I arrived at Brigadoon Park greeted by an empty playground some late morning. My quest was the giant concrete slide I’d heard so much about.
At the base I picked up one of the many cardboard boxes. If I ever wanted to slide, the opportunity of no witnesses was now or never. There are three options for sliding. One for the slimmer and tinier generation with higher walls for protection.
I had to choose one of the two other wider slides. All of the slides have two bumps. This was a fun and scary experiment. The cardboard didn’t disappoint. This is a fast ride! I was relieved that by the time I crashed into the playground there was still no one around to take notice of my less than perfect landing. Very much fun for the younger crowd.
Brigadoon Park is located on Brigadoon Way and Maloney Drive in San Jose. Parking in the neighborhood was no problem.
The Seven Seas Park in Sunnyvale became the latest addition in 2016 of inclusive play parks for all ages. This little park has even a splash park, a dog park, and a half basketball court. One of the fun discoveries is the wind chimes that line the small round path around a grassy field.
The sound sculptures stand man high and have mallets to invite you to play. I could not find any information about the artists. If you know who contributed this musical adventure, please let me know.
The landscape architects, SSA, did a beautiful job creating a nautical themed inclusive park. This park won the “Project of the Year” award in 2016 by the American Public Works Association.
Parking can sometimes be a challenge. Due to COVID-19 playgrounds might still be closed off. Check before you go and follow the recommended safety procedures.
Have you played the sound sculptures at Seven Seas Park?
If you enjoy funky interactive sculptures you should also check out the Wind Walk in San Mateo.
Even now that I have a teenager, I still remember the value of a good playground. Magic Mountain Playground on the Coyote Point in San Mateo is one of my favorite playground designs.
The two dragons with the wide mouths open invite anyone to climb about. There is an area for little kids 2 to 3 year olds, too. But let me tell you the real attraction is the ‘castle’, a tower that is three stories high (18 feet) and has six slides. One of the slides is, at 55 feet, the longest metal slide in Northern California!
And there is so much more to do at Coyote Point. For example the nearby SFO supplies an almost endless amount of planes landing and taking off to stop play and point to the sky. There is also CuriOdyssey, a science center and zoo for little kids. CuriOdyssey’s admission is $13.50 for adults, $9.50 for children and $8.50 for seniors and students (13-17). The park is also great for hiking, bbq’ing and the marina is located here, too. On June 29th, 2019 the third annual Coyote Point Kite Festival will be happening (12 – 4). You can make kites or bring your own. Admission is free (except parking).
The Entrance fee is $6 per car, which allows you to explore all of Coyote Point.
When my son was in third grade ping pong was the ‘in’ sport. Back in Germany, they do have concrete ping pong tables near schools and in parks everywhere. When we go back we usually play a match at least once. Now in my attempt to make this the most-interesting-summer-ever our first outing was to find a ping pong table.
We set off to Sunnyvale and checked out the PPC Swan Ping Pong Club. But it turns out they currently hosts summer camps and all tables are taken. I think with a little preparation we could reserve a table.
Anyway, I knew of a park that does have one of those concrete ping pong tables. The Del Monte Park in San Jose, a tribute to the old cannery that stood nearby, is a brand new park with a playground and a dog park. Wedged in between the kids and the dogs is the ping pong table.
We played a while and had fun until we both stepped on the two balls we brought. That’s a quick way to halt the game. In a nearby store we not only found new ping pong balls but a huge green ball, we then invented our own game.
As an extra bonus the playground still had some challenges for a teenager. This was a great start into the summer!
Do you know of any opportunities to play ping pong in the Bay Area?
Since 2015 Silicon Valley has a truly inclusive playground in Palo Alto’s Mitchell Park; the Magical Bridge Playground. The design is uplifting, you see all children embracing the fun. There are different climbing and sliding options, a fully accessible tree house for role play, multiple installations to experience sounds, and a nice shady picnic area.
This is by far the coolest playground I have ever seen – and mind you I’ve seen a few. The great news is that they are expanding. The Magical Bridge Foundation plans to open up another magical playground in Redwood City late 2017/ early 2018. Please consider to donate!
My son passed the age of playgrounds, but when he was a toddler and even up to young teen he loved climbing and sliding.
So, whenever I see a cool playground I remember the good times.
The playground at Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale is one of those fun, creative hang-out spots. There are two playgrounds right next to each other, one for toddlers, one for 4 – 12 year olds. And if you‘ve got a ball player, there is even a great grass field.
The bigger playground is surrounded by water and some interesting sculptures. In the drought they don’tfill the pond which makes the heads look even more fascinating, plus not having water around makes it safer for toddlers. If there is water collecting in the pond it is left-over from the rain we had recently.
Here is a review from Silicon Valley Toddler with a lot of risk management features: