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Our Favorite Playgrounds of California for Summer 2016

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Schools out for summer! We can’t believe it’s already here, our favorite time of year! Long summer days, barbeques and community bonding! But there’s always one question parents are found asking themselves – “how do I get my kids outdoors this summer?” The best ways to get your kids to put down their tech gadgets and start moving more is by visiting one of our favorite Northern California playgrounds!


Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek

Each year Miracle Playsystems brings communities together to build their dream playground. Community builds offer members of the community an opportunity to engage in projects they believe in. They are cost-effective and offer children a first-hand look at the cause and effect of hard-work and collaboration.

Miracle Playsystems hosted a community build at Paden Elementary School in Alameda with the help of the Parent Teacher Association. Prior to the community effort, the school was lacking a play structure altogether. However, Miracle’s community build program allowed Paden to design their own custom playground while saving money on labor and putting the infrastructure together on their own. One parent was surprised to learn that if you can handle “a screwdriver and a nut driver… it comes together like tinker-toys.” Another parent at Paden exclaims, “The aesthetics are beautiful… it’s an elegant design.” And — PTA president Gwen Meyer recalls deciding to organize the community build after learning of Miracle Playsystems’s exceptional designs, “Originally we were going to buy something on sale – a traditional looking play system. When we saw this, it all kind of changed!” As for the students who returned from summer vacation to experience a brand new playground, one boy describes the design as, “a piece of art because everything is so bendy and twisty,” while another is mostly excited about “the twirly thingy’s” that replicate spinning monkey bars.

Along with hosting a community build, visiting one of Northern California’s finest play areas will also provide children with an unforgettable outdoor experience this summer. Not sure where to go? We’ve put together a list of our favorite play areas. Many of these are also featured in 12 favorite playgrounds in the Bay Area, courtesy of the Mercury News.

Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Hands-on play area that allows children to build, paint and create! Kids and adults are encouraged to use their imaginations and embrace their inner engineer.


Hillside Park, Cordova Rec and Park District

photo 2

This park, designed by Stantec, brings a truly unique play experience to this new community. Instead of seeing a hill as an obstacle, the design integrates topography into the play area, by incorporating UPC concrete hill slides, hillside rope climbers and a banister slide. The park also features a swing set, multiple spinners, and a 2-5 play structure. The park is now open, so come by and be ready to play!


Martin Ray Reilly Park, Fresno



The park features a grass field for soccer and football, basketball courts, barbecue areas and two play areas. It also has a free water spray park to keep families cool during the hot summers.




John D. Morgan Park in Campbell


32 acres of play structure, water feature, picnic tables, beach volleyball courts and more — a great space for people of all ages and abilities.


Central Park Adventure Play Area, Fremont


A custom-made 28’ tree house with views of Mission Peak and Lake Elizabeth! With rickety bridges connected to decks and nets, the space has been dubbed “Robinson Crusoe” in style and adventure!


Las Palmas Park, Sunnyvalle


Callander Associates in San Jose was the designer for this park. Below are some quotes from this site’s project manager, Dave Rubin: “I really enjoyed working with Miracle Playsystems on Las Palmas to develop a Polynesian theme.” The design makes basic items creative, like taking slides and making them into lava tubes.


Kings Lion Park, LemooreBiba

This is the first Biba installation in California. Biba is a way to bring together the world of App gaming and outdoor play that have always been at odds. It provides opportunity to help parents engage with their kids more in a park setting rather than spending time detached from their kids on their smartphones.


Oak Meadow Park, Los GatosOakMeadowPark

Fully equipped with a real USAF T-33 Jet and fire engine for kids to examine, observe and play on! But, that’s not all! The park also has a train called Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad! All aboard!!!


Mission Dolores Park – Helen Diller PlaygroundMissionDoloresPark

in San Francisco includes a Super Slide of 45 feet and an elevation of 35 feet, nestled in a hillside of boulders, trees, and vegetation. The park also has a shipwrecked boat, natural climbing stone, a lateral net climber and a swing set – perfect for small children and preteens!

Koret Children’s Quarters, San FranciscoKoret

Koret Children’s Quarters in Golden Gate Park is said to be the nation’s first public playground! It has an art studio for children and a carousel dating back to 1914!


Lafayette Park in San Franciscolafayette-bottom-image

This play area, designed by Miller Company Landscape Architects, includes crawl tunnels, climbing walls, rope nets, slides and swings, bridges and boulders. This park combines the natural elements with a child’s sense of exploration.


Rotary Playgarden in San JoseRotary

Offers a play area for people of all ages and abilities! There is a traditional play area, along with water, sand, and music play areas. This space allows for all the senses to be fulfilled!


Magic Mountain Playground in Coyote Point ParkMagic

Give kids a sweet medieval escape! The dragon themed playground has a giant castle surrounded by historical exhibits like wildlife and breakwater.

Heather Farm Park in Walnut CreekHeatherFarmVideoCapture1

This gem is 30,000 square feet of play area and one of Miracle Playsystems’ finest!

Heather-Farm-(5) Heather-Farm-(11) Heather-Farm-(2)


Very soon to join this list is Beresford Park in San Mateo! Beresford Park in San Mateo, California was the area’s largest and oldest park, also in dire need of a complete makeover. The Department of Parks and Recreation partnered with Miller Company, Miracle Playsystems and the community to turn this play area into their very own wonderland.


“Miller Company’s design for the new playground is set within the sloping topography of spacious lawn and redwood trees, and is framed by natural stacked boulders promoting imaginative free form social and play activities,” explains Jeff Miller, principal and founder of Miller Company, in a news release. “Three customer designed wooden towers centrally located in the playground will rise to varying heights evoking a small rustic village.”


Topping out at 26 feet tall, the towers will provide external climbing wall events as well and are connected with monkey bars, webbed tunnel bridges, and a large wavy “Net Serpent” projecting outward from one tower. Other play features will include swings for children young and old, and a custom play structure for tots.

Beresford_001 Beresford_002


Miracle Playsystems worked with multiple manufacturers around the world to hold true to the inspired designs that Miller Company designed. Part of what will make the new park so innovative is that it will feature some incredible structure from renowned European manufacturers HAGS, whom use top of the line material in manufacturing that are well known for being high quality, durable, and eco-friendly. One of the tower structures, assembled by HAGS in their factory in Sweden, was disassembled and then shipped to San Mateo where it was reassembled.

We can’t wait for the grand opening this summer!





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