Going on an Adelaide trip and want to know all the fun things to do in Adelaide for kids? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the best family activities Adelaide offers to plan your ultimate trip.
South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, is world-famous for its festivals, incredible food and premium wine regions. Yet, there’s a plethora of things to do with kids. Adelaide has modern playgrounds and challenging activities for older kids, fabulous wildlife encounters and innumerable outdoors experiences, and is a city that is fast becoming known as the lifestyle-capital of Australia.
Originally inhabited by the Kaurna tribe, the area was known as Tandanya – meaning Place of the Red Kangaroo. Fast forward to 1836 and the birth of today’s modern city, Adelaide was named after the wife of King George IV. Today the city is home to around 1.3 million people and is split over 400 suburbs including beachy Glenelg, Port Adelaide, Henley Beach, West Beach and the CBD (Central Business District) to name but a few!
With so much to offer families we’ve selected and reviewed our Top 24 Fun Things To Do In Adelaide with Kids. Yet, there’s still much more such as visiting the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, Zone Bowling at Woodville, taking a skate at IceArenA – South Australia’s premier ice skating facility – or draining the kid’s energy levels with a few hours at Bounce, Adelaide’s massive indoor trampoline park!
So whether you’re looking for baby activities Adelaide, things to do with toddlers in Adelaide or Adelaide attractions for families with children of different ages, we’ve got you covered!
Below, you will find our list of the top kids activities Adelaide offers with the best toddler activities Adelaide has for youngsters, exactly what to do in Adelaide with kids as well as the most fun things for kids to do in Adelaide for your ultimate holiday!! There is also a handy map of the top things to do in Adelaide for families.
Top 24 Fun Things To Do In Adelaide For Kids: Best Family Activities Adelaide
Here are the fun family things to do in Adelaide. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.
Explore The South Australian Museum
One of the top things to do in Adelaide with family, the South Australian Museum is a natural history museum and research institution that was founded way back in 1856. Home to the largest Australian Aboriginal cultural collection, this renowned museum is super educational for your kids, yet super fun too!
Marketed as a place where “families can learn and grow together”, it doesn’t disappoint. Five floors filled with galleries await your discovery. Perhaps inspiring your little ones to be future biologists, botanists, scientists or open their eyes to palaeontology or Aboriginal heritage.
The only problem is where to start, with 30,000 individual artefacts in the Aboriginal section alone, which includes stunning artwork and ceremonial materials. Our kids perhaps most enjoyed the land and marine wildlife of the South Australian displays, thanks to all the touch screens and interactive elements.
Other galleries include Pacific Cultures, Megafauna, Opalised Fossils, Polar, Ediacaran, Minerals and the Ancient Egyptian Room. The latter was another firm favourite of ours, as it’s very atmospheric. Said to have changed very little since first established in 1939, the gallery was full of interesting facts on burial rituals, along with a stunning sarcophagus and mummy.
All together, the items in the Ancient Egypt gallery form part of the museum’s Foreign Ethnology Collection, said to hold 22,000 items from the Pacific, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas!
There’s a wicked Giant Squid Gallery with an 11-metre long model that extends over four floors. There’s also a lovely area devoted to whales and dolphins that includes an 18-metre sperm whale skeleton (don’t miss this!), and a World Mammals gallery that is perhaps the most popular section of the museum. Filled with mammals from Eurasia, Asia, Africa and the Americas, specimens are a mixture of new and old, including an Indian elephant over 100 years old.
Oh, and make sure you drop by the out-of-this-world Meteorites gallery, where you can touch meteorites that have passed through the atmosphere. Great for your budding astronomers.
There’s something here for all kids – whether they’re obsessed with insects or other creepy crawlers, the night sky, creatures of the deep, the history of Australia… And so much is hands-on or interactive. This is really a place for learning, mixed in with a heavy dose of fun!
It’s not surprising to learn that this is one of the most visited museums in all of Australia. There are free tours which take you around the museum’s highlights and a little cafe for a coffee and bite to eat when your feet need a rest. And you’ll find that nothing is done to small measure at the Museum, with even the shop having over 10,000 items on sale!
Whether you’re Australian or a tourist, there’s so much to learn and enjoy here. Younger kids will definitely find the scale of the museum too much to cope with. Thus, select a few of the more interesting galleries to explore, but older children will be captivated by everything and you can easily spend the better part of a day here, making this our top pick of cheap things to do in Adelaide with kids. Or on a rainy day don’t get left wondering what to do in Adelaide, kids look no further, as this museum rocks!
Located at the North Terrace, the museum is currently open 10am-5pm daily. Discover more here.
Admire The Nature And Animals In Adelaide Zoo
The second oldest zoo in Australia, this iconic attraction first opened in 1883. Generations of Australians have since visited the zoo, making it one of the top places to go in Adelaide with kids and you can be sure there’s always something fun happening here!
2,500 animals from 250 species of exotic and native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, are exhibited in stunning botanic surroundings. Sure, these days we all feel that animals are best left in the wild, but to give your children a chance for up-close encounters – such as feeding African lions or hilarious penguins, meeting Wang Wang the panda at the Bamboo Forest Pavilion, coming face-to-face with a Sumatran tiger, holding a stick insect, or hanging out with playful orangutans – there’s really nothing that beats a day at the Zoo for kids!
And Adelaide Zoo ticks all the boxes, being well managed and well maintained – a green oasis where you feel you’re almost stepping into another world. An intimate zoo experience that keeps kids fascinated, curious, and comes with a large dose of fun too as the management are always thinking out of the box for ideas to make a visit unforgettable. Join a free daily Keeper tour, exclusive behind the scenes animal experiences, Keeper Talks, and special Adelaide Zoo free Walkabout Tours that depart throughout the day.
Check out the Variety Children’s Zoo. We were lucky to arrive just after this new area had opened and the kids loved it! “Interactive” doesn’t really cover it… you’re surrounded by playfully stubborn goats walking balance beams, playing on seesaws, climbing ladders, and – even weirder – chickens playing musical instruments! ….and there are wonderful presentations from the staff that demonstrate the relationship between humans and animals, aiming to educate younger kids how to treat their pets at home. A delightful place and lots of fun, and a real highlight of things to do with toddlers Adelaide!
