Summer is officially in full swing – and thank God for that after that weird, extended winter we were having. There’s plenty of exciting things to do in Adelaide this January so get out there and make the most of the sunshine while it lasts. From music festivals to high tea river cruises, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this January in Adelaide.
1. Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture at the Adelaide Tết Festival
On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January from 11am until 10pm, Bonython Park will come alive with the annual Adelaide Tết Festival – the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration for their Year of the Cat. After a two-year hiatus, the days and nights certainly won’t lack in entertainment, with everything from lion dances, heaps of Vietnamese food, Chinese chess, calligraphy demonstrations, Miss Ao Dai Pageant, game shows, cultural performances, live music, and of course, fireworks. With over 40 years of the Adelaide Tết Festival, this one is set to be mammoth.
2. Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at the Chinatown Street Party
The Lunar New Year is upon us which means the 20th annual Chinatown Street Party is preparing for their Year of the Rabbit celebration on Saturday 28 January. The soiree will see both Gouger Street and Moonta street enlivened with a spree of lion and dragon dances, karaoke, a bunch of festivities in the Chinatown precinct, 80 specialty stalls and food trucks, and a big old central stage under the Chinatown arch with performances. Find out all the information here.
3. Indulge at the Rosé and Dumpling Festival in the Adelaide Hills
Hosted over two smashing days on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January, the Rosé and Dumpling Festival is set to take over Nairne locale, just on the outskirts of the quaint-ish Mount Barker township. The Howard Vineyard lawns will transform into a shaded sea where your taste buds will be tantalised and your ear buds will be grace by a line-up of live music from local musicians.
The festival will also feature Howard Vineyard’s very own award-winning rosé which won the title of Best Rosé in the Adelaide Hills and the Adelaide Hills Wine Show in 2022. Read all about and secure your tickets to the Rosé and Dumpling Festival here.
4. Catch a glimpse of the rare Corpse Flower in bloom
The Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ Corpse Flower is on the brink of spreading its mammoth petals and releasing its stinky scent, as of Sunday 8 January. The Corpse Flower which resides in the Bicentennial Conservatory, gets its name from the truly revolting ‘perfume’ that is released once it reaches its peak bloom – a smell which is best described as rotting flesh. The rare Corpse Flower is free to witness when it reaches full bloom, with the most nauseating period occurring within the first 24 hours of flowering. Read all about it here.
5. Get gooey at the Glenelg Ice Cream Festival
Returning for its second year, the totally sweet Glenelg Ice Cream Festival is hitting the Jetty Road on Saturday 14 January for an epic street party which will feature a dedicated cream ice cream zone, that will include a variety of stalls from vendors such as Barossa Valley Ice Cream Co, Freeze n Roll, Golden North, and plenty more – it’s an ice dream.
As well as the sticky offerings, the one-day festival will have kids’ entertainment, including face painting and craft activities, live entertainment and music, plus fashion parades that will be held on Chapel Plaza which will showcase the latest and greatest summer collections from several of Jetty Road’s retailers. Find out more information here.
6. Catch an al fresco film at the Moonlight Cinema
Adelaide’s Moonlight Cinema has returned from now until Sunday 19 February. You’ll find it on the Botanic Park lawns on Plane Tree Drive, just on the outskirts of the city. Pack up a picnic rug or a bean bag and sprawl across the lawn for a perfect night at the movies. Read all about it here.
7. Kick up some dirt at Wildlands music festival
If you’re an avid lover of music festivals, then chances are you’ve heard of Wildlands. Since 2019, the festival has brought sold-out events to Brisbane. Wildlands Festival is not only returning to Brisbane this summer, though – they’ve also confirmed that they’ll be coming to Adelaide on Monday 2 January for the first time ever. The international and local line-up includes: Benee, Kaytranada, Dom Dolla, Denzel Curry, Remi Wolf and TKay Maidza, to name a few artists hitting the stage in Ellis Park. Secure your tickets here.
8. Kick back at the West Torrens’ Summer Festival
It’s the community event with the most and after a two-year hiatus, the West Torrens’ Summer Festival is making a comeback with six free events held over the first six weekends of 2023 kicking off on Saturday 7 January. From an open-air outdoor cinema to foodie nights, Summer Festival has a whole heap of family-friendly events.
The weekend happenings include:
- Saturday 7 January – Open Air Cinema, 5pm – 10.30pm, West Torrens Memorial Gardens, Hilton
- Saturday 14 January – All Together Now, 5pm – 9pm, West Torrens Memorial Gardens, Hilton
- Saturday 21 January – Open Air Cinema, 5pm – 10.30pm, West Torrens Memorial Gardens, Hilton
- Saturday 28 January – Splash!, 9.30am – 1.30pm, Mellor Park, Lockleys
- Saturday 4 February – Biggers (Touch-a-Truck), 9.30am – 1.30pm, Kings Reserve and Thebarton Community Centre, Torrensville
- Saturday 12 February – Fork on The Road presents The King’s Fork, 5pm – 10pm, Kings Reserve and Thebarton Community Centre, Torrensville
Pack a picnic or get stuck into some food truck nosh, and enjoy the summery sunshine all while enjoying the tunes of local musicians at West Torrens’ Summer Festival.
