What Awesome Playground is That?July 25, 2020
We’re spoilt for choice with nearby playgrounds for kids. Here are our local favourites – some of which you may not have even known were there. We’ll keep adding to the list!
Willoughby Park Playground
Address: McClelland St, Willoughby
The makeover is complete! And it’s absolutely brilliant. Willoughby City Council haven’t kept us waiting too long, and they’ve done a really great job. Little fans will still recognise their favourite playground but it’s now been supersized! The stand-out feature is the fort with must-try tube slide. In order to try it though, kids have to traverse a series of challenging rope ladders and bridges. There’s also a distorting mirror below and some monkey bars, as well as the swing set from before.
The famous tunnel remains but the slide on top has been replaced with a smaller version. There are still musical instruments, plus new drums, and three new in-ground trampolines. One of the biggest surprises is the play area outside the gated playground. It now has an awesome bike track with road signs and markings. The merry-go-round is still there as is the larger climbing frame, but another slide has been added and you have to climb to the top to reach it.
With the bbqs and tables nearby, and the oval adjacent, along with good toilet facilities, Willoughby Park is sure to remain the family favourite for anything from a quick play to a birthday party. See the Willoughby City Council website for more: click here
Address: Julian St, Willoughby
Even though it’s right in the heart of Willoughby, Sanders Park is often overlooked when planning a trip to a local playground. Which may be because it’s tucked away down a side street and many don’t even know it’s there! It’s a very pretty little park with lots to keep kids entertained and well worth a visit.
Play equipment is spread across different sections – the top area has some great ”spider” themed climbing frames, swings and spinners. A path /bike/scooter track winds between each area as well, “lined by five Ornamental Pear trees, which provide Autumn foliage colour and Spring blossoms” according to the Willoughby City Council site.
The second play area features some swings and rockers best for littlies. Next is the double slippery dip which is mounted on a brilliant hill for climbing and gives sliders a good challenge (and exercise) every time they want to slide again.
There is also an open grassy area that’s good for games and running around, and quite a few picnic tables and benches for parents/carers. It’s a lovely park to while away a morning or afternoon, particularly due to the flowers and established trees. And if you’re wanting lunch afterwards, there’s a very kid-friendly cafe called Papas just up nearby Frenchs Rd, or for dinner, the kid-friendly Bridgeview Hotel is almost next door.
Address: end of Shirley Rd, Wollstonecraft
Perfect for school holidays or weekends, Berry Island is where adventures are made! It’s a very picturesque part of our area, with a beautiful green space, a great waterside playground, boats, some brilliant Aboriginal history, a naval base within view, and there’s even a kid-friendly bushwalk right in the middle.
You could easily spend a day here with the option of running around or kicking a ball on the oval, picnicing or bbqing (with bbq facilities on site), and taking a walk to look at the boats and exploring the rockpools and mini-beaches on the left-hand side. The playground is also wonderful, with a hidden treehouse, lots of mini play equipment, swings, climbing frames, two double tube slippery dips, and some awesome low lying branches for kids to clamber over. It has an incredible view over the water and is fully fenced.
Once you’re done playing, right next to the playground is The Gadyan Track – a 20 minute bush walk that “interprets Berry Island’s Aboriginal history”. Dogs are also welcome at Berry Island if they’re on-leash, and there are toilet facilities on site. See the NS Council website for more:
Address: 2 Rosenthal Avenue, Lane Cove
The long awaited development at Lane Cove, The Canopy, has just opened ‘Stage One’ and it includes a fabulous playground, concert area and green space for the community.
The playground is a real surprise as it’s not your average shopping precinct play area. For a start, it’s big, and there’s enough to challenge both littlies and bigger kids. There’s practically a small beach in one corner with multiple water play, a huge sand pit and colourful climbing wall with tunnel.
“‘Families will be keen to hear that the new playground area includes an adventure playground complete with water weir, soft fall, trampolines and an accessible swing. The most prominent feature is a bespoke installation that includes vertical climbing nets, a fire pole, sagging bridge, pommels, junior and spiral slides and two levels of play decks.”
There’s a buzz in the air for what’s to come in this space as well. With room for dozens of restaurants, cafes and specialty stores, it’s sure to be a hive of community activity when its complete. ALDI has already moved in and you can, of course, access some of Lane Coves favourite sidewalk cafes already from this area.
“To access the new community park locals can make use of the new pedestrian footbridge over Rosenthal Avenue, the freshly paved connection from the Plaza or arrive via the 500 underground car space car park.”
