With this excellent list of fun activities for teenagers in Brisbane, you can expect to hear less, “I am bored”, and more, “let’s go”.
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Fun activities for Teenagers in Brisbane
The days of playing Hide and Seek are long gone. For teenagers, the latest craze is more like Solve and Escape! In a team challenge where teens have to work together to solve puzzles and crack codes, the aim is to escape from locked rooms before the time is up. This works for kids of multiple ages as well as teens and their adults.
Escape Rooms are opening up all over Brisbane and are proving to be one of the most Facebook-recommended fun activities for teenagers in Brisbane. You can find out all about Escape Rooms in Brisbane and where you can take part here.
Unlike an escape room, a challenge room has a single objective (such as remembering song patterns on a giant piano, solving word scrambles, or throwing a basketball through a hoop) that gradually becomes more difficult as your time ticks down. Your team will score a point every time you complete the objective before moving on to the next challenge. The challenge rooms at Funlab’s Hijinx Hotel at Westfield Chermside and in Surfers Paradise draw from nostalgia and have been uniquely designed for between two and six players to work together to complete challenges in a four-minute window to score points on a leaderboard. Complete a challenge to move on to the next room, or head to the quirky New York hotel-themed bar and gourmet kitchen between challenges.
Older kids and teenagers who are confident swimmers love to try fun new sports such as water sports. Here in Brisbane, they can enjoy a wide range of water activities right on their doorstep.
- For fun on the Brisbane River, Riverlife offers a range of exciting activities for kids, including kayaking and standup paddle boarding.
- You can head to Walkabout Creek in The Gap to hire equipment to enjoy the Enoggera Reservoir.
- There are many options for learning to surf on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and standup paddle board hire is growing in popularity.
Rock Climbing and Abseiling
For a fitness boost and plenty of fun for teenagers, rock climbing has it all. We are lucky to have some awesome natural outdoor rock climbing here in Brisbane at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and a wide range of excellent indoor rock climbing venues.
Check out this full article for everything you need to know about Rock Climbing in Brisbane and where you can do it.
Big Kid Play Spaces
Forget kiddies’ playgrounds; there are plenty of play spaces in Brisbane that are awesome for tweens, teens and beyond! With flying foxes, climbing walls, giant slides and large open spaces for games, these big kid play spaces never grow old.
South Bank Parklands
South Bank offers not just one area to visit for teenagers but a whole host of activities to enjoy in the same space.
Streets Beach and South Bank Lagoon are trendy places for teens to hang out, and the lagoon has some deep areas for confident swimmers yet is still overseen by lifeguards. Because it’s well supervised, older teens will appreciate the freedom, and taxi-driving parents can enjoy the Collective Markets or some quality coffee at one of the many surrounding cafes off Grey Street in South Brisbane.
Museums and Art Galleries
South Bank’s museums and galleries also prove to be a surprising drawcard to teens, with their exciting exhibitions and interactive features. They often also feature events targeted at teens and great school holiday activities.
The Queensland Museum, GOMA and The Art Gallery often feature exhibitions aimed at older audiences. Follow these links to check out all of the other great Galleries and Museums in South Bank. Some of these exhibitions will be ticketed but check there isn’t a student discount.
For an adrenaline-pumping sport that teens will love, go-karting is pretty high on the list of fun things to do in Brisbane for teenagers. It’s really one of the best, fun activities for teenagers in Brisbane that gives them the challenge of independence and risk-taking in a safe way.
Skirmish and Paintball
Generally, for teens over the age of 15, skirmish and paintball are fast-paced, action-packed activities to get the adrenalin flowing. This is like a game of tag for grown-up kids and teenagers!
There are many venues for playing skirmish or paintball in Brisbane, such as Skirmish Samford Paintball at Samford, Mango Hill Skirmish at Mango Hill, Valhalla Paintball at Calvert, Delta Force Paintball at Petrie, and Spec Ops Paintball in Red Hill.
While slightly outside of Brisbane, the South East’s famous theme parks can’t be overlooked as they are hugely popular with teenagers.
The main names in theme parks can all be found just south of Brisbane on the Gold Coast, such as Movie World, Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet’ n’ Wild and Whitewater World. To work out which to visit first here’s How to Choose Which Gold Coast Theme Park Is Right for You and Your Family.
Our local advice around theme parks is to pack your patience especially if you go on the weekend or school holidays. We aren’t recommending your teen has the day off school, but if they did, it would definitely make the day more enjoyable. On a recent visit to a major theme park, we only managed to get on 6 rides the whole day! You can pay more to bypass queues, but it’s pretty expensive and only applies to a select few rides (so make sure it’s worth it first).
