Santa’s Wonderland 2019 Tips for Families – Review

Santas Wonderland Adelaide 2017

Santa’s Wonderland is back in Adelaide again until Christmas Eve

So, what’s it like this year? It is still the most magical Christmas event in Adelaide. Santa’s Wonderland is three hours of the best fun – with amusement rides, bouncy castles, ice skating, tobogganing, activity trail, photo sets, lively Christmas stage shows, photos with Father Christmas and more.

Watch our video below of Santa’s Wonderland 2019:



NEW – This year there are Dodgem Cars which we loved and it’s such a fun ride that the whole family can do. 

NEW – They have new ‘seal’ skate aids this year (like the kangaroo ones from a couple of years ago, but seals) – these are fab for pushing a child sitting on it, or to hold onto to keep balance.

NEW – A fab coffee stall is set up near the entrance to the ice skating rink, in front of the stage area.

NEW – The new Cinderella float (as well as others) from the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is there for you to see up close.

NEW – There are even more selfie points and sets for great Christmas photos this year, so make sure to take lots of pics.

Santas Wonderland 2019

Santas Wonderland 2019


♥ It’s a little colder in the pavilion this year – we assume this is to ensure the ice skating rink stays nice and frozen. Bring a jacket if you feel the cold, as we found it a little cooler than usual on our visit. The event is totally inside though, so it’s not dependent on weather at all.

♥ Bouncy castles, ice skating activities etc all involve taking shoes off, so wear ones that are easy to take off and put on.  Make sure your shoes are comfy for 3 hours of walking around. Apart from the tables and chairs in the dining area, there are limited spots to sit down and rest.

♥ There’s the usual fast food – hot chips, nuggets, fish & chips, pies, pizza etc, plus there’s the strawberry stall with chocolate dipped strawberries. No curly fries this year. You can always bring your own food, snacks and drinks, but if you don’t want to waste your 3 hours fun time on eating, try and eat before or after your session.
♥ Get a pic of yourselves inside the giant lit up baubles – they give you a great glow. 
Santas Wonderland 2019
♥ For ice skating – don’t forget to bring some thick socks for the skates. For little ones, trainer velcro skates are available – just make sure they are wearing enclosed shoes/sneakers to be able to use them. Take a spare change of clothes in case your child falls on the ice and gets wet.
♥ There is plenty of space with the walkways and it’s all flat, so is totally fine for strollers and wheelchairs.
♥ It’s free entry for children under 2 years old. 
♥ School holidays for public schools start from Saturday 14 December so if you have little ones that don’t go to school and can go mid-week, it will be a bit quieter and less busy. Try and go before school holiday starts if you can.
♥ Buy your tickets online before you go – it’s cheaper than buying tickets at the box office there.


Ice Skating & Toboganning

The huge ice skating rink is a drawcard.  This year they have new seal skating aids (which are like the blue kangaroo ones from a couple of years ago). Kids can use them to hold onto while learning to skate, or they can sit on them and be taken for a ride. There are also some Santa’s Helpers on the rink at all times, who can help or take little ones on a ride on a seal if their parents are not confident skaters. 

Santas Wonderland 2019


It’s cool when you first start so a long sleeve top and pants is a good idea, for protection as well. However, you won’t need thick jackets to stay warm unless you are one to really feel the cold. If your child is prone to falling when ice skating or is a beginner we would recommend gloves to keep hands warm and offer protection if they fall. Remember to tell them to put their hands into a fist if they fall. It’s worth bringing a spare change of clothes for the kids too, in case they get wet, as it wouldn’t be very comfortable doing the other activities if wet and cold. You could leave this activity til the end in case they get too wet.

The tobogganing is a lot of fun. There are barriers on each side for safety.  This was very popular so at times there may be a bit of a line-up. 

Amusement Rides & Bouncy Castles

If your child loves rides, then they are going to LOVE this. There are rides galore and they are all included as part of your ticket price. The unlimited rides allow us to say “yes” to the constant requests for “ANOTHER” turn on the roller coaster, or toboggan, or bouncy castle, or… or….. or…! It is really nice to not spend the whole time saying “No” to expensive attractions.

These are the same rides you would normally pay about $6 to $8 per ride at The Show. You will easily make up for your ticket price if you go on a few rides over the 3 hours. Check out the selection of rides below. Most are probably suited to children under 10 years old – obviously this depends on your child. Don’t think that parents have to miss out though. Dads who were 6 ft tall were able to fit into the rollercoaster carts, sitting sideways with legs tucked in, while their children sat in the cart behind them, and they had a ball. The dodgem cars, plane ride and tea cups are also fine for adults.