Almost adjacent to the Variety Children’s Zoo is Nature’s Playground, with various challenging slides, climbing frames, trampolines and swings that are great for kids of all ages. Tired parents can relax at Wisteria Restaurant overlooking the playground with fresh drinks and snacks.
But if you’re looking for something extra special, be sure to contact Adelaide Zoo to tailor-make your day for you, including animal encounters and intimate guided tours. Check here for more details.
Adelaide Zoo is open from 9.30am-5pm every day of the year, including Christmas.
Located on Frome Road near the River Torrens, you can arrive by self-drive (with limited metered parking and no parking at the zoo itself), by bus number 271 or 273 from Currie Street, by bike along the Torrens Linear Park cycle path or by boat. Popeye boats (more below) are privately owned recreational ferries that operate on the adjacent River Torrens between Elder Park and Adelaide Zoo. Definitely a nice touch to your day at the zoo, as arriving by river boat was a great thrill for our younger kids!
Take A Wander Around Cleland Wildlife Park
Let your kids know that today they’ll be visiting one of only a handful of places in the world where they’re allowed to hold a koala! Definitely a special treat and one of the more unique Adelaide attractions for kids.
Cleland Wildlife Park is a must-visit Adelaide attraction that offers a different wildlife experience to that of Adelaide Zoo, as you’re surrounded by free-roaming animals in a sprawling 35-hectare bushland park.
A large number of South Australia’s captivating wildlife are on display here, with children able to hand feed kangaroos as they laze in the wetlands and get up close to wallabies, wombats, bettongs and dingoes. With the majority of animals accustomed to people, many can be patted or fed. Bird life is prolific, with native, water and forest birds in abundance. You’ll see stunning butterflies, colourful lizards and in the rocks perhaps even snakes!
You can enjoy walking the park and petting animals, or partake in any number of arranged experiences including Breakfast with the Birds, Night Walks (discovering a whole world of nocturnal creatures), Butterfly Experience at what is South Australia’s only Butterfly Enclosure, an extremely fun Cockatoo Experience (such cheeky buggers!) and a feeding time with waddling, hungry pelicans and an exploration of the Wetlands.
There are special Kids Experiences and self-guided trails specifically designed for children. These bring them in contact with wildlife and plants, whilst learning about the importance of parks in our world.
As we visited in the school holidays, our older kids tried Wildification – a full day of organised games, scavenger hunts and animal encounters. Honestly, I’ve never seen them so engrossed in activities or so full of stories on the ride back to the hotel!
Located in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, only 20 minutes from the centre of town, there are free BBQ facilities, helping you to make this a cheap Adelaide half day trip. Two hours is about right for exploring the park, unless you want to try out a specific experience. Kids adore petting and feeding the animals, and the park keepers stroll alongside whilst keeping you all amused with stories, making this high on our top 10 things to do in Adelaide with kids.
Similar to Adelaide Zoo, Cleland is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day. Currently open from 9.30am-5pm, it’s worth double-checking online before arriving or pre-purchase your tickets here. And download the park map here to start planning your visit, and don’t forget a good pair of walking shoes!
Cleland Wildlife Park is part of the Cleland Conservation Park which also includes Mt Lofty Summit and the scenic Waterfall Gully – all of which can be explored by an extensive network of walking and cycling trails. In fact, the 4.5km trail between Waterfall Gully and Mt Lofty Summit is one of South Australia’s most popular hikes. With around 1,500 species of native plants, such as orchids, ferns, gum trees, herbs, lilies, grasses and rushes in the region, plus a large number of birds, reptiles, mammals and fish, this stunning ecosystem is spectacular.
Mount Lofty summit – at 727 metres above sea level – offers sweeping vistas across the Adelaide Plains and Gulf St Vincent. Whilst Waterfall Gully is the largest of several waterfalls in the park and can be reached by a steep footpath. Together with your older children, add on this approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes walk after your time at Cleland Wildlife Park, giving you a full day out at Cleland.
Have A Fun Day Out At Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Looking for things to do in Adelaide City with kids? Then why not take a cool stroll through the heart of the city at Adelaide Botanic Gardens. This wonderful 50-acres oasis of historic gardens first opened in 1857 and features some of Australia’s finest plant collections.
Not specifically aimed at kids, the gorgeous trails are ideal for your energetic youngsters and nature lovers. Plan out a couple of hours visit or make a full day of it, as the magnificently maintained gardens and stunning architecture will definitely enthrall all the family.
Gardens come in many flavours, such as wetlands with information that explains how essential and useful these are for maintaining a healthy environment. There’s the Garden of Health which showcases over 2,500 healing plants and promotes wellbeing in western and non-western cultures. And an epic five-zoned Mediterranean Garden and a stunning International Rose Garden.
Our kids enjoyed the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden. Seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown, with education presented on compost, worms, and native bee hotels. There’s a sense of fun in the design of the plant beds, with the kids free to explore and busy running around discovering the shapes. And we all particularly liked the Cactus Garden, with some really odd looking plants!
No visit is complete without a stroll through the Bicentennial Conservatory. You’ll probably notice this as you fly into Adelaide, as it’s a landmark building that sparkles in the sunlight. Extremely atmospheric inside, the kids loved the lush rainforest displays, with walkways high into the trees.
My personal favourite was Palm House, filled with ancient plants from Madagascar. The building itself is exquisite – a Victorian glasshouse – that dates back to 1875 and is said to be the only one left in existence.
For budding botanists, there’s nothing more splendid than an hour or so at the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, also found within the grounds. Holding an amazing collection – that dates back 130 years – the interior transports you back in time. Rows of beautifully lit cabinets display endless collections that leave you dreaming of following in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough. Open from 10am daily, there’s free entry here.
You’ll probably be hungry by now, so head over to the Botanic Gardens Restaurant that serves fresh food, helped by veggies and herbs from the gardens. Or you can grab a quick snack at the Gardens Kiosk, or a coffee and glass of wine at Cafe Fibonacci.
Throughout the gardens you’ll find colourful birds such as ducks and swans, which were another highlight for our kids. And guided walks are available daily at 1030am from the Visitor Information Centre at the Schomburgk Pavilion, or you can simply wander the self-guided marked trails.
