Where is it: In the centre of Ipswich
What's it all about: One of the most visited regional art galleries in Australia, the Ipswich Art Gallery will have something for everyone!
How can I join in: Check out their website to see what exhibits or events are on, or just turn up and explore!
Tell me more: One of our favourite spots in Ipswich (along with the Workshops Rail Museum) is the Ipswich Art Gallery! It always has really interesting exhibitions and events on! And the best thing is more often than not there are some really great kids programs - from genuine artistic events, through to some that are more like a playtime - like building the fastest Lego cars! It's a great facility with really helpful and friendly staff, so we think that it is definitely one to visit! Some of the awesome exhibits for kids that we have been to have included 'Wind Tubes for Toddlers' - a really fun event where the kids got to suck and push things around with wind tubes, a Lego car construction event where the aim was to build your fastest car and then race it down a track and we've also seen some amazing Lego towers! We've also seen tunnels made from sticky tape, giant marble runs, foam block constructions and a giant model city made from recycled items from the kitchen! There's something for everyone at the Ipswich Art Gallery and it's certainly worth your while visiting!
Amenities: Well-appointed and some nice little cafes nearby! 👍👍👍
Cost: Some exhibits have a cost, but generally quite reasonable! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Plenty of options available, and well priced too! 👍👍👍
Access: Quite easy to access - only one lift though! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: Pick your exhibit and you will have so much fun! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Depending on the exhibits on at the time, but there's generally something for everyone! 👍👍👍👍
Wildlife: Only painted wildlife! 👍
Summary: We always enjoy our visits to Ipswich Art Gallery! It is really well presented and the exhibits are very well considered! We think that the gallery deserves more recognition! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: There are some great attractions in Ipswich - make a day of it and visit the Workshops, Queens Park or River Heart Parklands!
Current Exhibition: Climbing nets
Built for speed
Towers of Tomorrow
Where is it: North Ipswich, only 10 minutes’ drive from Ipswich CBD
What's it all about: One of the great museums in Queensland's Museum Network - dedicated to rail workers and the history of rail in Queensland!
How can I join in: The museum is open daily and is an easy drive from Brisbane so head along at any time, or keep an eye on their website for special programs!
Tell me more: The Workshops Rail Museum is a really fun place to visit at any time, but for kids, it's especially fun when they have their special programs on, like Day out with Thomas! They also have special school holiday activities, Easter and Christmas events and many more throughout the year! The museum is situated on and in the actual workshops and rail yards that constructed and maintained much of Queensland's early rail network! There are a number of actual trains that you can get up close to, heaps of historical artefacts and lots of memorabilia. The kids will love the dedicated play areas, and the whole museum is really spread out so you can relax as you wander around at your own pace! A really fun day out for the whole family!
Amenities: Full amenities including a café - picnics are welcomed too! 👍👍👍👍👍
Cost: Reasonably priced and a good deal on annual passes! 👍👍👍
Parking: More than enough parking available - some of the event days do get busy though! 👍👍👍👍
Access: Access has been considered and ramps added to all areas of the museum! 👍👍👍👍
Entertainment: The special programs have some really good entertainment on offer! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Little kids and adults should enjoy this one! 👍👍👍
Summary: We keep coming back to this museum! The kids always find something here to entertain themselves with, and we just love that there's so much space to wander around in - it just feels so relaxing! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Look out for the special programs - they make the visit so much more worthwhile!
A day out with Thomas
A Room for Wild Animals
Where is it: Churchill – not too far from Amberley
What's it all about: An aviation themed playground that ticks all the boxes in what a fun park needs!
Tell me more: The award-winning Lobley Park is a super fun park with an airplane theme – paying a bit of a tribute to the Ipswich’s connection with the air force! The little guys loved the airplane to play in, an air traffic control tower and the parachute swings! Heaps of space for running about and all the usual playground fare – swings, slides and story time area, as well as barbeques and tables for your picnic or party! And a great network of paths makes it very accessible for wheeled devices! It’s a quality park and its awesome aeronautical theme really defines it!
