Are you planning an Adelaide Family Holiday? If so, you’re in for a delightful adventure with plenty of family-friendly activities and attractions to occupy your time.
While it may be nicknamed the ‘City of Churches’, there is so much more to this fabulous city than just religious sites. Think picturesque parks, interactive museums, beautiful beaches and a world-class sports stadium for starters. Then, of course, there are excellent food options, stunning parks and manicured gardens and lots of wildlife adventures for you, too.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 15 fun family things to do in Adelaide. Whether you’re a first-time tourist keen to explore the city or a return visitor eager to carry on where you finished off, this guide will ensure your trip to Adelaide with kids is entertaining and unforgettable. So, let’s begin!
Best Time to Visit Adelaide
For those planning a Family trip to Adelaide, the city’s mild Mediterranean climate makes it an appealing year-round destination. While the best time for you to go there will depend on your children’s age, budget, weather preferences, and what you want to do there, some parts of the year may be better suited to visiting the city than others.
For instance, if you’re looking for pleasant weather and a wide range of outdoor activities, the spring months of September to November are ideal. During this period, the city bursts into a riot of colour with blooming flowers, making it perfect for picnics in the parks and exploring the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Garden.
Likewise, from December to February, summertime is also popular, thanks to the long, sunny days and an array of summer festivals, including the renowned Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Adelaide Festival. Beach lovers will particularly enjoy this time, with numerous coastal spots like Glenelg and Henley Beach at their best.
However, if you prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, consider visiting during autumn (March to May) or winter (June to August). These seasons offer pleasant weather for indoor activities, exploring museums, and taking advantage of off-peak rates.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Adelaide on a family holiday depends on your family’s preferences. Still, this diverse city has something to offer everyone travelling to Adelaide with kids throughout the year.
Getting Around in Adelaide
Thanks to its excellent roads and public transport network, getting around the city should be straightforward during your Adelaide family holiday.
Subsequently, you don’t necessarily need to hire a car if you plan to stick exclusively within the city limits.
Adelaide has a well-established public transport system, including trains, buses and trams – providing a convenient and cost-effective way to navigate the city and its surroundings. Between these modes of transportation, most of the city is easily accessible.
The Adelaide Metro offers various ticketing options, including day passes, which can save you money if you intend to use public transport frequently during your stay.
One of the best things about Adelaide is that it is a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly city that possesses numerous dedicated pathways, parks and bike lanes. Subsequently, if you plan to explore the city centre and immediate surroundings, walking or cycling can be a great way to enjoy the city leisurely with your family.
Alternatively, services like Uber and traditional taxis are also available in Adelaide, providing convenient transportation options, especially for trips where public transport might be less available or when you’re in a hurry.
Should your family intend to venture beyond the city and explore the scenic regions of South Australia, hiring a car can be a practical option. It provides flexibility and allows you to access destinations that may be less accessible by public transport in the time you have available in the city.
Most major car rental agencies like Hertz, Avis, Budget and Enterprise have offices at the airport and throughout the city centre.
Where To Stay in Adelaide with Kids
When planning a family trip to Adelaide, you will need a place to stay. Thankfully, the city has many accommodation options, from luxury five-star hotels to camping and caravanning sites within several agreeable suburbs you can base yourself on.
Choosing the right suburb to stay in Adelaide is vital as it can significantly impact your overall experience. Subsequently, it’s worth taking the time to research which ones are most suited to what you are looking for.
Here are some excellent options for suburbs and accommodation you might want to stay at:
Why Stay: Glenelg is renowned as a coastal gem, making it the perfect suburb for families seeking a beachside vacation. Its golden sandy beach, vibrant atmosphere, and abundant family activities make it a prime Adelaide Family Holiday location.
Recommended Hotel: Stamford Grand Adelaide – This beachfront hotel offers spacious family rooms with beautiful sea views, a heated outdoor swimming pool and a spa. Kids can enjoy the beach, nearby playgrounds, and various water sports. The hotel also provides babysitting services, making it a top choice for parents.
Why Stay: Staying in the heart of the city centre provides easy access to major attractions, museums and a wide array of dining options. Overall, it’s a convenient location for those wanting to explore the city’s cultural treasures and use public transportation.
Recommended Hotel: The Playford – MGallery by Sofitel – This family-friendly hotel features elegant rooms and suites and an indoor pool and is within walking distance of Rundle Mall, where you can find plenty of family-oriented shops and dining.
Several family-friendly attractions, including the Adelaide Zoo, are also nearby, making it an excellent base for kids’ activities in Adelaide.