But the best thing is that throughout the Gardens – except for some of the heritage buildings – admission is free, which makes this high on our list of free things to do in Adelaide with kids!
Take Haigh’s Chocolate Tour
Probably not difficult to get the kids out of bed, showered and ready to go early today… Just mention that you’re heading to South Australia’s iconic Haigh’s Chocolate factory!
Free self-guided tours take you through the history of Haigh’s and how this fourth generation family-owned company has been making premium chocolates since 1915. Starting with cocoa beans – from plantations across the world – you’ll learn how their clever team of confectioners creatively hand finish the delicious chocolates.
And yes, there’s tastings at the end of the tour, and a shop selling their famous truffles, fudges and bars. Altogether making this a firm favourite of things to do with family in Adelaide!
This visitor centre and factory is located at the edge of Adelaide’s parklands, just a short drive south of the city centre at 154 Greenhill Road, Parkside.
Usually offering Guided Tours, these weren’t available when we visited due to COVID restrictions. It’s therefore best to check their website for latest updates but, no worries, as you can always self-tour… and the chocolates taste just as good either way!
Recommended for children over five years of age, under fives, however, can be accommodated.
Go On A Tree Climbing Adventure At TreeClimb
Grab your teens and tweens today, as we’re off to aerial adventure park TreeClimb Adelaide. One of the city’s newest attractions, you’ll need full energy levels to tackle what’s coming! But in truth, whether you’re 3 years old or a well-seasoned adventure thrill-seeker, there’s something here for you as TreeClimb is one of the most fun places to go in Adelaide for kids!
Climb, swing, walk your way around six elevated tree-walk courses, through and over 70 obstacles, and wiz along several zip lines… Tarzan and Jane look out, as you’ve got competition!
Covering a massive area, the park is seriously impressive. With most of the adventure taking place up in the trees, you do need to feel pretty good about heights. Yet little kids can have a great time too, as long as they are 3 years old and over 100cm tall. It’s quite amazing to see kids of 4 and 5 years old tackling the course, putting some of the adults to shame!
Speaking of which, an adult must always be on hand if their child is on the course but it’s probably best you actually get stuck in, joining in with them instead of supporting them from the ground. This is family fun for all ages, so add it to your list of things for toddlers to do in Adelaide outdoors.
If you’re new to ropes and this type of adventure course, there’s no problem as trained staff will assist with the harness and run you through a short training course.
All together there are 3 children’s courses, with 24 tree top activities which progressively get harder from easy Yellow, to moderate Orange, through to the challenging Blue course. And parents must supervise/support their children up to 14 years of age.
After that, from 15 years, just try and keep up with them on the Grand Course with zip-lines, a tarzan swing, flying carpet and even a trapeze! Again split into different levels, the Grand Course goes from Green, Blue, Red and to super-challenging Black. …all for climbers above 135cm in height.
Located at Kurrangga Park, on the corner of Greenhill and Unley Roads, add at least a half day here into your family Adelaide itinerary as it’s one of the most fun things for kids in Adelaide!
Get Locked Into Adelaide Gaol
You know how you’re always threatening the kids that you’ll put them in jail if they don’t behave… well, today’s that day!
Adelaide Gaol is one of the two oldest standing buildings in South Australia and comes with a wealth of stories that are often spooky and sufficiently grisly to keep your older kids enthralled. It’s easy to imagine the inmates walking the hallways, and the cells provide an eerie look into what life was like for the almost 300,000 prisoners that once called this “home”.
Operating as long ago as 1841 through to 1988, the Gaol is ripe for a guided ghost tour. Dare your teenagers to tag along as your guide does his best to scare you with tales of old. But we decided to take a less heart-beating option, simply enjoying a self-guided tour of the Gaol.
There are lots of signs and information boards to explain things as you go around, and riveting stories from ex-inmates that explain the harsh conditions they experienced in Adelaide’s early settlement days. Oh, and lots of stories of hangings, burials, ghost sightings and more, to keep teenagers wide-eyed at the thought of it all!
We’d recommend allocating around 2-3 hours as there’s really a lot to take in (including a wonderful Mugshot Exhibition when we dropped by, with letters of confession and execution notices).
Open from 10am-4pm, 7 days a week, it’s located at 18 Gaol Road.
You can also take a Ghost Tour of Adelaide Gaol – book here.
Time to hit the beach, shop, dine and simply chill out at Glenelg, a beach-side suburb of Adelaide. Once the oldest European settlement on mainland South Australia, the area was named after Lord Glenelg of the British Cabinet.
Fast-forward to modern times, and Glenelg is a popular tourist destination that’s home to some terrific hotels. There’s rather a lot of high-rise development, so don’t expect a sleepy little town. There’s also a sweeping marina that’s usually filled with exotic yachts and speedboats.
A novelty of the suburb is the Glenelg Tram Line that runs from Moseley Square, along Jetty Road to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Dating back to 1873, the trams give the roads a European feel and our kids loved the novelty of jumping on and off them!
However, we spent most of our time at the beach, just hanging out playing (cricket!) on the sand and swimming in the super-clear water. There’s a pier to explore, gelati (ice-cream) to taste, and the beach is a perfect spot for watching the setting sun. Cast a fishing line off the jetty to try your luck and keep an eye out at dusk for dolphins. Glenelg is full of free things to do in Adelaide for kids and one of the most scenic suburbs full of things for families to do in Adelaide.
If you want to get out on the ocean, you can sail around the bay at sunset and to the north there’s an artificial lake that’s great for boating. Our older kids took a Segway tour along the foreshore which they raved about, whilst we explored the boutique-style shops along Jetty Road, and were pulled into some of the cool entertainment places by our younger kids! We finished the afternoon at a lovely sidewalk cafe.
In the evening, we found the sidewalk along the foreshore was alive with locals and visitors, all searching out restaurants and checking out the shops. We dined right on the beach under fairy lights with the waves crashing in the background. A wonderful day!
Glenelg is a gorgeous beachside suburb of Adelaide, definitely one of our favourite spots in the city. In fact our day here was probably the one that we enjoyed most altogether as a family. There’s a wonderful beach vibe, with a tranquil atmosphere and some of the cheapest family activities in Adelaide – and riding the tram was a blast! The kids adored the beach and we had one of our best meals of the trip along Jetty Road.
