DAdelaide: A day in the city with Lego, toy art and drawing in 3D

Lego Darth Vader and Kangaroo Island at Myer, Adelaide

Planning a day out in Adelaide with the kids? It’s a good time of the year to do it. While festival time is in the city make lunch breaks a little more exciting, it’s good to know there’s plenty for the kids to do too.

When it comes to the weekend, one of our regular adventures is jumping on the bus or the tram with the double pusher and heading towards Rundle Mall – but we’re not there to shop. These days, there’s enough happening around the CBD that you can easily do a daytrip without having to enter a retail store – even the new City Library is right in the heart of Rundle Place.

Right now, there are a few free exhibitions and activities within walking distance of Rundle Mall (and our bus stop) that are worth making the trip to the city for.

Brick by Brick

Well, this is really where this post was came from. After getting a little obsessed about creating LEGO minifigure display frames, I’ve noticed a whole bunch of LEGO activities around Adelaide, especially for parents bringing their kids into the Adelaide CBD.

Brick by Brick is exhibition that’s touring nationally and in A-Town until the 19th of March at the State Library of South Australia on North Terrace. 

Kids have access to tables filled with LEGO bricks and instructions on how to build some of Australia’s national institutions. To be honest, my two are a little young for it and they weren’t too interested in a discussion about our National Capital, but it was a handy activity as part of the day and we ventured into the amazing Mortlock Wing at the SLSA for the first time.

If you’re looking for something hands-on to do, go and check it out and even take home some instructions for later.

Bonus: The Amazing LEGO Race – For the older ones (12+) SLSA is running a competition for “the fastest LEGO(R) builder in town” on March 1. If you’re a keen builder or have a kid that is, this could be interesting enter, or at least watch the heats.

Bonus: Myer LEGO sale and Lego displays – While it’s not quite the old same as the old Lego World Expos we used to have, there are a few nice Lego displays in the Myer toy department at the moment. There’s a giant Darth Vader (pictured above), a Kangaroo Island wall and a couple of smaller displays of the Elder Park rotunda and the Adelaide Oval scoreboard (thanks for the reminder, Yani! – I also noticed Myer have a 20% sale on LEGO until early March I think). If you’re into LEGO statues, you can also go around the corner to ToyWorld in the Myer Centre where they have a pirate captain and a lion in-store.

Around the World in 80 Toys

Curated by Nic Bic, this is a very cool step into the world of Toy Art. Each piece is a custom painted work by artists from different countries and also includes some local Adelaide talent too (the steam punk penguin is brilliant).

The exhibition is being held at the Espionage Gallery, tucked down one of the lane-ways off Rundle Mall. Once you climb the tight staircase (or take an adventure in the service elevator), you’ll find yourself in a bright, open gallery.

The pieces are conveniently at adult eye-level, perfect for getting up nice and close to examine the fine detail and appreciate the time and effort that would have gone into each custom toy. There’s also an artist bio with info about where in the world they’re from. It’s definitely worth taking your time with each one.

Custom vinyl at 80 Toys Around The World show #vinyltoys

A photo posted by Yani (@yaniism) on

If you’d like something a little more hands on, they have a couple of events coming up worth signing up for:

  • 22 Feb: Custom Vinyl Toy Workshop, 12pm – 5pm
    Learn about sculpting, baking and painting your very own Vinyl Toy.
  • 27 Feb: One Night Toy Challenge, from 6pm
    Create something amazing in one night.

Chatting to passionate gallery director, Josh (a keen toy artist himself), I was chuffed to hear Espionage has a bunch of exhibitions coming up with themes like Lego, Batman and retro gaming – oh yeah. 

Around the World in 80 Toys is around until March 8, and if you have kids who want to check out some cool custom toys, it’s worth making it part of your day in the city. Who knows, you might catch the Toy Art bug :)

You can find out more about it on the Adelaide Fringe site, their Facebook Page and on the Espionage Gallery site.

The new City Library

There’s a lot to like at the new City Library. While it can be a little tricky to get to, once you’re in, it’s definitely a different take on the older Adelaide City Council libraries.

A photo posted by oliyoung (@oliyoung) on

Everything there feels modular and flexible. There are a number of different rooms and studios, an outdoor quiet area, plenty of public computers,  a Digital Hub and they throw in a few books, magazines and DVDs for good measure.

For the young ones, there’s a wall of kids books with cushions to sit on and read from comfortably. When you’re done there, you can go and check out some of the awesome gadgets in the Innovation Lab like the 3D printers and the 3Doodler that lets you draw 3D objects!

Plus, there are a number of smaller displays with creations the kids may like to have a look at.  Keep an eye on this space. I’m sure there will be plenty of different things happening in this multi-purpose, community venue.

For more info, head over to the City Library website and Adelaide City Council Libraries Facebook Page.

The usual suspects

If you’re looking to fill out the rest of your day out, I’ve had a few other suggestions from Adelaide dads such as the various Adelaide Parklands playgrounds (cheers, Oli), South Australian Musem, Art Gallery, Botanic Gardens and the Adelaide Zoo (cheers, Nick).

It’s good to see Rundle Mall and the Adelaide City Council making an effort to support more activities in the CBD and the word on the street is that they’re looking to bring in some more play equipment too! Rock on.

> Your turn: What’s your favourite thing to do with your kids around Rundle Mall and the Adelaide CBD? Leave a comment and let me know. I’m always on the hunt for kid-friendly things to do in the city.

PS: “DAdelaide” is a potential new series with a few guest posts already lined up. If you’re a dad in Adelaide with young kids and you’d like to contribute, please get in contact.

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