Why Stay: North Adelaide offers a quieter, more residential setting close to the city. It’s known for its beautiful parks and gardens – making it a peaceful yet convenient location for families.
Recommended Hotel: Majestic Old Lion Apartments – These spacious apartments are perfect for families and include kitchen facilities, a courtyard and a quiet atmosphere. You can explore the lush Botanic Gardens and enjoy picnics in the nearby parks.
Hahndorf (Adelaide Hills)
Why Stay: If your family enjoys a more rural and scenic setting, consider Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. This charming German-influenced village offers boutique shops, delightful restaurants and access to the region’s wineries.
Recommended Hotel: The Manna of Hahndorf – This hotel offers comfortable family rooms in the heart of Hahndorf, allowing easy exploration of the village’s attractions. Take your family on a journey through the Adelaide Hills’ picturesque landscapes and wineries.
For families travelling with caravans or campervans, two fantastic options are available:
Adelaide Shores Caravan Park
Why Stay: Located near West Beach, this caravan park provides excellent family facilities, including a waterpark, playgrounds and direct access to a beautiful beach. It’s an ideal choice for families travelling with caravans or campervans.
BIG4 Adelaide Shores Caravan Park
Why Stay: Another top-notch option for caravan and campervan travellers, this park boasts a mini-golf course, heated pools, a jumping pillow and proximity to West Beach’s attractions. Families can enjoy all the amenities while having their accommodation on wheels.
These accommodation recommendations offer various choices in various suburbs, catering to different family preferences. Whether you’re seeking a beachside adventure, a central city experience, a tranquil residential setting or a rural escape, Adelaide is the perfect place for your family holiday.
Best Things Do In Adelaide For Families
There are plenty of things for families to do in Adelaide that cater to all ages and many different interests.
Here are 15 excellent experiences you should consider during your time in the capital of South Australia.
1. Adelaide Zoo
One of the best family things to do in Adelaide is to visit the Adelaide Zoo.
Nestled in the heart of the city, this is a fantastic destination for families and animal lovers. It is home to over 2,500 animals from around the world and offers an engaging and educational experience for those who go there.
Families can marvel at iconic animals like pandas, lions and kangaroos and even interact with some in the Children’s Zoo. The zoo also emphasises conservation and education, providing insightful presentations and exhibits that inspire a love for wildlife.
One of the standout features is the captivating Panda Exhibit, where giant pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni reside. The immersive environment allows you to witness these adorable creatures up close. Additionally, Adelaide Zoo offers a range of guided tours, feeding experiences and wildlife presentations, making it an informative and enjoyable day out for the entire family.
2. Cleland Wildlife Park
Tucked away in the serene Adelaide Hills, Cleland Wildlife Park offers a unique and up-close wildlife encounter for visitors of all ages.
What makes this such a terrific place to visit is that they offer an opportunity to hand-feed kangaroos, cuddle koalas and observe a variety of native Australian animals in a natural setting.
The park emphasises conservation and education, with informative keeper talks and interactive experiences. Whilst there you can stroll through eucalyptus forests and encounter wombats, emus and wallabies.
3. Beach Fun at Glenelg
When it comes to kids’ activities in Adelaide, you can’t beat a visit to Glenelg Beach.
Situated just a short tram ride from Adelaide’s city centre, the beach is a prime destination for aquatic fun.
With its golden sands and pristine waters, it’s perfect for swimming, building sandcastles and sunbathing. Families can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the jetty, try delicious ice cream from local shops and even embark on dolphin-watching cruises.
Additionally, the iconic Glenelg Tram offers a scenic ride and connects you to the city. With plenty of cafes and eateries along the foreshore, Glenelg provides a fantastic beachside experience for all ages.
4. Adelaide Botanic Garden
The Adelaide Botanic Garden is a lush and serene escape that first opened in 1857.
It spans 51 hectares and features stunning gardens, walking trails and a dedicated Children’s Garden with interactive displays – making it a perfect place for families to explore nature and relax.
5. South Australian Museum
Discover the fascinating world of natural history and cultural heritage at the South Australian Museum on the North Terrace of the city centre.
Kids should find the Aboriginal Cultures Gallery particularly fascinating – the displays are incredible!
6. National Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide is a fascinating place to visit to discover Australia’s railway history.
It boasts an extensive collection of vintage locomotives, carriages, memorabilia and interactive exhibits – making it a paradise for train enthusiasts.
7. Adelaide Gaol
Adelaide Gaol – a genuine piece of South Australian history – is a captivating destination for families looking to explore the darker side of the past.
