Shopping Centres with Free Play Areas | In and Around Parramatta

Whether you want to escape the rain, cold or heat outside, or just need to do a bit of shopping with little ones, shopping centres with free play areas are a sanity saver. UPDATED: 14th July 2017

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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 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!). The challenge though is that most shopping centres don’t list their play area on their website. And if they do, it is very rare that there is a photo.

So 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, plus two play areas for little ones. One is located on Level 1 opposite Sandler and the other is a pirate ship on Level 3 near Muffin Break. There are two parents rooms and the marina out the front is lovely to walk around.

  • Best suited for kids: 1.5-6yrs
  • Cafe nearby: 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
Carlingford Court

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

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
DFO Homebush Photo credit: Sydney.com)

There are definitely some great deals to be found at DFO and thankfully there is a cool free play area there as well.

  • 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.

North Rocks Shopping Centre

This small play area has interactive wall panels, a car to sit in and small slide. There is a bench at the entrance to sit and watch the kids from. 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.

8Macquarie Shopping Centre | North Ryde

There are two soft play areas at Macquarie Centre, good for crawlers and toddlers. One outside target and the other outside The Loft, near Chipmunks. We understand that plans are underway to build a permanent play area.

  • Best suited for kids: 0.5-2.5yrs
  • 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
New monkey bar play area (opening 9th May)

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

The four free play areas on level 1 are all closed at the moment for renovations. You will currently find a free temporary play area with two rooms at the food court. It is where Blooms Chemist used to be.

  • Best suited for kids: 1-6yrs
  • Cafe nearby: Food court
  • Major Stores: Big W, Kmart, 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 play area is in the food court and great for toddlers and preschoolers. It is partially enclosed, has room for the kids to run around and there are a number of tables right next to the play area. 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.

Winston Hills MallNOTE: A brand new Kids Zone is coming soon. This means the existing play ground will be closed from 7th August to 1st September.

  • 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
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.


Activities and Events at Local Shopping Centres

Aug 18 @ 10:00 am – 8:30 pm Costco Auburn
Visit your local Costco for an exclusive VIP shopping experience. -VIP tour of the warehouse -Shop without a membership card -Baby product giveaways and coupons -Light refreshments available
Aug 18 @ 10:00 am – 8:30 pm Costco Crossroads
Visit your local Costco for an exclusive VIP shopping experience. -VIP tour of the warehouse -Shop without a membership card -Baby product giveaways and coupons -Light refreshments available
Aug 19 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Rydalmere Bunnings
If your child loves Shaun the Sheep, head on over to Rydalmere bunnings for a meet and greet. The fun doesn’t stop there. There’s a fantastic playground, a cafe and many other things to keep[...]
Aug 22 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Aug 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.
Aug 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[...]
Aug 29 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Aug 31 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Bunnings Rydalmere
Participate in the excitement of the Bunnings Rydalmere Fathers Day Family Night.There will be a giant hamster ball, gaming van , pizza truck and much much more. Adult And kid D.I.Y’s Bookings are required for[...]
Sep 4 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am Bunnings Rydalmere
Join the wonderful Pip for a half hour Sing Rhyme and Story Time in the DIY area of Bunnings Rydalmere store on the 1st Monday of the month at 10am. Sing Rhyme and Story Time includes[...]
Sep 5 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Seven Hills Plaza
Join our monthly group for our little people under 5yrs from 10am to 12noon. Kids can enjoy Craft and Storytelling, also toys, puzzles and tunnels for the kids to play with. Have a coffee at[...]
Sep 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Sep 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). Activities include: face painting, balloon twisting, games, storytelling, workshops[...]
Sep 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Sep 19 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Sep 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[...]
Sep 30 @ 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.
Oct 2 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am Bunnings Rydalmere
Join the wonderful Pip for a half hour Sing Rhyme and Story Time in the DIY area of Bunnings Rydalmere store on the 1st Monday of the month at 10am. Sing Rhyme and Story Time includes[...]
Oct 10 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Seven Hills Plaza
Join our monthly group for our little people under 5yrs from 10am to 12noon. Kids can enjoy Craft and Storytelling, also toys, puzzles and tunnels for the kids to play with. Have a coffee at[...]
Oct 10 @ 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). Activities include: face painting, balloon twisting, games, storytelling, workshops[...]
Oct 10 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Oct 17 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Oct 24 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Oct 28 @ 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.
Oct 29 @ 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[...]
Oct 31 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Nov 6 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am Bunnings Rydalmere
Join the wonderful Pip for a half hour Sing Rhyme and Story Time in the DIY area of Bunnings Rydalmere store on the 1st Monday of the month at 10am. Sing Rhyme and Story Time includes[...]
Nov 7 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Seven Hills Plaza
Join our monthly group for our little people under 5yrs from 10am to 12noon. Kids can enjoy Craft and Storytelling, also toys, puzzles and tunnels for the kids to play with. Have a coffee at[...]
Nov 7 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.
Nov 14 @ 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). Activities include: face painting, balloon twisting, games, storytelling, workshops[...]
Nov 14 @ 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 Tuesday at 10:30am.

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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