One of my favorite things to do as a parent is watch my children play, but let’s be honest and admit that to see them squeal in delight and run amuck is best when outdoors. Taking kids to outdoor playgrounds is a great way to sit back and relax and let the kids get all their wiggles out, and thankfully Los Angeles offers the most awesome playgrounds around. From swings, slides, climbing structures to whales, and everything in between, we’ve rounded up the best children’s outdoor playgrounds in Los Angeles.
Shane’s Inspiration – Griffith Park
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (323) 913-4688
Shane’s Inspiration opened on September 21, 2000, in memory of Shane Williams who died of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is the first West Coast Universally Accessible Playground created by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks in conjunction with the Boundless Playground Resource Center West. This is a fully accessible disabled children’s playground (Universally Accessible Playground) and it has plenty of super fun features for everyone.
1601 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, Ca 90266
Phone: (310) 802-5408
The focal point of Polliwog Park is a large pond bordered on one side by a natural wildlife refuge, home to migratory birds and other wildlife. The large covered kids play equipment includes a large lighthouse inspired play apparatus with several slides including a spiral tube slide, water misters, a small sand area and three separate areas for younger children filled with colorful and imaginative climbing and exploration equipment.
Coldwater Canyon Park
1100 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 285-6820
Located in immaculate Beverly Hills, Coldwater Canyon Park offers the best park experience in a gorgeous setting. The kids will love the wading stream to splash in during the warm summer months, and you’ll love the chance of spotting a celeb tot or two under the shady trees.
Anthony C. Beileson Park – Lake Balboa
6300 Balboa Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91316
The accessible playground at Anthony C. Beilenson Park has two separate play areas, one section for two to five-year-olds and two sections for five to twelve-year-olds. All of the areas have a “Maritime” theme and feature swings, ladders, a variety of balancing elements, climbers and slides. Special features to the 19,600-square-foot playground are an interactive drum play area and sensory wall and spring toys, crawl tunnels, landscaping and drinking fountains.
Culver City Park
9700 Jefferson Boulevard
Corner of Duquesne & Jefferson, Culver City
Culver City Park is a unique and extraordinary hilltop playground. State of the art play equipment using whimsical shapes were specifically developed to challenge kids both mentally and physically. There’s also a sand and water area where kids can play with water pumps and water wheels, build dams and even construct sand castles.
Reese’s Retreat (part of Brookside Park)
360 North Arroyo Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: (626) 744-4321
Reese’s Retreat is Pasadena’s first universally accessible playground and has been designed with special equipment for children of all ages and abilities. It is located in the southeast corner of Brookside Park, just east of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center. The park is complete with a giant pirate ship, ramps, a cannonball climber, an eight-bay swing set and sensory play structures that invite children to play with water and sand.
Glen Alla Park
4601 Alla Road
Los Angeles, CA 90292
Kids will have a “whale” of a time at Glen Alla Park, thanks to the giant climbable solid whale structure half submerged in sand. Besides the awesome covered play structure, this sea-themed small park is fully enclosed and perfect for spending an afternoon in.
Brandon’s Village – Gates Canyon Park
25801 Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Calabasas CA 91302
Phone: (818) 880-6461
Designed by Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization that designs and builds universally accessible playgrounds, Brandon’s Village features playground equipment is over 70% independently playable for children with disabilities and also provides meaningful and stimulating play opportunities for able-bodied children. This brightly colorful play structure also offers large yellow sun shades, perfect for the hot summer days.
Malibu Bluffs Park
24250 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Why not take the kids to a park with jaw-droppingly stunning views? Malibu Bluffs Parks offers up the most picturesque Pacific Ocean backdrop with clean facilities, free Wi-Fi and green grass perfect for picnicking. The park consists of two baseball diamonds, a soccer / multipurpose field, playground suitable for ages 2-12, jogging path, picnic tables, whale watching station, and the Michael Landon Community Center.
La Laguna de San Gabriel
Corner of Wells and Ramona
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Phone: (626) 308-2875
This playground is a local gem and often referred to as “the dinosaur park”. Created by Benjamin Dominguez in 1965 the unusual concrete sculptures mix a 60s pop art sensibility with an urban folk art tradition that is unique and colorful.
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