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Last Minute Tips and Tricks for the Royal Adelaide Show

The show ends tomorrow, but it’s definitely not too late to head along. My daughter and I went and visited today so we could give you the best tips and tricks we could find. This is also known as helping you learn from our mistakes. The below tips are designed to help your show experience be as smooth as possible and to help you spend money effectively. You can also skip to the bottom for some of our ‘quick tips’.

  1. Buy your tickets online. The lines are long to buy a ticket when you arrive, and they move slowly. If you already have a ticket, you can move right through. After about five minutes of waiting in line, we gave up and bought a ticket online, which was immediately texted to us. Having that let us walk straight through. Also, depending on where you enter (we entered via the railway entrance), there isn’t much shade, and it gets quite hot. This leads me to my next tip:
  2. Bring sunscreen and a hat. We didn’t think to do so because it was a relatively cold day, and we cooked! There is very little shade even in sitting areas, so make sure you and the kids are being sunsmart. 
  3. Plan ahead. There is SO much to do at the show. Even just a few minutes on the Royal Adelaide Show website the morning before you leave will help. This will make sure you know about everything the show has to offer, and more importantly will help you know what you actually want to see! Consider jotting down your must-do activities and getting those done first, in case of any overtired kids later in the day. 
  4. Enjoy each activity! It seems self-explanatory, but really take the time to enjoy and dive into each activity rather than rushing off to the next thing. This is where the above tip is helpful – if you know what you want to see and what you don’t care about, you’ll be freer to invest in each activity rather than rushing to see everything! 
  5. Head to the South Australian Country Women’s Association cafe. They have reasonably priced whole, fresh food. It’s also completely staffed by volunteers who have incredibly lovely service. They have cute little touches like a scone tally that tells you how many scones they’ve served each day of the show. There is seating, juices for kids, and hot drinks. They do specific dinner meals but have a great generic menu for lunchtime.
  6. Kids will get overtired and overwhelmed! The show is incredibly busy and full of life. There’s a lot of walking and excitement. Kids will probably lose it at some point during the day. Know where there are quick distractions: you can pat cows in the agricultural shed and hold chicks in the poultry pavilion. Keep an eye out for secluded areas where you might be able to take a breather and hand out snacks. If you plan for these moments, you’re less likely to get stressed out and the situation will feel more manageable. 
  7. Visit Taste SA! As adults, we really loved exploring produce from all around the state. Whilst it’s not the most entertaining thing for kids, most stalls do have tasting available which kids will enjoy. 
  8. Look for hidden treasures outside of the show bag hall! The show bags are one of the highlights of the show, and it’s so exciting walking around and choosing what you want. However, we ended up being more excited about the things we found in Taste SA than the show bags that we bought. It might be worth using some show bag budget elsewhere.  
  9. The toilet lines are LONG. If your kid says they need to go, take urgent action. We were in line for ten minutes, and by the time we came out, the line had doubled in size. 
  10. Public transport is your friend. The parking lines are long and spaces are limited. The bus or train adds some extra time to the day, but not having the stress of parking made the experience a lot more fun. This tip is more for day trips as some people may not feel safe on public transport and walking after dark.
  11. Limit your time in the show bag hall. The show bag hall is a flurry of activity and densely packed crowds. Consider tag teaming with your partner and having one of you sit outside with the kids for a probably much-needed rest while the other goes in and gets the show bags. The lines are extensive and there’s barely room to move, which is part of the atmosphere, but especially difficult for those with prams.  You could pick all the show bags online with your family and go in with a list of bags and stand numbers to make it even quicker, which still keeps your kids part of the process. 
  12. Set a budget and stick to it. The show is a money drain, and we were slightly airy fairy with our budget! Don’t get caught up in show gimmicks (although the occasional gimmick is okay). Buy what is practical and what you know you will use later (Taste SA is great for this).

Those are our best observations and tips built from our trip to the show. We’ve also got some quick ones for you below.

Our Quick Tips

  • There are cheap toasties in the dairy pavilion/milk bar. 
  • Get show bags at the end of the trip instead of the start so there’s less to carry around (and you’ll be able to use your remaining budget for show bags rather than your remaining budget for the rest of the show).
  • The live music is well worth watching! Consider stopping for a snack break and watching one of the bands. From what we heard walking around, they are super talented.
  • Go earlier in the day if you don’t care about the fireworks. By 5pm we could barely move through the crowds.
  • Read Lauren’s show bag review here for some tips about the 2022 show bag selection.
  • Don’t waste money on show bags full of things you can buy at the grocery store.
  • Have fun! 

Let us know how you go with these tips and have an excellent day at the show!

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