Best Playgrounds For Kids In Melbourne
Television and devices may be able to hold their attention, but nothing compares to running wild at the playground. Whether it’s warm or chilly, running around on equipment and pushing the physical boundaries of stretching, balancing, spinning and climbing never seem to go out of style.
We’ve picked some of our favourite Melbourne playgrounds to help you keep your children fit and active while they have some good old-fashioned fun.
1. ArtPlay Playground
Playgrounds in the city centre are usually as rare as hen’s teeth but this one is as central as it gets – just a hop, skip and jump into Fed Square for some active child-friendly fun in the fresh air. ArtPlay was designed to be a playground with something for children of all abilities and ages, with equipment that even older kids will love.
Playground highlights include rock and rope climbing equipment, tube slides, swinging hammocks and a liberty swing that is ideal for less physically able children. Plus the nearby hill is great to roll down.
Address: Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square
2. Buckingham Reserve
Looking for a lovely birthday party location in Melbourne? All the essentials are on offer at Buckingham Reserve – a decent amount of shade, picnic tables, barbecues, drinking fountain, public toilets and handy parking.
The jewel in the crown at Buckingham Reserve is the huge rocket ship structure with a giant spiral slide. Ropes, swings, spinners, slides, flying foxes, climbing frames – this park has all the latest and greatest equipment. Water play is a big trend in playgrounds at the moment and this park doesn’t disappoint, with moving parts that include water gates kids can open and close.
Address: Buckingham Crescent, Sunshine West
3. Royal Park Nature Play Playground
This spectacular play space in the Royal Park precinct has something for all ages. Natural play elements? Yup – that means ‘messy’. The equipment highlights on offer at Nature Play Playground include a splashy water play area as well as a climbing forest, rock wall with slides and, of course, swings. While the bigger kids are running amok, the sand play areas are perfect for very little ones to find a safe spot for digging and getting messy.
Address: Corner Gatehouse Street & Story Street, Parkville
4. Thomas Street Reserve
As far as wooden adventure playgrounds in Melbourne go, Thomas Street Reserve is a cracker. The large wooden fort inspires plenty of games of hide-and-seek and with multi-level walkways and lots of little nooks and crannies, there are plenty of places to tuck away. (Note to parents: don’t get stuck!). The usual swings and slides keep the little ones happy and with the sprawling parkland just behind the playground, there’s plenty of room to kick a ball around too. On weekends it can get pretty busy, so get in early.
Address: 164 Thomas St, Hampton
5. Frontier Park Playground
One of two massive adventure playgrounds in the Woodlea estate, the Frontier Park playground is such a great place for a whole lot of family fun.
The playground is situated right next to full-sized basketball courts, an extensive skate park, and sporting fields, and boasts three huge towers, nature play area, sandpit, massive twisty slides, pentagon swing set, ropes, tunnels and rope tunnels, bridges, smaller slides, rock climbing features, carousel, birds nest swing, and meandering water play area with fountains and pumps!
Picnic tables are dotted throughout the playground and there isn't really any grassland to set up camp on, but the huge rocks that serve as playground barriers are a popular spot to sit. There is also a large shaded barbecue area, and toilets.
Address: Frontier Avenue (off Leakes Rd, take the turnoff to Plumpton way to find it). This is the playground at the end of Woodlea Rd, there is another playground you'll go past on the way to this one.
6. Hays Paddock
Those in the east know this spot as a much-loved playground, tucked in the back blocks of lovely East Kew. When it first opened in 1998, Hays Paddock was billed as an Australian first – a playground leader in catering for children of all abilities, including those challenged by hearing, vision, mobility and behaviour issues.
The spider’s web trampoline provides lots of bouncy fun, while the double-width slide is perfect for friendly races. A swing with a harness is in its own fenced section and the huge sandpit - complete with diggers! - is the place to be for interactive, messy play.
Bring some special duck food to visit the birdlife at Kew Billabong, just beyond the playground’s fence-line.
Address: Leason St, Kew East
7. Community Bank Adventure Playground
"All ages, all abilities, all seasons" is the catchphrase for this community effort between the Victorian State Government, the Wallan & Kilmore Community Bank Branches of Bendigo Bank and Mitchell Shire Council.
Suitable for children of all ages, at Community Bank Adventure Playground you'll find a fun and challenging five-story tower complete with three slides, flying foxes, several birds nest swings, regular swings, roundabouts, springers, climbable tractor, scooter tracks, covered sandpit, toilets, huge seesaw, plenty of picnic space and tall shady trees, and a small water splash park that's open from December to March.
Address: Queen St, Wallan.
8. Casey Fields Regional Playground
Need room to move? Yes, indeed! 30,000 square metres, in fact – and it’s filled with all kinds of equipment and activity opportunities. Barbecues and picnic facilities make Casey Fields Regional Playground a wonderful spot for family birthday gatherings and the shelters offer a place to duck out of the wind and rain if the weather forecast does turn from good to bad.
Start the kids off on the 6-metre high climbing net and rope bridge and then let them find their way to the pirate ship for some classic imaginative play. And who doesn’t love a good hill to roll down? The lush lawns here make it a pleasure. And if you have no objections to messiness (get them to empty their shoes out before they reach the car!), the sandpit here is a great one, and even has its own diggers.
Please note there is a lake and a jetty, so make sure you keep an eye on little ones.
Address: 65 Berwick-Cranbourne Rd, Cranbourne East
9. Halliday Park
Flying foxes? Tunnels? Slides? Sandpits? Water play area? Yup, Halliday Park has the lot! Sandpits are a timeless classic (and the built-in toys here help) and the in-ground trampoline makes bouncing (mostly) safe.
For picnic pleasure, the huge oak trees that dot the park provide some cool shade and the hammock is a nice place to chill out when the strain of the monkey bars gets all too much.
Address: Mitcham Rd, Mitcham
10. Brooklyn Reserve
Brooklyn Reserve is awesome for families who are bringing kids of different ages - there is an area for older (or adventurous) kids with a huge slide, climbing frame, basketball court, swings and fun things to play on, and on the other side of the shaded picnic/barbecue area is an area suited to smaller folk with expression swing, sandpit, small slide, small roundabout, and a climbing frame lower to the ground. Bring a trike or scooter as they've really upped the ante with footpaths!
Plenty of parking in the surrounding streets and near to great cafes, too - otherwise there's a huge expanse of green to pop a picnic blanket down on.
Address: Cypress Ave, Brooklyn
11. Delbridge Drive Reserve
Surrounded by extensive walking/running tracks and athletic fields, there's plenty to do for the whole family at Delbridge Drive Reserve. My kids loved the eagle's-nest rope climbing frame (though it's super tall and my heart was in my mouth a lot of the time!), slide, sandpit and cute expression swing.
Plenty of picnic and barbecue space about, and there are water fountains and toilets. Another spot where parking is a breeze.
Address: Delbridge Drive, Sydenham
12. Booran Reserve Playground
The equipment runs from a multi-level sandpit area to a gigantic climbing structure and twisty slide that is several storeys high. There are swings, a flying fox, an outdoor art/picture gallery, mini trampolines, cricket pitch, basketball court, water play area, Dutch disc-spinner, fun tunnels to climb through and over, clean toilets and a huge expanse of space for picnickers and folks who want to barbecue.
The area is beautifully landscaped with native shrubs and running water, and the undulating pathways were designed to allow intuitive movement and assist those with limited vision and mobility. A fantastic play hub for all ages.
Address: Corner Booran and Glenhuntly Road, Glen Huntly (exceedingly close to Sundae School Ice Creamery!)
Is your favourite park not on the list? Let us know!
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