Playgroups in Darwin, Palmerston and the surrounds

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A Playgroup is a relaxed sessions where parents, caregivers and children can play, learn and socialise in a fun environment. There are many different types of playgroups available which are listed below. Playgroups are a service for children and babies generally between the ages of 0-5 years and play an important role in getting children ready for school. Playgroups are a great way to socialise with your baby and child and meet other parents.

Playgroups are a great way to make sure that babies and children are developing across all their areas, with strong social, language and motor skills, and that parents and caregivers have the support and networks for their family. This is important in Darwin where a lot of family do not have their extended family support here. We have rounded up some great playgroups available in Darwin, Northern Suburbs, Palmerston and the Rural area.

Playgroup Association Northern Territory

Playgroup Northern Territory supports young families to learn and grow through play. Their mission is to promote and develop fun, educational experiences for babies and children through community playgroups, and to provide information and support networks for families. Playgroup NT offers playgroups that are supported by their staff (supported playgroups), and others that are led by volunteers (community playgroups like Rossitor Street Playgroup). There are playgroups held in many locations to suit a wide range of needs, and more information can be found on their About Playgroups page. Members can start their own playgroup by contacting Playgroup NT.

Early Birds Darwin and Palmerston

Early bird groups are for mothers and partners to meet from birth up to the baby turning eight weeks old. Early Birds operates at Casuarina (Casuarina Plaza, corner Trower Road and Vanderlin Drive) and Palmerston clinics (Palmerston Health Precinct, corner Temple Terrace and Roystonea Avenue). Contact Casuarina Clinic 8922 7301 or Palmerston clinic 8999 3344 for dates and times of Early Birds.

Territory Parent Support (TPS)

From nine weeks onwards there is a Territory Parent Support (TPS) group. The group has different topics and speakers. Territory Support Group runs at the Casuarina Clinic and a similar group called Baby Birds Group at the Palmerston Clinic. See above for address/contact details.

Playgroups in Darwin and Northern Suburbs

Fun Bus – Darwin Mobile Playgroup

The Fun Bus mobile playgroup caters for children aged 0-5. It travels to venues throughout Darwin’s suburbs and is in a different location each day of the week happening from 9.30 am to 11.30 am. Fun bus provides water, sunscreen and loads of fun but ensure you bring along your hats and sun safe clothes. The staff who run the playgroup set up different activities every couple of weeks. There are often different play experiences for all the age groups. Also a dedicated babies mat and other stations. Read this blog for more info on Fun Bus

Sonseekers Playgroup Casuarina

Sonseekers playgroup meets from 9:30am to around 11:30am on Tuesday and Thursday each week including school holidays, although there is a short break around Christmas. They are affiliated with the Playgroup Association of the Northern Territory. Sonseekers playgroup caters for children from birth to four years of age. They also try to cater for older siblings during the school holidays. There is a range of play opportunities for children both inside and outside in the fenced yard. Parents can help their children with activities like painting and craft. A shared morning tea is served at around 10:30am. Playgroup often finishes with a session of singing and playing musical instruments. The playgroup is located at the Casuarina Uniting Church building, 45 Vanderlin Drive, Wanguri. For more information contact Roslyn on (08) 8927 1746

St Mary’s Playgroup

St Mary’s Playgroup runs on Wednesdays from 9.30-11.30am (school terms only) held at Mary MacKillop Hall. St Marys Catholic Primary School is located on Lindsay Street Darwin CBD.  St Mary’s playgroup is the only playgroup in the Darwin CBD registered with Playgroup Northern Territory. Their playgroup sessions allow children to explore through play, enjoy story time, morning tea and create a masterpiece too! These sessions are open to families outside of the school and cater for babies and toddlers of all ages. Please enter via the Parish entrance from Smith Street. For more information contact the school on 8981 9796.

Milkwood Steiner School Playgroup

Milkwood Playgroups are held in a home-like environment which nurtures the senses. Their program is play-based with rhythmical qualities incorporating songs, stories, rhymes and seasonal festivals. They aim to create a peaceful haven for a child’s development to naturally unfold and where both parent and child can experience the joy of meaningful connections. Contact the school for more information of days and times 8947 0608.

Rossitor Street Playgroup – Nightcliff

A safe and secure environment for children and parents to come on a weekly basis. Located at 5 Rossitor Street Nightcliff. There are a variety of age groups sessions/days/times. To view the current timetable and sessions check their Facebook page They have great facilities including indoor & outdoor play areas, toys & play equipment for all ages, art & craft supplies, kitchen & toilet facilities. To attend Rossitor Street Playgroup you will need to become a member of Playgroup Association NT – click here currently only $20 for a year membership.

