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Top 10 Things to Do with Preschoolers in South East Queensland

Little boy feeding a camel.

Why Mum? When Mum? Where Mum? What Mum?!

The preschool years are a time of boundless wonder and discovery. During this stage of development, our little ones are like eager sponges, absorbing every sight, sound, and experience that comes their way. Amidst the playful antics, they are undergoing an intense journey of growth. As their memory sharpens and physical abilities blossom, they also begin to assert their independence.

These little explorers spanning ages three to five are amid a whirlwind learning and development. From dramatic play to the enchantment of music, dance, and the endless possibilities of arts and crafts, every moment is an opportunity for engagement and enrichment. It’s during this time that children also begin to express their emotions more freely, sometimes feeling very BIG, and their fascination with social interactions begins to emerge.

Ready to embrace the world around them, these young adventurers are poised to embark on exciting journeys. Did you know that by the age of five, a child’s brain is nearly 90% developed? (Starting Blocks) It’s a pivotal period, where every experience and environment shapes their understanding of the world.

At SPARK POP, we believe there’s no better way to support this crucial phase of development than through real-world adventures. Our family has ventured on countless escapades with our preschooler, from the exhilaration of bouldering to the wonder of exploring zoos, aquariums, farms, and even the thrill of go-karting. Each outing is an opportunity for our child to expand their imagination, foster creativity, and nurture confidence, while also strengthening our bond.

Join us as we delve into the top 10 days out for 3- to 5-year-olds in South East Queensland—a handpicked selection of experiences designed to ignite curiosity, push boundaries, and create cherished memories for both children and parents alike. Let the adventures begin!

1. Play all day at The Ginger Factory.
2. Immerse yourself in the rainforest at the Big Pineapple.
3. Discover marine life wonders on the Sunshine Coast.
4. Enjoy active indoor play on climbing walls, trampolines and more at Urban Xtreme.
5. Treat yourselves to a little pampering.
6. Soaking up the fresh air and exploring life on the farm in Brisbane.
7. Encounter a desert animal west of Brisbane.
8. Learn to ice skate at Paradise Resort.
9. Meet Australian wildlife.
10. Explore the Gold Coast Broadwater by aquaduck.

 

SUNSHINE COAST

1. Play All Day 

Spark imaginations, foster curiosity, and get playful at the world’s only ginger theme park just an hour and 20 minutes north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast. The Ginger Factory offers a magical experience for local and visiting families. From the Little Explorers soft play to the Rainbrella Project and The Zog Trail (coming soon), there’s plenty for little ones to enjoy. Entry is free, but we recommend taking advantage of the Play All Day Bundles to access Ginger Factory favorites like Moreton the train and the Overboard boat.

2. Rainforest Immersion

Take excitement to new heights with a treetops adventure. The Big Pineapple has transformed into a family-friendly hub of attractions, including Tree Top Challenge, home to Australia’s largest Zipline. With one of the best junior courses in the country designed for thrill-seeking children aged 3 to 9 years, it offers a fully immersive experience in a natural environment. Make a day of it with a stop for coffee or lunch at Fairhill Nursery, just 15 minutes south. Also available at Mt Tamborine.

Junior tree top challenge

Junior Tree Top Challenge

3. Aquarium Discovery

Your little ones will love discovering the marine life wonders at Sea Life Sunshine Coast. An aquarium visit offers an opportunity to learn responsibility and respect for nature and living creatures. Each Sea Life is unique with its own mix of exhibits showcasing our incredible marine species, here on the Sunshine Coast they’ve recently opened The Seahorse Kingdom exhibit. In addition to this exhibit you’ll find ample opportunities for preschoolers to interact with marine life through touchpools, coral play, and the ocean tunnel. Don’t miss the seal show, where the importance of conservation is woven throughout the story.


BRISBANE

4. Kids Play Centre

Get active and indulge in playful learning. Urban Xtreme in Brisbane ticks all the boxes for multiple age groups, including kindy-aged kids as well as teens. Topping the list for preschoolers is the Playland Pass, offering fun on the 2-story tiger slide, giant play gym, climbing wall, trampoline, and jumping castle. If you’re planning a trip to the snow, you must get the kids into a beginner snowsports session here to refine technique and boost confident.

5. Princess Time

Treat your little one to a pampering session at your local day spa, offering a wonderful chance to extend on the at-home dress-up and imagination play. Inspired by a desire for a more intimate celebration, this option allows for memorable experiences such as mini manicures or pedicures, besties makeovers, or Mummy & Petite pampering. Pair it with a high tea or lunch for an extra special day out.
Mummy & Me pedicures

6. Farm Visit

Don’t underestimate the charm of a visit to your nearest farm experience. Unlike children of past decades, it’s highly unusual for urban 21st-century families to be within close proximity to significant blocks of land with horses, cows, ducks, and the like. Bring Old Macdonald’s Farm to life! Treat yourselves to a day out on the farm in the fresh air, exploring a safe and welcoming environment where little ones can meet and interact with farm animals. Extend your day out with a pony ride for the ultimate treat!

7. Dairy Farm

A visit to Summer Land Camels is a wonderful adventure for a young family looking for a unique experience. An encounter with a desert animal with multiple humps, their milk is incredibly nutritious, and they can run fast, yes Camels are one of the more curious animals you can come into contact with. A popular choice for school holidays thanks to their Little Humpty Days and their relatively close location approximately an hour from Brisbane or the Gold Coast in the Scenic Rim.

GOLD COAST

8. Ice Skating & Ferris Wheel

Whether visiting or you live in Australia’s largest playground, Planet Chill is ideal for any young ones keen to explore and try out their balance and agility on the ice! Our preschooler tried ice-skating at Planet Chill and had a blast thanks to a little added support from the penguins to build that confidence in trying something new. In 2024 Paradise Resort have opened a Mini Ferris Wheel available to the public as well, giving you more reasons to stay and play.

9. Wildlife Sanctuary

For families seeking memorable animal encounters on the Gold Coast, there’s an abundance of options, but a couple truly stand out for those with preschoolers. First up is Queensland’s iconic Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, boasting the title of the oldest running attraction for families in the region. Here, your little adventurers can embark on a journey through animal enclosures, delighting in opportunities to feed kangaroos, cuddle koalas, and experience the lively lorikeet feeding sessions. With up to 10 different live shows throughout the day, including the engaging Blinky Bill’s Rookie Ranger Station, children are not only entertained but also educated on the importance of conservation through interactive song and dance performances.

Another fantastic option is the David Fleay Wildlife Park, where families can marvel at the playful antics of platypuses, observe majestic birds such as eagles, brolgas, and jabirus, and encounter iconic Australian wildlife including crocodiles, kangaroos, and koalas.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

10. Aquatic Adventures

You’ve explored their world by land and now it’s time to discover the magic of the waterways. With more canals than Venice, you can’t beat the Gold Coast with its glittering waterways of the Broadwater a spectacular playground to be explored. There are many ways to do this, but to ease into it in a super fun way tailored for kids, we recommend Aquaduck Gold Coast as the original amphibious Aquaduck ride. They take you on a guided tour of the city and river all in-one. The real fun begins for little captains in training as they get to take the helm and steer the boat, adding a new layer to the experience. So, buckle up and prepare for an aquatic adventure that’s tailor-made for family fun!

A preschooler’s developmental stage determines how they experience the world, how much they feel they are able to influence their world, and how they make sense of the events that happen to them. Each of these carefully selected day outings is designed to cater to the curious minds and adventurous spirits of preschoolers, fostering growth, confidence, and lasting memories for both children and parents alike.

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