Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. It is located in a beautiful area near the eastern shore of Gulf St. Vincent by the Mount Lofty Ranges. It is home to about one million citizens but is a calm and quiet city. The local landscape is gorgeous and, with a Mediterranean climate, it makes for a great vacation spot. The city is separated into two areas; Adelaide and North Adelaide which is located on the other side of the River Torrens. Adelaide is known as Australia's festival and wine capital which proves that, although the city is peaceful, it can also be lively.
Adelaide remains a popular travel location for couples, adventurous individuals and even families. If you are one of the latter who are traveling with children then you will need to do some research to find family friendly activities that will keep the kids entertained. Remember you can stow the family's backpacks and large bags in a baggage locker in Adelaide to lighten the load on your day out.
Visit the Adelaide Zoo
One of the most popular activities for the whole family is to spend a day at the zoo. The Adelaide Zoo is located just a short walk away from the city centre so it is easy to get to. Out of the total 1,800 animal species that call the zoo home, about 300 of them are exotic.
Common favorites are Wang Wang and Fu Ni, who are the only two Giant Pandas in the entire Southern Hemisphere. If you want to make the most of your experience you should visit during feeding time when the zookeepers make their rounds around the various enclosures. If you follow them you can learn about the animals both as a species and as individual creatures, and learn about their origins and where they came from.
Try the Local Cuisine at the Adelaide Central Market
The Adelaide Central Market has been around for over 145 years now and is a popular spot for locals and tourists to buy fresh produce and food. In total there are more than 80 different stalls selling delicious meals and ingredients, so you can spend hours browsing them all. If you don't want to miss out on anything you should follow the Central Market Tour.
You and the kids can try everything from seafood to local cheeses, meats, fresh fruits, vegetables and more. It is the perfect activity for everyone and kids who have adventurous palates will have a great time snacking on all of the delicious food.
Get Active at TreeClimb
The whole family can have a blast in the outdoor adventure park of TreeClimb. It is the only nature based and aerial park in the city so you won't find anything else like it in Adelaide. You can test yourself on seven unique climbing courses that bring you around the Kurrangga Park. Some of them also have zip lines!
As a bonus, this activity serves as a history lesson since there are signs explaining the history of the city all around the park. If you get hungry on the adventure courses, you can stop for a break to eat in the on-site cafes before going back to climbing in the trees.
Cool Off at the Beachouse
The Beachouse is a great place for a fun family day in Adelaide. It is a huge indoor water park with a swimming pool and fun water slides suitable for people of all ages. Try the Dual Slide if you are visiting with small kids, or let the older children take a spin on the Speed Slide. A great ride that everyone can enjoy is the Raft Slide.
Aside from water slides, the park offers more tame water play areas and activities to keep you dry. Take the family on a kiddy train, play arcade games, enjoy a mini golf course, bumper boats, play castles, dodgem cars and a merry-go-round that is 120 years old but still running. The Beachouse has a restaurant on-site in case you or the kids get hungry from all of the playing.
Go Hiking in the Adelaide Hills
The surrounding landscape of Adelaide is gorgeous, and there are many greenspaces and public parks for you to explore. The Adelaide Hills is one of the areas that offer kid friendly trails suitable for people of all ages. It can be fun to get active as a family, and hiking in these scenic areas is one of the best things to do in Adelaide with kids.
One of the most popular paths to follow is the Adelaide Hills Kids' Food Trail. They can teach you a bit about the local cuisine, where the food comes from, and the processes involved in making them. A common favorite is the Summer Cherry Trail.
Stop by the Adelaide Oval
The Adelaide Oval is located right in the center of the city and is a huge stadium that can hold up to 50,000 people. It has been hosting games from different sports since 1871 and has earned a title as one of Adelaide's historical landmarks.
We recommend seeing if there are any cricket, soccer or football games going on during your time in Adelaide, but even if there are not you can still enjoy some fun activities at the Oval. Sign up for one of the Adelaide Oval Tours or take on the RoofClimb. Inside the building, there is also an interactive museum and all cricket fans will be excited to see the Bradman Collection.
Take a Day Trip to Cleland Wildlife Park
All animal lovers will have a great time visiting one of the city's best Australian wildlife parks which lets you interact with the animals. The Cleland Conservation Park is home to over 130 different species and many of them can be petted or fed by you.
