Chances are you won’t be taking your kids to the beach or pool every hot day this summer. This is where this handy list of our top 20 summer playgrounds in and around the City of Parramatta will help. Remember, it’s best to avoid being out in the heat of the day, usually 11am to 2pm! Even playgrounds with good shade, can feel like ovens in the heat of summer. And always wear a hat, put on sunscreen, apply mozzie repellent and take water with you.

All the playgrounds in our summer list have a good level of shade – either from sails or surrounding mature trees. Keeping in mind that it can be 10 degrees cooler under a tree, compared with a shade sail and other man-made structures.

Crestwood Reserve Baulkham Hills
Crestwood Reserve in Baulkham Hills has two playgrounds, one with shade sails and the other lots of natural shade

The playgrounds are listed based on a combination of what they offer and how far away they are. We have also tried to make sure the list has playgrounds for a mix of ages. Unfortunately there isn’t much for teenagers. The best local playgrounds for teenagers are Blaxland Riverside Park and Fairfield Adventure Park but there isn’t shade over the play equipment and lots of metal slides – which of course burn in the hot sun!

For great places to cool off with your kids, check out our comprehensive guide to Free Water Fun in and around Parramatta.


Dundas Park is my family’s 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 has a popular walking/ bike path. Plus The Container Cafe and Vikings Sports Club are a short walk away.

About 15kms north of Parramatta is Bernie Mullane Reserve, with a large fenced and shaded playground that is understandably very popular. And it now has a water play area and extra shade sails. There is on-site parking and BBQs. Plus toilets and kiosk in the sports complex.

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. Just missing a water pump for the creek bed, in my books.

4Putney Park | Putney

Putney Park is a fantastic park, along Parramatta River, tucked down near the Putney Punt. There’s a fun free toddler pools, water views, two playgrounds (with some natural shade) and it’s a perfect spot for family gatherings.

5Central Gardens | Merrylands

Central Gardens Nature Reserve is home to 12 hectares of natural bushland. And boasts an impression list of features, making it a great day out with your family! There’s a free native animal exhibitswaterfall, two shaded playgrounds, street librarybush school, picnic facilities, paths to walk/ ride on and plenty of grass for the kids to run around on.

  • Best suited: 2-8yrs
  • Address: Paton Street, Merrylands
  • More details
Cabarita Park playground

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

7Bayview Park | Concord

This is a gorgeous spot along Parramatta River, which enjoys some nice cool breezes. Shade sails were recently added, which is why it’s now on our summer playgrounds list. Remember to bring sand toys (with sand under the play equipment) and there is also a little beach to splash in. And by 2025, we will be able to swim here in a netted area!

8Crestwood Reserve | Baulkham Hills

In the middle of the large Crestwood Reserve, is a great shaded playground for preschoolers and young primary school aged kids. There is a series of connected play gyms with slides, bridges, stepping stones, cubby houses and things to climb. Plus there is a sand pit, covered picnic tables, bbqs and lots of on-site parking. And on the south side, you will now find a fun learn to ride track, with plenty of natural shade.

9James Ruse Reserve | Parramatta

This is the largest water playground in the area and should easily keep little ones through to primary school kids splashing around for a while. The park contains seating, picnic tables and BBQs and a skate park. There is also a playground (with a little natural shade) with swings, slides, rockers and rope climbing tower. Unfortunately it’s the only water playground without permanent toilets, but there are portaloos over summer. Parking can also be difficult to find.

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, open grassed spaces and toilets. And only about 700m from the playground is a nice water hole where you can dip your toes in.

11Livvi’s Place Ryde | Yamble Reserve

This is a jewel in the crown when it comes to Ryde playgrounds! The shade sails and water pump make it a fun playground to visit in summer. While in need of a little TLC (due to being so very popular) and a cafe, it’s still a wonderful, inclusive, fenced playground.

12Concord West Playground, Bicentennial Park | Sydney Olympic Park

This playground in Bicentennial Park is little known compared to the Village Green playground next to Waterview Cafe. But in some ways we prefer it now, being less crowded and having a number of nature based play elements. There is also a scooter track, the toilets are right nearby and it has play equipment for teenagers. And the water fountains and tower are only a short walk away.

This is the newest playground on the list, having opened late December 2018. George Kendall Riverside Park is a large reserve, along Parramatta River. The new playground has shade sails and next to it are multi-use sports courts, though with little shade. There are lots of picnic shelters and BBQs throughout the park and paths to ride/ walk on.

  • Best suited: 2-8yrs
  • Address: Boyle Street, Ermington
  • More details

Fred Robertson Reserve is a great little outing for families with young kids. First there’s the yummy Bells Road Social cafe. Then our street library to swap a book at and the shady playground, with a scooter track around the outside. Plus Vineyard Creek to explore on a bushwalk.

  • Best suited: 2-7yrs
  • Address: Bells Road, Oatlands
  • More details

15North Ryde Park | North Ryde

It’s rare to find a neighbourhood-sized park with a variety of equipment catering to kids 6yrs+. As a result, you often need to head to larger parks to keep older kids amused for a while. This is why North Ryde Park is great. It keep your older children entertained and challenge their climbing abilities

16Caber Park | Winston Hills

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. And the playground enjoys lots of natural shade.

Henry Brigg Park

Sail away in a little brown boat… or scout the rough seas from the light house! With a lovely green shade sail over the play equipment at Henry Brigg playground, it’s a good one for a play in summer.

  • Best suited: 2-6yrs
  • Address: corner of Maida Road and Essex Street, Epping
  • More details

We love a park that ticks a lot of boxes and is for a range of ages. One where you can easily spend a few hours. Well Balcombe Heights Estate in Baulkham Hills is such a park!

  • Best suited: 2yrs+
  • Address: Jasper Road, Baulkham Hills
  • More details

19Carmen Drive Reserve | Carlingford

With shade sails, fenced playground, toilets, on-site parking and shops/ cafes across the road, Carmen Drive Reserve is a good spot to stop for a little play in summer.

  • Best suited for: 4-8yrs
  • Address: Carmen Drive, Carlingford
  • More details

20Valencia Park | Toongabbie

Tucked under the trees full of birdlife at Valencia Park is a fun nature based playground.

  • Best suited: 0-8yrs
  • Address: Valencia Crescent, Toongabbie
  • More details

More Summer Playgrounds

If you are still looking for more playgrounds with good shade, check out all the playgrounds we have reviewed and think are good to visit in summer. And if we have missed one of your favourite summer playgrounds, let us know by commenting below.

Carss Park Georges River St George Area
Carss Park

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