I've visited a lot of playgrounds as a mum to one very active young boy, but it's seldom that you visit a playground that ticks literally every box. The planners of Faulkner Park must have polled their demographic of 0-10 year olds very carefully as the play equipment enclosed reads like a wishlist for any child seeking the playground of their dreams. I'm sure I'll miss something off the list of inclusions, but here goes: a shaded toddler area, sand pit complete with diggers, climbing frame, wooden boat, picnic area, slides, swings, a swooshing flying fox, balancing jumping platforms, surprise jumping water jets, water mist sprays, oh - and and did I mention there is also a volcano.
The toddler area is a firm favourite with our family, currently due to the age of our son. It's a well appointed space featuring a mini slide, a small boat and small play house to climb in and out of as well as a host of other interactive paraphernalia to clamber on. All this under the welcome shade of the numerous colourful overhead sails, although I would still recommend footwear for the little people as the ground can get very warm. Plenty of benches are dotted around the area for parents to sit back and watch the fun.
Whilst we spend the majority of time in the toddler area, it's the big kid area where the imaginative planning of the park really comes into it's own, and I can't wait till our little guy is big enough to fully enjoy this area too. The large volcano takes prime position in the park, and 'erupts' about every 10 minutes or so. If you walk your way to the top of the volcano you'll be rewarded with a great vantage point of the park, in addition to the eruption of steam (water mist) and easy access to the slides coming off from the volcano. For the big kids the volcano seems to be the biggest hit in the park.
Another pulling point for the bigger kids is the flying fox; speedily whizzing kids through the air soliciting squeals (and screams) of delight. Though not mandatory, I'd advice parental supervision for kids younger than ten. It can be a bit tricky to get 'onboard', so little ones may need a helping hand.
This gate enclosed park is a real treat for the family, and aside from the array of fantastic play apparatus, there are some lovely picnic spots, possibly the cleanest public BBQs I've ever seen, as well as some beautifully maintained and manicured flower and lawn areas.
I've seen many birthday parties hosted here and imagine it would make a great spot.
There are public toilets just outside the park adjacent to the Oasis Indoor Pool.
For a quieter picnic spot, just walk one minute outside the park towards Belmont Library and you'll be treated to a picnic with some very confident and friendly ducks, moorhens and some long legged waders all after your sarnies!
Great article Helen, I went there on the weekend and can vouch that it is great for parties, but you need to get there quite early to make sure you get one of the covered benches. (You might need to get the editors to look at the map though).