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It’s Summertime! Time to Get Outside and Play!

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Can you believe it’s Summer already?  Summertime has got to be a kid’s favorite time of the year!  School is out, fun vacations are planned, tons of time to hang out with friends, swimming all day and spending tons of time outdoors.  Sometimes, however, it can be a challenge to get your kids off the couch and out of the house.  You might need some inspiration on a new, fun, inexpensive activity to get them outside and having good old fashioned fun in the sun.  California is full of fun playgrounds!  It can be overwhelming trying to decide where to go.  Let us help you by highlighting some of our favorite places to play in various regions of Northern and Central California.  We selected these playgrounds for a variety of reasons – great design aesthetic, all abilities play, designs for all ages but most of all kids LOVE them and they are super FUN!

Sacramento Region

Foulks Park

9433 Trenholm Drive, Elk Grove

Color, color and more color! This playground has it all! Located in Elk Grove near Donner Elementary School, Foulks park has an adventurous 5-12 structure for kids to climb, slide and spin.  A tall twisted tube slide comes off an 8’ high deck! Linked play is featured with Jax climbers and pods as well as a gravity net cube. The 2-5 structure is built so kids can practice their climbing and balancing with the custom letter and number blocks. The park has a little library feature that has some custom book benches. If you take a book you leave an old book for someone else to enjoy.

Other amenities include: baseball field, multi-purpose fields, picnic areas with BBQ’s, softball field, tennis courts and a walking track.

McClatchy Park

3500 5th Avenue, Sacramento

McClatchy Park’s renovation was completed on it’s 125 year anniversary (1889 to 2014). The renovation included children’s theme playgrounds as well as an “Oak Park/Joyland“ entry archway based on McClatchy’s amusement park history. The structure in the older children’s playground is designed to look like the original wooden roller coaster, “Scenic Railway;” also included is a streetcar with trolley tracks and larger than life popcorn, ice cream cone, and candy apple sculptures. The tot lot looks like a carnival area, with a miniature railway, and has a small zoo of life-size concrete animals. The water spray structures are carousel-themed.

Other amenities include: Basketball courts, butterfly garden with interpretive signs, Disk golf course (9 hole), jogging path with fitness equipment, picnic pavilion, skate park, tennis courts and water play area.

Quarry Park Adventures

4060 Rocklin Rd, Rocklin

Quarry Park Adventures, set to open later this summer, will feature attractions like a three-level aerial ropes course, rock climbing stations and 2,800 feet of zip lines that can reach speeds of over 30 miles per hour. At Quarry Kids’ Kove, little ones will find over 30 challenges, from balance beams and cargo nets to zip lines scaled to their size. Nearby, there’s a free-fall attraction and the Giant King Swing, which will catapult daring adults 120 feet over the rim of the quarry.  The park will implement antique elements like mining machinery from the Gold Rush era, hearkening back to the history of the site, which was once known as Capitol Quarry, or Big Gun Quarry. The quarry opened in 1864 and once supplied granite to buildings like the State Capitol and the U.S. Mint in San Francisco before it ceased operations in 2005.  In addition to a lake dotted with paddle boats and surrounded by covered picnic areas, the family-friendly park will feature a central gathering place in the form of The Roundhouse & Cutting Shed, which will contain five restaurants, a gift shop and a 2,000-square-foot deck overlooking the quarry.

Quarry Park, which is located next to the new Adventure Park, is a central gathering place and picturesque setting for community events, concerts in the park, quiet walks through nature, and active play with a play structure and little wooden train.

Rick Gonzalez Sr. Park

2109 Miekle Avenue, Woodland

Rick Gonzalez Sr. Park is a brand new park in Woodland and is located near Woodland Community College and Pioneer High School.  The park includes a perimeter path and running trail, fitness stations, large picnic shelter, restroom, sand play area, informal ballfields, non-traditional playground complete with rocks and ropes course and a zipline which is a big attraction to the kids in the neighborhood. A future phase will include a basketball court, tennis courts and parking lot.

Bay Area

Cordelia Community Park

1300 Gold Hill Road, Fairfield

Located next to the Tri-Valley Little League Fields and Green Valley Middle School, Cordelia Community Park is a spectacular 48-acre park in the Fairfield community of Cordelia.  This park has it all!  Amenities include: toddler and youth playgrounds, group picnic areas with pavilion and BBQ pits, skate node, large and small dog parks, horseshoe pits, bocce ball courts, fitness stations, restrooms, security lighting and open multi-use grassy area.  Sustainable design practices were used throughout including: a high efficiency irrigation system to conserve water and reduce overspray from the windy site; recycled materials for signage, structures, and paving; salvaged eucalyptus trees from the site were re-purposed as edging and seating for the unique hillside dog park; grassy swales were installed in parking lot medians to capture and clean stormwater runoff; and, energy-efficient LED lights were used in the pathways.

Osage Station Park

816 Brookside Drive, Danville

Osage Station Park is only a short distance from the Iron Horse Regional Trail, and as the name implies, this trail was once a rail corridor. It was the presence of the railway that provided the original theme for the park.  This 35-acre park has something for everyone!  It features tennis courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, play areas, picnic areas, a rose garden, and a path around the park.  The play area is an inclusive, sustainable and safe play area where children can let their imaginations run wild!  The old west theme of the playground ties into the old railway history.  Some thematic elements include: a tot area modeled after an old western train station, complete with clock tower, passenger platform and play train; the youth play area is a rambling old town with a bank, hotel, saloon and jail; the complementary pieces include an embankment slide, mining themed spring rider, flashing railroad crossing arms, climbing barrels and a rubber surfaced “mesa” for kids to scramble on.