9. Practice your grapevine dance for the upcoming Semaphore Greek Festival
On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December from 11am until 10:45pm, the Semaphore Greek Festival is retuning for their 42nd annual celebration of all things Greek right on the seaside location of Semaphore Beach. Expect to indulge in some banging Greek food with the likes of yiros and loukoumades, dance the night away with live Greek bands, and even with a trip to Greece with their event day raffle. Find out more information about the Semaphore Greek Festival here.
10. Be mystified by Agatha Christie’s legendary play, The Mousetrap
The world’s longest-running play is showing no signs of slowing down. Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, is coming to Adelaide in celebration of its Platinum jubilee from now until Sunday 15 January at Her Majesty’s Theatre. One of Christie’s most beloved murder mysteries, The Mousetrap has kept audiences captivated since it first opened in 1952. Directed by the illustrious Robyn Nevin and produced by John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia, be part of theatre history right here at home when this iconic play comes to town. Read all about The Mousetrap and secure your tickets here.
11. Dance heaps to the tunes at Heaps Good Festival
On Friday 6 January at the Adelaide Showgrounds, dance until you drop at Heaps Good music Festival brought to us by the team behind Spin Off. The line-up has scooped together the best acts of the interstate Falls Festivals with the Arctic Monkeys headlining the day. Bless your ears with songs from Chvrches, Jamie XX, Ocean Alley, Spacey Jane, Peggy Gou, Young Franco, and G Flip – to name a few of the killer artists. Secure your Heaps Good Festival tickets here.
12. Sip some fine wine at the Adelaide Wine Markets
On Saturday 21 January from 5pm until 9pm, The Market Shed on Holland will be host to the Adelaide Wine Market, Rose Rumble edition. But it ain’t all about wine – you can sip on beer, cider, spirits and seltzers from some of the best small and boutique producers in South Australia too. As well as the beverages there’ll be a line-up of live music to keep the energy levels high. A couple of labels you’ll be able to try include: Barossa Wine Cartel, Dell’uva Wines, Grounded Cru, New Era Vineyards, Orbis Wines, Tierra Del Puerco, and Windy Gully Vineyard. Nab your tickets here.
13. Live out your German fantasies without a passport at this traditional Schützenfest
On Saturday 14 January from 11am until 7:30pm, make your way to the Gawler Showgrounds for a day jam-packed with steins and entertainment aplenty. Expect plenty of German eats, music, and beer on tap of course. Did someone say giant pretzel paired with an iced cold stein? Yes please! There will also be games and attractions to keep the little ones occupied, all in an outdoor setting for the brand new Schutzenfest.
14. Treat yourself to city views at Penfolds’ new summer terrace in Magill
A mere 15-minute drive from the city to the foothills locale, Penfolds offer the whole kit and kaboodle, and to reel in the warmer months they’re relaunching their Summer Series which will see their terrace back in action along with a range of new experiences, from Wednesday 4 January until Sunday 26 February.
The highlight of this season’s series is the new summer terrace which is situated just nicely to take in the city and vineyard views, all whilst enjoying the warm breeze expelled over the luscious foothills. Atop the terrace you can indulge in Wine On The Terrace, or book in for the Ultimate Twilight Experience. Read all about the new terrace and experience here.
15. Indulge whilst afloat with a Popeye High Tea
Adelaide’s River Torrens is nothing short of calm waters, making for the perfect spot to indulge in a high tea aboard the iconic Popeye cruise. The 90-minute experience will see a sit-down lunch with a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, petit fours and a complimentary refreshment upon arrival. The scenic tour departs from Elder Park Landing in the city and will travel along the Adelaide Riverbank for a day of delight in all aspects of the word. More information here.
16. Just try and stop the beat at Hairspray The Musical
Get ready to shake and shimmy when the feel-good and fabulous Hairspray the Musical comes to town. From now until Saturday 28 January, The Festival Theatre will be host to the vibrant and original Broadway version of Hairspray. Director Jack O’Brien (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), lead the original Broadway creative team in this fun and endearing production. Read all about the production here.
17. Soak up some summery vibes at the Moseley Beach Club
From Saturday 3 December, Glenelg Beach will see a myriad of beach umbrellas poppin’ open, bangin’ live tunes will start flowin’, and summery food and drinks will be within arm’s reach. The Moseley Beach Club taking inspiration from the Greek islands this season. The food and drink offerings will exude a Mediterranean flare. Read all about it here.
18. Catch a movie at the newly opened Piccadilly Cinema
For the last six odd months, the historic Piccadilly Cinema has been undergoing construction and the space is one to be marveled at, even more-so, after an exciting restoration and rejuvenation. If you thought the Piccadilly was already gorgeous as is, the renovations will have you stepping back in time, with touches paying homage to the original cinema of the 1940s.
Along with a brilliant non-candy bar where libations will be flowing and South Australian wines will be a-pouring. This new area will allow guests to experience a cinema in a way that isn’t just about sitting in the darkness. Take a look and read all about the refurbishment here.
19. Check out one of these vegan eateries, South Aussies reckon they’re some of the best
Adelaide truly is a treasure trove of hidden gems when it comes to vegan options – from restaurants and cafés, to bars and everything in between. It’s hard to know where to go at times, especially if you’re new to the vegan scene, so we asked the vegans of Adelaide, “If you could only eat at one Adelaide restaurant for the rest of your life, which would it be?” Check out the 30 answers we received here.