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Top Free Things to do in Adelaide - January 2014

Home > Adelaide > Festivals | Free | Fun Things To Do | Kids | School Holidays
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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January is time to party
Top Free Things to Do in Adelaide - January 2014

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January Is the Best For the Beach


After our first taste of a heatwave in late December, we're all prepared now for Adelaide's usual very hot and dry January right?

The beaches will be busy, pools will be packed, Semaphore will be sizzling, and on really hot days we can shelter by shopping or going to a movie. But there will be plenty of days when the weather is beautiful, and there are heaps of things to do in Adelaide in January.

Sports fans will be crazy with cricket continuing at the new Adelaide Oval while lycra lovers are sure be out of the closet for the Tour Down Under. Tennis fans will also be on the ball with the World Tennis Challenge here from January 7-9, but sadly it's not free to watch.

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Semaphore at Sunset - One of Adelaide's Most Popular Beaches


You can keep cooler in Goolwa during the Regatta Week and enjoy a sea change too. After seeing the Festival of Steam at Mount Barker I have really wanted to check out the Cockle Train ride along the coast from Goolwa to Victor Harbour, but that will cost you around $20 for an adult ride.

For even more sport related things to do in Adelaide, read about the Experience Riverbank Festival and see what's happening on the banks of the River Torrens in January.

What's On in Adelaide - Free Events

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Sculpture at Brighton Jetty


It will barely cost you anything (except your pants) to join the No Pants Tram Ride from Adelaide to Glenelg, and if you're going to do it then January is definitely a good time for it. And while you're at the beach check out the free Brighton Jetty Classic Sculptures - some of them are very unusual and they are open for viewing all day.

Drop in to see Adelaide's newest eclectic food market, Market Shed on Holland which is held every Sunday - there's plenty of tasty things to eat on the spot, or you can pick up organic goodies to take home. And on the last Sunday of each month enjoy the twilight Adelaide Night Market on North Terrace in Adelaide. It's a relaxed way to unwind from the weekend.

January 12 is a Sunday Field Day where you can join the street party fun, or take a look at the new Hostel Stories exhibition at the Migration Museum (open every day). I wonder if the Tomato Sauce Challenge for the Tomato Festival will attract entries from any former migrants - Italians are renowned for their green thumbs and culinary skills.

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Mother & Sons Bakery at Market Shed on Holland


There's usually no shortage of celebrations around town on Australia day, but the biggest and best is held in the city with a parade and free concert.

Also in the city the State Library offers some unusual and entertaining things to do in January - you must see the free crazy retro exhibition of Archer's Arcadia. For the kids David Archer holds the Wacky Wire Critterbugs workshop - it isn't free but children love making something novel which they get to keep and take home.

Another one for kids is the Brick by Brick - Build Your Own Capital exhibition, again at the State Library. Bookings are essential, so get in early for this!

Finally, with New Year's Eve coming up there's plenty of free things to do - how about free fireworks displays, or check out this list of free activities in SA on New Year's Eve.

Not Free, but Fun Things to Do

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A Turtle at the Adelaide Zoo - Almost a Dinosaur


There's something of a dinosaurs theme to January with Dinosaurs Alive at the Zoo, and the Life Before Dinosaurs exhibition at the SA Museum. Neither event is free but your kids will never forgive you if you don't take them to these spectacular shows!

The Australian Company of Performing Arts is running Kids' School Holiday Workshops - again not free, but a perfect opportunity to get a taste of musical theatre and dance.

There are a couple of festivals in January where the everyone can join the party, and the Harvest Festival in McLaren Vale on Saturday January 18 is an old favourite. Think cooking demonstrations, market stalls, live bands, free kids entertainment and masterclasses for beer and chocolate, wine and cheese, olives and olive oil.

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The Crush Festival is Held at Venues Around the Adelaide Hills


The next day the Crush Festival happens in the Adelaide Hills, with a heap of things happening in the district's wineries. Be aware that while many activities are free, if bookings are required then the events are not free. If you want to avoid driving, take the shuttle bus between venues for $20pp - a great idea to stay out of trouble.

The Sounds by the River Festival takes place in Mannum on Saturday January 18, with an awesome lineup of Australia's favourite musicians including Suzi Quatro, The Angels, James Reyne, The Black Sorrows and Russell Morris. For fans of classic Aussie music, this is a rare opportunity.

Fun Activities in Adelaide

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The Heysen Trail Runs Through Mount George Conservation Park


I love to get out and explore parks around Adelaide, and the Mount George Conservation Park that I visited recently has to be one of the most attractive that I've been to lately. Take a look and see why.

Would you prefer to ride your bike? Check out the scenic Coast to Vines Trail along the route of a former railway. It's got the added benefit that you're well placed for a refreshing wine when you arrive at your destination in McLaren Vale.

This month other writers have come up with some fantastic ways to spend your summer, so I suggest you check out Xarah's innovative ideas first.

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A Dog Rescued From Hahndorf Animal Shelter


Hayley Rich has produced a comprehensive list of things to take you through each month of summer. If you can't find something there then perhaps consider volunteering for the Hahndorf Animal Shelter - they do a fantastic job of saving animals' lives and need all the help they can get!
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Why? Enjoy summer
Where: Adelaide, SA
Cost: Mostly free
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