Bay Discovery Centre | Social History Museum | Glenelg


Bay Discovery Centre in Glenelg

The Bay Discovery Centre is the City of Holdfast Bay’s Social History Museum, located on the edge of Mosley Square and is well worth a visit if you’re in Glenelg.   

Over 40,000 people visit the centre each year.  Children can learn about the early days of Foundation and what life was like by the sea.  Multimedia displays tell the fascinating stories of our past from the first inhabitants to the first European settlers.  There are permanent and temporary exhibitions over two floors. 

The permanent displays include:

  • Voyage and Arrival
  • Colonel William Light
  • The Proclamation
  • A Place by the Sea
  • Jimmy Melrose

On the ground floor gallery the Sea Change Exhibition will be showing from 4 October 2013 to 27 January 2014, a snapshot of seaside life from 1900 to 1960.  You will see how much our laws, dress codes, fashions and behaviours have changed over time – if you take grandparents along they may well remember many of the swimming costumes!   Sea Change features a full size bathing box just like the ones which once lined the beach, once a unique aspect of South Australian social culture.


Various attractions have contributed to the Bay’s unique seaside atmosphere over the years, including the Glenelg Baths, Brighton Bathing Boxes, the Glenelg Pavillion and the Aquarium.  Luna Park was even once part of the old jetty in the 1930s.  Glenelg has changed dramatically over the years and each display tells a story on how this seaside town has grown and developed.


Upstairs the mezzanine gallery features interactive displays that children can touch, hear and see.  This changing program of visual art exhibitions support and promote the work of South Australian artists.  The Bay Discovery Centre is a not-for-profit service initiative of the City of Holdfast Bay and is run by volunteers who meet, greet and assist visitors with a range of local and historical information.



Opening Hours:

  • Open daily from 10am to 4pm
  • Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Entry is by gold coin donation.

There is public car parking available around Glenelg or why not take the tram? The tram to Glenelg runs from the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, through the City of Adelaide and finishes as Moseley Square.

Explore the Glenelg Foreshore Playspace

things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the City of Holdfast Bay website.

What:  Bay Discovery Centre

When:  Open Daily  (except Good Friday, Christmas Day)

Where:  Glenelg Town Hall | Moseley Square, Glenelg

Who:  All Ages | Entry by cold coin donation

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: photos by Play & Go 2013


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