Public Parks with Water Play

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Seeking splash park near Berkeley

May 2012

My 4 year old son really loves the El Cerrito splash park. Unfortunately we can rarely make it there due to the limited schedule. Just curious if anyone has found similar parks close to Berkeley (and preferably free and with better hours, like the ones out near Pleasanton, San Ramon, etc)... Mom of a splasher

It about 1 hour drive but totally worth it to go to Howarth Park in santa Rosa. They have an amazing splash park (free) as well as a train, pony rides, carousel and more thT are super cheap. Opens Memorial Day weekend. Maybe not a daily event but super fun and best of all its HOT there! love the water

How about the San Leandro Family Aquatic Center? It's a bit further away, but has a nice kiddie splash area. --

Kiddie splash pool in San Ramon/Dublin area?

May 2009

A few years back I went to the most fun tot play pool ever. It was somewhere near or in San Ramon/Dublin area. there was a big diving pool next to it, and I believe it's on a high school campus. The tot part had a play structure in the pool, and the pool was round and had no steps. I've been looking on line but there are no websites I can find, only city websites that have no pics and not enough info. Does anyone know of this place? thanks!! anon

I believe it is the San Ramon Aquatic Center that you are looking for...and it IS a great pool! Claire

It's at California High School. anon

Yes, we've been to that pool -- it's great, and the entrance fee is quite reasonable. Here's a link with info about it: There's a similar pool in Livermore:
Enjoy! Diane

San Ramon Olympic Pool Located next to California High School but is run by the city of San Ramon park and rec, not by the high school. A very nice facility for recreational and lap swimming. Has the tot pool described in your post. used to swim there often

Know of a park with running water in the east bay?


Last summer we went to a public park near San Jose that had a great set up for water play: they had designed a small cement hill and had sprinklers and shallow wading areas and small streams and a slide. I am looking for something closer to home...does anyone know of a park with running water in the East Bay, Lamorinda, Pinole/Hercules area or Marin? Thanks for any ideas. Jennifer

There is a park in San Raphael near Kaiser that has great water play (or had?) It's also on a hill with a sort of cement trough that zig zags down the hill. There is a great play structure near by too. I'm sorry I don't know the street but if you ask people in the area (or maybe call kaiser and ask them) you can probably find it. Good luck. June

Shadowcliffs while not near is lovely.It has a really mellow lake and a non-commercial, non-intimidating slide. It's part of the East Bay Regional Park district. See here:

Orinda has a fabulous park with a terrific water play area. It's where all the construction is going on around the Orinda rec center (sorry, I can't remember the name of the street). I've never had trouble parking (both street and parking lot). Bring a hat for your child as the water play area is almost always in full sun. Have fun! Carolyn

There is a fabulous water play pool with a super big jungle area at Dublin High School that is open in the summer to kids of all ages The play area was created a couple of years ago and can be enjoyed by toddlers all the way up. They have 15-30 min. time slots for different ages so that the big kids and little kids aren't in the area at the same time (it's fenced off from the regular pool). I don't remember there being an actual park in the vicinity, but this place is better than a park! It's worth a trip out there just to play even once. One tip's hotter than heck out there with little tree shade so be sure to bring your car window shade and and lots of sunscreen. angela

Danville has at least two parks with water play. The best one is Osage Park, located off Sycamore Valley Road at Osage Station. It has a fountain area, then a river which leads into a wading pool. It is nicely covered by trees part of the day (for those hot days) and the park itself is really great (LOTS of structures). There is another one that I have been too with water spray somewhere off Stone Valley Road I believe, but 'm not sure. But check out Osage Park; its sort of a haul but a really great park! hilary

The Moraga Commons Park has great sprinklers. The Walnut Creek park near the Civic Center has areas of water for wet sand and boat play (somewhat like Habitot's water play area only outdoors). Linda

Orinda Park has a brand new area for sand and water play, albeit not as elaborate as you describe. It is on a small scale, mostly appopriate for toddlers and preschoolers. Ksenija

Perhaps these are too far south, but there are a few nice places for water play in the Tri-City Area. Fremont: Puerto Penasco Swim Lagoon at Central Park. An artificial treated-water lake for swimming. Shallow roped-off under 5 area with lifegaurd and deepwater area with a raft for older children and adults to swim to. Sand trucked in from Monterey beaches. Nice, but very little shade, so bring an umbrella.

Also in Fremont in Central Park: An artificial stream runs under a little bridge. Kids wade in the stream and dig up rocks, sail boats down the stream and throw rocks off the bridge. Stream is very shallow, toddlers love this place. There is good shade and nice grass around the stream for picnicking. Aqua shoes are a good idea (though we never use them).

Newark: Birch Grove Park 38080 Birch Street In the summer they have a water play area with a tall overhead shower and a button to press to make jets of water shoot up from the ground. Approximately 15 acres that include play structures for tots and older children, a fenced softball playing field, a basketball court, lighted tennis courts, and family/group picnic facilities. There are restroom facilities.

Community Center Park: 35501 Cedar Boulevard 5 and under wading pool. Untreated water, pool refilled every day. Grassy shaded slopes for picnicking surround a very nice natural-looking wading pool with pebbly concrete bottom. Approximately 16 acres that include play structures for tots and older children, a combined basketball and handball court, lighted tennis courts, a children's wading pool, and family picnic facilities. New play structures are tentatively scheduled to be constructed as a part of the 1997/98 fiscal year. The Community Center is located at this park. There are restroom facilities. Susan

There is a fun park with a water play area in San Ramon. It's off Bollinger Canyon Rd. (from I-680). It's well worth the drive out. Roger & Heather

There are several parks nice parks in the Danville area. One particular park that my kids love while I'm playing soccer nearby is Osage Community park off Sycamore Valley road in Danville. They have a large fountain/basin with running water that kids play in and around all summer. The park also has several play structures suitable to entertain toddlers to preteens. I've also gone to a public pool located in Hercules that has a few pools for wading, diving, splashing. My kids ages 2 and 7 had so much fun they refused leave after 5 or 6 hours. The pool also has large grassy areas for picnics or just relaxing. I believe it is the community park pools of Hercules. Audrey