City Adventures (with kids)

When I was very little my parents would take my sister and I into town on a Friday night. We’d dress up, take the train and window shop. The city seemed an exotic and grown-up place, a magic window into another world.

As a young woman the CBD was my playground. It was a place of learning, the theoretical at uni and the practical after-dark in the bars and clubs.

For the years I worked in town it was all about the hustle and bustle and little else.

Now, I return to the lens of childhood as I take my boys on city adventures. Every town has so many facets and different angles. As a child the city seemed wondrous, as a young adult it seemed the parochial poor cousin to Sydney and Melbourne. As the years passed I have watched Brisbane grow into herself. And now I see it again through the eyes of a child and there are so many adventures to be had. Most of them free.

Public Transport

Buses, trains and ferries are a source of amazement and excitement for my boys. Just getting into town is an adventure within itself. Children currently travel free on public transport on weekends in Brisbane (City Cats included). Weaving through the city and surrounds using various modes of transport is a (cheap) option for hours of entertainment. The City Hopper ferry is a favourite (and currently free for everyone). It makes playground hopping between Kangaroo Cliffs and the Botanic Gardens just a little more fun.

City Square Library

The Brisbane City Council libraries are amazing places and all of them have areas for kids. The Brisbane City Square library is no exception. It also tends to be quieter than your standard suburban library.

Botanical Gardens

The city gardens are a joy to walk through and even more fun to scooter or cycle through. There is a great playground for kids, nestled among the gardens like a fairy castle. And the abundant grassy hills are perfect for picnics and gazing at the clouds.

The Cube

Within QUT itself, the cube consists of three huge, interactive screens. The kids can spend ages learning about all sorts of things. I am so jealous that this wasn’t around when I was a student. How does anyone get any work done? Entry is free. You can find out more here.

City Hall

The Museum of Brisbane is housed with the historic City Hall and is fun place to explore as an alternative to GoMA and the QLD Museum. You can also go up into the clock-tower, via the old, hand-operated lift. So much fun and completely free.

Roma Street Parklands

The Roma Street Parklands offer acres of beautiful gardens to explore and play in. There is often live music to listen on a lazy weekend afternoons.

Skyscrapers and Lifts

One of the beautiful things about having children is rediscovering the amazing things we grow to take for granted. My boys love going up in lifts and seeing the sky-scraper views. The lifts with glass outsides (like the ones outside the Hilton) are particular favourites. 111 Eagle street has a glass lift if you feel like braving the corporates with the kids in tow. Just don’t tell the suits I sent you.

Wednesday Markets

On Wednesdays from 8am – 6pm, the Jan Powers markets are hosted in Brisbane Square. There are lots of delicious treats to try, but avoid the 12pm – 2pm rush.

Pokemon Go

And if all else fails, the city is an epic place for Pokemon hunting. I have been reliably told by my eight year old.

The city isn’t overtly child friendly compared to places like Southbank or suburban shopping precincts, but there are so many gems to discover if you make the leap.

Do you ever take your kids into town for adventures or do you stick to the kid-centric suburbs and parklands?


Linking up with Kylie Purtell – Capturing Life and IBOT

14 thoughts on “City Adventures (with kids)

  1. Natalie @ Be Kind 2 You says:

    I have organised for my girls, my sisters and all my nieces to have a shopping day in the city in a couple of weeks. We will do lunch, have a wine(for those old enough) and just enjoy each others company. Can’t wait. #teamIBOT

  2. Alicia O'Brien says:

    Coming from a small country town, going to the city was an adventure and made me feel cool. Like I was the only kid from our town to be in the big city. Good memories. Family outings and holidays will always be big in my memories 🙂

  3. hugzilla says:

    Sydney is our closest town and to be honest I avoid it like the plague. Dirty, unreliable, expensive public transport. Road infrastructure is totally shithouse and the traffic is crazy. Parking costs a bomb. The city is really crowded and noisy and I’m too way old for that shit. My kids can explore it on their own when they turn 18. LOL. (sorry for the less than cheery comment!)

  4. Vanessa says:

    Haha I’ve been in those 111 Eagle St lifts too. I was there for a reason the other year but it was kinda impressive! I’d like to enjoy the city more, but honestly, I kind of resent it for my long commute. I don’t want to spend any more time there or get home any later. When I finally get a job that isn’t in the city, I hope that after some time, I can go to the city on the weekend and actually enjoy it.
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    • Robyna says:

      My husband is the same with nights out. I want to go fancy city restaurants and he just groans and tells me it reminds him of work.

  5. Renee Wilson says:

    Brisbane sure has grown over the years!! Your descriptions of it over the years are spot on! We like to venture into the big smoke every now and then and the girls love it. The Botantic Gardens playground is definitely a winner and there’s plenty to do at Roma Street too. We’ve not been to the cube yet. We must give that a go.
    Renee Wilson recently posted…Family movie afternoon with Red Dog: True BlueMy Profile

  6. Bel says:

    We try to do a stay-cation at least once a year with the kids. We get a hotel room (usually on groupon) walk around the city listening to buskers and visiting lots of places. At night we head to the Casino to visit Peter Alexander and get the kids some new pjs. We finish it off we room service for breakfast and a visit to the Vic Market for our weekly shopping. The kids love it and look forward to it every year!
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