There is a reason why Adelaide is known as Radelaide – it’s totally awesome!! Adelaide in South Australia is a warm and vibrant family-friendly city with heaps for families to do with kids. In fact, there’s so much to do we’ve broken it down into sections.
We have found the best kids activities in Adelaide, SA that will keep them entertained all day.
Let’s start by taking a look at the city.
Looking for things to do in Adeliade school holidays? Click here.
Things to do with kids in Adelaide City
Head into the Adelaide CBD and surrounds for this fun kids activities in Adelaide.
Adelaide Zoo – Frome Road, Adelaide
Easily the number one city centre attraction for families is Adelaide Zoo. This beautiful zoo opened in 1883 and sits on 20 acres of attractively landscaped gardens on Frome Road in the city. It’s home to over 250 different native and exotic species including Australia’s only pandas, Wang Wang and Funi. There are big cats, zebras and hippopotamuses, giraffes, wolves and apes, and a fabulous children’s zoo where children can feed and pat quokkas, wallabies, guinea pigs and many other cute and cuddly favourites. There is often something happening at the zoo, especially during school holidays, and it’s just the perfect kids party venue in Adelaide too!
Suitable for all ages; entry fees apply. Cafes and souvenir shops on site.
Find out more here: www.adelaidezoo.com.au
TreeClimb Adelaide is an outdoor adventure in the heart of the city. As the only aerial adventure park in Adelaide, the whole family can be climbing through the treetops together on either the children’s course or the Grand Course 7 days a week. Highly trained staff crew will guide you or your children through the obstacles spread out over the course. Starting with the easy yellow course, children can move onto the more challenging course as their confidence grows. The Grand course also comes with 47 elevated obstacles across 4 difficulty levels.
Sessions are available at 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
South Australian Museum – North Terrace, Adelaide
The South Australian Museum can be found on North Terrace, part of a row of other impressive and historic buildings that includes the Art Gallery of South Australia (https://www.agsa.sa.gov.au/) and the State Library of South Australia (https://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/home). The South Australian Museum is one of the most visited in Australia and is a fascinating place for children to explore in air-conditioned comfort.
There are expansive displays of taxidermy – including some former Adelaide Zoo exhibits – Aboriginal artefacts, Egyptian mummies, dinosaurs, and giant sea creatures including an enormous giant squid that you can follow up the stairway over several floors! The delightful café is perfect for kids and has indoor and outdoor seating, but if you choose to sit outdoors we bet the kids won’t be able to resist rolling down the sloping lawn!
Suitable for all ages; FREE entry. Café and souvenir shop on site.
Find out more here: www.samuseum.sa.gov.au
Migration Museum – Kintore Avenue, Adelaide
The Migration Museum is a little gem of a place tucked away on Kintore Avenue, just behind the State Library. If your children are studying the history of migration, or just love history in general, there’s plenty to see here if you have an hour or two to spare. During Adelaide school holidays, the museum organises “Detective Trails” to challenge young minds, and there are heaps of discovery drawers and content scattered throughout the museum just waiting to be found.
Suitable for all ages; FREE entry.
Find out more here: migration.history.sa.gov.au/
Captain Jolleys Paddle Boats – Elder Park, King William Road, Adelaide
The gently flowing River Torrens is the perfect place for a paddle in a pedalo. Captain Jolleys Paddle Boats are available to hire on weekends and during school holidays for a 30-minute self-guided tour. Located Elder Park.
Suitable for pre-schoolers (with adults) and older; hire fee applies.
Find out more here: www.captainjolleys.com.au
The Popeye – Elder Park, King William Road, Adelaide
If you’d like someone else to do the hard work while cruising the River Torrens, take a trip on the beloved Popeye. The Popeye has been an Adelaide icon since 1935, meandering its way between Elder Park and Adelaide Zoo. The entire loop takes around 45 minutes with commentary along the way. You can hop-on and hop-off at either stop, and make your return trip later in the day if you choose. There are refreshments available to buy on board, or you could book on one of their special event cruises where food and beverages are included.
Suitable for all ages; costs apply. Refreshments available on board. Not available in winter.
Find out more here: thepopeye.com.au
Adelaide Gaol – 18 Gaol Road, Thebarton
Step back in time and walk the hallways and cells of South Australia’s first inmates. Experience what daily life in prison was really like. Adelaide Gaol operated from 1841 to 1988 and has been home to almost 300,000 prisoners, some of whom are said to still wander its hallways as ghostly apparitions. Nowadays, the gaol is a museum offering lead and self-guided tours, and fun school holiday activities.
Suitable for all ages; entry fees apply. Café on site.
