Things to do during Ekka for kids and the whole family

By ivan matsumoto  |  Posted: August 12, 2017

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    For those who haven’t heard of what EKKA is, it is Queensland’s largest annual event, which attracts over 400,000 visitors each August. Its formal title was the Royal Queensland Show and was first held at Brisbane Showgrounds all the way back in August, 1867. Since then, Brisbane continues to host this exciting event every year and we’re excited that Ekka is finally here! From 11 -20 August, this year is the very special Q150 anniversary and there’s so many things to do at the festival itself and also around Brisbane for the whole family to enjoy!

    We’ll list everything you need to know on what to do during this 10 day Ekka event. Don’t miss the thousands of competitions, animal shows, award-winning food and wine stalls, free family entertainment and the spectacular firework display.


    Friday August 11 – Day One

    Royal Queensland Show/Ekka

    The spectacular 10 day event starts on Friday August 11 at the Brisbane Showgrounds. For the next days there’s events happening all around the city and families usually spend time with family, attend concerts and shows and have a picnic in the parks. Ekka itself has lots of rides, attractions, foodstalls, and many more to entertain kids and families during this period. On Wednesday itself is the when many of the festivities take place. 

    So be sure to load up on fried and sugary goodness, then brave the rides and gaze at the fireworks. You have until the end of EKKA, August 20 Sunday. 

    Royal Queensland Show

    Get your tickets on discounts here.

    Venue: Brisbane Showgrounds, 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills Queensland

    Quandamooka Festival

    Celebrating the aboriginal culture of Australia is the Quandamooka Festival. This event started all the way back from the 1st of July and will continue until the 30th of September around Brisbane’s Redlands and Southern Moreton Bay islands region. Bring your kids along to take part in cultural tours, traditional song and dance, storytelling and more. 

    So if you’re looking for things to do other than the activities at the Royal Queensland Show then check out this official site.

    Quandamooka Festival

    Get your tickets on discounts here.

    Venue: Various Locations

    Waller Park Family Funfair

    This event is actually free for all and open until the  27th of August.  For fireworks, rides, food stalls, animal shows (including crocodiles) come over down to Waller Park Family Funfair for the alternative Ekka.

    Waller Park Family Funfair

    Check out ther Facebook here.

    Venue: Waller Park, Browns Plains, Queensland

    Marvel Film Exhibition

    Fan of everything Marvel and superheroes? Check out the largest Marvel Exhibition ever presented, only showing at GOMA in Brisbane. Featuring over 500 unique objects like Thor’s hammer, Iron Man’s suit and even Captain America’s shield – marvel fans will geek out with the impressive collection at the exhibit. Showcasing since May, it’s still available to the public until September 3. So what are you waiting for? Australia, Assemble!

    Marvel Film Screenings

    For more info check out their site here.

    Venue: Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Stanley Pl, South Brisbane, Queensland


    Saturday August 12 – Day Two

    Rockabilly Retro Car Show (Day 1)

    If you’re a fan of vintage cars, live dancing and Pulp Fiction era music then you will enjoy this Hot Wheels event. This two event begins with Saturday August 12 being all things vintage, then on Sunday August 13 it’s all things on wheels!

    Not to mention, Australian live music by “Jake & the Cadillacs” is taking centre stage in this incredible, retro car show. This event is sure to ‘drive-in’ the whole family!

    Rockabilly Retro Car Show

    For more info check out their site here.

    Venue: 115 Mudgeeraba Rd, Mudgeeraba, Queensland (Corner Mudgeeraba Rd & Worongary Rd)


    National Science Week at Queensland Museum

    An annual celebtration of science and technology for all ages that takes place in the whole of Australia. Brisbane happens to have an exciting range of events and activities during Ekka. This is the first day of the event which runs until the 20th of August. 

