YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WHAT’S ON IN CANBERRA THIS WEEKEND! Every Monday for more than eight…
Playgrounds are the best way to watch a child’s imagination run wild—and they’re also the best way to shake off excess energy, especially during the endless January school holidays.
Here’s a list with some of our favourites—but it’s by no means exhaustive!
MONCRIEFF COMMUNITY RECREATION PARK
Moncrieff Recreation Park (pictured) is the newest multi-use park. With plenty of space, oodles of equipment and heaps of unique features, this playground is heaven for little ones!
Crackajack Way, Moncrieff
WESTON PARK PLAYGROUND
Weston Park playground revolves around water play, making it the ideal place to cool off these summer holidays. This 40-hectare park has a wading pool, beach, miniature train (at Yarralumla Play Station) and a cycle track.
Other facilities include a playground with climbing net and swings, picnic tables, electric barbeques, public toilets, adventure playground, miniature train and a fixed orienteering course.
Western Park Road, Yarralumla | environment.act.gov.au
Denman Prospect’s flagship park is an exciting new adventure playground packed with high tunnels, colourful jumping stones, enormous climbing nets and epic slides.
There’s a flying fox and swings, and plenty of shady spaces for grown-ups to sit and watch their little ones. Don’t miss the epic views out over the suburb, the Arboretum and across to the city centre.
Goldbloom Street, Denman Prospect | denmanprospect.com.au
YERRABI POND DISTRICT PARK
If you’re exploring northside, this is a wonderful adventure playground which includes an all-abilities swing, multiple flying foxes, and a slide/climbing structure with cubby spaces underneath.
Other features include a skateboard/scooter area, BBQs and shaded picnic areas under the trees.
With water breezes and lots of lush trees, this park is perfect for year-round play. Yerrabi Park is only partially fenced and there is open water nearby so keep that in mind when you’re visiting with little ones.
Wunderlich Street, Gungahlin | environment.act.gov.au
Located in the heart of Canberra, Boundless is the capital’s first playground that caters for all ages and all abilities.
Boundless showcases the benefits of inclusion and diversity, enabling children with disability to explore, play and swing to their hearts’ content.
There are ramps and cubbies, swings and slides. There’s also a sandpit with diggers!
Wendouree Drive, Parkes | boundlesscanberra.org.au
FRANKLIN RECREATIONAL PARK
The Franklin Park offers separate play areas for toddlers, children, teens and adults.
The whole family can enjoy shaded play over the summer holidays with the parks speciality equipment, large grassy areas, table tennis, undercover seating, BBQ facilities, bathrooms, a shaded skate park, gym equipment and an enclosed soccer/basketball court.
78 Gwen Meredith Loop, Franklin
Glebe Park is a little oasis in the middle of the city, and a great place to grab a little ‘time out’ when the kids have had enough of being pulled around the shops.
There’s some great play equipment, plenty of room to run around, beautiful English Elms and English Oaks to shelter under, playgrounds, a picnic area and more. Its convenient location by the Canberra Centre means that coffee is readily available too.
Bathrooms and BBQ facilities are also available at the park.
Coranderrk Street, Canberra City | environment.act.gov.au
THE POD PLAYGROUND
Head to Pod Playground at the National Arboretum for a play experience that’s close to nature.
A beautifully crafted space that reflects the surrounding forests, its giant wooden acorn cubby houses can be reached by clambering breathlessly up through exciting rope tunnels and challenging ladders, only to whizz down again on the slides.
It’s definitely reminiscent of the Magic Faraway Tree. There are also several ground-level banksia pods, some with musical instruments, and four swings. Good luck extracting your kids from this playground!
Forest Drive (off Tuggeranong Parkway) | nationalarboretum.act.gov.au
BLACK MOUNTAIN PENINSULA
This is the perfect summer playground—22.2 hectares of foreshore parkland with lots of grass for natural play, water for swimming and paddling, and some lovely beaches and water’s edge to stroll along.