Find out more here: www.adelaidegaol.sa.gov.au
Adelaide Botanic Gardens – North Terrace, Adelaide
Aside from beautifully landscaped gardens and extensive lawns for running around on and picnics, you might wonder what there is for kids to do in a Botanic Garden. Adelaide Botanic Gardens is a true gem, with meandering pathways and a variety of landscapes to explore, birds and wildlife to spot, and incredible historic buildings to visit. There are several glasshouses, including the Bicentennial Conservatory – the largest single span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere – and the beautiful North Lodge, which now houses a gift shop and displays.You can enter the gardens via entry points on North Terrace, Plane Tree Drive (great access and parking for Adelaide Zoo!), Hackney Road and From Road.
Suitable for all ages, FREE entry though parking fess apply if travelling by car. Shops, kiosks and cafés on site.
Find out more here: www.botanicgardens.sa.gov.au
Things to do in Adelaide with kids – North of the City
Port Adelaide was one of the major access ports for colonists arriving in South Australia for over 100 years. It shows in the number of transport museums there, all providing a great few hours entertainment – three are on the same street making an easy day out! Try these…
National Railway Museum – Lipson Street, Port Adelaide
If your kids are fans of Thomas the Tank engine, take them to see some real steam trains and Port Adelaide’s National Railway Museum. There’s heaps for train and history fans to do here, including steam train rides (not everyday – check the schedule on their website), exhibitions, displays and presentations. You can even learn about Bob the Railway Dog.
Suitable for all ages; entry fees apply. Picnic tables and vending machines on site.
Find out more here: nrm.org.au
South Australian Aviation Museum – Lipson Street, Port Adelaide
A visit to the South Australian Aviation Museum is a must for plane enthusiasts of all ages. Inside the hangar you will find a variety of intact planes; old and new, military, passenger and hobbyist, plus helicopters and even missiles! There are displays and exhibits and you can see planes under restoration. It’s not be missed as part of your ‘museum tour’ of Lipson Street.
Suitable for older children and adults; entry fees apply. Souvenir shop on site.
Find out more here: www.saam.org.au
South Australian Maritime Museum – Lipson Street, Port Adelaide
The South Australian maritime Museum details the human history of life on the seas and rivers. Visitors can see how migrants lived aboard the migrant ships; how Port Adelaide became an important trade port; and the working conditions of the fishermen. There are interesting displays of ship wrecks and marine life and fascinating historical stories. The museum also hosts temporary visiting exhibitions and school holiday events.
Suitable for all ages; entry fees apply. Gift shop and café on site.
Find out more here: maritime.history.sa.gov.au
Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary – Port Adelaide
For animal lovers in your family the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary is not a specific destination, but an inlet of the Port Adelaide Harbour dedicated to the safety of the resident dolphins. From several locations around the harbour and Port Adelaide River, you may be able to see the dolphins swim and play. There are tour companies that hire kayaks to get out on the water to see the dolphins up close or visit the many wrecks there. Take a look at this dolphin kayaking option – it is our favourite! 😉
Suitable for all ages. Lots to do around the area.
Find out more here: www.parks.sa.gov.au
Things to do in Adelaide with kids – South of the City
A trip south of the city will take you through beautiful countryside into the Fleurieu Peninsular, where there are lots of attractions, small townships, and amazing scenery.
Victor Harbor and Granite Island
Victor Harbor is a popular destination because it ticks so many boxes. The stunning beach has golden sand and small waves, ideal for paddling, there are fantastic playgrounds, numerous eateries, mini golf, and venues to visit. On occasion when we have visited there have been camel rides available on the beach, but dates and times are random – it’s pot-luck if they’ll be there when you visit.
Horsedrawn Tram – Victor Harbor to Granite Island
This is a must-do activity if visiting Granite Island. The historic double-deck tram is pulled across the causeway by beautiful Clydesdale horses. You can walk across the causeway, but sitting atop the open top tram provides an unbeatable view of the harbour and island. You can buy a one-way ticket in either direction or book a return trip. It’s a wonderful experience and opportunity for kids to experience life at a different pace.
Suitable for all ages (limited stroller access); costs apply.
Granite Island – Victor Harbor
Granite Island is a nature reserve home to many protected species including a population of Little Penguin. There’s a penguin information centre open to visitors, and guided tours to see them hunt for fish at dusk. On occasions when we have visited the island, we have also seen seals sunning themselves off the beach and playing in the water.
There is a path around the island to take in the spectacular views and spot whales during their migration season, but the pathway is steep and tricky in places so the full circuit is not suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. There is a café on the island and souvenir shop.
Suitable for: all ages can visit the island, the penguin centre, shop, cafe, and pathways facing the mainland, but other pathways around the island are steep are rocky.
