HOT: ‘The Venny’ Kensington Adventure Playground, Kensington

The Venny is a free communal backyard and playspace located at JJ Holland Park in Kensington. The project is primarily for the local high density, low socio-economic neighbourhood, with a communal backyard and child support services.

kensington adventure playground

It is one of five staffed adventure playgrounds in Melbourne and the only one in the city’s west (the others are in South Melbourne, St Kilda, Fitzroy and Prahran).

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 to amuse little ones. Supervision is needed for under 5s so that they don’t get in the way of the older kids and that they are kept away from equipment that isn’t suitable for them, such as the very high treehouse.

kensington adventure playground

The Venny has an indoor and outdoor area and everything is 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 rainwater 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 play space 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.

kensington adventure playground

The two in-ground trampolines are the most popular equipment with Lady AB and Baby 2.0. They also enjoy exploring the cubby house area and saying hello to the chickens roaming freely. The chooks provide free-range eggs for healthy snacks for the kids.

Find Hotels and Airbnbs near ‘The Venny’ Kensington Adventure Playground, Kensington

kensington adventure playground

There is a rocket to climb, bunkers to hide in and hills to roll down. The kids don’t want to leave!

kensington adventure playground

Not only is The Venny a fun place to visit, but they also do important work in the community too. In the evenings and weekends, programs are run 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.

Click here to find out more about Melbourne’s adventure playgrounds

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”thon-hot-tips-panel”]HOT Tips:

  • Suitable for toddlers (but need to be actively supervised);
  • Suitable for older kids;
  • staffed;
  • Toilets;
  • Water taps;
  • Mostly fenced except for entrance;
  • Some shade;
  • Seating;
  • Free street parking;
  • occasionally closed to the general public during regular playground hours due to events and outings with local families.


About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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