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Moving to a new home can be tough, especially with young children. New home? Make new friends at your local parksTo help ease the transition, connect with your new area by finding where other parents and children gather and meet up.

To find fun places to meet other families, call the Department of Parks and Recreation for your city. (The local visitors and tourist bureau may also be a good source.)  The Department of Parks and Recreation can often provide information on:

  • Concerts in the park
  • Sports activities
  • Clubs and summer camps
  • Community events
  • Classes for all ages (swim classes, art classes, exercise, etc.)
  • Festivals
  • Libraries with children’s events, such as story time, movies and reading programs

Also, be adventurous. Set your sights on the great outdoors. A recent study showed that green spaces can improve our mental health. In the San Francisco area, you’ll find excellent playgrounds to explore and enjoy. They provide challenging, age-appropriate play facilities (obstacles) where kids and parents can meet and new friendships can start. Below are five of the more unique playgrounds in the Bay area.

  1. Oak Meadow Park
    233 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos
    A 12-acre park in Los Gatos for families with little kids with swings slides, a decommissioned T-33 fighter jet to crawl on, an antique merry-go-round and Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad.
  2. Emma Prusch Farm Park
    647 S. King Road, San Jose
    The 43.5 acre park in San Jose was a former dairy farm and offers a glimpse into San Jose’s past when the county still had a strong rural influence.
  3. Frog Park
    North Oakland at the intersection of Hudson and Claremont Streets
    This 3-block-long park has two playgrounds: Hardy Playground, for ages 5 – 12 with a sandbox, tire swing and rope spider web for adventurous climbing, and Redondo Playground, designed for ages 2 – 5 with a turtle sandbox and wooden play structure with twisty slides. There’s also a butterfly garden, redwood groves, benches for reading and a nearby Sunday farmers market.
  4. Arbolado Park
    3341 Arbolado Drive, Walnut Creek
    The 26-acre Northgate area park sports swings for babies and older kids, a two-person bumblebee rocker, sand diggers, monkey bars, twisting ladders, and other equipment, plus picnic tables, barbecue pits, a basketball court, tennis courts, soccer pitch and nearby walking and cycling trails.
  5. Blue Goose Park
    1765 Adams Lane, Brentwood
    The 5-acre park in the East Bay’s Brentwood community has two play areas, three barbeques, picnic tables and well-tended restrooms. For the kids, there is a water play area, climbing wall and rope obstacle in addition to playground equipment for both young and older kids.

Parks are a great place to have fun and connect with others. Enjoy the adventure of discovery in your new area.

About the author

Scott Lax

Scott grew up in a military family and has lived overseas and throughout the U.S. In his 13 years with Crown, he has served as an Account Manager and General Manager. Scott is currently General Manager for Crown Relocations in San Francisco. He lives in the East Bay with his wife and two sons.

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