By John Pedler
Published: Monday, August 21, 2023
Showbags, rides and fairy floss – a day at the Royal Adelaide Show can quickly put a dent in the household budget. But there are plenty of fun activities that don’t cost a cent.
Here are some of the best money-saving attractions at this year’s Show.
Animals, so many animals
Check out some of the state’s finest cows, goats, pigs, sheep – and more – as they strut their stuff at the livestock competitions. Who doesn’t enjoy an odd-looking chicken? See all sorts of weird and wonderful feathery folk vie for top honours in the poultry category.
The pet competitions showcase many breeds of dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles and cavies. No, cavies aren’t holes in your teeth, they’re adorable fluffy rodents that most of us know as Guinea pigs.
At the Farmyard Nursery, the kids can make new furry friends among a menagerie of alpacas, miniature horses, goats, chicks and rabbits.
Watch the woodchips fly as competitors test their strength and skill in tree felling, underhand chopping, standing block and sawing contests. Woodchopping has been a showgoers’ favourite since the first competition was held in 1905.
Food and drink tastings
Okay, this one isn’t free, but for just a $2 donation to the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA Education Foundation, you can taste your way around the Taste SA Pavilion, with lots of free samples and products to buy. These popular 20-minute tasting sessions have limited capacity, so get in early so you don’t miss out.
When the sun sets, the skies light up with a dazzling display of colourful fireworks. Head for the Main Arena in time for an 8pm weekday show, or 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. What a great way to end a day of thrills, exhibitions and gluttony.
A note on safety
Getting to and from the Show can be difficult. Instead of spending precious sideshow alley time searching for a park, think about catching public transport. Check out the RAA Go app to help plan your trip.
If you’re driving, remember to keep to the lower speed limits and always keep an eye out for pedestrians. As a pedestrian, don’t let the giant stuffed animals and huge bags of fairy floss obscure your view – stick to the suggested walking paths and stay safe.
Main image: The Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA