Sydney knows how to make sure its city kids have plenty of space to have fun. Renowned for its many large parks and parkland reserves, the city is a wonderland of outdoor fun for families and kids, all year round. From the busy inner-city to the sprawling outer suburbs, check out the best of the best playgrounds that Sydney has to offer kids who love to get out and about!
Newington Armory and Blaxland Riverside Park
Newington Armory is a heritage site within Sydney Olympic Park and is surrounded by some of Sydney's best playground areas for families, including Blaxland Riverside Park with free water-play facilities and a host of other child-friendly attractions. Newington Armory hosts a huge number of cheap family activities such as train rides on the Heritage Railway, clue trails for young adventurers, as well as musical and arts workshops and sports clinics. The regular school holiday program includes activities that are fun and affordable, and many activities are free for kids under five years. Even better, you don't have to book for many of the holiday sessions, simply bring the family along for some fun and games.
Monster BMX and Skate Park
Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush is also home to Monster BMX and Skate Park, a fantastic facility for kids and teens who love to skate, scoot, BMX or ride mountain bikes. With an indoor street course and outdoor ramps for skaters, a 306 metre long BMX track with dirt jumps and bends, and one of the best downhill mountain cross tracks in Sydney, there's something at Monster BMX for any kid who doesn't mind getting a little dirty. There are small session fees involved for skaters, but spectators are free and all-day passes are also available. For those on BMX or mountain bikes, entry to the tracks is free! What better way to let your adventurous kids burn off some energy in a supervised environment? Monster BMX is open seven days a week and they host a range of fun school holiday workshops and clinics.
Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens and The Domain
Bring the kids to the heart of the city for a romp in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens and the surrounding parkland, including the best known, The Domain. With regular activities and events for families, including weekly Dandy Lions gardening sessions for kids up to five years old, plus an array of feature gardens and shaded areas to explore, kids who like getting outdoors and into nature will love visiting the Botanic Gardens.
The 360 hectare Centennial Parklands forms an extensive network of interconnected parkland throughout Sydney's innermost suburbs. Featuring loads of activities all year round including horse riding, ranger tours and holiday clinics, there is always something fun to do with kids. For alternatives that won't cost you a cent, bring the bikes along for a ride on the Learner's Cycle-way, feed the ducks in the ponds and wetland areas, scout out one of six separate playground areas, or just let the dog off the leash for a run in a designated off-leash area. And bring a picnic as there are free barbecue facilities installed in all areas of Centennial Parklands.
The Entertainment Quarter
Moore Park's The Entertainment Quarter is home to so much fun for kids and families, you may have trouble deciding where to start! Indoor fun is certainly covered with your choice of play centres, ten pin bowling, plaster painting, laser skirmish, bungee and rock-climbing. For those wanting fresh air, you'll find outdoor playgrounds, jumping castles, an old-fashioned kids carousel, the Farmyard Friends baby animal petting zoo, and lots more for kids of all ages. With plenty of kid-friendly eateries for food and refreshments, it's easy to hang out at The Entertainment Quarter for hours.
One of Darling Harbour's most popular family destinations, Tumbalong Park is home to many of Sydney's family-friendly festivals and is the best place to take the family to catch the regular weekend Harbour Fireworks. The 5 hectare park boasts harbourside views, extensive water features, kids' playground areas and all within shouting distance to the best Darling Harbour cafes and eateries. You'll also find the world-renowned Sydney Aquarium where you can take the kids on an undersea adventure they won't forget!
Designed with kids of all ages in mind, Sydney Park in St Peters is an innovatively landscaped playground area including slides that are built into the hill and dry creek-bed areas to explore. With cycle and scooter paths and plenty of open lawns for a family sports game, kids can get active and let off some steam while the grownups get the picnic ready in one of the free sheltered barbecue areas.
Livvi's Place in Timbrell Park has a standing reputation as the first all-abilities playground for kids, and was created with the help of leading playground experts, disability specialists and architects. The main aim of Livvi's Place is to allow children of all abilities to play side by side, including kids with physical and intellectual disabilities and spectrum disorders. The state-of-the-art play equipment includes sway bridges, climbing nets, soft-fall bird’s nest swing and even a double-width slide with ramp access for wheelchairs.
W H Brothers Memorial Park
Cremorne's W H Brothers Memorial Park is a unique playground using the existing landforms as part of the experience, with specially-designed embankment slides joining the separate Junior and 'Tiny Tot' play areas. This playground primarily caters for under-fives, with plenty of toddler-safe equipment, bridges and nooks to explore, as well as an activity trail with stepping stones for kids who love to be guided in their play.