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The Royal Adelaide Show is a major highlight in South Australia's family events calendar. For nearly two weeks families from around the state stream to Wayville Showgrounds to enjoy the fun of the fair in Adelaide.
The Show is packed with fun activities for kids - carnival rides, animals to see, tasty treats, and lots of exciting entertainment. But a family ticket (two adults and two children) will set you back more than $60 - and that is just to get in! By the time that you have paid for a few rides and lunch the cost is over $100, and that's not counting any Royal Adelaide Show showbags.
The starting price for showbags is $2 which will get you a Bertie Beetle Blue Showbag. But a Charlesworth's Mammoth Showbag will set you back $50, enough to make your eyes water almost as much as your mouth.
Ride the Ferris Wheel - an All Time Favourite at the Show
Rides for kids are $5-7 while adults will pay between $6-20 for their fun. To their credit the Royal Adelaide Show have published costs on their website - for a full list of ride and showbag costs see here.
While families with two wage earners may dismiss these costs, larger families and those on Centrelink benefits often struggle to make ends meet. We have worked hard to find ideas for how to save money when visiting the Show, feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.
Find out how to save money on admission by visiting this Royal Show Adelaide page. If you go to the Show on a discount day (September 6-7 between 9am and 1pm), adults, pensioners and students can enter for $16.00 and all children under 5 years old are free. Otherwise pre-purchasing tickets at IGA Foodland or Ticketec will save a few dollars per ticket on admission. You can also pre-buy discounted ride tickets before going.
Test Your Big Bang Theory at The Royal Show Adelaide
It's a no-brainer how to save money on transport getting to the Royal Adelaide Show. Driving there will cost you petrol and exorbitant parking fees to park some distance away. Why not take public transport - the Adelaide Showgrounds Train Station is very conveniently located now. Check out other transport options for getting to the Show here.
The choice of food at the Royal Adelaide Show has been pretty average in the past, but this year food trucks and gourmet food will be available. You can be confident that nothing will be cheap, so if you're strapped for cash why not take some food snacks and bottled water for the family with you?
Look Out for the Warning Sign as Your Purse Empties
There are quite a few free activities for kids and adults at the Show, such as the pig racing spectacular. Browse the list of free things to do at the Show on the Royal Show website, where you will find the top 20 suggestions of fun things to do that are free. Also you will sometimes find tips on the Show Facebook page.
Another way how to save money for students is Royal Show Adelaide jobs. You will work long hours and may have to stand for long periods, but you can actually earn money while enjoying the fun of the Show. Go talent spotting, enjoy rides during your meal breaks, and pick up the loose change shaken out of people's pockets during the rides. You can find more information here, or just check The Advertiser or look on Gumtree.
Our last tip on how to save money is obvious - don't go! There are plenty of shows in Adelaide's country towns that aren't so expensive, or take the family down to the fantastic Semaphore Amusement Park. Entry is free, rides are cheaper, there's less noise, and more room, and you wallet won't feel as light as a helium balloon - but you may have to put up with the kids complaining for another year. Is it really worth it?
The Showground charge food and drink vendors just under 30% ( payable in advance, according to Showground estimates) of their gross takings, they also charge for water and electricity. It's no surprise that most vendors buy cheaper stock and sell at a higher price.
There are so many great markets and free events on in Adelaide these days that there's no real need to go to the show anymore