Explorers Playgroup – The North Sydney Playgroup
The “North Sydney Playgroup”
The littelest and I headed off to the North Sydney Playgroup to discover what fun could be had. We found the answer to be lots! When I showed her brother the photos he demanded we show him this ‘new fun place’.
Where is Little Explorer’s Playgroup
Official Address but not for parking
Located in the North Sydney Civic Centre the address online all point to 220 Miller Street.
However, I’m not sure that’s a exact address.
Below is a map of where to find the Civic Centre but it is a large area and it definitely isn’t where you want to park if you are driving.
Where to park if you’re driving
Your best bet is to actually aim for the Ridge Street Car park. The second level of the car park takes you straight onto a level walkway directly to the Civic Centre.
The pic below is taken of the car park from the inside of the playground and where you would walk to get to where you need to be.
However we had a few issues with the car park which I will get to later.
Accessing the Playgroup with a pram
Ridge Street Car Park is situate at James Place, North Sydney. It is well signposted so you won’t get lost.
As above, if you have a pram you want to park on the second level if you can. If you’re pram-free you can walk up the steps from the bottom level if you come out the entry and turn right walking to the back of the carpark you will find where you need to be.
Little Explorer’s Playgroup Features
There is a big outdoor area which is that soft spring stuff except for a Natural Play Area.
The Natural Play Area
The natural play area is a bit sandier than expected. It’s also not very big. But it consists of logs, timber planks and rocks for climbing on or over.
Outside Play Area
Outside is generally a ‘free-for-all’ play area. The kids can play with whatever they want or do whatever it is they’re keen on.
There area number of things for the kids to play on:
- A lovely cubby house.
- Climbing frames with ropes and slides.
- A big wooden deck with foam blocks.
- Lots of little cars and trucks.
- A giant sandpit.
- A smaller play set for littlies with slides, a tunnel to crawl through and a swing bridge.
Inside there are different rooms to explore.
There is a baby soft play area, a play-doh station and a themed room which changes.
What is quiet nice is that there are also group activities which you can participated in, or ignore, depending on your child’s interests at that exact time.
There is singing / dancing and later in the morning story time.
Cost and Operating Hours
The playgroup session runs from 10am to 12:30 on Mondays to Thursday’s during school term. The website can be accessed by clicking here.
The cost is:
- $5 per baby under 18 months.
- $10 for kids 18 months plus.
You can pay on a play by play basis and don’t need to pay for 5 or 10 visits at a time like you have to at Crows Nest Playgroup.
I don’t know many moms who can get by without some sustenance.
There are a few cafes nearby where you can grab a coffee and muffin to keep you going through the session or to enjoy afterwards on the lawns outside the Centre.
The problem with the parking
The website for the playgroup states
“Parking: Discounted parking for Playgroup users is available in the Ridge Street car park. Simply bring your token from the car park and swipe it when you register for each session”
However, this is not as easy as it sounds.
The normal cost (not discounted) for 2.5 hours would be $14.10 – I still don’t know what the discounted rate would be – but it appears there is a problem with the validation system at the playgroup and it has historically not worked.
This meant that we were stuck in the parking with a man shouting at us through the payment machine, not ideal when you’ve got an exhausted little one.
Looking for more activities for toddlers in Sydney?
Click the links below for full reviews.