Amenities: Full public facilities including barbeques! 👍👍👍
Parking: Free parking! 👍👍👍
Access: Great access throughout the park! 👍👍👍
Best for: Your little budding pilots! 👍👍👍
Summary: A really fun themed park that will set your child’s imagination soaring! 👍👍👍
Hints: It would be great to visit after a morning out at Amberley Air Force Base’s open day!
Where is it: Leaving from Bundamba Racecourse, Ipswich.
What’s it all about: Another one of Ipswich’s excellent rail experiences! Get to ride on a vintage train - either steam or diesel powered – and learn a little about Queensland’s rail heritage!
How can I join in: Buy your tickets online or at the station (we recommend online so that you are assured of your spot)! They run a number of different experiences so check their website for details!
Tell me more: A surprisingly easy to access experience is the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway (QPSR) which runs its heritage rail from Bundamba Racecourse - right in Ipswich! The sight of the old steam engine with smoke and steam billowing out is almost too good to resist, and we're sure that they have collected a few passengers who until they saw it, probably weren't planning on a heritage train trip!
QPSR runs their vintage steam an diesel locomotives, pulling retired Queensland Rail carriages generally once a month (they also do longer special trips at times - check out their website for more information) along a short section of track, before looping back and returning from the original departure point and taking about half an hour to complete the trip. There's no stopping or hopping off on the journey, so we think the half an hour is a good length for little kids. The train leaves for each trip every hour.
While the ride on the old carriages was fun and well worth taking, for us we probably enjoyed being on the platform more! Seeing the old steam train up close is truly impressive, and it's something that is a little hard to appreciate when you are sitting on the train. So we loved being on the platform for the half hour before the train departed again with the smoke and steam, the hisses and whistles, and the heat of the fire box! We could have watched it for hours! The volunteers are also really friendly and passionate about the train, and more than happy to have a chat and provide some more information about the train.
This is a really fun and authentic experience! The locomotive and carriages are well maintained and very comfortable for the short journey. There's an added bonus of coordinating with the Handmade Markets which is on at the same time across the road at the racecourse. The markets have lots of great products so they're great for doing a bit of shopping or even just browsing. You can also grab a bite to eat and there's always a few things going on for the kids - plus you can see the train pull in across the road every hour!
Websites: http://www.qpsr.net/ and http://www.thehandmadeexpo.com.au/ipswich.html
Where is it: 2 Ipswich Street, Grandchester, about 1.5 hours' drive west of Brisbane
What's it all about: Scaled down replica trains that you can ride on! What fun!
Why we love it: Little, working trains (are there any kids that don't love trains?) which run on real, miniature tracks that you can ride on! It's such a lovely, relaxed and rural setting which heaps of space and more than enough shade for a picnic as the trains go by!
Tell me more: Grandchester is a tiny little town about half an hours' drive from Ipswich. It might be tiny, but it has a very special place in the history of Queensland, as it was the last stop on the (then) new Queensland Rail which provided a huge impetous to the development of this great state! As a reminder of the importance of the town's rail heritage, Grandchester Model Live Steam runs on the first Sunday of every month and we have to say that it is heaps of fun!
The detail on the trains is simply amazing - you will find both steam trains (actual little steam trains burning coal!) and faithful replicas of Queensland Rail diesel locomotives (although we don't think that there are any diesel engines in there)! The association members who provide their time to running these days are quite accommodating, so if you or your little guys really want to ride a specific train they will do their best to get you on that train. They pull specially built wagons that can carry around 6 - 8 people per wagon and the ride is surprisingly smooth and lots of fun! And at two dollars a ride and multi ticket discounts, it's great value as well! There's a canteen on site for food and refreshments or bring a picnic as there's heaps of lawn and shade.
