Top Ten Things To Do With Kids For FREE In Adelaide

If you live in Adelaide, or even if you are just visiting, it is always great to find fun things to do for all the family. But it is even better when they are FREE!

We’ve been back in our home city of Adelaide, South Australia in December, and we have some great tips we’d love to share with you too.

Free in Adelaide? Yes! There are many things to do that are free and suitable for kids too.

Why are we back in Adelaide?

Our family is here, my father is over ninety years old, and it is an important time for us to return home for a surprise visit. Plus it’s lovely to reunite with family and friends. Plus, my son gets to catch up with his school mates before they may venture to new high schools.

Being back in Adelaide means that it is a great time to also see all that has changed since we first left on our world adventure many years ago. We’ve lived back in Adelaide for a couple of years but now have moved to Queensland.  And even better, being back in Adelaide means we get the opportunity to revisit places we have not seen for a while.

So we’ve put together a list of …

Top Ten Things To Do With Kids


In Adelaide


©Exploramum and Explorason – Fresh fruits are readily available at the Adelaide Central Market

1. Adelaide Central Market

After my many visits to the Adelaide Central Market, I would simply refer to it as a ‘foodies’ paradise. Traders here will tell you that whatever you fail to see in the market probably does not exist in Adelaide. Fortunately, every food, fruit, and drink seem to be here. This is a place where kids would greatly appreciate world schooling. You really do not have to spend a cent if you did not plan for it and even the parking can be free if you stay for under an hour.  You really do not have to spend a cent if you did not plan for it and even the parking can be free if you stay for under an hour.

It’s a great place for us to stock up on healthy fruit and vegetables whilst we are house sitting too.

However, just ensure that you are loaded with some cash since the food products are likely to make you feel angry even if you visited the market after a meal. The market is quite relaxed on weekdays but get crazily on weekends. So you might need to choose a day that is appropriate and convenient for you.

2. Adelaide Botanic Gardens

If you desire to spend a good part of your day in a serene environment, then the Adelaide Botanic Gardens is the best place to be in. Your kids will love the wide species of plant life from Australia and other parts of the world.

You might want to try visiting the garden during different seasons. At least you will know what happens to some of the plant species in summer and the changes they undergo in winter, spring and autumn.

One of my favourite plant species is the ones from Madagascar. I just love the way the bloom.

If your visit coincides with amazing events like The Food Festival, then the experience would be greater, and your kids would add a smile to their already smiley faces.

Free in Adelaide

©Exploramum and Explorason – Even Adelaide has a China Town and food is affordable and fabulous

3. Chinatown

I love the fact that Adelaide’s China Town is small since it allows you to take a quick look inside, learn more about Asian food and if you are willing to spend, buy some of these Asian foods. They are unique and quite delicious. It is nice that the town is just next to Central Market since this means that you get to visit two amazing places within a short time. It is truly a double experience for you and your kids.

They are unique and quite delicious. It is nice that the town is just next to Central Market since this means that you get to visit two amazing places within a short time. It is truly a double experience for you and your kids.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Adelaide has great art

4. Art Gallery of South Australia

This is where creativity is redefined, and the mind is made to think harder. If you are artistic or just love the artwork they will enjoy every step you make within this art gallery.

Adelaide is home to the arts and also is the birthplace of many great artists too.  I do like the fact that it is free, meaning that anyone can access it as many times as possible. The exhibitions are unique and can only be spotted in such a famous Australian Gallery. You and your kids have opportunities to be creative and explore other fields of creativity.


©Exploramum and Explorason – a trip on the tram can be FREE so I’m told

5. Glenelg Tram and Glenelg Foreshore

The Glenelg Tram is an icon in South Australia and an inexpensive way to travel to the beach. Along the way, you can see breathtaking sceneries that can only be spotted in Adelaide. One great thing about Glenelg Tram is that I’ve been told there is a hidden secret.  You can enjoy parts of Jetty Road are free. You also get to ride for FREE from South Terrace to Adelaide’s Entertainment Centre. As you would expect, it is very clean and is operated in a convenient and timely interval.

