The Santos Tour Down Under comes to Adelaide, from the 14th to the 22nd of January. The tour itself is amazing but if you’re coming to Adelaide and bringing a baby, toddler or young child, you just might need a bit of respite to tame your bub in between watching the race, and of course to see more of what Adelaide has to offer. Thankfully, Adelaide has some amazing Baby-Friendly free outdoor playgrounds.
The folks over at Baby & Toddler Destinations Adelaide, have compiled a tried and tested list for us. These are the playgrounds that have been reviewed, stress-tested and rated in and around Adelaide to see if they are suitable for children under 5, along and near the Tour Down Under race circuits.
Plan your Tour Down Under experience with your child with these playgrounds included and your little one will have a trip that they will never forget, and you’ll have wonderful stress-free memories of your trip to Adelaide. Don’t forget to check out some of the amazing wineries on your way. We’ve added a couple of ones that your babies will love as well.
Adelaide City has 2 wonderful playgrounds for younger children both with trampolines, are enclosed have amenities, such as toilets and BBQs.
Both are located on the Southern side of the city.
Marshmallow Park – Glen Osmond Road, Adelaide (between South Terrace and Greenhill Road) is just gorgeous and is best suited for kids from crawling to 5 years old.
The whole playground is shaded by a huge Morten Bay Fig Tree.
There is a Playground for babies and toddlers in a sand pit. There is also a Trail around the whole playground with tunnels that our kids love to run through. For older kids and climbers, there is a wonderful playground with a climbing frame, balance beam and slide. There are 3 swings, a baby one with chain, normal swing and a really cool bench swing that 2 kids can sit in and you sit in the middle. The trampoline is within a climbing frame and is really awesome. The playground was newly renovated only 2 years ago.
Princess Elizabeth Playground – South terrace, Adelaide.
This playground was completely remodelled around 2 years ago as well and it is just fantastic.
It is partially enclosed but in a way that discourages children from being near the road. We call this the Castle Playground as it has a huge castle with slide from the top as well as a smaller toddler slide. There is also 3 in-ground Trampolines and a range of equipment that suits kids from a very young age right through to older kids.
Leicester Street Baby Playground – Leicester Street Unley.
If you are attending the King William Street Party and need an alternative for a little bit, this playground is in walking distance (about 15 minutes walk) along a gorgeous bike trail that is great for pushing prams, bike riding and scooters.
The playground itself is our favourite of all. It is missing toilets but it is fantastic for Babies from when they can sit to around 5 years of age. The Playground is a mix of nature play and play equipment. It has a Train theme and has a proper enclosed baby swing suitable for babies that can hold their heads up well. The entire playground is on soft squishy asphalt, so falls are buffered, at least a little.
Unley Oval – Frederick Street Unley,
This football ovals has 2 playgrounds, one of which is soon to be redone but is currently a Pirate Ship on the hill. The oval itself is enclosed except for entry ways by a white picket fence. There is amenities including Toilets, BBQs and Picnic Tables under shelter. The other playground is mostly enclosed with a toddler playground with little dining room, slide and outside the playground is a wobbly bridge and also a small climbing frame back up to the playground. There is also a low swing and a fully enclosed baby swing. It is shaded with shade sails.
Souter Park – Alfred Street, Goodwood
This playground is fully enclosed and has grass and a huge sandpit under shade, with a Ship themed toddler playground in the sandpit and also a tower where the kids can tip sand from pourers on a pully system. It also has 2 swings, a slide on a grass hill and bouncy see-saw. There is a toilet at the playground and around the playground there is a large expanse of grass to run around on.
Glenunga Hub Playground – L’Estrange Terrace, Glenunga.
This playground is a little way away from the Parade off Greenhill Road on L’Estrange Terrace but well worth the trip. It is fairly new, fully enclosed and is a near perfect Baby Playground on warm days as it has a water wheel and series of metal trays (all under shade), our kids love to splash around and get a bit muddy in the sand (so pack a spare change of clothes). There is a separate baby playground and climber on bark chips. There are also 2 swings -one a baby one with a chain, the other a normal swing that is low, a little grass hill and nature elements all around the playground.
