Adelaide is getting in to the Christmas spirit this month with plenty of family-friendly activities celebrating the season (and Santa looks like he'll be busy too).
Adelaide is the only city in the world encircled by parks, dotted with playgrounds big and small, which makes it perfect for adventurous tots. The Adelaide Park Lands offers gardens, ovals, great green spaces as a well as a variety of sporting and play areas. Civic Park has three shady play zones with a tower, climbing frame, rope swing and auditory play equipment. Castle-themed Jubilee Playground is one of the biggest and best playgrounds in Adelaide with wooden equipment the kids will love to clamber on. Bonython Park is an epic play space with a flying fox, water play, sand pit and a wheelchair accessible merry-go-round. And the very cool Bush Magic, located alongside the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, is packed with accessible, interactive play elements. And, along with handball courts, a basketball court and a petanque piste, Tidlangga Park 9 even boasts a small fruit orchard so little ones can learn about food production.
Adelaide Zoo is home to over 2500 animals and 250 exotic and native species, but its most beloved residents are gorgeous giant pandas, Funi and Wang Wang. For the ultimate panda-monium, the zoo’s Wild Nights experience includes a sleepover at the zoo and the chance to tour the Panda’s Bamboo Forest. At Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills, kids can get up-close with free-roaming kangaroos, as well as koalas and reptiles. And at Gorge Wildlife Park, you can see native animals including wombats, dingoes, kangaroos and koalas, along with exotic species. Or head on a Safari at the incredible Monarto Zoo, about a 50minute drive from the city. The enormous open range wildlife park is home to animals from all over the world including lions, cheetahs, giraffe, African wild dogs, the rare black rhinoceros and more, all residing in large natural habitats.
Adelaide’s pretty city beaches are some of the most family friendly in Australia. Family-friendly Glenelg is popular and is accessible by tram from the city. Take a dip in the ocean, play in the sand, enjoy the cafes, take a catamaran tour or swim with the colony of wild bottlenose dolphins that live nearby. At Brighton Beach, eat fish and chips on the beach, take a walk along the jetty and try stand-up paddle boarding in the calm waters. Aldinga Beach is another popular beach for families with safe swimming and gentle waves plus excellent snorkelling in the nearby marine park. And at historic Sempahore, with its beautifully preserved Art Deco buildings, you’ll find more than just a vast expanse of beautiful beach, with a waterslide complex for the kids and a small fun fair, with a Ferris wheel and historic carousel.
In search of a few thrills? They don’t call it Radelaide for nothing! At Eagle Mountain Bike Park, just 25 minutes from Adelaide, you’ll find 21 kilometres of epic mountain bike trails, a jumps park and extreme challenges. If you’re seeking loftier thrills, the Mega Adventure aerial park is a one-of-a-king series of 70 sky high aerial tests that will scare you silly. Climb, swing and crawl through the labyrinth of challenges. And play tennis in the sky, row a boat in mid-air or ride a bike along a narrow path high above the ground. If you’re seeking even more aerial feats, take on the RoofClimb at Adelaide Oval, which will see you clambering over the spectacular grandstands, 50 metres above the grounds. Or head to Glenelg Jetty Coastal Flyboard, to get shot up out of the ocean and high into the air on a water jet powered board.
Adelaide enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate and has the lowest rainfall of all the Australian cities. The city enjoys mild winters and warm, dry summers with February typically the hottest month of the year and June the rainiest. The best time for families to visit is Autumn, from March to May, and Spring, from September through November, when the city is awash with colour as flowers bloom in the city’s extensive parklands. March is festival season with Adelaide Festival of Arts and Womadelaide setting the city abuzz. This, along with Australian school holidays periods, is also the busiest time to visit so you’ll need to book well ahead to secure the best family friendly accommodation. If you’re looking for a bargain, visit during the cooler winter months of June to August when you’ll find great accommodation deals and cheaper flights.
1. Sample Fresh Produce at Adelaide’s Central Market 2. Take a stroll through Historic Port Adelaide 3. Peruse the incredible collection of artworks at the Art Gallery of South Australia. 4. Tackle RoofClimb at pretty Adelaide Oval. 5. Swim with the dolphins at Glenelg. 6. Ride a camel at Victor Harbour. 7. Cuddle a koala at Cleland Conservation Park. 8. Meet giant pandas, Funi and Wang Wang at Adelaide Zoo. 9. Hire a bike and cycle along the River Torrens. 10. Get your thrills at Mega Adventure aerial park.
Eat your way through the incredible Central Market, the best spot to taste and see Adelaide’s bounty of fine produce, from farm-fresh fruit and vegetables to organic meats, artisan cheeses and seafood. During the school holidays the kids can even take one of the organised Big Market Adventures for Little Foodies Tours to learn more about where their food comes from. For a feast of food trucks head to Victoria Square or experience the sights, smells and flavours of Adelaide with Feast on Foot. South Australia’s Adelaide Hills Food Trail for Kids is another must for foodie families. This educational adventure introduces kids to producers to learn about where their food comes from and the processes involved in food production. Kids will also love the summer Cherry Trail that links the region’s orchards where they can pick plump ripe cherries straight from the tree.
There's stacks of free fun to found in Adelaide, indoors and out. Kids under five can travel free on the tram to Glenelg, one of the city’s many popular beaches, where you can easily spend a day enjoying the sand, sunshine, sea and an abundance of activities. Take a stroll through the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Garden, which is home to many unique plants that date back to the time of dinosaurs. Or take a hike through Morialta Conservation Park with its extensive network of walking trails to soak up views of the Morialta Gorge. The Art Gallery of South Australia has an incredible collection and its Studio at the Art Gallery offers a free activity space for children and families. The South Australian Museum’s five floors of intriguing displays make Australia’s natural and cultural heritage engaging and fun for kids. And head to the State Library after dark to see the cool projections on its Story Wall.
FEBRUARY/MARCH Adelaide Fringe – You’ll find family and kid friendly shows at Adelaide’s wild and wonderful Fringe festival. MARCH Adelaide Festival – Australia’s premier Arts festival showcases theatre, world-class musicians, dance, writers and visual art. MARCH Adelaide 500 – This motorsport spectacular is packed with action and entertainment for families. MARCH South Australia History Festival – Enjoy hundreds of events from talks to workshops exploring the local history. MARCH Womadelaide – Enjoy family friendly performances and workshops by the world’s best traditional and contemporary musicians, dancers and DJs. MAY DreamBig Children’s Festival – This arts festival for schools and families is the largest festival of its kind in the world. SEPTEMBER Royal Adelaide Show – Experience animals, rides, food and entertainment as the country comes to the city. OCTOBER OzAsia Festival – Australia's biggest Asian arts festival.