15 weekend activities in Brisbane that won’t break the bank

You’ve been slaving away at uni all week, so when the weekend finally arrives you want to the make the most of it. There’s only one problem – you’ve blown your weekly budget on stress-induced chocolate and late night Maccas* runs. #Guilty? Fear not. We’ve rounded up Brisbane’s most fun, weird and feel-good activities that won’t set you back any more than a fifty.

*Aussie slang for McDonalds because we love a good abbrev.

1. Stuff yourself silly at Eat Street

Langos at Eat Street

This is undoubtedly one of Brisbane’s most popular and frequented food markets, held at Portside every Friday and Saturday, 4-10pm. The colorful shipping containers here play host to delicious cuisines from all corners of the globe. Jump on the bandwagon and indulge in a cronut (the illegitimate love child of a donut and croissant) or take your tastebuds on a culinary adventure.

2. Put your feet up at the drive-in  

Kick it ’50s style this weekend and head to Eat Street’s drive-in cinema. Just minutes from the markets, it screens current releases and classical flicks every Friday and Saturday night for only $9. Stock up with treats from the markets prior and sit back and relax. 

3. Seek out wildlife at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine

While in the land Down Under you should experience some Aussie icons up close and personal. Lone Pine is home to more than 100 species of Australian animals, so you’ll get the authentic Australian outback experience without the dry heat and swarms of flies. Tickets are $21.60 for students – watch out for drop bears!

4. Gather your friends for a barbecue at Kangaroo Point

You haven’t truly experienced the Australian lifestyle until you’ve thrown a shrimp on the barbie and fried up some snags. Translation: hosted a traditional Aussie barbecue. Round up your mates and head to Kangaroo Point to find public barbecue spaces overlooking the river.

5. Get spooked on a ghost tour of Brisbane

Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tours

This probably isn’t how you pictured spending your weekend, however in the spirit (pun intended) of adventure and experiencing new things, why the hell not? (Nailing the puns RN.) For around $30, participate in a unique experience to share with your friends while learning about Brisbane’s dark and dangerous history.

6. #Showyourcolours on game day

Cricket fans at The Gabba. Photo by Matt Roberts

Australians and sport go together like peanut butter and jelly, strawberries and cream, potato and, well, everything. You get the gist – Aussies are mad hot for sports. Get amongst the culture and head along to a weekend footy game at Suncorp Stadium or the Gabba. You’ll find student tickets for less than $30.

7. Get bare(foot) and bowl

Commonly left to the Zimmer-frame-toting knit-clad generation, lawn bowls is a classic Australian sport that’s recently been adopted by the younger crew. Strip off those thongs, crack open the beers (or whatever’s cold) and have a roll by the river at the likes of the Merthyr Bowls Club or New Farm Bowls Club in New Farm, Norman Park Bowls Club in Norman Park or Booroodabin Community and Recreation Club in Newstead, to name a few.  

8. Scale new heights at Urban Climb

Embrace your inner Spiderman and spend a few hours scaling the walls and conquering your fears at Urban Climb. The climbing walls on offer here cater to all levels of experience. Bring your student card along to climb for only $16. You’ll find an Urban Climb in West End, Newstead and Milton – so take your pick and get climbing.

9. Rekindle your love for trampolines

BOUNCEinc

Experience a bit of childhood nostalgia at Bounce Inc., an indoor trampoline centre that brings back all the mems. Whether you’re slam dunking like LeBron, getting your dodgeball face on or jumping into a giant pit of foam, there is never a dull moment. Grab a group of friends and head there this weekend, it will have you bouncing off the walls, literally. Once again, whip out that student card and pay $11 for an hour.

10. DIY anything and errrythang

If you’ve ever dreamt of making your own tie-dye shirt, crocheting a blanket or crafting a beautiful summer flower crown, all your dreams have come true in the form of Brisbane’s art and life workshops. Work-shop is a creative haven that provides affordable courses in life skills and alternative art. Head to the Work-shop website to find out more and to see what classes are on this weekend.

11. Literally LOL

If laughter really is the best medicine, then the Sit Down Comedy Club at the Paddo Tavern is just what the doctor ordered. Have a giggle and give your abs a workout for just $30. Check out the gig guide to see who’s performing.  

12. Race the clock  

Escape Hunt

The escape experience has gained worldwide notoriety for its heart-racing, adrenaline-inducing detective games. Play Sherlock Holmes to find the clues and solve the crime before the hour runs out. Try out the Exitus rooms on Queen St Mall or Escape Hunt in West End.

13. Sing, scream or squeal your best tune  

Whether you’re a shower singer or a back-seat belter, embrace your inner Britney at Brisbane’s top karaoke spots. Check out Ben’s Chinese, Casablanca, The Queen Karaoke and Fat Louie’s for a night you won’t forget (unless you make the most of BYO). 

14. May the (laser) force be with you  

Who doesn’t love the thought of shooting strangers with a laser? Laserforce will bring out the Bond in you with its fast-paced, live laser game that sees you battle it out to complete a mission. Partake in the Super Sunday deal and enjoy unlimited games from 5-7pm for $25.

15. Make the most of your Sunday afternoon

Who doesn’t love a good Sunday sesh? Forget about the looming Monday blues and spend the day relaxing in the picturesque River Quay green at South Bank. Enjoy the live music, lawn games and a cheeky bev or two.

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