Adelaide Festival | Family Friendly Events | 4-20 Mar 2022

Adelaide Festival 2022

Every year in March, the Adelaide Festival draws a community of the very best artists from across the globe and across Australia to create a bold arts festival of theatre, dance, music, art and interactive installations including free events for families. 

Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Writers’ Week have built a world-wide reputation for providing great and memorable experiences for those who visit our State and provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that this festival city offers.

Family Friendly Highlights:

Groundswell – FREE Interactive Public Artwork

Tuesday 1 March – Sunday 20 March 2022 | Gawler Place, Rundle Mall 

A six-metre platform sits atop a sea of some 40,000 illuminated steel spheres. It’s stunning to look at so you climb on to investigate and quickly discover that it’s alive. As you walk, it tilts, causing rippling waves of subtly shifting or cascading ball bearings to summon a complex oceanic soundscape.

The sounds can be tranquil or visceral – it’s all up to you. Oh, and to those (co-operative or vexatious) others who share the space.

As a percussionist and improviser, young Melbourne artist Matthias Schack-Arnott has collaborated with the top rank of contemporary composers (Steve Reich, Unsuk Chin, John Zorn and Liza Lim to name a few). But it’s his beautifully sculptural performance works and sound installations that have brought him to recent prominence, working with leading designers such as Keith Tucker and Tilman Robinson.

Groundswell is the third of Adelaide Festival’s interactive works of public art in Rundle Mall. Like Tatzu Nishi’s A Doll’s House and Robin Frohardt’s The Plastic Bag Store, Groundswell can be happily enjoyed as straight-up, mind-boggling fun. But, by responding to every step you take, and making you mindful of your interactions with strangers, it’s also a meditation on our precarious individual and collective relationship with the earth: our literal ‘footprints’ can trigger unforeseen events, like hurricanes from butterflies’ wings.

It’s free and fascinating for young and old. Galumph or tread lightly, each moment is guaranteed to be different from the last.


Macro: Opening Night Event –  Gravity & Other Myths FREE Event

Saturday 5 March 2022, 8pm (gates open from 6.30pm) | Village Green, Adelaide Oval, War Memorial Drive, Adelaide

Homegrown circus favourites Gravity & Other Myths team up with a huge choir, expert musicians, thrilling projections and sensational dancers Djuki Mala (The Chooky Dancers) for this opening night spectacular.

This will be a fun, beautifully produced event for families and friends to marvel at. A heart-in-mouth display of skill and coordination. But it will be more than that. From their humble DIY origins, every show mounted by this company is founded by a deep unspoken principle: to show what humans can do when they trust each other, support each other and urge each other to go further. 

This opening night spectacular will also feature Djuki Mala (The Chooky Dancers) with their unique fusion of traditional dance, pop culture and storytelling.

Bookings essential.




Rescheduled to Saturday 12 March 2022 | Elder Park, King William Street, Adelaide

Editors note: Originally scheduled for Saturday 5 March, Skywhale has been postponed for one week due to bad weather.

Skywhalepapa stands some ten stories high and carries under his nurturing fins the brood of calves that his partner’s magnificent dugs had caused us to wonder about. As Piccinini says, what started as a character has “become a relationship and a narrative”. This lofty pod, with their exemplary share-parenting credentials, will never crash and burn, and they make those Supercouples so beloved by gossip magazines, look miniscule.

Come with the kids to crane your necks and marvel at them and stay for Patricia Piccinini’s visit to the Writers’ Week Kid’s Tent with her new children’s book Every Heart Sings. You can also pick up a knitting pattern to make your own, listen to their new theme song (Jess Green’s “We are the Skywhales”) or think about fashioning your own version of the Three Mills Bakery speciality croissant in their honour. Art events don’t come much bigger than this. They’re tethered here for a limited time so don’t miss them up close.


Cupid’s Koi Garden – FREE Installation by ENESS

Wednesday 9 – Monday 14 March 2022 | 10am – 10pm daily | Keith Stephenson Park, Adelaide Road, Mount Barker

The world’s first inflatable fountain will dominate a local park at Mount Barker for six delightful days. This huge installation is free so take the family for an afternoon of fun.

The world’s first inflatable fountain is brought to you by ENESS, the creators of Airship Orchestra, a hit of Illuminate Adelaide.



Adelaide Writer’s Week – Family Friendly Highlights

Kids’ Day – Free Event

Saturday 5 March 2022 | Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, King William Street

Be part of a magical Saturday of stories, performance and hands-on fun as writers, performers and illustrators take over the Torrens Stage to enliven and excite our youngest readers.

The Opening Weekend kicks off with a stellar lineup of Australia’s biggest names in children’s books including Remy Lai (Pawcasso), Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood (Real Pigeons series), Mem Fox (The Tiny Star, Possum Magic), Felice Arena (Specky Magee series, Fearless Frederic) and artist Patricia Piccinini (of Skywhale fame) among many other guests.

It’s a jam-packed program of fun free activities with some terrific book-ish activities specially designed for the under 12 crowd.


Photo credit: Tony Lewis

Middle Grade & YA Day – Free Event

Sunday 6 March 2022 | Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, Adelaide

The big names of the Australian Middle Grade and YA scene are coming to Adelaide this year with all-time favourites John Flanagan (Ranger’s Apprentice series), Katrina Nannestad (We are Wolves), Matt Okine (Being Black ‘n Chicken, and Chips) and debut South Australian YA writer Lyndall Clipstone (Lakesedge) on the bill.

Rounding out the Middle Grade & YA Day are performances from Australia’s best Spoken Word poets on the Plane Tree Stage with the return of Hear Me Roar! Teens and tweens can relax and enjoy author conversations, panels and spoken word when the bright stars of contemporary literature light up the stage.


things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Adelaide Festival website

What:   Adelaide Festival 2022 & Adelaide Writer’s Week

When:   Wednesday 2 – Sunday 20 March 2022

Where:  Various locations around Adelaide

Who:   Everyone

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: Adelaide Festival website


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