Spring has sprung and it’s time to get out into the gorgeous sunshine here in Sydney so I thought what better way to celebrate than to take your party outdoors.
Apart from enjoying the sunshine and getting your daily dose of vitamin D, heading outdoors will mean that your house stays free from little sticky fingers and you will also save money as many of these locations are free or available for hire for a small booking fee.
Sydney is filled with parks and over the last few years, many have been upgraded with new playground equipment, child-proof fencing and other wonderful facilities which make them perfect for children’s birthday parties. Here are some that I think are great though I’m sure there are many more I have yet to discover.
1. Bike party
Learners' Cycleway at Centennial Park
If your child loves riding his bike, why not throw him a bike party and ask each of his guests to bring their own bikes along. Centennial Park has a Learners’ Cycleway that is perfect for children who are learning to ride as well as pros, and the children’s playground and barbecue are also handy. Bicentennial Park at Homebush Bay also has small bike paths that are suitable for younger ones.
2. Pirate party
If you have an adventurous little one, why not let your little pirate loose at a park where the play equipment is shaped like a pirate ship such as at Lyne Park at Rose Bay and Prince Edward Park at Cabarita. Take your crew on a treasure hunt expedition whether it is jewels, ‘golden’ coins or bits and pieces of nature that they are finding.
3. Beach party
Hidden away in a little suburb called Greenwich, you will find a true gem called Greenwich Baths. This is the ideal spot for a beach party. Sheltered and safe, this little beach is perfect for little ones to have sandcastle building competitions. You don’t even have to bring your own beach toys as there are some there for you to use.
4. Adventure Party
If your little one has made your heart skip a beat at least a dozen times in his lifetime, then he will most likely love these parks. Wentworth Common at Homebush Bay and Winnererremy Bay Park at Mona Vale are both filled with playground activities galore, including a flying fox.
Pirrama Park, Pyrmont
5. Cafe Party
It is rare, in today’s day and age, to come across a toddler who doesn’t know what a babycino is, or the name of their mum’s favourite hangout spot. My little ones are on first name basis with the owners at my local cafe and they know exactly how their babycino will come – with a freckle + marshmallow! Well, some clever cafe owners have tapped into this enormous market and decided to plonk themselves right next to a playground as they know the formula: happy kids = happy parents. The Flying Fox cafe in Mona Vale is a well known one and great for those with slightly older kids. If you have toddlers, then Ryde Park is a good one, as is the newly refurbished Pirrama Park in Pyrmont that has a water play area. Children can enjoy a sit down meal at the cafe followed by a play at the nearby park.
6. Picnic parties
Robertson Park, Watsons Bay
Girls and boys alike love to share their birthdays with their special friends, including their huggable ones, whether it be a teddy or dolly. What better way to do this than to have a teddy bears’ picnic party or a dollys’ tea party picnic. One of my favourite picnic spots on a beautiful Sydney day would have to be the Royal Botanical Gardens. Right on Sydney’s foreshore with views of Sydney’s icons, what more could you want? Bring along picnic rugs, a ball or two, and some bread to feed the ducks and you are set for the perfect picnic for your little one. If you are after a picnic spot that has a playground, check out Jubilee Park at Glebe or Robertson Park at Watsons Bay.
7. Your own backyard!!
It’s free, it’s convenient and it’s right on your doorstep. Your backyard is a perfect spot for your celebration, though it may require a little more cleaning up afterwards. Hire some toys from a toy library and you will be set. Although many people hire entertainers, children are usually easily pleased with a few party games and then free time to just roam around. I haven’t yet had a professional entertainer for the nine parties I’ve held for my kids. Most have been in my backyard or at a park and not once have I had a child tell me that they were bored. Having said that, I am thinking of getting one for this next party that’s coming up!
Now of course, this list is not exhaustive so please do share if there are other parks or outdoor spaces that you think are perfectly suited for parties. Please remember to check with the council if there are any booking charges or if it is a first come first served basis. And it goes without saying, when you are using these public spaces, remember to clean up afterwards and to “Keep Australia Beautiful”!