Anula Primary School Playgroup

From 8.30am to 11am on odd weeks the Anula School playgroup will be held in the after school care room – Area 10. For more information call 8999 77 500 or visit the front office. Current upcoming playgroup dates (30th March, 20th April, 4th May, 18th May, 1st June and 15th June).

Darwin Toy Library

The Darwin Toy Library opened its doors in 1978 as an organisation to assist families of children who had additional needs. The families were and continue to be supported through access to equipment and appropriate toys to enhance the growth and development of their children who required additional support. The Toy Library provided members with a wider variety of toys and equipment to borrow reducing the financial burden of purchasing large or specialist items and allowing multiple families to benefit from each item. The Darwin Toy Library also has a sensory space available for members. Their Sensory Space is available for all members and can be booked by contacting the Toy Library in advance and can have a changing theme as requested. Additional Needs members are able to request a setup that meets their individual needs in the room at the time of their booking by speaking with the Toy Library staff. For more information, membership and opening hours view their website

NT Multiple Birth Club

The club formed in July 1983 when a few parents of multiples got together to offer each other advice, help and support. The club holds regular events for families with multiples and also hold a playgroup.  Playgroup sessions and have a chat in a child-friendly environment with people who know what you are going through. Currently playgroup is held on Thursdays 2pm-4pm – at Rossiter Street Playgroup, 5 Rossiter St Rapid Creek. Check or message the NTMBC Facebook Page to confirm playgroup and event times.

Palmerston Playgroups

PALS – Supported Playgroup, an all abilities playgroup promoting inclusivity 

The PALS playgroup is held on Thursday’s – Session 1 at 9am – 10:30am. Session 2 at 11:30am – 1pm at the Driver Family Resource Centre, 29 Driver Avenue, Driver. For more information contact Leanne on 8945 7775 or email playconnect@playgroupnt.com.au

Frangipani Friends Playgroup

Frangipani Friends is for families who may be experiencing post-natal depression and/or anxiety. This playgroup welcomes children between the ages of 0-5 years. Frangipani Friends provides parents and caregivers with a friendly, safe and non-judgmental environment for connection, support, and attachment with child/ren. Families can discuss their journeys with others who have similar experiences and can learn about further support services from Playgroup NT staff. Techniques for developing attachment between parent/caregiver and child/ren are available. Frangipani Friends is a welcoming space where post-natal depression and/or anxiety are understood and supported. Frangipani Friends is held every Wednesday during school terms from 9am-11am at the Driver Family Resource Centre, 29 Driver Avenue, Driver. To attend Frangipani Friends Playgroup you will need to become a member of Playgroup Association NT – click here currently only $20 for a year membership. For more information contact Trudie at Playgroup NT on (08) 8945 7775.

CALD Playgroup

The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) playgroup is focused on families who speak languages other than English or who belong to a minority culture. This could mean cultures from international regions or Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Parents, caregivers and children between the ages of 0-5 years are welcome at CALD Playgroups. CALD playgroup is delivered every Monday during school terms from 9am – 11am at the Driver Family Resource Centre, Driver, Palmerston. For more information contact Trudie at Playgroup NT, 8945 7775.

Mainly Music

Each mainly music has been designed for enjoyment run at Palmerston Christian School, Wednesdays during school terms 9 – 10.30 am. Weekly sessions, are full of fun, educational music and musical activity to grow and develop your child, followed by something to eat and something to play with, plus time for you to eat and chat! $5 per family per session. Contact Nicole for more information on 0408 152 869.

Wellbeing Wednesdays – The Smith Family

Held at Gray Primary School (22 Victoria Dr, Gray) from 8am to 11:30am, all families are welcome to attend with children aged 0-5. For more information contact Tamara 8932 1700.

Play2Learn Playgroups

Play2Learn playgroups provide Palmerston families with a friendly and welcoming program that encompasses both early childhood education and parenting support. Staff are qualified early childhood educators and family support workers and work collaboratively with Child & Family Health nurses to provide an outreach clinic within the playgroup for families convenience. The playgroups are free to attend and morning tea is provided. Contact Jacquey Blake on 0439328992 for more information and to check days and times.

Play2Learn sessions currently include:

  • Tuesdays 9am-11am – Driver Play2Learn (0-5yrs) held at Driver Resource Centre 29 Driver Ave.
  • Wednesday 9am-11am – Baby Play2Learn (0-12 months only) held at Palmerston Child & Family Centre, 2 Brennan Crt Farrar.
  • Thursdays 9-am11am-  Moulden Play2Learn (0-5yrs) held at Moulden Preschool Rm, 2 Bonson Tce.
  • Friday 9am-11am – Mamili Play2Learn (0-5 yrs Indigenous focused playgroup) held at Moulden Preschool Rm2, Bonson Tce.

