There’s nothing quite like a South Australian summer – it’s on for young and old. It’s all beaches, 40 degrees of shimmering heatwaves, ice cold beers, (not jumping off) jetties, wine and music festivals. It’s so close, we’re practically licking the salt off our lips already. Here’s a list of summer events and happenings to keep you busy till February rolls round.
Christmas is fast approaching so it’s time to get into the spirit and experience Santa’s Wonderland at the Adelaide Showground. Think free amusement rides, Christmas-themed stage shows, an ice skating rink, tobogganing, and a Christmas activity trail. Perfect for all ages, it’ll have everyone excited and listening out for the sounds of Santa’s sleigh. 8 to 24 December. Adelaide Showground. From $29.95 a ticket.
New Year’s Eve
Head to the CBD for Adelaide City Council’s free family-friendly bash at Elder Park where two firework displays will light up the sky (9pm and midnight). There’s a dedicated kids zone from 6pm until 9:30pm, too. Or, hit the bay for a free family-friendly concert on Glenelg foreshore. Fireworks light up the sky at the jetty at at 9.30pm and midnight. 31 December, City and Glenelg. Free.
Take full advantage of our stunning summer nights in Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens and park yourself in front of this outdoor cinema to watch this season’s hottest movies. Catch the wide range of new releases or pick a night that’s playing a classic (we’re talking old school Dirty Dancing and The Breakfast Club) Pack a picnic spread with some blankets, pillows and your fave snacks. December to 18 February, Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Tickets from $14.50.
Head for the Hills Mountain Biking Adventures
Are the kids getting too playful for the house? Maybe they’re too attached to their screens? Whatever the case, this school holiday program is perfect to get them in touch with their adventurous side. Classes are offered for beginner and experienced bikers, located in both the north and south of Adelaide. For ages 11 to 14. 19 December to 18 January, Adelaide Hills. Tickets $85.
Ebenezer Night Markets
Located in one of our favourite CBD zones, The East End is opening a strip of markets in Ebenezer Place for selected dates this summer. Find unique crafts, handmade jewellery, clothes, art, household items and delish food. December to 10 March, Ebenezer Place, City.
Beachfront Twilight Markets
Holdfast Bay is hosting a couple of markets at the beautiful hours of twilight. Come check out the Lollipop Markets showcasing boutique handmade products. Accompanying them will be a cellar door and plenty of food trucks, with kids activities and live entertainment. If you missed out on their December market, be sure to make an appearance at the next two. 12 January and 9 January. Discover more here.
Santos Tour Down Under
The world-renowned Tour Down Under races into its 20th year in 2018. Set up trackside and watch the competition unfold in the hills or on the coast. If you’re getting restless on the sidelines, don the Lycra and race with fellow fanatics in the Bupa Challenge Tour. 13 to 21 January. Various locations in Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula and Hills. Free to watch, starting from $85 to race.
Unley Gourmet Gala
This food fest takes place on the eve of the Tour Down Under Stage 2 from King William Road to the Barossa. Local retailers and restaurants will present food and drink to the masses in a street party setting. There will be fashion parades promoting the best of King William Road boutiques, cooking demonstrations, live music, DJs, and roving performers. 16 January, 5pm – 10pm. King William Road, Hyde Park. Free entry.
Adelaide Strikers Vs Hobart Hurricanes
Support the Strikers as they take on the Hurricanes late in the season. By this point of the tournament, all the lads have found their groove, so don’t be surprised if Head and Lehmann send a couple into the second tier. But please, keep your eye on the ball! 17 January, Adelaide Oval. 7pm onwards. Tickets: adults $20, kids $5.
Port Lincoln Tunarama Festival
Ever wondered about the aerodynamic possibilities of tuna? Answer the riddle by witnessing the Tuna Toss competition this year at Tunarama, a festival celebrating Lincoln’s thriving tuna industry. While you’re there, check out the street parade, live tunes, fireworks, or try out some fresh seafood. Yum. 25 to 28 January. Port Lincoln Foreshore. Free.
