It’s Show Time!

Not going to lie, the anticipated hit to the hip pocket can make us feel like crawling under a rock. I simply can’t afford to blow HUNDREDS of dollars on one day of excitement this year, so I have set my self a CHALLENGE to take my family of four to the Royal Adelaide Show for under $100 – including tickets and transport.

Here is how I am going to do it – you can too!!!!!

1. PRE purchase tickets and save. Two options; online or at any metropolitan Foodland or IGA
In 2019 a family ticket will cost me $59.00 (a saving of $9.50 on gate prices) for two adults and two kids above the age of five. (Kids under five go free however even with one child under 5, a family ticket still may be the cheaper option). Your family dynamic may be different – check out the ticket info here to calculate what is best for you. Tickets

2.Planning & Research is the ONLY way this will work. Did some of you just yawn? Good news, that was a completely false statement. You can literally just steal my plan if you would rather be stabbing yourself in the eye with a fork than perusing the show magazine, apps and web pages. I mean, I get it, I would like to be sipping a wine and netflixing too, yet here I am. Let it be noted if our Show interests don’t align and you want to do the BARE MINIMUM to plan your <$100 day bonanza, you should at least look at the list of 100 FREE THINGS TO DO.  If you are die hard budget loving show junkie, I suggest full resources of The Show Magazine (available at Foodland/IGA if you missed it in the Messenger Newspaper), Download The Show App Download Here and a look at

3. Pack your lunch, dinner & water bottles. My kids are plain eaters anyway – they like what they like and Show food is often on the pricey side and/or not to their pleasing. Pack anything….we like sandwiches, cold roast chicken, pita bread, squeeze yoghurt, cucumbers, carrot sticks & cherry tomatoes or what ever you’d be eating at home. Water bottles can be refilled at the show.  NOW is a great time to suggest a pram with a basket under, or a market trolley. Also those bag clips that you can hang things from come in handy on pram handlebars. If your kids are like mine they certainly won’t carry a backpack all day and they do tire quickly somewhere as action-packed as the show, so prams and strollers are great.

4. Transport. The Show Magazine has an entire page dedicated to ‘getting to the show’. Depending on your circumstances, consider if public transport or driving and parking is best for you. I will be driving and parking for $13 per day in the Adelaide Parklands (Park 21w) East of Goodwood Road, accessed from South Terrace travelling West. My husband gets to pitch in here and drops us at the gate before parking the car and meeting us. It’s his little way of making up for 110% avoidance of all other planning. Don’t forget car parks fill early, sometimes pushing you to more expensive options.

Adelaide Metro have a great app Metro Mate to help plan your journey, and there certainly are good options for bus, train and trams. Kids under 5 travel FREE and kids under 15 can travel free on weekends when accompanied by a day trip holding adult. Seniors get the goods, and travel FREE most of the week and all weekends.
Taxi and Uber?? pffft not on this budget!

Perhaps you might even have a legendary parent or friend that would drop you and pick you up? Ca-ching $$.

5. Before Arrival. Chat to the entire family and make sure they all understand there is a pre-planned budget for the day. Now is also a great time to tattoo your phone number on your kids any way you can, talk about steps to take if they are lost (stay put, ask another mum for help, make a meeting point for older kids etc) and take a photo of them in the clothes they are wearing on the day. Last year the Goodwood Road gate had free wrist bands for phone numbers, but now we are getting into “Show Tips” and you can read more about that here: KiA Tips For Families

6. On Arrival 10am ish. Make sure you put a snack in their hand on the way in the gate and also have a map or app handy. We plan to head directly to the see some of the new things first – like the virtual reality farm experience to see first hand what it takes to get our food from the paddock to the plate (Golden Grains Pavilion). Then on to the Bank SA Farmyard Nursery where we will get up close and personal before it gets too stinky in there (laugh it up – my kids are city slickers). It’s also here we will grab our Agsplorer Pack to do the #AGSPLORERS Track (FREE trail).

7. Noon. Now is a great time to head over to The Goyder Stage and The Smurfs Enchanting Village. The Goyder Stage line up is looking particularly fantastic for young kids if you are attending Monday to Thursday, think Peppa Pig, Shimmer & Shine, Angry Birds and more shows – all FREE! We will eat our lunch on the grass and chill to take in the atmosphere, maybe watch the police band march and trumpet by.

8. Next up. I am a wood chopping fan from way back – call it tradition. Before we sit down I am going to grab us Golden North Ice Cream each (adjacent the wood chopping). Maybe you would rather use this $16 for hot chips, donuts, fairy floss or some other ‘show food’ treat. CWA scones are always pretty hard to pass up! Wood chopping can be timed well with the afternoon pig racing near by if it’s your thing (tip get a seat early), or maybe venture to see the big ag machinery. If the weather is nice, head to the Roof Top Tour (11am, 12, 2, 3 & 4pm) where you can climb up onto the roof to see all the solar panels and the bee hives – tours take 30mins and book out FAST (map ref. K7).

9. Late Arvo. Head to the Taste SA Pavilion, we always enjoy a wander though here and it seems to hold the kids attention better than some of the other pavilions. Perhaps indulge in a cheeky free wine or gin tasting and sample some free tasty eats with the kids.

Also be sure to pop over to the Jubilee Pavilion and say hello to the Funky Monkey Bar crew who will be there with

  • FREE PLAY so kids can ‘have-a-go’ on The Combat Ninja and The Gorilla with Flying Fox.
  • 10% OFF the entire range for orders placed at the Adelaide Show only
  • ENTER THE COMPETITION to WIN one of our most popular frames, The Orangutan.

10. Dusk. Head for the show bags & wander the side shows. While my budget has only allowed for a ‘Bertie Beetle’ bag for the kids ($2 each) you might consider allowing them to use some pocket money or birthday money to spend here. Before we find a seat in the arena for the evening entertainment, a stroll through the sideshows and show bags is a fun way to see out the day light. (I have been know to promise re-creating a show bag or two at home.)

11. Evening. Grab a seat in the main arena and strap your self in for The Night Shift while you graze on your packed dinner. Depending what day you are there, expect to see Freestyle Moto X, ISUZU Team D-Max, Car Soccer, V8 Utes, Drone Racing and of course the RAA Fireworks 9pm Fridays & Saturdays and 8pm all other nights.

There are numerous other experiences and pavilions I haven’t even touched on that you might like to work into your day, many of which offer generous free activities and samples too.