‘I’ll meet you at Stickybeaks’ is a phrase Perth mums utter as often as ‘pick up your Lego’ and ‘whose underpants are these?’
Technically Stickybeaks is the café while the playground is actually Ivey Watson, which are both located in the LotteryWest Family Area. Confused? That’s why everyone just calls the whole lot ‘Stickybeaks’.
Centrally located in Kings Park, Stickybeaks is one of Perth’s favourite gated playgrounds, except for one small detail. While the entire area is fenced (and it’s a big area), there isn’t actually a gate, leaving two access points through which kids can escape (they can also escape via the café).
The play area for the smallest children
The baby and toddler area, is at the far end of the playground, located by itself in a corner, meaning that it is less likely to be overrun by older kids, and harder for kids to escape. In this area, which is shaded with trees and a permanent roof, is a swing, sandpit, and small slide and climbing area, perfect for the smallest of kids.
The pirate ship
In theory, the entire playground is meant to be for children aged six and younger (older kids get the Synergy Playground on the other side of Kings Park) and it has a range of equipment that makes it suitable for toddlers all the way up to early school aged children.
The castle is surrounded by sand and shade
At the lower end there is a huge sandpit with a pirate ship and castle. The castle has slides and wobbly bridges and is shaded, while the awesome pirate ship is exposed to the sun. Nearby are two sets of tube slides built into the rocky walls and swing sets over soft-play.
The upper level climbing equipment
On the upper level (connected by pram-friendly ramps) is a maze, a bank of swings, a popular climbing area and the ever-popular airplane and fire engine, whose rattling bell can be heard on the breeze for miles. For kids who need some time out, there are even some large, all-weather books which you can flip through in the shade, or some cool noise-making instruments which even adults love to have a go at.
It is common for mothers groups to settle in the shade on the grassy area in the middle of the playground. The easy access to Stickybeaks Café (which offers coffee, cakes, ice-creams as well as breakfast and lunch) as well as the kid-sized toilets, means you can easily stay a while. (Note: adult toilets are outside, around the rear of the café, meaning you have to bring your kids with you, or leave them (hopefully with a friend) in the playground while you duck out the back).
A covered area with seating has special equipment for babies and new walkers, and a large area you can hire for parties
Parking is easy with access off Kings Park Road, and when the nearest carpark fills up (which it tends to do during school holidays), there is more parking around the edge of the larger LotteryWest Family Area.
If you have small kids who like to wander, don’t plan on being able to sit down for a leisurely coffee and chat. This is a big playground and you can’t see it all at once, and as mentioned, there are points at which kids can escape.
Although Perth is now flush with incredible new playgrounds and adventure parks, all of which probably outshine the simplicity of the aging Stickybeaks (it was last refurbished in 2006), its beautiful outlook, extensive shade trees and the fact it is specially designed for younger children, means it will always remain a firm favourite.
For more reviews of parks and playgrounds in Perth, click here.
Essential Information Stickybeaks Café open weekdays (8am-4pm) and weekends (8am-5pm)
Access via Kings Park Road, opposite Outram St, West Perth