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Published December 18th 2013
Family Water Play Fun
Indoor water play is a popular family activity for all seasons. In compiling this list of great water playgrounds I discovered many, way too many to include. Most that are described have multiple facilities including slides, pools, rides and cafes. I have also included a couple of outdoor playgrounds that deserve a special mention. These are all linked to more extensive Weekend Notes reviews.
Watermarc Waves Aquatic and Leisure Centre 1 Flintoff Street, Greensborough
This is one of the newest and largest aquatic centres in Victoria. It is fully decked out with two enormous waterslides: Pipeline and Tantrum Alley. You can pay for a single slide pass if you are unsure. Watermarc has five indoor pools including a toddler pool and lap pool, and a spa, sauna/steam room.
Watermarc Waves also has a Health Club with an extensive range of gym equipment and childcare facilities. The café has all you need to keep the kiddies fed and watered all day. I have spent a few very long days at Watermarc and still needed to drag the kids out when it was getting late.
In my experience, the water slides get very busy toward the end of the day so go early if the kids want a few rides. If you get stuck there and run out of time to cook dinner there are many take away or eat in restaurants in the main street next to the aquatic centre.
Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre 200 E Boundary Rd, Bentleigh East
This is also a new aquatic leisure centre that has two long waterslides Ship Wreck and Pirates Plunge. Be sure to check the slide opening times, as it's mighty disappointing to go for that purpose if they are closed.
The biggest attraction is the Pirate's Cove water playground. It reminds me of the Queensland water theme park with its bucket of water that fills to capacity and then dumps water over every waiting and unsuspecting player underneath. It has slides, nets and the ever-popular water guns.
The health club includes a gym and range of classes. GESAC also has a childcare facility, an outdoor pool and a cafe.
Seville Water Play Park Corner Warburton Highway and Monbulk-Seville Road, Seville
This is an outdoor water area with many waterspouts that randomly go off. Of course this increases the excitement because children try to anticipate which spout will go off next. It's fun to stand on the spouts to try to stop the water. Inevitably everyone gets very wet.
The ingenuity of the design is lost on the kids. 'It is designed to represent four different types of water environment: a mountain, with a spring on top; a gorge with flowing water and jets; a river delta, which is normally dry unless there is rain to provide overflow from the gorge; and a dry creek bed." Anita Coia
There are tunnels and areas for kids to climb on rocks, but don't worry the surfaces are rubberised so it is soft for the inevitable faller. While there is a picnic area and BBQ, there are no close eateries, so pack your own food. These water features are a crowd pleaser for children and adults.
This is a fun park for thrill seekers, which includes many rides such as the Alpine toboggan, go-karts and mini golf. It also has slides and water play attractions including a pool suitable for young children with water fountains. The newest attraction is the Typhoon, which is a fast double tube ride with a drop of about 60 feet.
From $32 you want to make the most of it and arrive early. This is a pay for the day system (no bystanders) and have as many rides as you want. These can be purchased on-line.
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre Aughtie Drive, Albert Park
MSAC is like a small township with its pools, activities, cafes, gymnasium and sports store. This is a world-renowned facility where many international competitions are held. In addition it's a great day for kids because of its wave pool and play equipment in the water. There are several pools and they often have large blown up equipment for running and playing on.
There are diving boards and the fabulous Flowrider for the risk takers. The Flowrider is designed to emulate surfing, it's very challenging but lots of fun.
This is another enormous indoor water play centre located in Geelong. With ever popular water cannons, a tipping bucket, hoses, a spinning wheel and multiple slides. The two most popular slides are the Cannon Bowl and the Black Hole Waterslide. These are aptly named.
If you like to be swirled around mercilessly Cannon Bowl is the ride for you. The Cannon Bowl waterslide swirls you around before you drop through a hole into a pool. The Black Hole Waterslide is pretty self-explanatory. I'm not too keen on being tossed around in the dark but some people are!
This is an inexpensive day out. For under $20 the whole family can have indoor water fun (2 adults and 3 children).
Summer, winter, spring or autumn, a family water park excursion is always well received by the kids. Be prepared to have fun.