Now many people may not know this, but Melbourne is home to more playgrounds than any other Australian city. One reason for this is that the city has a policy of creating as many nature-based play zones as possible to accommodate what they call classic adventure playgrounds. The playgrounds have everything from trampolines to swings, which is an excellent way for kids to burn off a few hundred calories.
However, like everything else in Melbourne, there are some playgrounds that are better than others in many respects. Furthermore, parents usually prefer to take their kids to certain playgrounds where there are a couple of activities they can engage in while the kids run wild.
In this article, we’ll briefly look at some of the best playgrounds in Melbourne, in our opinion. We’ll also talk about why they are worth visiting.
Address: Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square
Located in the city centre, it is a rare playground mainly because there are very few if any that are centrally located. Plus, it does not skimp on any features so kids can skip, jump and hop through just about every swing, slide and trampoline available.
ArtPlay was originally designed to be a playground that offered something to kids of all ages and abilities. The equipment here is both for younger kids and older ones alike. Some of the highlights in our opinion are rope climbing, rock climbing, swinging hammocks, tube slides and the liberty swing. Plus, you can also visit the nearby hill and have the kids roll down a few times.
Address: Buckingham Crescent, Sunshine West
Now if you are looking for a playground that also doubles as an excellent birthday party location, then Buckingham Reserve has it all. It has all the essentials, which include picnic tables, shade, drinking fountain, barbecues, more than enough parking and lots of public toilets.
The star attraction at the playground has to be the large rocket ship structure that has a large spiralling slide. In addition to that, there are flying foxes, swings, ropes, climbing frames and spinners. You can be assured of the fact that the park has all the latest equipment regardless of when you choose to visit. Plus, there are water games with gates that kids can easily close and open. So, there is just about everything you’ll need to have fun.
Royal Park Nature Play Playground
Address: Corner Gatehouse Street & Story Street, Parkville
Now if you are looking for playgrounds in Melbourne that offer a specular space to play, then you have to visit the Royal Park. The park has something for kids of all ages, with lots of natural play elements. Sure, that means things get messy, but that’s part of the fun.
The equipment here is second to none, and it is what highlights Nature Play Playgrounds. Your kids get to enjoy lots of splashy water, rock walls with slides, climbing forest, and lots of swings. The older kids can enjoy the sand play areas which are perfect to rolling in lots of sand, and these spots are safe to dig and build sandcastles on.
Thomas Street Reserve
Address: 164 Thomas St, Hampton
Now if you want to take the kids to a playground that offers some wooden adventure, then you can’t go wrong with Thomas Street Reserve. It is a massive wooden fort that should inspire most kids to play hide-and-seek. Its multiple levels, and winding walkways, has lots of nook and crannies in between making it the perfect spot to hide.
The playground is also home to all the usual slides and swings too, which should keep just about every kid happy. However, there is also open parkland at the back of the playground, which offers plenty of room to run and kick a football around. That said, this isn’t the best place to visit on weekends because the crowds swarm in starting first thing in the morning.
Frontier Park Playground
It is a huge adventure playground that’s one of two in the Woodlea Estate. It is one of the best playgrounds if you’re looking for lots of family fun. Interestingly the playground is located next door to a full-sized basketball court, with a large skate park, and numerous sporting fields with nature play area, 3x huge towers, massive twisty slides, ropes, pentagon swing sets, bridges, tunnels, rock climbing, birds nest swing, water play area with lots of fountains etc. As you can see, there is more than enough for your kids to burn their fair share of energy before you take them home for some peace and quiet.
Parents can relax and unwind across any one of the many picnic tables on the playground. However, campers will be disappointed because there isn’t much to set up camp on other than large rocks. That said the toilets and the shaded barbecue area is where most parents spend their time while their kids run amuck.
Address: Leason St, Kew East
It has to be one of the most loved playgrounds in Melbourne tucked deep in East Kew. The playground first opened back in 1998 and back then it was billed as being an Australian first because it catered to kids of all abilities including those with vision, hearing and mobility issues.
Enter in the playground, and most kids are first attracted to the web trampoline because let’s face it jumping around is fun. However, there is also the double-width slide which is perfect for racing with a friend. Then there is a swing that has a harness with a fenced section as well as a huge sandpit with diggers. So, if its messy play that your kids want, they will get it here.
Our advice is to also bring some duck food and visit the birdlife in Kew Billabong, which is a few steps away from the playground’s fence.
Melbourne may be home to many playgrounds, but these are our pick of the very best. However, as always make sure to pack along some suntan lotion and an extra pair of clothes for the kids.