South Australian Whale Centre – Victor Harbor
Back on the mainland at Victor Harbor, the South Australian Whale Centre provides an informative history of the area when Victor Harbor was a whaling port. The Centre includes a Kids Zone, displays, and lots for kids to do. You can also buy a special pass that includes entry to the centre PLUS a return trip to Granite Island on the horsedrawn tram.
Suitable for all ages; entry fees apply. Find out more here: www.sawhalecentre.com.au
Urimbirra Wildlife Park – 10 Welch Road, Victor Harbor
Urimbirra is an open-range wildlife park about 10-minutes drive out of Victor Harbor. Home to a wonderful mix of iconic Aussie natives and farm animals, children can happily spend a few hours here, and once inside all activities are free, including feeding the kangaroos, holding a snake and feeding a koala.
Suitable for all ages; entry costs apply. Souvenir shop and FREE gas barbecues on site for visitor use.
Find out more here: www.urimbirra.com.au
SteamRanger Heritage Railway – Goolwa Station, Dunbar Road, Goolwa
SteamRanger Heritage Railway operates a number of different heritage steam and diesel hauled tourist trains between Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills, up over the crest of the southern Mt Lofty Ranges, down to Strathalbyn and on through the coastal holiday towns of Goolwa and Port Elliot to the tourist resort town of Victor Harbor. The Cockle Train travels between Goolwa and Victor Harbor – a picturesque journey taking around 30 minutes.
Suitable for all ages; fees apply.
Find out more here: www.steamrangerheritagerailway.org
Jubilee Adventure Park – Port Noarlunga
You can’t miss this adventure playground as you drive through Port Noarlunga – it’s huge! There’s a giant wooden castle to climb, complete with towers, swings, slides, tunnels, balance challenges, activities for children with disabilities, BBQs, open space, toilet block and heaps of free parking.
It’s the perfect venue for kids to play before taking a stroll across to the sand dunes and beach of Port Noarlunga itself. Port Noarlunga beach is truly stunning, and the little township has pleasant shops to browse and places to eat.
Suitable for all ages; FREE activity.
The Beach House – Colley Terrace, Glenelg
The Beach House is a fun park with heaps of indoor and outdoor attractions, including giant water slides, fairground rides, mini golf, miniature train rides, arcade games, water craft, and adventure playground spread over 4 levels. There is no cost to go in, but use of all rides and attractions is based on a “Tap Card”, where you decide how many credits to apply and play until they all run out.
Suitable for all ages; costs apply. Cafe on site.
Find out more here: thebeachouse.com.au
Mosely Square, Glenelg
Take a trip to Glenelg (you can get there by tram from the city) to discover a foreshore playground that is a hive of activity. At Glenelg you can walk down the pier, play on the beach, hire watercraft, or make the most of the adventure playground and fountains. Whilst at Glenelg, you can indulge in a little shopping along Jetty Road – a one-kilometer stretch of shops selling everything from artisan goods to souvenirs and meals.
Things to do in Adelaide with kids – Adelaide Hills
The Adelaide Hills region has some of the best driving scenery in South Australia, taking you through wineries and ancient forests with stunning views over the city.
Cleland Wildlife Park – 365 Mount Lofty Summit Road, Crafers
Cleland Wildlife Park has been a major tourist attraction in South Australia since 1967. It provides an immersive nature experience with the chance to get close to some of the state’s most iconic animals. At Cleland Wildlife Park you can have your photograph taken with a koala, and hand-feed the kangaroos and emus in the walk-through enclosure. You can even take part in a night walk or book in for breakfast with the birds!
The paths are pram-friendly and there are lots of places to set out your picnic, or you can enjoy some delicious food around the open fire in the cafe and gift shop. Open all year round except for Christmas Day and catastrophic fire danger days.
Suitable for all ages; costs apply. Cafe on site.
Find out more here: www.clelandwildlifepark.sa.gov.au/Home
The Big Rocking Horse & The Toy Factory – 452 Torrens Valley Road, Gumeracha
Kids will love climbing to the viewing platform at the top of The Big Rocking Horse! The Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha is Australia’s number one big Aussie icon, and has a fantastic cafe and hand-made wooden toy shop on site. There’s even a small wildlife park that you can walk through to feed the geese, swans, sheep and goats, peacocks, emus and wallabies. This really is an all-rounder tourist attraction offering miniature pony rides on weekends and school holidays.
Suitable for all ages. Entry to the toy shop and wildlife park is free, a small charge applies to climb The Big Rocking Horse. Cafe and picnic tables on site.
Find out more here: thetoyfactory.com.au
Mount Lofty Summit – Mount Lofty Summit Road
Mount Lofty is the highest point in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges. From the lookout you are treated to a spectacular panoramic view of the city and Adelaide plains, and there are lots of graded walking paths if you fancy a stroll through the bush.
