Adelaide is home to some amazing playgrounds, but sometimes, your kids may have a really intense love for a very specific theme. Most kids do at some point, whether it be dinosaurs, pirates, trains or just wanting to run around and get so damn dirty that you think you may get arrested for stealing sand. Whatever your kid is into, we have scoured the archives and compiled a list of some of Adelaide’s Best Themed Playgrounds for you to explore.
Click on the links to see all the pics, info and maps you will need to tackle your next adventure.
Dinosaur / Monster Themed Playgrounds
Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge
Home to the world (well….SA at least) famous Bunyip, this attraction at Sturt River Reserve has scared kids for generations and delighted parents equally as much. The Bunyip is currently in really good condition and is primed to scare the shite out of anyone under the age of 10 and quite a few older than that. An all round ripper of a playground which is fully fenced, fully shaded and absolutely enormous. Don’t forget the pump tracks, rage cages (its a sport thing…not where you leave angry kids) and a fantastic skate park, read more about it here.
Greenslade Playground, Paradise
A lovely little playground in the north east, home to what I wrongly identified as a Dinosaur on facebook a while back (thankfully the internet politely advised me of the error of my ways), this dragon themed spot is a fave with the locals and has some fab equipment to boot. Check it out here!
Dinosaur / Monster Themed Playgrounds
St Kilda Adventure Playground
One of Adelaide’s playground icons, the adventure playground is also home to the famous pirate ship which Adelaide kids have enjoyed for what seems like forever. Every kid has at some point, stood on that ship and looked out to sea and imagined they were sailing the seven seas looking for treasure. The playground itself is probably Adelaide’s biggest and maybe most famous. A bit of a trek out north but totally worth it and a rite of passage (along with schoolies and doing something stupid to end up on Sh*tAdelaide) for all South Aussies. For more on this fantastic spot click here!
AA Bailey Reserve, Clarence Gardens
We love this huge plagryound at Clarence Gardens, which has so much to offer kids of all ages, least of all the pirate loving tikes who will gain their sea legs on the really cool pirate ship. The pirate ship here may be a bit smaller, but the playground is an absolute fave. It is basically 2 big playgrounds in one, with nature play, toddler age equipment plus climbing equipment that caters to the older kids…read more here!
Jubilee Adventure Playground, Port Noarlunga
One of the biggest and best playgrounds in the deep south, the ‘wooden’ playground at Porties includes a huge wooden fort inspired throughout with boating themes, to give you the impression of being on a massive wooden boat. The kids will love running around and being fully fenced (the fort part….the other nature section isn’t sadly) you can let the kids run around knowing they (probably) can’t get out. More pics and info here!
Moana Seaside Park
A brand new addition to the pirate playground landscape, opening in June 2020 is this ripper of a playground way down south at Moana! The highlight of this playground is the brightly coloured pirate ship with added escape slide for those who don’t want to walk the plank. A very popular new addition for the locals, we loved our recent visit! Read more here.
Angus Neil Reserve, Seacliff
Beaches = Pirates. So it makes sense that one of the best beachside playgrounds along our southern coast has a sweet little nature inspired pirate ship. This is a ripper playground and one of the best party playgrounds going around too, so if you want to book a party for your pirate loving tykes, give this a look. More here!
Train Themed Playgrounds
GT Fisher Playground, Victor Harbor
The OG train playground, with the huge steam train being parked in this playground as long as I can remember (lets just say 30 odd years). Now massively renovated to include one of the best nature playgrounds in the state, the train remains (slightly modified for safety compared to years gone by) for kids to climb all over and imagine being an engineer! All the pics and info here.
Victoria Square, Kadina
One of our fave regional playgrounds, this place is massive and suits all ages. Including a huge fully fenced (and shaded) playground for the younger crew, as well as a very high treetop climbing set up (it is really high!), add to that the Apex Express, a huge train full of space for the kids to climb on the explore. More on this ripper here!
