It still amazes me how many shopping centres there are in and around the City of Parramatta. More than 20 actually! And the best bit is that most have good free play areas that should keep young kids entertained for about 30mins, if not longer.

Nearly all shopping centres also run free activities for kids during school holidays. And a few do during school term as well. Plus some have a kids club you can join, and offer members discounts and special deals.

Being spoilt for choice means we can be choosy and pick the combo of play area and shops that best suits our family (on a particular day!). To make it easier to choose, here is a summary and map of 22 shopping centres and shops with free play areas. We have grouped the shopping centres into ones with free plays areas that are indoors, outdoors or a combo of both. Plus, there is a calendar of upcoming activities and events at the shopping centres at the bottom. Please let us know if we have missed one of your favourites.

Map | Indoor Play Areas | Outdoor Play Areas | Combo Play Areas
| Activities and Events at Shopping Centres |


Map of Shopping Centres with Free Play Areas


Indoor Play Areas (alphabetical order)

There are over 120 retail shops here, two parents rooms and three play areas! On the ground floor, is the new play area called the Lighthouse Playgym, with a spiral slide, triangle deck climb perfect for getting to the top, a sphere look-out with a steering wheels and gadget panels. It is just near the Jean Louis Joseph Deli Cafe. And after you can wander around the marina out the front and play in the fenced playground at Dunlop Reserve overlooking Cockatoo Island.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-8yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Jean Louis Joseph Deli Cafe, Muffin Break
  • Website

2Bunnings | Various Locations

Bunnings is definitely more than a hardware store when it comes to families. There are eight local Bunnings stores that have indoor play areas. Plus most have kids trolley’s, a cafe and craft activities on weekends and during school holidays.

  • Best suited for kids: 3-8yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Hardware Cafe
  • Website

This is our local shopping centre and my boys have spent a lot of time playing in the little kids play area here. It is on level 1, next to Bing Lee, and is a great little pit stop for crawlers and toddlers. There are also lounge chairs next to the play area for parents to relax in.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-4yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Nadia’s Cafe
  • Major Stores: Target, Bing Lee, Woolworths, Coles
  • Website

There is a fun pirate ship play area at Castle Mall, outside Supa IGA and Smiling Bakery. There is a fence around most of the perimeter and low level play equipment for little ones to pull up onto.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-6yrs
  • Major Stores: Supa IGA and TK Maxx

There are definitely some great deals to be found at DFO and thankfully there is a cool play area there as well, great for burning off some energy. And afterwards, you could always head to Mason Park across the road or Bicentennial Park.

  • Best suited for kids: 2-7yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Michels Patisserie
  • Major Stores: Factory outlets for a range of well known brands

On level 1 of the Eastwood Shopping Centre, near the MyHealth medical centre and escalators, is a fun, small play area for little ones. There is a pretend shop, tunnel and interactive boards.

This small play area received a little make over in November 2017. There is still the slide and interactive wall panels, and now a play gym maze. There are also some tables at the cafe next door with views of the play area. Each Tuesday during school term, there is a great story time from 10am to 10:30am in the Fun Lab, followed by a playgroup.

There are two soft play areas at Macquarie Centre, good for crawlers and toddlers. A new art-inspired one outside target and another outside The Loft, near Chipmunks.

  • Best suited for kids: 0.5-3yrs
  • Cafe nearby: The Loft
  • Major Stores: Big W, Myer, Target, Coles, Aldi, Woolworths
Primewest Auburn Megamall

For boat or pirate loving kids, there is a great pirate ship themed play area at the Auburn Megamall on level 1, outside Baby Bounce.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-5yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Barista Haus Café
  • Major Stores: The Good Guys, Freedom, Fantastic Furniture

A new play area opened in May 2017 at Rhodes Waterside, called the Monkey Bar Playground. It replaces the one that used to be tucked underneath the long travelator and will definitely appeal to little climbers. The centre piece is two spiralling towers joined over the travelator by a tunnel with see through panels.

Located in the centre court, is a small climbing structure with a slide. There is a monthly Kindy Corner held here on a Tuesday, with craft and storytelling.

