By Sasha Oelsner
Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2023
When it’s raining outside, and your kids (and you) are suffering from cabin fever, it’s time to head out.
But you don’t have to sit on a soggy park bench or brave the winter wind. Here are some great indoor activities around Adelaide this winter.
Day at the museum
Museums are great rainy day places. Not only will you stay dry, but you and your children may learn something new. What’s not to love about a fun and educational experience? We’re spoiled for choice, so here are some top contenders for the school holidays.
The South Australian Museum is the obvious first choice. Located on North Terrace with a tram stop out front, the museum spans five floors and houses more than five million specimens and cultural items. Open every day, entry is free with some special events ticketed, so check the website for what’s on.
Make a day of it in Port Adelaide. If you want a few options, here are three outings you can have up your sleeve. Start the day at the South Australian Aviation Museum. Budding engineers and pilots will love climbing into aircraft cabins. Prepared to be inspired by the history of aviation, the part South Australia has played and what the future holds. All the aircrafts and displays are housed out of the elements in giant hangars.
From here, it’s a short walk to the National Railway Museum. For little train enthusiasts, this is a must do. Many of the trains and carriages are on display inside two large pavilions, and if there’s a break in the weather, make sure the whole family takes a ride on the miniature train around the museum, which is included in the price of admission.
Finally, the South Australian Maritime Museum is just a short walk up the road – if your feet are still feeling up to it! Open daily, the museum is completely undercover. Your little explorers can discover three floors of exhibitions, recreations and historic artifacts of our oceans and rivers.
Make sure you grab a Museums in the Port brochure at your first stop. Upon presentation you’ll get 25 per cent off your admission at the remaining two museums.
That’s not the last museum you should put on your must-visit list. If you’re up for a winter drive in the Adelaide Hills, your car obsessed young’uns will be revved up for the National Motor Museum in Birdwood. From antique vehicles to a rare DeLorean, car fans young and old will have a great winter day out. Until 24 July, go Around the World with the National Motor Museum’s LEGO® Trail to learn the secret word and win great prizes.
Many museums have additional activities just for kids, so check out their websites before visiting.
To infinity and beyond
If your kids have their head in the stars, then make sure you check out one of Adelaide’s newest experiences. The Australian Space Discovery Centre was launched in 2021 at Lot 14 and is open every day during the school holidays. The Discovery Centre welcomes visitors of all ages, however the visitor experience is targeted at people 12 years and above.
The experience is split into four different zones: To Space, On Orbit, Space for Australia and Beyond Earth. The next generation of the space workforce – that’s our kids – will discover Australia’s role in space travel and be inspired to learn how they can be a part of it in the future.
The Australian Discovery Centre also runs a large range of digital sessions which you can tune into from the comfort of your own home.
Head to Mawson Lakes to learn about the stars. Your little astronomers can watch the mysteries of the solar system unfurl before their eyes at the Adelaide Planetarium. Running until Friday 21 July, the Planetarium is hosting a series of school holiday activities including special screenings and virtual reality experiences for kids aged seven to 12.
If you’ve got a tiny Poh or Callum in the kitchen, then a day out at the Scoffed Cooking School might be just the treat. Blending cooking with fun, there’s a class for everyone aged five years and older.
From sourdough pizza and gyoza to Christmas-in-July goodies and hearty moussaka, your little ones will be cooking up a storm in no time. There are even classes for the whole family these school holidays. To sweeten the deal, RAA members get five per cent off all bookings.
If your little ones are climbing the walls – and driving you up the wall – here are a few different indoor options to help them let off steam.
Put that abundance of energy to good use with school holiday kids-only sessions at Adelaide’s Bouldering Club. Watch your kids climb someone else’s walls under the watchful gaze of experienced rock-climbing coaches. There’s no minimum (or maximum!) age, so the whole family can learn a new skill.
For all our future pilots (who are currently aged eight to 12 years), let them soar with a flying simulator at Flight Experience Adelaide. Young pilots-in-the-making will be able to experience the Boeing 737 Simulator which is certified for real-world pilot training. If you’re feeling game, there are experiences for adults – so you can try getting behind the console too.
Your kids are bouncing off the wall. Why not let them literally bounce off the walls? Head to BOUNCE Inc in Marleston or Greenacres and let the whole family loose. You’ll find trampolines galore, padded walls and cushy airbags to launch yourself at. Learn how to do a flip, soar through the air and experience the joy of getting the body moving. For RAA members, spring into action with adult and family pass discounts.
Like the museum, the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) is another perfect rainy day activity. The gallery has so many works of art (about 47,000 and counting) that if you looked at each piece for a single minute, you’d be there for more than a month without sleeping! This makes the gallery perfect for repeat visits as you’ll never be able to see everything in one go. Check out The Studio during the school holidays, where visitors of all ages can contribute the everlasting garden by making your very own paper flowers.
With multiple locations across Adelaide including the Barossa, Little Picasso’s school holiday program puts paint to paper, getting your children aged between two and 16 out of the weather and into the studio. It’s more than painting though. Your budding Michelangelo can learn how to build a drawing from base shapes, engineer a tree house out of wood and rope or even find out how to bead and weave.
The big screen
You’ve grabbed your comically large box of popcorn and your extra large froke (frozen Coke). What could be better on a rainy day than settling in to watch a movie on the big screen?
There’s plenty of film options for kids and the young at heart these school holidays. Relive your childhood while creating formative memories for your little ones with the latest The Little Mermaid adaption or join action hero Indy on his latest adventure, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. These movies and more are on in cinemas right now.
Bonus: Something for the kids at heart
At the end of the long day out entertaining the young ones, it’s time for you to relax!
The new-look Brighton Metro featuring Charlie’s Diner buffet keeps your kids busy while you have a much needed feed. With an indoor playground for the small ones and games for the older ones, you’ll be able to grab yourself a wine and some tucker and let them burn off that excess energy.
On the other side of town, try the Rezz Hotel in Newton. Here your children will be spoiled for choice with three play areas in the Kid’s Zone. Open from 8am every day, the little ones can have fun climbing, sliding, gaming and colouring while you give yourself a well-deserved break.