One of the best things about Brisbane is its proximity to the coastline. Whether you live here or you are a visitor to our wonderful city, Brisbane is close to some of the best beaches in the world. There is nothing quite like the beach and waves to bring teenagers back into their bodies with a renewed sense of calm. We feel like waves matter to teenagers so head to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast or Bribie Island for the day.
Going to watch live sports is a great activity to enjoy with older kids, and we have a whole host of fun options for spectators here in Brisbane. Watch the Brisbane Broncos in rugby league and the Reds in rugby union, the Brisbane Lions in the AFL, the Roar playing soccer, the Brisbane Heat at the cricket and the Bullets shooting hoops on the basketball court. Plus throughout the year, we can enjoy many exciting sporting events, such as State of Origin and T20 cricket matches that are great for family nights out.
For keen sports fans, you can click here for details of Family Memberships for watching live sports in Brisbane.
Map out a list of National Parks close to Brisbane and create a calendar of “dates” for your teenager. In our experience waterfalls tend to invoke the teenage adventurer which is why we wrote this article on chasing waterfalls at the Gold Coast and waterfalls close to Brisbane. Some of our favourite nearby national parks and walking trails include:
- Mount Glorious walking trails
- Springbrook National Park
- Queen Mary Falls, Main Range National Park
- Binna Burra and Lamington National Park
Laser tag was on our original list of fun activities for teenagers in Brisbane for good reason! If your teens are looking for something fun and active then Laser Tag is a great way to burn some energy and challenge friends. Whether it’s indoor laser tag or even laser tag at home, it’s a fun activity and can handle kids of multiple ages.
Bowling has come a long way since the stale alleys of our childhood and is a great place for teenagers, especially on rainy days. These days you will notice a few differences to bowling alleys that are attracting a younger audience.
- The music is better (and louder)
- They sometimes have big screens, above where the ball hits the pins. The big screen is often playing some YouTubing sensation or another shiny thing to appeal to youth.
- You can wear your own shoes. Okay, not all alleys have this feature, but in a lot of alleys, you no longer need to hire their shoes. This means you can be cool and bowl. (You can still hire shoes if you happen to only be wearing a pair of thongs).
- They serve good food and often are attached to arcade games (like King Pin at Chermside).
- It is all very digitised which means less social interaction (which can be a winning formula for teens).
Rollerskating and ice skating rinks are dotted all over Brisbane and if you have ever been to a rink on a Friday/Saturday night, you would know that these are popular with kids of all ages. In fact, according to Albany Creek Skateaway, their eldest skater is 73 years old! Whether your teen prefers the cold, blades or old-school 4-wheeler skates, skating is a fun way to pass the time with a group of friends.
I can see my teenager rolling their eyes but board games have evolved over the past few years and if your kids are over monopoly, then fear not! There are a number of board game shops across Brisbane where you can find something new for your family to play, that will also amuse the teens. Favourites in our house for the teens include Exploding Kittens, Katan, 5-second rule and Trouble!
Spoiled for choice whether you want outdoor or indoor mini golf, Brisbane has them all and competitive putt-putt always ensures a good time! We have a whole article dedicated to the awesome pastime that is putt-putt in Brisbane. Read here for the best mini golf courses in Brisbane. Victoria Park putt-putt is also well known for its popular seasonal themed mini golf courses, like Easter candy land and their Halloween and Christmas courses. It just adds an extra layer of fun to impress the teens.
Plan a party
Sometimes having social goals is a nice way to keep your teen occupied. Whether for their next birthday or maybe an end-of-exam celebration, you could consider pitching them the idea of planning a party. Finding party ideas for teens that meet your teenager’s approval might involve a number of weekends going around and testing the above activities with friends, drawing up a budget, and planning a theme, food and guest list.
This idea is obviously much more involved than one activity but might keep them from being bored every weekend. If you would rather they host it outside the home, you might appreciate our article on parks for birthday parties.
Brisbane is blessed with thousands of parks (over 2180 in Brisbane City Council alone) and picnics are such a great way for teenagers to enjoy each other’s company (or the company of the whole family). These would be our top 3 central parks for a picnic (all pretty central to Brisbane).
Roma Street Parkland
You only need to look at a map of Roma Street Parkland to see how expansive it is. It is a nice central location too, making it a good meeting point for teens with friends across Brisbane or for visitors to the city.
New Farm Park
Also a centrally located park, New Farm Park sits alongside the Brisbane River. Generously shaded by old beautiful fig trees, there is tons of space to find a place to picnic. The city cat stop nearby makes a fun entry or exit and the day can continue somewhere else along the river.
