The average daily temperature in South Australia rises from a wintry 16 degrees to a far more pleasant 22 degrees in the spring. Your beanie, mittens, and thermal undies can be stored away for another year because spring is here to defrost Adelaide. It's time to venture outdoors to enjoy some fresh air, a few gentle rays of sunshine, and all of the exciting things that spring brings.
The late Robin Williams once said: "Spring is nature's way of saying, let's party!" With that in mind, let's do as nature intended and party to pay respect to the great man. There's a lot happening so here is your month-by-month guide to this season's best events, festivals, exhibitions, and markets.
Sunshine in September
The Vale Market is a nice place to spend a sunny Sunday morning
After hibernating for the chilly months of winter, The Vale Market makes its comeback in September. It's held on the first and third Sunday morning of every month at the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre on Main Road. With acoustic music and activities for children, it's a nice place to grab a cuppa and browse the wares of local craftspeople.
The Adelaide Festival Centre presents the OzAsia Festival from Wednesday, September 3 to Saturday, September 20, 2014. There are heaps of things to do and see at the festival including some free and family-friendly events, such as the Moon Lantern Festival in Elder Park on Monday, September 8, 2014.
Then there's the moment we've been waiting all year for, a calendar highlight for many: the Royal Adelaide Show from Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 14, 2014. All the favourites will be there (Yellow Brick Road, Bertie Beetle showbag, chip on a stick, pig racing, and so on), but new to the Show this year is Tinker Tailor Fashion Maker, a fashion parade that's been 175 years in the making.
A crowd gathers to watch pigs race at the Royal Adelaide Show
For music lovers, there's the Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival with a line-up that includes Passionate Fools, The Heggarties, Lou Bradley, and Chris Finnen. It's on Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 7, 2014 at the Wirrina Resort. Ticket prices start at $60 and discount is available for online purchases.
The month long A Brush with Art festival is a great time to explore the sights and small towns of South Australia's Flinders Ranges, like Wilpena Pound. With 16 exhibitions that run from Saturday, September 6 until Monday, October 6, 2014, you'd better start planning your trip now.
Don't forget about Father's Day on Sunday, September 7, 2014. One suggestion for the big day is to take dad to check out one of South Australia's best known tall ships, the One and All. There's a Father's Day Weekend Sail or an Open Day at McLaren Wharf in Port Adelaide that he might enjoy.
Lace up your blue suede shoes and make your way along the Fleurieu Peninsula for the free Victor Harbor Rock 'n' Roll Festival. It's on from Friday, September 19 to Sunday, September 21, 2014. There are lots of great rock 'n' roll and rockabilly performances scheduled (Twenty Flight Rock, Bobby Dee & The Decibells, and The Satellites, for example) as well as a display of vintage vehicles.
See more cars like this in the Bay to Birdwood Run
Speaking of classic cars, the Bay to Birdwood Run is on Sunday, September 28, 2014. To make the fun last a little longer, this year it also coincides with Motorfest. There will be various motoring related events held all around Adelaide from Monday, September 22 to Friday, October 3, 2014.
Indulge in an extra-long weekend for the Kangaroo Island Art Feast from Thursday, October 2 to Monday, October 6, 2014. There are events held at 30 venues across the island featuring the works of local artists, which are complemented by the wine and culinary delights that the island is known for.
Also held over the Labour Day long weekend, and celebrating its 10th anniversary, is the Semaphore Music Festival. Held on the foreshore and at nearby venues, there are over 60 local blues, roots, country, rockabilly, and folk performances including Frank Yamma, Snooks La Vie, and The Villenettes. It's a bargain too with tickets starting at just $10 for a day pass (children under 16 years of age are free).
Spend a day in the vineyard for Afternoon Delights at Shottesbrooke
Another fun and family-friendly way to celebrate spring and the long weekend is Afternoon Delights at Shottesbrooke. Entry is free and there will be wine from the vineyard, food from The Currant Shed, live music by Cal Williams Jnr and Kory Horwood, and face painting and other activities for children. It sounds like a nice day out in McLaren Flat on Sunday, October 5, 2014.
