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Top Free Things to Do in Adelaide - December 2013

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Let's go out with a bang in 2013
Top Free Things to Do in Adelaide - December 2013

things to do, adelaide, free, festival, park, christmas, market, food, kids, sunset
Sunset at Brighton Jetty


As the sun finally and relentlessly begins to set on 2013 and we prepare ourselves for the final C-word hurdle of the year, it's a good time to pause and remember what a pleasant place Adelaide is to live.

Of course there will be some who scoff and threaten desertion to the eastern states or to better climes. But for those who remain in South Australia, I want to thank all my loyal readers and wish them all the best for Christmas, and an even better year in 2014.

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A Clown Entertains Kids at the Christmas Pageant


While the traditional free festivities are plentiful this month all around South Australia, there are plenty of other things to do if Christmas is not for you. But before we look at those, here are even more Christmas themed events that other writers have already covered on Weekend Notes.

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Our Politicians Have Fled Parliament


And although our pollies have fled parliament for their summer holidays, they have left some homework for you. The RAH Site competition voting is now open and you only have until December 9 to have your say. Make your voice heard.

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Trams Are a Significant Part of the Integrated Transport Plan


Your views are also being sought on Adelaide's 30 year transport plan, with consultation open until January 17, 2014. Like many rail fans, I puzzle over why the government would convert the Outer Harbor rail line at great expense to a slower tram line. There's plenty of room to run trams along Port Road where they would be far more effective. Some people wonder whether it will be a four month transport plan with a possible change of government next year, but it's best to have your say just in case.

What's On in Adelaide - Free Events

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Artists at Vacant Space Urban Culture Festival


The new French Christmas Market will be held in the Unley Soldiers Memorial Gardens on December 6-7, giving you the chance to buy stylish and hard to find Christmas gifts, watch some top class cooking demonstrations, or you can just relax with a drink and be serenaded by children singing Christmas carols. It will be much more fun than listening to those endless loops of Christmas music that you find in some places.

It's not free but the Sports, Fitness & Health Festival on the weekend of December 7-8 will only cost you a gold coin to get in, and is full of things to do including stalls and demonstrations on how to live well and learn new sporting skills. Give yourself a head start on your New Year's resolutions, and see how your life can get better.

On Sunday December 8 Rundle Park will be the place to be when the free Vacant Space Urban Culture Festival returns. Enjoy art and live music, dance and fun food - it's something that you won't see anywhere else, with lots of unusual alternative activities for all the family - kids are especially welcome.

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Take Your Seat for Dunny Day


At one time the phrase spend a penny was a popular euphemism for taking a leak, but you won't even need to spend a penny to take part in Andrew Baines' Dunny Day performance art event on Thursday December 12. It's going to be good.

Summer Fridays in the East End returns on December 13 with a whole new range of entertainment to amuse you and market stalls to tempt you. It's a great way to unwind from the working week, and with all that lovely food on offer you won't need to cook dinner either.

things to do, adelaide, free, festival, park, christmas, market, food, kids, crowd
The Fork in the Road Crowd at Touchwine


An old favourite returns on Friday December 20 when Fork on the Road takes place in Light Square from 4pm with an evening session. It's bound to be very busy and full of food trucks, as the last Fork combined with Touchwine was a big success.

And finally, pick up last minute Christmas gifts on Saturday December 21 at the One Planet market run by Sustainable Communities in Payneham.

Not Free, but Fun Things to Do

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Locked in Love. A Padlock Celebrates a Relationship at a Local Lovers Lookout


The warmer weather is a fantastic time to enjoy Adelaide's balmy evenings, and Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinema at Glenelg on the foreshore from December 1-22. Buy your tickets online and save.

things to do, adelaide, free, festival, park, christmas, market, food, kids, dogs
Dogs Enjoy Christmas Too


Dog lovers may want to take advantage of Westfield Marion's pet photography session to get a memorable Christmas photo of themselves with their pets. Bookings are being accepted until December 15.

things to do, adelaide, free, festival, park, christmas, market, food, kids, carols
50 In the City Rocks at Carols by Candlelight 2012


Carols by Candlelight - long an Adelaide institution returns to Elder Park on December 15. The atmosphere is a bit more modern with electric candles, but the fireworks will be fabulous.

From December 26 the kids are going to love the Dinosaurs Alive exhibition at the Adelaide Zoo. Check out the stunning photos in Paula McManus' article.

Fun Activities in Adelaide

things to do, adelaide, free, festival, park, christmas, market, food, kids, sunset
Sunset at Brighton Beach South of Adelaide


Many Adelaide streets come alive with brilliant colour at this time of the year, and one of their most attractive features are the avenues of jacaranda trees that add a bright splash of purple and blue. See some delightful photos of it here.

Of course despite their beauty Jacarandas are not native to Australia, coming from South America. If you'd like to explore our own native beauties then check out this botanical trail - but don't try it on a hot day as there is little shade. It's a good place to take the dog for a walk too, but it must be on lead.

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Koster Park in Adelaide's North East


For a pleasant family outing to a park with a history and a playground, Koster Park in the north eastern suburbs is an attractive place to visit and has all the facilities you need for a picnic.

If history and built heritage is more your thing, take a walk down memory lane to see and learn about what were once some of the biggest industrial places in Adelaide. Once filled with thousands of people making SA one of the wealthier states in Australia, these places now are virtually empty.

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Adelaide Oval from Light's Vision at Montefiore Hill


Readers who prefer modern buildings to crumbling old constructions, take a look at our spanking new Adelaide Oval. You probably missed out on a ticket to the Rolling Stones concert, but you can at least take a tour of your investment and enjoy what you've paid for.

The results of Adelaide's Great Buildings competition have now been released, with sixty two buildings around the city recognised as being historically and architecturally significant. Some readers might be surprised by my nomination of the Bicentennial Conservatory, but it has been included on the final list. Take a look - you may be surprised which other buildings made it to the finals.

things to do, adelaide, free, festival, park, christmas, market, food, kids, conservatory
The Bicentennial Conservatory in Adelaide's Botanical Gardens
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Why? Enjoy your holidays
Where: Adelaide, SA
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The bogs on the beach are certainly going to garner attention.
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