Kids across the Coast will be spoilt for choice when it comes to playtime, with Central Coast Council delivering a mix of 18 new and improved playspaces across the Coast.
Design, construction and delivery of the new and renewed playspaces has taken place over the past 12 months, and with work now poised to begin on the new district playspace at Toowoon Bay’s Swadling Reserve, as well as the Coast’s new regional playspace, Sun Valley Park at Green Point, there’s never been a better time to be 10 or under.
One local who knows her way around a playground is Katie Stokes.
Stokes is the Founder and Editor of Playing in Puddles, the Coast’s go-to guide on all things kids.
It’s a one stop shop for parents, carers and guardians looking to learn more about what the Coast has to offer its youngest residents, and one of its most popular features is its comprehensive review of playgrounds.
The reviews cover everything mums, dads and guardians need to know about whether a playspace is right for their family and Stokes and her family have been kept very busy over the past few weeks checking out what’s new and what’s improved.
“Since the holidays started, we’ve been making trips to playspaces around the Coast around five times a week and it’s been great to see so much investment in our local parks and playgrounds,” Stokes said.
“Playspaces are such important community assets.
“They’re a place where families can meet other people, where they can get outdoors and be active, and best of all they’re completely free.
“With so many people moving to the Coast, it’s important that our playspaces be a positive and dynamic part of the Coast and I think we’re on track for that,” Stokes said.
Of the new and improved playspaces, Stokes’ pick for the north is Canton Beach’s Beach Parade Playground, which she said was great for ages 5 and up.
But sadly for northerners, Stokes’ picks for the best playspaces on the Coast are both down south, with Terrigal’s Rotary Park and the MacMasters Beach Playground topping her list.
They’re her family’s old faithfuls and she said they ticked all the right boxes.
“Rotary Park is the full package.
“It’s great for all ages, is accessible to families with special needs and has great amenities.
“MacMasters Beach is a little quieter, but it’s another great all ages park and is in such a beautiful spot directly opposite the beach,” Stokes said.
With council’s draft Central Coast Playspace Strategy now on public exhibition, residents are being encouraged to have their say on what the future of the Coast’s almost 300 parks and playgrounds should look like.
“The Playspace Strategy was developed to set consistent guidelines and goals for the development and sustainable management of playspaces across the whole Central Coast region,” said Council’s Environment and Planning Director, Scott Cox.
“It also ensures that future playspaces are appropriately located with equal distribution across the region, and are well designed, inclusive and will further develop our network of quality playspaces to provide a range of play experiences catering to the varied needs of our community.
Mayor Lisa Matthews is also proud to see an abundance of new playspaces.
“Effectively designed playgrounds and parks encourage play at all levels and offer a place for children to learn, exercise, reflect, run, explore and take safe risks.
“They are places where children can meet with friends and have fun with family members,” Mayor Matthews said.