This historic site, established in 1841, provides insight into the lives of early settlers, convicts and notorious criminals. Guided tours lead you through the gaol’s various sections, including the cellblocks, gallows and historical displays. These engaging tours offer a glimpse into the justice system of the 19th century.
Adelaide Gaol’s rich history includes stories of infamous inmates and daring escape attempts, providing a blend of education and intrigue for visitors of all ages. The gaol often hosts special family-oriented events, making history come alive through interactive exhibits and costumed guides.
Overall, this site is not only a window into the past but also a great opportunity for families to learn about early Australian colonial history in an immersive and memorable way.
8. Adventure at Monarto Safari Park
Just outside Adelaide, the Monarto Safari Park offers an incredible safari experience.
Families can see animals like lions, rhinos and giraffes in a vast, open-range setting that is sure to thrill and captivate in equal measure.
9. The Beachhouse, Glenelg
Another excellent amusement park to visit, this venue at Glenelg offers rides, water slides and mini-golf – promising a day of fun for the entire family.
10. Mega Adventure Park
For those travelling with teenagers, one of the best things for families to do in Adelaide is to head to Mega Adventure Park. Set within the West Beach suburb of the city, this exhilarating fun park is perfect for those seeking high-flying fun and adventure.
Overall, the park boasts many thrilling activities, including an aerial adventure course, zip lines, and climbing walls, which are suitable for kids, teenagers, and adults.
The star attraction is the SkyChallenge, an aerial obstacle course with varying levels of difficulty, making it accessible for all skill levels. This dynamic park encourages physical activity, teamwork and personal growth. Moreover, the scenic views you get of West Beach and the coastline make it even more memorable.
11. Morialta Conservation Park
For nature enthusiasts, the Morialta Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills features hiking trails leading to stunning waterfalls and fabulous wildlife encounters.
If your family loves spending time in the outdoors, it is a fantastic place to visit – you’ll love the peace and serenity of it.
Among the picturesque Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is a charming and historic German-inspired village that offers a delightful experience for families. It dates back to 1839 and is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement – known for its quaint streets, boutique shops and delicious cuisine.
Families can explore its captivating heritage, from traditional Fachwerk architecture to artisan craft stores. At the same time, one of the highlights is the delectable German and European fare available at restaurants, bakeries and pubs. Make sure you try pretzels, schnitzels and strudels. But save some room for the array of sweets, chocolates and fudges you can buy.
Hahndorf also boasts beautiful parks, walking trails, and gardens, creating a serene environment for a leisurely family stroll. Additionally, you’ll find galleries, cellar doors, and unique stores selling handmade crafts and local products.
13. St Kilda Adventure Playground
The St Kilda Adventure Playground is a massive play area with towering slides, obstacle courses and countless opportunities for kids to have a blast.
There are also plenty of picnic tables and shaded areas for parents to relax in whilst their children have fun.
14. Adelaide Central Market
The Adelaide Central Market is a must-visit destination on your Adelaide Family Holiday.
Established in 1869, this vibrant marketplace is a foodie’s paradise, showcasing the diverse flavours of South Australia. Visiting it is a sensory delight, with stalls brimming with fresh produce, gourmet delicacies, international cuisine and artisanal goods. Families can indulge in tastings, shop for unique ingredients, and explore the bustling atmosphere.
The market also hosts events and food festivals throughout the year, so check the calendar for special family-friendly activities.
15. Art Gallery of South Australia
Ignite your family’s creativity with a visit to the Art Gallery of South Australia.
The gallery often hosts family-friendly exhibitions and workshops and is an excellent place to come when it’s raining or the heat of the day gets too unbearable.
More Tips For Visiting Adelaide
- When you arrive in Adelaide, pop by the Visitor Information Centre for maps, brochures, and advice from locals. You’ll find it in the heart of the CBD at Pirie Street, and the staff there can help you tailor your activities to suit your family’s preferences.
- If you have more time, consider taking a day trip from Adelaide to the Barossa Valley – renowned for its world-class wineries and charming small towns.
Continuing Your Aussie Road Trip From Adelaide
Adelaide makes for a fabulous base city for exploring the southern half of Australia all the way through to the Red Centre. We’d recommend reading up next on:
- Easy day trips and weekenders to make from Adelaide with this superb collection of South Australian road trips
- Allow yourselves at least a week to explore the stunning Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, around 2000km of stunning coastal beauty and pristine beaches
- For a truly epic Australian adventure, take on the Adelaide to Darwin drive through the Red Centre, taking in Uluru and Alice Springs on your way.
© Family Road Trip