Location: Entrance at Grand and Bellevue Ave. Oakland, CA
Description: Lakeside Park has many different activity focal points in it. Ranging from the Japanese Gardens, the Oakland Boat house, to Children's Fairyland (which has it's own post.) But what I am reviewing now is the children's playground that is right at the end of the parking lot where you enter to go in towards Children's Fairyland. If you are at your wit's end to find parking it is $5 to park in the lot- which is not bad if you have very young kids that you are toting with supplies. But you can find free parking along the street if you are patient. Lakeside Park is a really nice cute little park nestled along the waters of Lake Merritt. Lake Merritt also has another little park on the other side but it is way less inviting and doesn't have hardly any shade- like this one (as a parent you appreciate a park with shade accommodations). This park is cute with a bunch of different play structures that offer many different challenging aspects of them for all ages. The differing structures have many sized slides, monkey bars, fire poles, balancing beams, hiding places, swings...children of all ages will be captivated. If not there are plenty of geese and gander to fill their time with curiosity. The Lake is filled with ducks and a gaggle of geese! For an exciting time with the geese bring some bread or crackers that you can break up for them. They will quickly rush over to you and your family once they realize a feeding frenzy is underway.
Highlights: The park is right in the heart of downtown so there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding areas; like Fairyland, restaurants galore, Saturday's Farmers Market, or take a stroll around the lake... all these things are just steps away!
Tips: If you can't find parking and you have been looking for what feels like hours, the parking lot with the entrance next to Fairyland is only $5, a small price to pay for convenience and sanity!