12 July 2011

Play Time For Big Kids. What other improvements would benefit Canberra?

| ArrEmm
Join the conversation
skate in the city

I’ve very much been enjoying the ice-skating rink in the middle of Garema Place. I haven’t slid around on it, but its mere presence is enough to make me smile as I stroll by with my feet adopting appropriate friction on the gravel. I saw someone slip over and it made me laugh out loud, and I thought to myself ‘if that ice rink hadn’t been there, I might have gone the whole day without laughing at someone else’s misfortune’. Bless that rink.

The embarrassment of others isn’t the only reason I like it. I like it because there’s a lot of space in Canberra, and very little of it is used with the hope of people enjoying themselves on it. True, there’s an abundance of park land which provides the opportunity to engage in recreational activities such as Frisbee and games involving balls and such, but that relies on the average person being motivated enough to first come up with the idea and then follow through with it. The ice-rink is great because it tells you how to have fun. It takes care of the imagination part for you!

It seems that the older you get, the less fun you’re expected to have. When’s the last time you jumped around on a playground and discovered that your arse is too big for both the swings and the slide? When’s the last time you used a big cardboard box for a spaceship or a cubby? It could be the ‘real world’ destroying your playful imagination or it could just be that there are no adult sized playgrounds.

The ice-rink is a good start, but far from enough. I’d like to see public land put to better use. Putt Putt mini-golf on the lawns of Parliament House, an adult-arse sized slippery-dip from the top of Black Mountain Tower, tyre swings from every tree in Glebe Park, mandatory Nerf guns in all offices, and for god’s sake, resize the Garema chess pit to its former glory.

What other things can we do to make Canberra more fun?

black mountain slide

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

If you’re game, ride down from Ainslie, or Black Mountain on your bike. Gravity takes you the whole way, and its quite an experience.

wildturkeycanoe said :

In short, civilization has gone to $h!^ [pardon the expression, but then again, that seems to be the only thing we are allowed to [encouraged to] do nowadays.

Time for your medication Old man Wildturkeycanoe, we don’t want to get cranky before nap time do we? Other than that I fully agree with what you are saying and the good old days ain’t like they used to be.

Seems like the only thing one can do nowadays is strip naked and cover oneself in compost, run out into the streets raving about the gay Martians in their pink phallic UFOs come to take over the world and tackling every bin in the street until………what is that? A letterbox?! You have to sit right down and have a very loud argument with it. Lots of swearing, ranting and gibberish. Until the home owner calls the police on you, that is the time to mount said letter box and gnaw on it like a rabid gypsy until the police arrive and you run away. But you aren’t finished there…no no. Grab your cowboy hat and ride the top of that police car like an A-bomb until you get tazered off and dragged away by the men with the butterfly nets and white coats to that nice padded cell without your rainbow shoelaces and glow in the dark belt where you aren’t a danger to anyone any more. Then…finally….you can get some rest. Ah.

wildturkeycanoe10:21 pm 12 Jul 11

1. How about fishing that doesn’t cost $25 per year, making what I catch worth twice as much as Atlantic salmon.
2. Shoot air rifles – without the need for such complex scrutiny by the law [you can pay $2 for 3 shots at the local town show and win a prize every time]
3. Backyard bonfires. Anyone remember the joy of burning stuff without needing a permit or having the fun police ruin the night????
4. Ride a bike without a helmet. Been doing it for near 40 years and never once got near concussion. Other scars were worth every penny. [And for those advocating helmets – if my head hits a car bonnet with enough force to cause brain damage or death, what’s it going to do to my spine??? Huh??? A bit o foam aint gonna keep ME alive as a vegetable and a burden]
5. Fit a noisy exhaust to a car – SAFETY ISSUE – the number of times I’ve nearly stepped out to be hit by something I can’t hear coming!!! Quiet cars are a menace to society. Plus, with the stereo turned up, I can’t hear when to change gears. It’s a downright tragedy.[If I haven’t got a tacho, yes it’s an issue and NO, I won’t turn down the half hour I get every day to and from work to blast out my eardrums to the likes of Joe Satriani – I need some personal time to do what I want]
6. Make our speed limits another 20km/h slower. what could it hurt? [expressions of sarcasm oozing from my face and dribbling onto the keyboard]
7. Slippery slide from top of mount Ainslie, over the War Memorial, turning ever so elegantly aside the Carillon to dump everyone into the next lovely piece of legislation that parliament house can drop us in.
8. Put great big inflatable number ‘8’s on every roundabout in Canberra. Just because we can.
9. Bring back Atari. I love a good game of asteroid on a black and white tele.
10. Just let kids have fun. Let them explore more than just the cityscape. Go bush and cut trees and stuff with a machete. Build a dam in a small creek. Catch yabbies. Make a small log cabin. Eat wood grubs roasted on a fire. Eat yabbies boiled in a billy. Make tea out of tea tree leaves. Make tree houses, rope swings, BMX jumps out of old pallets or mounds of dirt. Scavenge the tip for cool stuff like old bikes you can do up to jump over things.
I could go on and on about what I did as a kid and thrice as many will condemn me for for my deliberations. But I can already see the rapid degradation of our society to the point where the next generation will be totally reliant on the government for every need, because the things we can do to keep ourselves alive as individuals have become lost….and we are slaves to the system. No longer can we leave the cities because we cannot cut trees, we cannot eat from the “protected ecosystems”, we aren’t allowed to defend ourselves from anything because the government will do that for us, for our own safety.
In short, civilization has gone to $h!^ [pardon the expression, but then again, that seems to be the only thing we are allowed to [encouraged to] do nowadays.

A dragstrip/motor racing circuit would be great 🙂

Ice Blocking down the APH lawns, please.

Safer than Paintball, doesn’t hurt as much, much more fun. (and somehow illegal)

oh, and I keep meaning to check out “Make. Hack. Void.” – ’cause that sounds pretty cool too…

drift trikes.. for sure… My metal work class had a go at building some of these this past term…

Geo-caching is great fun, and especially easy to get into now, especially if you have a smart phone… with more than 1000 caches placed around Canberra…

luther_bendross3:27 pm 12 Jul 11

candelabra said :

scavenger hunts…

I found three on Sunday giving a press conference: Gillard, Swan and Combet. What do I win?

I’ve long thought that Canberra would be a perfect place for extreme gravity car racing. Fun for all ages, and the best part is that being almost silent the NIMBYs can’t whinge about the noise interrupting their afternoon book club meeting.


I love to have fun! Mini golf could be cool. I like the idea of the slide too 😉

Swings that everyone can fit in would be a good start, the ones found in most places but a rare few aren’t kind to lady hips.

Something like the old tree houses in Kambah’s Adventure playground would be awesome (not as dodgy). Flying foxes of adult size, scavenger hunts…

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.