Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations. The vibrant metropolis is known for a lot of things: fun festivals year-round, world-class cultural institutions, major sporting events, lovely beaches and other prominent attractions. For visitors who are traveling with their kids, you’re in luck: Adelaide happens one of Australia’s most family-friendly cities.
No matter the hobbies and interests of your kids, you have plenty to do when it comes to fun things to do in Adelaide. From outdoor activities and kids’ playgrounds to animal sightseeing, you won’t run out of activity options while in the city no matter what time of the year. To help you plan the perfect family trip, we’ve listed the top fun things to do in Adelaide with kids.
(Pro tip: Utilize a luggage storage locker in the city to stay hands-free while exploring with your children).
- Spend a day at the amazing seaside village of Glenelg.
Sitting just around 12 kilometers outside of Adelaide’s Central Business District and accessible by a 25-minute tram ride is the seaside village of Glenelg, which is one of the city’s most popular destinations for families. The town is home to a number of attractions that cater to both adults and children, one of which is the beautiful Glenelg Beach.
No doubt Adelaide’s most well-known beach, Glenelg Beach boasts a wide shore lined with cafés, restaurants, shops and ice cream parlors, among others. It is also home to The Beachouse, which is a family-friendly amusement complex that houses fun attractions such as heated waterslides, an 18-hole mini-golf course, a historic 120-year-old carousel, an indoor castle playground and much more.
Another Glenelg attraction that your kids would definitely love to visit is the St. Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert. Just as its name suggests, this shop proudly produces an extensive selection of sweet treats, including ice cream, Belgian waffles, brownies, cinnamon churros, and milkshakes. A trip to St. Louis will definitely be memorable and satisfying for your children!
- See the different animals at Adelaide Zoo.
The Adelaide Zoo is one of the most iconic attractions, as well as one of the most family-friendly places, in the city. Opening its doors in 1883, the Adelaide Zoo is the second oldest zoo in Australia and has been a major part of South Australia’s history, heritage and social history. Covering an area of over 80 acres, this fantastic zoo is home to nearly 3,000 animals across 250 different species, including mammals, reptiles, birds and fishes.
The zoo currently features a number of animals, such as the Gibbon and Giant Panda; in fact, the Adelaide Zoo is home to Wang Wang and Fu Ni, which are the only Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere! The zoo offers a free walkabout tour daily and departs from different parts of the zoo every half hour.
- Try out some local delicacies at the Adelaide Central Market.
Kids love to eat and in Adelaide, there is no shortage of dining spots to try. However, if you want to try everything you can in one place, the best place to go to is the Adelaide Central Market. In operation for over 145 years, the market is one of the oldest and largest markets in Australia and is Adelaide’s most visited attraction, welcoming an average of 8 million visitors per year.
The Adelaide Central Market is composed of over 80 stalls under one roof. These stalls sell local food, fresh produce, artisan delicacies, ready-to-eat grub and more! The market also houses some of Adelaide’s most popular food stalls, eateries and cafes. You and your kids can fill up your stomachs at the market by trying the free samples being offered by the different vendors at the market.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the endless options, you may opt to book an Adelaide Central Market Discovery Tour, which will allow you to sample the best products available while also meeting the locals behind the businesses.
- Get the chance to see dolphins in the wild.
In Adelaide, you have the chance to get up close and personal with one of Australia’s most beloved creatures – the bottlenose dolphin. The best part is that you need not visit an aquarium or watch dolphins in an enclosed space; at the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, you will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness these majestic creatures in the wild.
One of Adelaide’s crown jewels, the Dolphin Sanctuary is sitting just approximately 20 minutes from the city center and encompasses multiple areas of the city, including the North Haven, Outer Harbour, Port River and Barker Inlet marinas. The sanctuary, which is covered by a mangrove forest that is over 10,000 years old, is home to about 40 resident bottle dolphins that eat, live and socialize here as well as around 300 dolphins visiting the area on a regular basis.
Apart from the dolphins, other marine creatures can be spotted in the sanctuary, including endangered Australian sea lions, long nosed fur seals and sting rays. At the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, visitors have an array of activity options to choose from, such as kayaking, dolphin watching and paddle boarding.
- Keep your kids active at the city’s outdoor adventure parks.
Kids love to move and try thrilling activities and fortunately, Adelaide is filled with outdoor parks to keep your young ones busy and having fun. One of the best options is TreeClimb, which is just in the heart of the city.
The first inner-city Aerial Adventure Park in Adelaide, TreeClimb offers two primary courses: the first one is the Grand Course, which is suitable for older children; and the Kids Course, which is best suited to younger kids that stand over 100 centimeters. Both courses have over 70 obstacles between them, including ziplines, elevated wall climbs, suspended ladders, wooden bridges and more.
Another outdoor spot that children will enjoy is the West Beach Adventure, which is the one of Australia’s biggest outdoor adventure parks. Featuring 5 different levels of obstacles, there’s something here for kids of all ages – from giant swings, the SkyWalk viewing platform and the MegaJump, which is essentially a bungee jump from an 18-meter tall platform.