Friday, September 12, 2014

Playgrounds with the Best Scenery/Most Pleasant Settings

View from the play area at Shoreline Lake park
Best Scenery/Most Pleasant Settings

You love taking your toddler to the playground and all, but sometimes the toddler-minder needs some peace and serenity as well. These playgrounds are either peaceful and calm, or have some visually-appealing aspects.
  1. Shoreline Park (Mountain View) (This fun, nautical-themed playground draws inspiration from its location on the shores on Shoreline Lake.)
  2. Belgatos Park (Los Gatos) (Set in the Los Gatos foothills, this serene playground and grassy lawn is also the starting point for a variety of hiking trails.)
  3. Las Palmas Park (Sunnyvale) (As you drive in, you'll think you're looking at a Vegas hotel -- the palm trees and huge, clean lake give it a huge "Wow!" factor. The newly renovated play structures and creation of a fenced toddler area make this park a winner.)
  4. La Rinconada Park (Los Gatos) (Located in a quiet, upscale neighborhood, set against a creek and completely shaded by huge trees, this is a delightful place to relax and watch your child play.)
  5. Fowler Creek Park (Evergreen, San Jose) (Located at the foot of the East San Jose foothills amidst a quiet neighborhood, this peaceful playground with a good water feature has views down to the valley and up to the hills. Beautiful on a sunny day.)
  6. Linda Vista Park (Cupertino) (Tucked back in the Cupertino foothills, Linda Vista is a large, tree-studded park with a fun toddler play area and places for parents to relax in the shade.)
  7. Kevin Moran Park (Saratoga) (Strange to describe as "peaceful" a park tucked against the Highway 85 sound wall, but its rolling lawns, tall trees, pleasant design and serene setting in a quiet neighborhood make you forget any noise you might hear from the road.)
  8. Shoup Park (Los Altos) (Located alongside a creek and next to a redwood preserve, this delightful park has nice play structures and a very pleasant setting.)
  9. Gardiner Park (Saratoga) (Not my favorite toddler park, but it has lots of shade and a very peaceful location along a (currently dry) creek in a quiet Saratoga residential neighborhood.)
  10. Bachman Park (Los Gatos) (Surrounded by trees and beautiful houses, this playground bordered by quiet residential streets is a pleasant place to watch your kids play. The play structure isn't all that toddler-friendly and the swings are too close for comfort, but the toy-filled sandbox area is a nice place to sit and relax.)
  11. Oak Meadow Park (Los Gatos) (Not my favorite toddler park outside of school hours, but you can't argue with the beautiful meadow setting, surrounding trees and nearby creek.)
Please note that these reviews are based on my observations or experiences on the day(s) I visited the park in question, with my own particular toddler. Park conditions can change, the clientele may vary day to day, and things that are safe and fun for one child may not be for another. I do not vouch for the safety or security of any of the parks or playgrounds listed here, and I recommend that you use your own best judgment when determining whether to visit or stay at a park, and whether that park is appropriate for your toddler.

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