Outside the playground there are BBQ facilities and picnic tables under shade, there is also toilets and 2 football ovals.
Tusmore Park Paddling Pool – Stirling Street, Tusmore.
This little paddling pool is just amazing on hot days, of course babies and children need close supervision here but it is just great. It is a large shallow pool of just 30 cm deep, with a little rock Island in the middle. It is surrounded by a larger park with a sports field, tennis courts, creek and playground (but whilst the playground is baby friendly, it can get hot in summer)
James Coke Park Norwood – Coke Street Norwood
This fully enclosed playground is located behind the main Norwood Shopping Centre. It is a lovely playground with a toddler playground. Older kids climbing frame, Big Red Drums to hit, bouncy seesaw and it has a picnic table within the park. It is close to amenities located within the shopping centre. The playground is surrounded by a grass hill, that is great to sit and chill out on. Outside the playground there is a large grass area to run around on.
Prospect Memorial Playground is a new playground that is fully enclosed and has a new toddler playground, swings, slide and an older kids large climbing frame and slide (this is something to watch with young climbers as they are able to climb up and it is very high off the ground, they love it but it can be stressful), there are nature elements, a water wheel where the water flows into a sand pit. The kids all love this and the sand pit. Around the playground there is a huge shady park with all amenities.
North East Suburbs (For the Campbelltown race)
Lightsview Trampoline Playground
This lovely new fully enclosed playground has inground trampolines and loads of play equipment suitable for babies and toddlers. The playground is also on Squishy Asphalt.
Klemzig Playground & Toddler Playground – North East Road, Klemzig
There are actually 3 different Playgrounds located at this site. One for older kids, with a flying for and rubber swinging/bouncy bridges over rocks, plus a toddler playground.
However, on the other side of the oval down Wellington Street, there is the cutest little Baby and Toddler Playground, also new but more suited to younger babies and toddlers. There is something to suit everyone here.
Stirling Race – Adelaide Hills
Steam Roller Playground – Mount Barker Road, Stirling
This fully enclosed playground is one that the children absolutely adore. One side is dedicated to babies and toddlers with low play equipment, logs to walk on, a toddler playground with slide and swings. It is shaded by a beautiful old Oak Tree that has a hole through the middle, we told our kids that we thought that the fairies lived in there and struggled to get them out again! There is also an older kids playground (watch your little ones on this, there are touch elements at ground level but they can quite easily navigate the stairs to a playground with many tunnels, some leading to slides but others leading to poles that toddlers can fall from).
The old Steam Roller itself is a massive hit with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. My two liked to put bark chips into it and then as they got older they climbed all over it, which was a bit frightening.
Outside the playground there is a rotunda and grass area and nearby there are a range of fantastic cafes serving delicious Adelaide Produce.
Patch Kitchen Garden = 143 Mount Barker Road, Stirling
We love this child friendly café, the food and café itself are divine. It is set in a cottage where there is a dedicated kids room with toys for your baby or toddler to play with.
Outside there are lots of tables under a gorgeous shady tree and fabulous cubby house for the kids to play in. The yard is enclosed. There is also a chicken coup. The kids love watching the chickens.
Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens – Laffers Road, Mount Lofty (Lower Car Park)
This Botanic Gardens is not only stunning but also the perfect place to let your child run free. To the right of the car park there is a huge open area with picnic tables, a huge Hill and little creek. It is a lovely place to blow off some steam and enjoy the beautiful gardens.
Victor Harbor, Aldinga, Port Willunga & Willunga – Adelaide’s South
On your way to these destinations, there is one of Adelaide’s best new Baby, Toddler and Pre-Schooler Playgrounds. Between South and Marion Roads is Jervois Street Playground.
Jervois Street Reserve – Jervois Street, South Plympton
This playground is the perfect place to go if you have children of varying ages. There is a fully enclosed, nature play Baby and Toddler Playground, Older Kids Playground, a BMX track that surrounds the park, picnic, BBQs and amenities.