Channel 9 News Jetty to Jetty Swim
Starting from Grange Beach and stretching across 2.2km to Henley, the Jetty to Jetty is a family fun day event where you can support local swimmers complete their annual Australia Day swim. 26 January, Grange Jetty. Discover more and register here.
Australia Day at Elder Park
The Australia Day Parade kicks off the night with over 100 community groups showcasing what they love about Australia. The concert then starts in Elder Park, with a series of commemorations and performances from many iconic Aussies. Fireworks will light up the River Torrens to finish the night. This event is perfect for the whole family. 26 January, Elder Park, City. Free.
Wine. We’d drink to that. Head to the Adelaide Hills and play it cool over the three-day program, soaking up reds, whites, and the sun. Socialise with the bigwigs before they go into harvest hibernation. To top it off, enjoy a sprinkle of fine food, art, theatre and dance as you luxuriate in the rolling vineyards. Ahhh. 26 to 28 January. Various locations Adelaide Hills. Discover more here.
Crush: The North Shore Beach Party
A beach in the Adelaide Hills? At an historic estate, no less. We’re intrigued, too. Glen Ewin Estate is transforming their grassy knolls into sandy stretches this Crush Festival, creating their very own beach. There will be pools, inflatable toys, a slip and slide and icy poles to entertain the whole family. Wine tastings and food are also available. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can book a private VIP spa package pool for you and your mates. 28 January. Glen Ewin Estate, 43 Lower Hermitage Road, Houghton. Tickets: adults $15, kids $5.
Did you know you can pick your own figs at Willabrand’s 12,000 fig tree orchard at Glen Ewin Estate, north east of Adelaide? Pick every day throughout February and March from 9am to 3.30pm (later on weekdays). On Thursdays there’s twilight picking until 10pm (alternating entertainment includes live music one week and a film in the orchard the next). There’s a fig bar serving fig gin and cocktails, too. On 25 March a special fig luncheon takes place. Book ahead for that one. Fig season February to March.
Fleurieu Film Festival
This three-day event is for film buffs who love to support local talent. It kicks off with a film screening, awards night and fireworks display at Serafino Winery on 9 February (6.30pm, from $30/concession), followed by a screening of finalists at Yankalilla Memorial Oval on 10 February (6.30pm, from $30/concession), and a filmmakers’ forum at McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitors Centre on 11 February (11am, free entry). Discover more here.
ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
Adelaide golf fanatics get ready. This event attracts most of the world’s top players. This year’s competition boasts defending champion Ha Na Jang. It all happens at Adelaide’s beautiful Kooyonga Golf Club. 15 to 18 February, Kooyonga Golf Club, May Terrace, Lockleys. Tickets: Adult $25, Concession $19.
Sealink Kangaroo Island Racing Carnival
Spruce up into your most fashionable suit or dress for the annual Kangaroo Island horse racing carnival, and mingle through the entertainment, marquees, platters of local food and wine. Saturday 17 February, 11am – 6pm, Cygnet River Racecourse. 1 Hog Bay Road, Cygnet River. Tickets from $20.
The Adelaide Fringe is a cultural explosion. Tent-hop, taking in some of the best local, national and international performers, who’ll make you laugh, smile, gasp, or perhaps, cry. Alternatively, relax with a bev in The Garden of Unearthly Delights among the fairy-light-hung eucalypts and idiosyncratic characters. 16 February to 18 March. City. Tickets various prices.
If Adelaide gets a Fringe, then so does the South. Smaller, but no less punchy! Head to Port Noarlunga and soak up the live entertainment, art installations, workshops, food, drink and artisan markets, all by the beach. An exciting new event that debuted in 2016. 16 to 25 February. 21 Wearing Street, Port Noarlunga. Tickets: Saturdays from $20. Fridays and Sundays, gold coin donation.
Queen + Adam Lambert
This insanely popular muso-mash returns to Adelaide after its sold out 2014 tour. The performers will celebrate the 40th anniversary of hits like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champions’, giving fans the chance to experience the closest thing we have to Freddie Mercury in the modern day. Rock on! 27 to 28 February, 8:15pm onwards. Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Tickets from $173.
Got anymore cracking summer events? Let us know in the comments, below.