Summers in Parramatta can get very hot! Actually about 10 degrees hotter than the eastern part of Sydney. But thankfully there are some great things to do outdoors with your kids, where water to cool off or shade is in good supply. We have listed our top 10 outdoor summer picks here for you to enjoy locally with your family this summer.

1James Ruse Reserve | Parramatta

This is the largest water playground in the Parramatta Council area. The park contains seating, picnic tables and BBQ, a skate park and metered off street parking. There is also a playground (not shaded) with swings, slides, rockers and rope climbing tower. Plus there are temporary toilets.

2Dundas Park | Dundas Valley

This large park has the newest water playground in the City of Parramatta Council area. Both the water play area and play equipment right next to it are under shade cloths. There are three sheltered picnic tables, lots of grass to sit and play on, bbqs and the toilets are about a 5min walk away. Plus the Container cafe is a short walk away, along with the Vikings Sports Club.

3Lake Parramatta Reserve | North Parramatta

There is so much to do at this natural oasis, just north of Parramatta. Lake Parramatta Reserve is popular for picnicking, bushwalking and now water activities – swimming, canoeing and paddle boating. Plus, there are BBQs, toilets, a playground and cafe. Lifeguards are on duty every weekend, every day of the summer school holidays and all public holidays until 2nd April 2018. .

Epping Aquatic and Leisure Centre has lovely outdoor pools in a tranquil bush setting. It is great for families with a kids pool and shaded baby pool. There is free on-site parking and a small entry fee. And make sure you head along to the Christmas Pool Party on 16th December.

5Bicentennial Park | Sydney Olympic Park

Village Green playground, one of two shaded playgrounds at Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park is a lovely large park with two shaded playgrounds, cycle ways, picnic spots, water fountains, tower, lake with ducks and a cafe. The Village Green playground, near Waterview Cafe, is the largest and most popular one. It is best suited to kids 1-8yrs. Concord West playground is a hidden gem on the eastern side of the park and has play equipment for teenagers as well as primary school aged kids and preschoolers. Plus there is a purpose built bike and scooter track.

6Caber Park | Winston Hills

Naturally shaded preschooler play area

Caber Park is tucked away behind houses in a lovely bush setting. There is play equipment for a range of ages, including a fenced, shaded toddler play area with synthetic grass. Right next to the playground are toilets, a picnic shelter, BBQ, tennis courts, basket court, cricket nets and there is a path around the park good for riding on. Plus there is plenty of open grassed area to kick a ball around or fly a kite.

7Third Settlement Reserve | Winston Hills

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 and open grassed spaces.

8Boronia Park | Epping

Boronia Park ticks all almost all the boxes! Great shaded playground with equipment for a range of ages, toilets, bbqs, picnic tables, bike/ scooter track, bush setting and gardens. Plus there are cafes nearby.

Larry Bolitho Reserve is a lovely medium sized fenced, shaded playground in Carlingford. What makes it that extra bit special is that it has a large grassed area within the fence. Keep in mind that there aren’t any toilets but you can walk up to Bunnings.

10Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre | Sydney Olympic Park

Splashers Water Playground

While the pools are not outdoors, Sydney Olympic Aquatic centre has a lot to offer to families in summer. The great, popular indoor aquatic centre has a large water playground, slide, water rapids, cafe and a number of pools with varying depths. There is also Urban Jungle and Circus Arts which are outside. And during the school holidays, Aqua Park – an inflatable obstacle course – is set up in the 50m pool.

Looking for other ways to cool off? Check out our ultimate guide to free water fun. Or if you are somewhere to take the kids to play where you can grab a coffee and bite to eat, see our list of free play areas and playgrounds with cafes nearby.

This article has been written for the Active Parramatta summer e-newsletter.