Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Playground Review: Lone Hill Park (San Jose)

Toddler Structure

Nothing like finding a great new (to me!) park that's under the radar for most folks in the South Bay. Toddler L and his mommy suggested Lone Hill Park for last week's playdate, and a great time was had by all.

Here's the scoop:

  • Very pleasant setting in a nice neighborhood at the base of the foothills, where the Cambrian area of San Jose approaches the border of Los Gatos.
  • Large park with huge grassy areas, picnic spots and bbqs, basketball courts and playground at the center. 
  • Playground includes toddler and big kid play areas, separated by a short distance, with bathrooms in the middle. 
    Big Kid Structure
  • Toddler play area offers nice, modern structure (same as the one we enjoyed so much at Diana Park a few days before), with tunnels, two slides (one a side-by-side), and only one potential fall area (a chest high ladder). 
  • Three baby swings (yay!) and one big kid swing. 
  • A good bit of morning shade on the playground. 
  • Uncrowded on a Wednesday morning. 
  • Our favorite feature of the park (and the one where the boys spent the most time): the line of pine trees along the fence, and the shaded area underneath -- a great place for finding ladybugs, collecting pinecones, picking flowers and sweeping the ground with pine needle brooms. The area is far from the street and appears to be risk-free, so us moms got to chat and relax while the kids explored. 
  • Plenty of street parking convenient to playground. 

Cons (not many!)
  • Tanbark ground surface (but at least tanbark was brand new -- you could smell its freshness). 
  • Not fenced (but down a hill from one bordering street and across a field from the others, so no immediate risk of running into traffic -- and besides, the streets are very lightly-traveled). 
  • Big kid structure is awesome, but high with several fall points -- if your toddler prefers to play there, you may need to keep a closer eye. 
Overall a great park that would be fun for picnics or birthday parties, as well as just a plain old playdate.

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