June 20, 2024

Glowing gardens to mysterious animals: Winter school holidays are magical with Illuminate Adelaide

With shorter and colder days, it’s tricky to stay entertained during the winter holidays. But since Illuminate Adelaide came onto the scene, there’s no reason to be bored during the mid-year break.

GLOW is part of Illuminate Adelaide 24. Photograph: Amigo & Amigo

Families, it’s time to emerge from hibernation for Illuminate Adelaide’s free and ticketed events that’ll inspire childlike wonder.

The easiest way to get involved is to rug up and head into the CBD for City Lights. This free event is always a hit with the kids, with plenty to see over multiple outings across 17 nights. The map for the citywide journey – with installations and projections transforming venues from the new Flinders University campus on Festival Plaza and beyond – will be released in early July, but there are already some hints from creative studios and artists coming this year.

Amigo & Amigo – an Australia-based collective that likes to activate the senses with “art that makes sense” – will spark the imagination with child-friendly installations Kaktos, ChronoHarp and GLOW.

Further down North Terrace, Illuminate Adelaide co-founder and creative director Rachael Azzopardi says that Incandescent by Bailey Donovan is one “mesmerising installation” to see this year, sharing: “This beautiful work by a local glass artist will be a wonderland of light and sound under the University of Adelaide’s iconic fig tree on North Terrace”.

Have fun with the interactive play and bold design of Superluminal. Photograph: Matt Byrne

Superluminal, an interactive experience by Patch Theatre for 4–8-year-olds, will also let the little ones unleash their energy and minds as they navigate spaces to discover animals past, present and imagined. Taking inspiration from the South Australian Museum’s collection of extraordinary objects, Patch’s latest work is the perfect experience for kids to explore using creativity and fun.

Explore the sprawling prehistoric world of Universal Kingdom: Prehistoric Nights

If that sounds perfect for your animal-obsessed kids, there’s more for them at Adelaide Zoo with Universal Kingdom: Prehistoric Nights. The one-of-a-kind dinosaur-themed night – a large-scale magical story and light-filled collaboration between Erth and A Blanck Canvas – promises to ignite their love for conservation for years to come.

French masters of flame Compagnie Carabosse will transform the Botanic Gardens into a mesmerising world of flame. Photograph: Andrew Beveridge

To bring out the sparkle in everyone, Illuminate Adelaide has also announced the perfect all-ages event: Fire Gardens from France’s Compagnie Carabosse. For three weeks, families can explore Adelaide Botanic Garden after dark – roaming firelit paths at their own pace and joining together for refreshments at The Evergreen Bar, or nearby at Base Camp, which sets up home in Lot Fourteen.

Digital garden EDEN is exclusive to Adelaide. Photograph: Lacey Wright

Families can immerse themselves in art, nature and technology at EDEN. Within this interactive communal garden by Berlin-based flora&faunavisions, they’ll think about caring for their world with the people around them.

Families have their share of events this year. The only challenge is choosing what to see and do. Illuminate Adelaide co-founder and creative director Lee Cumberlidge suggests City Lights, EDEN, Universal Kingdom and Fire Gardens for the ultimate winter weekend. But don’t stop there, Azzopardi adds: “There is a new experience around every corner!”

Winter holidays don’t equal beaches and sun, but there’s no need to pine for summer anymore. With Illuminate Adelaide, families can discover other kinds of light by heading out into their city like they’ve never experienced it before.

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