REVIEW: Darling Harbour Children’s Playground

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Home to an impressive range of playground equipment, dazzling light shows, water-play areas, nearby shops, picnic areas, and plenty more – a visit to the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground is a venture the entire family can appreciate.

Whether the kids want to cool off in the water playground, explore the climbing nets, dig in the sand, or relax in the shade, the playground has a little something to suit everyone.

If you’re planning a trip to Sydney’s Darling Harbour Children’s Playground, here’s a guide to help plan your visit.

Where is the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground?

Darling Harbour Playground

The Darling Harbour Children’s Playground is located at 1-25 Harbour Street, Darling Quarter. Head over in the early morning or later afternoon to beat the heat and enjoy the energy of the playground. Though if you’re stopping by in the middle of the day, don’t worry – there are plenty of shaded areas available and water activities for kids to cool off.

How to get to the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground?

Darling Harbour Playground

Sydney families have plenty of options when it comes to visiting the Darling Harbour Playground. Driving is the easiest option, with nearby parking available at Wilson Parking Darling Quarter. During the week, parking prices start from only $5 for 30 minutes and extend to $56 for more than 3 hours. Though on weekends, parking costs are a flat rate of only $15.

If you’re travelling via public transport, getting to Darling Quarter is just as easy. Catch the train to Town Hall station and exit onto Bathurst Street. Head downhill and arrive at Darling Quarter. For the bus, there are entrances via Bathurst Street, Liverpool Street, Market Street, and Druitt Street.

History of the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground

Darling Harbour Playground

The Darling Harbour Playground was initially opened in 2011 as part of the renewal of Darling Harbour. The playground was designed by Aspect Studios – drawing largely on a Northern European styled playground. Through its construction, it became the largest playground in the Sydney CBD.

What equipment is at the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground?

Darling Harbour Playground

When it comes to activities at the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground, the possibilities are endless. For kids eager to escape the heat, there are plenty of water-play activities to enjoy in the park. This includes a pump station, with 26 water jets and patterns for kids to splash about. Other water play equipment includes the water screw, water scoop, and squirts. With the variety of things to do in the water playground, beating the heat becomes easy.

Aside from the water-play, another beloved element of the playground is the massive flying fox – stretching over an impressive 21 metres. Kids can jump onboard and ride alongside the assortment of neighbouring greenery.

The Darling Harbour Children’s Playground also has all of the play essentials – including massive slides, swings, sand diggers, climbing nets, balancing ropes, and more. Otherwise, for those eager to sit back and relax, there’s also a shaded area available. Gather the family, bring a picnic, and soak in the relaxing atmosphere of the park.

Places to eat near the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground

Darling Harbour Playground

Since the Darling Harbour Playground lies near the Darling Quarter, there’s no shortage of nearby eateries for families to choose between. There’s a range of cuisines on offer, ranging from Brazilian BBQ to fresh Japanese food.

For those in the mood for soup and noodles, Wok N’ Bowl offers up a range of fresh Asian dishes that are worth experiencing. Otherwise, those in the mood for burgers and sandwiches can head to the Social Quarter to enjoy their range of delicious flavours. If you’re looking for something sweet to finish off the meal, Gelatissimo is also serving up their freshly made gelato.

Whether you’re in the mood for something savoury or sweet, the Darling Quarter has you covered.

Get Out with Kids eating out with kids tip: Located at Harbourside Shopping Centre, Shop 230, Darling Dr, Darling Harbour NSW 2000, is Pancakes on the Rocks, dishing out a fresh range of breakfast dishes for families to enjoy. There are pancakes with eggs, sausages, bacon, and more. It’s definitely worth a visit while you’re in the area. 

Darling Harbour Children’s Playground at night

As the sun goes down over the Darling Harbour Children’s Playground, the illuminated night-time playground takes over. As a result, kids and young adults can enjoy the park’s equipment – including the flying fox and giant swing.

Every night, a light show is displayed at 6 pm upon the building overlooking the Darling Quarter. The display is made from more than 500 solar-powered LED lights. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, the show is pre-programmed. Although, on Fridays and Saturdays, the control over the light show is gifted to the people – with interactive consoles allowing visitors to command the lights.

Opening hours: The Darling Harbour Playground is open every day of the week.

Things to do near the playground

Darling Harbour Playground

If you’re on the hunt for some exciting activities to entertain the kids around the Darling Harbour Playground, don’t sweat it. There are heaps of attractions that are perfect for families.

Catch a glimpse of a few underwater critters with a visit to Sea Life Sydney, less than 10 minutes away from the playground. At the aquarium, kids can look forward to seeing king penguins, sharks, dugongs, tropical reef fish, rays, sawfish, sea horses, and plenty more.

Otherwise, there’s the Australian National Maritime Museum, with plenty of exhibits for kids to discover Australia’s maritime collection. There’s also plenty of fascinating exhibits and events held throughout the year, which families can browse on the museum’s website before visiting.

For those eager to admire the beauty of Sydney from above, head towards the CBD and catch a ride up to the very top of the Sydney Tower Eye. The lookout is only a 15-minute walk from Darling Quarter and delivers panoramic views that simply can’t be missed. For the brave, there’s the SkyWALK tour – offering visitors the chance to enjoy the views from an external observation deck. Over 90 minutes, guests will enjoy a guided tour alongside 2 well-informed guides, pointing out many of Sydney’s beloved icons.

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