The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) is a fantastic destination for visitors to Ballarat, particularly if you have kids in tow.
M.A.D.E‘s foundations are the physical site of the Eureka Stockade and celebrate the spirit of the uprising. While the exhibitions inside are interesting and well-curated for adults and older kids, for the under 5s the main attraction is the Eureka themed wooden adventure playground outside.
In keeping with the historical context, the playground has a military feel to it. There are wooden soldiers for hiding behind, a battle drum to hit and even the spinning dice feature military motifs.
A wooden war horse reclines on the bank.
The main fort structure is built like a stockade and consists of numerous wooden ramps, hidey holes and towers with rope climbs, fireman’s poles and slides for getting up and down. There’s also a bank of two swings with a sweeping vista on the M.A.D.E building below.
Note the layout of the playground means that it sightlines are often obscured. The playground is far away from the pond to not be a problem though the play area is unfenced. The playground is set amongst lovely gardens with BBQs and shaded picnic tables.
- dress everyone in bright clothing so it’s easy for you to spot kids and vice versa;
- unshaded and unfenced;
- suitable for toddlers;
- suitable for older children;
- BBQ, picnic seating and tables,
- great cafe inside M.A.D.E;
- toilets with change facilities are available inside M.A.D.E.; and
- If you’re a Ballarat resident, show your ID and you get free admission into the museum.
Eureka Gardens playground, Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E), 102 Stawell St South, Ballarat
Museum open: 10.00am – 5.00pm daily