Mimi V a writer, social media manager, foodie, music lover, and mum, currently residing in Sydney with Mr V, two little Vs and doggy V.
Published September 26th 2012
Playgroups in the Park, Redfern
If like me, you've got a tireless (and somewhat troublesome) toddler on your hands, you'll know that you can never have too many free, fun and local things for them to do. Enter stage left Playgroups in the Park, a fantastic community event for the 0-5s that takes place in Redfern Park three times per year. It's a joint initiative between local community organisations and the City of Sydney, and aims at giving tiny tots a rollicking good time.
It has to be said that Playgroups in the park does not disappoint – the range and quality of activities available is excellent, with all age groups and interest areas covered.
Loving the space hopper @ Playgroups in the Park, Redfern
For the adventurous and fun loving there are two bouncy castles (one for older children, one for younger) and two fire engines to explore (one vintage and one contemporary) – with friendly fire fighters on hand to answer any questions. For the more mellow and artistic types there's a painting station, colouring in, and mask-making (complete with glitter in every colour of the rainbow).
Those little ones who prefer to wear their art are catered for by the two face-painting stations, offering an array of designs, from simple rainbows to full face masks. Budding Steve Irwin types will love the pony rides and petting zoo, which has all the mandatory small animals, as well as sheep and goats.
Making a mess with paints @ Playgroups in the Park, Redfern
As far as entertainment is concerned, there are clowns who are also a dab hand with the balloon shapes (animals, swords, hearts, you name it), and a fully staged show with singing, dancing and puppetry, which sees scores of children singing and dancing their little hearts out.
If all the excitement and new activities gets a bit much, there are a few "chill-out" stations set up with books, dress ups, and all the toys usually found at the mobile play bus, as well as a soft play area for the very young bubs.
On the off-chance that the children are not tired out after all that, there are still the normal delights that Redfern Park has to offer such as the play area, fountain and oval, that can be enjoyed alongside all the other activities.
Having fun on the climbing frame @ Playgroups in the Park, Redfern
No toddler can have that much fun without working up an appetite, and those clever folks at Playgroups in the Park have even got that covered – they hand out free fruit, cheesy bread and juices, to help keep those little batteries charged.
Making the most of the free fruit @ Playgroups in the Park, Redern
One of the best things about this event (apart from all the fun to be had, of course) is that although somewhere between 400-600 children from Redfern and surrounding suburbs turn up each time, it doesn't feel cramped, and apart from the pony rides, the queues aren't too long.
For parents, apart from the obvious advantage of leaving your kids all tuckered out and ready for their daytime nap, it also has the benefit of being a great opportunity to catch up for a chat, or even meet new friends. So it's win-win all around.
For more information about Playgroups in the Park and to find out when the next event will be held, check out the City of Sydney website.