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Published January 30th 2016
If you live in Canberra's CBD, or you're on holiday or visiting the city for the day, there are several handy playgrounds within minutes of the city for your kids to explore. There are a few within walking distance, however if you a have a car there are a few more options to drive to within ten minutes of the CBD. Starting with the playgrounds closest to the City Centre.
GLEBE PARK PLAYGROUND Glebe Park is located in the CBD, at the end of Bunda Street - the main street that runs through the city past the Canberra Centre Shopping Centre. This leafy 4 hectare park has hundreds of historical shady elms towering over the park, creating plenty of shade for picnics and play time in Summer. On the corner of Ballumbir Street and Akuna Street there is also a modern and colourful playground for the kids to enjoy. See Google map here.
Climbing frames, ladders, firemans pole, slide, bouncy toys, hanging poles and swings
REGATTA POINT PLAYGROUND Regatta Point Playground is situated at Commonwealth Park, on a hill overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. It is a small, modern playground with a large (and bumpy!) slide and spinning toys. Adjacent to the playground are picnic tables and Commonwealth Park to run around in. Also at Regatta Point is the popular The Deck Café which overlooks the lake and the National Capital Exhibition, where you can learn more about Canberra's history.
Regatta Point is on Regatta Place in Parkes - see Google map here.
COMMONWEALTH PARK PLAYGROUND Commonwealth Park is a 34 hectare park along the northern side of Lake Burley Griffin.The playground is situated at the back of the park and is a medieval fortress of tunnels to explore. If your kids enjoy climbing and exploring, then this playground will keep them entertained for some time. During the cooler months this playground is often the location of "Mike The Knight" medieval children's birthday parties, so you may come across some sword-wielding preschoolers in your visit. See Google map here. To get to this playground from the city, the closest entry point in Commonwealth Park is to walk to (or park at) the the CIT carpark on Constitution Avenue and walk under the pedestrian tunnel at the back of the carpark - see google map here. Once through the tunnel, turn right and walk a few minutes to the playground.
BOUNDLESS This all-abilities playground is also located on Lake Burley Griffin, further down the lake to the east. It is located in Kings Park, adjacent to Commonwealth Park, so it is a 15 minute walk between Boundless and the Commonwealth Park playground above, if you want to do both. It is a flat and pleasant walk along the lake path if your kids want to take their bikes or for carers to push a stroller. If you are driving to Boundless Playground, there is a top carpark close to the park (however this is often full) or drive down and park your car at the National Carillon/Aspen Island carpark and follow the path behind the large automatic toilet facility to the playground behind, hidden in the trees. See Google map here.
Boundless Playground - one of the biggest and most popular playgrounds in Canberra
BLACK MOUNTAIN PENINSULA PLAYGROUND Further away from the city, at the other end of Lake Burley Griffin, is Black Mountain Peninsula recreation area. There are BBQ areas, swans and a playground to enjoy. As well as a shaded playground area (pictured below), there are also spinning and balance toys and other equipment to play on. As you drive along Garryowen Drive in Acton look out for the row of colourful pencil posts at the entrance to the playground. See Google map here.
Black Mountain Peninsula shaded playground area and free BBQ's
This playground is located on the western side of Lake Burley Griffin, with access from the southern suburb of Yarralumla. This whole area will delight the kids, with kangaroos grazing, bike paths, BBQ's, ponds and plenty of space to run around in this scenic location. Follow the signs to Yarralumla Play Station miniature train ride / mini golf and the playground is situated opposite. For toddlers there is a water play area and pump, slide, spinning toys and swings to play on. For older children there is a climbing net and diggers in the sandpit to enjoy. See Google map here.
After your visit to Weston Park in Yarralumla, there is also a popular park on Loftus Street, minutes from Yarralumla shops to also enjoy. See extended article here.
POD PLAYGROUND If you are happy to drive for ten minutes out of the city, then head up to arguably the best playground in Canberra. Located above the city at the National Arboretum, this playground has spectacular views and play areas for all ages. For older children there is a series of wooden acorns and pods to climb up to through a series of net tunnels, before taking a twisty slide back down to the bottom. There are also smaller gumnuts for toddlers to explore with a little slide, as well as swings and a sandpit. See Google map here.
For a more detailed article on the Pod Playground see here.
Canberra City has wide selection of parks, playgrounds and reserves for families to explore, all within minutes of the CBD. Why not pack a picnic blanket and stay longer to enjoy these scenic areas in this great city. If you have discovered a handy playground within ten minutes of the city centre that isn't listed here, please add a comment to this article and share your discovery.
Which playground will be your family favourite?
Our families favourite: Pod Playground and then closely followed by Boundless - however your kids will enjoy them all!