Take A Ride At The Beachhouse
Whilst you’re in Glenelg don’t miss The Beachhouse… your kids will never forgive you!
This is your one-stop fun destination with rides and attractions galore! All age groups – young and old – will have a blast here, with entertainment for everyone. There’s Soli Italian Formula 1 Dodgem Cars, blaster boats, a historic 120-year old Carousel, a western themed 18 hole mini golf course, a ridiculously tall 5 mini-story play castle and a train for your younger kids!
There’s also 3 fully-enclosed heated waterslides – great for something to do on a rainy day in Adelaide! And after all that fun, you’ll be needing something to eat and drink from the onsite Cafe. Hot cinnamon donuts, baguettes, fairy floss and homemade ice cream are on the menu, along with espresso’s for the adults. You’ll be needing a coffee shot to keep up with the kids!
With no bookings required and no entry fee, this is a firm favourite of attractions in Adelaide for kids. Located at Colley Terrace, Glenelg, it’s currently open Friday-Monday, 10:30am-4pm. Get ready for lots of fun!
Play West Beach Mini Golf
One of the most popular Adelaide family attractions and things to do for kids in Adelaide, West Beach Mini Golf will sort the duffers from the pros in your family!
Prepare for lots of fun at this 18-hole course, with some fun but challenging holes. And if you’re lucky enough to net a hole-in-one you’ll receive a certificate. But golf is perhaps only half the fun, as the kids will adore the life size pirates, sharks, gorilla and giraffe that can be found around the course, plus the resident “Cosi” – the world’s largest Crocodile.
With an overall nautical theme, you’ll find turtles and pelicans too. Plus, as always, there’s some snacks and drinks available – including some good beers and wines, and for the kids ice-creams and, supposedly, the “world’s best hotdogs”… well, they were pretty yummy!
Dare we say, this is fun for the “hole” family! A great way to spend an afternoon with the family in Adelaide.
Located at Hamra Avenue, 1 West Beach, the attraction is currently open 7-days a week from 9:30am until evening. Check the website for exact closing times and any changes due to the weather, but it’s almost always open! No bookings required.
West Beach, just 8 kilometres (20 minutes) from Adelaide and 4 kilometres from Glenelg, is jam-packed with fun attractions for the young at heart, including bike paths, bmx tracks, a kiteboarding school, SUP rental and has a calm beach with shaded picnic areas and playgrounds. And don’t forget to check out our reviews below of The Wedgie and Mega Adventure Park – both also found at West Beach.
Reach For The Sky At Mega Adventure Park
Mega Adventure Park in West Beach is simply that… MEGA! Our kids are still talking about our day out here. So if you have confident youngsters be sure to include at least a half day at this fabulous park that’s fast becoming the most trendy of kids things to do in Adelaide!
So, where to start – the ropes course? Believe me, this is the mother of all rope courses! The MegaClimb at Mega Adventure Park is unlike anything you or your kids have tackled before. Strap into your harness and be guided across, over, through and under more than 70 thrilling obstacles, all of which can be tackled at your own level and speed.
Fancy a game of tennis or rowing a boat in the sky? Or perhaps want to see who’s the strongest in the family with a Gladiator battle? Swing from monkey bars, walk on tiptoe across slithers of balance beams, slack lines and tightropes, ride a BMX bike at ridiculous heights or take a seat at the sky-high picnic table! And if you’re still full of bravado, there’s the ultimate challenge with a leap of faith from the MegaJump at the end of the course… Up you go, 30 metres to the top of the Crow’s Nest before tackling the MegaJump!
Who hasn’t seen the YouTube videos of people whizzing through the air from a giant catapult! Well, here’s your chance to try something similar with the Giant Swing. Strap in, say your goodbyes… and then wait as you’re lifted 18 meters into the air before pulling the ripcord and launching yourselves into the swing! Travelling at speeds of up to 60km an hour, this is one for your dare-devil teenagers! Heart-in-the-throat moment assured as riders are hurtled towards the ground before swinging in a gentle arc to slow down. I most definitely did not try this!
MegaBounce is another great thrill with old trampolines transformed into modern attractions that launch you more than 8 metres into the air while performing flips and somersaults! Perhaps you’re beginning to realise why our children found Mega Adventure Park the pick of things to do in Adelaide today with kids!
Too young to tackle the MegaClimb? No worries, as younger children aren’t forgotten. If you’re 90-140cm you can tackle the fantastic Kids Course. Faced with ten exciting challenges and ending with a mini zipline, this is perfect for your younger monkeys! And better still, it’s conveniently located next to the onsite cafe so you can shout words of encouragement whilst relaxing over a coffee. Definitely a highlight of things to do in Adelaide for toddlers… your daring and fearless toddlers!
And finally, there’s SkyWalk. For all ages and heights (no harness required here), you can take in the views, watch your family on the MegaClimb, or climb the 83 steps to the highest platform.
Height and weight restrictions apply across most activities – check here for details. And don’t forget to wear comfortable, sensible clothing – sportswear is ideal – and cover your shoulders and upper thighs where the harness will sit.
Safety is paramount and we found the harness and gear to be of high standard, and the staff ever so helpful throughout all the activities. This is one of the best unique family activities in Adelaide.
Get The Big Wedgie
Wedgie: an uncomfortable tightening of the underpants between the buttocks, typically produced when someone pulls the underpants up from the back as a prank. …well, prepare yourself for a self-inflicted Big Wedgie at West Beach Parks!
This family-friendly inflatable waterslide is epic size… world-record holding, in fact! Standing at a whopping 18.2 metres tall and 82 metres long, a 55-degree slope is produced that as you slide down leaves your stomach way behind you! Three lanes are available, making it great for some in-family competition, seeing who can race to the bottom quickest.
And if that’s not enough, next to the Big Wedgie is the Big Chucka. The most extreme slide imaginable, you’re in for another great wedgie with an 80-degree plunge, throwing some riders up to 9 metres into the air before landing on the bouncy inflatable. Hollywood stuntmen move aside!
