While some Adelaide attractions have long gone, the Royal Show continues to draw huge crowds. The thrilling amusement park rides, meeting the animals, spectacular entertainment displays, and variety of showbags are enough to get kids of all ages excited.
Going to the Show is far from free of course, but for most kids it's something to look forward to throughout the year. You can still have a great time without totally blowing the budget though: we also have some tips on how to see the Royal Show on a budget.
Free Activities for Families and Children at The Kids' Corner
Each year brings some of the best attractions to the Royal Show. There's heaps of fun for kids and toddlers in the Kids' Corner, with comical new show Funny Farmers and great entertainment for children from the Boom Stars.
Among the new amusement park rides in 2015 are a Red Baron show ride, Double Decker carousel ride, the brand new Ghost Train, and an improved Dodgem Track. Given the treatment that dodgem cars get, I'm not surprised they need a new one every now and then.
Meeting the animals is one of the must-do activities for families and children. It's fabulous fun for kids to see and touch the baby animals, watch the sheep shearing and cow milking , and visit the animal nursery. There's lots more free things to do in the Learning Centre, with DJ's, clowns, bands, music groups and dance workshops for all. Art and craft activities, an obstacle course, and colouring in will keep your child amused for a while.
For some fun retail therapy head over to the Jubilee Pavilion, the Goyder Pavilion will have the ABC Radio stage and lots of arts and crafts, while the Ridley Centre hosts the Market Bazaar where you can buy from non profit and fair trade retailers. I'll definitely be visiting the Technology Pavilion before heading over to the IGA Dairy Hall to try out the free samples of tasty cheeses, yoghurt and ice cream.
Among the best attractions at the Adelaide Show is the Demolition derby on the first night. It's quite a while since Adelaide has enjoyed one of these, and it's bound to be a crowd pleaser. Other excitement for motor sport fans are the V8 Ute Challenge, Motor X stunts, and a Monster Truck Spectacular in the main arena every night, followed by the fireworks display of course.
Dog owners should look out for the Howling Huskies sled dog demonstrations at 12.25pm daily in the dog pavilion. If you already have a howling dog next door, then maybe try the reptile demonstrations in the Pet centre from 9am. Twice daily performances from the SA Police band may soothe your ears, and are another of the free things to do at the Show.
The Scouts SA tent hosts activities for families and children, although there is a charge to use their climbing wall. Historical military equipment displays are also scattered around the showgrounds, and for a gold coin donation you can take a tour of the largest rooftop solar installation in SA.
At the end of the day as you wearily walk to the Showgrounds railway station I think you will agree that the Show is one of the best Adelaide attractions. It's perhaps just as well that it only happens once a year though!