Adelaide is a great city to explore with Kids. There are so many fun, accessible things to do within an hour of the city, and most of them are FREE!
The South Australian Museum
The Museum is located on North Terrace in the city, and entry is free. It is one of our kid’s favourite places to visit, they love the discovery centre and the giant squid among other exhibits. There is always something interactive for the children to be involved in, and the museum regularly hosts events to attract families.
The South Australian Art Gallery
Next door to the museum on North Terrace, is the South Australian Art Gallery. Entry to here is also free, and often there are special children’s events happening so it is worth visiting their website to see what’s on before a visit. There are many different styles of art from the classic to the modern on display, and the staff are always friendly and chatty with the kids, making them feel very welcome.
The Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Open Range Zoo
Adelaide is lucky to be home to two excellent zoos, the one in the city surrounded by the beautiful parklands, and an hour south of the city Monarto Open Range Zoo. Both are an fun day out and they excel at interactive exhibits for the whole family. There is an entry fee to both zoos, (you can combine tickets for a cheaper option) but since you can easily spend a whole day at each zoo, and take you’re own picnic lunch if you wish, they offer great value entertainment.
Walk along the River Torrens
There is no doubt about it, Adelaide is a pretty city, and the parklands down by the River Torrens which winds its way through the city, is one of the best spots experience this. You can picnic on the grass, feed the ducks, ride a bike along the paths. Or, for a small fee splash about on a paddle boat or cruise the “Popeye” boat down the river at a leisurely pace.
The Fringe and other Festivals
South Australia is not called ‘The Festival State’ for nothing and The Fringe is the busiest time of year for live shows, dance, song and theatre performances of all genres. There are always lots of children’s performances as well, and The Garden of Unearthly delights is lots of fun during the day for families. We’re off the see ‘Shakespeare for Kids’ this week at The Fringe. Call into the visitor information centre on King William Street to see what’s happening when you visit.
Beerenberg Strawberry Farm and Adelaide Hills
In the summer months this famous jam factory opens the farm gates for Strawberry picking for a small fee. Located in the Adelaide Hills, a visit to Beerenberg can be included in a day trip to the area. Whilst visiting the beautiful Adelaide Hills region it is also worth a visit to the quaint German settlement of Harhdorf. The village is full of German Pubs, cafes, boutiques and interesting gift shops nestled along the wide leafy main street with and storybook style architecture.
Melba’s Chocolate Factory & Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha
Also in the Adelaide Hills, making your way toward the Barossa Valley, you can visit Melba’s Chocolate Factory and the Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha. What kids wouldn’t enjoy a visit to a chocolate factory that offers free samples and a wooden toy factory with a GIANT rocking horse that you can climb? Pack a picnic lunch or stop at one of the hills bakeries for lunch. Need I say more?
Adelaide Botanic Garden
Back in the city again, why not spend some time at the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens? Adelaide city is framed by beautiful green spaces on all four sides and the famous Botanic Gardens are located at the Eastern End of North Terrace. The Gardens are home to many native and collected species from around the world and the kids will love the giant lily pads and the Conservatory full of Rainforest Plants. Entry to the Gardens is free.
Glenelg Tram and Beautiful Beaches
One of the most underrated things about Adelaide is it’s beautiful metropolitan beaches. If you are staying in the city why not take a tram ride to Glenelg for a walk along the jetty, some sandcastle building and a dip in the ocean if it’s a warm day? Adelaide beaches are long sandy stretches and it is easy to find a spot that isn’t too crowded to put up a beach umbrella and relax. Most beaches have areas that are patrolled by lifeguards on the weekend for safe swimming between the flags and there are usually great grassy spots above for a beach picnic that doesn’t involve eating sand! Our Favourite spots are near Henley and West Beaches where there are lots of great cafes and ice cream shops, but not the crowds that can be found at busier Glenelg in Summer.
Dolphin Cruise at Port Adelaide
On the weekends and in School Holidays the Dolphin Explorer operates 2 hour cruises along the Port River where many dolphins swim about. Entry onto the boat cost less than $10 each and there is the option to have a meal on board in the dining room also for a very reasonable price. Whilst dolphin spotting is not guaranteed, I think it is quite rare that they don’t make an appearance. At Port Adelaide you can also visit the National Railway Museum where the children can learn all about Australia’s rail history and hop on and off real trains.
St. Kilda Playground
If you find yourself North of the city you may want to visit the St. Kilda Playground, just off of Port Wakefield Road. There is a flying fox, spiral slide, giant wave slide, monorail and maze to keep the kids busy. Entry to the huge playground is free, and whilst the beach there is not a good swimming one, it is still a nice walk along the pier to watch the local fishermen take their boats out.
The Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale
OK, so this one is more for mum and dad, but a visit to Adelaide just wouldn’t be complete without sampling some wine in our famous wine regions. The Barossa is North, and McLaren Vale south so pick the one closest to where you are staying (or both). It’s worth visiting all year round to sample wines in the wineries or a meal in the many fine cafes and restaurants, but it should be noted that vintage festivals take place in March/April for extra events and entertainment. Don’t worry, the kids will still enjoy a day out at the wineries as many have gardens to explore and are family friendly! Early on Saturday mornings there is a Farmers Market at each area as well so you can sample the region’s produce and chat with the locals.
The Adelaide Central Markets
This is one of the best spots to shop for fresh and local produce or a meal with friends in the eateries. There is often kid friendly activities happening on weekends and in school holidays like cooking demonstrations, and entertainment, but our children are happy to visit any time to choose tasty treats and help with selecting the fruit and veg. One of our favourite things to do is go early in the morning and have breakfast in one of the cafes at the market and then wander among the stalls.
Learn more about Adelaide to plan your visit at the South Australian Tourist Commission Website, or ask us! We are more than happy to answer questions about our home city and state 🙂
Some Photographs are all provided by Tripadvisor, because we are still learning to be a tourist at home and carry the camera!