Santas Wonderland 2019

There is an aeroplane ride, a train ride, car ride, animal train ride, and tea cup ride, pictured below.

Santas Wonderland 2019

Ride your very own reindeer in the Reindeer Corral.  You propel yourself along, and adults can even have a turn.

PLUS there are 5 big bouncy castles and slides including this mega one below with balls – the Ice Wonderland Ball Pit! It is one of the most popular attractions for our Play & Go kids who visited it again and again.

santas-wonderland-adelaide-2016 bouncy castles

You can visit Santa and have a photo with him – you can take your own photos or buy photo packages. When we visited, Santa wasn’t busy so we were able to have a quick visit, however on the weekends especially, it is advisable to book a time slot to avoid a line up.

santas-wonderland-adelaide santa visit

There are several different activity ‘worlds’. Visit all the worlds along the activity trail and fill your Santa’s Wonderland bag with little goodies along the way.


Write a letter to Santa below and have a photo with Mrs Claus who sits on a beautiful throne.


Watch the live performances on the stage.  There are roaming characters and the performers are very interactive and entertaining on the stage.

Santas Wonderland 2019

Everywhere you look there are Christmas decorations, gigantic Christmas trees and plenty of photo opportunities. You can take photos in Father Christmas’ sleigh, inside the clear domes, or with the Ice Queen who sits with the Polar Bears (yes, you are not imagining it – the bears do move their heads). You can also get up close to some of the floats from the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.

Santas Wonderland 2019

Sensory Factor

Santa’s Wonderland is full of colour and sensory experiences. There is a lot happening all around you, very excited kids everywhere, loud Christmas carols playing, stage shows and a compere speaking on the microphone often. Please note: for children (and adults) who don’t cope well in high-sensory environments – this may be very overwhelming and probably not suitable.


This is a wonderland for children so as you can imagine there are lots of treats here including fairy floss, slushies, lollies, sno-cones, strawberries with chocolate and ice-cream, pies & sausage rolls, fish & chips, burgers, cheese toasties, soft serves. There are tables and chairs to sit at, to eat or take a rest. You are welcome to bring your own snacks and water bottles. If you don’t want to waste any of your 3 hour fun time on eating though, eat before or after you go. 


Side Show Activities Not Included in Your Ticket Price

We need to point out that there are also side show activities (like the Laughing Clowns) which are not included in your ticket price. They are dazzling to children so be prepared to divert attention or explain if you do not want to pay for these activities.

There is a show bag stand as well with some of the favourites you would normally get at The Royal Adelaide Show.


The three hours flew by so quickly and you really need the whole time to get through all the activities. Having said that it is plenty of time to do all the rides – we didn’t feel rushed and did favourite rides a few times. Check out all the activities on offer above and have a little bit of a plan of what you want to do to make sure you don’t miss doing anything. We didn’t have to wait in line for long for any of the rides as there are so many to choose from (tobogganing was probably the longest line).

There are plenty of  ‘Santa’s Helpers’ who interact with the kids and offer friendly help when little ones need, and are always up for a photo. The atmosphere is very festive with carols in the background and Christmas magic all around you. Led by MC Elf (who is female this year) there are roaming fairies, elves and other fun characters who interact with the kids. This is an outing that will have children dazzled – they probably haven’t seen anything like it before, and are sure to remember the fun they have.

We love that just before the 3 hour session finishes there is the final ‘Christmas Parade’ and show on the stage, where Santa makes an appearance, does a quick song and then tells everyone to go home… it makes it relatively easy to bundle the kids away after that as everything is closed and you aren’t left to be dragging over-tired kids away from all the fun still happening. For parents dreading having to get their kids out of this magical place without resorting to bribery, this is a very well thought out and helpful way to do it!

Santa’s Wonderland have packed in a lot of fun activities all under one roof and have created an experience that children and their parents will sure to have fond memories of.

“Best day EVER,” Hugh, 6 yrs

Get more details about Santa’s Wonderland here

Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes earlier so you are ready to enter when the session starts, to get the most out of your 3 hour session.


Adelaide School Holiday Ideas

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adelaide christmas events

adelaide christmas lights guide

adelaide christmas pageants guide

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Santa’s Wonderland website here.

What: Santa’s Wonderland Adelaide 

When: Friday 6 December 2019 to Tuesday 24 December 2019

Where: Adelaide Showground, Wayville

Who: Christmas Fans!

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.


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