Things to do

Sydney’s best playgrounds as chosen by parents

We’ve scoured Google reviews to find the highest-rated playgrounds in our area. Here’s how parents rate their local options.

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Every parent knows how important it is to have a free local playground with good equipment, easy parking, space to run around and easy access to toilets.

Here are the parks that consistently rate highest according to the parents who know them best.

Sydney Park playground

Sydney Park Road, Alexandria

Parents say: "The playground is great, a cafe located next to it and well maintained toilets" – Isaac.

Sydney Park has one of the bigger playgrounds in our local area. It’s got heaps of activities for kids of all ages. Parents love that it’s close to St Peters train station and has lots of free parking. Barbecues are available and there’s a nearby café to purchase food – and importantly, coffee! There are toilets near the café and in the car park.

Noteworthy features: If kids need a change of scenery, check out one of Sydney’s biggest parklands. These natural wetlands attract native wildlife, and you’ll be able to see the historic brick chimneys.

Elizabeth McCrae playground

45 Kepos Street, Redfern

Parents say: "Great playground for young kids – sandpit, sandstone blocks, timber balance bars, shade canopy." – Marc

This playground is perfect for toddlers and younger kids. Parents say that it’s distinguished by safety features and a plethora of toys. It tends to be busy because it’s a smaller park, so get in early to enjoy the sandpit, ride-on toys, slides, kids gym and more. The area is fenced off so your little adventurers won’t stray. Note there are no toilets on site.

Noteworthy features: Well equipped to keep little kids entertained.

Chelsea Street playground

39/43 Chelsea Street, Redfern

Parents say: "Lovely park for kids. Great community vibe. It also has a barbecue area." – Magda.

If a community atmosphere is important to you, you’ll love Chelsea Street playground. Parents appreciate its unique design, including wooden houses, green space and garden beds with shrubs and grasses. There’s also seating area with shelter, so it’s good for hot days. Again, there are no toilets on site.

Noteworthy features: Interesting design and community spirit.

Pirrama Park playground

20 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont

Parents say: "My son loves this park, it's so good for kids in the summer and plenty of shade and seating for the parents." – Rochelle

This playground is right next to the harbour, on the former water police base. Parents love it for its water feature (great in summer), massive sandpit, climbing areas, barbecue, cafe with good coffee and wide open spaces. Users say toilets are well maintained. There’s limited, ticketed on-street parking nearby.

Noteworthy features: Perfect for parties.

Rushcutters Bay Park

Waratah Street, Rushcutters Bay

Parents say: "The playground equipment is geared toward children under 5. One slide, two swings, small rope climber." – Samantha

This cute playground is in a lush historic park by the water. There’s lots of grass for free play, park benches for parents to sit at and street parking. A cafe and toilets are nearby. And there’s plenty of charming dogs about.

Noteworthy features: Beautiful harbour views. Great for picnics and family gatherings.

Hollis Park playground

168–184 Wilson Street, Newtown

Parents say: "Great as a stop off with the kids after grabbing a bite to eat or some coffee" – Ozan.

This playground is enclosed by four streets and ancient fig trees. Locals like its quiet atmosphere and nearby cafes. The playground has a swing set and seesaw, which are fenced off. Parents can take a break on a seat or grassy hill and enjoy a great vantage point over the play area. It’s soon up for an upgrade, including a sandpit, a scooter challenge course and more. There are no toilets on site.

Noteworthy features: The playground is accessible for prams and wheelchairs and mostly covered by a shade cloth.

Harold Park playground

111 Ross Street, Forest Lodge

Parents say: "Fun place, beautiful grounds. Kids enjoyed themselves. Shops close by for lunch options" – Alison.

This recently upgraded park boasts large wooden structures, with two long tube slides, obstacle courses and a climbing gym. Nearby is a big open space for running free. Parents love that it’s close to the Tramsheds for snacks, coffee and an excellent parents room.

Noteworthy features: So many dogs, all the time.

Tumbalong Park playground

Darling Harbour, Sydney

Parents say: "One of my favourite playgrounds in Sydney! Awesome water area, great slides and climbing frame. There's bathrooms available and yummy food not far away" – Karen.

This one isn’t managed by us, but it gets rave reviews and it’s close to the city centre. Tumbalong Park is the kind of place kids of any age can spend a full day.

The park’s known for its maze of interactive water features, including a people-powered water scoop, screw and squirt. You’ve also got a giant slide, plenty of swings and a 10-metre climb rope pyramid.

Toilets are close and there are plenty of food options. Make a day of it by exploring nearby Chinatown.

Special features: The water park. Bring a change of clothes.

Now we’ve got you started, grab a hat and some snacks and head to a playground near you.

Published 18 July 2019, updated 19 July 2019