Here's what’s open in McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast today. A great way to support local. 


McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Travel Blog

Get the word on McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast with great tips and ideas from our team of local writers.

School Holiday Fun : Family-Friendly Activities in McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast

School Holiday Fun : Family-Friendly Activities in McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast

It's that time of year again!

With the school holidays just around the corner, parents everywhere are searching for activities to keep the kids entertained.

The good news?! If you're looking for some family friendly fun, McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast has it in spades!

But with so much on offer, it can be hard to choose where to start.

So whether you're a local or just passing through, we've done all the heavy-lifting and rounded up some of the best family-friendly activities  McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast, guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face! 

Big beach fun. 

McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast is home to some of South Australia’s most beautiful beaches - and we’re yet to meet a kid that doesn’t love to play in the sand.

So whether the weather’s sunny and warm for a splash in the waves, or a little cooler for a stroll on the shore, a beach visit is always on the cards.

Take your pick of beaches from O’Sullivans to Sellicks, and let the kids run free. 

Why not play a game of beach bingo, hunting down a collection of coloured shells, pebbles and sea glass, or, when the tide’s low, take a walk out on a rocky reef where you can spot crabs, fish and periwinkles - even the odd starfish - in the rockpools!

Building sandcastles or a game of beach cricket is always great fun too, or jump in the car with a picnic on board to visit one of the drive-on beaches.

And the fur-kids are welcome to join in too (just be sure to check ahead for the dog-friendly areas, and don’t forget the poop-bags!)

To get the low down on every McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast beach, click here.

Port Noarlunga Beach McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast

Beautiful bike trails. 

If you're looking for a way to get some exercise while burning off some of that pent-up school holiday energy, ditch the screens and get the whole family out exploring the beautiful region on two wheels.

With so many bike trails to suit all levels of ability, you're guaranteed a fun and memorable day out.

Here are three of our favourite family-friendly bike tracks to try:

The Shiraz Trail - A lovely extension of the longer Coast to Vines Rail Trail, the Shiraz Trail stretches an easy 8kms from McLaren Vale to Willunga - and with its mostly flat, sealed terrain, is perfect for riders young and old. Scoot past family-friendly wineries like Leconfield and Penny’s Hill, or stop off at Jungle in Willunga where the kids can explore the huge palm forest and fairy garden. And if you go on a Saturday morning, make sure you take a backpack or bike basket to fill with local produce (and a few extra goodies!) at the Willunga Farmer’s Market.

Riding on coast to vines mclaren vale

Flat to Vale Trail - The newest addition to McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast, and an offshoot of the Shiraz Trail, this lovely 3.8km tree-lined bike path weaves its way through the vineyards of McLaren Vale and McLaren Flat. Have a kick of the footy before you begin at the McLaren Vale oval, or, once you arrive, at the McLaren Flat recreation ground. Stop in for a glass of wine at a winery along the way, or grab a coffee in McLaren Flat!

Onkaparinga River National Park - For slightly older kids or more seasoned cyclists, the trails within the park are best navigated by mountain bike. With so many birds, koalas and kangaroos calling this place home, have a blast wildlife-spotting. Check out the stunning landscapes and get some great family photos, or throw a picnic in your backpack to enjoy at any number of picturesque vantage points throughout the park. 

And if you’d simply like to relax on the sidelines while the kids have some fun? There are also a range of exciting BMX tracks scattered throughout the region.

Family-friendly wineries & breweries.

It’s always nice to combine kid-friendly activities with things the adults will enjoy. So it’s lucky that there are a whole lot of family-friendly wineries and breweries conveniently located on the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast. Here’s just a taste:

Woodstock Wines - with loads of space for the kids to run, there’s an outdoor playground, restaurant - complete with kids menu - and wine tasting facilities within easy reach. But the best bit? A wildlife sanctuary where the kids can feed the kangaroos. 