While you are in Grandchester for the train rides, you really need to pay a visit to the historic Grandchester Station. The heritage listed building is only a two minute drive from the Model Live Steam tracks and is a lovely and faithfully maintained old station, which looks as though it could be in daily use still to this day! It's not however, but the train line that runs directly past is still in use and on occasion this station will be put back into service for heritage steam train visits! It holds some intriguing memorabilia from days gone by and it is a beautiful old building!
We had a great day out at Grandchester - the little trains are heaps of fun for the kids, Grandchester Station is a lovely visit, and the whole day in this little town was so relaxed and quiet. It's a great way to switch off and recharge, while at the same time enjoying the fun of the model railway!
Amenities: Toilets on site and there's also a canteen so you can visit without packing your lunch! There are a few covered picnic tables and lots of lawn areas. 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Roadside parking that can get a bit busy, but no problems with finding a park! 👍👍👍
Access: Easy to get to and get around, but you will need to drive to Grandchester! 👍👍👍
Best for: Everyone will enjoy this day out, however we think that kids 6 and under would have the most fun! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: A really fun and relaxed day out in a quaint little rural setting. Well worth a visit and especially if you have little train buffs in your family! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Be sure to visit the historic Grandchester Station and the Model Live Steam is a great spot for a picnic lunch!
Grandchester Model Train
Where is it: Ipswich Mall, d'Arcy Doyle Place and Brisbane Street, Ipswich.
What’s it all about: A selection of activities making for a busy afternoon, all as part of the Ipswich Festival – a celebration of Ipswich’s community spirit and heritage!
How can I join in: Creative Kidz, ArtBeat, Parade of Light and the Heritage Bank Street Party are all free events, so just head along to these fun events! There are so many more events uplanned for the Ipswich Festival, so check their website for more details!
Tell me more: At first glance of this amazing festival’s schedule and you would be forgiven for feeling a little intimidated by what’s on offer – there are so many events, activities and entertainment options throughout Ipswich over the 10 days that the festival runs for! We wanted to get some real bang-for-the-buck from 1 day out at the festival – we wanted lots to occupy the kids, we wanted entertainment, we wanted options and most of all we wanted to have a wonderful time!
So we headed out to Ipswich on the first Saturday of the festival to catch 3 events – Creative Kidz, the Parade of Light and the Street Party – all taking place in the City Centre of Ipswich, and all running essentially one after the other, and all generally in the same location! We didn’t realise it when we planned, but there was also another event on at the same time – ArtBeat, again in the same area, so even though we had prepared for a busy afternoon, it got even busier when we arrived!
We kicked off by getting straight into some activities in Creative Kidz which was set up in the Mall – there was so much to do, table after table of fun crafty activities! There was a good crowd of people but there were heaps of different creation stations, so it was easy to get in and get a little bit messy! There was also a program of fun events including animals, circus performances and circus schools, Hoot and Hootabelle from ABC and a really fun bubble show! The shows were well spaced time-wise so there was plenty of time to catch the shows and get some painting or crafts done in between! A few market stalls rounded out what would have been an awesome stand-alone event, let alone one as part of a bigger festival!
Across the road from Creative Kidz was ArtBeat which had heaps more crafty things to for kids. There was a slightly different feel to these workshops, but they still very inviting for the little guys! The main stage was set up for the upcoming Street Party and with music and entertainment on throughout the afternoon, there was a definite festive atmosphere! We also managed to catch part of the action of the Ipswich Festival Criterium cycling race which was really exciting!
We are reasonably seasoned when it comes to visiting events like this, but we were caught a little short by the amount of options here – so many that we should have brought a shopping trolley along to cart away all the paintings and craft we collected along the way! A painting apron would have been a nice idea too!
By the end of these events we had certainly had our fill of craft (although the kids were happy to keep on going!) and we had to secure a spot to catch the action of the Parade of Light. As we soon found out, this event is hugely popular, so you probably need to take you place around an hour before the action kicks off! The parade commenced on time at 6pm and was a fun mix of marching bands, cool cars, marching groups, floats and paper lanterns which were sculpted into amazing creations! The parade was themed “Wizards, Witches and Mystical Creatures” and you would be forgiven for thinking that it was Halloween all over again! Our little guys loved the parade – everything was well spaced and the lanterns were fantastic! But choosing one highlight was easy – the hot air balloon float! Blasting out huge jets of fire straight up into the air as it slowly worked its way up the street, this one was really impressive!