South Bank Parklands
There are three main spots to picnic at South Bank Parklands, River Quay Green, Riverside Green and Picnic Island Green being the most popular. There are BBQ facilities and heaps of shade for hot days plus coffee nearby to complement the picnic.
It wouldn’t be a list for teenagers without shopping being mentioned. Here are some ideas for shopping with teens in Brisbane.
- Op shopping in Brisbane is quite the crowd-pleaser and actually makes a fun birthday party idea. Everyone gets a small budget, heads to an op shop and then enjoys the party in their newly acquired clothes. Our advice is not to choose op shops that aren’t aligned with any of the more well-known charities. We have noticed that the bargains are generally better at these smaller stores.
- The Brisbane CBD and Queen Street Mall are fun places for teens to shop at Christmas just for the lights, atmosphere (and people-watching).
- If you would rather they avoid the city centre, there are tons of big shopping centres that are mini-malls where they can spend a couple of hours shopping and spending time with friends (Chermside, North Lakes, Garden City etc).
- There are loads of Brisbane markets for teenagers to shop at, supporting local markets and artisans.
- There are a surprising number of clothing outlets in Brisbane for brand-named clothing for less than you would get in retail stores.
High Ropes Courses
There are three high ropes courses around Brisbane.
- TreeTop Challenge is located in the Tamborine Mountain rainforest, about an hour’s drive from Brisbane. It features seven different courses, with over 120 challenges, including flying foxes, bridges, and high ropes.
- The high ropes course at Wildlife HQ is located in the Sunshine Coast, about an hour and a half’s drive from Brisbane. It’s a unique attraction with three levels of difficulty that combines the thrill of a high ropes course with the opportunity to see and interact with animals from around the world.
- The high ropes course at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the Gold Coast with lots of different challenges including cargo nets, rope bridges, and zip lines challenging even for the bravest teenager.
Brisbane events for teens
One of the best places to find activities for your teenagers, is on the Brisbane Kids website calendar, filled with things to do in Brisbane. Some favourite annual festivals that the whole family will enjoy (including the teen) include:
The Bris Asia Festival: With a range of free performances, events and activities like martial arts displays.
The Greek Festival: For all the food-orientated teens out there
The Medieval Festival: Enjoy the revelry of medieval reenactment including jousting and all the delicious food of yesteryear.
Riverfire: Plan a special outing with your teen to catch the fireworks and take advantage of the free public transport.
The World Science Festivals: A favourite with teenagers into science, a lot of interesting talks and discussions from leading experts in various fields of science.
Animal experiences for teens
Some might argue that teenagers are over-fun with animals but we say no! In fact, in our humble opinion as parents of teenagers, animals can help teenagers decompress and remember how awesome they truly are! Here are our top places to take teenagers for an animal experience.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, you can cuddle koalas, feed kangaroos, and learn about native Australian wildlife. The sanctuary also offers a range of interactive experiences, including a bird of prey show and a sheepdog display. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is located at Toowong, West of Brisbane and would you believe is the largest koala sanctuary in the world?
It might be a couple of hours in a car, but Australia Zoo will be worth the drive! This is an all-day type zoo and perfect for teenagers with their long legs and endless energy.
Personal experience: We love Australia Zoo but it can get hot and our hot tip is to always begin at the Africa Exhibit. Walk in, go straight there, and ignore all distractions along the way. Then work your way back in time for a show at the Crocoseum. This strategy works for teenagers and toddlers and makes for a much more enjoyable experience.
Maleny Bird World
Maleny Bird World is such a fun place to take teenagers. Picture this: A massive aviary, divided into three smaller aviaries. As you proceed through, progressively the birds get bigger and more interactive. From huge parrots to smaller native birds, Maleny is a haven for rescued animals and the experience is so personalised and interactive that even the most critical teenager will be impressed. According to Bird Watcher Pro wearing shades of yellow, pink, red, and orange will usually tempt the birds to come a bit closer.
Fun activities for Teenagers in Brisbane: Free
Teenagers are known for having a whole lot of money so we thought it could be useful to summarise all the free activities on this page. If you want more detail on them, just scroll up for links.
If you want to find a park closer to you, check out our Brisbane Parks map to find one near to you:
We have a whole article on free school holiday activities and they include a lot that cater for teenagers.
- Library activities ranging from skill building workshops and coding games. Every library will have a different program but if you look via the council website you should be able to locate the different programs.
- Council programs offering free programs that include sports, outdoor activities and games. Our recommendation is to sign up by email to the council website and keep an eye out for the date they get released. Programs like kayaking and archery etc can book out really quickly.
Museums and Galleries
Check the current exhibitions of the Museum of Brisbane, Queensland Museum, Gallery of Modern Art and The Queensland Art Gallery to see what current exhibitions would be appealing to teens. All of these venues have free entry though the individual exhibitions might be ticketed entry. Often there are student discounts so make sure you check that first and have your teenager bring along their school identification.