Parkside Aquatic Park

1595 Seal Street, San Mateo

“Quite, peaceful, beautiful park by the water, best kept secret in San Mateo!” according to an online reviewer.  Water, sand, shade, snack shop, playgrounds, BBQ pits, picnic tables – What more could you need on a hot summer day? Parkside Aquatic park is bordered by the Marina Lagoon and is the site of the City’s only boating launch ramp.  The park has the following amenities:  Playground apparatus, beach and park area, roped-off swim area, clean sandy beach, picnic area, boat launch and bathroom facilities.

Emerald Glen Park

4201 Central Parkway, Dublin

What better way to cool off from the California heat than head to a water park?  Emerald Glen Park is a 48.2-acre park that features the Emerald Glen Recreation and Aquatic Complex (“The Wave”), which features two pools, a water slide tower, a Splash Zone, and a community room.  Click here to learn more about the Emerald Glen Recreation and Aquatic Complex.  If you don’t want to pay to go into “The Wave”, the park next to it has it’s own splash play area where kids can get just as wet and have a ton of fun!  Emerald Glen Park has other amenities including:  basketball courts, sports fields, soccer fields, skate park, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, picnic areas with BBQ’s, walkways and trails, playground, water play and sand play areas.  There are a lot of trees around the park for shade and to relax under on a hot summer day.  It’s also close to grocery stores and restaurants which is great if you want to grab some food for a picnic under a tree.  During the summertime they host a farmers market and movies in the park.

Central Valley

Micke Grove Regional Park

11793 N. Micke Grove Road, Lodi

Located halfway between Stockton and Lodi, Micke Grove Regional Park is a destination for local Central Valley families.  A gift from the late Lodi farmer turned philanthropist William G. Micke, this 132-acre park remains one of the most popular attractions in San Joaquin County.  This park features an abundance of amenities for the kids.  The $5 entrance fee gets you in the park to enjoy a round of golf at the 18-hole disc golf course, kick and splash around at the water play features, play a round of horseshoes at the pits, children can explore and play on one of the many play structures sprinkled around the park, enjoy a picnic at one of the many picnic tables and BBQ areas, walk around the lake to feed the ducks, or just enjoy a relaxing moment under the lush oak trees that span the landscape with natural shade.  You may also rent an outdoor picnic shelter or indoor facilities for your reception, family reunions or corporate events.  Other features that are an additional charge include: Micke Grove Zoo; The Japanese Garden which is a favorite wedding spot with Cherry Blossom trees, Tea House and Koi pond; The San Joaquin County Historical Museum; and Fun Town Amusement Park at Micke Grove which offers amusement rides, carnival-inspired treats and party packages.

Coastal Region

Dennis the Menace Park

725 Pearl St, Monterey

Dennis the Menace Park (named after the beloved comic strip character) is the City’s most popular as well as famous, municipal playground.  People come from all over California to experience the excitement and adventure of this park.  It is located right off one of the main roads headed towards the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The park first opened in November of 1956 and was the result of creative efforts donated to the City by Hank Ketchum, creator of the Dennis the Menace comic strip and local resident of nearby Carmel.  The playground has undergone several renovations, each time making the park brighter and better!

The playground has several play structures, large slides, a climbing wall, a suspension bridge, a hedge maze with a play structure in the center, a giant adventure ship and more!  History fans will enjoy seeing the authentic 1924 Southern Pacific steam engine which is now fenced off due to liability issues.  The park offers plenty of opportunities for energetic children to get up to the kind of menace the park’s namesake would have approved of.

Sinsheimer Park

900 Southwood Drive, San Luis Obispo

Talk about a kids paradise!  Kids are enjoying the recently revamped playground at Sinsheimer Park.  The half-acre playground is a multi-level, action packed hub of activity.  Taking advantage of the sloped site, the design features a 3-story tower, five large slides ranging from 12 to 18 feet tall, a climbing wall, a snowboard simulator, swings and a zipline.  One of the most popular attractions is the synthetic grass covered slope, 14 feet high, that allows kids to free-form slide, roll, and tumble into the protective surfacing below.  You can just picture the squeals of delight coming from the children as they experience all of these fun elements.  The play environment is almost entirely accessible; the exception being the top floor of the tower.  This provides a rare opportunity for mobility-impaired people to enjoy a richer, more integrated play experience.  The park, located next to Sinsheimer Elementary School, is one of 33 in the city and also features a pool complex, baseball stadium, softball field and tennis courts.

Robert’s Eco-Recreation Station (Opening on July 12, 2018)

Roberts Avenue, Seaside (located on the west side of the Roberts Lake dock)

After being awarded the Building Better Communities Grant, the City of Seaside decided to use the $150,000 grant to try and transform an area of Roberts Lake into what will be called Robert’s Eco-Recreation Station.  A large body of water, wildlife and plenty of open space make Robert’s Lake an ideal place for a new park. The project area will occupy 8,500 square feet of the 5.7-acre park, and will be designed with the purpose of creating community incorporating the open-air teaching space with a pergola, benches, and the playground.   “The Roberts Lake project is important for Seaside because we noticed there are children who never experience water — whether it’s the beach or our lakes,” said Gloria Stearns, Seaside’s economic development manager. “This project gives us an opportunity to help them become exposed to water, water conservation, water ecology and water quality.”   The park will also include a fun and safe area for kids to play near the water.  It will have jungle or climbing type of equipment, slides and a swing set.  “So these will be play equipment out of natural materials. There will also be an area, kind of where outdoor classroom setting, so groups and schools can come and talk about the ecosystem here, talk about the environment, talk about the importance of our natural water resources and how to protect them,” said Catherine Stedamn, Manager of External Affairs.








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