Barossa Adventure Station
Another brand new playground is this belter up at Angaston, which draws on the old train station land where it was developed. Kids can slide down the huge tube slide from the tower into the train carriage themed area down on the lower level. Great fun! So much more to do, including bike tracks and a skate park. One of our fave day trip playground destinations which will take you through the stunning Adelaide Hills. Make a day of it and read more here.
Morialta Conservation Park Playground
Maybe Adelaide’s premier nature playground, Morialta is a sensational spot for Adelaide families located in the eastern suburbs, which forms part of the larger conservation park (stunning family walks…more on those here!), a perfect day out at Morialta will have the kids running around and exploring the magnificent scenery and playing on all the wonderful play equipment which blends seamlessly into the environment….except the 3 storey tube slide…you can’t hide that! Read more on this Adelaide fave here.
Naracoorte Caves Fossil Hunters Playground
The Naracoorte Caves are a world famous natural wonder right here on our doorstep, but did you know they also have a (probably) world famous nature playground as well? We visited last year and it is just sensational. Fossil themed naturally, kids will love exploring and digging their way around this sensational facility. On your trip to the caves, allow time to explore this spot. More info here.
This has always been a rather spectacular spot due to the beautiful scenery, nearby creeks (and awesome coffee shops around Mitcham), but after a massive redevelopment in about 2018, it is even more special now. Constructed using beautiful wooden materials of different shapes and sizes, the kids will feel like they have been transported to some sort of medieval kingdom with the highlight being the huge tower and tube slide (we know, not many tube slides in ye olde times but a bit of poetic licence here). This is the perfect playground picnic spot too, with so much grass and shade from the trees. Just love this one and you can find out more here!
If you have a kid that has gone on any excursion to the city with kindy in the past few years, chances are they ate lunch here so the teachers could rest. A fully fenced sandpit with lots of water and play equipment, pack extra clothes for this one. Located on Glen Osmond Road in the city, it really is a fantastic playground and one of our faves for the little kids, with some great natural elements to climb on and interact with, plus some really cool standard playground equipment. If your kid loves to get messy, this is the park for them. Read more here!
Bowman Park Port Pirie
Opened earlier this year up at Port Pirie (near Crystal Brook to be exact), this is such an incredible playground built by the very talented team at Climbing Tree Consultancy. A short detour off the highway, it is well worth the trip. This was really a local project with materials and talented local trades used to bring this to life! More info and pics here.
Jervois Street Reserve
One of the best playgrounds in Adelaide, is this ripper at South Plympton. It is fully fenced to lock in those scallywag tearaway little kids, it has an older kids playground with flying fox and other climbing/sporting stuff to do, but it is the nature play which brings us here today. With fantastic wood and stone pieces to climb on, plus every parents favourite playground feature….sand and water play, the little ones will have a blast. So much more to do that hasn’t been listed here so read more on our review here!
Belair Adventure Playground
This is THE quintessential nature playground in Adelaide. Located in Belair National Park (so obviously a bucketload of nature everywhere you look), it is a bit more dated compared to the others listed but some things get better with age…..not saying this has gotten better with age unfortunately (it hasn’t really changed since I first went 30 odd years ago), but it is still a sensational spot. Apart from the playground you get to experience all that the national park has to offer, which is always a perfect family day out (or weekend if you want to camp). The playground has all the classic features you remember from school excursions in the 80s, the huge wooden fort, the cement tunnel network to hide in….bliss. For some reason this playground always reminds me of giant arrowroot bush biscuits, which I think was the school snack of choice for excursions a long, long time ago. Anyway, more info and pics here!
Glenelg Foreshore Playground
If you have ever been to Glenelg and thought “I wish there was more sand”, then thankfully they have delivered with an enormous sand pit with plumbed water and some play equipment. Lets be honest, if you have toddlers and you go to the beach and you don’t end up with a kilo of sand in your car then do you even have kids? Our crew love this one at the Bay. It is massive (which is good because it is ALWAYS busy) but just be prepared to let them run around, get sandy and get very, very wet. Very wet. They may as well just go jump in the ocean and swim for half an hour. Right next to the Beach House, plenty of shade and a really beautiful spot. Click here for more!