Chances are you won’t be taking your kids to the beach or pool every hot day we get this summer. This is where our handy list of the top 20 summer playgrounds in and around the City of Parramatta will help.

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

All the playgrounds in our summer list have some shade – either sails or natural shade. And they 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 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 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 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.

Fire truck, cubby house and train at Boronia Park, Epping

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.

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!

5Putney 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.

There is plenty to keep the kids 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. Unfortunately though when we were there in autumn, the playground was in need of some TLC….which is why it has moved down our list a little.

7Granville Park | Merrylands

Granville Park in Merrylands is yet another local favourite. The shaded water playground is a fantastic place to go on a warm day. There are two sections, one aimed more at little ones with things to hold onto and the other for older kids with big water jets, tipping buckets and big fountains. There are toilets within the park (but about 150m away) as well as sheltered picnic tables, plus a playground (no shade cloths but some natural shade in the afternoon) with swings, climbing play gym and slide.

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.

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.

10James Ruse Reserve | Parramatta

James Ruse Reserve water playground

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 (only a little natural shade) with swings, slides, rockers and rope climbing tower. Unfortunately it’s the only water playground without permanent toilets, though Council does usually set up port-a-loos over summer. And parking can be difficult to find.

11Bayview 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 is now on our summer playgrounds list. Remember to bring sand toys with sand under the playground and there is also a little beach to splash in. And by 2025, we will be able to swim here in a netted area.

12Strathfield Park | Strathfield

This colourful and large playground has a number of play areas, with play equipment focused on a different age group in each. The toddler area is under shade sails and the nature based play area for preschoolers and young primary school aged kids gets some natural shade. Plus, the scooter/ bike track on the other side gets great natural shade. This park is very popular on weekends so best to go early or later in the day.

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.

14Livvi’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.

15Bressington and Mason Parks | Homebush

These two parks (opposite DFO Homebush) are an easy 300m walk from each other, divided by Powell’s Creek. They both have shaded playgrounds, with the one at Bressington Park being brand NEW (opening December 2018). Mason Park caters for younger children, while Bressington Park for slightly older kids.

  • Best suited for: 2-8yrs (Mason Park), 4-10yrs (Bressington Park)
  • Address: Underwood Road, Homebush
  • More details

16Concord 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.

One of two covered playgrounds at Central Gardens in Merrylands

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

18North 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

19Binnalong Park | Toongabbie

Binalong Park has a shaded, fenced playground, which is a rather rare combination in the City of Parramatta. It’s a popular sporting venue, with one one of the largest sporting parks on the western side of the City of Parramatta. About a 400m walk away, across Fitzwilliam Road is a cafe.

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 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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