As soon as the parade come to a finish, part of the street quickly filled with classic cars (another festival event we weren’t expecting!) and the crowds quickly shifted focus to the Street Party! Heaps of carnival food, a few rides and live music rounded out the night, but the Street Party was perhaps outshone by the parade that ran before it. It was still lots of fun, but the atmosphere of the parade was certainly on a different level. The live music was great and our little guys were more than happy to join in with the other kids in showing off their dance moves!
All in all, this was such a fun afternoon out! The kids were super tired when we got home, but there were no signs of grumpiness while we were out – and that for us is the best indicator of a very enjoyable event! If the rest of the Ipswich Festival events can match the fun of these events, then visitors are in for a real treat!
More Ipswich Festival Action
Parade of Light
Heritage Bank Street Party
Where is it: Just outside of Rosewood, around 30 minutes' drive from Ipswich CBD.
What's it all about: A small museum with lots of big exhibits, and once a month you can ride on a heritage train!
How can I join in: Head along on the last Sunday of every month to experience some working history of Ipswich and Queensland! The museum is open on all other Sundays, however you'll be missing out if you don't catch a ride on one of the old trains!
Tell me more: We took a nice drive west of Brisbane on a beautiful morning - heading out to Rosewood, just 20 kms west of Ipswich to visit the Rosewood Rail Museum! The museum is open on Sundays, however the last Sunday of each month is the day to visit as they have a restored train running between the two stations on their very own piece of track (a maintained section of a de-commissioned line)! Set amongst some lovely scenery of rolling hills and farmland, two small rail stations have been authentically maintained for the museum's use.
Starting off from Cabanda Station (closest to Rosewood), the train leaves roughly every hour for the 10 - 15 min train ride up a section of the Little Liverpool Range to Kunkala Station, where the museum resides. Normally running the close-to-100 year old C17 class steam train (known as "Ken Biggs"), you can purchase return fares or multi-trip where you can ride the train all day long! When we visited, "Ken" was in the workshop under repair, so we got to ride on the 80 year old diesel rail motor "Red Fred", which we thought was heaps of fun, and great value too as you get a multi-trip for the price of a return ticket!"
Upon arrival at Kunkala Station, we disembarked for a look around the museum. We were also lucky as we received a guided tour of the workshop where "Ken" was sitting and got to have a look around this awesome piece of machinery! There are also a number of other locomotives and carriages housed at Kunkala which you could wander around and check out at your own pace. It's a lovely, relaxed setting (apart from the occasional blast of the air-horn from "Red Fred") and it's all very rustic and authentic. There are some limited refreshments available as well as souvenirs - we mistakenly purchased some cute train whistles for the kids - our eardrums might never forgive us! We also found some nice and shady lawn to set up a picnic on - plenty of others had the same idea as well!
After lunch we boarded "Red Fred" for the last time and headed back down the track to Cabanda Station, taking in the lovely views as you wind down the hill! We had a great time at Rosewood Railway Museum - it's a really simple and enjoyable day out - and the volunteers are really friendly, helpful and professional!
Amenities: There are limited amenities at Cabanda Station and full amenities (including a limited selection of food and refreshments) at Kunkala Station (the site of the museum)! 👍👍👍
Cost: Excellent value while Red Fred is running! 👍👍👍
Parking: Free parking at both stations, although it did get a bit busy when we visited! 👍👍👍
Access: Good access through both sites - these are heritage stations and some restrictions should be expected! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: The train rides are great fun and not too long! And a multi-trip, you can ride all day long! 👍👍
Best for: Train lovers, history buffs and basically all kids! 👍👍👍
Summary: A really simple and relaxing day out! We weren't sure what to expect, but we really enjoyed this day out - the short train trip, heaps of old trains to look at and a nice spot for a picnic made this an enjoyable day out! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Pack a picnic and enjoy a quite lunch while you're out!
