It's not very often you come across a place where every member of the family can genuinely enjoy themselves. Without recourse to Facebook, or Tetris, or Stacey' SMS about … well, it doesn't matter. A park is, perhaps uniquely, one such place. A trip to the park can lead to hours of sunny, healthy entertainment for the whole family all on its own- no technology required! Although there are lots of charming little parks pocketed throughout the leafy streets of Hawthorn, the two below are tried and tested favourites that will have you and your family donning your sun hats and cling-wrapping your sandwiches for weekends to come.
Probably the most charming thing about this well-loved park in the heart of Hawthorn (along Hilda Crescent, near Power St) is the oak-lined boulevard which runs through its centre. On one side of this, those amongst us who have not yet reached one metre tall will discover all sorts of delights. A slide, swings, some kind of ropey thing to clamber up – what more could you want?
Kids aren't the only ones who'll find something to do. The concrete court area right next to the playground boasts a basketball hoop as well as a really decent wall for practising your tennis – complete with a line at net level. And if you're in the picnicking mood, a generous expanse of lawn on the other side of the gravel boulevard is the perfect venue. (If not, head to the great nearby café Liar, Liar!)
This large, grassy space lives up to its name as it lines a gorgeously peaceful section of the Yarra. Situated on Fairview St (off Riversdale Rd), it's hard to believe that rattling trams and angsty school mums are going about their daily business only a couple of hundred metres away from this pocket of peace. Fairview is a great place to take the dogs and the kids (not necessarily in that order!). A playground 'with the lot' sits adjacent to a big oval just begging to have balls hurled across it for the enjoyment of the large four-legged population commonly found here.
Indeed, if you have a sociable dog there is quite a scene on Sunday mornings. It's a lovely thing to do of a weekend morning: to stroll by a river and toss a ball intermittently to an hysterical Fifi, who's having the time of her life amongst a like-minded bottom-sniffing, tail-wagging lot.
There's even a barbecue area, making this another great picnic venue. Need any more encouragement to bring along a truckload of sausages and tantalise passing joggers with the smell of frying onions?