Playgrounds are a sure way to sap a bit of childhood energy while providing a perfect place for kids to have fun and run around. If Christchurch is your hood, or you're heading this way for a holiday with the family, then check out our top 10 picks. Even better, they're free!
The Margaret Mahy Family Playground
177 Armagh St, Christchurch Central
This colourful, modern playground will keep the kids busy for hours. Set in a wide, landscaped space filled with the coolest play equipment, it is suitable for littlies as well as older kids, and soft spongy flooring means safe landings for everyone. The kids will love for the spiral slide feature and water play area (great on warmer days), as well as trampolines, sandpits, climbing nets and frames, a flying fox, and food and drink stalls for your coffee fix. Weekdays tend to be less busy.
The Broad Park Playground
Corner of Broadpark Road and Beach Road, North New Brighton
Your older kids are going to love this playground. A hidden forest will bring their imagination to life and is perfect for games of hide-and-seek. Bigger structures allow your little thrill-seeker to soar to new heights and chase that adrenalin rush on the epic flying fox. Only a walk away from Waimari Beach means it’s an ideal spot to blow off steam on warmer days or for the water bugs that love swimming at the beach. The sand dunes also offer bucket loads of fun and the playground is complete with all the equipment they could dream of to keep them busy for hours, including swings, slides, and climbing frames.
Brownlee Reserve Playground
40 Panoramic Drive, Christchurch
If you’re feeling extra patient today, then this playground is worth the hike. Your toddlers will love the smaller climbing frames, slide, and swings that they can explore. The sea view is fantastic, and your little ones will enjoy spotting boats and watching for cloud shapes. Above the park is a great grassed area, so don’t be surprised to see kids kicking balls around or families holding picnics on the weekends.
South New Brighton Park Playground
Beatty Street, South New Brighton, Christchurch
If you’re looking for a family day out, then you’re going to love this park. Complete with picnic and BBQ areas, South New Brighton Park is ideal for a family lunch or early tea. Its main feature is a 7m climbing net that the kids are sure to run to first. The playground also features a rocktopus and half court for your older kids to play basketball on. Bursting with colour it also offers fun on climbing nets, slides, a see-saw, and swings.
Torlesse Cycle Park
19 Johns Road, Rangiora
Are your kids glued to their bikes or scooters? Head on down to Torlesse Cycle Park to put them to the test. Complete with a kids’ road for them to ride on, there are even child-sized give way signs and pedestrian crossings. This playground is toddler-friendly, too, so you can bring the whole team along and enjoy a morning out. Worth the drive, the playground also has the classic slides, climbing frames, and swings that kids of all ages love.
Spencer Park Playground
Spencer Beach Holiday Park, Canterbury
One of the best playgrounds and picnic spots in Canterbury, and definitely worth a visit. The playground area includes a sensory play table where children can play with wet sand, sandpit with built in digger, water pump and logs to build dams. Loads of messy play and perfect for toddlers. In summer there is a covered paddling pool right next to the play area. While you're there, remember to check out the free animal enclosure by the entrance to Spencer Park, just over the road.
Stanmore Road, Christchurch
This new playgound is a favourite with children who love to climb. Your kids can let off a bit of energy on the climbing net and then make their final exit on the slide. There is also a basket swing which is safe and fun for all ages.
Stonebrook Woolshed Playground
Stonebrook Drive Rolleston Canterbury
Themed for location, there is a pretend wool shed for children to play in, a basket swing for all ages, slides and plenty of climbing frames for the more adventurous. Bring their bikes or scooters and zoom around the pathways.
Barrington Park, Christchurch
Don't miss this playground, its made for adventure! Kids can play on ramps, low slides and climbing frames, and all wonderfully safe for littlies. If your children love nature, then they will spend a lot of time playing in the big hiding tree!
Tucked away in Lyttelton Harbour, this playground is home to a big pirate ship complete with plank, long slide and tunnels for exploring. Pop down to the beach to swim and explore the rocks. Toilets and showers nearby.
See you at the park!
By Katie Pettigrew