Thought I'd throw some ideas out there for those who may be new arrivals with kids in tow or even those here a while who perhaps haven't discovered some of these things yet.
Many of these are outdoors so suncream, hats and so on are a given. Some are free activities, others paid.
Any other suggestions welcome :) If listing something can you please include a link to it if posssible (not a Facebook or social media link though) and if you've used it, your thoughts/feedback on it and its facilities. It all helps
Starting off with a few of the larger play parks
St Kilda playpark, in the north has had a revamp and should still be open to the public with ongoing improvements over the coming months. When we visited the kids had a fab time for sure, but I did feel it was rather old and tired and in need of some TLC and better facilities to make me want to go back to use it again and for it to be worth considering a day trip or at least a good chunk of the day. Can use the finder HERE
Nearby to the playpark is the mangrove swamp. Worth a visit to wander the boardwalk IMHO but make sure to go at a time of day the mozzies won't be so prevalent. Also may well need to get the key to the centre and beyond from the local fishing store/cafe place a short walk away. They have shortened the boardwalk also in recent times as the upkeep against the tide was too great so its a much shorter walk but still a good way to spend an hour. Some hides to sit in so you can bird watch and its wonderfully quiet and eerie in a good way. Also you'll see the salt lakes near this (man made iirc but still cool to see pink water and salt).
A park I love is Tusmore Park. It has a huge uncover outdoor paddling pool for kids and big kids alike, plus a nice small play park area, tennis courts, BBQs, trails, lots of shade and toilets. Its to the east of the CBD, heading toward Burnside area. Well worth a visit on a hot afternoon or for a picnic with the kids.
Glover Playpark Review of it HERE
Princess Elizabeth Playground on South Terrace is also good. Had a revamp recently.
Not forgetting Jubilee Park in Port Noarlunga. Big wooden fort, toilets, BBQ
There are many many other play parks/adventure playgrounds in and around Adelaide. I've just mentioned a few of the ones we have visited and like or found good for a day out if going further afield.
For the full listing of play parks you can view them HERE
Dolphin spotting boat tours in Port Adelaide.
This is IMHO well worth a trip to Port Adelaide for. In fact, we know people who have been back a fair number of times now and we plan to go again ourselves over the summer hols.
There seem to be two companies operating the cruises from the same dockside. They are Port Princess and Dolphin Explorer. We went with the Port Princess one, smaller boat, less fuss and perhaps more basic but it seemed the boat was able to divert far more than the other cruise company seemed to (the other boat just went up and down, we meandered) and so we were able to follow a pod of dolphins up close and get to see them for a fair while. It might have been they just didn't see the dolphins or did not want to be near another tour boat, who knows. We got to see lots of dolphins though so all good for us :)
We went on a weekday in the spring school holiday, took a packed lunch to eat on board, sunnies and hats and slathered the sun cream on. We did the second tour of the day and rocked up about an hour early to buy tickets but of course, no one around selling them then as out on the boat with an earlier cruise . Might be different during the summer hols and they may have someone around to sell tickets earlier but worth double checking if you can.
Whilst waiting for the cruise to kick off we legged it up the Port Adelaide lighthouse tower. If you have a head for heights, its fun to do. Its right where the tours depart from so no need to go anywhere. Also public toilets are next to it.
We also had a good wander around the harbour and Port Adelaide. Some lovely old shipping buildings to see, cafes tucked away and ample parking we found.
Seeing the wildlife
Cleland Wildlife park. Up in the hills and you can combine it with a wander through one of the nearby towns or the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens perhaps. Or Mt Lofty itself. There is also the Adelaide Zoo in Adelaide, (never been as no one seems to rate it since the pandas arrived and everything else had to leave, so I am told ) or Monato Zoo out up past the Adelaide hills heading east, beyond Hahndorf and other small towns. Have yet to check it out but its on our list of places to visit over the holidays.
You could also take a wander through the Hallet Cove Conservation Park. We've done both with kids but would not recommened it on a hot day. Better to go when there is cloud and its cooler or go early in the day before the heat kicks in. Take lots of fluids and usual sun protection. The conservation park has toilets and a cafe at the Hallet Cove end. We started at the opposite end and walked over to Hallet Cove, checked out the beach (not really a swimming beach IMHO, more of a walking one) and used the loos and got an icecream at the cafe. Then headed back along the boardwalk along the coastal path to where we had left the car. Woth a wander for the Sugarloaf and the wildlife you may spot. Plus the stunning views.
Or take a wander up Waterfall Gully. Again, hot day it may not be advisable but if you pick the right weather, a fab hike. Its a lot of uphill heading out, downhill on the way back. Ensure you take plenty of fluids and be prepared for no loos unless at the car park at the bottom or if you reach the summit of the walk.
How about indoor rock climbing for the adventurous amongst you? There is Boulderzone in Thebarton and also Vertical Reality Climbing in Holden Hill. Can find their info HERE.
A few other things for those at a loose end
* Ten pin bowling (we use the Bowland at Westfield Marion).
* Victor Harbor for a day out. Can walk round Granite Island also, perhaps do the fairy penguin tour at dusk if still around. Also the horse drawn tram over to the island. And Victor Harbor has lots of cafes, a couple of nice play parks, some small fun fair rides and so on for the kids.
* Glenelg for the beach, water fountains in Moseley Square, small play park round by the Buffalo and marina, great gelato and the Beachhouse. Showers and toilets near the beach, shops for a wander, cafes close by. Also the Beachouse for those so inclined. Lots of activities to do inside including the waterslides. Prices can be a bit steep IMO and we tend to go on the weekend morning when they offer cheaper rates. Means getting there early but don't mind that on a hot day if we can make use of the water slides for a while before hitting the beach for an hour.
* Head into the CBD for a day out. Perhaps take the tram or train to save on parking. If you want you could start off at the Central Market, grab some food from there to make a picnic lunch then hop back on the tram (free in the city zone) and wander down to the Botanic Gardens for lunch. Let the kids run and play and then take a 10 minute wander back up to the Adelaide museum and art gallery. The museum usually has lots of kids in it and is busy but an interesting place to visit. Also check in advance what play parks you can access nearby should you want to take a wander along the parklands or hop the free bus on the city loop.
* Marion Outdoor swimming pool (and waterslide). The slide was replaced this year, does not run into any of the pools so is good for younger kids. Its bigger than the old one. Marion has a number of pools, the main one, a kids pool and a toddler paddling pool. Both the kids ones are covered with sun sails. Also there is a BBQ, large area of grass and shade to pick a spot to sit in and make a day of it with a picnic with family and friends. We love hitting this pool on a hot day and prefer it over the beach in many ways as more shade and things to do in the heat of the day. Change facilities and toilets, plenty of parking and cafe etc on site.
* And don't forget, coming up toward the end of January is the Tour Down Under (cycling). The tour will have a village set up in the centre of Adelaide in Victoria Square and its well worth a visit for an afternoon on its opening day or two IMHO or any other time. Its free entry and some stuff for the kids to do and freebies being given out. Plus on the Sunday at the start and end of the week you can see the cyclist race around a city circuit and enjoy that. We went along to pretty much every stage last year, saw a few finishes, cheered them along and really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of it. Stirling was a fab day out when they raced through there, as was Victor Harbor. We also went along to the team presentations on the Saturday evening and soaked up the evening sun while scoffing from the hamper.
Also remember to check out your local parks and reserves for their facilities. We have tennis courts, BBQ and a play park at our local one. We use the tennis courts for tennis and cricket, plus the kids can kick a footy, run around, bike and more. Easily pass an afternoon there.