Sometimes you just need to get away for a bit. And when you do, it’s great to feel relaxed and comfortable in friendly surroundings. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences! This absolutely wonderful hotel will have you in comfort in no time. It’s perfectly located in the centre of Surfers – right next to the Cavill Mall – and there are a range of accommodation options, from hotel rooms through to spacious 3 Bedroom Residence rooms.
We stayed in a lovely 2 Bedroom Residence with absolutely stunning ocean views which was the perfect size for our family of 5. The room featured two bedrooms – one with ensuite, a fully equipped kitchen, separate living area with a sofa and a dining area. The rooms have quality fittings and are beautifully presented, and perfect for relaxing (if only we had the chance!). Hilton Surfers Paradise has 4 pools and a spa, so to be honest we didn’t spend too much time in the room! The indoor pool is perfect for the cooler months, and the water temp when we stayed was around 28 degrees. There is also a sauna, gym and small playground – all of which go a bit of a workout on our stay.
With an on-site restaurant and bar, there would be little need to venture out (other than being located in the heart of Queensland’s tourist playground of the Gold Coast). The buffet breakfast at Catch restaurant was superb and it was quite tempting to stay right through to lunch! With a full range of hot and cold choices, as well as individual items made to order, you’ll be sure to start the day with a full tank of fuel. A poolside bar, The Deck Bar, opens during the warmer months, while inside you can grab a quick bite or a drink from Ms Margot’s Bar and Eats – it’s open all day from 7am – 9pm, so it’s there whenever you need.
Our weekend at Hilton Surfers Paradise was fantastic! It’s a beautifully presented and modern hotel, perfectly located for your Gold Coast getaway just metres from restaurants, clubs and the beach. Check in and out was a breeze and the courteous staff will look after your every need. We can’t wait to get back for another visit!
Where is it: Various locations, ‘20/’21 school holidays at Little Stanley St, South Bank
Why we love it: Putt putt with a Pixar theme – what more needs to be said?!
Tell me more: Mini golf has been a family favourite since, well, forever! So add in the theme of one of the most popular family animated franchises of the last 25 years (yes, Pixar movies have been around that long!) you know that it’s going to be a fun event. Work your way through 9 or 18 holes of fantastically modelled scenarios, all based on Pixar movies – The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Brave, Up, Monsters, Inside out, The Good Dinosaur, Cars, Wall-E, Bugs Life, Ratatouille, Coco and new films Soul and Onward are all covered, and Toy Story is very well represented as well! We had so much fun playing with the kids, the holes have some wonderful challenging elements which the little guys loved, and it’s just as much fun for the grown-ups as well. So much so that from Thursday to Saturday after 7pm, Pixar Putt is reserved for the over 18s only. This one is definitely one to check out, but hurry – it’s only here for a limited time, this summer’s season here in Brisbane is finishing up on 7 Feb 2021!
Little Stanley Street, Jan 2021
King George Square, June 2019
Where is it: Various venues throughout the Brisbane City Council region.
Why we love it: So many different options of fun and active things to do for everyone!
Tell me more: With our wonderful weather here in Brisbane we have no excuses not to get outdoors and keep active. And if you don’t know where to start, there are heaps of free and low-cost activities arranged by Brisbane City Council. Just head along to their website for a list of what they have on offer – and these programs are for all ages! There really is something for everybody!
Amenities: Most activities take place in the local parks which provide access to toilets, barbeques and picnic tables, although it really depends on the activity! 👍👍👍
Parking: With so many different activities across so many different locations parking shouldn’t be a problem! 👍👍👍
Access: All activities have varying degrees of access – confirm with your preferred event! 👍👍
Best for: There really is an activity for everyone, no matter what your ability! Great for having fun and keeping active! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: We absolutely love these programs! It's such a great idea not only to keep active and occupied, but also great to keep socially active as well, and fantastic being free or at great prices! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Get in early to book your event – some are very popular and may be booked out early!