    National Science Week at Queensland Museum

    Top events include:

    YSA at a Night at the Museum  (Aug 12)  

    Kids get to participate in fun science activities like the tye-dye experiment with the help of The Young Scientists of Australia. (Queensland Museum) 

    For more info check out what events are out there here. 

    Discovery Day for Little Learners:  (Aug 15)  

    Kids will get to explore and participate in hands-on activities and spectate some wildlife shows and more. 

    For more info about this activity click here.

    Goodnight at the Museum  (Aug 19/20)

    Sleepover at Queenland Museum and see if the museum really comes alive! 

    For more info about this activity click here.


    Venue: Queensland Museum, Corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Brisbane, Queensland


    Sunday August 13 – Day Three

    Rockabilly Retro Car Show (Day 2)

    It’s the second day of this ‘Everything on Wheels’ event and there’s even more show cars, bikes, trucks and 4WD’s coming your way!  Check out live entertainment by the ‘Fat Albert Band’.

    Rockabilly Retro Car Show

    For more info check out their site here.

    Venue: Mudgeeraba Showgrounds, 115 Mudgeeraba Rd, Mudgeeraba, Queensland

    Boudoir Bazaar Fashion Market

    Spring’s approaching which means it’s time to shake up your winter wardrobe by checking out the glitzy Boudoir Bazaar Fashion Market. It’s mums and daughter’s day as you shop for haute couture designs at affordable prices. 

    Boudoir Bazaar Fashion Market

    For more info on what else to expect click here.

    Venue: Clum Chermside, 468 Rode Road, Chermside, Queensland

    Monday August 14 – Day Four (Public Holiday)

    Day Out at the Brisbane Showgrounds

    Most businesses on this day are closed so the locals either stay at home with their family or attend the Ekka festivities at the Brisbane Showgrounds. If you haven’t gone yet and you’re looking for something to do on this day then be sure to stay until the fireworks, it’s always been a magnificent spectacle. Starting at 6pm, kids won’t have to stay up late.  

    Tickets are available here.

    Venue: Brisbane Showgrounds, 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills Queensland

    Tuesday August 15 – Day Five

    Discovery Day for Little Learners

    Part of National Science Week, the Queensland Museum has developed a free fun day program for the little ones (5 and under) and their families. Kids will get to explore and participate in hands-on activities and spectate some wildlife shows and more. 

    Discovery Day for Little Learners

    For more info about this activity click here.

    Venue: Queensland Museum, Corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Brisbane, Queensland


    Wednesday August 16 – Day Six (Public Holiday/Ekka)

    Elements in the Park

    What better way to spend the Ekka holiday than a good old fashioned picnic at a park. It’s a free event which brings together music, yoga, picnic and park games into one unified afternoon of sunshine and socialising. All ages and people of different walks of life are welcome. 

    Elements in the Park

    For more info about this activity click here.

    Venue: 297 Macarthur Avenue Central, Eagle Farm, Hamilton, Queensland


    For families wishing to support a greener Ekka, this free event is more your calling. Focusing on zero waste living, supporting animal activism and cruelty free products, The Green Edge, a vegan grocery store, hosts a family friendly and pet friendly event. Check out the vegan ice cream tasting, bake sale, handcrafted jewelry and more.

    The Green Edge's Annual Ekka Day Festival

    For more info about this activity click here.

    Venue: The Green Edge – Brisbane’s Largest Vegan Grocery Store & Cafe, Shop 2b 229 Lutwyche Road, Windsor, Queensland


    From food stalls and gourmet eats, arts and crafts, fashion, homewares, jewellery and more, check out this year’s annual event held on Ekka Wednesday at the Crazy Day Market!

    Crazy Day Market

    For more info about this activity click here.

    Venue: Cleveland Market, Bloomfield Street, Brisbane, Queensland


    We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – Live On Stage

    Adapted to stage from Michael Rosen’s award winning children’s picture book, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ is a wonderful story of a family out for a walk and on the lookout for a growling bear. Little ones will enjoy shouting along to this pantomime-like show.