Maxwell Wines - enjoy the gorgeous picnic grounds and let the kids get lost in the famous Maxwell Maze as you sip on a glass of the region’s finest. 

Gemtree Wines - there’s wine tasting, picnic packs, a playground and fun eco-trail with koalas and emus. Plus alpacas and sheep. Need we say more? 

Swell Brewing Co. - if wine isn’t your thing, why not try this fabulous taphouse? Sample some ice-cold brews as the kids stretch out on the large (fenced) lawn and enjoy an ice-cream sundae. Remember to bring a soccer ball! 

Kick Back Brewing - With a great menu of handcrafted beers, delicious food, huge, fully-fenced beer garden scattered with giant lawn games and plenty of seating perfectly placed to keep an eye on them, this laidback brewery will keep the whole family happy. 

Kick Back Brewing Aldinga

Pop in to a playground. 

Another popular school holiday pursuit, there are plenty of playgrounds in McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast sure to delight kids of all ages.

Port Noarlunga’s pièce de résistance, the Jubilee Adventure Playground - known locally as ‘the wooden playground’ - lets kids run off some energy while mum and dad relax. Suitable for all ages - including the older ones - think sprawling lawns, shady picnic areas, water play pumps, slides and a huge wooden fortress, plus toilets, barbecues and plenty of parking. Life couldn’t be easier.

Or how about a playground that’s extra fun, with stunning views to boot? Look no further than the Tutu Wirra Reserve. With plenty of equipment for the kids (plus some fitness equipment if you need to burn off a bakery lunch!), this pretty park is a great stop on the way home from the beach. 

Apart from these, there are loads of other playgrounds to explore on the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast. 

Here are a few stand-outs:

Ride a miniature train or walk your fur-kids around the doggie obstacle course at Wilfred Taylor Reserve in Morphett Vale 

Savour a coffee while the kids get their nature play fix at the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast Visitors Centre 

Enjoy the serenity of Market Square in Old Noarlunga 

Discover the Storybook Walk tucked away within Thalassa Park in Aberfoyle Park 

Marvel at the World War II army tank that takes pride of place at Gemmel Tassie Reserve in McLaren Vale. 

Want even more great family-friendly activities to enjoy on the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast? You got it!

Discover a jetty. 

Cast a fishing line into the clear blue waters of Gulf St. Vincent off Port Noarlunga jetty, stroll its length with an ice-cream, snorkel around its pylons or simply get some incredible family snaps!

Explore stunning trails

Explore the Onkaparinga River National Park's stunning trails and immerse yourself in untouched natural beauty, spotting native wildlife, enjoying scenic picnic spots, and discovering new additions like a lookout and spring bridge.

Onkaparinga River National Park McLaren Vale

Check out a Library or Community Centre.

With a variety of fun - and affordable - activities for kids of all ages, like craft workshops, movies, games and sports, your local Community Centre or Library is a great place to visit during the school holidays!

Check out what’s happening at one near you, click here (community centres) or here (libraries).

Or maybe something a little different?

Spend an hour or two checking out some fabulous local art at The Arts Centre in Port Noarlunga. 

Make your kids’ dreams come true at Bracegirdle’s in McLaren Vale, with a hot chocolate made from the finest melty Belgian chocolate (plus a few extra chocolatey treats to take home!) 

Watch the vintage Adelaide Biplanes take off and land at the Aldinga Airfield, while you enjoy a coffee in the onsite café. 

Let the kids create their own fairy garden or prehistoric dinosaur jungle terrarium at Botanista’s one-of-a-kind build-your-own terrarium bar, as you browse the gorgeous range of boutique teas and giftware. 

Step back in time and enjoy an indulgent high tea or fancy cupcake at Tealicious Cakes in Willunga - the kids will love the home-style pink lemonade and cookies too!

So if you’re dreading the thought of hearing "I'm bored" every five minutes, fear not - head down south and enjoy all the family-friendly activities the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast has to offer!

See more of our blogs here! 





Share your photos of McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast using #ValeandCoast #Route31coastaldrive