What's it all about: Go behind the scenes and see how these wonderful Easter treats are made!
How can I join in: It's on the week leading up to Easter and it's free - make you booking and head along!
Tell me more: This was a really fun event for the little guys! We all got to head along to the other side of the counter at the Coles Bakery and see how hot cross buns are made! The kids got their special baking clothes and prepared to get their hands messy! We got help out making the dough, shaping the buns and of course the main part of any hot cross bun - making the cross! And as much fun as this was, it wasn't the best part of our day - the best part was that we got to keep our hot cross buns! Yummy!
Why we love it: It's the complete parkland experience! A great mix of lawns, paths, playgrounds and water will make sure that you satisfy everyone's needs!
Tell me more: Robelle Domain is a parkland that is right up there with Southbank, Roma Street Parklands, and New Farm Park as being some of the best parks in the area, and I'm sure more than a few people would argue that it's the best! It's not hard to see why either, as there is so much to do here, from a picnic or a quiet stroll along the kilometres of pathways, or getting into the action at the water-play park, playground, grab a coffee at one of the cafés or pack your swimmers for Orion Lagoon! The water-play area is really fun, with soft-fall floor, lots of sprinklers and a giant dumping bucket! Orion Lagoon is a huge (and free!) public pool area, complete with lifeguards and a great little area for the little guys - it would be worth visiting just for the lagoon, but the playgrounds and park areas are hard to ignore! We've been along to Robelle Domain a number of times and we always have a great time - there's just so much to do! Probably the only downside to this park is that it is so popular so you will need to get in early if you want to secure yourself a picnic spot!
Amenities: Full amenities and there's even a café! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Enough parking, but it is very popular! 👍👍👍
Access: Easy to access, however it is a large park! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Everyone! 👍👍👍👍👍
Summary: Certainly one of the best parks in Brisbane! If you are looking for a park that ticks all the boxes, this one does just that! 👍👍👍👍👍
Hints: Get in early to avoid the crowds - it is very popular!
Robelle Domain Waterpark
Why we love it: A really fun park with all the features, and nestled in a nice and relaxed spot by the Bremmer River!
Tell me more: With the summer heat already hitting us, it's great to know that the local councils have got us covered when it comes to providing places to cool down! There are some great water-play parks and playgrounds around the area, and a number of these are zero-depth so they are great for the littlest of our explorers, but still heaps of refreshing fun for the bigger guys! Bob Gamble Park at the Riverheart Parklands is one of the better ones - a superbly laid out playground which incorporates both wet and dry playgrounds and plenty of shady spots for parents to sit, relax and supervise! There a two different water-play areas, one is completely shaded and has a number of concrete channels with little locks so that the kids can direct the flow of water on their own! It's surprising how fun this can be!
The other wet area is covered in soft fall foam and is covered in intermittent spray systems so you never know where the water will be coming from, again this one is heaps of fun and the soft fall floor is a little less stressful for us parents! Both areas get a really good work out from our little kids and they all give it a big thumbs up!
Even without the water features, this would be a really impressive park with all the features of a modern park - plenty of climbing areas, swings, sand pit, slides, a flying fox, lawn areas, picnic tables (shaded), barbeques and a river-side boardwalk! But wait, there's more! Venture into the forest and you will find two fort-style playgrounds hidden away in there! If you have some little park aficionados in your family, we are sure that even the fussiest would be impressed by Bob Gamble Park!
Amenities: Excellent! A really well thought out park with great facilities! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Both on and off street parking, but expect it to be popular in summer! 👍👍👍
Access: On the banks of the Bremmer River so expect some ramps. Well connected with concrete paths. 👍👍👍
Best for: The under 10s will absolutely love this park! Most likely the over 10s will as well! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: This park really ticks all the boxes, great wet and dry playgrounds, heaps of well-maintained facilities and in a beautiful shady location! One of the best around! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Make sure that you've got plenty of time up you sleeve so that you can make the most of your visit!
