New home? Make new friends at your local parks
August 14, 2015
Moving to a new home can be tough, especially with young children. To 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.)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.