Slide The Square
Federation Square has once again become the home to an inflatable water slide! Cool off this summer as you Slide The Square.
When: 4 January – 15 January | Daily | 10am – 8pm | 50 minute sessions. Last session at 7pm.
Where: Federation Square, Swanston Street MELBOURNE
Cost: Child $20 (under 15), adult $29.95 and family $85 (2 adults & 2 children) plus booking fee $3.95, buy tickets at Fed Square or online here or at the ticket desk on the day.
This is our review from last year’s event – but we have been again in 2017 and had even more fun (as it was a super hot day and surprisingly the queue wasn’t too bad).
Water slides are fun – as are slip ‘n’ slides; Slide the Square marries together the slip ‘n’ slide and a water slide and the result is guaranteed to make you smile.
For the purpose of this review I took along four mini reviewers aged 7-10 and they all had a blast.. and they didn’t mind that (typical Melbourne) it was 19C and overcast (at least it wasn’t windy as well).
There is no age limit, but sliders do have to be 110cm or taller.
When we arrived we made the rookie mistake of being lured up to the slide structure – the kids couldn’t wait to see it. Turns out first you need to register and get wristbands down at the registration and ticket box, located at the Swanston Street entrance of Fed Square.
Given our session had already started, as soon as the kids had their wristbands secured on their wrists they stripped off to their bathers, in the middle of Fed Square, flinging clothing and shoes at me as they raced each other to the entrance and into the queue to have their first turn – other than occasionally waving at me I didn’t see them again until I had finished all my photography and joined them for a slide.
The queue was about 4 minutes long – my crew had more than 10 goes each, and given we were 10 minutes late they would have probably had about 15 goes all up if they’d had the full 50 minutes. When the time was up they were perfectly satisfied – but had there been no time limit I am sure we would have been there another hour (or until someone was hungry!).
If you haven’t come already dressed in your bathers there are changing facilities (which we used to change back into our dry clothes at the end). Located next to the change rooms is a cloak check – you can leave your valuables and bags here (it is always monitored) but there is a fee of $5 to use it – the lady on duty today took pity on me and let me check my three bags as one, it wasn’t very busy at the time however I did get the impression that usually it’s $5 per bag.
The nearest toilets are the regular Fed Square toilets – located near the Time Out cafe and inside in the Atrium.
The slide itself is 75m long. If you’re not game to take a running leap to take off then the attendants will give you a push off – dotted along the slide (this seemed to vary, but mostly at the 25m and 50m mark) there were other attendants who were on hand to give any slow sliders an extra push. The smaller the kid the less momentum they gained along the way and so extra pushing made it more thrilling – I discovered I needed no extra pushing!! After my initial take off push, I literally flew down the hill and hit the water like I was attached to a speed boat.
At the bottom of the hill/slide is a final attendant who is on hand to stop the sliders with the giant white swan (see photos!) mostly so they don’t end up in the calve-deep pool at the end. He was kind of like a goalkeeper – except when I came down and he was playing with my kids and I flew passed him straight into the water spraying water onto the people nearby!
There were quite a few people sliding in their clothes – which is allowed – but I would recommend you only do this if a) you don’t mind ending up drenched in your clothes or b) you have a change of clothes! And while the water on the slide is only about 4mm deep, from my own experience afterward even my hair was wet. I was very glad to have a towel to dry off with (although today it was a cool morning, so I can imagine on a hot day it would only be a matter of minutes before you dried off). We all went in our bathers and in our session 85% of the other sliders did too.
And there’s an odd experience I never expected to have – after I dropped off the bags and my clothes to the cloak check I had to walk across Fed Square (all of 25m, so not a huge distance) barefoot and in my bathers and then proceed up to the slide entrance. I am glad I managed to have a go as it was heaps of fun – I very quickly forgot the audience of tourists and passersby, and the kids were totally stoked to have their adult joining in the fun, especially since I beat them down the hill and got the wettest!
Watch a little video on Instagram here.