The toddler playground is nothing short of exceptional and really embraces Australian Cultural Landscape Design. The playground itself has slides on a hill that has a big apple with a hole through it. Water wheel and wooden water trays down to a gorgeous ground level which is a mix of wood and mosaic pavers. There are small metal drums at toddler height and a little sand area with a pully jug that toddlers and pre-schoolers love. There is also a Hammock swing that you can lay back on with even the youngest of bubs and enjoy the surrounds.
GT Fisher Playground, Foreshore Carnival & Granite Island Horse Drawn Tram – Whilst the tour goes on through the streets away from the foreshore district, you can sneak away and enjoy part of the beauty that is Victor Harbor with your little one. At the Foreshore, you will find a family friendly carnival with traditional carnival games, ferris wheel, bouncy castles, face painting, dodgem cars (that children above 60cm of height can ride on with an adult) and also Shetland Pony and Camel Rides. Next to the carnival is a fabulous toddler friendly playground – GT Fisher Playground. Whilst it is all sand, it is great to go to with your baby.
There is a Historical Horse Drawn Tram over the long pier to Granite Island. Granite Island is a gorgeous untouched piece of nature and home to rare Fairy Penguins.
Urimbirra Wildlife Park – Adelaide Road, Victor Harbor
On the way in to Victor Harbor you will see Urimbirra Wildlife Park. It is simply wonderful, hold a Koala, pet kangaroos and immerse yourselves in Australian animals at a very affordable price. Every experience that we have had there has been priceless.
Goolwa Nature Playground – Barrage Road, Goolwa.
Off the main road from Victor Harbor to Goolwa is the most gorgeous nature playground on a small quiet cove on the Murray River. It is simply beautiful and amazing, completed around 18 months ago, this nature playground is simply awesome if you and your family have a couple of hours to spare. There is a huge Hand crafted Ship, with a tunnel through the middle and numerous ways for different age children to get up. A Playground for older kids, a water wheel and trays, xylophone, many sculptures of native animals and the river itself. Please note that whilst the river is shallow for a bit, it drops down quickly and children need close supervision but you will not regret taking the time to visit this gorgeous destination.
Aldinga, Port Willunga, Willunga Route
The beaches, especially Port Willunga and Aldinga Beaches are stunning. Port Willunga will have a big event but further around the coast at Aldinga, there is a gorgeous beach that you can drive your car on to and closer to Port Willunga is Aldinga Reef, which is fabulous to explore with confident walkers and above to look for Shells, Crabs and other little critters.
McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s best wine regions and is absolutely beautiful. It is known for wine but sometimes you can have the best of both worlds and enjoy a brief tasting and platter of food/lunch, while your child enjoys themselves as well.
Our favourite Child Friendly Wineries at McLaren Vale are:
Woodstock – 215 Douglas Gully Road, McLaren Flat
They have great wine, service, food and a little nature sanctuary with Kangaroos. Twice daily they feed the kangaroos with bottles of milk and your family can join in.
The cellar door, is fantastic and they even have a big box of toys for baby to play with whilst you sample their wine and hear their wonderful stories. The restaurant is a very top notch restaurant and you need to book ahead as they are consistently booked but that is because the food is nothing short of incredible. Using local produce and cuisine.
Coriole Winery – Chaffeys Road, McLaren Vale
Coriole Winery is again beautiful and has an exquisite restaurant, the restaurant opens on to a large grass and tiered garden that children love to run around in. They are always happy to have you and your family for lunch.
The food is all local, seasonal produce and is just beautiful.
Gemtree Winery 167 Elliot Rd, McLaren Flat
Gemtree Winery is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine on their balcony. Below the balony are swings and a small cubby house, as well as animals (behind a fence) like Llamas that the children can say hi to.
They have amazing platters of seasonal food and the wine is amazing as well!
Written by Louise Hayton-Clark of Baby and Toddler Destinations – for Glam Adelaide.