IT'S mid-afternoon, and Nicole Davy and her children Lincoln, 2, and Cordelia, 4, are enjoying their favourite time of day.
It's cool and breezy and they have an entire playground to themselves.
"Gladstone is our second home," Mrs Davy said.
"My husband works for the government and so we are here for a week or two every month."
Mrs Davy said that over the past four years, Gladstone had evolved into a mecca for families, with free activities at every corner.
"We've spent all of our Christmas's and New Year's here over that time," she said.
"I'm so impressed with how everything has become a lot more family friendly.
"Barney Point is beautiful now, whereas the library was the only place I would go when Cordelia was a baby."
The young Davy family say that since the opening of East Shores, all of the best playgrounds were near empty.
The Marina Parklands playground is the kids' favourite, however, because it has the most slides - three in total.
They don't want to be too specific in case flocks of kids catch onto their secret.
Mrs Davy said the Gladstone she will visit 12 times a year in 2014 is a much more attractive town than back in 2010.
"Gladstone doesn't feel like a working town anymore," she said.
"There are a lot of immigrant families, all making the best out of the beautiful areas here. It's lovely to see."