Parks in San Francisco

Parent Q&A

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  • SF Park to host kid's birthday party

    (2 replies)


    I'm planning to host a birthday party for my daughter in June, and I'd like to ask if there's a park other parents would recommend. I live in San Francisco, so ideally I'd like to host somewhere close by but warm and not too windy. Are there any fees or permit required to host a party there? Any advices or tips will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Two of the best parks for hosting birthday parties (and I've been to, and hosted, parties in most of them, having raised two kids in SF) are Julius Kahn and Midtown Terrace. Both have clubhouses you can rent pretty cheaply ($50-100 per hour: and have nice playgrounds and flat grassy areas if you want a jumpy house. I would say Midtown Terrace is a bit better for younger kids, since it's very self-contained and fenced in. Other good ones that are self contained with rentable clubhouses are Grattan, Douglass, and JP Murphy. Can't help you with the fog and wind in June, but you never know :-) Good luck and have fun!

    The other writer did a great job covering the parks in SF. Julius Kahn was my favorite.  The other parks I’d like to add are Michelangelo Playground and Presideo Heights Playground, both small gems. 

  • Hello,

    I'm planning to host a birthday party for my daughter in June, and I'd like to ask all the parents out there what parks they would recommend. Ideally I'd like to host somewhere in the peninsula where it's warm and not too windy. Are there any fees or permit required to host a party there? Any advices or tips will be greatly appreciated.



    I'm not sure how deep into the Peninsula you want to go but the park near downtown Los Altos off Foothill is beautiful.  Always lots of parties there and picnic tables.   I'm not sure if they can be reserved, but if so I assume there is a fee to do so.  Also a nice creek to play in as well as several structures.  Not too far from Draeger's where you could order the cake or other food/treats.  

    Usually people choose a park near home. Assuming you are casting a wider net, Redwood City and San Carlos have good weather and plenty of parks. You pay a small fee for the rental and can book online. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Great neighborhood park for kids in SF?

Feb 2006

I'm looking for great neighborhood parks in the city. We love Crissy Field, but haven't had much luck with smaller spaces. I'd love to hear about your favorites. Thanks!

I grew up in the city and I remember my day care would take us to Mountain Lake Park during the summer when I was in 3rd grade. I remember it being big and sandy. It had a really cool slide and it had a lake with ducks and geese. I honestly don't really know how to get there, but I looked it up and it is located on Lake Street in San Francisco. Betty

dude, go to the park atop moscone center, by (in the metreon) wild things with the big old freaky shining slides. and golden gate... parklover

We take our almost 2 year old to Rochambeau park in the Richmond. It's between 24th and 25th avenues and California and Lake Streets. We like it quite a bit! good safe playstructures, lots of kids, bathrooms, and people leave toys there that become community property. There's also a more advanced playground for the bigger kids, and basketball and tennis courts so I think older kids wouold have fun too. ED

Depending on what part of town you're in there are several nice playgrounds. In Bernal Heights we like Holly Park Playground and Bernal Playground (aka behind the library). On Potrero Hill there's a nice but sometimes windy park at 20th St. & Vermont, McKinley Park. In the Excelsior the Excelsior Playground on Madrid is cute.

Near CPMC on the other side of town, Julius Kahn is a really great place, expensively renovated with a clubhouse that has arts & crafts. A little farther down the road at 23rd Ave/Lake St. is the Mountain Lake park, which has an actual lake with ducks and such.

Up on top of the Muni tunnel the West Portal playground is also very nice, with a big grassy area as well as a clubhouse & play structure.

For much more info go here: valerie

My 8 year old daughter loves KidPower! in the Mission. It's on Hoff, a one block street that runs from 16th to 17th between Mission and Valencia. It's pretty new, with great equipment.

The Children's Playground in Golden Gate Park (near the carousel, in the southeast corner of the park) is nice because there are different areas targeted towards different aged kids, so the toddlers don't get stomped by bigger kids. We go here a fair amount because it is closest to our house, but it attracts kids from all over the City, and there's the park to explore if the playground gets boring.

Happy climbing! Lisa