South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition

Review by Susannah Marks

Dogs: A Story of Our Best Friend

The latest exhibition at the SA Museum – Dogs: A Story of Our Best Friend has been extended until 2 August 2020 – and if you’re a dog lover or have kids who love dogs then make sure you go and see it before it ends. 

**Please note current information from the SA Museum below:

  • In line with Government advice, the Museum’s overall capacity is currently limited to 80 people at any one time.

  • To assist us with visitor flow and queue management, please consider limiting your visit to one hour.

  • In periods of peak demand, we will have to institute timed ticketing for visitors and restrict all sessions to one hour.

  • Please be mindful of social distancing and keep 1.5m away from others at all time. 

  • The Discovery Centre is currently closed ⠀

  • Before you visit, we highly recommend visiting our website and reading our FAQs

We are a family of dog lovers so this was the perfect exhibition for us. We headed along and took some photos to share with you. The exhibition is chock-full of information about man’s best friend and also features some fun interactive experiences for smaller museum visitors. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

Dog sculptures on North Terrace by Climbing Tree

Outside the museum on the lawn you’ll find a series of super-sized dog sculptures created by Climbing Tree who are the clever people behind several of our favourite nature playgrounds. My children enjoyed exploring these sculptures before we headed into the exhibition itself. 

You can buy your tickets at the museum shop. You’ll also find an array of canine-themed gifts available for purchase. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

Puppy Parade

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition

Just outside the entrance to the Dogs exhibition is an interactive station which my little people made a beeline for. You’ll find stuffed toy dogs of different breeds attached by their leads to a “runway” with a touch pad and a screen.

Each dog has a tag attached which you can scan to find out what breed the dog is. When you scan the dogs they announce their breeds to you, sometimes in amusing voices. My son particularly liked the pug’s voice. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

Doggy door

Throughout the Dogs exhibition there are a number of places for children to explore.

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

My smallest person enjoyed crawling through this little ‘dog-door’ in the wall. We also spotted a few high-school students who enjoyed crawling through it! There’s also a dog kennel that children can play in. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

And as you would expect there are a number of items such as this statue which are strictly hands-off. 

Dog skeletons 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

My children enjoyed trying to guess the breed of dog by looking at the skeletons. You can then confirm your guess on the touchscreens. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

You can also complete a quiz designed to help you select the ideal dog breed for your family. 

3D printed dogs skulls

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

Learn about dogs’ vision, smell and hearing

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

Although the science here was at times pitched at too advanced a level for my children, they still enjoyed putting on the headphones, pushing the buttons, and listening to the various sounds. 

Zapper augmented reality and fun facts

If you download the Zapper augmented reality app (it’s free to download) then whenever you spot “Jumpy” you can point your phone at the ‘zapcodes’ on the walls within the exhibition and unlock fun facts. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

DOGTV

There’s a screen on the wall that gives you a view into the world of stay-at-home dogs who are lucky enough to be left with DOGTV. It’s a 24/7 digital channel with scientifically-developed dog-friendly content designed to make dogs feel less lonely while their owners are left out. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

Activity Trail

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

On your left as you walk into the exhibition you’ll find a selection of orange boards with orange lanyards attached to them. Kids are welcome to take them and use them as they wander around the exhibition. They feature prompts designed to help kids to engage more with the exhibition. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

Short films about dogs and their owners

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review

You’ll find a selection of short films designed to illustrate the bond between dogs and their owners. My children enjoyed parking up and watching these. They particularly liked watching the behind the scenes footage of a dog breeder getting her dogs ready for a dog show. 

Dogs in popular culture

My kids especially enjoyed this part of the exhibition and racing each other to identify the dogs from movies and cartoons. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

Members of the public were invited to upload a photo of their dog with #samsbestfriend – you can see some of these photos in the exhibition. 

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

South Australian Museum Dogs Exhibition Review by Susannah Marks

Read more about the Exhibition here 

This review was written and photographed by Susannah Marks. Originally from New Zealand, she now calls Adelaide home and loves getting out and about and exploring all the fabulous things for families to do in Adelaide.


For more information and all enquiries please visit the South Australian Museum website

What:   Dogs: A story of our best friend 

When:  29 November 2019–26 April 2020 | South Australian museum opening hours: 10am to 5pm daily.

Where: South Australian Museum 

Who:     dog lovers of all ages 

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.

As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently. All photos are by Susannah Marks for Play & Go. See her blog Seesaws & Cellar Doors for more of her photographs.

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