Hello! Welcome to Ramblings of a Playground Mum. My name is Kristie and I am a mum of two beautiful kiddies Imogen, 3 and Oliver, 1. We will be bringing you monthly reviews of Ballarat and surrounding playgrounds. I must confess I am not a mum that loves the playground. I was starting to get in my groove when Imogen was two, she was confident on the playground and I was enjoying helping her explore her physical abilities and increasing her skills. However, once I fell pregnant with my son and had 24-hour morning sickness and couldn’t go climbing around behind her or run to the other side of the play equipment quick enough to make sure she didn’t just dive down the fireman pole (why do 2-year-old’s think this is the best way to get down) I lost my mojo.
In the last few months we have started heading back out to some of our favourites and it has been quite enjoyable chasing Imogen around and getting back down the slide. But the overwhelm of the last 18 months of playground visits while pregnant and with a newborn is not forgotten. I signed up to write this blog because of this. If I can help some fellow mums know where a fenced playground is so their free-spirited toddler can’t escape while your breast feeding, which playgrounds have toilets for all the toilet training Mumma’s and those that have coffee shops close by for those that need the coffee hit, then I was in.
I will be reviewing the well-known playgrounds, some of our favourites and looking for hidden gems in our local area. I have certainly spotted a few driving around town while Oliver napped in car the last year, promising Imogen we would go back for a play, still yet to make it. But its time, my intention for this year is try a new playground once a month.
We will let you know everything each playground has to offer including facilities, picnic areas, type of play equipment, fencing, space to run /play sports, nearby venues, car parking and most importantly the proximity to the nearest coffee! Imogen will also let us know what her favourite thing is, because what 3-year-old doesn’t have an opinion on everything.
Location: Cnr of Larter Street and Lal Lal Street, Canadian (access off both streets)
One of our favourites! Provides several activities for every age. The lake provides opportunity to stroll, look at the ducks and explore nature, an activity all on its own. It is also a great path for kids that want to ride their bike or those just learning to ride as it is a wide, level path and has 90% less traffic than Lake Wendouree. The ducks are very friendly and used to people and will approach you looking for food. There several other little tracks that can be explored in the higher grounds around the lake.
Alongside the playground is a large grassed area that provides ample space to lay the picnic rug out or for the kids to kick the football. While this area is not a fenced location it is removed from any roads and has natural perimeters from the surrounding houses.
There is also an undercover picnic table located next to the playground as well as BBQ facilities and a toilet block. Other picnic tables are in the area and around the lake.
Car parking for the playground/picnic area is located off Lal Lal Street. However, if you wish to bypass the playground you can park at the bottom of the lake on Larter Street.
BYO coffee and snacks as there are no shops nearby.
Kristie’s tip: Park on Larter street and walk anti clockwise around the lake up to the playground. We put the timer on for a 15-minute play at the playground, or however long we can spare between nap times. Then continue anti clockwise back down to the lake. The little pier is a great attraction to convince the littlies to head off the playground and back towards the car.