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About Time - Best Free Events in Adelaide

Home > Adelaide > Fun Things To Do | Fun for Children | Free | Festivals | Family
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Free fun for all
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Find Hidden Secrets in an Adelaide Laneway


The About Time History Festival is an annual celebration of the history of South Australia. Hosted by History SA during May, there are hundreds of fun things to do in Adelaide and all around South Australia.

This article will focus on the free events which are fun for kids and adults alike. Just remember that booking in advance is essential for many of the free things to do, so register early to secure your place.

In Adelaide
Laneways in Adelaide are fascinating places to explore, and not just for their underground bars. Why not take a free bike tour to discover hidden gems in Adelaide laneways?

Tour behind the scenes of the century old Her Majesty's Theatre, or take a lunchtime tour of Adelaide war memorials with Keith Conlon. Let a curator guide you through a dark part of South Australian history - the internment camp at Torrens Island.

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Grand Lodge - SA Freemasons


See the colourful history of Freemasonry on a guided tour through the Grand Lodge. Even Rundle Mall has surprises to discover on an Above the Canopy walking tour. But if the bustle of the Mall is too much, discover nature on a self guided walking trail at West Terrace cemetery - it's fun for kids too.

I can't think of many fun things to do at Parliament House in Adelaide, but the free tour is quite an experience. The State Herbarium of South Australia in the former MTT Tram Barn at the Botanic Gardens is also hosting free tours.

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Meet National Archives Staff at the Franklin Hotel


Take a break in the Franklin Hotel with staff from the National Archives to re-hydrate, or head for the Whitmore Hotel with History SA for bar yarns.

Being 4 is an exhibition curated by four year olds, with activities for toddlers at History SA's headquarters in Adelaide. The Drill Hall at Torrens Parade Ground will also house a display about Mitcham Army Camp before it became Colonel Light Gardens.

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Mitcham Army Camp Later Became Colonel Light Gardens


Adults can work with History SA to create their own piece of history at the History Hub, or wander down memory lane at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Sorry Day for the Stolen Generations will be a particularly moving event in Victoria Square. Commemorating the many indigenous children who were forcibly removed from their parents in the past, it's a reminder of some shameful times in the history of Australia.

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Learn About Port Adelaide History


In the Suburbs
The history of Adelaide during wartime is the focus of many free things to do in the history festival. Trace your military history online or share WW1 memorabilia at the Port Adelaide Library. Help create an online history of Port Adelaide, or explore a public air raid shelter - one of only four left.

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Unley Museum At Home in War Exhibition


The newest exhibition at the Unley Museum focuses on life at home during the war. It's full of personal stories, games, and fun things to do, and another of the free events. A few steps away the St John Ambulance Museum has a free display of Memorabilia Through the Ages.

In the eastern suburbs see some amazing photos of Morialta to celebrate the hundredth birthday of the Morialta Conservation Park.

For nearly 75 years the Catholic church trained priests at St Francis Xavier Seminary just outside Morialta Conservation Park, but that era has now closed. In 1941 a fleet of trams and buses brought more than 4,000 of the Catholic faithful here to receive a blessing from Pope Pius XII as the seminary foundation stone was laid. Fast forward to 2015, and an application has been made to demolish the local heritage listed accommodation block.

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Former St Frances Xavier Seminary Near Morialta Conservation Park


Follow the history of Adelaide as you walk along the banks of the River Torrens, get a Sea Change at Henley and Grange, or see the mysterious mansion where Adelaide retailer Frederick Scarfe once lived.

While the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is still intact, perhaps you should take the opportunity to visit their heritage basement and marvel at the medical collection of instruments and equipment.

For the full About Time History Festival program see the website, download the app (both Android and Apple available), or pick up a paper guide from a library near you. You can also get the latest updates on Facebook.
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Why? Find free things to do and learn the history of South Australia
Where: Adelaide, SA
Cost: Free!
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