See the website for more: https://thecanopylanecove.com.au/
Address: Nicholson St, Chatswood
We call it Beauchamp Playground or the Zombie Cow Playground (you’ll see!), but whatever you call it, Hammond Playground has been a local favourite for years. It was named for Joseph Hammond who had a farm on the site in the 1800s and raised sheep and cattle – hence the the great life-size farm figurines that the kids can hang out with. The sit-on ”cow-ch” is a very clever addition.
There are a few levels of play and everything is spread out making it easy to spend time here. The flying fox is fabulous, as is the sand pit, which has dinosaur bones in a corner for little archaeologists to discover. There are lots of other discoveries to make too – a canoe in one corner for lots of imaginary play, stone statues in another area are fascinating for little ones and great to crawl over, and there are also small stone and metallic statues scattered throughout.
Play equipment includes a wide double slide, climbing frame, climbing frame that spins, and swings with exceptionally long ropes which makes for a different swing experience.
There is a great path for scooters, and plenty of green space to run and play. Littlies will love the imagination here, and the large expanse of play space.
Tunks Park Playground
Address: Brothers Avenue, Cammeray
It’s the local playground with incredible views. In fact, the treehouse that’s attached to the slide probably has views many would pay good money for. The playground is located at the top of the hill before you hit the oval, and it’s clearly been designed to fit into the natural landscape. There are two levels of play – the main area has a fabulous wooden ramp and rope bridge, double diggers, tube slide and, as mentioned, a brilliant treehouse. There’s also a spider-themed climbing frame, stand-up see-saw and wobble ride.
The upper level is great for smaller children and has a small, colourful games zone, mini slide, swings, nature bingo and some interesting froggie characters to discover in the bushes.
One of the best things about Tunks Park Playground is that you can make a whole morning or afternoon out of it. Once kids have had enough of the playground, it’s always worth wandering down to either the oval for a lovely stroll or scooter, or on a little further to the boat ramp to see the fish or seagulls and boats. This is a lovely spot for a picnic lunch and the coffee/muffin cart is usually in the carpark as well.
Grasmere Children’s Park
Address: 61 Young St, Cremorne
This is a fantasy playground for young children. Best suited to the toddler, preschool and even junior primary age group, Grasmere Children’s Park isn’t a huge playground, but littlies can while away hours on the different equipment and exploring all the beautiful nooks and crannies.
Colourful toadstools hide in a corner waiting to be discovered.
It was last upgraded in 2000, and the imagination that has gone into the playspace is to be commended. Says North Sydney Council “this playground capitalises on the existing trees as integral parts of the play space; creating child-scale play gardens. The playground is subtly divided into separate play spaces connected by colourful stepping stone pathways, low level bridges, quiet sitting areas and a range of ground level activities.”
The triple slide is an obvious favourite, but kids also love the spinning cup, rolling log and the four-person spring-mounted pony rocker, which will bring back memories of old-fashioned playgrounds for parents.
There are also swings, a great balance footbridge, giant games and small sculptures scattered around the gardens to offer further ‘discoveries’.
There’s also a lovely flat grassed area that’s perfect for a ball game and a picnic, so bring the rug (please note there are no toilet facilities).
For further details, see North Sydney Council’s website https://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Recreation_Facilities/Parks_Reserves/Search_Parks/Grasmere_Childrens_Park
Artarmon Reserve Playground
Address: 1a Burra Rd, Artarmon
This amazing play space was updated just last year and is one of the area’s best kept secrets. Located at the end of Burra Rd, Artarmon, next to Artarmon Oval and the Artarmon Bowling Club, this is a truly fabulous playground. While there’s fun to be had for all ages, this playground caters more towards school-age children.
At the top level are two super slippery slides with a challenging climb to get to them, a very modern merry-go-round (there’s nothing to hold on to), a brilliant climbing structure with all sorts of ropes and ladders, three in-ground trampolines and what would have to be the best flying fox in the area! It has dual ropes to traverse – one with a seat and seatbelt, the other a small circular seat.
The bottom level can be accessed via another slide which leads to a small sandpit. Here kids will also find a circular rope swing, conventional swings, a bouncer, and a great teepee to climb.
There are also shaded picnic tables and a fab bike/scooter track that runs between the playground and the oval.
You can read more on this wonderful local leisure area on the Willoughby City Council website: https://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/Residents/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks-Reserves-and-Playgrounds/Artarmon-Reserve