  • Best suited for kids: 2-7yrs
  • Cafe/ Coffee nearby: Gloria Jeans
  • Major Stores: Aldi, Coles, Woolworths, Best & Less
Stockland Merrylands

This shopping centre has recently become a regular of ours as it has the double trifecta of major stores. The kids play area is on level 1 next to the food court and Target.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-5yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Food court
  • Major Stores: Big W, Kmart, Target, Aldi, Coles, Woolworths
Westfield Parramatta

We don’t often go to Westfield anymore but when we do, there is no escaping a visit to the kids play area on level 5, outside Coles. The mesh and pole coverings recently got a refresh, which was well overdue. There is also another kids area on level 4 with all the kids shops but this is now just a large touch screen to play games on. Unfortunately there is no longer a play area on level 2 outside Best and Less.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-5yrs
  • Cafe nearby: The Coffee Emporium
  • Major Stores: David Jones, Kmart, Myer, Target, Coles, Woolworths

The new Kids Play Zone opened in September 2017 at the end of the food court, near Coles. It is partially enclosed with just the opening to enter/ exit and is best suited to preschoolers and young primary school kids. There are two climbing play gyms and a tv but the main attraction is the interactive floor display. Within the play area, there are four booths to sit at with charging points, plus stools and low tables.

On the 2nd Tuesday of the month, there are kids activities in the play area. It is free for Winston Wombat’s Kids Club members ($5 to join) and gold coin donation for non-members.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-5yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Food court and Michel’s Patisserie 
  • Major Stores: Big W, Coles, Woolworths

Outdoor Play Areas (alphabetical order)

Fashion Spree offers plenty of parking, food, family-friendly facilities, plus a fantastic outdoor fenced playground that climbers will love.

  • Best suited for kids: 2-8yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Grove Cafe

There is a fenced playground just outside Kellyville Village with a good selection of equipment and a shade cloth.

Lidcombe Centre has a great, fenced outdoor playground with shade. Here the little ones can happily play and you can soak up some sun, enjoy a coffee and recharge before hitting the shops again. And if you are looking for somewhere indoors to take your little ones while at Lidcombe Centre, then definitely check out ChouChou Bebe.

  • Best suited for kids: 1-5yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Chow Bella and Leaf Cafe
  • Major Stores: Kmart, Spotlight, Aldi, Woolworths

Rouse Hill Town Centre has colourful and unique two outdoor playgrounds. A fenced one next to Oliver Brown and another one next to the food court.

  • Best suited for kids: 1-7yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Oliver Brown, Blends and Brothers and Food Court
  • Major Stores: Big W, Reading Cinemas, Target, Coles, Woolworths
  • Website
Stockland Baulkham Hills

I fell in love with the outdoor play area at Stockland Baulkham Hills the moment I saw it. It is a wonderfully magical, colourful, fenced play area that would probably only be 7m * 5m in size, but boy does it pack a bunch.

After undergoing a huge expansion and redevelopment, Stockland Wetherill Park finally opened a multi-level play area with elements to suit a range of ages. It was developed in partnership with the wonderful Touched by Olivia Foundation, and you can see their special touches.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-8yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Gloria Jeans
  • Major Stores: Big W, Target, Coles, Woolworths

Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas

Stanhope Village has two wonderfully colourful and cute play areas. The indoor play area is partially fenced and located next door to the Leaf Cafe, right near Aldi. The outdoor play area is undercover, fully fenced and parents can sit along it at a cafe.

The new play area on level 1 opened in August 2017. There are three sections within it. One with touch screens and books, opposite is an area for little ones with low level climbing pods and building blocks and then at the back is the climbing play gym with slides. Unfortunately the climbing play structure can be difficult for preschoolers to manage on their own. It is better matched to the abilities of primary school kids but doesn’t hold their interest for as long.

  • Best suited for kids: 2-7yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Food court
  • Major Stores: Big W, Kmart, Aldi, Coles, Woolworths

