Brisbane city offers a large selection of activities and events to entertain the kids.
Brisbane city offers a large selection of activities and events to entertain the kids. Kathy Sundstrom

Take the kids and sizzle in the city this summer

DID the cinemas - twice.

And I was fed up with the queues and parking chaos at the shopping centres.

The kids are already sunburnt and it's too hot for the beach - and the school holidays have just started.

What's a mum to do with her brood during the longest school holidays of the year?

Take them for a fun-filled few days out and combine culture, education, arts and crafts, hundreds of shopping alternatives, lots of air-conditioning and see the heat - the Brisbane Heat T20 cricket team.

Our state's capital is the ideal alternative to the sun, surf and natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast.

And Brisbane is a city that knows how to pack on events for the kids.

Even finding a family-friendly hotel is easy.

Brisbane's Novotel is ideally located in Creek St, an easy stroll to Queen St, and it is geared for families.

There's the swimming pool, the kids' room and even little pressies for the kids when they go to bed at night, but best of all - children under 16 stay free (with mum and dad).

My kids loved the Novotel, mainly because, in their words, "the staff made us feel so special".

They were allowed to play on the lobby Apple Macs, they could watch the big-screen televisions while the adults "talked too much over dinner" and the bedroom had pay-TV.

They loved it so much, I had to drag them out of there to explore the city as they would have been quite happy to stay indoors.

They were especially not keen when I told them we were going to an art gallery - the Gallery of Modern Art.

My eldest son "detests art and craft", his drawings are still of the stick variety and he only appreciates art if it is in televised format.

I thought I might be creating a headache for myself by dragging him along.

But despite his initial reservations, he was quickly enthralled by the large exhibits on display and he surprised himself (and his mother) by getting involved and enjoying the creative processes.

It helps that something interesting is always happening at GoMA. At the moment, the seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is drawing the crowds.

The children's program was developed along with this and includes hands-on activities and multimedia projects.

My sons had a chance to create their own cardboard outfit and then set themselves against a dynamic yellow or blue background.

Keeping them entertained for an hour on such a creative program is priceless for most parents. It's also priceless at GoMA - yes, the program is free.

The GoMA is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, too. The restaurant has great menu options, but it's the setting that sets it apart.

Lunch can be enjoyed under the covered venue, with the kids playing on the grassed banks of the Brisbane River.

After a busy morning of art and craft, what could be better than relaxing at the pool at South Bank or enjoying the best views of the city on the Wheel of Brisbane.

South Bank always has a festive atmosphere, but this is amped up at Christmas and it's easy to lose track of time.

The Queensland Museum and Science Centre has become one of my favourite hang-outs.

Something interesting is always happening.

At the moment, it is challenging Clive Palmer with dinosaurs.

Seriously, this is just a taste of what's happening in Brisbane over summer.

To find out more, go to



The KFC Twenty 20 Big Bash League

Watch your sporting greats in live action in the fast-paced game that's changing cricket. Series runs until January 12. Visit

Gallery of Modern Art

The seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Arts program includes free program for children.

South Bank

Ride the Wheel of Brisbane, take a swim in the pools, shop at the markets or enjoy a stroll along the river. South Bank has something for everyone.

Queensland Museum's Explor-a-saurus exhibition

Test your strength against a T-Rex jaw, uncover a fossil and learn how dinosaurs lived. This is an exhibition for the whole family.

* The writer was a guest of Brisbane Marketing, Queensland Art Gallery and Novotel


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