Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre – Free Play Areas, Lovely Parents Rooms and more

UPDATED: 24th September 2017

Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre play area

Best known for its Ikea store, Rhodes Waterside is a lovely, family friendly shopping centre. I always find it easy to park at, clean and it has great facilities for families with young children.

Apart from Ikea, the other major outlets you will find are Target and Coles as well as Event Cinemas. There are a host of medium sized chains, like Bing Lee, Adairs, Australian Geographic, Kidstuff, Dusk, Howards Storage World, House and Beds Bath N Table and Cotton On Kids, plus smaller ones as well.

Two Free Play Areas

Shopping Centre Play Area

In May 2017, the new monkey bar playground, replacing the play area that was tucked underneath the long travelator. It is enclosed on 3 sides and has one non-gated entrance, with seating available for parents. The main event is the two spiralling towers, joined over the escalators by a green tunnel and space windows.

Right near the play area is Boost Juice as well as the family friendly Lilly’s Espresso & Cucina and Oliver Brown.

Ikea’s Play Area (3-9yrs)

The children’s play area, Småland, is now open with a new look – the magical forest. It is a free supervised play area, available for kids aged 3 to 9 for 1 hour sessions.

Rhodes Waterside IkeaOpening hours:
  • Mon – Fri: 10:00am – 7:00 pm*
  • Sat – Sun: 9:00am – 7:00pm*

*Please note that last sign-in is at 6:30pm

Parents Rooms

There are two nice and clean Parents Rooms at Rhodes Waterside – one in the food court on level 1 and the other near the customer service desk on the ground floor.

They are probably the best parents room I have used – great, fresh designs. I can understand why they have been awarded a 5 Star Rating from the Australian Breastfeeding Association (though I couldn’t find power points for use when expressing). Each room contains a quiet place to feed in privacy, (with USB charge point), a safe play area and TV for children, easy stroller access, microwave and changing facilities.

Cafes and Restaurants

There are a LOT of options in terms of eating while at the shopping centre, from 21 take away places to 17 cafes and restaurants, and more are opening soon.

Rhodes Waterside
Tables at Lilly’s overlooking the play area

We have only eaten at Lilly’s and Sky Phoenix with the kids so far. Lilly’s is right next to the play area and we found it to be kid friendly, with decent babycinos for $1, a number of high chairs, a kids menu and helpful staff. There main menu has a wide variety of options at a reasonable price.  Sky Phoenix is well known for its yum cha and we love it there, but get in early as it gets very packed.

Free Justice of the Peace Service

Every Wednesday from 9:30am to 12:30pm and Saturday from 9:00am to 12:00pm, there is a free JP service available on the ground floor near Target.

Things to do Nearby

Phoenix Park Rhodes
Phoenix Park, Rhodes

I am sure Rhodes has the largest number of playgrounds per square metre in Sydney…not that I have actual statistical data to back it up. 😉 There are four playgrounds within 1km of the shopping centre:

Heading north, there is the new Bennelong Bridge, connecting Rhodes to Wentworth Point, that you can ride or walk on. Heading south, there is Bicentennial Park.

This means, you can use the shopping centre as a base to further explore the area.

Finding Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre

Rhodes is in between Sydney Olympic Park and Ryde, just before the Ryde Bridge. The shopping centre is a flat 500m walk from the Rhodes train station.

Entry to Rhodes Waterside is via Rider Boulevard. There are 2,400 parking spaces for cars daily and parking is free for the first 3 hours. Parking is also free if you enter the car park after 6:00pm and leave before close at 12:00am and cinema goers are entitled to 4 hours free parking.

Other Shopping Centres with Free Play Areas

For other ideas on where to go shopping with kids, read our list of 22 shopping centres with free play areas.