Lego Jurassic World
Is there a more potent combination for kids than Lego and dinosaurs? The Queensland Museum is guessing no, given its huge Jurassic World exhibition in partnership with the legendary Brickman.
More than 6 million Lego bricks have been used to construct a gorgeous buffet of prehistoric critters, including triceratops, velociraptors, Brachiosaurus and of course, the T-Rex. There’s also the gates of the park, a baby dinosaur enclosure and a bunch of hands on activities for the Lego lovers in your life.
Queensland Maritime Museum Christmas Trail
It’s often forgotten next to the rest of glitzy South Bank, but the Queensland Maritime Museum is a wonderful destination for a day out. Kids can scramble over the WW2 frigate Diamantina, set in the heritage-listed dry dock, for starters. And this year, they’ve created a Maritime Trail for kids to follow, featuring interesting facts and exhibits they can touch.
The Maritime Museum is an independent, not-for-profit museum, run by volunteers. It has an entry fee, but everything it makes goes back into preserving precious Queensland maritime history, with vessels and artefacts alike.
The Museum suffered a blow this year, having to resign the nearly 100-year-old steam tug Forceful to the scrapyard, after years of trying to raise enough money to preserve it. They’re currently restoring the pearl lugger Penguin next to the dry dock, so go for a visit and spread some Christmas cheer. While you’re at it, check out Imaginator installation right at the entry to QMM for a gorgeous immersive sound and visual experience.
Fairy Tales at GOMA
The team at GOMA always come up with the inventive and eclectic goods with their themed exhibitions. This time it’s Fairy Tales, an exploration of the beloved folk stories, myths and legends that thrilled and/or scared us as kids (or still do as grown-ups!).
There’s not just beautiful artwork by talents such as Del Kathryn Barton, Anish Kapoor, Tracey Moffat, Patricia Piccinini and the incomparable Yayoi Kusama, but original papercuts by Hans Christian Anderson, a costume designed by Henri Matisse, and a photography by Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll himself.
Plus movie fans can see props and costumes from such films as Labyrinth, Where the Wild Things Are, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, or dive into the GOMA cinema’s free program. There’s a fee for this exhibition, but it’s worth falling down the rabbit hole.
Go for a swim
Brisbane City Council has dropped the admission price to all of its community pools to just $2 for adults and kids alike. It’s a cost-of-living budget sweetener we can all appreciate on a hot summer day.
There are 22 pools across the city where you can cool off for less, but each have different hours of operation, so it’s best to check individual pool places. The Summer Dips program runs until February 29.
See Scrooge onstage
The Brisbane Arts Theatre has created its own new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol for the stage.
Ebenezer promises to delve deeper into why the world’s most well-known miser turned out like he did, and why the visits from those Christmas ghosts were sorely needed.
The show runs through to the end of December, including a New Year’s Eve event.
Soothe your sole at HOTA
Sneakerheads, your Disneyland awaits in the cool climes of the HOTA complex at Surfers Paradise.
The gallery is hosting Sneakers Unboxed: From Studio to Street, an exhibition charting the rise of trainers/joggers/runners not only as crucial in the world of sport, but as a force in fashion and cultural subgroups. It’s the kind of art kids don’t need a lot of introduction to get into.
This cleverly conceived exhibition is the perfect place to get intoxicated by practical footwear. Go on, put your best foot forward.
A different kind of nightlife
If your kids are out of strollers, then Lone Pine Sanctuary has a couple of fantastic evening options for you to observe natural wildlife out of the heat of the day.
The Twilight Tour is suitable for over-3s, while those aged 13 or older can suit up for the Nocturnal Tour to really see what wombats, koalas, kangaroos and other furry friends get up to outside of normal park visiting hours.
Tours are a compact 90 minutes, and are capped at 20 people to ensure you get a personalised experience with your guide.
Climb Loganholme’s GIANT koala tower
It’s five metres of solid wooden icon. It’s both brilliant and terrifying. It’s Loganholme’s new Giant Koala Tower, and it needs to be on your list of photo-friendly family destinations.
Alexander Clark Park has just had a $6 million upgrade, and holy smokes you can see all the money spent right there on the ground. The centrepiece is the Koala tower, a marsupial fortress that kids can climb up and slide down and no doubt feel indestructibly awesome while doing so.
The koala is not the only Australian fauna to be celebrated in the park; there are kookaburra, sugar glider and platypus sculptures, as well as a giant black cockatoo with its wings extended. Plus there are two flying foxes, swings, a water zone, bike and scooter tracks, volleyball and basketball courts, and a sensory garden. Top this off with plenty of shade and BBQ facilities, and you will join me in grumbling about how good kids have got it these days with incredible public parks. Whatever happened to untreated pine constructed over dirt?
Tiny doors and city lights
Heading into the CBD for some festive fun? There’s a range of Christmas activities on offer for families in and around King George Square and the Queen Street Mall.
Start by getting little ones to go in search of tiny doors which have been sprinkled around the city in walkable locations. Local artist Mace Robertson has crafted these Christmas-themed portals, and kids used to Pokemon Go will delight in catching ‘em all.
The facade of City Hall is once again the stage for the annual Christmas Lights show, which start at 7.30 and repeat until midnight every evening. At 15 minutes, the display is just the right length for little legs tired after a day out.
For details—and more Christmas-themed activities throughout the city this month—check out the Visit Brisbane website.