What’s more appealing than keeping the kids busy, happy and active these holidays!?  When it’s all FREE!! If you’re like most parents in Adelaide, you will get half way through these school holidays and be struggling to work out how to keep the little minions occupied until they go back to school. If you’re like me, you want to do it without spending a fortune. I love hanging out with my kids, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes a few ideas on what we could do go a long way, and a few free ideas are even better.  So, here are a few ideas to get you through the next week with our Top 10 Free things to do with kids in Adelaide:

Visit a Playground

We are so lucky here in Adelaide to have some of the best playgrounds in the country. Whether you’re after a nature playground, adventure playground for older kids, fully fenced playground suitable for toddlers, an inclusive playground with accessible equipment for all or just a little quiet playground close to where you live make sure to check our huge playground map

Free Events

Museums, shopping centres, councils and community centers are just a few of the places who host FREE and FUN programs, activities and events that won’t break the bank. There’s FREE sports, arts and crafts, science, nature play activities, workshops, family days and more. Find a FREE school holiday event here

Visit the SA Museum

The South Australian Museum is a wonderful place for kids (and adults) of any age to visit. There’s so much to explore, learn and discover and the exhibitions are always informative, often interactive and sometimes we feel the need to visit the same exhibition more than once because they are THAT good! Keep an eye on our website for the special events they host too! 


MOD. is a place for kids who love hands on, interaction and all things STEM!
There’s a mix of diverse and sensory activities catering for a wide range of ages, knowledge and capabilities. These are spaces for doing, not just seeing and best of all it’s TOTALLY FREE!
click here for more info

Try Geocaching

Geocaching is like a high tech treausre hunt and can be done by all ages, fitness levels and skills. To start out head to Geocaching Australia to find local caches and consider one of the geocaching mobile phone apps like this one for the iPhone to help transform your mobile phone into treasure hunt central! (or do what we did last weekend and just write out a list of things to find in a treasure hunt and spend a few hours at a park – my son loved finding ‘a jar of water’ and ‘a jar of wind’?!?!)

START at the Art

Start at the Gallery is an exciting introduction to art for children aged 3-12 and their families. Held on the first Sunday of every month, Start is a free family-fun day and includes art activities, tours, live performances and entertainment.
Each monthly event is themed around current exhibitions or the general collection. Start is held on the first Sunday of each month, 11am–3pm. Events are free and no bookings are necessary.

click here for the program

SA Rocks

SA Rocks is a nature play based free activity that anyone can join in with. A giant game of hide and seek, for kids and adults alike! We love it because it’s free to play, great for all ages and IDEAL for the school holidays!

Want to find a rock? – Jump on the SA Rocks Facebook page and search for your suburb name, or local park name, to see if anything has been hidden there recently – just use the search bar at the top of the group page.
Want to paint a rock? – Easy! All it takes is a little bit of creativity, decorate a rock, a coat of sealant and your good to go.

Click here for all the details

Check out your local Shopping Centre

So many shopping centres put on some great activities, not only in school holidays, but also on weekends – often especially if there is a new store opening. We recommend following your local centre on Facebook to keep up with what’s on offer. Some of our favourites our Churchill Centre, Port Adelaide Plaza and Northpark Shopping Centre!

You can also find FREE shopping centre activities in our school holiday guides.

Image: Churchill Centre.

Go for a Bike Ride

Our family LOVES the SA Police Road Safety Centre or take a look at our list of family friendly bike tracks, trails and paths.
Our bigger kids enjoy Eagle Mountain biking park or take the whole family along the beach paths, to a National park like Belair or Shepherd’s Hill or find your own way with these riding maps.  (Just make sure you supervise your kids well and check them out first to make sure they are suitable for their age and ability!)

Wander the Botanic Gardens

There’s so much to explore in the Botanic Gardens so make sure you grab a map at the entrance so you don’t miss anything. The Bicentennial Conservatory is the largest single span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere and home to a number of endangered rainforest plants. In the international rose garden you’ll find thousands of rose species and don’t forget to visit the wisteria arbour when it’s in bloom!  Get all the info here! 

Free Pools and Water Play

When the weather heats up head to one of the FREE pool or water feature areas  – Splash Town in Moonta is epic! Glenelg’s Mosely Square water fountains are fun for a splash or the Henley Square water showers.
Click here
for our list of free places to have a splash on a hot day.

Japanese Himeji Gardens

The gorgeous Japanese Himeji Gardens are located on the Eastern side of Glen Osmond Road and South Terrace intersection. This little oasis in the Southern Parklands is a wonderful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of ‘normal life’. With a lovely water feature that is home to large goldfish, ducks and turtles, there is also a waterfall under the trees too. click here for more info

Whale Watching

In winter, a great option is Whale Watching -there are plenty of sightings and the Victor Harbor area makes a great day out for families between May and October.

Visit the Adelaide Central Markets

In all honesty I can’t imagine a visit to the central markets being *completely* free since I’ve never been without buying something. But assuming everyone needs fresh fruit and veg then you’re not spending any *extra* money – just going somewhere different to buy it. The Markets are a great place to take the kids to see, smell and taste all the great produce and in the holidays you can take part in their school holiday activities like face painting, cooking classes or an edible treasure hunt (costs involved in some of these).

Visit your local library

Libraries are no longer daggy old places with people shushing you. These days libraries have kids nooks, toy libraries, programs for babies, toddlers, kids & teens, free internet, dvds to borrow, oh yeah and BOOKS! All for ZERO DOLLARS! Head along when you’re next looking to kill a few hours & you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Click here to find out more about some of our favourite libraries.

You might also be interested in

  • So we know that lots of families have kids ranging from toddler to teens so we've tried to find some great playgrounds we think your older kids will enjoy, while still offering some play space for younger children. For those of you with only older children, these playground spaces are still great and you just get the added bonus of sitting down instead of chasing a toddler around trying to put their hat on! [wpgmza id="138"]

  • It can sometimes be hard to find activities, programs and things to do that are suitable, or "cool enough" for older kids, but they're out there believe us! We've rounded up what we think are the best ideas and places to visit for older kids in Adelaide over the school holidays! There are some free options as well as places you will need to book ahead - so grab your teen and start planning!

  • OK yes we are all original Adelaide Hills girls so we MAY be just a little bit bias BUT if you haven’t been up the hill for a while we definitely think you should put it on the “to do” list.