The Venny is a free communal backyard and play space located at JJ Holland Park in Kensington. The project was built for the local high density, low socio-economic neighbourhood, healing with a communal backyard and child support services.
While The Venny was established especially for children from Kensington’s public housing estate who may not otherwise have access to a backyard or play area, it is open to the public most of the time.
The equipment is aimed at children 5-16 years but there is plenty there to amuse little ones. Lady AB and Baby 2.0 loved their visit and I just found some close supervision was needed so that they didn’t get in the way of the older kids and that they were kept away from equipment which wasn’t suitable for them such as the very high tree house.
The Venny has an indoor and outdoor area and everything has been designed and built sustainably. The indoor facility includes a kitchen, bathrooms and indoor play equipment such as foosball and table tennis tables and refurbished shipping containers form part of the building. The green planted roof and the rain water harvesting are part of the education function of the building and help maintain the vegetable patches. The children regularly eat the produce that they’ve helped to grow.
The outdoor area is like a very colourful junkyard playspace with lots of nooks and crannies for imaginative play, mostly made of recycled materials. The playground has been built with the philosophy of teaching kids to take risks.
The most popular equipment with Lady AB and Baby 2.0 were the two in-ground trampolines but they also enjoyed exploring the cubby house area and saying hello to the chickens roaming freely (the chooks also provide free range eggs for healthy snacks for the kids).
There was a rocket to climb, bunkers to hide in and hills to roll down – the kids didn’t want to leave.
Not only is The Venny a fun place to visit, they do important work in the community too. Programs are run in the evenings and weekends to provide early intervention for children deemed at-risk.
Note that unlike other public playgrounds The Venny is open only during certain hours as it is staffed.
The Venny Kensington Adventure Playground, 85 Kensington Rd, Kensington
Tuesday – Friday 3:30pm-5:30pm
Saturday – Sunday 1pm – 5pm
Tuesday – Sunday 1pm – 5pm