Malls Balls

©Exploramum and Explorason – visit the Rundle Mall

6. The Rundle Mall Pigs and Malls Balls

While on a walking tour, you are likely to come across these pigs. However, if you fail to bump into them, you might want to plan a trip at the site. It is a great place for taking funny pictures and sealing your memories of a great adventure in South Australia. It is just awesome and funny to see the pigs do what pigs do best.

This would be perfect for animal lovers as well as those who don’t love them. The creativity in making them and the fact that you can never see such creativity in any other part of the world is just amazing.

Don’t forget to have a photo taken near the world-famous ‘Malls Balls’.

Adelaide Zoo

©Exploramum and Explorason – walk along the River Torrens to the Adelaide Zoo

7. State Library of South Australia

There is a zero-entry cost into this Library. For the times we have visited it, we have met students and professionals who visit to be educated on the history of Australia. This is actually the main resource centre for every member of the public wishing to conduct research on the history of South Australia. The records here are in consumable formats which include photographs, sound recordings, and prints. So don’t expect to get bored.

Waterfall Gully

©Exploramum and Explorason – don’t miss Waterfall Gully

8. Waterfall Gully

There’s one major waterfall, plus a series of smaller waterfalls as you walk along the trails. You will have to be careful not to trip into the water since the rocks are very slippery.

As a parent, just make sure that your children concentrate more on their steps as they are wowed by the beauty of these waterfalls. It is advisable that you get here as early as you can since there is a very small car park that only accommodates a few cars. If you miss it, then you might have to park far away from the waterfalls, meaning that you will be forced to walk a longer distance before you get there. There is a café at Waterfall Gully too where you and your family can have a drink and some hot scones after the hike.

While I encourage people to hike up the Mt. Lofty, I would like to be cautious and warn you against going up with your kids. It is really not safe since there are parts that are very steep as you climb up. Maybe you can just do a tiny part of the climb. And I mean tiny. Just for the experience?


©Exploramum and Explorason – hiking and walking tours are often free

9. Walking Tours

If you know so much about Adelaide, then this is probably the best gift you can give to your children. Take them on a walking tour and show them some of the major historic structures and figures or a stroll along the River Torrens or Glenelg foreshore. Ensure that they are comfortable dressed in comfortable shoes if this walk is to be work every step made. You might need some sunglasses and a cap if the walk happens to be on a sunny day.

If you stroll along the River Torrens you might want to fork out a few dollars and take a ride on the famous boat ‘Popeye’ to the Adelaide Zoo or have fun near the fountain with some paddle boats.

I would advise you to set goals and make the walk even more enjoyable by giving them challenges along the way or after the whole experience. You will need to take a lunch or coffee break at some point during the walk. It is beyond any doubt that being a tour guide is less costly than hiring someone else to guide you back into the history of Australia.


©Exploramum and Explorason – 2011 – A trip to the city of Adelaide

10. Adelaide Arcade

Your children need to understand how it was, shopping in the olden days. Every time I access the Adelaide Arcade, so much run within my mind as I remember the many times my family shopped in such buildings during my early years of life. My son is always curious to ask me questions that me alone, and many other older members of the society can answer without referring to books of history (now that makes me sound old!)

This arcade has vintage-looking shops that satisfy the eyes even if you fail to buy anything.

Strolling around Adelaide city has been a favourite thing for us to do since Explorason was a small boy. It’s nice to be back for a while and to have trips into the city where we stop once more and take in the history, or just to stop at a favourite cafe for a drink – just like the good ol’ days.

Norht Terrace

©Exploramum and Explorason – Adelaide city is great for young and not so young and North Terrace has loads to see and do for FREE

Bonus Tip

Head out to McLaren Vale – Read our McLaren Vale tips here and you can even visit a winery where you can feed the kangaroos for FREE too.


Questions and Comments

  • What are some of the fun activities loved by your kid (s)?
  • On your tour of Adelaide, which is that one place you would never fail to visit?
  • Free event vs charged events; which ones do you do more?
  • We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these. Tell us in the comment section below.


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