Playgrounds are a great way to spend a few hours with little ones. On summer days though, you don’t want to be baking under the hot sun. Particularly if your little one hasn’t quite got the hang of hats yet and enjoys taking it off – all the time! Here is our list of the 20 best summer playgrounds for little ones. And we have grouped them by ones within the City of Parramatta and then others further afield.

  • All have good shade – either from a shade cloth or surrounding trees – but it will vary throughout the day.
  • Nearly all are either fenced, set back from the road or on a quiet street…just to give us that extra peace of mind.
  • Some have water play features, so be prepared for them to get wet!
  • All are within a 20km radius of Parramatta CBD.

Three water playgrounds are included in this best summer playgrounds list as they also have a shaded ‘dry’ playground. For more ideas on great places for your kids to get wet, check out our top 10 outdoor picks for keeping cool with little ones.

Map of 20 Best Summer Playgrounds for Little Ones

Here is a Google Map of the 20 summer playgrounds that you can load on your phone. And below is a photo and details for each of the playgrounds.


Within City of Parramatta

Dundas Park is my families all round favourite summer park. There is a great, shaded water playground with BBQs, a shaded ‘dry’ playground, picnic tables, plenty of open grass, toilets and it has a path around the park to walk or ride on. Plus The Container Cafe and Vikings Sports Club are a short walk away.

Boronia Park ticks all almost all the boxes and should be a real delight for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Great shaded playground, toilets, bbqs, picnic tables, bike/ scooter track, bush setting and gardens. Plus there are cafes nearby. In my books, it is just missing a water pump for the creek bed.

Village Green playground, one of two shaded playgrounds at Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park is a lovely large park with two shaded playgrounds, cycle ways, picnic spots, water fountains, tower and a cafe. Village Green playground is near the entry from Australia Ave and the Waterview Cafe. The playground has a section for toddlers and is all under a massive shade cloth, except the sand pit. The sand pit does though get shade at certain times of the day from the surrounding trees. And this would have to be one of the best maintained sand pits we have come across.

Caber Park is tucked away behind houses in a lovely bush setting. There is a fenced, shaded toddler play area with synthetic grass, plus a range of play equipment for preschoolers. Right next to the playground are toilets, a picnic shelter, BBQ and there is a path around the park good for riding on.

Third Settlement Reserve is such a lovely park, along Toongabbie Creek. There is a fab shaded playground, lots of paths to walk and ride on, a little bushwalk, plenty of picnic facilities and open grassed spaces. The park is also on land that was part of the third settlement by Europeans in Australia, originally founded as a Government Farm to grow food for the colony in April 1792.

Larry Bolitho Reserve is a lovely medium sized fenced, shaded playground in Carlingford. What makes it that extra bit special is that it has a large grassed area within the fence. Unfortunately, there aren’t any toilets but you can walk up to Bunnings.

The great, shaded medium sized playground at Doyle Ground is one of the closest fenced playgrounds to Parramatta CBD. The Container Cafe is just up the road.

Across the road from Winston Hills Mall, is Caroline Chisholm Park with a small fenced, shaded playground great for 1-3yrs. There are also toilets and a bbq.

Tucked away in North Rocks, this small fenced, shaded playground is particularly great for families with fur members as there is an off the leash area as well. Next to the playground are toilets, picnic shelters, BBQs and netball courts which are great for riding bikes or scooters on. This playground is also very close to North Rocks Shopping Centre.

The small to medium fenced, shaded playground at John Wearn Reserve is great for preschoolers. There is also a scooter track, lots of grass to play on and bbqs. Though sadly no toilets.

This much loved local fenced playground received a make over in August 2017. And now it is great for young kids. Plus you’ll also find exercise equipment, picnic shelters, BBQs and an off the leash area for any furry members of the family.

12Binalong Park | Toongabbie

Binalong Park has a medium sized fenced playground with three shade sails over it, covering the bulk of the play equipment. There is a climbing play gym with slide, cubby house and swings. Next to the playground, there are tennis courts and sports fields. Keep in mind that unfortunately the nearby toilets are generally not open on weekdays.


Further Afield

Francis Park shaded ‘dry’ playground (Photo Credit: Vivien Youkhana)

There is plenty to keep little ones happy at the large, popular Francis Park at Blacktown Showgrounds. From shaded play equipment, paths to ride on and a community garden to a water playground and the Grounds Keeper Cafe.

With a gorgeous view over Parramatta River, Putney Park is a lovely spot. It has a great water play area suitable for young children, which is like two toddler pools. There is also two playgrounds in the park and two VERY big slides not for the faint hearted!

About 15kms north of Parramatta is Bernie Mullane Reserve, with a large fenced and shaded playground that is very popular with local families. It recently got Touched By Olivia, allowing children of all abilities the chance to play there. And a new water play area was added, though there is no shade over this section.

This is one of our favourite warm weather parks. Cabarita Park really has all the bases covered with a fantastic shaded playground, great toddler pool within the swimming centre, yummy kiosk by the water, swimmable beach and gorgeous location. Plus you can get there by ferry!

Central Gardens in Merrylands is definitely worth a visit, with a native animal enclosure, waterfall, two shaded playgrounds and open grassed areas.

Heatley Reserve, East Ryde

I wish there were more little fenced, shaded playgrounds like this one at Heatley Reserve. There is a good range of play equipment for kids 1-4yrs and the very yummy Fox and Bird cafe is a 1 minutes walk away.

There is no shade cloth over the fenced playground at Epping Oval, but there is lots of natural shade. The beauty of the Epping Oval Playground is that within the fence are some lovely grassy spots with shade from the trees, a BBQ and a few picnic benches. This makes it a great park for a child’s birthday party or a picnic play-date for families with little ones.

Burwood Park is a pleasantly surprising oasis right near Westfield Burwood and Burwood train station. The large park has a lot to offer with a cafe in the grounds, fenced and shaded playground, duck pond, picnic facilities and chess board.


More Summer Playgrounds

If we have missed one of your favourite summer playgrounds, please let us know by commenting below. And here is a list of all the playgrounds we have reviewed that have shade.

There are a few other playgrounds that just missed the cut off as they only have natural shade coverage at certain times of the day. The Domain Creek playground at Parramatta Park is a good example. We also hope to add James Ruse Reserve and Granville Park, once the surrounding trees grow a bit more to provide natural shade over the ‘dry’ playgrounds.

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