It’s always interesting looking back on the year that was. And 2018 was definitely an exciting one for ParraParents and local families, with so many cool new playgrounds opening and other family friendly activities happening.

Plus the ParraParents family grew so much this year! We started off 2018 with 7.5k people viewing our site each week and reached 15.5k weekly users during the year, with 900k page views in 2018. And our Facebook following grew from 5k to 14k people! So chances are you may have missed some of the great articles we have published and posts we shared during 2018.

We LOVE that our information continues to help more families create some wonderful family memories. And it definitely seems like there are a whole lot more little fruit pickers, playground hunters and bushwalkers out there – yay!

Most Popular ParraParents Facebook Posts in 2018

There was a fair amount of excitement on our Facebook page this year. Not only did we almost triple in size during 2018, three posts reached over 100k people!

Here are our 10 Facebook posts that reached the most people in 2018. And like last year, we LOVED anything new. But you really loved BIG slides and scooter/ bike tracks in 2018.

1Top 10 New Family Things to Do – BIG Slide at Hilltop Park (April, 220k+)

The biggest hit and fail of 2018 was definitely the new playground at Hilltop Park in the new Stockland Altrove estate in Schofields. After only about a month, this massive fun slide was closed due to safety and management concerns. But in that month we’re sure hundreds of thousands of people had fun sliding down it, based on the number of people who saw our post and the queues we heard about. We are yet to hear where it will be relocated to.

2Putney Park (November, 143k+)

Your excitement for Putney Park caught us by surprise in November, seeing its not new and we’ve definitely posted about it before. But it clearly was a little known gem and we love that so many more families will now be enjoying it.

3Digger Expo (April, 105k+)

There must be a whole lot of happy construction loving kids out there after visiting the National Diesel Dirt and Turf Expo in Penrith this year thanks to our Facebook post. We have been going for a few years and already have the next expo dates marked – 3rd to 5th May 2019.

4Strathfield Park (May, 76k+)

Strathfield Park is definitely one of our favourite playgrounds so glad that it may now be yours! The scooter/ bike track opened this year and it joins a massive range of fun play equipment at the park.

We love these mini road scooter/ bike tracks and the new one at Ryde Park is definitely one of the best – and the only fenced one! Just a shame about the lack of shade at the moment.

Seeing you all got so excited about the big slide at Hilltop Park in Schofields, we pulled together a list of the other BIG slides in Western Sydney playgrounds for the budding little daredevils.

With a free native animal enclosure, waterfalls, two playgrounds and street library just for starters, it’s no wonder there is a lot of interest in finding out more about the wonderful Central Gardens in Merrylands.

8ELS Hall Park (September, 27k+)

The 2nd biggest new playground in the area this year can be found at ELS Hall Park in North Ryde – 1st biggest is West Epping Park. We love the nature inspired design and space for imaginative play.

A key feature of our April School Holidays Guide was the then newly opened big slide at Hilltop Park in Schofields. While the playground is still there, the big slide isn’t.

To celebrate the opening of the fun new Crocs Play Centre at Castle Hill, there was FREE entry during August at set times… so no wonder this post got you a bit excited.

Top 10 Most Popular ParraParents Articles and Pages

These are the 10 most viewed articles and pages on our website in 2018. In brackets is how many times the articles were viewed this year.

11Pick Your Own Fruit Calendar (28k+)

Photo credit: Josephine Sicad-Minerva Photography

This is one of my families favourite activities to do – and boy the monthly calendar makes it so much easier to know what you can pick and where. I really love that so many more families are joining us at local farms, picking delicious fruit and introducing kids to how it’s grown.

The best carols event that never was, sadly due to the storms

When you go looking, there are so many fantastic family-friendly local events on throughout the year. One of the key reasons behind starting ParraParents was to have a handy calendar with all key local events in one spot. So it’s great that are using it a lot.

It seems we love our beaches! And while we aren’t able to just pop down the road to one, there are 18 within a 35km radius of Parramatta CBD.

Strawberry picking at Berrylicious Strawberries

Strawberry fields forever…. just an hours drive from Parramatta at Berrylicious Strawberries. It was great to see so much support for local strawberry farmers after the contaminated issue during the year.

15Central Gardens Reserve | Merrylands (10k+)

Central Gardens Reserve has a great and unique mix of things to do there so we can understand the interest in visiting. There are waterfalls, native animals, two playgrounds, BBQs, street library and more.

16Yarramundi Reserve | Richmond Area (9k+)

We fell in love with Yarramundi Reserve when we first went only a year ago. And it has brought us and so many other local families a lot of joy.

17West Epping Park | Epping (9k)

The biggest new playground to open in the area this year was definitely West Epping Park. It’s definitely a fun one and we love that there is now a shade sail over the toddler play area. Fingers crossed there will be shade sails soon over two slides.

It’s pretty cool having a waterfall tucked away in our very own ‘backyard’. And the fact that it’s super easy to reach, with lots of kid friendly walks, makes it even more special. Balaka Falls are nestled in between Carlingford and North Rocks and best visited after rain.

19Parks and Playgrounds Page (8k+)

ParraParents is now the leading source of detailed playground reviews in Sydney, with 220+ available on our website! This includes playground reviews for every single playground in the City of Parramatta. And if you’re not sure where to start, we have a great set of top playground lists and our new Find a Playground Search Tool.

What a magical thing to do with kids – enjoying Christmas light displays is one of our favourite Christmas activities. And made so much easier with our Google Map!

And so close behind were our articles on Lake Parramatta Reserve, free water fun and local clubs/ hotels with play areas.

What was your favourite activity in 2018 that you found out about from ParraParents? We would love to hear!