Toddler Friendly Playgrounds on Brisbane’s Northside
Toddler Friendly Playgrounds on Brisbane’s Northside
The words ‘energy’, ‘’stamina’ and ‘recklessness’ are synonymous with the word “toddler”. And the words ‘patience’, ‘coffee’ and ‘creative thinking’ are synonymous with me as the Mum of a toddler!
Truly, nothing could have prepared me for being the Mum of a toddler. My own little human has turned around and developed his own personality and mind of his own. The sheer force of his desire to explore and run around has made me completely rethink my daily activities and routines. My series of ‘Toddler Mums of Brisbane’ is aimed to help all of us with realistic information for these adorable youngsters.
Not every park in Brisbane is created equally. Some parks are perfect for babies. A few gentle swings and a nice tree to lay a picnic blanket under. Other parks are great for older kids, with ropes to climb and forts to clamber on. But finding a park suited to a toddler is tricky. They need to be challenging enough so they won’t get bored. Secure enough so you don’t have to chase them to the ends of the earth and back. And with minimal sheer drops and places to fall through as possible.
I find some parks I visit, I am just in a state of constant anxiety as my toddler, who is as fiercely independent as they come, thinks he can climb were he surely cannot and constantly falls into every crack and crevice. Here is a list of parks on Brisbane’s northside, that I love to visit with my toddler for all different reasons.
T.C. Beirne Park – Hendra
I am lucky enough to call this park my local, as it is extremely toddler friendly. It is hardly ever very busy, shaded by lush jacaranda trees and the play equipment is perfect for toddler sized humans. Located in the gorgeous suburb of Hendra, this was the location of my son’s first birthday due to the proximity of picnic tables to the playground and access to a wide open field perfect for kicking a ball. The playground is not fenced, but the park is.
Play Equipment: Swings, play fort that is easy for a toddler to climb on and not terrifying for them to walk across, slides, aeroplane and car for imagination play, flying fox and climbing ropes.
Facilities: Free street parking, toilets, picnic tables and electric BBQs, paths for riding scooters and kids bikes and gym equipment if you are feeling energetic.
Access to Coffee: Pick up your coffee from nearby The Hamptons. They have a pram window so you don’t need to navigate steps and their coffee is great. Hot tip: Their brownies are off the charts amazing.
Location: Gerler Road, Hendra
Kidspace Playground – Chermside
Set in the beautiful 7th Brigade Park, close by to Chermside shopping centre, this is not your typical playground. The play structures are mostly wooden and it is built like a big fort with lots of ramps and bridges for running up and down. It can make the Mum of a toddler a little nervous because of its size and many nooks and crannies, but it is so great for imagination play and there are plenty of safety rails to stop falls. Plus it is such a fun place for toddlers to try out their new walking and climbing skills. A word of caution, if you have more than one child, including a runner, be careful as it can be a challenge to keep an eye on them both. My favourite part is the swings, as it has the completely enclosed baby swings that you don’t have to clip on.
Play Equipment: Lots of swings, huge play fort, slides, monkey bars, balance beams, climbing ropes and fairy or rocket control towers for imagination play.
Facilities: Free parking lot parking, toilets, picnic tables and electric bbqs, paths for riding scooters and kids bikes and plenty of shade and open areas to kick a ball.
Access to Coffee: Pick up your coffee from nearby Chermside Shops, where there are plentiful caffeine options. It is a short walk or you can drive and park there if you would prefer.
Location: Murphy Road, Chermside
Decker Park – Brighton
Set right by the bay at Brighton with beautiful views, Decker Park has it all for the Mum of a toddler. There is a big enough fort with two slides and a ramp to keep toddlers occupied. As well as another play area with foam like rocks to climb and a big grassy area to kick a ball and have a picnic. But the best parts of Decker Park, or the worst depending on how you look at it, is the water and sand imagination play area. With digging equipment, water bubblers and a big sandpit, this area is a huge hit with toddlers wanting to get down and dirty. You can also bring your furry friend to Decker Park, as the fenced dog park is right next door. Great for little dog lovers! If you are taking a picnic, watch out for the birds in Spring as they can get quite aggressive.
Play Equipment: Swings, play fort, slides, sandpit and water play area. As it located right on the bay, you can go for a splash on a hot day or ride your bike to nearby Moora Park at Shorncliffe which is another wonderful toddler friendly playground right on the bay.
Facilities: Free street and parking lot parking, toilets, picnic tables and electric BBQs, paths for riding scooters and kids bikes and access to the bay for a swim.
Access to Coffee: Pick up your coffee from nearby Blume Coffee which is a laid-back and beautiful cafe a short stroll away. You can also pick up a jaffle if you are hungry, which I always am.
Location: Twenty Fifth Avenue, Brighton
Hidden World – Fitzgibbon
Hidden World is not just your regular run of the mill playground. This is truly an epic adventure filled wonderland for kids and resembles a castle. The equipment is incredibly colourful and there are so many different areas to explore, so you could easily spend at least a half day there. The playground is set far back from the main road, so coupled with the sand based bottom, you can rest easy while your toddler explores and plays. Some of the slides are quite big, including the tunnel slide, so hold your breath Mummas. But you can breathe again after taking a relaxing sway on the boat ride which is so fun for little humans.
Play Equipment: Swings, play fort, slides which include a big tunnel slide, boat ride, climbing animals, huts, climbing ropes, tyre swing and lots of sand to dig in.
Facilities: Free parking lot parking, toilets, picnic tables and electric bbqs, paths for riding scooters and kids bikes, picnic shelters and dog park right next door.
Access to Coffee: Sometimes there is a coffee van parked right there in the park which is really convenient and a nice surprise. Otherwise your best bet is picking up a coffee on route from your house.
Location: Roghan Road, Fitzgibbon
Kalinga Park – Clayfield
This is my other favourite local park that I to take my toddler to on a weekly basis. It is right next to the Kedron Brook Bike Path so it is a perfect place to stop when you are out on a family bike ride or a pram walk. It is also a short stroll across the bridge to some fairy houses that are built into the trees next to the brook. Kalinga Park has it all for toddlers, with a toddler sized fort with slides, sandpit area, seesaws and a tyre swing. There are also some terrifying larger forts, but luckily my toddler can’t get access while he is still short! It is a lovely place to pack a picnic and eat in the big grassy area right next to the playground shaded by lots of native trees. It is very popular for birthday parties on the weekends, so best to get in early to stake your claim.
Play Equipment: Swings, play fort, slides, climbing animals, tyre swing and lots of sand to dig in.
Facilities: Free parking lot parking, toilets, picnic tables, paths for riding scooters and kids bikes and on the weekends there is often free active park events run by the Brisbane City Council if you need to burn off some excess energy.
Access to Coffee: Depending on which direction you are coming from, you can stop by at Toombul shopping centre and grab your coffee there, or Shambhala Espresso on Shaw Road is excellent and not too far away.
Location: Kalinga Street, Clayfield
How many of these parks will you try out? I would love to see you there! Stay tuned for the next edition of best toddler friendly parks on Brisbane’s southside.