Yesterday my son turned 5. To celebrate we held a Mad Hatters Tea Party for him at Sugarworld Gardens. He had 30 of his closest friends there (wish I was that popular) and all of the parents came too. I would love to post some pictures but can't as I was having so much fun I forgot to take my camera out of my bag!! Whoops.
The day was damp and dreary, the sun was nowhere to be seen. The playground was wet and soggy, and we had to set up his 'picnic' under the new shed-like building near the car park. The kids didn't care. They decided that the slide goes faster when wet and the rain was not too cold. The three legged race featured all who were there and as long as the food stayed dry, nobody was complaining.
There are not many areas in Cairns, on either side, where you could have a party in the rain. Not many have a space that is covered that will fit 50 people under it comfortably. If I had decided to hold the party anywhere else, I would have been forced to cancel.
Sugarworld Gardens and Sugarworld Slides are both pretty much all-weather venues. The fact that we have more rain here than most places in Australia dictates that we need spaces like these to be functioning and available all year round.
What I did notice however, was that the Gardens are more suited to wet days than dry ones at the moment. The playgrounds are not covered, meaning they can't be used on hot days (and we get plenty of them too). The Slides have been shut down for months of consultation, design issues and budgeting restrictions so that even the small play pools are no longer available.
The Gardens are about to get a major upgrade with a new playground going in (or at least, it's supposed to go in.). It's been talked about and consulted on for a few years now and we all think it's time to get on with it. If this is not possible, time to put new shade covers up!!
Slides need to be decided on quickly and the building of them completed asap. This is not something that should be unavailable over the Christmas break but I have serious doubts about the immediate future of the venue. Both parts of this much used family friendly facility need re-builds. Can we please do that before building any more unnecessary sporting arenas.