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Arena Playground at Frew Park

Home > Brisbane > Family | Kids | Outdoor | Playgrounds | Tennis Courts
by Vivienne Pearson (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, fortunate enough to live near Byron Bay, one of Australia's most beautiful regions. My writing - for newspapers, magazines, online and for business - lives at vivienne pearson.com
Published February 1st 2018
A playground in inner Brisbane for kids from 4-14
I am sad that my kids, aged 9 and 12, are heading towards being too old for playgrounds.

So I was excited to discover Arena, a new-ish playground, that is designed for older kids.

Frew Park, Arena Playground, Milton Tennis Centre, Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Milton
Frew Park / Arena - a tennis themed playground - photo from Play Works website - playworks.com.au/portfolios/frew-park


What age?

Council information says the larger part of the playground is aimed at 10-14 year olds.

To be honest, I'm not sure how many 14 year olds would spend heaps of time here. My 12 year old did spend 15 minutes playing before joining me on the sidelines, and the kids I was with (aged 9, 10 and 12) concluded that it would be most appealing to 8-10 year olds.

Certainly older kids with younger siblings - there is a part of the playground (in the same area) that is for younger kids - would appreciate having playground equipment that is challenging and fun for them.

Frew Park, Arena Playground, Milton Tennis Centre, Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Milton
A playground for big kids - from Play Works website - playworks.com.au/portfolios/frew-park


Frew Park, Arena Playground, Milton Tennis Centre, Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Milton
An area for smaller kids too


What is there?

The Arena part of the playground is a partly-enclosed concrete slab based area complete with indoor-style rock-climbing walls, chains, nets and big slides. There are super-high basketball hoops and a metal pole for sliding.

The smaller-kid area is immediately next to this and has regular swings, sound play, balancing beams and other visually appealing, interactive play elements.

A basket swing is in the little kid area, though this was the thing most appealing to my 12 year old.

A wide concrete bike path (for little bikes or scooters) goes most of the way around the playground.

There is a half-sized tennis court for little kids tennis playing and a 'rebound' wall for kids of all ages to practice their hits.

The park is next to outdoor exercise equipment and open space, ideal for ball games, cricket or kite flying.

Frew Park, Arena Playground, Milton Tennis Centre, Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Milton
Giant spiral slide and super high basketball hoops. Photo from Play Works website - playworks.com.au/portfolios/frew-park


Rock climbing walls for older 'kids' of all ages!


Cafe, BBQ, picnic

There is good undercover seating and BBQ areas. The BBQs weren't pristine when I visited but were certainly good enough to use happily.

There is an upstairs cafe - in the tennis shop - which had excellent coffee and a full range of snacks (and icy poles - good on a hot day after some serious big-kid play). The outdoor part of the cafe has a good view over the playground. You're not close enough to be able to safely supervise younger kids but for older kids, you can keep enough of an eye on them to enjoy your coffee in peace.

There is plenty of grass around with some shade for picnics.

I can imagine the park getting very busy (especially if a party of two set up) but when I was there on a Sunday morning in school holiday January, there was plenty of space both in the playground, in the seating areas and in the cafe.

Frew Park, Arena Playground, Milton Tennis Centre, Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Milton
Lots of undercover seating, including BBQs


Frew Park, Arena Playground, Milton Tennis Centre, Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Milton
The view of the playground from the upstairs cafe in the Roy Emerson Tennis Centre


The tennis connection

Frew Park has been built on the site of the demolished Milton Tennis Centre (the 'home' of tennis in Brisbane until the newer Queensland Tennis Centre was built).

This legacy has been delightfully incorporated into the playground design - different areas are named using tennis lingo and there are giant tennis balls embedded into the ground.

Do check out the slightly hidden scoreboard, which can be changed using giant wheels.

Note - there are still proper tennis courts in the wider park - these are for hire (though the small half court/rebound wall is free).

Check out the old tennis scoreboard, which can be changed via colourful wheels

Confusing names

This playground, and wider area, has all sorts of names, which can make it confusing. Here are a few names that you might hear this park referred to as:

* Arena Playground - this seems to be the official name of just the bigger-kid-playground

* Frew Park - the wider park, including the open spaces

* Milton Tennis Centre - the former name (the old tennis centre that was on this site but since demolished)

* Roy Emerson Tennis Centre - the newer, current tennis centre within Frew Park.

* Grind Cafe - the name of the cafe within the Roy Emerson Tennis Centre - the one with a view of the playground.

Confusing directions

I found it hard to find the park using Google Maps - it directed me to the 'Frew Playground', which is a separate, small playground - nearby but not within sight of Frew Park.

If you are in a car, put 'Frew Street' into your maps (a little dead end street off Haig Road). There is a car park right near the playground and there was plenty of space on the day I was there.

If you're on foot, there is footpath entry from Lucy Street, off Baroona Rd.
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Why? Tennis themed playground aimed at older kids
When: Always open
Where: Frew Street, Milton
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Nice article vivienne.
by May Cross (score: 3|3035) 256 days ago
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