Your younger children aren’t forgotten as the Just Right Wedgie is great for all kids 3 years and upwards. A perfect waterslide that they’ll want to do again and again! And if they’re really not confident, let your 3-5 year olds tackle the Little Wedgie, the smallest of all the rides, or the Little Skidda slip n slide inflatable. Heaps of fun and you’re bound to get some terrific photos… making this top of our list of things to do in Adelaide with a toddler in tow!
Height and weight rules apply, but be sure to ring before visiting to double check opening times as unfortunately we found it closed despite a big sign and the website stating they were open all through the school holidays.
Swim And Splash At Waterworld Aquatic Centre
Wondering what things to do in Adelaide, kid friendly for all age groups? Ridgehaven is the Adelaide Suburb that’s home to Waterworld Aquatic Centre. Approximately 15 kilometres from Adelaide CBD, your toddlers and preschoolers will have loads of fun here.
Featuring heated pools – a 50m lap pool and learners pool – the highlights are the various slides that resemble massive colourful snakes. The racing slides and curly slides make for a great thrill, along with an interactive splash pad and toddler pool for your youngest kids.
There’s picnic tables, BBQ pits, drinking fountains, toilets, showers and lockers. So if you don’t fancy the beach for a day or are looking for more entertainment than just a swim, drop by Waterworld for a couple of hours of great family fun!
Race Against Time In Escape Hunt
We found quite a few escape rooms in Adelaide – Adventure Rooms, Mindshift and Escaplex – but the one we enjoyed the most was Escape Hunt. Brilliantly imaginative games, in great themed rooms, right in the middle of Adelaide at Rundle Mall, the attention to detail is awesome; you can really get lost in the experience!
We all played Great White Killer where we had to free ourselves from a locked shark cage before the sharks came to get us! And our eldest kids played The Deadly Discovery where they were tasked with rescuing a deadly scientist before his secret formula was stolen.
We find these immersive games loads of fun, a highlight of things to do in Adelaide at night with kids and really great bonding for the family. Yet, we’ve never “escaped” one yet!
When we get back to Adelaide I’m keen to try Esc Rooms – the newest escape room venue that has two movie-themed rooms. One, from horror epic Saw sounds truly awful (older kids will love it!), and the Hangover Room sounds much more suited for me!
Hop On A River Cruise With The Famous Popeye Boat
There’s something fun about getting out on water – whether it’s a lake, a river or the sea. It’s almost a family vacation prerequisite for us; no holiday is complete without some form of boat ride… and in Adelaide it’s all about the Popeye boats!
A Popeye river cruise is an iconic Adelaide thing to do and a fabulous fun family attraction in Adelaide. Launched on Torrens Lake in 1935, the first Popeye boat was built on the banks of the River Torrens and held 20 passengers.
These days the Popeye boats are privately owned recreational ferries, mostly operating between Elder Park and Adelaide Zoo. And, as mentioned earlier, it’s a wonderful way to arrive or depart from the zoo, but they can also be enjoyed in many other ways. Private cruises, sightseeing cruises and – our choice – a Devonshire Tea cruise – run on a regular basis, with each lasting for around 45-minutes and departing from Elder Park.
You’ll enjoy a leisurely float down the beautiful river, having a front row seat of the view. Snaking through the heart of the city the River Torrens takes you gently past famous Adelaide attractions, such as the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Adelaide Gaol.
Live commentary keeps you amused, whilst supplying interesting snippets about the history of the area, and you can then choose to disembark towards the end of the cruise to see Adelaide Zoo or the Botanic Gardens. There’s a slick of cake, a South Australian-made drink, or on the Devonshire Tea Cruise yummy scones with cream and jam. There’s a licensed bar too if you fancy a glass of bubbly!
Other cruise options include Popeye Gin Cruise, Popeye Kangaroo Island Spirits Tasting Tour and Popeye Afternoon Tea.
And, as you have the kids in tow, why not hang around and spend some time on the Torrens River enjoying pedal powered fun, with Captain Jolley’s Paddle Boats. Seating 2 people, they supply life jackets even for your youngest kids.
However you choose to cruise, there’s lots of time for photos, all the while soaking up the serene atmosphere of the city and river views, making this one of the more relaxing things to do with the kids in Adelaide. Learn more and book your tickets here.
Enjoy Grilled Lunch Over The Waters Of River Torrens With BBQ Buoy’s Doughnut Boats
Your kids will adore this one and it’s a unique slice of Aussie fun – boats shaped like doughnuts that spin you around the River Torrens as you enjoy a great BBQ and a few bevvies. A top hit with our family, we enjoyed grilling on the water and the splendid views. Plus the kids enjoyed randomly spinning us around!
Marketed as Adelaide’s most spectacular boat ride, they might well be right. Self-driven, doughnut-shaped boats with sun umbrellas, blue-tooth speakers, and the all important cool box and BBQ, are a fun way to explore the river.
Fitting up to 10 people per boat – but that might be a little cramped – the doughnuts come with either a BBQ and/or a table in the middle. There’s a wide selection of drinks – for adults and the kids – and you can bring your own food to grill or purchase one of their food packages. Sail at brunch, across lunchtime or make an evening of it by grilling up your BBQ dinner under the night sky.
Children from 12 years old to infants must wear lifejackets at all times (provided) and there’s help on hand for when you set off, explaining how to use the simple boat.
Such a unique and fun Adelaide thing to do, you really can’t go wrong with this one! Depart from Pinky Flat, War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide (near to Elder Park and Adelaide Oval). But keep in mind that there’s no swimming and no feeding of the local wildlife, but lots of fun! Check out all the details here.
Let’s be honest, all the best kid friendly things to do in Adelaide are the ones that the parents can enjoy too!
Slide Down The Slopes At Woodhouse Activity Centre
You’re off to Piccadilly in the Adelaide Hills for this one, an outdoor adventure destination just 15 minutes from the city. Surrounded by bushland, kids of all ages enjoy the back-to-nature obstacles, tube slides, orienteering courses and a giant split-level maze!
Get ready for lots of fresh air, plus slides, climbing, swinging, jumping and more! Set in a rural 54-hectare property, there’s unlimited use of the activities making this our top pick of things to do in Adelaide Hills with kids.
Try your hand at Challenge Hills, a rough and tumble obstacle course which is a mile away from the modern, funky obstacles your kids faced at the Mega Adventure Park. Instead, here at Woody’s, you have an almost army-themed course, with tyres, rope nets, monkey bars, and climbing frames to scale.
