This is part of a series where I review local playgrounds in and around Whanganui. Non-locals will want to skip this!
Virginia Lake is the crowning jewel in Whanganui’s tiara. It is my favourite place to go in Whanganui and probably our best-loved tourist destination. I will do a review on the lake itself at a later date, but for now I’m focusing on the cool playground at the Lake.
In my opinion, Virginia Lake playground is the best playground for toddlers in Whanganui. Tucked away behind the bird aviary and free barbeque to the left of the main car park, the playground can also be accessed from the Babbage Place entrance and car park (lots of people don’t know this car park exists, keep going a bit further along the road past the main car park).
If like many parents, you have a baby as well as a toddler – this is the playground for you. The playground is fully fenced so there’s no chance of your tot doing a runner to terrorize the ducks. There are two picnic tables, conveniently located in the shade where you can plonk yourself and your baby if need be. There are rubbish bins just outside the play area.
There is a standard climbing frame with slide that is exciting enough for most toddlers, and I think it’s the best climbing frame I’ve come across in a Whanganui Playground for tots who are crawling/furniture-surfing/climbing/just learning to walk. When we first came to Whanganui, Sausage was 10 months old and was only crawling, but she loved this climbing frame and was able to haul herself onto it with only a tiny bit of help from me.
There are two sets of swings – one with two bucket swings, and one with a bucket and a regular swing, although the day we visited the regular swing was out of action (aside from this, everything else was in good nick).
There are three different types of see-saw which is a bit over-kill, but two of them will appeal to slightly older children.
There’s not heaps of play equipment, and definitely nothing to grab the attention of older kids, but it doesn’t have to because there’s the lake, ducks, the bird aviary, a fountain, some Winter Gardens, a Cafe , a grassy dell with stage, a band rotunda, several different paths to take around the lake…I could go on.
- Fully fenced
- Shade, picnic tables and rubbish bins
- Toddler-friendly play equipment
- Close to the lake, aviary and cafe
- Generally plenty of parking
- Not very exciting for school-aged kids
Tots in Tawhero rating: 7/10