The summit is also home to a restaurant and cafe, gift shop, and visitors’ information centre. You can drive right up to the summit or take public transport from the city. If visiting in winter, Mount Lofty Summit is often the first place to get snow!
Suitable for all ages. Entry is FREE though parking charges apply. Cafe on site.
Find out more here: Mount Lofty Summit
Morialta Conservation Park – Morialta Falls Road, Woodforde
If you love natural wonders, you’ll love Morialta Conservation Park, just 10km from Adelaide. Enjoy the rugged ridges, gully scenery and seasonal waterfalls that tumble over quartzite rockfaces after rain. The park is home to stunning walking trails, rock climbing facilities (experienced climbers only) and the Mukanthi playspace for children to explore.
For wildlife lovers, the park’s rock pools and creeks provide habitat for small reptiles, frogs and birds. Watch out for honeyeaters and thornbills among the woodlands that cover the hills.The paths are reasonably pram-friendly, being either packed gravel or bitumen, but some areas can be a little tricky to navigate.
FREE entry. Find out more here: Morialta Conservation Park
Hahndorf is a small town in the Adelaide Hills founded by German migrants. The town has retained much of its settler charm and is a delightful place to visit and have lunch. There is a lovely adventure playground, interesting boutique shops, and don’t forget to stop by the fairy garden for a delicious cream tea!
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary – 47 Stock Road, Mylor
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary is entirely surrounded by a feral-proof fence and offers a glimpse into what the Australian habitat would look like without cats or foxes. It’s even believed to be home to South Australia’s last remaining platypus on the mainland, which you may spot in the rockpool if you are quiet and patient enough.
The sanctuary is home to many Aussie natives, including rescued wildlife that live there in safety and in peace. You can see them on guided tours and animal encounters, or simply by strolling through the wonderful environment.
Suitable for all ages. Entry costs apply. Cafe on site.
Find out more here: Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary
Belair National Park – Upper Sturt Road, Belair
Belair National Park is a place to picnic, play and explore. It’s South Australia’s oldest national park and home to the Old Government House, which is established as a museum that you can explore on the first and third Sunday of every month and public holidays.
The park is home to lakes, gardens, cycling paths, woodlands, lawns and an abundance of wildlife. There’s also a cafe and kiosk and an adventure playground for the kids to explore.
Suitable for all ages. Entry is free on foot or bike, but there is a fee for vehicle entry. Gold coin donation to tour Old Government House.
Find out more here: Belair National Park
Monarto Safari Park – Old Princes Highway, Monarto South
A sister to Adelaide Zoo, Monarto Safari Park is a real safari adventure. Your entry includes a bus tour through the savannas and plains to see lions, African painted dogs, rhinos, and giraffes, with walking trails to visit other animals like the chimps, reptiles, porcupine and wallabies. You’ll need to be wearing comfortable shoes if you’re to visit them all and catch all the keeper talks! There’s a cafe and gift shop on site, and lots of interactive fun for the kids. If you are an animal lover and supporter of conservation you have to put Monarto Safari park on your to-do list – it’s awesome!
Suitable for all ages; entry fee applies. Cafe and picnic facilities on site.
Tip: Consider becoming an annual ‘zoo member’ for unlimited entry into Adelaide Zoo, Monarto Zoo, and several other zoos across Australia.
Find out more here: Monarto Safari Park.
Fantastic beaches near Adelaide
There are lots of wonderful beaches to visit along the Adelaide north-south stretch, and as they all face west they’re the perfect place to watch the sun go down. Here are some of our family favourites, but whichever beach you choose in Adelaide you are guaranteed glorious sand and a beautiful experience.
Semaphore Beach has an olde-worlde charm of a bygone decade, with its vintage carousel and ferris wheel, mini golf course and water slide. There’s even an old steam train that puffs up and down the foreshore. You won’t be put off by high-rises – there aren’t any – but you’ll find plenty of quirky cafes and boutique shops.
Living the Aussie lifestyle, Moana is one of the few beaches you can drive on to do a spot of fishing straight out of the back. Bear that in mind if going there with small children – cars can go to the left of the entry, so stay right if you are walking, playing and paddling with kids. There’s a great fish and chip shop that also sells delicious ice-cream to eat in their garden and watch the sun set.
Port Noarlunga Beach
Not far from Moana Beach is Port Noarlunga Beach. The beach is sheltered by a man-made reef and deemed safe for snorkeling, especially during patrolled times. This really is s stunning beach surrounded by natural sand hills, with a long jetty and rock pools to explore. And the Jubilee Playground we mentioned above is just across the road!
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