There's a new play centre on the block and you'll probably (definitely) want to take your kids.

The minute you enter Nubo, you are aware it is not your average play centre. It is an “innovative new educational play space” said to be the first of its kind in Australia.

The massive indoor space in Sydney’s industrial Alexandria has been designed with adults and children in mind. Classical music plays from high ceilings as children read inside a glass replica air-balloon and upstairs children play with wood toys.

At first glance, it’s like something out of the pages of Home Beautiful magazine.

The reading room complete with glass air balloon. Image supplied.

In these surroundings, you feel well dressed even with your shoes off.

Sydneysider Johnny, who was there on a Wednesday with two-year-olds Mac and Lulu, said he loved Nubo's beautiful design.

"It is so strange to come into a place for children that's pleasant for the adults to actually be in, as opposed to being surrounded by plastic crap," he told Mamamia.

Tracy Harrison, the centre's Imagination Manager, gave me a tour of Nubo's playrooms and explained their purpose.

"One of the premises that sits behind Nubo is seeing children as capable and confident and seeing them as equal contributors and we want to see children being viewed that way, so we've got some design features that do that," she said.


All the play areas including reception, the reading room, the dramatic play room and the blue room are set up so children can participate - books are within reach, quality toys are accessible and eye-level conversations are encouraged.

Harrison says the centre has three types of offerings - free-play, facilitated play and workshops.

With free-play the rooms are set up for children and adults to use as they wish, in facilitated play an educator will be in the room and workshops - like art and music sessions - are the most structured offering.

"The concept started from a place of social isolation because they wasn't a place that was equally focusing on the adult and child, so we try and create a space here which is calm but is also enjoyable for both," says Harrison.

"We're ticking a lot of boxes here and we're taking that holistic approach. We don't just tick the physical box, we're ticking the literacy box, arts, physical play - you can do it all."

Dramatic play is set up as something familiar. Image supplied.

Childcare educator Kelly was also there on a Wednesday for a first visit with her two sons under two-years-old, Cooper and Harry.


"I'm blown away. It's beautiful aesthetically, absolutely stunning.  The boys are already engaged even though it's noisy and busy," she said.

"The way it set up it's very child orientated and it's aesthetically pleasing. Everything's on their level and ready for them to explore and play so they can use their hands.

"A lot the toys are beautiful and sturdy things you don't normally see at an average play centre."

Kelly's two boys were happily playing in the construction area of an upstairs room that was filled with wood toys my son had never seen before.

Charlie's favourite toy at Nubo. Image supplied.

"We are careful to make sure most of our toys are gender neutral," said the centre's imagination manager.

"Some of that is around the way people perceive it, so they might look at this room and think it is a boy's room but that's not our intention.  It is around incorporating and keeping things as gender neutral as we can."

After spending two hours at Nubo my son, Charlie, gave his own review by running towards the ball pit as I tried to leave.

"Mummy, I want to go to noodleboats [Nubo] again, again, again," he said before passing out for a lunch-time nap in the car on the way home.

For further information visit Nubo online -

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