Do you ever look back on your own long summer holidays and reminisce about days spent at your local playground? Sure we had fun, but do we really miss the hot metal slides, swings with no soft-fall, and the roundabouts that flung you off in all directions (a great early lesson in centrifugal force!). Today’s playgrounds are scientifically, architecturally, and artfully constructed with the highest consideration given to safety, and with the ‘fun’ element ratcheted up to maximum! These little worlds allow your child to explore their imagination and develop their physical and social skills, and are great places to get together with family and friends for an active day out.
We’ve explored the BEST City playgrounds for you. Grab your sun hats and your sunscreen and take your little—and not so little—ones off on a playground adventure tour!
City Botanic Gardens Playground
The City Botanic Gardens (Alice Street, Brisbane) is a fabulous all-abilities inclusive city playgrounds providing wheelchair accessible play equipment alongside, and integrated into, the regular playground essentials. This is one of the city playgrounds that has been imaginatively designed featuring multi-use rockers, spinners and a roundabout, swings, interactive sensory elements, sand diggers, and more. It makes a bright, fun, and challenging playground where children of all abilities can safely play and interact with friends and siblings, sharing in the same fun and exciting experiences.
The upgraded facilities in the park are excellent and include toilet facilities, drinking fountains, electric barbecues and shady picnic areas. The Botanic Gardens span 45 acres with ponds, sculptures, and fascinating sights, so pack a picnic, bring along your bikes or scooters, and take a self-guided tour of the 24 highlighted points of interest.
If you feel like going on an explorer’s multi-playground adventure, a pleasant stroll across the Goodwill Bridge will take you from the City Botanic Gardens right into South Bank and to the first of three city playgrounds there.
South Bank Playgrounds
Located right in the city on the south bank of the Brisbane River, this family-friendly parkland area covers 17 hectares with a great range of facilities, so there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy here all day. Aside from its beautiful gardens and eateries, South Bank has THREE great playgrounds to explore!
Picnic Island Playground
(Corner of Little Stanley and Tribune Streets, at the Maritime Museum end) is a peaceful adventure park suitable for all ages. Picnic Island Playground features a basket swing, futuristic climbing slide, talking tubes, and a fishpond all set under the shade of a giant fig tree.
Riverside Green Playground
This city playground is a bright and popular playscape catering for children from 2-15 years old. It has lots of fun, challenging activities including a skywalk with bridges, an all-abilities pirate ship fort, a mouse wheel to run in, and so much more. The play doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down because this playground is fully lit! Read our overview and watch our video here.
As the name suggests, this city playground is a wet area and heaps of fun on a hot summer’s day. Designed to be both exciting AND educational, Aquativity highlights native river species and provides an understanding of the water cycle and our relationship with the river, all while the kids splash and play in fountains, get drenched by water-tip buckets, and explore the wading pool and rocks.
All the parks at South Bank are well serviced with nearby food outlets and BBQ facilities, picnic areas, toilets, and lots of shade, and are within easy reach of public transport and parking facilities.
Find out what events are planned for Brisbane families on our calendar here.
Roma Street Parkland
Located right next to the Roma Street train station, Roma Street Parkland is a delightful haven in the heart of the city. The Children’s Garden and playground was opened in August 2015, and converted the area around the existing Gazebo into a space where children were encouraged to run through garden beds, climb trees and explore bamboo archways as well as use more traditional playground equipment, which include slides, rope bridges, and lots of things to climb. We reviewed Roma Street Parklands – check out our article here!
Christmas – Enchanted Garden
At Christmas, Roma Street Parkland is transformed into the Enchanted Garden with a spectacular lighting display, that takes you on a wonderful magical journey from one garden room to another. Every year since its inception, this event has been incredibly popular. Entry is $7 for kids aged 3 – 13 and $9 for 13 years old+.
The ‘kitchen garden’ adjacent to the playground enables children and adults to touch, smell and taste herbs and vegetables and learn about Queensland’s agricultural industry.
Play on the Playgrounds
Roma Street Parkland has two great playgrounds, and both are really fun for all ages and relatively shaded. Check out our review and video of Roma Street Parklands!
Find out what is happening for families with kids in Roma Street Parkland on our calendar here.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens is fun for big and little kids alike with a specially designed ‘Hide’n’Seek Trail’ and The Kuta Kids Playground.
Pick up your Hide’n’Seek Trail (image) map from the information kiosk, or download it from the Brisbane City Council website, and begin your adventure at the Japanese Garden. There are 17 objects hidden along the wheelchair accessible trail so be sure to look up, down and all around to find them all!
The Kuta Kids Playground invites imaginative play and exploration in a beautiful nature-inspired setting. Opened in May 2015 after the completion of the Northern Link Tunnel project, the area features swings, a slide, climbing frames, stepping stones and other natural elements with shade shelters for picnics, and toilets and drinking fountains close by.
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens is a great place to relax and explore after playing, so be sure to leave a little extra time to make the most of this wonderful area before heading home.
This article was published in Issue 19 of our print magazine, December 2016/January 2017.