Brisbane Family Explorers
360 All Stars
7th Brigade Park
Abbey Medieval Festival
Act For Kids
A Day Out At The Ipswich Festival
A Day Out With Thomas
All Around Brisbane
All Over The World
Amberley Air Force Base
A Night At The Museum
Arana Hills Library
Army Open Day
Ascot - Eagle Farm Racecourse
Australia Day At Aussie World
Australia Day Events
Australia Defence Force
Australia National Flag Day
Australian Ninja Warriors
Australia's Biggest Duck Race
Bacchus South Bank
Bancroft Sea Baths
Beaches Near Brisbane
Benarkin State Forest
Ben Lomond NSW
Billy Cart Derby
Blackwood Street Halloween
Bob Gamble Park
Bongaree Easter Egg Hunt
Boombana Walking Trail
Bracken Ridge Lions Club
Brisbane Ice Cream Festival
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year At Sunnybank
Christmas In Brisbane
Christmas In Gold Coast
Coding For Kids
Commonwealth Games 2018
Crows Nest Falls
D'Aguilar National Park
Discovery Day For Little Learners
Drarw It. Code It.
Easter Egg Hunt
Emergency Service Expo
Ewen Maddock Dam
Family Fun Days At Brisbane Racing Club
Festival Of Colours
Festival Of Lights
Festival Of Sails
Festival Of Tibet
Fly It Take It
Fort Lytton National Park
Free Roller Skating
Gallery Of Art
Give Cancer A Quack
Gold Coast Art Centre
Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular
Grandchester Model Live Steam Trains
Green Heart Fair
Guiness World Record Attempt
Old Petrie Town
Paddington Halloween Haunted House
Paniyiri Greek Festival
Paper Plane Championships
Paper Plane Competition
Parade Of Lights
Phoenix Sculpture Garden
Pine Rivers Heritage Museum
Pine Rivers Lego Expo
Pine Rivers Park
Pirate Island Brisbane
Playgroup Dress-up Day
Play School 50
Playschool Live In Concert
Queensland Dirt Race
Queensland Maritime Museum
Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway
Queensland Rail Heritage
Queensland Rocketry Society
Queensland Sport And Athletics Centre
Queensland Street Art
Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Queensland University Of Technology
QUT Dragon Boat Regatta
QUT Gardens Point
QUT The Cube
Raven Street Reserve
Reds Fan Day
Robelle Domain Parklands
Rock Riverside Park
Roma Street Parkland
Rosewood Railway Museum
Royal Australian Air Force
Sandstone Point Hotel
Santa Express - Queensland Rail
Santa Fun Run
Seventeen Mile Rocks
Snowflakes In Stanthorpe
South Bank Cultural Forecourt
South Bank Parklands
South Burnett Region
South Queensland Country
Spartan Junior Race
Sphero Maze Challenge
Sphero Sprk +
Spring Hill Reservoir
Star Wars Day
State Library Of Queensland
St Gerard Majella
St Gerard's Christmas Festival
St Gerard's Majella Christmas Lights
St Patrick's Day
St Patrick's Day Parade
Strathpine Community Centre
Street Arts Festival
Sunnybank $2 Trail Food
Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Support The Duck Race
Swell Sculpture Festival
Talk Like A Pirate Day
Teddy Bears' Picnic
The Enchanted Garden
The Workshops Rail Museum
Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay Dolphin Centre
Torres Strait Islander
Trick Or Treat
Under 5' Family Fun Day
Up Up Upper Mt Gravatt Paper Plane Championships
Variety Santa Fun Run
Visit Gold Coast
Visit Moreton Bay
Visit Moreton Bay Region
Visit Sunshine Coast
Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre
Weight Of Light
Westfield Norh Lakes
Westfield North Lakes
Wildlife Conservation Projects
Woodhill State School
Woodhill State School Billy Cart Derby
World Record Wednesday
World Science Festival