In these difficult times, it’s never been more important to stay active—both for your physical…
Excited to finally take the kids out of the house for an hour or two of fun? We asked Astoria Bright, creator of the Playgrounds of Canberra website, to round up the best playgrounds in each region.
With blue skies, warm weather and a slight easing of restrictions, parents around Canberra are cheering at the prospect of being able to escape the house with their little ones to venture to local playgrounds.
But how do you know which local playgrounds are good? To help you avoid broken equipment, dodgy amenities and the tears that are sure to follow (from both parent and child) we spoke to Astoria Bright from Playgrounds of Canberra.
Starting Playgrounds of Canberra in 2020 to help families connect to playgrounds that suit their needs, Astoria and her son Elijah have extensively documented photos, information and star ratings to share the hidden gems of the suburbs.
“It’s amazing how many hidden playgrounds are around Canberra, you can easily walk 500m and miss one!” says Astoria.
“They vary in size but it’s great to see even the smallest playground hidden within your suburb. After hunting for playgrounds, we were even shocked to find a hidden one in our suburb tucked behind houses and filled with fun equipment. It’s quite the adventure to find something new.”
Focusing on equipment, facilities and the overall fun factor, here are Astoria’s top playgrounds.
Important: While playgrounds are open, there are still ACT Government directives around how far you can travel from your house when undertaking recreational activities. If you are spending time outside with your children, you should also stay within your region if at all possible. Canberrans are also asked to ensure they maintain physical distancing wherever practicable.
Please see covid19.act.gov.au for more information.
The district playground at John Knight Memorial Park is a popular one! It includes our favourite— the hidden Zen Water Gardens featuring stepping stones over the water feature.
Wanderlight Avenue Playground in Lawson is fun for everyone, including newly walking toddlers. It features an educational area for the threatened Golden Sun Moth which lives in the grasslands.
Joey Park in Throsby is a fun all-ages and mixed-abilities playground, featuring a bicycle play track for riding around the play area with safety signs encouraging local children to pedal to the park. The playground is set to become fully fenced by the end of the year.
Finn Street Playground in O’Connor has a sense of community as a regular spot to find hidden rocks left behind by members of the Facebook group ‘ACT Rocks’. Featuring a mix of nature and traditional play equipment, there’s lots of fun to be had.
Farrer’s Nature Play and Adventure Trail nature play is one of the newest parks challenging what play can mean. Filled with open-ended play opportunities for climbing, crawling and swinging, it’s the perfect example of playing differently.
Kambah Village Shopping Centre playground will be a hit as we approach summer, with picnic tables close to the shops, BBQs available for public use and a small splash zone outside the play area for children to cool off in. There’s also a mix of all-ages equipment including three trampoline pads for a bounce!
Taylor’s new Nature Playspace on Judith Macintosh Crescent will have a dirt BMX track and will bring more unique play opportunities for children in Gungahlin. There’s also a new Nature Playspace being built in the Molonglo River Special Purpose Reserve near Whitlam. Offering unique play opportunities, it will feature wombat burrows, ‘Spidergon’ spiders webs, a dry creek bed (mini Molonglo river) and Wedge Tailed Eagle nest.
Notice something not quite right with your local playground?
Playgrounds are being regularly monitored and repaired by the ACT Government, but with help from the community it can mean repairs are addressed quicker. Using Fix my Street by Access Canberra you can submit any issue you see in the playground including graffiti, littering, safety concerns, maintenance of equipment, or even request new items like shading and seating.
For more information about playgrounds near you, visit playgroundsofcanberra.wordpress.com.