Recently after reading a press release from our local Federal member I thought it would be worthwhile to visit the NEW all abilities playground at Leichhardt. From previous posts you might know of my love for Livvi’s Place at Timbrell Park and I was very interested to see if another had been created in similar fashion.
So off I went to Pioneer Memorial Park. Thinking I would be smart I parked on Norton Street in between Bar Italia and the park. So the plan was to get a coffee and then go for a play … big mistake. Not that there was anything wrong with the coffee … if anything they were more than helpful at Bar Italia. I arrived with a double stroller and no way of being able to get inside the cafe. Instead someone came to the door and took my order and brought it to me … awesome. What I did wrong was park on Norton Street. I mistakenly thought that the playground would be on the southern end of the park. This is not the case … and you can’t get into the park from Norton Street because of the steps. Every entrance to the park on Norton Street has a number (and some large numbers) of steps. So my first tip .. bring your coffee with you (no real coffee places nearby) and park on William Street.
On arriving at the park. Well for me it was missing the big criteria I look for initially in a park, being enclosed and it is not. When you have 2 kids and 1 with autism enclosed playgrounds are not ‘nice to have’ … they are a necessity. M loves to run around and can get easily distracted … especially by cars. When you have 2 of them who obviously want to do completely different things … it is very hard when you are at a park that is not enclosed. So for me that was a major drawback before we had even started playing.
On the whole the playground has some new design equipment that I would say that would keep most kids entertained for a decent amount of time. I think it is a very nice community playground but i would not call it an all abilities playground. It does not have any of the sensory activities that Livvi’s Place has … and some of the areas would be inaccessible to those with movement challenges without significant support( for example the sandpit has a very steep lip into it). Also I thought that both the ramp up to the slippery dip and the slippery dip was too steep.
Overall thoughts … if I was in the area and wanted to take the kids to a park I would go there … but it is not one that I would make special effort to go to when Livvi’s Place is relatively close.
Location: Corner Norton and William Street Leichhardt
Map: Google Maps
Parking: Carpark by near playground off William Street
Bus stop nearby: Yes