Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Perfect Playgrounds for Cooler Days

One of my most popular posts, on days when the thermometer tops 80 degrees, is a listing of the best shady parks in the South Bay. But omitted from that list are some wonderful parks whose main shortfall is a complete lack of cooling trees -- parks that are otherwise awesome, but at which you'd boil on a warmer day. With the Weather Channel predicting a maximum high of 70 degrees for the next 8 days, it's a great time to check out some of those parks. Here are a few of my favorites:

San Jose
  • Calabazas Park (Awesome structures and accessible features)
  • Paul Moore Park (Multiple structures with fun themes)
  • Balermino Park (A new park with unique features -- no bathrooms)
  • Commodore Park (Super cute cherry orchard-themed park with tons of fun features -- no bathrooms)
  • Cahill Park (Fully-fenced with fun, feature-rich structures -- no bathrooms, but two blocks from Whole Foods)
  • Ramac Park (Fun structures, right across the street from Target)
  • Fowler Creek Park (Cool Evergreen-area park with unique play structure for older toddlers and a great view)
  • Lone Hill Park (A nice under-the-radar park set against the Los Gatos foothills)
  • Lincoln Glen Park (Fully-fenced area for young toddlers, cool structure for older kids)
  • Parma Park (Jake's Playlot toddler area is fully-fenced, located next to Almaden Community Center)
  • Lenzen Park (Great structures, including fun toddler-appropriate train structure -- no bathrooms)
  • Seven Seas Park  (A perennial favorite, whose only real negative is lack of shade. Water feature is operating, but be aware that construction is making parking sparse through May.)
Los Gatos
  • Oak Meadow Park (One of the best parks around, but no shade on the play structures for most of the day. Gorgeous setting, carousel and train on limited schedule.)
  • Stojanovich Family Park (Really cute, farming-themed park. No parking nearby, but otherwise lots of fun.)
Santa Clara
  • Henry Schmidt Park (Old West-themed playground that hasn't changed since I was a kid, but offers fun alternatives to normal play structures)
  • Alvarez Park (One of our top toddler parks altogether -- if you haven't been, definitely check it out. No real negatives besides lack of shade.)
  • Thamien Park (A fantastic park in the Rivermark Area that only needs shade -- or a cool day -- to make it perfect)
  • The Park at Midtown Village (This under-the-radar park right near Valley Fair is usually empty and always fun -- on a cool day, you'll love it.)
Up the Peninsula
  • Mitchell Park and Magical Bridge Playground, Palo Alto (Two awesome playground areas at one park. Not much shade, so check them out while the temps are cool.)
  • Magic Mountain Playground at Coyote Point, San Mateo (Often cooler than the rest of the area due to its proximity to the bay, but no shade on the playground so check it out on a cooler day.)
If you're looking to visit a great park that might not be as appealing in the summer months, give one of these a try for some sunny, but cool day fun!

Happy toddling!

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