If you haven't you really should, as there is so much to see, do and eat there for the whole family. Parramatta is very easy to access, by ferry, train or bus and it also offers plenty of public parking if you drive. So come on, let's go on a little explore together!
Image Credit: City of Parramatta FB page
WHERE TO PLAY
Parramatta is home to some very cool playgrounds.The local council takes their maintenance and upkeep seriously, and have dedicated big funds to ensure Parramatta has some of the best playgrounds in Sydney.
The biggest and the best is Parramatta Park. It is the showcase of Parramatta. Covering over 85ha in space, the Park has various playgrounds, cafes and walking paths. It is also home to the stunning Old Government House where you can step back in time as you wander its many rooms full of antiques from the days when Sydney first existed. And afterwards you can enjoy a delightful devonshire tea in the adjoining Lachlan's Restaurant. The Park also hosts some amazing family friendly events each year with Kidtopia in the September school holidays and Tropfest in February being the latest festivals added to the line up hosted in Parramatta Park each year.
Domain Creek Playground
There are two playgrounds within the Park. A small one is right near the pedestrian entrance at the George St Gatehouse, and then there's the Domain Creek Playground which is located on the opposite side of the Park. Kids of all ages will love running amok here, as there are sandpits, water pumps, climbing frames, trampolines, bush instruments, all sorts of swings and one cool cubbyhouse slide.
Located right on the banks of the Parramatta River, this is an ideal playground for kids who love to climb as it's practically built into the side of a hill. There's a long slippery slide, climbing boards and frames, a rope bridge, water pumpers and sandpits to play in. There's also a great bike path running right along the river which is perfect for a family bike ride.
This is Parramatta's water play playground and it's a great spot to cool off after a long day exploring Parramatta. The water play area is covered by shade sails, and then there is also a big farm themed playground next to it that has slides, swings and other fun things to climb all over. And if you have bigger kids in your tribe, make sure they bring their skate board along as there's a decent skate park here too.
This is a nature lover's paradise. With bushwalks, ducks to feed and a lake to swim in (summer time only) there is so much to explore and do here. There's also a good size playground as well as a cafe on site. It's a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy CBD of Parramatta.
With it's water jets, bright coloured tables and chairs, as well as the mega chess set, this is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat from a neighbouring take away eatery (think Gelato Messina and Bourke St Bakery) and watch the world pass by whilst the kids get wet in the water jets!
WHERE TO EAT
Parramatta's food scene is one of the best in Sydney. There are hipster cafes brewing all sorts of weird and wonderful coffees, first class restaurants of every imaginable cuisine, and so many family friendly eateries that welcome children with open arms. Three of the best places to eat with kids are:
Jamie's Italian Trattoria With its delicious kids menu, colouring in and view finder menus, this is a great place to take the family for lunch and dinner. The Trattoria is located right in the centre of Parramatta on Centenary Square.
Jamie's Italian Trattoria
The Baker & Builder Cafe You will find this brilliant kid friendly cafe up closer to North Parramatta in the Entrada Building (parking on site). Each Saturday they have kids activites such as face painting and super hero days. Every Tuesday is Mums Group morning from 10am - 12pm, and there is also a kids activity corner set up every other day of the week.
Parramatta Park Cafe This is one of the many eateries that you will find in Parramatta Park and they love kids here. From the menu that doubles as an activity sheet, to the special toy gift at lunch time for every kid, to the very cute babycino, this is the ideal spot to relax after exploring every square inch of the park.
Parramatta Park Cafe's Kids Menu
If you wander along Church Street (which is also known as Eat Street) you will also find many more restaurants and cafes that are perfect venues for dining with children - from fast food joints to classy Italian restaurants they are all here.
WHAT ELSE TO DO
Shopping - Westfield Parramatta is the premier shopping destination. Supermarkets, chain stores and independent retailers can all be found in the centre. And if you want to catch the latest family friendly movie, an Event Cinemas is also located on the top floor.
Step back in time - If your family is full of history buffs, you will love exploring all of Parramatta's historic buildings. There's obviously Old Government House, as well as the Parramatta Female Factory (Australia's first jail for convict women); Experiment Farm Cottage; and in neighbouring Rosehill there is also Elizabeth Farm House (where they host school holiday activities for children). Parramatta is also home to the oldest Catholic cemetery in Australia.
Entertainment- Riverside Theatres is the place for culture vulture families. Every year they stage family friendly shows as well as the very cool Spot on Festival held annually in the September School Holidays. This festival is full of weird and whacky shows just for little people.
WHERE TO STAY
As there is so much to see and do in Parramatta you could always have a staycation! There are quite a few top quality hotels within the suburb that offer family friendly rooms and dining facilities. The Holiday Inn, Novotel, Mecure, Meriton and Mantra are all there.
So next time you are looking for somewhere new to take the family for the day, why not consider Parramatta? It really is the perfect day out in Sydney.