Happy to finally take the kids out of the house for an hour or two of fun? We asked Astoria Bright, the creator of the Playgrounds of Canberra website, to round out the best playgrounds in each region.
With blue skies, warm weather and a slight easing of restrictions, parents around Canberra rejoice at the prospect of being able to escape from 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, risky facilities and the tears that will surely follow (from both parent and child), we spoke to Astoria Bright from Playgrounds of Canberra.
Astoria and her son Elijah started Playgrounds of Canberra in 2020 to help families connect to playgrounds to suit their needs, and have extensively documented photos, information and star ratings to share the hidden gems of the suburbs.
“It’s amazing how many hidden playgrounds there are around Canberra, you can easily walk 500 meters and miss one!” says Astoria.
“They vary in size, but it’s great to see even the smallest playground tucked away in your suburb. After hunting for playgrounds, we were even shocked to find a hideaway in our suburb hidden behind houses and filled with fun equipment. It’s an adventure to find something new. ”
With a focus on equipment, facilities and the overall fun factor, here are Astoria’s best playgrounds.
Important: While playgrounds are open, there are still ACT Government directives on how far you can travel from your house when performing recreational activities. If you spend time outside with your children, you should also stay within your region, if at all possible. Canberrans are also asked to ensure that they maintain physical distance whenever practicable.
Please see covid19.act.gov.au for more information.
The district playground at John Knight Memorial Park is popular! It includes our favorite – the hidden Zen Water Gardens with stepping stones over the water.
Wanderlight Avenue Playground in Lawson is fun for everyone, even new toddlers. It has an education area for the endangered Golden Sun Moth that lives in the grasslands.
Joey Park in Throsby is a fun playground for all ages and with mixed options, offering a bike path for riding around the play area with safety signs encouraging local children to step into the park. The playground is set to be completely fenced by the end of the year.
Finn Street Playground in O’Connor has a sense of community as a common place to find hidden stones left behind by members of the Facebook group ‘ACT Rocks’. With a mix of nature and traditional play equipment, there is plenty of fun to have.
Farrers Nature Play and Adventure Trail nature play is one of the newest parks that challenges what play can mean. Filled with open opportunities for climbing, crawling and swinging, it is the perfect example of playing differently.
The Kambah Village Shopping Center playground will be a hit as we approach summer, with picnic tables close to the shops, barbecue areas available for public use and a small splash zone outside the play area where children can cool off. There is also a mix of all-ages equipment including three trampoline cushions for a jump!
Taylor’s new Nature Playspace at Judith Macintosh Crescent will have a BMX track and will bring more unique play opportunities for children in Gungahlin. A new Nature Playspace is also being built in the Molonglo River Special Purpose Reserve near Whitlam. It offers unique play options with wombat diggers, ‘Spidergon’ spider webs, a dry creek (mini Molonglo river) and the Wedge Tailed Eagle nest.
Notice something that is not quite right with your local playground?
Playgrounds are regularly monitored and repaired by the ACT government, but with the help of the local community, this may mean that repairs are processed more quickly. Using Fix my Street by Access Canberra you can submit any problem you see on the playground including graffiti, rubbish, safety issues, equipment maintenance or even request new things like shade and seating.
For more information on playgrounds near you, visit playgroundscancanrara.wordpress.com.