Top Things To Do in Adelaide for Families This Winter

winter activities for kids in adelaide

Top 12 Family Friendly things to do this Winter with Kids in Adelaide

As we head into the cold winter months, having to survive chilly nights and rainy days can be a challenge! However, just because the sun isn’t shining it doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to see and do around Adelaide.

Adelaide’s milder climate means that it is still possible to venture out into the fresh, crisp air and play outside on clear days, but for those really rainy days consider heading to a cafe for a hot chocolate, visit your local indoor play cafe, go to the movies or burn off some energy at an indoor activity centre.

We have plenty of ideas to keep the kids out and about during the colder months!

1 | Take a Road Trip

With limited travel options and cancelled holidays, why not plan a family road trip to an area in regional South Australia you may not have visited before.  It’s sometimes more comfortable to travel during the cooler months and it’s fun to get outside rugged up in jackets, scarves and beanies.  We don’t have any ski fields in SA, but a couple of nights away in a cottage with a fire place or an adventure in a caravan is fun for all ages. Why not check out the Eyre Peninsula or the Yorke Peninsula, Barossa Valley or Kangaroo Island

2  |  Visit an Art Gallery, Museum or Library

Adelaide is spoilt for choice when it comes to galleries, museums and libraries, not only within the city but in many of our suburbs and country towns too.  North Terrace is your starting point, with the Art Gallery of SA, the South Australian Museum and the State Library.  For older kids the MOD Museum is a must see.  Most councils have a public library with many offering free activities for kids, and they are a great place to hang out on a cold, wet day.

Mod Museum adelaide

3  |  Movies

It’s an obvious one, but devouring popcorn and a choc top while enjoying a family film is a great way to spend some quality time together.  There is always a good selection of movies released before the mid year holidays, and 2021 is no exception.

Disney’s “Cruella,” is an all-new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil (in cinemas 27 May). Space Jam: A New Legacy starring LeBron James and Bugs Bunny has advanced screenings that start on 8 July.  Cranston Academy: Monster Zone (in cinemas 24 June) is an animated horror-comedy film and Spirit Untamed is an epic adventure about a headstrong girl longing for a place to belong who discovers a kindred spirit when her life intersects with a wild horse.

If you pick a clear night you can snuggle up in the back of the car to watch a movie at Wallis Mainline Drive-In Cinema.  Don’t forget to pack pillows, blankets and a thermos of hot chocolate!

4  |  Illuminate Adelaide – Winter Festival of Light

Illuminate Adelaide is set to light up Winter in 2021!  This new annual winter event will take over Adelaide’s city streets, laneways and buildings from June 2021 with light, art installations, immersive technology, music, performance, discussions and ideas. Check out the many family friendly highlights here, such as City Lights (16 July – 1 August).

Illuminate Adelaide light festival

5  |  Burn off energy at an Indoor Play Centre

For those with little ones who are needing to burn off some energy, Indoor Play Cafes tick all the boxes.  Somewhere safe, indoors, and with lots of different play structures will keep the kids busy and active.  Indoor centres such as Bounce or Latitude offer a great range of activities for all ages and footy fans will love AFL Max – Australia’s first dedicated AFL family entertainment centre located here in Adelaide. 

6  |  Bowling & Laser Skirmish

For bragging rights and some friendly family competition, book a lane or two at your local bowling alley.  Rope in another family to join you and celebrate afterwards at a local pub or cafe.  For hours of fun try places like the newly refurbished Kingpin in Norwood, an indoor entertainment complex with bowling, laser skirmish, arcade games plus the latest music, video clips and sports played on huge screens.  Zone Bowling has three locations in Adelaide (Cross Road, Noarlunga and Woodville), Marion Bowland is located at Westfield Marion and Barossa Bowland features a dinosaur themed mini golf course too.

7  |  Warm up in the Adelaide Hills

Wrap yourselves up in your winter woollies and head to the Adelaide Hills.  Mount Lofty Summit has amazing views on a clear day and their cafe and visitor centre is worth a visit.  The walking trail from Waterfall Gully is a great way to warm up!

Explore the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden or head further up the freeway to Hahndorf and explore the shops before finding a cafe to sit by the fire.  The main street is full of unique and quirky shops with all kinds of offerings.  

8  |  Nature Play & Waterfall Walks

Rug up with a warm coat and rubber boots to head out and explore one of our natural reserves or conservation parks.  The rain during winter will see our local waterfalls flowing with plenty of water, and the cooler weather means long walks are less strenuous without the burning sun.

Check out the Morialta First Falls – it’s an easy family friendly walk where you can even take a stroller, and be sure to stop by for a play at Morialta Conservation Park – a unique nature playspace kids love.

You can see the water flowing at Waterfall Gully, where you can walk as little or as far as you feel comfortable, with the view just as lovely from the bottom of the hill.  Enjoy breakfast or lunch at Utopia Restaurant, or just stop in for a coffee and snack.

If the weather is fine, try some nature play activities at your local park. Kids never seem to care about getting cold or wet!!  Nature Play SA has listed some great ideas for getting into nature during winter. Read their list of 25 things to do in winter in Adelaide.

9 |  Indulge in a silky sweet, chocolate treat!

Winter is the perfect time to indulge in a sweet chocolate treat, such as a steaming mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, or delicious sugary churros dipped in melted chocolate.  Find a local cafe with a family friendly vibe, or try one from our tried and tested list here – Your Guide to Adelaide’s Best Hot Chocolates.

st louis regular hot chocolate

10  |  Visit a Playground

On a clear winter day it’s the perfect time to hit those playgrounds, especially those which have metal slides that get hot quickly in summer, such as Dunstan Adventure Playground in St Peters. It always worth a trip out to St Kilda Adventure Playground to try out all the fabulous slides there too.  You can also stay out longer at parks you may usually avoid in summer due to minimal shade. A couple of new playgrounds worth checking out include Lightsview Adventure Playground and the new nature play space at Wittunga Botanic Garden.

Check out some of the top parks & playgrounds in Adelaide or look through our list of Best Playgrounds for Toddlers/Under 5s.

Lightsview Playground Adelaide

11  |  Spend the day at Monarto Zoo

Monarto Zoo can get pretty hot and dusty during summer, so winter is a fantastic time to spend the day at this incredible open range animal sanctuary.  There have been lots of new additions this year, including an adorable Zebra calf and African Painted Dog puppies.  And if you haven’t taken the walk of the brave yet, we highly recommend Lions 360 for an unforgettable experience and the Giraffe Safari is amazing too.

Christmas gift ideas - Lions 360

12  |  Drive South & look for whales

Head down south to Port Elliot, visit the iconic Port Elliot Bakery or grab some delicious fish and chips from the Flying Fish Cafe; climb some trees and rocks; admire the sea views on the Cliff Walk; and maybe spot a whale or two.  You can make the most of Victor Harbor‘s annual coastal visitors, the majestic Southern Right Whales.  The whale watching season generally runs from May to October, so you have a very good chance of spotting them during winter.

Horseshoe Bay over rocks


See our Winter School Holiday Guide for ideas during the school break or check out our Winter Holidays 2021 category.

july school holidays

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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