Little Lambs Playgroup

Held on Wednesdays, 9:00am-10:30am at Good Shepherd Lutheran College Palmerston, 5/13 Emery Ave, Woodroffe NT 0830. Contact Catherine on 8983 0300

Various Area Playgroups

Families As First Teachers (FaFT)

Families as First Teachers (FaFT) – Are teacher supported playgroups for children and families from 0—4 years with Learning Games, Conversational Reading, Enriched Care Giving and Parent Capacity Building. FaFT connects with local communities to provide positive learning experiences for families and young children. FaFT is centered on care givers and children having positive learning experiences together, becoming part of a school community and building their capacity as a family.

Currently there are FaFT playgroups at Ludmilla School (Narrows Rd, Ludmilla, 89 83 78 88)  Wulagi (24 Brolga St, Wulagi, 0428 650 238) and Palmerston Child and Family Centre (2 Brennan Ct, Farrar, 89 41 4966) Call to check days and times of FaFT playgroups.

Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) Darwin, Palmerston and rural group

Providing mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding mothers and their families. The ABA Darwin, Palmerston and Rural group have get together events/playgroups/info sessions for Mothers and their babies and children. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events or contact details here

Rural Playgroups

Smile-A-Mile Fun Bus and Toy Library – Rural Darwin and Remote

Smile-A-Mile Toy Library, based in Bees Creek NT,  have an extensive range of toys and play equipment for borrowing with membership options available. The Toy Library is re-open with NO BOOKINGS NEEDED. Returning and borrowing toys will be available to do during our normal toy library hours. Click here for more information

Smile-A-Mile Fun Bus provide art and craft activities and a range of toys and equipment for fun, enjoyment and development challenges and learning opportunities. Smile-A-Mile Fun Bus venues include: Humpty Doo Village Green; Living Water Op Shop Humpty Doo; Territory Wildlife Park Berry Springs; Berry Springs Recreation Reserve; Batchelor Oval; Wagait Beach; Belyuen Community; Middle Point School; Douglas Daly School; Daly River; Pine Creek School; and Jabiru Lake.

Smile-A-Mile Fun bus is  FREE for Toy Library members – gold coin donation for non-members. For venue locations and dates check their Facebook page for updates

Adelaide River Playgroup

Adelaide River Playgroup is held every Tuesday 8:30am-10:30am at the Community Access Shed, Swannel Street, Adelaide River (next to Adelaide River Primary School). For more information contact Sara 0407 013 342 on or email rural@playgroupnt.com.au

Berry Springs Playgroup

Berry Springs Playgroup is held on Wednesdays, 8:30am-10:30am at the Berry Springs Recreation Reserve, Cox Peninsula Road. Contact Sara 0407 013 342 or email rural@playgroupnt.com.au

Girraween Playgroup (community)

Girraween Playgroup is held on Thursdays 8:30am-10:30am, Girraween Pre-school. Contact Sara on 0407 013 342 or email rural@playgroupnt.com.au

Howard Springs Playgroup (community)

The Howard Springs Playgroup is held on Tuesdays, 8:30am-10:30am at Howard Springs Pre-school Parent’s Room. Contact Sara on 0407 013 342 or email rural@playgroupnt.com.au

PALS (Supported Playgroup, an all abilities playgroup promoting inclusivity) Rural

The PALS rural playgroup is held on Wednesdays, 9am – 10:30am at Howard Springs Primary School, 295 Whitewood Road, Howard Springs. Contact Sara on  0407 013 342 or email rural@playgroupnt.com.au

Fred’s Pass Reserve Playgroup

Fred’s Pass Reserve playgroup is held on Tuesdays, 9:00am-11:30am at Lakeview Hall, Bees Creek Road, Contact Jess via email fdrplaygroup@gmail.com or thorugh their Facebook page

Batchelor Playgroup

The Batchelor Playgroup is held on Fridays,  9:00am-12:00pm at the Batchelor Area School – Pre-School area. Contact Batchelor Area School on 8976 0008 for more information.

Douglas Daly Playgroup

The Douglas Daly playgroup is held on the first Thursday of every month. At 10:00am-11:00am at the Douglas Daly Community Hall. Contact Sara on 0407 013 342 or email rural@playgroupnt.com.au

We hope this list of playgroups has given you some ideas and places to go and visit with your little one! If you hold a playgroup that has not been included, please get in touch to be included info@darwinfamilylife.com.au

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