Cooking workshops- Mt Coot - Tha, Jan 2021
It's Rocket Science - Rock Riverside Park, Jan 2021
Junior bike riding skills - Rock Riverside Park, Jan 2021
Sailing and Kayaking - Wynnum Feb, 2020
Kayak Tour - Walkabout Creek, April 2019
Where is it: Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
Why we love it: An attraction within an attraction – what could be better!
Tell me more: You might not think that one of the Sunshine Coast’s most loved attractions (check out our SEALIFE blog here) needs to do much more to get people to visit, but that’s exactly what they do on the school holidays! They always play host to lots of school holiday programs that will keep everyone (not just the little guys) engaged with lots of immersive and interactive exhibits. As an example, our little guys loved exploring the aquarium with a pirate-themed treasure hunt and there was much excitement searching the aquarium for mermaids and pirate artefacts, and the daily pirate and mermaid performances were really fun. Other exhibits we've enjoyed include Lego, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Angry Birds and SLIMED! (this one was really fun and we got feel and learn about some of the slimy creatures in the sea)!
These school holidays, SEALIFE is welcoming some very special new guests – little blue penguins! As a new permanent feature of SEALIFE, the Little Blue Penguins zone will immerse guests in the wonderful world of the smallest penguin species and no doubt these little guys will be very popular additions.
Summer of Sharks (Dec 2020 - Jan 2021)
Junior Penguin Keeper (Sept - Oct 2020)
Launch of Little Blue Penguins (Dec 2019)
Bird Island Academy - Angry Birds (Sept - Oct 2019)
Media launch: The Lego Sea Explorers (June - July 2019)
Peppa Pig's Aquarium Adventure (April-2019)
The Sea Creature's Secret (Dec 2018- Jan 2019)
Slimed (Sept - Oct 2018)
Paw Patrol - Sea Patrol (March - April 2019)
Click Where is it: Nerima Gardens, Merle Finimore Ave, Ipswich
What’s it all about: A beautiful garden of glittering Christmas lights, and supported by carollers, foods and roving entertainment!
Tell me more: Ipswich’s festive spirit comes to the fore with some wonderful and fun Christmas activities available over the season to bring a little Christmas cheer to everyone in the community!
Christmas Wonderland is magical display of glittering lights, illuminated trees, animated displays, light tunnels and projections in the beautiful setting of Nerima Gardens at Queens Park. In the weeks leading up to Christmas day you can immerse yourself in wonderful Christmas cheer at this fantastic event! These beautiful gardens will be covered in a perfectly arranged light display and will be a magical experience for people of all ages. And it’s not just the lights that you’ll find here at Nerima Gardens - there will be roving carollers, Christmas stalls, food and live entertainment for the whole family. It’s free to visit and with this much Christmas cheer Santa and his friends won’t be able to stay away, so keep an eye out for the big man! Be sure to get there on time as no doubt this event will be very popular.
Where is it: Orion Springfield Central, 1 Main St, Springfield Central QLD 4300
What’s it all about: An amazing arcade experience for the whole family!
Tell me more: Although Orion Springfield is not exactly lacking in entertainment options, there’s always space for a bit more fun. And fun doesn’t come much more exciting than Timezone – certainly one of Australia’s favourite arcades! Timezone Springfield has just opened to bring their unique style to this region. They have been entertaining families for over 40 years, so they definitely know how to bring the fun, with a huge range of arcade games, mini bowling arcade, laser tag, bumper cars and heaps more. There are fantastic deals for arcade credit and it’s definitely a bonus to squeeze a few more games out of your money, and of course they have a fantastic ticket shop to reward yourself after a busy gaming session!
Where is it: Cnr of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Brisbane
What's it all about: An excellent and very comprehensive museum which hosts fantastic touring exhibitions! It’s one of Brisbane’s favourite places!
Tell me more: The Queensland Museum one of Brisbane’s (and Queensland’s) most loved destinations! It showcases a wide range of exhibits and millions of specimens and artefacts of natural history, cultural heritage and human achievement to give visitor’s a glimpse of the history of Queensland – everything from dinosaurs through to contemporary events. It’s part of the South Bank precinct and it’s a ‘must-see’ for both those visiting Brisbane as well as the locals. General admission to the museum is free as well so it’s a fantastic way to have a look at and learn about the history of Brisbane! For a fee you can also have a look at the Sciencentre which is housed within the museum and is heaps of fun for the kids as they can get hands-on while they learn about the science that impacts them daily – it’s always a fun visit.
