Adelaide Adventures Part 1: Museums

My kids love a good museum and Adelaide has some great ones, all of which offered school holiday activities.

We started off at the South Australian Museum in the city – and as luck would have it, we were there on the last day of “Fossil Week”, a free event with lots of activities out on the front lawn around dinosaurs and fossils.

Luella loved the dinosaur bone dig in the ball pit.


There were lots of digging stations complete with magnifying glasses and brushes around as well.


Inside, Luella took part in the first of MANY scavenger hunts she would do that week (and who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?) This one was really great, took us all through the museum exhibitions and she got a Paleontologist certificate at the end.

Next up was the Art Gallery of South Australia. Their featured exhibit was the work of Aussie painter Quilty and there was a free kids’ activity creating self portraits.



Niko may have had a little help with his. Although he did draw the lovely green frame.


AGSA also had a structured painting workshop for kids which sounded cool, but at $15 we decided to opt out. While the kids drew and played in the courtyard outside, I took the time to take in the Quilty exhibit. It’s been so long since I’ve been to an art museum on my own!


Wrapping up our tour of the museums in the city, we went to the Migration Museum. This one was much smaller, but had some interesting info and a good message about welcoming immigrants – something I appreciate as an immigrant, myself!

We did a workshop on making snow globes but I have to be honest, Luella was not super engaged, and we got a souvenir that leaked glittery water everywhere! They also had a scavenger hunt but the kids got bored of this one pretty quickly.


A few days later we drove up to Port Adelaide (about 30 minutes out from the city) to check out the National Railway Museum and the Maritime Museum. (There’s also an Aviation Museum but we couldn’t fit all 3 into one day.)

The Railway Museum doesn’t particularly interest me, but look at Niko’s face going around the little train ride:

It doesn’t get much more exciting than that! 😉

They also had a little scavenger hunt and as it wasn’t a very busy day, one of the very passionate museum volunteers gave us a personal tour and a little bit of help ticking items off our list.

Probably my favourite scavenger hunt of the week was at the Maritime Museum, which started outdoors, having to find a particular ship at the wharf, and spotting semaphore flags from the lighthouse which we had to decode.

I rather liked the parts where we had to rest because of a smallpox outbreak and I broke my arm in a slippery deck accident but Luella found them “scary”. We were given a big that came with a compass, bandage, timer, maps, and more.


Inside, the museum features some great interactive exhibits including a ship that kids can board and explore, and some pirate and sea creature-themed games.

All up, for a family of four, over the course of four days and five different museums, we paid about $65 – which comes to $3.25 per person per day. Not too shabby. (And left us more money to spend on food and wine, which Adelaide has in abundance!)

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