One of the reasons we headed to Adelaide during the school holidays was to check out the Nature Play Festival, hosted by Nature Play SA.
Set in the Kuitpo Forest, about 45 minutes south of the city, the Festival spanned three days and we attended on the first. There were some logistical parking issues, but once we actually made it to the festival, it was a beautiful sight to behold.
There was a festival map guiding us to various stations set up around the forest:
A Nature Craft tent where kids could make leaf masks or crowns.
A loose parts play area, a tent for reading, (not pictured a family yoga area).
A few areas offering live animal shows and information on insects.
By far my favourite area, though, was the huge mud kitchen space. There were several tables simply set up on outdoor rugs, but laid out with beautiful materials – baskets full of flowers, leaves, gum nuts, pine cones and more.
I also appreciated that in addition to the typical mud kitchen utensils – pots, spoons, rolling pins, muffin tins, etc. – that there were a number of old school kitchen tools. My son was super interested in a hand-cranked egg beater, and check out the meat grinder below.
There were so many kids getting messy and having a blast. I absolutely adored it.
My kids, however, are just not festival kids. I have no doubt they’d have loved the activities in a small group setting, but neither of them are really into big crowds. They much preferred exploring the woods on their own, finding little hideaways and playing hide and seek amongst the towering trees.
And that was just fine by us! The nice thing about a festival in the middle of a forest is it’s easy to escape the madness and simply explore nature on your own.
I also really appreciated that the food trucks they arranged offered an array of healthy food options. We feasted on veggie dumplings and acai bowls.
As an added bonus, on the way home from the festival we realised we were among some of the best wineries in the area. We googled “kid friendly wineries” and one of the first that came up was Gemtree which also happened to have all vegan wines and a vegan food platter! Would’ve been hard for me to plan a more perfect end to the day!
The winery boasted a huge, beautiful property with a small playground, two alpacas and a sheep to say “hello” to, a big green hill to roll down, and much to the excitement of our kids, the sprinklers were on. Figuring they were already muddy from a day of nature play, we let them run around, washing off all the dirt.
A gorgeous end to our day!