Margaret Mahy Playground

IMG_0072For those unfamiliar with Down the Back of the Chair, The Great White Man-Eating Shark, and The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate, Margaret Mahy was a prolific author of children’s books and young adult novels. She lived just over the hill from Christchurch, in Governor’s Bay from the late 1970s until her death in 2012.

Her books are quirky, adventuresome, and often wildly creative.

The recently opened Margaret Mahy Playground is also quirky, adventuresome, and creative.

We don’t frequent playgrounds anymore—our kids are mostly past the age where they insist on playground stops—but when we were in town the other day to visit the (finally) reopened art museum, we decided to check out the new playground.

IMG_0084Water, sand, a flying fox, climbing structures, the “fastest slide ever” (according to my daughter who flew off the end of it like a champagne cork), and a hill marked with contour lines…Horrakapotchkin! The playground was awesome. Even my too-cool-for-playgrounds teenage son went down the slide (twice), sent water through the sluice system, and delighted to find the sensors that turned on sprays of water.

Best of all, there is a path out the back of the playground down to a dock on the river.

The only downside to the playground is that all the surfaces are concrete or rubber mat. A necessary choice of materials, I’m sure—even on the chilly, rainy day we visited, the playground was crowded. Grass would be trampled to death in a day.

One of the best playgrounds I’ve ever seen, and a great tribute to Margaret Mahy.

2 thoughts on “Margaret Mahy Playground

  1. Crowded you say. Your photos say otherwise. We went today and would not have managed to get a shot with so few people in it! William loved it but Josie found it all a bit overwhelming and wanted to leave. Coen; a bit small just yet. I liked the grassy knolls, except of course they were all raised high with concrete edges to provide seats for adults which as a toddler he kept heading to.


    • It was still pretty early in the day when we got there, and folks were arriving as we were. I snapped a few pictures before it got busy, and also did my best to keep other kids out of my shots.


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