Golden Gate Park Playground
Location: Golden Gate Park Playground is located just off of Kezar Drive (on the southeast side of Golden Gate Park). The playground is found right next to the carousel at Bowling Green Drive between John F. Kennedy Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Description: Golden Gate Park playground is literally one of the nicest and funnest playgrounds in the Bay Area. It is also one of the oldest playgrounds in the United States- Wow! Built in 1888- what trend-setters we are in the Bay Area! Just looking at it from a child's perspective it looks like tons of fun. There are so many different options of what to do. There is a smaller climbing structure for toddlers with lots of slide options. Two old school cement slides are nestled in the back of the playground, with plenty of cardboard waiting at the bottom enticing young riders. The bigger climbing structure for older children is huge and has many fun options for older children including multiple slides, leap pads, hiding spots, ladders, nets, and a hand glider. My daughter practiced her ninja skills as she scaled the side of the very tall rope climbing mountain. The playground also has your regular spinners, swings, and multiple sandboxes. The playground is home of the carousel which was built in 1914 and has had a few face lifts since then but is basically the same structure. And the tickets to ride are still reasonably priced too! Children can ride for just $1 and children under 5 are free! Wow what a deal, especially compared to the carousel down at Fisherman's warf which is a whopping $3 a ride for all parties getting on- yikes! The playground and merry-go-round are surrounded by fields of grass for laying on, running around in, and picnicking.
Highlights: It's just a really cool, large, and fun playground that your child will have endless fun at. It's also in the heart of Golden Gate Park so you can combine it with an endless amount of other activities and have a wonderful San Franciscan day.
Tips: Bring food, water, and a blanket. There is no food within walking distance (except the little concession stand selling hot dogs and the like) but if you prefer not to eat that type of stuff or feed it to your children- like me then you are going to want to come prepared. Once you find a parking space you will not want to let it go either- so come prepared with a meal in hand. Also there is not much in the way of shade so bring sunscreen and hats.