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Published February 16th 2017
As rated by a five year old
As all parents know, a trip to the playground is an ideal way to entertain the kids, put a smile on their faces and also ensure they fall straight to sleep at night after all the fun and excitement. Discovering new and modern playgrounds to try out can also be a lot of fun, with spinning roundabouts, flying foxes and complicated climbing walls to master. I can't help but notice however, that after the kids do the rounds of all these new and ergonomic pieces of playground equipment - they always go back to the traditional swings and slides. For decades they have been the main feature in every park and even today, they are still favourites with children all around the world. For our daughter, age five, it is all about the slides. The bigger and faster, the better. The following list is her top 3 playgrounds with the best slides in Canberra for speed, length or sheer thrills. Which slide will be your child's favourite?
1/ John Knight Memorial Playground is located by Lake Ginninderra in Belconnen, 15 minutes north of the city. This bright red playground has been ranked as Number 1 for the fun of climbing up to the top of the high tower and then sliding down the "super fast" metal slide to the bottom. For young ones, this slide seems particularly steep and long, with the added excitement of sliding through a tunnel first. If parents want to ride in tandem with their kids as a train, it is a little squeezy inside the tunnel so you have to lie back - which makes the train go even faster! There is also a twisty slide on the other side, which is another a popular feature of the playground. It is easy to stay all morning at this whole parkland with bike paths to ride on, a variety of scenic picnic spots and BBQ areas, a flying fox and another smaller playground near the carpark. See here for a full article on John Knight Memorial Park and here for a Google Map for directions.
The long metal slide at John Knight Memorial Park in Belconnen
2/ Kambah Adventure Park is located in Kambah in the Tuggeranong district, 15 minutes south of the city. This playground was ranked Number 2 as the slide is "long, bumpy, fast and it is fun climbing back up to the top". The rest of the playground is extensive, with different areas to play in with swings, rock climbing walls, flying foxes, spinning toys, large net climbing frame, two sets of swings and a toddler area with net swing. The slide however, attracts children of all ages who never seem to tire of going up and down. Sliding down on their stomach seems to get the fastest results! See here for a full article on Kambah Adventure Park and here for a Google Map for directions.
Long metal slide and smaller twin slides at Kambah Adventure Park
3/ Pod Playground is located just minutes from the centre of Canberra, at the entrance to the National Arboretum. Although it took a number of visits before our daughter was ready to go down the dark and twisty slide, she now loves it and enjoys calling out to me down the bottom as she "goes around and around and around the twisty bits". The slide at the end of this stunning playground is just one part of the whole experience, with net tunnels to climb through and wooden pods positioned up high so kids can call down to the Mummies and Daddies below. As the kids reach the end of the tunnel system, the slide is the finale - however many kids find the dark slide a little confronting and then backtrack down the way they came to the bottom. For adults, the vertical twisty slide is more than just "squeezey" going down and I wouldn't recommend it for the exceptionally tall or claustrophobic - but it's fun! See here for a full article on Pod Playground and here for a Google Map for directions.
In Canberra we are fortunate to have a wide range of playgrounds - some are new and modern with table tennis tables and net swings and others are more traditional, from yesteryear. The fun for kids is trying them all out and finding their favourites. I can almost guarantee that these 3 playgrounds will be enjoyed by all kids, especially if they have a particular love of slides, however try them out and find out for yourselves...adults too!
The twisty slide at Pod Playground, National Arboretum