During the months of October, November, and December each year, South Australia takes on a glorious purple haze as the jacaranda trees bloom – a sign that spring is well and truly here and Christmas time is near. It's the ideal time of year to get your hands dirty in the garden and the Australian Plant Society Native Plant Sale and Flower Display is the place to go to stock up and seek inspiration for your patch. Entry only costs $3, so head to the Adelaide Showground in Wayville on Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12, 2014.
The Adelaide Vintage Expo will be held on Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26, 2014 at the Norwood Concert Hall as part of the Adelaide Fashion Festival. With Australia's best vintage retailers under one roof, you'll be sure to find something wonderful and, as you can see from last year's festival, you can also enjoy workshops, fashion parades, car display, and entertainment. Tickets for a trip back in time are only $5 and can be purchased at the door on the day.
Check out fashion parades like this one at the Adelaide Vintage Expo
On the same weekend is Cheesefest in Rymill Park. With 60 stalls of specialty, gourmet, and local produce, it's Australia's biggest celebration of cheese. It's on Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October, 26, 2014 and tickets start at $15 for a day pass (children under 12 years of age are free).
Nuts about November
The silly season is here again and it starts when Father Christmas comes to town for the Credit Union Christmas Pageant. Arrive early on Saturday, November 8, 2014 to secure the best vantage point on South Terrace and North Terrace.
Don't worry if you missed last year's Blues in the Barossa because it's back again this year. Kristy Lee, Fiona Boyes, and Hussy Hicks are just a few of the acts that will be performing at the three day blues and roots music festival. Blues in the Barossa is on Friday, November 14 until Sunday, November 16, 2014 at Seppeltsfield Winery and tickets start at $70.
The Feast Festival will, as always, be a feast for the senses from Saturday, November 15 to Sunday, November 30, 2014 with parties, picnics, parades, and performances at locations all around Adelaide. You can read about last year's festival to get a taste of what's to come.
The Green Light Festival was so successful last year that it's back for round two on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the Willunga Recreation Park. The eco-friendly festival aims to encourage ethical and sustainable practices and demonstrate simple ways to incorporate them into everyday life.
Then on Sunday, November 16, 2014 in Victoria Square is the Vegan Festival. Celebrate a compassionate and cruelty free lifestyle with stallholders that include Veggie Velo, Bliss Organic, Just RAWsome, and many more. Along with delicious vegan food, there will also be entertainment and guest speakers including vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke.
It's probably about time to consider Christmas shopping but instead of heading to the mall, head to the markets. You can pick up unique and stylish children's clothing, accessories, and toys at Mathilda's Market. It's on Sunday morning, November 16, 2014 at the Adelaide Showground and entry is free.
Another great place for Christmas gift ideas is the Bowerbird Bazaar. It's Adelaide's premiere design market and you'll find lots of original pieces such as wall art, homeware, stationery, ceramics, jewellery, and clothing. It's on from Friday, November 21 to Sunday, November 23, 2014 and entry usually only costs $2.
The Hoff unfortunately won't be at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo anymore, but that's no reason you shouldn't. The Adelaide Showground is the place to be on Friday, November 21 to Sunday, November 23, 2014. Manu Bennett (Arrow, Spartacus: Blood and Sand), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Tudors), and Kristin Bauer Van Straten (True Blood) will all be there along with a host of other celebrities for autographs, photographs, and discussion panels.
Another great spring event, a gorgeous one even, is the Gorgeous Festival on Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29, 2014 at Serafino Winery in McLaren Vale. This year the line-up includes Xavier Rudd, The Waifs, The Beautiful Girls, and Busby Marou, among others.
Do your Christmas shopping at the Xmas Gift & Craft Fair
Finally, and a chance for more Christmas shopping is the Xmas Gift & Craft Fair on Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30, 2014 at the Adelaide Showground. Entry costs $5 and there will be thousands of unique gift ideas including clothing, candles, skincare, garden ornaments, jewellery, toys, and plenty more. There are free activities to keep children entertained too.