There are also picnic areas, drinking fountains and all-ability-access playgrounds, which make it a great option for everyone (except dogs—they’re not allowed).
Gary Owen Drive, off Lady Denman Drive, Acton | environment.act.gov.au
KAMBAH ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
This is a playground for all ages and abilities, with a treehouse, junior and senior flying foxes, giant swings, space net and wheelchair accessible liberty swing guaranteed to keep the children engaged for hours.
Take along a picnic hamper, fire up the BBQ and settle in!
Springbett Street, Kambah
JOHN KNIGHT MEMORIAL PARK
An idyllic spot on the shores of Lake Ginninderra, John Knight Memorial Park is popular with Canberra families and it’s common to see several generations picnicking together under the trees.
The playground includes a treehouse, flying fox and play sculpture; and reptile-lovers are in for a treat with the Snake House’s large timber climbing unit featuring a wave board and nest spinner, a climbing net, shop counter with a snake theme and voice tubes for children to speak to each other across the play area. There are also plenty of water birds to watch.
Aikman Drive, Belconnen | environment.act.gov.au
About 20 minutes drive from the city centre is Cotter Avenue, an absolute cracker of a playground and park area.
There are grassed areas for running around or tossing a ball, BBQs for sausage sizzles and picnics, and a great modern adventure playground—all on the banks of the historic Cotter River.
It gets busy on warm weekends, and for good reasons—it’s totally idyllic.
Cotter Road, Cotter | environment.act.gov.au
BARRACKS FLAT PARK
Barracks Flat Park in Queanbeyan is a great park to relax in, and suitable for young and older children. It has swings, a slide, climbers and spinners for the young children in a safety gate area, so the little ones can’t do a runner.
The play equipment is also shaded and there are toilets, BBQ and picnic tables.
For the older children, there is a half basketball court, a green grass area for kicking a ball and a bike track with lots of dirt mounds for jumping and stunts. Don’t forget your bike or scooter.
Barracks Flat Drive, Karabar | qprc.nsw.gov.au/Facilities-Recreation/Parks-Playgrounds-Sportsfields/Barracks-Flat-Park
Kidzplore is one of Canberra’s newest indoor kids play centres, located in the trendy Dairy Road precinct of Fyshwick. A great place for kids play, birthday parties and more.
Building 3, 1 Dairy Road, Fyshwick | kidzplore.com.au
Funland Canberra is an indoor play centre offering a modern collection of safe, imaginative and engaging play equipment to suit children of all age groups.
They have created an environment to keep the busiest of children happy and entertained while parents and friends can gather and enjoy food and beverages from the cafe.
1/181 Flemington Road, Mitchell | funlandcanberra.com.au
Encompassing 1900 square metres, Little Sandpiper offers an extensive indoor play space for kids aged 1-12, seven days a week, with a distinctly local twist.
The giant silver supports of Parliament House’s iconic flagpole have been turned into epic slides, accessed by a network of suspended mesh tunnels, and a sparkling Lake Burley Griffin takes the form of a giant ball pit.
Westfield Belconnen, 18 Benjamin Way, Belconnen | littlesandpiper.com.au
Lollipops Playland, nestled in the Majura Park shopping centre, is perfect for kidlets of all ages.
A dedicated toddler area makes sure the young kids play safely without the threat of being bowled over, and there are plenty of activities for older kids.
Majura Park Shopping Centre, Spitfire Ave, Majura Park
INFLATABLE WORLD KAMBAH
Yes, you heard right, this indoor playground is completely inflatable and the perfect way to stay shaded while letting kids run wild.
Although you’re going there to entertain the kids, try holding yourself back from getting on—trust us, it’s very tempting.
6 Jenke Circuit, Kambah, Canberra | inflatableworldoz.com.au
Feature image: Moncrieff Playground via suburbanland.act.gov.au