Hays Paddock Kew East is not too far from the city and is well-known for being one of the best playgrounds in Melbourne.
The large gated area houses lots of play equipment for children of all ages and it is one of the few playgrounds which also caters for children with disabilities.
There are four main areas – two wooden fortresses for climbing, hiding, sliding and sitting, a bunch of swings and a big sandcastle fort and sandpit area.
The wooden boardwalks have lots of entry and exit points, from slides to climbing frames to stairs to poles. You could go up and down, up and down, for hours!
Everything is laid out in a bushland setting and the fragrance of the surrounding eucalyptus trees really give you a sense of being out in the bush rather than just off the Eastern Freeway. The playground continues the bush theme with signage and sculptures of native insects, animals and birds…
There's even a small enclosed jetty where you can look out onto the wetlands.
The playground is also notable for the multi-sensory experience it provides. There are brightly coloured perspex windows from which to peer out of and different length pipes can be whacked to produce different tone.
There are numerous boards and spinners encouraging literacy with words and colours and pictures.
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Baby 2.0 particularly enjoys racing up and down the ramps, sitting on the giant hammock and double-width see-saw and climbing the big spider's web.
There is a little shade over the main climbing fort thanks to the butterfly structure and mature trees.
The covered sandpit area is particularly popular when the weather's hot, thanks to the kiddie earth-moving equipment (or sand throwing equipment) and the number of scoops and pulleys to create a mini construction zone.
There are grassy areas, picnic tables and BBQs in the rest of Hays Paddock as well as a seating and a BBQ within the playground perimeter. The best thing is that you can relax knowing that the kids can't get out of the fence!
Hays Paddock is an excellent playground with all the convenient facilities required for a fun day out and it's worth a special trip.
- suitable for toddlers;
- suitable for older children;
- fully fenced;
- natural shade and shade sails over sandpit;
- water taps;
- toilets, picnic tables and BBQs inside and outside playground;
- no cafes on site or in near vicinity so BYO food;
- free parking.