A heaps good (& cheap) Christmas

Cultural Heart

Celebrating Christmas doesn’t need to blow your budget. Here are a few uniquely Australian and Adelaidean Christmas traditions that won’t cost the world. Gather your mates and plan a lazy summer day in the city with these free and cheap Christmas activities.

Throw another prawn on the barbie

The iconic Aussie sausage takes a back seat to the mighty prawn on Christmas Day. There’s nothing more satisfying than the sizzle of a jumbo prawn on the BBQ. 

Head to one of the 70 free BBQ spots throughout the Adelaide Park Lands after you pick up prawns at the Adelaide Central Market. The market traders sell so many prawns at Christmas that they’re guaranteed to be super fresh and competitively priced.

City BBQ spots

Grab some cherries while you’re at the market! Hanging cherries over your ears is a traditional summer accessory.


Treat yo self

Retail therapy is a good thing — seriously! There's research that shows "retail therapy has lasting positive impacts on mood." So getting a gift for you, from you, is a great idea! 

Plus there's no where else in Adelaide that feels quite like a scene from Love Actually than a department store jewellery counter. 

Rundle Mall

Rundle Mall, opening hours

East End Adelaide

Rundle Street and surrounds, opening hours

If you're extra strapped for cash then a do-it-yourself gift is a great solution. Use our DIY gift guide to pick up some low-cost supplies and craft a heartfelt gift. Even if the gift ends up looking less like a masterpiece and more like a piece of something else, don't worry because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Be a good sport

The camaraderie and competition of summer sports is part of why we’re known as land of ‘cheeky larrikins’. Dig through the cupboards for a ball and gather your neighbours for a match. 

Cricket and bowls are the classic choices but there are tons of sport courts you can use throughout the Adelaide Park Lands for a free and fun way to spend an afternoon.

70 free sport courts

Adelaide Bowling Club

Rymill Park / Murlawirrapurka, Dequetteville Terrace

A cardboard box for cricket stumps is totally acceptable, especially if it once held your festive beverages or last night’s pizza.

Cricket park

Among the gumtrees

Drag a deck chair and an esky to a shady spot in the Adelaide Park Lands and then kick back and relax to the sounds of the magpie’s warble. 

If your group includes little ones, make sure you set yourself up close to one of the city’s ten playspaces.


Adelaide Park Lands

Getting a “good spot” is a sport of its own so be prepared! It’s not uncommon for people to arrive hours before a gathering to claim a lush shady spot with a mosaic of picnic blankets.

Adults kids playing marshmallow playspace

Escape the heat

Going to the cinema on Boxing Day is a tradition around the world but it’s especially relevant in Australia as a perfect way to make an air conditioned escape for a few hours. 

If a blockbuster is not your style, head into the South Australian Art Gallery and SA Museum – they’re both open every day over the festive period except December 25.

Palace Nova Cinema

3 Cinema Place, Off Rundle Street, Adelaide

Adelaide's Cultural Precinct

North Terrace, Adelaide