Margaret Mahy Family Playground is the largest playground in the Southern Hemisphere suited for visitors of all age that opened in 2015 that is part of the government's recovery plan after the 2011 earthquake
Have fun in the Margaret Mahy Family Playground
1. History of Margaret Mahy Family Playground
Before the Margaret Mahy Family Playground was created, the site was a park named Elsie Locke Park, the only park in the city that was named after a resident. The Margaret Mahy Family Playground was built following the government's Recovery Plan to have a 'city - wide family playground' as one of the elements of the East Frame after the earthquake in 2011. The Playground was opened on 22 December 2015 and got its name from an author that writes Children books, Margaret Mahy. During the building, protests were heard related to the big cost needed for the playground. A week after the opening, there was an issue that the project spent 3 million New Zealand Dollars. However, that amount was just a part used for the playground. While the total amount of the project reached more than 20 million New Zealand Dollars. The protest was then unheard when visitors start to enjoy this grand playground.
2. Margaret Mahy Family Playground Design
The design of Margaret Mahy Family Playground can be said as unique as the making process. While planning to build a new playground and family-friendly spaces, the government decided to run The Amazing Place Competition in 2013, sponsored by the Bank of New Zealand. The competition was to be followed by children to design 'the world 's best playground'. It was said that 300 drawings from around 6.000 local children from prescholl to 5th grade were submitted. The winner was the 12-year-old Harriet Compton-Moen and her three other students with the concept of the largest play areas in the world. The original design featured a dragon-tongue slide, rainbow-colored mulch, witch-in-the-cherry-tree swings, and a giant castle of creamy yellow brick. However, the fixed design was much evolved from the original ideas and the Playground became as how it is today.
3. Have fun in the 4 zones of play areas
Margaret Mahy Family Playground is divided to 4 big areas that reflect the varied landscape of Canterbury. Those four areas are the forest zone, coastal zone, plains zone, and wetland zone. The forest zone was set for children with a lot of energy because the children will have to move around a lot. The attractions including the 8 metre spiral slide that will be a challenging climbing and sliding experience and the climbing nets. While in the coastal zone is intended for younger children, where they can play in the sandy areas and a discovery garden. Then, there is the wetland zone that is the place to play with the water and get wet. Last but not least is the plains zone that reflects the Canterbury Plains. Of course, there are a lot of other attractions for your children. Some of them are the giant slides, giant spinners, a 40 metre double racing cableway, and the flying fox.
4. Try to visit the playground in the evening
Margaret Mahy Family Playground at daylight is the perfect spot for kids to have fun. However, don't be worry to be bored when you are accompanying them. Not just that you can join and play together with them at some of the attractions, the playground also has some spaces for those who just want to relax. There are some picnic areas available for when you want to take a break and have lunch together with the family, or you can just look for some shades that are available in the playground's area. There are also some coffee and food sellers in case you don't bring any food with you. For example is the Mocoffee that has good pie, cuppa, and cake. If you look for a heavier meal, you can buy a Mexican food from the food truck. However, it is not very recommended to buy the ice cream as the price is a bit too expensive. In the evening, the playground will change to a social space, with interactive lighting designs that make a beautiful view.
How to Get Tickets?
You don't need tickets to visit Margaret Mahy Family Playground. As the place is not fenced, you can access this place for 24 hours daily.
How To Get Around?
To get around, you can walk or run as you want. If you are tired, then you can take a break on the seatings available and enjoy the food and beverage in this area. Of course wheelchairs can also be used in the park, though other things like scooter might have to be considered because the playground can be very crowded.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommended dresscode for visiting the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. However, be noted to always check the weather before you go out and spend your day in this beautiful place because this is an outdoor site. If you are coming during a hot day, then it is better to wear light clothing because you will move around much. If you are planning to play with the water, then don't forget to bring change clothes for you and your children.
Best Time to Visit
The Playground is always fantastic all year around. However, it is recommended to visit in spring or summer, where the weather is not cold and there is a little chance of rain.
New Zealand Dollar
Will I Need a Guide?
You don't need a guide to explore the Margaret Mahy Family Playground.
How To Get There?
Margaret Mahy Family Playground can be reached with public transports by using the Orange or Yellow Line buses. You can also ride bus route 29 from the Christchurch International Airport or from the regional terminal. There is also a free car park off Armagh Street and temporary additional parking on the corner of Gloucester and Madras Streets.