It’s been a year, and you deserve some time off this summer to relax and recharge. But that doesn’t have to mean the price tag that comes with dinner at fancy restaurants or weekend trips interstate: sometimes an inexpensive, easy-to-organise day out is the best thing you can do to unwind. Here are some activities that’ll only set you back $10 or less.
Look at art
Summer is the perfect time to soak up some art, and Tarnanthi – an annual festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art – is showing at the Art Gallery of South Australia, for free, until the end of January. If you want more art, independent spaces such as Ace Open and the University of South Australia’s Samstag Museum of Art are both free to enter and just a short walk from each other.
Take a guided walk through gardens
To get more out of your garden walk, all of the botanic gardens around Adelaide have free guided tours that run weekly or daily. You’ll be surprised by how these elevate your experience, and next time you visit one of the gardens with friends or family, you’ll be a bit of an expert.
Pick strawberries at Beerenberg Farm
One of the cutest dates (romantic, friend or family) in Adelaide is strawberry picking at the Beerenberg Farm. People have been doing it since the ’70s, and at just $5 per person, it’s a great option for an easy day out. The farm shop has been renovated and expanded recently, so you can get a jam to take home, too.
Grab a gelato and stroll by the ocean
Bottega Gelateria, at Henley Beach and Glenelg, is turning out some of Adelaide’s best gelati: everything made from scratch, by hand and in small batches. So it’s worth heading there for a scoop of hazelnut, pistachio or chocolate, or one of the special flavours on rotation (past ones include a yuzu and Moroccan salted lemon). Paired with a walk on the beach? Perfection.
Explore a nature trail
Outside is free, and there are more than a handful of places to make the most of it in and around Adelaide. Go on a relaxing walk at Anstey Hill and explore the ruins of the old nursery, spot the wildflowers at Waite Conservation Reserve, gaze at the coast from the boardwalk at Hallett Cove, or try a more challenging trail at Morialta or Black Hill.
Visit the Adelaide Farmers’ Market
There’s nothing like the bustle of the Adelaide Farmers’ Market on a Sunday morning, and with the new year will come new vendors and new things to try. It’s worth a visit for the people-watching alone, but there are pastries, coffee and other products on offer that will set you back less than $10.
Try a swing dancing class
Swing and jazz-era dance school Swing Out Adelaide runs excellent $5 come-and-try classes at various times during the year. Over the course of an hour, you’ll be taught all of the swing dancing basics you need to know to hold your own in the post-class social dance – the perfect chance to practice your new moves. Keep an eye on their website for details about classes in the new year.
Take a dip at your local pool
There is something so nostalgic about public pools: looking for an empty space to lay your towel on the grass; grabbing an iceblock at the kiosk; diving into the deep end. Most local pools cost less than $10 to enter; for a casual session, the Norwood and Payneham pools cost $8, and tickets for the Marion pool are $7.60. Don’t forget to bring your sunblock.
Try coffee and pastries at the market
There’s no shortage of delicious food options setting you back less than $10 in the Adelaide Central Market precinct – the hard part is choosing. If you haven’t already, try the kaya (coconut jam) buns at Nanna Hot Bake, coffee at Seed & Stone and croissants from Maison Clement.
Check out the museum
When was the last time you visited the South Australian Museum? Possibly a long time ago, so maybe now is the time for another visit. There are more than a few gems across the collections, and at 165 years old, the museum is older than both the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Natural History Museum in London. Entry is completely free.