Are you looking for things to do in Adelaide at night? Don’t let anyone tell you that Adelaide’s a city that’s tucked up in bed by 9pm. I know better – and I’ve put together a list of 25 great things to do in Adelaide when the sun goes down. Plus, most of these options are sans booze – so they’re great for all ages, and dry July!
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know I love my city. Like, really love it, in a kind of stalker-ish obsessive way. But really, what’s not to love? Its size is just perfect – not so big you’ll get utterly overwhelmed (like me the first time I tried to ride the Tube in London), but big enough that there are plenty of things to do, during the day and once the sun goes down.
Hitting Adelaide’s brilliant bar scene is an obvious choice for activities post-9pm, but there are plenty more choices than that. There are many things to do in Adelaide at night that involve not a drop of alcohol, although you’ll find plenty of options if you want to get boozy too.
Here are my top 25 things to do in Adelaide at night!
Things to do in Adelaide at night, without alcohol
Are you looking for things to do in Adelaide at night that don’t involve waking up all bleary eyed the next day? Good for you! Adulting done right! Here are some of the best things to do in Adelaide at night that don’t involve any alcohol.
Enjoy a delicious, multicultural dinner
Adelaide is truly a foodie’s paradise and I refuse to be told otherwise. Anyone who says Adelaide’s food scene is disappointing has clearly never been anyone else; it is freaking amazing.
What makes Adelaide’s food scene so great is the truly incredible variety. Take a look at my guide to the best multicultural restaurants in Adelaide, and tell me you’re not impressed. From Afghan to Vietnamese and everything in between, it’s seriously amazing.
This makes indulging in a delicious dinner one of the best things to do in Adelaide at night, bar none.
The hardest bit is deciding what you want — is it mouthwatering South African at stylish Africola? Authentic Uyghur cuisine at Cafe Nava on Prospect Road? All you can eat Japanese at Mugen? Argh, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Or, take your pick and just see what catches your eye along the foodie hotspot of Gouger Street. On a warm evening, you’ll find people lining the streets enjoying the best of what’s on offer. Plus, some of these restaurants (like Ying Chow) stay open until the wee hours of the morning.
One thing is for sure — a delicious meal is a great option for things to do in Adelaide at night.
Catch a game at Adelaide Oval
Even though Adelaideans moaned and groaned about it when it was first announced (consider it our ‘Louvre Pyramid’), there’s no doubt the Adelaide Oval upgrade and footbridge has been a big improvement to Adelaide.
Adelaide Oval has now taken its place as one of the best stadiums in the world. It’s got a great atmosphere, and a calendar of events means it’s in use most days of the year. It plays host to a range of sports matches and concerts.
While it’s a great concert venue, you really can’t go past catching a game of Australian rules football (AFL) at Adelaide Oval. The games routinely attract over 50,000 screaming fans, and the atmosphere is totally electric.
Don’t really get what’s going on? Who cares! Just yell when you feel like it, and maybe when everyone around you does as well. And don’t forget to keep a lookout for when the umpire throws the ball back in backwards over his head — it’s my favourite part of the game.
Watch an arthouse play at the Bakehouse Theatre
The city boasts quite a few theatres, and catching a play at them is one of my favourite things to do in Adelaide at night. I particularly like the Bakehouse Theatre, a charming old place located on Angas Street in the city.
This unassuming building is surrounded by residential houses, and is mostly used for independent and artsy theatre productions. They can be a bit hit and miss, but I saw one of my all-time favourite plays there: Tales of a City by the Sea.
The venue is intimate and cozy, which is the best way to experience theatre in my humble opinion. Definitely take a look at the calendar and see what’s on if you’re looking for night-time Adelaide activities!
If nothing at the Bakehouse catches your eye, another offbeat (but larger) option is the Holden Street Theatre in Bowden.
Watch a high budget production at the Adelaide Festival Theatre
If you prefer your theatre a little more polished and high budget then offbeat and quirky (let’s be honest, amateur theatre can get kind of questionable), then the Adelaide Festival Theatre may be more up your alley.