Queensland Museum also plays host to amazing, world class temporary exhibitions as well. One of our favourites is the ‘Prehistoric Monsters exhibit which displays amazing fossilised creatures from the past that called our oceans home. The fossil displays were amazing, with really great information provided as well as a few interactive exhibits as well.
A previous exhibit that we visited was ‘Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives’ (a collaboration between the British Museum and the Queensland Museum) features more than 200 amazing artefacts (some over 4000 years old!) from ancient Egypt – telling the stories of those living in Egypt many years ago and of course as with anything featuring the word ‘mummies’, it was super popular with the kids!
The museum caters for the younger visitors by having specific programs on and activities to make it more engaging for the little visitors – our little guys always love a visit to the museum! Check out their website to see a full program of their current activities.
Amenities: This is a fantastic facility and the amenities are great – as expected! There is a café and gift shop here as well!
Parking: Paid parking is available which is relatively good value compared to other city parking options!
Access: Good access throughout and lifts from carpark to museum levels!
Best for: There truly is something for everyone here!
Summary: We spend a lot of time here at the Queensland Museum – it’s one of our favourite places here in Brissy and it is definitely a great option for an easy family day out!
Sea Monsters (Nov-May 2021)
Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives
Where is it: At Westfield Chermside, 395 Hamilton Rd, Chermside QLD 4032
Why we love it: The thrill of a free-fall without the heights!
Tell me more: iFly is an indoor skydiving centre and it’s one of those things that you just have to do! And it’s so easy to get into - it’s situated in the city at one of Brisbane’s most popular shopping complexes and all you have to do is book your time slot, turn up an hour earlier for your briefing and to get kitted up and then start flying - no experience is needed! It’s basically a big glass tube that forces huge amounts of air through it so that you can fly. The speed of the air is controlled and adjusted so that you get just the right amount of lift and keep you airborn and you always have an expert skydiver with you guiding and assisting as you require.
We went along on a family pass (which is great value) and we all had a go - even our little 4 year old tried it and we all had a fantastic time! And as fun as the basic flying was, the High Flight was even more amazing as your instructor will carry you up (and bring you down) right to the top of the tube! Once you get a taste of it you will want more, and iFLY also offers training programs so that you can build up your skills and have even more fun. It’s also the perfect spot for parties or group functions. iFLY Chermside is open Open 7 days a week from 9am - 10pm.
Where is it: All across the south east of Queensland (especially during spring)!
What’s it all about: Getting outside and collecting your own food!
Tell me more: A fantastic way to get outside, get you hands dirty and pick your own strawberries!
We can’t get enough of these wonderfully sweet natural snacks, and luckily for us here in Brisbane there are so many strawberry farms - there are even some within the urban area! A lot of the farms offer a ‘pick-your-own’ service where you can pay for a punnet or box to fill, which is a fantastic way of getting the kids back to nature and a great introduction to farms. A quick search online will show a number of different farms that offer pick-your-own, just remember to book or call ahead to ensure that there is something to pick! Our little guys loved getting out and I think that they appreciated eating them even more!
Where is it: Pine Rivers Park, 125 Gympie Road, Strathpine
Why we love it: A festival just for kids – how could we not love that!
Tell me more: This brand new event celebrates kids with a program full of family-friendly entertainment. With special guests live on stage and heaps of awesome activities, rides, games and crafts. Whatever your child’s passion, the Moreton Kids Festival guarantees to have them bursting with excitement with their five amazing worlds – Active Kids with its focus on getting kids to enjoy an energetic and active childhood, Creative Kids to let the kid’s creative streak loose, Green Kids in which kids are encouraged to engage in sustainable activities and lifestyle, Curious Kids is all about science, experimenting and learning and Fun Kids which probably doesn’t need any further explanation! All of these worlds will combine as one fun and fantastic event and its one not to be missed!
Brisbane Family Explorers