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South Australia's History Festival

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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A whole month of fun
History Festival, South Australia's History Festival, history, free, kids, heritage, adelaide, festival, bus tour, carrick hill
Take a Self Guided Tour at Carrick Hill


South Australia's History Festival is back for another year, bringing a program of fun and adventure as we explore back in time. There's something for everyone, with many free events and lots of opportunities for families to find fun for kids. The History Festival brings excitement to every region of our state during May, but do remember to book early as most events sell out quickly.

This year's Festival kicks off with Open Doors from April 27-29, which replaces the former Open House Adelaide event held in earlier years. You can take free tours of places like Urbrae House, the Longwood Institute and the grand Freemason's Lodge in Adelaide.

We've looked though South Australia's History Festival program to find some of the more unusual and interesting events for you. The paper program should be available in your local library or community centre, while the online program makes it very easy to find what you want. Here's a selection of our pick.

History Festival, South Australia's History Festival, history, free, kids, heritage, adelaide, festival, bus tour, historical walk
Enjoy a Historical Walk With Coromandel Valley National Trust


Activities for Kids and Families
there's loads of fun for kids with storytelling, mask making, dancing, dress up and outdoor games at Great Big Play Date
#loveyourlocalheritage Instagram Competition - take a pic to win a prize in this free competition, details at the link
visit an 1843 Heritage Mine and take a surface guided tour of Wheal Watkins
Let's Explore! - a free event at the Centre of Democracy
learn to tie a reef knot and much more at Amazing look at St John Ambulance in the St John Ambulance Museum

History Festival, South Australia's History Festival, history, free, kids, heritage, adelaide, festival, bus tour, guided tour
Take a Guided Tour of Mitcham Cemetery


Guided Tours for South Australia's History Festival
see Fort Glanville in a stunning new light - The Fort by Lamplight
see Behind the Doors of a former reformatory at Glandore Community Centre

History Festival, South Australia's History Festival, history, free, kids, heritage, adelaide, festival, bus tour, only the best
Only the Best Transport is Used on the Bus Tours


History Festival Bus Tours
Opshopinalia is a guided bus tour of op shops in Adelaide, with some special discounts on offer
the History Trust Magical History Tour is so popular now that you have to enter a ballot to go now
a free Blue Plaques Bus Tour of Port Adelaide looking at local heritage places
A free tour showcasing North Adelaide heritage places: Heritage Incentives Scheme: Celebrating 30 Years of Success
see The Best of Town and Country at Ayers House and then at Anlaby Station
Trees of Unley: Bus Tour - it's not called the leafy eastern suburbs for nothing!
see the wonderful maritime heritage of Port Adelaide on Port Adelaide Heritage Bus Tours for 2.5 hours

Australian car enthusiasts will love the bus tours from the National Motor Museum:

History Festival, South Australia's History Festival, history, free, kids, heritage, adelaide, festival, bus tour, henley and grange
Henley and Grange Soldiers Memorial


Open Days and Exhibitions
Unlocking the Secrets of Glenthorne is a free Open Day to explore the heritage and environment of Glenthorne
a free exhibition about
Touch on History with Touchscreen Tech - explore the latest technology free at Unley Museum
learn about Living in Henley and Grange in the beautiful Art Deco Henley and Grange Soldiers Memorial
Historic Gems of Glenthorne National Park - a free exhibition at The Cove Civic Centre

History Festival, South Australia's History Festival, history, free, kids, heritage, adelaide, festival, bus tour, abandoned railway stations
Abandoned Railway Stations - Eurilia


For Railway Fans
The Ghosts of Stations Past is an exhibition of long lost or abandoned railway stations in South Australia at the National Railway Museum
The Old Ghan: A Disappointment or a Great Success? - participate as a passenger on the Ghan, hear its history and share your stories
take a guided tour of Burra's Historic Railway Station
Mount Barker Railway Station and Depot Open Day
Come for the Ride, Stay for the History - free at Pichi Richi Railway in Quorn

History Festival, South Australia's History Festival, history, free, kids, heritage, adelaide, festival, bus tour, ghost tour
Thrill to the Suspense on a Ghost Tour


Historical Shows and Ghostly Entertainment
Ayers House After Dark - fun for all ages
join us for a drink at the City of Pubs Night Tour
Death Comes at the End, join in a murder mystery at Ayers House
a thoroughly entertaining Adelaide Arcade: Dark History & Ghost Tour (see review here)
* Z Ward Asylum: Murder & Madness (see review here)
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Why? Explore the amazing places from our history
Where: Adelaide, SA
Cost: May events are free, but most require booking
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