Road trip to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast
This list is pretty Brisbane-specific but needless to say, Brisbane is only an hour or so away from some of the best beaches in the world. A road trip and swim at the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast could be just what is needed during busy exam times. Bribie is also another option if you live in the Moreton Bay Region. The other thing we love about road trips is that car rides are possibly the best way to have a chat with a reluctant teenager. There is something about eyes forward and a car moving that seems to make it easier for conversation to flow.
Teenagers love free things and we created a list of places they can take advantage of birthday freebies in Brisbane. With the invention of apps, a lot do require prior registration and in some cases prior spending. This is not the case for all though so make sure they/you check out our list of places in Brisbane that do birthday freebies.
Fun activities for Teenagers in Brisbane: Bucket list
We thought it could be useful to pull together some fun activities for teenagers in Brisbane that are of the bucket list variety. Something they may not do more than once and definitely not every day. These are those special activities for graduation gifts, milestone birthdays and just because teenagers are awesome!
While usually presumed to be an activity for adults, skydiving also makes the list of fun activities for teenagers in Brisbane! Tandem skydives can be really unique and exhilarating experiences for thrill-seeking kids and their families. There are several operators around Brisbane that offer skydiving for teenagers. You can read all about this extreme sport, the age minimums and where you can do it here. If they aren’t quite ready for jumping out of a plane then you could also look into indoor skydiving.
Snorkelling the wrecks
Teenagers can discover the beauty of Moreton Bay and explore the underwater world snorkelling the wrecks of Tangalooma, an adventure that blends excitement and learning into one unforgettable experience. Tour operators vary on age requirements so make sure you check that before booking. We also recommend checking cancellation policies in case of bad weather.
Whale watching is a seasonal activity but one you can rest assured will end in the delight of seeing the migrating humpback whales as they head up and down the Queensland Coast. With such an abundance of these majestic animals (thanks to protection laws), you will find that almost all tour operators guarantee sightings. This is a wholesome activities for the entire family and will be appreciated not only by your teenager but also by you!
Tours range from a couple of hours to all-day tours like Tangalooma’s whale-watching cruise which includes a trip to Moreton Island for Dolphin Feeding at their resort.
Wheel of Brisbane
Okay, we agree not quite a bucket list item unless you are a visitor to Brisbane. However, it is also one of those activities you might only undertake once or twice in your life and we figured it deserved to make the list of fun activities for teenagers in Brisbane. The wheel of Brisbane takes about 15 minutes and can hold 6 teenagers! They must all be over the age of 12 to ride unaccompanied so older children can still enjoy this activity but an adult will need to jump on board.
Story Bridge Adventure Climb
The Story Bridge Adventure Climb is a popular graduation gift, climb to the top of the city, challenge the mind and the body and then finish up with a fancy dinner at South Brisbane or somewhere along the river.
Unique things to do with teenagers in Brisbane
We thought we would finish up this seemingly neverending list with some less well-known ideas, that you won’t find on all the generic lists for teenagers. Teenagers are not all the same and so we wanted to make sure we included some unique ideas that might also be of interest.
- Visit the Japanese Garden in Toowoomba, Australia’s largest, most traditionally designed Japanese stroll garden for a zen experience. The Water features will ensure everyone leaves in a more relaxed state than when they entered.
- Take a day trip to the Crystal Castle in Northern NSW to fill the teenager with good vibes.
- Climb mount Coolum for the sunrise and for the perfect place to set some new goals.
- Hire a segway and take a segway tour through South Bank Parklands.
- Do a ghost tour in Brisbane.
- Day trip to North Stradbroke Island, you can do it all by public transport including busing it over on the Island.
- Check out the events calendars for local universities. Sometimes they will have open exhibitions that may have interactive displays and activities that might cater to your teen’s interests. This activity also offers a nice soft opportunity to familiarise your teenager with a local university and get them accustomed to navigating through the grounds.
- Have a fancy brunch at the cafe in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
- Check out the current events at the State Library of Queensland, particularly over the school holidays who regularly seem to offer a variety of fun activities for teenagers.
- If your teens are interested in history then they might enjoy the Queensland Maritime Museum and smaller museums like The Beenleigh Historial Village, Ferny Grove Tram Museum and the Abbey Museum.
- Take them to Surfers Paradise. It might not be your cup of tea but it’s probably where they will end up celebrating schoolies, so maybe use it as an opportunity to check out different accommodation options.
For more awesome ideas of fun things to do with older kids in Brisbane, check out Top Activities for Tweens in Brisbane.