Family fun at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

An event celebrating all things floral is not something most boys would be excited to attend. However, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, held from 21 to 30 September 2018, is no ordinary event. With so much on offer for kids and adults of all ages, the Carnival of Flowers is sure to keep the whole family happy, and this is how.

Here are our top 10 picks for families.

1. Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Floral Parade

Hundreds of floats bursting with colour, music and most of all, flowers brings the CBD of Toowoomba to life. With street performers, stilt walkers, and incredible inflatables, there is sure to be enough to keep your kids entertained for the hour-long parade.

Get there early, as around 100,000 locals and visitors are expected to line the streets for the parade. While you’re waiting for it to start, the kids can make their mark on the parade route, by drawing on the road with the free chalk on offer.

Date: Saturday 22 September 2018

Cost: Free

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Floral Parade family travel with kids

2. Great kids performers on stage at the Food and Wine Festival

There will be great excitement for the little ones at Carnival, with headline kids performers performing live on stage at the Food & Wine Festival. While mum and dad get to sit and relax with drink and food in hand, the kids can burn some energy dancing and singing. The performers for 2018 are yet to be announced but in previous years the likes of Captain Barnacles and the Octonauts, and Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom.

Date: Friday 21 and Sunday 23 September 2018

Cost: You will need to buy tickets to gain entry to the Food Wine Festival. Ticket prices to be announced closer to the event.

3. The Cubby House

There should be no grizzling at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers with a heap of special activities just for kids. They even get their own area to play in – the cubby house.

The super-sized sandpit and planter box making should keep budding builders busy. For those who love spending time in the kitchen (or just eating), there is always some fun activities on.

Each year there is free face painting, super soft ducklings and chicks to pat, a sensory garden to explore and time to get creative with a few craft projects.

Date: Friday 21 and Sunday 23 September 2018

Cost: You will need to buy tickets to gain entry to the Food Wine Festival. Ticket prices to be announced closer to the event.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers food and wine festival family travel with kids

4. Sideshow Alley

Roll up, roll up and let your kids loose at Sideshow Alley. From the thrill-seeker to the carousel rider, there is plenty to entertain them day and night. There’ll be fairy floss, dagwood dogs and show bags on offer. There will also be lots of free entertainment with music and carnival performances.

Date: Friday 21 and Sunday 23 September 2018

Cost: Free entry. Rides and some activities require coupons.

5. Fireworks and Laser Lights

No carnival is complete without fireworks so bring along your jumpers (it can get a bit chilly at night in Toowoomba) and watch the night sky and your kid’s faces light up.

Date: Friday 21 and Sunday 23 September 2018 (times yet to be announced)

Cost: Free

6. Diesel Train Rides to Spring Bluff

If you’re looking for a fun half day adventure with your kids, take them on the old diesel train for a ride down the mountain, to the heritage listed Spring Bluff Railway Station. Pack a picnic and enjoy your time with the kids in the stunning prize-winning gardens of the railway station.

Dates and times to be announced.

Cost: To give you an idea in past years it has cost $20 adult, $10 child (4–15yrs), free for one child under 4 not occupying a seat per paying adult. Bookings through Queensland Rail Ticket Office 1300 732 087

7. A Bloomin’ Scary Night at the Inn

The historic Royal Bull’s Head Inn will have some scary fun in store for the family when it creaks open its doors for a Bloomin’ Scary Night at the Inn. You’ll need to bring your own torches and lanterns to discover this 155-year-old inn. There are steep stairs to the first floor, so unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access.

Dates, times and cost to be announced

8. Kids Day Out in Queens Park

The kids get the last laugh at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. The popular and free Kids Day Out is so much fun with lots of activities and entertainment in the park. More details to come when the program has been finalised.

Usually held the last day of Carnival.

Cost: Free entry

Australia Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers parks and gardens family travel with kids

9. Parks galore

The parks around Toowoomba at any time of year are fantastic to take your kids to, but during spring they are magical. Nearly 100,000 flowers come out in bloom for Carnival of Flowers and they are spectacular. The best places to go are Botanic Gardens (Upper Queens Park), Laurel Bank Park, and Picnic Point. Try and get to the parks early so the kids have more freedom to run around with the crowds.

Australia Toowoomba Queens Park Carnival of Flowers family travel

10. Live Concert Series

I’ve left the thing I’m most excited about until last. My little boys might not know who most of the big name bands are that will play at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers but they will love coming along to experience some of these incredible bands. Because the concerts are spread over three days and nights, it also gives us a chance to go with and without the boys. Now to line up a babysitter!

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers heritage live concert series family travel with kids

The Live Concert Series is a part of the Food and Wine Festival, so you’ve got the best of both worlds in one place. You really should put Carnival of Flowers in your calendar.

Date: Friday 21 and Sunday 23 September 2018

Cost for the Food and Wine Festival also covers the Live Concert Series. Ticket prices to be announced closer to the time.

Our biggest tip to attending the Food and Wine Festival

If you want to see the bands play in the afternoon and into the night you absolutely must buy your tickets at least the day prior. I have seen so many people turn up at lunch time and miss out as the tickets are all sold out.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Ergon Energy Flower, Food and Wine Festival family travel with kids

Getting there

Toowoomba is an easy day trip from Brisbane, Ipswich, Warwick, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. If you want to stay overnight you will need to book as soon as possible, as accommodation is books out really quickly. Take a look at our recommendations for the best family accommodation in Toowoomba.

We will update this post as soon as more information is available.

We hope to see you there.

Images supplied by Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers


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