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 - a tennis themed playground - photo from Play Works website - playworks.com.au/portfolios/frew-park
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.
A playground for big kids - from Play Works website - playworks.com.au/portfolios/frew-park
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.
Giant spiral slide and super high basketball hoops. Photo from Play Works website - playworks.com.au/portfolios/frew-park
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.