Are you looking for a place to take the kids where they can burn off some energy and then indulge in morning tea? Or an ideal spot to meet up with friends for a play date followed by lunch? Then check out these top spots in the Ipswich region.
Ripley Splash and Play
Grab the kids’ swimmers and a towel for this one – Splash ‘n’ Play at Ripley has shallow streams and small fountains for the little kids to play in and water shooters and aqua arches for the older children.
There’s also a playground with seesaws and swings, a giant twisty slide, climbing ropes and a flying fox.
A few steps away Forty West Café is open 7 days a week until 3pm and has a beautiful large deck with space for prams and plenty of highchairs on offer.
Check out their range of sweet treats from the cabinet to go with your coffee or choose from delicious breakfast and lunch items including their range of kids’ options.
You can’t go past one of the oldest parks in the area, Queens Park, which has several separate playgrounds for the kids.
There are water pumps, a fixed model train, slides, climbing net, huge flying fox and a Liberty swing.
Why not make a day of it while you’re there and take a stroll around the gardens or view some furry native animals such as wombats, dingoes, bilbies and kangaroos at the Ipswich Nature Centre.
When you need to satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst, Queens Park Café is the place to do just that. Relax on the wide verandah with a coffee or milkshake or tuck into their all-day breakfast and extensive lunch options.
The Café is open 8am until 4pm every day (kitchen closes at 3pm) and from 9am until 2pm on public holidays with the kitchen closing at 1pm.
Orion Lagoon and Robelle Domain
The spacious Orion Lagoon is the perfect place to take a dip and cool down on a summer’s day.
The interconnected pools cater for all ages, with a toddler friendly 0.3 metres to up to 1.5 metres for more experienced swimmers.
Once you’ve dried off, head across the road to the Orion Springfield Central Playground right next to the Orion Springfield Central shopping centre. The playground has climbing nets, a huge tower with slides, and there are smaller play structures including swings and recessed trampolines for the smaller children.
Robelle Domain is a park on the other side of the lagoon, with an 11-kilometre pathway and a zero-depth water play area with tipping bucket, water jets and more.
Right next to the lagoon Breakfast at Stephanies has delicious breakfast options including pancakes and a range of lunch options including burgers, wraps, seafood, loaded fries and platters.
The Café is open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 7am until 4pm on weekends.
If you’re feeling like an energy bowl and a fresh juice or smoothie after all that fun, it’s just a short walk up the hill to Raw Energy Springfield, located at the bottom of the GE Building. They are open from 7am to 2:30pm 7 days a week.
One of Springfield’s newest playgrounds is Panorama Park, located next to the Kalina Stockland Sales Office.
It has a cute toadstool house, water pump and herb gardens. There is also a tyre swing, climbing wall, sunken trampolines, seesaws, xylophone and peace pipes.
Next door The Café Kalina has delicious handmade goodies and hearty meals and even puppycinos and doggy treats for your four-legged friends. The Café is open 8am until 4pm on weekdays and 7:30am until 3:30pm on weekends.
Spring Lake Park
For shaded trees, walking and cycling paths around a beautiful lake, Spring Lake Park is the spot.
It’s also a popular spot for model boat enthusiasts to “float their boats” along the lake so it’s a great place to relax at as well.
Walk around to the northern side of the lake and jump inside the fully fenced playground called Montello Circuit Park with woodchip flooring, rocking animals, swings and a climbing structure with a slide.
Once you’re in need of a refreshment, head to Moselles Café which is on the lake – their all-day menu includes pancakes, crepes and a smashed avo on sourdough loaded with roasted tomatoes, haloumi, poached eggs, dukkah and balsamic glaze, as well as many options for the kids. The Café is dog-friendly and is open 7 days a week from 8am until 1pm.
Guilfoyles Park Waterlea
West of the Ipswich CBD in the suburb of Walloon is a relatively new estate called Waterlea.
Here you will find Guilfoyles Park with a bright red wooden steam engine with three carriages to play on, a multi-level castle, climbing net, flying fox and slides with a walking path around the playground.
To get to the park you would have driven past Phat Boyz Smokehouse and Kitchen along Parkland Drv and probably smelt their famous low and slow American BBQ.
Although it’s not right near the park, it’s worth going the extra distance for the delicious burgers, ribs, ramen and lasagne. Their kid’s menu includes a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets and mac and cheese option. They also have a range of beverages and a cabinet full of goodies. The restaurant is open 7am until 9pm 7 days a week.
Guilfoyles Park is located on the corner of Britten and Hines St, Walloon.