    We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

    For tickets and information click here.

    Venue: Ipswich Civic Centre, 50 Nicholas Street, Ipswich Area, Queensland

    Jan Power’s Farmers Markets Queen Street

    Bringing forward her passion for fresh produce, foodie expert Jan Power forged the first Farmers Market over 30 years ago. Brisbane locals have flocked to these events for years, supporting also the freshest produce Brisbane has to offer. 

    Jan Power's Farmers Markets Queen Street

    For tickets and information click here.

    Venue: George Street, Brisbane City, Queensland

    Thursday August 17 – Day Seven

    Top Dog Film Festival

    For all the dog lovers and enthusiasts, here’s an event celebrating Man’s best friend. Top Dog Film Festival features 8 canine-themed films that are entertaining, inspirational and truly heart-warming stories about dogs and their human companions, from independent film makers around the globe.  

    Top Dog Festival

    For tickets get them here.

    Venue: Eldorado Cinemas, 141 Coonan St, Indooroopilly, Brisbane, Queensland


    Friday August 18 – Day Eight

    Disco Pyjamas Party at Lollipops Playland Strathpine

    It’s time for a Pyjama Party!  Come and join us for a great night of entertainment, dancing and games at Brisbane’s most fun play centre.  The best part about the event is that kids can come all toasty and warm in their PJ’s!

    For bookings and information visit here

    Venue: 104 Gympie Rd, Strathpine, Queensland


    Saturday August 19 – Day Nine

    Strawberry Festival

    What is this event about? Would you believe it, an event for indulging in everything strawberry! Why this fascination for the berry fruit? This is a celebration of Australia’s biggest farming industry and Queensland boasts the best strawberries in the whole country. Freshly picked and ripe for the taking, there are strawberry milkshakes, ice-cream, jams, chocolate all to be had – even a Strawberry Patch bar. Did we mention that there’s even a strawberry eating contest?  And for the kids, rumour has it that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be making an appearance as well. 

    Strawberry Festival

    For more info check out their site here.

    Venue: Sandstone Point Hotel, 1800 Bribie Island Rd, Sandstone Point Queensland

    Goodnight at the Museum

    Part of National Science Week, bring your sleeping bag, pillows and excitement for a wild sleepover at the Museum! Explore four levels of the Museum, including hands-on activities, torchlight tours and pop-up shows. Have tucker and then wind down with a movie before it’s lights out in the Wild State gallery. 

    Goodnight at the museum

    For more info about this activity click here.

    Venue: Queensland Museum, Corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Brisbane, Queensland

    Brisbane Japanese Festival!

    Brisbane! Prepare to sumo-size your appetite as the festival offers all the best Japanese cuisine from sake tastings, sushi, yakitori and entertainment like chopstick challenges, tea prepation and a visit from Godzilla himself!

    Brisbane Japan Festival

    Get your ticket here:

    Venue: West Village, 97 Boundary Street, West End , Queensland

    Sunday August 20 – Day Ten (Last Day of EKKA)

    Stones Corner Market

    Coinciding with the last day of Ekka, this must-go destination is a treasure trove of unique, trendy stalls, food trucks, street performances, buskers and live entertainment. This free family event gathers all the Brisbaners and tourists to attend one of the largest street market events in Brisbane.  The street will also be closed off to traffic so you can peruse in ultimate shopper’s delight!

    Stones Corner Market

    For more info visit their page here

    Venue: Logan Road, Brisbane, Queensland


    Southside Art Market

    Art enthusiasts will enjoy this unique, fine art market in Brisbane which features artworks by over 40 local artists. From paintings to ceramics, giftware and much more, all these items are affordable which would make a great collection to your home. Kids will enjoy the lovely, colourtful artwork and maybe they’ll like one to hang on their wall. 

    Southside Art Market

    For more info visit their page here.

    Venue: Morningside School of Arts Hall, CNR Wynnum And Thynne Road, Queensland


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