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
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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.