Illuminate Adelaide Festival & other great things to do

Get ready to step into a world of light, art and technology. Illuminate Adelaide Festival returns to thrill and mesmerise young and old as it transforms Adelaide with larger-than-life light sculptures, digital projections, music and interactive experiences – from imagined mirror halls to giant illuminated creatures. You’ll also find plenty of other local family attractions to brighten your winter!

When and where is Illuminate Adelaide?

Adelaide Festival returns even bigger and better this year! Image from Illuminate Adelaide 2021.

From 28 June – 30 July Illuminate Festival Adelaide lights up just about every corner of Adelaide, from the Adelaide Botanic Garden to the Adelaide Zoo, Victoria Square and throughout the city, where City Lights transforms the CBD into a playground of colour and sound. You’ll be totally immersed in this celebration of innovation, art, light, music and technology.

What kind of experiences can I see?

Illuminate Adelaide – Light Cycles. Illuminate Adelaide 2021.

In 2023 Illuminate Adelaide hosts a packed calendar of events. Leading the charge, fresh from its premiere in Montreal, Mirror Mirror is set to dazzle from 28 June. This Australian first will take you on a journey through the ‘forest of yourself’ to an imagined hall of mirrors, all brought to life with breathtaking light, technology, and sound. 

Resonate also returns this year from 29 June – 30 July with a new night-time trail through the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, with six installations featuring a signature mix of light, technology, and soundscapes. For another dazzling excursion through nature after day, Adelaide Zoo’s immersive Light Creatures is a mesmerising tribute to the natural world – marvel at larger-than-life installations such as majestic falcons and floating jellyfish.

From 1 – 23 July, Architects of Air opens up a wonderland of colour with inflatable Luminarium structures that you can explore and relax in, guided by calming sound, light, and colour. And Illuminate wouldn’t be the same with the centrepiece City Lights curating its free lights shows across Adelaide’s iconic heritage buildings and public spaces, from 7 – 23 July.

Will there be food and drink at Illuminate Adelaide?

Visit Illuminate Adelaide this winter. Image from Illuminate Adelaide 2021.

You’ll find delicious food and drink to enjoy in incredibly ambient settings. Get cosy next to a campfire at Base Camp and enjoy a beverage and meal from some of South Australia’s leading producers. This is also another great spot to kick back and enjoy some live music close to the festival’s leading attractions. 

So there is music at Illuminate Adelaide?

Illuminate Adelaide has spectacular art shows for everyone! Image from Tyr Liang & Xplorer Studio; Artist: Ouchhh Studio: Wisdom of AI Light;

There are plenty of tunes to enjoy – Illuminate packs a full calendar of artists, from Australian legends Yothu Yindi to experimental beats of Unsound and Live@TheLab. You can even experience immersive classical combined with light play of KLASSIK Underground

Other activities in Adelaide 

There are plenty of free things to do in Adelaide for families when you’re not immersed in the light shows. Take a picnic and relax in the Botanic Gardens, or explore the free admission Adelaide Museum – home to natural exhibits, rare historical artefacts and items from the Australian Aboriginals Cultural Collection. 

Don’t miss Adelaide Central Market for locally made cheeses, pastries and produce. There are also plenty of great dining options throughout the city, from acclaimed restaurants such as Italian Osteria Oggi to the 1950s-inspired Maybe Mae, an award-winning cocktail bar. Doughball Pizza rolls out another one of the best things to do in Adelaide for families looking for a meal.  

Where to stay

Enjoy Illuminate Adelaide with some of the best things to do in Adelaide city also right on your doorstep. There are plenty of accommodation options to suit every taste, style and budget. You’ll find plenty of things to do in Adelaide at night in 2023!

Share on social networks