Located on the riverbank in Adelaide, the State Theatre hosts many great productions as they tour around Australia and sometimes the world. As I write this, Aladdin is currently on show and delighting audiences of all ages!
Not all the shows are quite as well-known, and there is still some more offbeat and quirky stuff happening.
You can buy tickets to individual shows, or, if you’re a local you might like to invest in a subscription. They have a special reduced rate for under 30s, which is really good value if you plan on attending a few shows.
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Indie cinema at the Palace Nova Eastend
If you’d rather watch a performance up on the big screen (preferably with a big ol’ bowl of popcorn), then I recommend heading to the Palace Nova in Adelaide’s east end.
This venue is famous for its selection of mainly indie and arthouse flicks. Although they do show the big blockbusters, they also screen a lot of more obscure films. As well as indie and arthouse movies, they’re also big on the foreign films.
They often host special events, so keep an eye out to make a special evening out of it. There’s also a fab candy bar, so even if it’s just a regular screening, you can seriously indulge.
I highly recommend a visit here if you’re looking for things to do in Adelaide at night.
Themed movie nights at the Piccadilly Cinema
There are a few movie theatres near Adelaide, and all of them are a great option for things to do in Adelaide after dark. However, I particularly love the Piccadilly Cinema in North Adelaide.
It’s in a beautiful old art deco building that really gives you those glam “I’m off to the pictures!” vibes. Plus, they have lots of fun themed events like singalongs to musicals and ‘Girls Night Outs’ (sorry, guys!).
They mostly show big budget releases, but there are also a few quirky flicks. They also frequently get involved in film festivals, so keep your eye out for those! You might even be able to catch the odd premiere.
Another good option for your “better than average” cinema experience is Gold Class at Westfield Marion. It’s a little further out – and a little more pricey – but you get to sit in huge reclining chairs, and get brought wine and platters! Yum!
Take a ghost tour of the Adelaide gaol
Looking for something unique and spooky to do in Adelaide at night? How about a ghost tour of the Old Adelaide Gaol?
The Adelaide Gaol is pretty spooky by day anyway, considering it was Adelaide’s main prison for over a century. It’s particularly haunting given that many people were executed here — and even buried on the grounds, as was the custom back then.
If you want things really spooky, however, wait until the sun goes down and then join in one of the Ghost Tours run by the Gaol Preservation Society.
You’ll hear plenty of spooky and kooky stories about the life of the prisoners in the jail, and the alleged paranormal activity that’s lived on. Be sure to keep your wits about you, and your eyes out for any unexplained happenings!
Take a spooky tour of the West Terrace Cemetery
Looking for even more things that go bump in the night? Sticking on the west side of Adelaide, you can take a Night Tour of West Terrace Cemetery. This is South Australia’s largest cemetery, with more than 175,000 buried there.
On the ever-popular night tour, you’ll learn all about some of the more interesting and eccentric characters who rest for eternity in the cemetery. My favourite grave is undoubtedly that of Tamam Shud, the mysterious John Doe with possible spy links.
This is a really fun tour that will teach you a lot about the history of South Australia while also keeping you entertained.
Undoubtedly, if you’re looking for something unusual to do in Adelaide at night, then book yourself onto one of these tours!
Stargaze from the national parks
Looking for something different to do in Adelaide at night? Why not make your way to one of the nearby national parks to admire the gorgeous night sky?
Many of South Australia’s beautiful national parks welcome overnight guests, including ones close to the city such as the Brownhill Creek National Park. There is a small fee for camping, but it is oh so worth it to gaze up at that gorgeous sky!
Even if you don’t want to stay overnight, many of the parks don’t close until 9pm or later – so you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the huge night sky.
Be sure to look out for some of the constellations which can only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s the southern cross, of course, while the “Big Dipper” is another well-known favourite!
Take a moonlit stroll at Glenelg Beach
Glenelg is Adelaide’s most popular city beach, and it’s gorgeous at all times of the day and night! In summer, it certainly keeps the good vibes going long after the sun goes down.
There’s a lot to do and see on Jetty Road in Glenelg, but my favourite thing to do in Glenelg at night is simply wander down the foreshore. You’ll get a beautiful view of the moon over the water. Beautiful!
