Since the last of my boisterous bairns started school, our visits to playgrounds have reduced in number – and I miss the exploring!
Our weekends can get really busy, with lots of sports, ballet, teenagers working and playing gigs. It’s all very different.
Playgrounds saved my sanity many times, and the lovely mums I often struck up conversations with often had their ears bent for ages. Maybe it was they who saved my sanity – or at least tried their best.
Anyway, here’s one of the very best of Sydney’s playgrounds, a marvellous park and playground in the western suburbs.
Have you visited Central Gardens in Merrylands?
You haven’t? How daft! You need to get over there!
Cnr Betts and Merrylands Roads
Merrylands West 2160
Council website here.
Central Gardens is a large parkland with great playgrounds close to both entrances and a huge open space in the centre. The smaller playground is to the right of the Merrylands Road entrance, beside the Yarrabee picnic area. It has long, wide ramps, two slides, a rope-grid bridge and spring rockers. The picnic area is shaded and has barbecues. Beside it is a huge pond full of ducks and other birdlife, plus two fountains and a waterfall.
There is another picnic area on the other side of this playground and close to it is Central Gardens biggest attraction for the under fives, the aviary and animal enclosures. The animals on view include wallabies, hens, cockatoos, budgies and waterfowl.
To the right of the Paton Street entrance is a third picnic area with barbecues, lots of picnic tables and plenty of tree shade. The larger playground is found here. This playground has an impressive play structure that includes grid climbers and bridges, five slides, a tunnel climber and large beads, bordered by eight spring rockers. It is completely shaded.
Central Gardens is open Monday–Friday 7.30am–4pm, Saturday–Sunday 9am–5pm in winter and Monday–Friday 7.30am–5pm, Saturday–Sunday 8am–7pm during daylight saving. The fountains are in operation in the middle of the day only.
Nearest takeaway coffee: A kiosk in the gardens
Toilets: Toilet blocks beside both playgrounds, the disabled toilet has a baby change table
Enclosed: The playgrounds are not enclosed but the gardens themselves are fenced
Mum’s report: A great spot for a picnic and play, especially if you are meeting friends and family. A trip to see all the animals always goes down well with the children.
Map reference: Gregory’s 306 H11, Sydway 271 P3, UBD 210 C11
Parking: Carparks near both playgrounds
Bus stop nearby: Yes
You might like these other playground posts:
Do you love a good playground? Or loathe them?
Do they save your sanity too?