Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grinstead Park (Ship Park)

Grinstead Park is our local large park. It's a walk away from us yet still is a cool park in terms of the structure and imagination of the park. It's one that your playground seeking parents from around Brisbane have probably had recommended to them. Map is here.

The name Ship Park is obvious - the playground itself is built entirely (well, with the exception of a set of swings off to the side) as the body of a ship. There are places to climb, deck holes to poke through, walkways to run along and perhaps one of the best slides in town. Always having a gaggle of kids running to the top of the ship to line up for a turn, this slide is an enclosed slide which has a clear section in the roof so that you get a glimpse of sky amidst the red and green plastic as you slide down. Apologies, I only have one very terrible picture of the slide in question!

As Cody gets older, I find that she is more enamored with the exercise park which is at the top of a hill nearby. This presents more of a challenge to her with the monkey bars, climbing wall, balance beam and sit up benches. She spends more of her time here than in the classic park, which leads me to suggest that this is a park for a younger crowd on the whole. The last time I was here there were lots of school age kids climbing all over the park, but they seemed to be bent on causing havoc rather than enjoying the facilities.

The sails create a lovely shade which covers a large part of the ship and there is an abundance of grassy spots on the nearby hill to sit and look down over the park. What this park excels at is the picnic or BBQ. Its not popular enough to be cut-throat about getting one of the two main BBQ areas (there are a few other tables around but only two covered tables next to BBQs) so you can safely arrange your weekend party here. We grabbed a table and bought a picnic style afternoon tea and had a lovely chat whilst the kids ran off to play.

I would suggest that if you have very young kids that hovering may be required. There are lots of high bits and open floor within the ship itself as well as lots of areas which are tucked out of view so if you are sitting back you won't always be able to spot your kids. That said, the middle deck of the ship is large enough (and has benches) for you to sit in the middle and let the kids run around you! It works very well in this regards.

The surrounding area is picturesque. A nature reserve, this is also accessed via a bike park which runs from Mitchelton through Everton Park. As such, its a great destination at the end of a long pram walk.

The theme is lovely and really lends itself to imaginative play so it deserves at least a 7.5 rating.


Age Groups: Monitored walkers will thrive here, but best suited to your 3-4 year old crowd.
Kid Friendliness: we've been here a ton of times and the kids have never really interacted with each other.
Parent Friendliness: there tends to be a ton of mothers groups here - which I find very excluding to the non-group mum. This said, I've met some fabulous parents here.
Shadiness: there is a sail cover in place playground is shaded by a canopy of trees
Tricked Out: nah, not at all really - the ship theme is nice though
Picnic/BBQ: there are two BBQs but a lot of additional areas for picnics
Shabbiness: neither here nor there really
Toilets: ithere is a toilet block by the car park which is small and clean
Hovering Required: Yes, there are lots of places under the ship where you can lose your kids and lots of places on the ship where they could fall.
Bring Yr Bike: The playground itself is not good but its surrounded by a bike path
Crowded: not super crowded but definitely popular
Wow: no wow just a solid park

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