I’d also highly recommend getting to Glenelg in time to watch the sun go down. The sunsets over Glenelg Beach are insanely beautiful, and certainly one of the best things to do in Adelaide at night!
If you want to make a night out of it, there are lots of restaurants and bars in Glenelg. Just be careful and stay away from the water, as alcohol and the sea do not mix! (And the cute lifeguards aren’t on duty at night).
Enjoy a seriously decadent dessert
If there is one thing Adelaide does well (other than wine), it is dessert. You know, the kind of devilishly decadent desserts that make you give up your diet with just one glance at the menu.
It makes sense, then, that getting a scrumptious dessert is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Adelaide after dark! Grab a few friends (or just yourself) and beeline for some of the city’s chocolate hotspots for a seriously good sweet treat.
The Elephant Walk in North Adelaide is a bit of an institution, offering eclectic decor and a divine dessert menu. Not too far away, I also love the Chocolate Tree on O’Connell Street.
On the other side of town, Spats is also an eclectic delight, while Eggless is perfect for vegans and vegetarians looking to indulge.
If you’re looking for an amazing dessert right in the city centre, there are plenty of options. My personal favourite is St Louis Icecreamery, which you’ll find on Gouger Street.
Settle in for a movie marathon at the drive-in
Make like it’s 1989 and settle in for a flick at the drive-in. Yep, Adelaide still has one – and people say Adelaide is stuck in the 90s like it’s a bad thing!
You’ll have to travel a little out of the city to Gepps Cross, but it’s totally worth it to visit the Mainline Drive In. For those who are decidedly Millenial and unaware what a drive-in even is, it’s like a big open air cinema where you watch the movie from your car.
It’s got great retro vibes and is lots of fun — I definitely highly recommend this as one of the best things to do in Adelaide at night.
One of my favourite things about the Gepps Cross drive in is that you can sign up to watch multiple movies in a row. It’s usually a kid’s film followed by one or two more grown-up flicks.
So, pack your car with some snacks (they’re also for sale) and blankets, and make your way to Gepps Cross for a great night!
Take in the views at Windy Point
Do you want to be a real Adelaidean? If so, you’ve just gotta take yourself up to “Windy Point” to enjoy the gorgeous views out over Adelaide.
Just watch out for the hordes of teenagers getting a bit risque in the Commodore they borrowed from their parents.
The view out over the city is really pretty by night, and every Adelaidean has experienced a night here at least once. It’s a bit of a rite of passage, so whether you’re a local or just visiting for a few days — why not see what all the fuss is about?
There’s also a nice restaurant here if that sounds more your style than trying your hand at some “parking” in your parents’ car.
Hit up a favourite music venue like The Gov
Adelaide has a pretty great live music scene, if you know where to look. My personal favourite is “The Gov”, as the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel is affectionately known.
This Adelaide stalwart has been loved by multiple generations of music fans. It’s known for attracting some big names who come to play in the intimate yet lively venue.
I’ve caught a bunch of gigs here, including a very memorable set from one of my faves — the incomparable Billy Bragg.
From local bands to international acts, the Gov’s stage has been graced by all kinds of performers. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best live music venues in Adelaide, and a great choice of things to do once the lights go down.
If there are no bands on during your visit, the Gov is still a great venue to stop by. They’re first and foremost a pub, with plenty of beer and wine, and a beer garden that’s particularly fabulous in summer.
Play mini-golf (cocktails optional)
I am so pleased that my city has finally cottoned on to the fact that mini-golf should not be a children’s only activity. It’s just so much fun!
Enter Holey Moley, a cocktail bar/mini golf course located in the heart of Adelaide. The cocktails are totally optional, but it certainly adds some extra pizzazz (although not more accuracy) to your evening.
There’s also some tasty food – hey, it’s nothing to write home about, but the focus here is on the golf, people!
At Holey Moley, you can play to either nine or 18 holes of mini-golf. As you’d expect, they’re all kinds of quirky themes like the Flintstones — because it’s not mini golf unless there’s plenty of tat and kitsch.