Many families say that this was one of their favorite activities since the kids really enjoy interacting with the Australian animals. It is just a twenty minute drive away from central Adelaide so grab a taxi or tram ride and go feed the kangaroos! If you want another great park you can visit the Gorge Wildlife Park which offers a similar experience.
Try the Shadow Initiation in the South Australian Museum
The South Australian Museum is somewhere that you should visit during your stay in Adelaide, but an event that the kids are sure to enjoy is the Shadow Initiation. They will get the opportunity to learn all about The Secret Order of Quill and Compass which is a historical secret society that has been around for hundreds of years now.
This activity is a digital game that keeps kids engaged and entertained while the parents can enjoy all of the amazing exhibits in the museum. Children will need to spot hidden objects and complete secret challenges and in total there are 40 tasks for them to complete. You only get an hour once the timer starts so see how many you can complete as a family!
Spend Time at the Local Beaches
While you are in Adelaide you definitely have to spend time at one of the lovely beaches. There are several for you to choose from and all of them are great choices. We recommend you take a trip to the gorgeous Glenelg Beach or even Henley Beach. Grab some street food first, and have a picnic!
Adelaide's West Beach is also a must-visit spot as it has over 70 multi-level aerial courses, a huge swing and a simulated freefall jump from 18 meters high. If you are visiting during the summer you can splash around in the waves or suntan on the shore, and even in the colder months, these areas are perfect for having a picnic and getting some fresh air and ocean views by the coast. If you are lucky you might even spot dolphins and other aquatic life.
Check Out the National Railway Museum
Both adults and kids can enjoy an afternoon at the National Railway Museum and there are lots of fun things to do here. Learn about the trains and how they have impacted the local history of the city, and even interact with and see the locomotives up close.
Aside from the interesting displays, this establishment offers free train rides around the building and ghost tours if you are brave enough. Don't miss out on your chance to make family memories in the railway museum!
What are the best family activities in Adelaide?
Things to do in Adelaide with younger kids
The zoo is always one of the best kid friendly activities to attend in any city, and the one in Adelaide is excellent. Young kids will have a great time seeing all of the animals that have come from around the world.
The National Railway Museum is another top choice for fun kids' things to do in Adelaide, because who doesn't love trains? Young children are sure to enjoy this activity, and seeing the trains up close and learning about how they work can be an unforgettable experience.
If your kids haven't had enough at the Adelaide Zoo you can stop by the Cleland Wildlife Park. The animals here are all native to Australia so the children can learn about the local wildlife while having fun. It is even more exciting that you can interact with the creatures, which makes it a favorite activity for most families.
Things to do in Adelaide with older kids
The Adelaide Oval is an interesting activity that all kids and grown-ups can enjoy, but younger children might get bored watching a game or while on the tour. However, older kids that enjoy sports will have a blast!
If you choose the right paths in Adelaide Hills they will not be too difficult and can be done by people of all ages. However, toddlers and young kids might have a harder time walking through the pathways and won't get as much out of the experience compared to older children.
TreeClimb is a great place to be active and with the Kids Course, even children can have fun. However, small children might not be able to participate or will not have access to as many of the attractions as older kids can, like the Grand Course which is reserved for bigger kids.
Free things to do in Adelaide with kids
There is so much to do at the Beachouse and you might be surprised to learn that entry is completely free. Keep in mind that it might be busier than usual on school holidays and weekends, but since you don't have to pay to get in there is no reason to not go check it out.
Shadow Initiation in the South Australian Museum in Adelaide offers free entry every day that they are open. This means that you can come to visit at any time and play the Shadow Initiation game as often as you want! Be aware that you might want to reserve spots in advance in case the museum gets busy.
Being a coastal city, Adelaide has lots of lovely beaches for you to enjoy. Since many, if not all, of them are public you won't have to pay to get in. Grab a beach towel, some sunscreen, a water bottle and a bathing suit then head to the local beaches to suntan, make sandcastles or spot wild dolphins off the shore.
A Family Holiday in the South Australian Capital
Taking vacations and spending quality time as a family is important, and if you have chosen Adelaide as your travel destination then you will have an excellent time. The city has a certain European charm and you can find something fun for everyone to enjoy.
It won't be hard to find family friendly accommodation and activities suitable for kids, whether you want to spend time outside at the Adelaide Botanic Garden or take a stroll by Port Adelaide. As for indoor activities, you can visit an art gallery or museum, shop for souvenirs, go watch a sports game or see if there are any upcoming events in the theaters and cinemas.