Barricaded by a whole bevy of housing commission homes in the City of Port Phillip is a little oasis for the resident children.  It’s a unique playground for them to come, free their minds, and play to their hearts’ content.  There’s even a kitchen for the hungry to obtain sustenance and an old container ship container kitted out as a clubhouse / refuge for the local children.

The playground was created in the early 1980s when Jock Brockton decided to make use of Jack Skinner’s empty paddock next door to him.  He cut a hole through the fence adjoining their properties and started building parts of the playground.  His efforts were halted by the local council due to the fact that it wasn’t his property and that he didn’t have a permit.  Eventually he convinced Jack Skinner to donate the property, which he had at one stage used as a truck depot, to the local community and with the help of community volunteers, the playground became what it is today.  It’s amazing.  A large amount of the paintings, murals, mosaic work, etc have been created by the local children.  Maintenance is mostly voluntary, as is the supervision there at the playground.

No junk food, smoking or alcohol is permitted on the premises.  There’s a no fighting and bullying policy in place as it’s a sanctuary for the local children – where they can leave their inhibitions at the gate.

There is a vegie patch on location and resident pets – rabbits & chickens – for the children to play with.  Apparently there used to be a pony, Oky Pinoky, at the playground as well but he was relocated in 2004.  There are slides galore, climbing apparatuses, a tightrope, trampolines, a sandpit, cubby houses, picnic areas, a basketball court, soccer goals, bikes, trikes & scooters to be test driven, eclectic homemade toys, and so much more for the children to play with.

It’s intended for children between the ages of 6-12, but children 5 and under are still welcome with close parental supervision being required.  The playground is only open to the public during limited hours (see below) as it is closely monitored and intended primarily for the neighbourhood children.  Donations, however, are more than welcome and help the playground supervisors to purchase food and other supplies for local families in need.

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Our 3-year-old, had a wonderful time there.  Many of the activities there required a bit of risk-taking which Lil’ E, a very cautious child by nature, seemed more than happy to attempt.  As a parent I stood very close in case he happened to accidentally flip over the sides of some of the slides, and cringed as he crawled through a wheelie bin ‘tunnel’, but you know what?  He came out unharmed and happy as Larry so we all grew a little from this amazing experience that is Skinner’s Adventure Playground

SKINNER’S ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
211A Dorcas Street
South Melbourne  VIC  3205
03 9209 6352

Open to the public
Monday to Friday 3:30 – 5:30 pm
Weekends & school holidays 11 am – 5 pm
Public holidays 11 am – 3 pm
Opening times can vary due to the needs of the local community’s children so either call in advance or have a plan B just in case.

By the way – if you live in Australia and wouldn’t mind a restaurant delivering food straight to your doorstep for free, head over to our Menulog competition where you can win one of two $30 home delivery vouchers.

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