Kids are unpredictable – like many of the Fringe shows I saw last year really. As much as I have fought it, I am ready to admit that I am at a stage in my life, with kids, where PLANNING is king. Attending events is no exception, so here is my guide to surviving a day at Adelaide Fringe with little people (children not midgets).
Sort your transport or parking in advance. Weekends get particularly busy and opening night 15th Feb will also see some road closures around War Memorial Drive. Pre booking city car parks is about the smartest invention since the Rubik’s Cube. Of course you can bus, train, tram, uber and taxi. Or ride a bike – but preferably a hipster bike – because FRINGE.
For Wilson East End book here: https://bookabay.wilsonparking.com.au/
Know where your show is. I recall my first Fringe. It wasn’t that long ago and I made an assumption sillier than Mr Snotbottom him self, that it all happened in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. Nope. Fringe. Is. Huge. While the biggest hubs are in the East End of the CBD, venues are all over the place including some out in the suburbs and hills.
Grab the Venue Map Here: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/venues-map
Allow 30 mins between each show, minimum. Kids generally enjoy rushing around in a hurry as much as my husband loves Married at First Sight. Allow time to get from A to B when stacking your day or seeing back to back shows with kids. Unless you have a magic carpet of course? Seriously, kids need toilet breaks, snacks, chill out time and time to just enjoy the many weird and wonderful distractions in between. Additionally most seating is not allocated, so in an ideal world you would be best advised to mooch around the door of your show ten minutes prior. Another thing, the performers generally invite you to meet them for photos after the show, only a jerk parent is going to whisk their kid away from that.
The Mum Stuff. This paragraph is a no brainer. Pack heaps of snacks and your water bottles. Yes there is loads of food and treats available (god I hope the mojito van is back this year), but I usually blow most of the budget on tickets, so we cram in heaps of the healthy(ish) stuff and then buy a treat. Take a pram – I don’t care if your kid is 7 years old, still take it! Note you generally can’t take them into shows and have to park up at the door (the pram, not the kids), so ensure you don’t leave valuables. Please don’t take valuables. Picnic rugs are awesome. They give you a seat any time any place and make an easy ‘land mark’ for older kids to return to. For the little ones, plaster your phone number on your kid, take their picture on the day and when you find a clean toilet, use it.
Know the show content and appropriateness. Just because a show is during the day or sounds something like a kids show, doesn’t mean it is. My kids will never forget the time they got to chant swear words and witness a unicorn at a rave hump a rabbit. Enough said. It is after all an arts festival and creativity has loose boundaries.
Some final helpful stuff. Little kids engagement is often best at early shows. The following is not a paid promo, but I love the Milkshake & Winter Bubble show at The Jade with my youngest. It has street parking directly at the front and it is before lunch! Convenience and an awesome show. Spoiler – they put your kid quickly into an actual bubble (unfortunate they can’t leave them in there really) – the stuff 4 yo dreams are made of.
Grab a Fringe Guide (pick one up at any Bank SA) it is choccas with handy info and is way more than just a ‘show’ guide.
The Fringe Website www.fringe.com.au is a treasure chest of resources and information. You can find self collection points for your tickets, search for accessible shows, box office locations, find the free events, check out if there is any Fringe in your neighbourhood, find the Fringe on tour dates, locations and loads more.
Like to talk to some one? Fringe Tix Hotline can help
1300 621 255
Not sure what to see with the kids? We get around to a lot of Fringe Shows. Check out our Top Picks for Kids https://www.kidsinadelaide.com.au/kids-adelaide-pick-fringe/
Want an adults night out? Have a look at our Top Picks for Adults https://www.kidsinadelaide.com.au/fringe-2018-fave-shows-adults
Happy Adelaide Fringe 2019 (with kids!)