ellaslist Plays At Holroyd Gardens
By: Stephanie Boyle, ellaslist explorer
Everyone has their ‘old-faithful’ when it comes to parks. That local park that becomes your fall back plan on the days when you find yourself at a loss for what to do, when you’re meeting up with other local mums and when you just need a spot to burn off that last little bit of extra energy for the day. For my family, and many of the families who live in and around Merrylands in Sydney’s West, it’s Holroyd Gardens that fits the bill. I’ve been bringing my eldest here since he was still doing tummy time, when I’d lay a blanket in the shade of the trees and we’d sit peacefully for hours, plane spotting, dog and people watching and having one sided conversations about birds and leaves and grass. Nowadays with two extremely active little men, we don’t do an awful lot of sitting here unless it’s for a quick pit stop and refuelling! But that’s the beauty of this park, it has something for everyone.
An Impeccable Space!
The majority of the park is wide open green space. Given its openness, you’d imagine that it would attract a lot of heat and certainly, in the middle of the day in summer, that is the case. However, I’ve always found that it attracts a beautiful breeze so it’s enjoyable even on the hottest of days. It’s impeccably clean and well-tended by the local council and this is assisted by the fact that the park is locked up overnight. More and more I’m finding that the best parks in Sydney are doing this and it really does help to keep the spaces lovely and tidy for daytime visitors. On weekends, you’ll find people playing all sorts of sport including soccer, cricket and even kite flying if the wind is right. Families bring picnics and given the multicultural nature of the area, there is always an array of amazingly delicious smells in the air.
All Ages Play Equipment
There are two terrific playgrounds- one for the little ones and another for more adventurous older children. The playground for smaller children is almost entirely fenced off (with the exception of the entrance) and it contains a slide, some swings, a climbing frame, some rocking horses and a few pieces of musical equipment. The older children’s area has two very speedy slides, a rope climbing frame, an enormous swing and a fabulous flying fox that is always popular. There are clean bathroom facilities within easy walking distance of the playgrounds.
Adjacent to the playgrounds is a great bicycle training track complete with roundabouts, pedestrian crossings and authentic street signage. This is a fabulous place to bring your child’s scooter, bicycle, pedal car or tricycle and let them burn off energy while engaging their imagination and also providing a fabulous opportunity to teach some basic road rules and safety principles. There is a lovely little grassy space next to the training track which would be a wonderful party venue if you had a particularly vehicle crazy child and wanted a car/truck/bicycle themed venue!
Unexpected Places To Learn and Play
Next to the playgrounds and through the gates of the Gardens proper, is the site of the old Brickworks. Much of the factory site has been redeveloped and built over but out of respect to those who worked there in years gone by, they have left some of the factory in a state of graceful decay as a memorial. It’s a place filled with history and for many, a lot of sadness but it’s brightened these days by the children exploring the ruined arches, walls, furnaces and towers. My son has always associated the brick archways of the memorial site with Thomas the Tank Engine and they do indeed look like railway tunnels and so we once held a Thomas the Tank Engine themed party for him there. It’s a fascinating (and despite the sound of it, entirely safe) place to wander around and discover. There is also a large duck pond alongside the old brickworks site where children can watch the water birds.
What You Need To Know
The park is located within easy walking distance of Merrylands Train Station and the Stocklands Mall. We often grab lunch or a drink at the shopping centre before making our way over to enjoy the green of the park. If you’re driving, there is also ample parking which seems to be sufficient even during busy periods.
Next time you’re in the area, please give this park a try. You never know, it might end up becoming your ‘old-faithful’ too!
ABOUT STEPHANIE Stephanie Boyle is currently a stay at home mother with two gorgeous children.Stephanie Boyle, ellaslist explorer Prior to becoming a mum she trained as a lawyer and worked in various Government positions. She is currently completing a Masters of Teaching. Stephanie and her Algerian husband Kamel have two sons, Ayman (3 years old) and Younes (3 months) and they are doing their best to raise their sons as tri-lingual global citizens. When Ayman arrived three years ago, it became immediately apparent to Stephanie that neither of them were homebodies and so they set off on what would become three glorious years (and counting!) of adventure and excitement throughout Sydney and its surrounds. Stephanie believes that childhood should be pure magic and she is on a continual mission to make this the case for her sons. She loves discovering new places and activities, throwing amazing parties and running a bookclub for her boys and their little friends. In addition to her reports for ellaslist, you can also follow Stephanie and her boys on Instagram @moukinina