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20 Must Do Activities For Growing Up in Adelaide

Home > Adelaide > Day Trips | Family | Free | Fun for Children | School Holidays | Lists
by Kat May (subscribe)
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Published August 3rd 2016
What outings and activities make the top 20?
I didn't grow up in Adelaide but came here to visit every summer. My Grandparents introduced me to the wonders of getting out and about in Adelaide. I lived in the bush where there was no beach, and nothing as exciting as the wonders of a big city. They took me all over the State, camping and exploring. Then when I did move to S.A. I became the one taking children out to explore Adelaide.

Adelaide Tram to Glenelg
The old red trams are gone but it kids still love a tram ride to Glenelg. Image by Out and About.

Here are some of the most popular family outings our family has done over 50 years. Some of the venues will always be here and most listed are unique to Adelaide. Some like the fun games arcade, 'Downtown' in Hindley Street, are sadly no longer there, but many new places are becoming family favourites for the new kids on the block. I think all kids, by the time they are ten years old, could have experienced all the outing ideas listed here while growing up in Adelaide.

How many can your kids tick off the list?

A tram ride to Glenelg, to walk on the jetty, have fish and chips, or wander around. Very young kids love going on the city to bay tram.

A family stakeout at the huge Adelaide Credit Union Christmas Pageant. This is essential for every Adelaide family, with many happy memories come rain or shine and probably both. You have to do it at least once.

Credit Union Christmas Pageant, Adelaide, parade,
Oh the excitement of it all- it's enough to last till Christmas morn. Image by Out and About.

See an adult type concert or the ballet at the Festival Theatre. By age 8 and up, kids are usually well behaved enough to sit at a concert. To get dressed up and go out to the theatre, is having a glimpse into the adult world, which is what kids aspire to after all.

A school holiday outing to an indoor Aquatic Centre when they have the blow-up pool slides and bouncy equipment. Try Aquadome at Elizabeth, the Marion Centre or North Adelaide Aquatic Centre. It's absolute mayhem, very noisy and loads of fun.

An outing to the circus at Bonython Park. Amazed at seeing lion tamer here when I was young and I'm still am thrilled when I go here to a circus, even if there are not so may animals anymore. Last year I saw 5 young men whizzing around in a circular cage on motorbikes. Amazing stuff. A circus keeps us young at heart.

Bonython Park Circus
Take me to the circus at Bonythan Park. Image by Out and About.

A ride on 'Popeye' on the Torrens River to the Zoo is an Adelaide classic and still a fun part of growing up in Adelaide.

A family outing to Cleland Wildlife Park is loved by all family members.

Climb to the top of the waterfall at Waterfall Gully. Grandma may lag behind on this steep incline on a paved path, but kids love the challenge from about 4 years of age. The track continues on and on into the bush, so be prepared as they will want to keep walking.

A day trip or holiday to Victor Harbour with a walk to Granite Island, and maybe a ride back on the horse drawn tram. A classic outing that is still fun outing.

A hike in Belair National Park to the lower waterfall via Echo Tunnel is an Adelaide child's rite of passage. Get the train from Adelaide to the northern entry gate and it's even twice the fun. Best for over 7 years and print out a map before you go.

Have a go at fishing on the beach jetties or at Port Adelaide. You will have more luck in the first two moon quarters.

A stay at West Beach Caravan Park. It's fun, fun, fun here, with a water-play park, a huge bouncy pillow, and ride your scooters and hang out at the beach. Many Adelaide families pack up and just have their holiday here at home.

A shopping outing at the Adelaide Central Market. Shop for some unusual fruit, go home and shell peas, and try something different. There is so much to see and explore here for kids.

Torrens River, Linear Park, Adelaide
A bikeway and footpath run the entire length of the Torrens River, making for some good exploring opportunities and to get out in the fresh air. Image by Out and About.

A bicycle ride along Linear Park. This follows the Torrens River all along the eastern suburbs, and also in the west to the sea, but the eastern side is prettier with shade trees, ducks and O'bahn buses whizzing by. Take some snacks and stop at playgrounds along the way. Just do small sections for little legs cannot ride too far. Mark off what part you did on a map and when they are older they may be able to do the whole lot. You may have another favourite place to cycle and relax near you.

A day out at the Farm Barn, Adelaide Hills is voted so far as, "the best outing you have ever taken us on Grandma". The staff here are brilliant with kids and the whole place is so much fun for all.

The Farm Barn, Handorf, outings for kids
The hilarious show at the farm barn ends with some petting of animals. Image by Out and About.

Explore the SA Museum. There are meteorites and fossils and stuffed animals galore here to amaze kids of all ages. Special activities on during school holidays. In fact, do all the museums and let the kids pick their favourite. Mine is the Maritime Museum at Port Adelaide with the sailing ship in the middle that you can play on.

Spend some time at ''Something On Saturday" during the winter months at the Festival Centre. Free arty sessions and then an optional ticketed show. This Adelaide outing has been running for Adelaide children for 40 years.

Something on Saturday, Kids, Adelaide,
A popular outing over the winter months, Something on Saturday run by the Festival Theatre. Image by Out and About.

Hunt the city for an elusive Balfours 'Frog Cake' and then eat it in Elder Park. Then run around the rotunda and act like a kid and have your photo taken.

Balfours frog cake
We have grown up on a Frog Cake, but where do you buy them? Image from wikipedia

Spend a day at St Kilda. Nothing like the one at Melbourne and unique to Adelaide. Explore the mangrove trail, visit the tram museum and play till sunset at the adventure playground. Go home and sleep like a baby. And the kids should probably get an early night too.

Stroll the Christmas display at the West End Brewery Christmas Lights - I am still doing this after 50 years. There is something very warming about nostalgia and one day your kids will feel it too. In this ever changing world, I am glad some things remain. Thank you West End Brewery who make this display as a free gift to the families of Adelaide.

Adelaide offers many things to do, with the country, hills and beaches so close by. We have fine museums and places to discover and some fabulous festivals which offer activities especially for children. I do wish you much family fun on these unique to Adelaide outings, all tried and tested by my family as top days out.
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Why? For memories of growing up in Adelaide
Your Comment
Congratulations coming second.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 1734 days ago
Fabulous article! I did all of those for my children and am now ticking those things off for my grandchildren. Adelaide is such a great place to grow up.
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3667) 1744 days ago
The essence of childhood in a list! You put a lot of thought and experience into this list OaA. I think it is brilliant. Shared fun memories are high on my list to build into relationships with children. I didn't grow up in Adelaide either, but we did most of these outings as my kids grew up.
We went to Belair many times for the playground, koalas, walks and the native nursery, but somehow missed Echo tunnel. My inner child has a hankering to tick this destination off the list of essentials.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4201) 1743 days ago
I need to get back to Adelaide, looks fun
by Seafarrwide (score: 3|1918) 1740 days ago
Congrats on your competition silver. This is one of my all time favourite articles. Very creative.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4201) 1735 days ago
Congratulations on winning a prize in this month's competition.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8093) 1734 days ago
Looks and sounds like you had the idyllic childhood, Out and About! Great things to do - I've only ever been to Adelaide once, loved it, and DID manage to do the tram to Glenelg!
by Elaine (score: 3|8126) 1746 days ago
I loved doing all these urban adventures with my children. Camping however is another story. A trip to the flix is always high on my list too. Try a visit to the Capri in Goodwood for old time, art deco retro style.
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1507) 1746 days ago
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