And now for something different: Disc Golf. Similar to standard golf, there’s the added twist that it’s played with a flying disc, yet the aim is still to complete each hole in the fewest number of strokes (or in this case, fewest number of throws). Our kids loved the originality of this one but weren’t very good… hitting a few trees along the course!
Feeling the strain of being on holiday with the kids? Well, where better to send them than off to the Labyrinth! Challenge them to find their way through this massive maze, giving you a well earned rest. They won’t be disappointed as they face some terrific games and challenges to reach the end, such as a fireman’s pole, a slide and 2 flights of stairs next to a 2.8-metre drop from top to the bottom tier. Should they make a wrong turn, there are quizzes and riddles at each of the 17 dead ends, and amusingly the panels of the Labyrinth are interchangeable thus the course is regularly rejigged to keep things fresh!
Last up and cameras at the ready for this one. The Tube Slide is awesome fun, and probably the stand out attraction at Woodhouse. Picture a dry-ski slope, where you can slide down 100-metres of synthetic slopes in big rubber rings… That accelerate, go round bends and seem to randomly stop all on their own!
Woodhouse Activity Centre is open 7 days a week, 8am-5pm and is another not-to-miss Adelaide family attraction and one of the best of things to do in the Adelaide Hills with Kids.
Go Back In Time At Old Tailem Town Pioneer Village
Still wondering what to do in Adelaide today for kids? Well, what kid (or adult, to be fair) doesn’t enjoy a spooky old ghost town! Tailem Town, at Tailem Bend – an hour from Adelaide CBD – is like a time capsule of 19th-Century Australia.
Step back in time to life in Australia between 1860-1960, and explore your way through dusty streets in this township of more than 100 authentic buildings. Transported from various locations from across the country, together they’ve recreated a different era – helped by the staff who are dressed from the 1800’s.
Featuring everything a town would need – such as general stores, hospitals, bakeries and at the centre of it all, a pub – once you arrive at Tailem you’re given a map and off you go! Exploring under your own steam which really was half the fun. We enjoyed the freedom of the town with the kids running in and out of the buildings ahead of us, coming back with stories of what they’d seen.
Atmospheric old-time music blares over the speakers and with the quiet eeriness of the deserted streets, the dust and spider webs creatively adding to the old-feel, there’s this sense of wandering a ghost town or – as my teens discussed – perhaps expecting to see a zombie or two coming running towards us! To be fair, you did feel a little as though you were on a Hollywood movie set.
On a serious note, Old Tailem Town is educational with our kids learning about some of the shops for the first time, particularly the ironmongers and the saddlers. And they were captivated by the radio repairs shop and the coffin maker.
Located on the main highway between Tailem Bend and Murray Bridge, be prepared to do quite a bit of walking here. So if you have toddlers, definitely bring along the pram. It’s cash-only here with the staff using a very old cash register. Check out their Facebook page here for some great videos, opening hours and contact details.
For a wilder visit and for those 15+ years old, why not experience a 4-hour Ghost Hunt at Tailem Town where real stories are related about the 100-year old buildings. And, of course, this all happens after dark! Discover more here.
Go Train Crazy At The National Railway Museum
Our kids went loco for the National Railway Museum. No stuffy, dull boring museum here – instead there are trains galore!
The National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide is nothing short of awesome, and a fabulous place to discover the importance of the Australian railway network – which is hardly surprising when you consider the size of the country.
Interactive, educational displays are mixed in with real life trains which the kids can climb into, playing at Train Driver or Ticket Collector. And there’s glorious old steam trains, diesel engines, loads of carriages to run through, and even a fun mini railway with bells and whistles!
In total, there’s almost 100 exhibits covered by two huge pavilions and a special 1870’s heritage-listed goods shed. Your kids will love The Shop with a wide range of books and souvenirs for sale. Before you go, checkout the attraction’s Kids & Families web page with fun learning downloads to pique the interest of your kids before setting out, helping to make this a stand out venue on our rundown of what to do in Adelaide for kids.
Open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm, the museum has a musty old-fashioned feel whereby you can easily imagine the passengers of years gone by passing through the mock-stations.
Go Out And About At Carrick Hill
Time for a little history today at the beautiful Carrick Hill estate. Designed as a 17th-century English Manor, it was actually built in the 1930’s and the interior reflects the “modern” features of that time.
The house is filled with a wealth of paintings, sculptures, antiques and drawings that span nearly 500 years of artistic achievements. There’s a special mix of Georgian and Victorian pieces too, along with gorgeous Jacobean oak furniture.
However, our kids aren’t overly enthused about exploring old houses and looking at artworks, so we spent most of our visit in the grounds and the walking trails of Carrick Hill. Taking in spectacular views around the perimeter of the more formal gardens and grounds, we soon stumbled across the Children’s Story Book Trail.
Designed to help children explore and discover the natural world, this short trail uses “classic children’s tales to encourage imagination”, and it’s fabulous! The Hobbit, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Quidditch Tree and old classics such as Wind In The Willows are just some of the themes along the trail. All the family had great fun trying to tie-in what we were seeing with which book or story. And the younger kids loved the Magic Faraway Tree, with its door at the base of the trunk leading to… who knows where! Ensure to add this to your things to do in Adelaide kids list!
Modelled on an English Country Park, the grounds are great for exploring with groves of hawthorn trees, citrus orchards, plus pines and gums. A beautiful, rugged place that’s littered with sculptures, a (free to play) Petanque Court and home to rich birdlife, Carrick Hill estate is stunning.
After exploring more, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the gorgeous grounds – so plan ahead and bring lunch or snacks with you. And remember to drop by the Carrick Hill Stables and walk through the pretty Apple Orchard.
Check opening times and further details here.
Discover St Kilda Adventure Playground
This sprawling outdoors playspace is probably the best we’ve seen in all of Australia, so your kids are in for a fantastic time. In fact, it’s perhaps the most popular of things to do in Adelaide today for kids!
Mostly ideal for your older kids, toddlers are also catered for in this free playground. Bigger and better than anything you’ve seen before, let’s start with the 3-storey play castle on the hill, complete with 3 slides and a “Volcano” that has 4 slides on the opposite hill… and then there’s all the fun and games in between, including loads of swings, slides, flying foxes, climbing nets… all fabulously modern equipment that’s great for your youngest to oldest teenagers.