It makes for great photos and plenty of laughs, so it’s a worthy addition to my list of the best things to do in Adelaide at night.
(Boozy) things to do in Adelaide at night
Just because you can find plenty of alcohol-free things to do without alcohol, doesn’t mean you must. If you’re looking for a tipple, here are some of the best ways to booze it up in Adelaide at night.
Do some wine tasting
See? You don’t even need to leave the city to sample some of South Australia’s best drops and vintages. The city is practically overflowing with amazing wine bars, and there isn’t a better way to spend the night in my opinion.
If you’re all about the tasting, you might want to check out the National Wine Centre to see if they have any high-brow events. Or, make your way to the gorgeously quirky Five O’Clock Somewhere, where you can taste some vino produced by some local, young winemakers.
If you’re not all about the tasting but also the vibes, go for one of the city’s chic wine bars. I love Cantina Sociale, while the Apothecary does amazing food. If you want to discover some unexpected drops, Sturt Street Cellars is another paradise for wine drinkers in Adelaide.
Dance the night away
Ready to strap on your dancing shoes and watch the night become morning? While Adelaide is perhaps best known for its small bars, it’s also got a few places where you can channel your inner Beyonce.
Don’t worry — enough Barossa wine will have you thinking you look just like her, no matter how uncoordinated you are! (I speak from experience.)
One of my favourite places to go for a groove is Casablabla. This fabulous “Multicultural Tapas Lounge” does tasty food into the evening, when the tables are cleared away to make extra room for a dancefloor.
The emphasis is on world music, with frequent themed nights like Latin Night (you’d better bring your best moves for that one).
There are a few other options as well. Rocket and Zhivago both tend to draw a younger crowd, while Mary’s Poppin is Adelaide’s fabulous queer club. Expect lines, especially as the night draws on.
Sip a cocktail in a secret bar
I unashamedly like gimmicks with my cocktails, so I am all about a fabulous secret bar. I love channelling those Prohibition-era vibes and sneaking my way into some stylish speakeasies.
The hidden bar is a phenomenon that’s hit most of the world’s great cities, and Adelaide is certainly no exception. If you’d like a bit of a puzzle with your drinking, then head for one of these tucked-away hotspots.
It feels like ruining the game to let you in on a few secrets, but you can thank me later. Two of my favourites are the eccentric and eclectic secret bar under Lindes Lane in Rundle Mall (hint: doesn’t that fire place look a bit weirdly placed?) as well as Suzie Wong downstairs from Red October.
Lindes Lane does a selection of wine and cocktails, while Suzie Wong is heavy on the whiskey. Give it a go even if you’re not usually a whiskey drinker — and don’t miss the Korean fried chicken either.
Smoke some shisha
Yeah, yeah, it’s bad for you, but we’re all adults, right? (If you’re not – sorry, no shisha for you!).
I love shisha, and am thrilled to bits that it’s arrived in Adelaide in a big way. There are now several shisha bars both in the city and out towards the suburbs.
My favourite Adelaide shisha bar is the Sheesha Lounge (creatively named, I know). They have lots of fruity flavours, and their Cardamom tea is a revelation. They also do more substantial meals if you’re feeling peckish.
For those soccer/football fans amongst us, the Sheesha Lounge is also a great place to watch the English Premier League. Sure, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure — but shisha is definitely one of my favourite late night activities in Adelaide.
Like many of the shisha bars in Adelaide, the Sheesha Lounge does not serve alcohol. If you’d prefer a drink with your pipe, then you might want to head for the Marrakesh shisha lounge which is also on Hindley Street (like all debauchery).
Catch a pub gig at the Grace Emily
If I have one gripe with my city, it’s that our pub scene is just really not that great. I mean, really, what are all the English migrants doing? Why have we not got some English style pubs?
Luckily, there are a few great ones that have their own unique Adelaide flavour. For me, the best pubs support live music — so that makes the charming Grace Emily one of the best of all.
The Grace is one of Adelaide’s most historic pubs, and it’s also definitely one of the best for live music. They do a great job supporting Adelaide’s local music scene, and most of the acts that take the stage are local.