Activities and Events at Local Shopping Centres

Nov 17 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Bunnings Northmead
Bunnings Northmead opened its doors on Monday 5th November, after the Bunnings North Parramatta store closed on 4th November. They are celebrating with a range of free family activities in November.
Nov 17 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Top Ryde City
Welcome Santa with Mrs Claus and friends as they commence their parade from 10am on LG2 near Woolworths. Santa will be walking the Centre on his way up to the throne where Santa photos will commence from 12pm.[...]
Nov 17 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Top Ryde City
Chase and Marshall are here from Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol, come along and join the action. Be sure to bring your camera for your chance to have a picture and say Hi!
Nov 17 @ 11:00 am North Rocks Shopping Centre
Join us in celebrating the arrival of Santa Claus with a welcome parade including Rudolph, Frosty and many more of his friends. Date: Saturday 17th November Time: 11.00am Where: Parade commences outside Coles
Nov 18 @ 7:00 am – 9:00 am Westfield Parramatta
Westfield Parramatta will be hosting Sensory Santa again this year for families with special needs. Siblings and families welcome to join in. Sensory Santa offers: no lines or queues, no background music run at a quieter[...]
Nov 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Bunnings Northmead
Bunnings Northmead opened its doors on Monday 5th November, after the Bunnings North Parramatta store closed on 4th November. They are celebrating with a range of free family activities in November.
Nov 21 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Nov 24 @ 7:45 am – 9:00 am North Rocks Shopping Centre
Please join us for Breakfast with Santa, for a morning filled with fun, food and Santa’s special friends. Kids will have a great time having breakfast, enjoying a show and every child will receive a[...]
Nov 24 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Stockland Baulkham Hills
On the last Saturday of every month the Farmers Markets are at Baulkham Hills! Everything from fresh farmed flowers to fruit, veggies, nuts and gifts! We are located outside Commonwealth Bank.
Nov 25 @ 7:00 am – 9:00 am Westfield Parramatta
Westfield Parramatta will be hosting Sensory Santa again this year for families with special needs. Siblings and families welcome to join in. Sensory Santa offers: no lines or queues, no background music run at a quieter[...]
Nov 25 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Stockland Wetherill Park
The Designer Markets is Sydney’s number one Pop Up retail market specifically for designers to showcase their exclusive range. The Designer Markets will be at Stockland Wetherill Park on the last Sunday of each month. Trading[...]
Nov 28 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Rouse Hill Town Centre
Sydney Boutique Markets, the largest monthly boutique market in Sydney is back for 2018 at Rouse Hill Town Centre. Find us on the first Sunday of each month (apart from Father’s Day with the event[...]
Dec 5 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Dec 11 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Winston Hills Mall
Enjoy fun activities for the kids at the Winston Hills Mall Toddler Tuesday that takes place on the second Tuesday of every month (excluding school holidays) from 10am to 12pm. Activities include: face painting, balloon[...]
Dec 12 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Dec 29 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Stockland Baulkham Hills
On the last Saturday of every month the Farmers Markets are at Baulkham Hills! Everything from fresh farmed flowers to fruit, veggies, nuts and gifts! We are located outside Commonwealth Bank.
Dec 30 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Stockland Wetherill Park
The Designer Markets is Sydney’s number one Pop Up retail market specifically for designers to showcase their exclusive range. The Designer Markets will be at Stockland Wetherill Park on the last Sunday of each month. Trading[...]
Jan 8 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Winston Hills Mall
Enjoy fun activities for the kids at the Winston Hills Mall Toddler Tuesday that takes place on the second Tuesday of every month (excluding school holidays) from 10am to 12pm. Activities include: face painting, balloon[...]
Jan 26 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Stockland Baulkham Hills
On the last Saturday of every month the Farmers Markets are at Baulkham Hills! Everything from fresh farmed flowers to fruit, veggies, nuts and gifts! We are located outside Commonwealth Bank.
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Stockland Wetherill Park
The Designer Markets is Sydney’s number one Pop Up retail market specifically for designers to showcase their exclusive range. The Designer Markets will be at Stockland Wetherill Park on the last Sunday of each month. Trading[...]
Feb 6 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Feb 12 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Winston Hills Mall
Enjoy fun activities for the kids at the Winston Hills Mall Toddler Tuesday that takes place on the second Tuesday of every month (excluding school holidays) from 10am to 12pm. Activities include: face painting, balloon[...]
Feb 13 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Feb 20 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Feb 23 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Stockland Baulkham Hills
On the last Saturday of every month the Farmers Markets are at Baulkham Hills! Everything from fresh farmed flowers to fruit, veggies, nuts and gifts! We are located outside Commonwealth Bank.
Feb 24 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Stockland Wetherill Park
The Designer Markets is Sydney’s number one Pop Up retail market specifically for designers to showcase their exclusive range. The Designer Markets will be at Stockland Wetherill Park on the last Sunday of each month. Trading[...]
Feb 27 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Mar 6 @ 10:30 am – 11:00 am Harry Hartog Bookseller Macquarie Centre
Encourage your child’s imagination with weekly Storytime at Harry Hartog Booksellers Macquarie Centre store every Wednesday at 10:30am.
Mar 12 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Winston Hills Mall
Enjoy fun activities for the kids at the Winston Hills Mall Toddler Tuesday that takes place on the second Tuesday of every month (excluding school holidays) from 10am to 12pm. Activities include: face painting, balloon[...]

1 COMMENT

  1. Great list! There are many that we are yet to try. Cannot wait to see what the new Top Ryde one will look like though.

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