For us parents, deciding which playground to take our little ones to can sometimes be a mission - wondering if there will be enough shade, toilet facilities and safe areas for the kids to run around. Also, let's face it, if we are going to spend half the morning packing enough snacks, water, sun cream, hats and change of clothes - then it needs to be worth the effort when we get there! Thankfully, in Canberra it will be. Parks and playgrounds are a great way to have fun with your kids - and for them to meet other kids - and best of all, it's free! Check out the following 3 playgrounds around Canberra and see which one your little one would like - I can almost guarantee they will love them all.
This colourful and popular playground is located in a bushland setting in Kings Park, by Lake Burley Griffin. The large playground is completely fenced off with pool fencing and gates, so smaller kids can't run off too far. It is called Boundless as it is designed for children of all abilities. There are ramps to run up and down, three small slides, bridges to cross over, water play, a large sandpit with multiple diggers, a dingy to sit in and a variety of swings to try out! There is also an automated toilet block, shade cloths and picnic areas. This playground can get busy in school holidays and weekends, so get there early if you can. Boundless is open between 8am - 8pm. See here for a Google map and here for details.
* Please note - Unfortunately Boundless will closed between 4th September- December 2017 for construction, with new and exciting equipment planned.
* The closest food outlet for takeaway coffees, water and snacks is Burley Grind coffee van, which is parked just a short walk from Boundless playground - on weekends only.
Sandpit, diggers and plenty of areas to run around and explore at Boundless
This creative and impressive playground is located at the National Arboretum, high up on a hill overlooking the city. It is a popular area for families to visit and have a play in the award-winning Pod Playground, which is designed to look like a collection of acorn nuts and pods. The main area is for older children to climb between the pods, however there is also a toddler area with smaller Banksia nut pods positioned over a sandpit - with a little slide, musical instruments, interactive play and net swings. This playground is also completely fenced with pool fencing and has toilet facilities near the toddler area. See here for a Google map and here for more details.
* The National Arboretum grounds and Pod Playground are open between 7am - 5:30pm (non-daylight savings time) and 6am - 8:30pm (daylight savings time) daily.
* The closest food and takeaway coffee outlet is Sprout Café inside the Visitors Centre, open 9am - 4pm daily. They also make a mean milkshake for the kids!
Entrance to the toddler area. The Banksia nut pods have a sandpit underneath with slide, climbing and musical play
This city playground is located on Bunda Street, in the middle of the CBD. It may not be as visually impressive as the other two playgrounds, however it is centrally located, shady, has everything small kids love and plenty of space to run around afterwards. This conveniently-located playground is just a short walk from the Canberra Centre shopping centre, so if your little one is tired of sitting in a pram and wants some run time, Glebe Park will save you every time. There are swings, slide, bouncy toys and soft fall on the ground. Take a picnic and sit under the trees and if you visit in autumn, all ages enjoy watching the leaves fall and making leaf angels. See here for a Google map.
* The closest takeaway Coffee outlet is 332 Manhattan across the road from Glebe Park, open weekdays only - otherwise Dobinson's Bakery Cafe is located just a short walk up Bunda Street and open 7 days. It is also the ideal place to pick up a sausage roll or cake for later!
Glebe Park - a convenient playground in the heart of the CBD