It’s Show Time!

The Royal Adelaide Show is back from 31 August – 8 September and we could not be more excited! However, we know the Show can strike fear in the hearts of all parents, not least of all because yep, it can be a pretty expensive day out.

PISH POSH we say! The Royal Adelaide Show is what you make it – if you are happy to let the kids spend the entire day in the Carnival area, then walk out loaded up with dozens of Showbags and hyped up on every sweet treat on offer, then yep, you will have dropped a bit of cash by the end of the day. (By the way, if you haven’t started making the kids do jobs around the house or collect bottles for the 10c return yet, then NOW is the time, if you want them to spend some of their own money on their Show treats.) However, we are here to tell you that is it EASY to spend a whole day at the Royal Adelaide Show with a family of four on a budget – in fact, read on for how you can do the Show for just $100 (and yes, they will still get a ride!).

Now, in 2023, there are differing prices for weekday and weekend entry. So for the cheapest option, opt to go on a weekday and pre-purchase your tickets online or via any Foodland store. (Hot tip: it’s even cheaper if you are an RAA Member!). Bear in mind that kids under 5 years old are FREE, so if you are a family of five with one child under 5 years old, all of this still applies!

Ooft, there is over half the $100 budget gone just on tickets… however keep reading to make sure you take advantage of the HUNDREDS of activities that is included in your ticket price.

Depending on whether you are travelling in peak or off-peak times, will depend on the cost of public transport. Public transport is a great option with the Adelaide Showground Train Station, Goodwood Rd Train Stop plus multiple buses dropping you right at the door. Check the Adelaide Metro website for details. (Kids under 5 travel free!)
However, at the end of a big day, the last thing we want to do is drag tired kids home via public transport, so we are opting to drive in and park in either the Parklands in Park 21W or Park 22 or at the Netball SA Stadium (with a free shuttle bus to and from the Showground) from $15 for the day. (Depending which carpark you choose).

Ok, you’ve arrived, you’re parked and you’ve got your tickets – let’s do this! $22.50 left in the budget for the day – EASY! First up, head to a Show Kiosk (near any entry) to grab a Map – you’ll also find the entertainment program on the back.

We recommend heading to some of the animal areas first. All of the animal experiences at the Show are FREE (when we say free, we mean included in your ticket price) and who doesn’t love some animals! Here are some of our top picks:

  • Bank SA Farmyard Nursery
    Here you will find baby animals to ohh and ahh over including calves, baby chicks, lambs and more.
  • The Learning Centre
    An interactive area where you can hold baby chicks, pat animals, watch sheep shearing and cow milking demos and take part in a Food Workshop such as Smoothie or Pesto Making
  • Wander the animal pavilions
    Check out the competition pigs, alpacas, cows and sheep. Watch them being prepared for judging and chat to their owners about what makes a blue ribbon animal.

Everyone is probably hungry by now, so give your hands a good wash and sit down to watch some woodchopping while you eat some snacks you brought from home. That’s right – you’re on a budget remember!

The Boulevard Stage is located to the north of the Main Arena and has a full program of family entertainment from 10:30am through til 9:45pm daily. Check out Eloise Green – The Hula Queen, Showstoppers, the SAPOL Band and heaps more – the kids will be up and dancing and YES – it’s all included in your ticket price!

STREET PARADE, 12:30pm on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, $0
Get a spot along the Atrium to watch the daily Street Parade – all of your favourite SA mascots including Mr Fruchoc, Larry The Lamington will be led by Wheaty the Show Mascot for you to wave to and have a laugh at their antics!

LUNCH: $12
Lunchtime! Thankfully it doesn’t have to be expensive – head to the Jubilee Cafe (in the Atrium) for $3 Cheese Toasties. Four of those will put your back $12, leaving $10.50 in the budget for the rest of the day. You got this!

Time for a wander through the Pavilions. You’ll find our mates from Funky Monkey Bars in the Jubilee Pavilion, so let the kids have a play on their demo models. Visit the SA Power Network stand and try their interactive experience for FREE.
In the Goyder Pavilion you’ll find the Horticulture display – always worth a look! Sit down at the Goyder Stage to watch the entertainment program – because you are visiting on a weekday (remember?) you’ll be able to take advantage of the weekday entertainment such as the Bluey, PJ Masks and PAW Patrol Shows. How cool!
Before you leave the Goyder Pavilion, make sure you wander the food and wine area for some FREE samples (in case anyone is still peckish from lunch!)

We know most kids are crazy for either Bluey, PJ Masks or Paw Patrol, so here are the details of their Mid-Show Entertainment – you’ll need to attend from Monday – Thursday to see these shows:

12:00noon Monday – Thursday: Bluey Interactive Experience
2:00pm Monday – Thursday: PJ Masks – Meet The Heroes
4:00pm Monday – Thursday: Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol – Mighty Pups Show

All three of these shows will be on the Goyder Stage in the Goyder Pavilion.

Head to the Stirling Angas Hall now – here you’ll find:
– Junior Art, Craft and Design. Check out all of the entries and your kids might even be inspired to enter next year!
– Technology: See what the tech students from around SA have been creating and see the 3D printer display
– Aggie’s Farm – a new interactive experience where kids can be mini farmers and experience the paddock to plate side of agriculture.

By now, everyone might be getting hungry again. Which means it’s the perfect time to head to Taste SA and sample some of the fantastic SA produce on offer. You’ll find Kytons Bakery, smallgoods, olives, confectionery, beverages, baked goods, honey and more! Get sampling and you might even find a new South Aussie favourite.

Got two kids? A ride each on the glorious Grand Carousel will set you back $7 each, which uses up the last of the $100 budget.

It’s around this time of day that you may want to call it a day if you have really young kids and head home. If your kids are older however, it’s worth sticking around for NIGHTSHIFTADL which kicks off from 6:45pm on weekdays on the Main Arena.

NIGHTSHIFTADL on the Main Arena: $0
This action packed night program is a great way to finish off you day at the Royal Adelaide Show. Pull out some more of those snacks that you brought from home and settle in to watch:
– Chicken Run 2.0 (HILARIOUS)
– Holden vs Ford V8 Utes
– Airtime Freestyle Motor X Team
– and of course the RAA Fireworks

After this, we anticipate that everyone will be well and truly pooped and ready to head home for bed! So there you have it – the Royal Adelaide Show for $100. Yes, it means you will need to bring food from home and nope, sadly you won’t be leaving with more Showbags than you can carry, but all in all, we think there is so much value in the ticket prices and it’s EASY to spend a full day at the Show without breaking the bank!

TOTAL SPENT = $103.50 (ok so just a smidge over $100, but we think you’ll agree that is a pretty value packed day at the Show!)

For more ideas, head to our post on Royal Show Tips plus our Top 100 Things We Love at the Show.

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