Let’s be honest, this means some of them are pretty terrible. But if you ask me, there’s still plenty of charm in sitting in a historic boozer listening to shitty local music. Or is that just me?
If you’re looking for things to do in Adelaide at night, I highly recommend taking a peek at their event calendar. If you don’t see anything to your liking, there are a few other options as well, like the Crown and Anchor, and the Exeter.
Events on in Adelaide at night
As you can see, there’s a pretty good selection of year-round night attractions in Adelaide. However, in the summer months, you’ll have even more choice of things to do in the dark.
Shop at the Adelaide Night Market
You can actually shop until pretty late in Adelaide every Friday (Thursday in the suburbs), but it’s mainly your usual shopping centre brands.
There’s way more fun to be had at the Adelaide Night Market, a temporary market that pops up during those long summer nights. Here, you’ll find a great selection of local stallholders selling things like candles, art and jewellery.
There’s also some great street food options — see, I told you Adelaide was a foodie’s paradise. Last year there was a scrumptious macaron stall serving desserts so good they were eaten before they could even go up on Instagram (unusual where macarons are concerned).
So, whether you’re looking for a nice souvenir or just doing some browsing to enjoy the atmosphere, this market is a great choice if you’re looking for what to do in Adelaide at night.
Watch a film under the stars with the OpenAir Cinema
This is another much-loved Adelaide institution, with thanks to Ben & Jerry, the ice cream company. Every summer, they sponsor a fabulous outdoor cinema, where you can cozy up in beach chairs and watch some of your favourite films.
The films are usually a pretty mixed bag, with old school classics and kid’s favourites. It’s on during the day as well, but my absolute favourite is to huddle up under a blanket and settle in once the sun sets.
Another great thing about the Open Air Cinema is that thanks to its sponsor, there’s heaps of ice cream on offer. Is there a better accompaniment to a summer open-air cinema than ice cream? I think not.
It’s generally held near Glenelg Beach, so you can always enjoy some swimming before settling in for the movie. Or, drop into one of Glenelg’s bars or restaurants afterwards to make it a proper night.
Catch a Fringe show
As much as I love my city all year-round, things really get turned up a notch during February and March when the Adelaide Fringe comes to town.
There aren’t enough superlatives in my vocabulary to adequately explain this festival. The second largest open-air arts festival in the world, the city is suddenly filled with artsy and creative types.
From contortionists to comedians and everything in between, the Fringe boasts an amazing calendar that is totally jam-packed with creative displays.
Some of the events are on during the day, but most are night-time affairs. You really can take your pick about what you’re into… will it be cabaret or comedy? Theatre or dance? Whatever it is, it’s a must do if you’re in Adelaide during Feb or March.
Relish in the Garden of Unearthly Delights
If you’re lucky enough to catch the Adelaide Fringe, then you’re lucky enough to have another option for an amazing night activity in Adelaide — the Garden of Unearthly Delights!
This pop up bar/market/festival/extravaganza is a stalwart of the festival, and is held at the end of Rundle Street in Adelaide’s east end. The park is transformed in a kind of whimsical wonderland.
Attractions include a big ferris wheel that gives you an amazing view over the city and the festival, as well as stacks of delicious food trucks and a craft market. You can pick up something to eat and then find a cozy picnic spot.
However, my favourite part of the Garden of Unearthly Delights is the fabulous shows. You can often find tickets going cheap — some short shows are just $5 — and while the quality varies a little, it’s always super entertaining.
Late nights at the South Australian Art Gallery
The Art Gallery of South Australia is a great (free) place to visit by day, but did you know that you can also visit out of hours? How very London of us!
Okay, so you’ll have to plan your visit carefully — it’s only open late on the first Friday of every month. Nonetheless, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to learn more and attend a very ~exclusive event (except everyone is welcome and it’s free).
For First Fridays, the art gallery stays open to 9pm and hosts a range of talks and other events. There’s often live music, and street food trucks usually make an appearance as well.
Undoubtedly, if you’re in Adelaide on the first Friday of the month and you’re looking for something to do by night — this is a great choice!