By Melissa Grant
Playgrounds are great places for children to have fun, explore, meet new friends and expel some energy.
These days, playgrounds are more than just slides and swings with many boasting nets, climbing walls, tunnels and other fun adventure equipment.
They can offer hours of entertainment and, best of all, it doesn’t cost a cent.
Families in Casey and Cardinia are spoilt for choice when it comes to playgrounds, with parks constantly popping up in new housing estates and older play equipment undergoing major upgrades.
So where should you take the kids to play? What playgrounds are worth travelling to?
Here, we explore 10 of the region’s best playgrounds. CHECK THE GALLERY FOR PICS!
JOHN ST, PAKENHAM
This popular timber adventure playground is huge and recently underwent a refurbishment.
The main feature of the upgraded park is ‘The Great Keep’, a brightly-coloured sky tower featuring three enclosed tube slides.
There is also the ‘The Frigate’, some boat-themed play equipment suitable for younger kids.
The scooter track around the perimeter of the playground features signage and cubby houses. It’s the perfect place for kids to ride around on their scooters and trikes.
The playground also features plenty of different swings and inground mini trampolines.
There is some shaded areas as well as drinking fountains and barbecue facilities.
Toilets are a short stroll away and there is also exercise equipment and a skate park nearby.
NORFOLK DR, NARRE WARREN
A space themed playground that is simply out of this world.
This park packs plenty of entertainment for kids of all ages and abilities.
The main play equipment, which is fenced off, features a huge tube slide and rockets to explore.
The play area also features a space control station, moon buggy and swings.
There is also a liberty swing (a swing for children in wheelchairs).
With a BMX track and skate park in the reserve, this is a great spot for parents with smaller and older kids.
Although the main play equipment isn’t covered, there is plenty of shade.
The reserve also has barbecue, drinking fountain and toilet facilities.
BOLAND DRIVE, LYNDHURST
Livvi’s Place is a top place for kids to play. Located at the Marriott Waters Recreation Reserve, the well-shaded playground features a great range of equipment that caters to all abilities.
There are a heap of swings including basket swings, a huge slide, sandpit, climbing mound and net and a wheelchair carousel. Kids will especially love the huge double flying fox.
This playground is well thought out with accessible pathways and various play areas. It is also fenced and includes toilet facilities, drinking fountain, barbecue and plenty of places to sit.
SKYLARK BVD, CLYDE NORTH
This park is definitely worth making a pit stop at.
Grand Prix Park features its very own racetrack that’s perfect for kids to ride around on their bikes, scooters and rollerblades.
Inspired by the world’s greatest raceways, the track features play towers at the finish line for young racers to hone their skills.
Located in the Berwick Waters Estate, the park also features swings, a tube slide and a zipline.
There are barbecue facilities and plenty of space for a picnic.
Just be sure to keep a close eye on your kids to prevent them from running out onto the track.
BERWICK-CRANBOURNE ROAD, CRANBOURNE EAST
Weehee! A huge slide is the focal point of this adventure playground that has equipment for kids big and small.
The big blue slide is on ‘adventure hill’, which also features a bird nest swing and climbing areas.
There is also a large pirate ship play structure and another playground that’s great for younger kids.
The picturesque playground has six-metre high climbing net and rope bridge and climbing mounds and net bridges.
There is also a liberty swing for kids who use wheelchairs, plus a village green community space.
With barbecue and picnic facilities, the playground is a great spot for gatherings.
LAKESIDE BVD, PAKENHAM
This revamped park features two playgrounds – one for younger kids and another targeted at older children.
The playground for younger kids features low slides, a noughts and crosses game, a tube to crawl through and swings.
The play equipment for older kids boasts a huge tube slide, climbing nets galore and a tyre swing.
Kids can also practice their basketball skills at the park which features a half-court.
The park has barbecue facilities, seating, drinking fountains and some shaded areas.
ALMA TRELOAR PARK
HEALESVILLE KOOWEERUP RD, COCKATOO
If your child loves to climb, they will love this playground.
The green-themed park features a variety of adventure equipment including rock and climbing walls, pommel walk and nets.
There’s also a ladybug springer, spinner and tractor play unit.
The recently upgraded playground is surrounded by plenty of grass, which is perfect for the kids to run around on or kick a footy.
BIGGS DRIVE, OFFICER
If you have a little Tarzan, they will love this playground!
The park is full of ropes and nets for them to climb on. Located in a quiet area, the playground also features long slides, swings, ladders, seesaw, sandpit and tunnels.
There are also plenty of park benches to watch from. The playground is surrounded by green grassy areas and spotted with trees, however there isn’t a lot of shade.
AHERN ROAD, PAKENHAM
Talk about space! This playground is right next to a massive reserve where kids can play footy, soccer and cricket. And there is a basketball ring, so don’t forget to pack a ball.
The playground was upgraded last year and features a great variety of equipment including five different swings, slides and nets. There’s also a host of fitness equipment.
SPRINGBROOK DRIVE, CLYDE NORTH
This is a fantastic park for a picnic or coffee, with plenty of spots to sit while the kids play.
There are a heap of picnic tables under shade, plus a number of benches around the park. The well-shaded playground suits older children and features three slides, including a huge tube slide. There is also a seesaw, netted bridges, basket swing, half basketball court and barbecue facilities.