Mills Park is a fantastic nature-based park in Beckenham that will have the children climbing, balancing, sliding and generally getting dirty in the bush surrounds.
Mills Park is home to the Mills Park Centre, a community centre available for hire, plus tennis courts and a skate park. Having a four-month old and 2.5 year old toddler, my world is currently fuelled by coffee, so I was thrilled to discover there is also a cafe on the outside of the complex, opposite the park.
I practically covered my toddler’s eyes and frog marched her past the playground to get to the coffee shop. Not only did I need my caffeine fix but my stomach was making some odd growling noises, so it was best to feed me before the ‘hangry’ stage set in. No one wants to deal with that.
Fika on Brix is a cute little café that serves breakfast and lunch and also CORNFLAKE CRISPIES! I'm English, so I don't know what they are called in Australia, but regardless, it has been years since I have seen one, let alone one for sale in a café. So, naturally, I ordered one for my toddler. She wasn’t interested (odd child) and instead insisted on eating half of my fruit and nut toast. It was so delicious, I must say, so I don’t blame her. The Cornflake Crispie came home with me and I ate it later with a cup of tea.
After scoffing the toast came a little game my toddler likes to play where she edges towards the door while looking back at me before bolting. So that was that – I took my coffee (they serve them in takeaway cups) and off we went to the playground.
The paths leading around the playground are sealed, but not the ones within the playground itself, making for a bumpy ride for my infant daughter. There are lots of log steps, structures made from treated wood, including bridges, ladders and a cubby house, plus a little tepee.
There is lots of rope play, sand play and water play. The park is surrounded by mulch, so it’s best to wear enclosed shoes or risk bringing half the park home with you in your footwear.
The park has a double flying fox, which my toddler had a go on with a little help from me. There is a roundabout and an interesting slide, which although is stone, was very slippery and so much fun for the kids to whizz down or try and climb, plus a separate mini rock climbing structure located near the entrance to the leisure centre.
You can take a walk along the boardwalk and spot some of the local wildlife, or have a seat in the one of the picnic areas.
If you’re looking for a nature playground to visit, Mills Park Nature Play Space is something a bit different to your average playground and is great for little explorers who don’t mind getting a bit dirty while they play.