Where are the best public parks in Melbourne?

With Australia Day coming up I'm looking for recommendations for Melbourne's best parks that would be suitable for a picnic gathering. If they could have free BBQ facilities, plenty of benches and good play equipment for the kiddies that'd be great too! Thanks.
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DanielW3 Jan 25, 2018
Central Reserve in Glen Waverley is a good one. Theres a lot of sports facilities there, including a big skate park, but also BBQs and a good playground.

In the same area Federal Reserve is more of a bushland park with a big off leash dog area and bike trail plus picnic tables and a playground.

For something a bit different again, the Glen Iris Wetlands near the Monash Freeway and Gardiners Creek feature some interesting interactive displays about the local ecology, plus BBQs and play equpiment.
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mrated Jan 25, 2018
If you're talking CBD then there are many parks around but I don't think anywhere offers free BBQs. There's a coin operated BBQ at Batman Park across the river from the casino but most CBD parks just offer benches, play areas, toilets and of course beautiful views. Flagstaff Gardens (top end of King St) is smallish but has plenty of shady spots to sit in plus a playground. Carlton Gardens (Museum/Imax/old exhibition building) is bigger and has better facilities (playgrounds, basketball court etc) out behind the Museum but I can't remember seeing any BBQs there. Then you've got Treasury Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens down the bottom end of Spring Street which are quite large and have many picnic spots and sites to see. There's a playground, cafe and even a miniature Tudor village and "fairy tree" near the center of Fitzroy Gardens which the kids would enjoy. Hope that helps!
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Fitzroygirl Jan 25, 2018
I grew up in the south-east and the parks I loved as a kid include:

- Jells Park in Wheelers Hill. It has 2 big playgrounds, public toilets and loads of free gas BBQs and picnic tables. They also have great walking and cycling paths.

- Bicentennial Park in Chelsea is a great one for kids. It has 2 massive slides, a giant swing, sand pit, a Smurf Village and a flying fox. It also has free sheltered BBQs and picnic tables. It backs onto the Edithvale wetlands which has great trails for walking the dog and bike riding.
There's also a food truck festival currently at Bicentennial Park https://melbournefoodfestivals.com.au/event/melbourne-street-eatz-chelsea/

- Lysterfield Lake Park is wonderful for BBQs, mountain bike riding, swimming, paddle boating, sailing and hiking. It's open from 8am to 7pm.

- St Kilda Adventure Playground (tucked off Neptune St). It features a flying fox, massive slides, trampolines, a wooden maze and a giant ship & castle. You can make bookings for bigger parties and has a BBQ and picnic area
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Freddie Seaholme Rolan Jan 25, 2018
You can't go wrong with St Kilda Botanical Gardens!

With plenty of space for activities, shade, bbq and play equipment the St Kilda Botans is your one stop shop for Australia day antics.

It's also very close to Acland, which has everything you need to ensure a good day is had.
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