:30am – 4.30pm
Facilities: Prams welcome with ramp and lift access to all areas. Parent’s room included
It’s close to: Take a stroll across the Goodwill Bridge to the Botanic Gardens where there’s no end of space for running around plus a state-of-the-art playground for kids of any age. Pack a picnic!
BLOW YOUR MIND
SparkLab Sciencecentre, Brisbane
Never mind the kids, we’re super excited for this one! The new Sciencecentre experience, SparkLab, will blow your kid’s minds and probably yours as well. Three zones of science, technology, engineering and maths fun will interest even the smallest scientist in the family.
Where: Level 1, Queensland Museum, Cnr Grey and Melbourne Street, South Brisbane
Cost: Children (5-15) $12.50, Adult $15.50, Family $46
Open: Daily except public holidays, 9:30am – 5pm
Facilities: Prams allowed. If you’re coming by car, take the lift from the car park directly below the museum
It’s close to: Kids love a ride and the CityCat ferry terminal is not far away at South Bank. Or jump on the Wheel of Brisbane and get a bird’s-eye view of the city
YE OLDE TIMES
Cobb & Co. Museum, Toowoomba
The Cobb & Co Museum is your one-stop for family fun with a ‘coach stop’ play area for littlies, hands-on workshops and energy discovery centre. There’s also local Indigenous history, carriages and fossils from prehistoric times!
Where: 27 Lindsay St, Toowoomba
Cost: Children (3-13) $6.50, Adult $12.50, Family $25-$32
Open: Daily (except public holidays), 9:30am – 4.30pm
Facilities: There’s no food and drink allowed inside but the coffee shop has you covered (including play pit for little ones). Parents and baby care room
It’s close to: The DownSteam Railway Museum is 15 minutes away, open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday from 9am to 3pm.
Caboolture Historical Village, Caboolture
Tick, tick, tick for bringing history to life! The Caboolture Historical Village has more than 70 buildings laid out in village style, and 110,000 museum pieces from yesteryear. Special events and school holiday activities are held throughout the year.
Where: 280 Beerburrum Road, Caboolture
Cost: Children (5-12) $7.50, Adult $15
Open: Daily (except public holidays) 9am – 4pm
Facilities: Prams can access the majority of buildings and displays. BYO food/drinks or enjoy the ‘It’s About Time’ Café
It’s close to: Centenary Lakes Park with playgrounds, walkways, BBQs and scooter paths