Marshmallow Park Playspace Upgrade | Review
Glen Osmond Road, Adelaide
by Susannah Marks
Marshmallow Park has recently undergone a major facelift and the new playground has plenty of great new features to offer. It officially re-opened on 29 April 2018.
Alongside the more traditional play elements like the swings and slide there are also some interactive nature play elements which are fun for all ages. Marshmallow Park is fully fenced which is a big plus for toddlers, and with a tennis court and half basketball court over the fence it’s sure to be popular with families with older kids as well. It’s now part of the new Pelzer Park/Pityarilla Activity Hub, incorporating a renewed creek bed, Oxbow nature playspace and the Pityarilla dog park.
Things we like about the new Marshmallow Park Playspace Upgrade & Pelzer Park/Pityarilla Activity Hub
- Marshmallow Park is fully fenced
- The rock hill with interactive water play features
- BBQs and sheltered picnic tables
- Lots of grassy spaces perfect for kicking a footy or having a picnic
- Right next to the two fenced dog exercise areas
- Brand new Exeloo toilets complete with toilet music – one of the three is an accessible one big enough for a wheelchair or can fit a few people if you need to take all the kids and the stroller.
- Tennis court with basketball half court
- Paths within the playground and around the edge that are good fun for kids on bikes or scooters
- The new Oxbow Playspace with the wood and rope climbing frame
- Nature play along the creek behind the fenced playground
Hill, Sand Area and Water Play
Probably the focal point of the park, aside from the iconic Moreton Bay fig tree which provides wonderful shade, is the rock hill with the interactive water play features. Our little playground testers had a great time clambering up and down the rocks and trying out the various water play elements. This provides opportunities for social interaction – and getting really wet and sandy.
This water play area is a huge hit and many of the kids were happy to play here for a very long time, some not wanting to leave.
We loved seeing how children of different ages collaborated together and co-ordinated the water flow, with a common goal – creating the biggest gush of water when releasing the barrier. There was great co-operation and social interaction between kids that did not know each other, creating a fabulous opportunity for them to make friends. See our video below for some of the action.
On the hill you’ll find a series of little gates you can open and shut to control the flow of water.
Press on the steel mushroom heads to start the water flowing.
This is also where you’ll find the smaller of the two climbing structures, which is designed for smaller people. This structure has been retained from before, however we noted that the pulley system is now gone.
Our kids found the slide good fun though the two year old needed some encouragement to go down it. Other, more fearless kids were having a great time racing each other down it. It’s wide so you can slide down with friends too.
Some kids needed a bit of reassurance before they were prepared to give the slide a go and we saw kids egging each other on, and helping each other down as well as plenty just enjoying watching.
The climbing structure has been retained from the previous playground. There’s a lot to do here and it was nice to see kids of all ages playing on this and challenging themselves. There are a few spots where overly confident toddlers could potentially climb up and then get stuck, or even fall off so it’s probably better for capable preschoolers or school aged kids.
If your kids love to climb then we think this is a playground they’ll love.
Overly confident toddler alert!
Metal Jellyfish Cubbies
These were loosely influenced by Aboriginal Wurlies to form a child friendly cubby-house that is open at the bottom so that parents can see inside. The kids found these fun to hide under, to run around and to climb on top of.
The Mega Swing
We were so glad to see that the beloved bench swing with toddler seats at both ends was retained. It’s a great swing for a parent to swing two or more kids at once, either sitting on the bench with the kids, or standing.
Our kids really liked being able to go on the swing together and seeing how many people they could cram onto the swing at once.
Over in the far corner behind the water play hill is this log climbing structure below.
Nature Play Elements
Nature play elements in the new playspace include these wooden carved witchetty grubs which our kids were quite taken with. “I like climbing on the croissants” said the two year old thoughtfully.
There are many rocks and big logs to climb over.
There are two new bbqs with shelter and picnic tables within the fenced playground as well as a drinking fountain. Another bbq and shelter is situated in the Oxbow Playspace area – more info about this below.
A gate at the back of the fenced playground leads out to this creek area below. Bring gumboots in winter for exploring.
You can cross over to the other side of the creek using the rock bridge above, or go the smooth way via the pathway below.
Beyond the creek you will find the new Oxbow Playspace. It features this huge wooden log structure for climbing.
There’s plenty of nature play opportunities here where kids can use their imagination. Already we could see some clever rock building.
Fun on bikes or scooters
If your little person likes to bring their bike or scooter to the park then you’ll be pleased to find that Marshmallow Park has some little trails running thorough the playspace that are fun for kids on bikes or scooters. The more exciting paths, however, are just beyond the fenced play area and require parental supervision as they’re near the road and are shared with cyclists.
Tennis Court and Half Court Basketball
Just beyond the fenced play area is where you’ll find the tennis court and half basketball court.
Things to consider
- The trees provide heaps of shade which is great for summer months but may mean it’s a little chilly in winter.
- Although the playspace is fully fenced we did arrive to find the safety gate opened and my nine year old was able to reach and open the gate.
- The interactive water play area is a magnet for kids – your child WILL get wet and sandy, guaranteed. Take a change of clothes and/or towel.
- The paths around the edge of the playspace connect cyclists to the cycle tracks through the parklands – nearly all of the cyclists we came across were slowing down and keeping an eye out for little people on their bikes and scooters however it’s something to keep in mind.
- BYO tennis rackets/basketball if you’ve got kids who will enjoy the courts.
- Park for free along Glen Osmond Road between 10 and 3pm or South Terrace. It is about a 12 minute walk from the South Terrace Tram Stop.
- Be aware that Marshmallow Park has bark chips aplenty in case your baby or toddler enjoys putting them in their mouth.
- There are other playgrounds nearby you can also visit – Glover Playground and Princess Elizabeth Playground, both on South Terrace; Kurranga Park BMX Track and the Himeji Japanese Gardens
- Fasta Pasta is just down the road on the corner of South Terrace and Pulteney Street.
The Kaurna translation of Pityarilla is marshmallow; paying homage to the park’s Marshmallow Playground. August Pelzer was Adelaide’s city gardener from 1899 to 1932 and his influence is evident in the layout of Osmond Gardens, and elsewhere throughout the Park Lands.
The design was undertaken by Aspect Studios. They also had input from the following sub-consultants: PSLA and Climbing Tree (Nature play input to concept designs); Southfront (Civil Engineering), Lucid Consulting (Hydraulics, Electrical & Lighting), Struktura (Structural Engineering), Cameron Consulting (Irrigation); Trento Fuller (DDA); and CIRQA (Traffic).
Where to find it
Glen Osmond Road, Adelaide | map
About Susannah: I’m a mum to three boys and a little girl and I am learning to embrace the chaos. I love my morning coffee, exercise, cranking up some good tunes on the stereo, and heading away to new places on holiday. I love getting out and about and exploring all the fabulous things for families to do in Adelaide.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently. All photos are by Play & Go.
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