Our older kids raved about the flying fox. It’s seriously big! Then there’s a maze, a liberty swing, and some fabulous play structures for little kids with slides, steps, ramps and noughts & crosses.
Down by the water is a massive old wooden pirate ship that is fun for climbing all over, letting young imagination run wild! And there were sandpit diggers which alone were enough to keep our youngest entertained.
The whole area is well maintained, in a rustic way with mulched garden beds, grassed areas and lots of shady areas to hang out at. There are BBQs, toilets, water fountains and the place was really clean during our visit.
With all the fresh air and activities, it’s best to take along a picnic or you can grab something from the kiosk set about 500-metres from the playground. A wonderful hit with all age groups, it’s a winner of free things to do in Adelaide with toddlers and free things to do with kids in Adelaide!
Spread across a wide expanse of land, adjacent to the shore at the seaside town of St Kilda, 45 minutes north of Adelaide CBD, this award-winning playground is a popular family day out from Adelaide. And whilst in St Kilda, stay a while to check out the Tramway Museum (featuring many of Adelaide’s old trams, including some from as far back as 1878), the Boat Club and Marina, and the St Kilda Mangrove Trail. This features a 2-kilometre boardwalk through the mangrove forests of the Barker Inlet.
You’re never stuck wondering what to do in Adelaide today with kids, as there’s always another suburb to discover!
Visit The Fairies At Bridgewater Fairy Garden
Quiet now, as we don’t want to disturb the fairies in the garden at Deanery Reserve!
Let the imagination of your youngest children run wild with a visit to a lovely fairy garden, a unique activity on our things to do in Adelaide for free with kids.
To reach the spot, there’s a 1-kilometre walk that starts from the playground near Old Bridgewater Mill. Follow the well marked ‘Heysen Trail’ which is gorgeous in itself. It meanders alongside the old mill’s water race to Cox Creek, then on through a short tunnel under the railway. It’s then a short walk through Arbury Park Outdoor School forest where you can hope to see some ducks and other birds. …and finally you’ve reached the magic spot!
You’ll see a bridge, turn right (don’t cross it) and the fairy garden is scattered around the trees near to the carpark. Tiny colourful doors can be found at the base of trees in the nooks and crannies. Miniature fairy washing hangs on lines, tiny ladders lean against entrances and minute rocking chairs rest outside the doors. Delicate mailboxes await deliveries from the fairy-postman!
A gorgeous place that will have your youngsters totally entranced, visitors and fairy-fans keep adding their own touches so who knows what you’ll find when you visit.
Finding things to do with kids in Adelaide today away from the main tourist attractions can be difficult, yet we felt this was something special. The short walk alongside Cox Creek is very scenic and is easy if you have toddlers in tow. Plus, you have the added fun of the fairy garden at the end.
Note that there are no toilet or picnic facilities in this area, but you can take your own picnic to stay awhile, enjoying the quiet forest and back-to-nature feel of the place.
Pick And Eat Fresh Strawberries At Beerenberg Farm
Some of my best childhood memories are those of strawberry picking… One for the bucket, one to eat, one for the bucket, and one… Yes, it’s fair to say that we’re all big strawberry fans! And there’s nothing sweeter or juicier than those that are freshly picked.
The nearest spot to Adelaide for strawberries is Beerenberg Farm reachable along the South Eastern Freeway. Follow the signs to Hahndorf and head into the town. Pass along main street all the way through the village, up a little hill and you’ll soon spot the farm shop on the right.
And what’s more this is one of our pick of things to do in Adelaide with kids for free – 12 years and under are complimentary with adults paying only a minimal entrance fee. You’ll be passed a wristband and picking containers and then… It’s lip-smacking sweet strawberries for as far as the eye can see. Select a patch and pick to your heart’s content!
Open 7 days a week, except for Christmas, this is a very popular Adelaide activity thus there are times when the strawberry plants need to rest because they’re all picked-out! It’s best to call ahead or check the website prior to going.
Ride A Pony At Hahndorf Farm Barn
After you’ve picked your strawberries at Beerenberg Farm, hang around Hahndorf for another favourite Adelaide things to do with kids and a top holiday fun activity – pony and tractor rides!
Pony rides are offered for kids 2-12 years of age, with helmets provided. It’s a gentle ride, as you’re led by the staff, meaning older children will probably find this a bit of a let down. However, your kids under 10 will adore it.
Next up are tractor rides. They are out in the far paddocks where you can learn a little about the history of Hahndorf Farm Barn and get up close to the grazing animals. You might even be invited to hand feed some of the cows! Time your visit right and your kids can try their hand at milking the cows too.
A cute working farm, you’ll also find a Reptile Show at weekends – where your brave kids can handle the snakes – and you can take along your own food to spread out a picnic or cook a BBQ on one of their rented grills. With stunning views of Mount Lofty and the Adelaide Hills, this is yet another splendid lunchtime stop!
Fun Things To Do With Kids In Adelaide Map
Best Place To Stay In Adelaide
It’s not easy deciding where to stay in Adelaide. Depending on your itinerary, you might be best staying in the city centre which boasts a luxurious range of high-end hotels. Alternatively, a beach-stay might better fit your plans, perhaps at Glenelg or West Beach, with affordable hotels and caravan park accommodation options.
Below I’ve listed a few different places to consider including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.
In search of luxury, beachfront accommodation with picturesque ocean views at gorgeous Glenelg? Oaks Glenelg Plaza Pier Suites is our premiere choice for your family stay.
This award-winning apartment-style hotel is set at Adelaide’s historic beach, nestled amongst the stylish bars and restaurants. Yet with 2 bars and 3 cafe restaurants onsite – all with fantastic ocean views – you really have no need to leave the hotel!
Rooms are bright and airy, thanks to the fresh air rolling in off the ocean. They come with cable television and almost all have a fully equipped designer kitchen, laundry facilities and a long balcony that overlooks either the sensational ocean views or park grounds. And air-conditioning is standard across all room types.
Families are well catered for with various room sizes, including one and two-bedroom apartments, with the latter having 1 queen bed and 2 twin beds. Three-bedroom apartments come with 3 king beds. You can save money by booking “without housekeeping” or upgrade to their Premiere one or two-bedroom apartments. And for younger guests, cribs and extra beds are available for additional fees.
Resort facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, free WiFi and a 24-hour front desk where the helpful staff are on hand to assist with tours and activity bookings, luggage storage and arrival/departure assistance. If you’re driving, there’s paid private parking available with prior reservation.
Just a 30-minute fun tram ride from the centre of Adelaide, Glenelg’s wonderful Marina and trendy Jetty Road shopping precinct are on your doorstep, along with the fun-factory Beachouse that’s almost next door! Plus, the gorgeous white-sand Glenelg Beach is only a stone’s-throw from your apartment.
MID-RANGE – Avani Adelaide Residences Review
If you are looking for Adelaide family accommodation which is well located, spacious, self-catering and with some fun facilities, look no further! The Avani Adelaide Residences could be your perfect pick!
Located in Adelaide’s CBD, restaurants, shopping and more are all a walk away with Rundle Mall just over a kilometres walk. There is a range of room types at the Avani including one and two bedroom suites which can sleep up to five people.
The one and two bedroom suites also have open-plan living, dining and kitchen area as well as a European laundry with washing machine and dryer. They have private balconies and come with free wifi which was great.
On-site, you’ll find a lap pool and parking (at extra cost – $25 when we visited). There’s also a BBQ area with lounges, gym, sauna, library and a golf simulator! All free of charge. There is a cafe, on-site open until 3pm daily.
We very much enjoyed staying here and it was perfect for our family. Quiet, spacious, clean and comfortable accommodation. Just make sure they give you your room key before you use their parking – they didn’t give us ours and we got stuck in the car park!
BUDGET – BIG4 West Beach Parks Review
Set along 1.2 kilometres of gorgeous coastline, BIG4 West Beach Parks is our pick of budget family accommodation in Adelaide.
There’s so much on offer here, especially for families, with a massive lagoon swimming pool, a Splash Zone for younger kids, jumping pillows, play equipment, go-karts, games room and more!
Rooms are fun too, with colourful small Standard Cabins located nearest to the pool. These budget cabins feature a double bed, 2 double bunk beds and a kitchenette – ideal for anyone on a strict budget or not planning on spending too much time in the room.
Next up are the Executive Cabins, a little home-from-home with 2 bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. These quaint cabins come with a small patio area for outside dining. There are 6-person Budget Cabins, with open plan living, kitchen and dining facilities. Or why not camp in style, booking an Eco Tent with a double bed, bunk bed, esky and a glorious outdoor setting.
Other options include Tourist Cabins (for four guests), Deluxe Cabin Seaspray (nearest to the sea), and two or three-bedroom beach houses for a more modern luxury stay.
Air-conditioning is standard across all room types. There’s also internet access, television, blankets and linens, tea/coffee making facilities and a microwave or full kitchen.
And if you’re bringing your own caravan, there are powered sites set only metres from the shore.
The park’s facilities also include two large shared kitchens, laundry facilities and three amenities blocks. But it’s really the fun stuff that brings visitors returning year after year, with kids finding a stay here a great add-on to all the fun things to do in Adelaide. There’s 2 golf courses, mini golf, boat haven, BBQ areas and a school holiday Kids Club! West Beach is right on your doorstep, accessed directly from the holiday park, and a coastal path connects directly to Glenelg. All up, this is our top pick of budget Adelaide accommodation!
How To Get To Adelaide
As a state capital, there are many options to get to Adelaide and it’s straightforward. There is a major airport with flights all over Australia.
To see all the latest flights and prices, click here.
It’s also easy, although possibly very long depending on where you are coming from, to drive to Adelaide. The main highway 1 passes through here.
There’s also a variety of trains including the epic Indian Pacific and The Ghan railways. Read more about them here, as well as buses to the surrounding states and across South Australia.
Driving is also an easy way to explore South Australia and Adelaide. You can find the best priced car hire by clicking here.
You can also find our full guide to driving from Adelaide to Coober Pedy here.
Best Things To Do In Adelaide With Toddlers
We all know that toddlers have energy to burn and Adelaide is crammed with places to help you tire out your little bunnies! Starting at BOUNCE, there’s a junior jumpers section that helps them develop movement and coordination skills while having a bundle of fun!
Adelaide Zoo’s Nature’s Playground is another ideal place to stimulate your toddler’s senses. Climbing structures, some fun water-play features and aerial walkways will keep them busy. And after, don’t forget to check out the adjacent Variety Children’s Zoo with their charismatic goats and amusing music-playing chickens!
Another winner on the wildlife side is Hahndorf Farm Barn, with some of the cutest animals for your toddlers to pet, little ponies to ride, and even goats to feed. And why not cool off at Waterworld Aquatic Centre at the splash pads especially designed for toddlers, or take it a step colder at Thebarton’s IceArena with their real-life snow experience for ages 0-5 years.
Imaginative play is on hand at Funtopia Prospect, at Sefton Park, with its dedicated zone (Toddler World) that’s full of building blocks, slides, obstacles and interactive games all designed for little people. And don’t forget to drop by Carrick Hill for the sweet Story Book Trail or to discover the Fairy Garden at Deanery Reserve.
You’ll find a myriad of playgrounds across all suburbs, such as Marshmallow Park Playspace, and you can check online for the best playgrounds in Adelaide as there are so many to choose from that cater to toddlers and preschoolers. If you’re looking for something more structured, check out Kindergyms – run across all of Adelaide – for a drop-in class or two during your vacation with some classes ideal if you’re looking for things to do in Adelaide with a baby.
It’s fair to say that Adelaide is more than child-friendly including for your youngest of kids. There’s so much action and fun to be had, subtly mixed with learning and growth opportunities. A city with ample space for outdoors play, train and tram rides, epic playgrounds, wildlife encounters and water fun.
Adelaide is a fun place to visit with kids with plenty to do to entertain and educate the family. While its “city of churches” tagline may not make it sound like the most exciting city in Australia, there is plenty to get excited about in Adelaide and I hope you have a great time exploring this city and all the fun things to do in Adelaide with the family listed above.