Mill Valley

Boyle Park

East Dr
Mill Valley, CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Two separate playgrounds for toddlers and kids are both encircled by a low wall for care-takers to sit on. The wall is decorated with handprint tiles. The toddler area is fully fenced in and is on clean sand with a handicapped rubber walkway that tiny kids tend to slip off of. In the center is an elaborate plastic and wood play structure with two curving slides, a double width slide and a tunnel tube to climb through. Under the structure more adventures can be found with a train and it’s steering wheel and welcomed shade. Nearby is a multilevel toy truck with speaking tubes that tend to get stuffed with sand and a steering wheel that is the envy of many a would be driver. There is also a small wooden playhouse with a table and benches on one side and a counter on the other. Sit along the charming hand-printed tile wall that runs nearly the entire perimeter and watch your kids. Some day there will be shade here once the trees grow. Outside this area are four toddler full-bucket swings and two older kid swings on wood chips. The swing sets are with in sight of each other but are conveniently spaced apart to lower the chances of small kids running in front of big kids swinging. The big kids’ play structure is newly remodeled. It has one slide, large rings, lots to climb on such as a spiral ladder and a bridge. Picnic tables offer shade under the oaks. There is a large barbecue, baseball field, tennis courts, and a lawn.

Bonus

This is not your standard freestanding metal barbecue. Here is a classic brick barbecue pit with extensive grating that can cook enough burgers for an army all at once.

Bathrooms

Public Restrooms.

Drinking Water

Fountain by restrooms.

Parking

Small lot behind tennis courts.

Other

The partial fencing can be a problem for kids whom exhibit selective hearing especially near the creek. Dogs are permitted on a leash but many roam free (and that means roaming free from their owners as well.)

UPDATE

Boyle Park has had some shade towers mounted on the toddler equipment and there is also a small square picnic table, that is handicap accessible, added in the big kids’ area.

Freeman Park

Nelson Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Look for this park entrance between houses. Like many other local parks, its entrance may be confused with a driveway. This park is past its hey day. It’s not that the equipment is old. In fact, for the size it has a generous amount with three toddler full-bucket swings, four big swings, a coil rider toucan, asphalt basketball court, and a small picnic and barbecue facility. But it has a gloomy unkempt feeling where teens would be comfortable smoking. The small grass area is shaded by 7 grand sycamore trees. A long paved path is good for riding tricycles and toy cars.

Bathrooms

No

Drinking Water

Water fountain.

Parking

Neighborhood street parking.

Hauke Park

Roque Moraes Dr & Hamilton Dr
Mill Valley, CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

This freshly remodeled park is worth a visit. You will note it does not win our tip top award for a few inconveniences such as parking, bathrooms and minimal sun protection. However, it is much easier now to negotiate strollers because of the perimeter sidewalk as well as many other improvements. Check out the new wooden play structure with plastic corkscrew slide. Look Ma, no more splinters. There are three steering wheels, one on each level so this should avoid little jealous confrontations. There is a wooden bridge, a chain link ladder and spiral ladder and speaking tubes. The whole area has been freshly landscaped and sits on wood chips. Note that it is still not completely fenced in, but the side that is with out a fence opens on to a large baseball field. There are two full-bucket swings and two big kid swings both with-in view of one another, plus a new tire swing has replaced the old one. There is a teeter-totter and a sandbox area is encircled by a handprint tile wall which doubles as a bench. Plenty of wooden benches wait for caregivers to sit and chat, only three come close to any shade. In fact, the whole play area sits fully exposed, so bring plenty of sunscreen. Garbage cans are set apart from the picnic tables making bees not too big a problem.

Bonus

Fire and police departments in the Public Safety building are well-worth a visit.

Bathrooms

Public restrooms are near the Public Safety building and Hamilton Dr. parking lot which turns out to be a long walk from the playground for little legs.

Drinking Water

Yes one near by and one near restrooms.

Parking

Lot across the street on Hamilton Dr. and a small lot near the Middle school on Sycamore.

Other

Skateboarders can enjoy the new skate park located next to the Middle School parking lot off Camino Alto on Sycamore.

Molino Park

Molino Ave & Jnaes St
Mill Valley, CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

This park is sunk into a hillside. A steep staircase enters it from above. Because of the steep sides, there is no fencing along the road. A broad grassy area holds a play area, an asphalt basketball court, and picnic tables with no barbecue. The complex multi level play structure is composed of plastic and metal and sits on wood chips. This structure requires supervision for younger kids. There are two toddler full-bucket swings and two older. A parent noted that it gets very hot here. Best to go on a foggy day, early mornings or late afternoon.

Bathrooms

No.

Drinking Water

Yes.

Parking

Limited street parking.

Old Mill Park

352 Throckmorton Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Located on an historic mill site, Old Mill Park is a charming refuge from the chaos of traffic and heat of a sweltering day. The plastic and wood structure is over sand and has two slides a corkscrew and a straight one, with a variety of items such as a steering wheel, tic tac toe, rings, a tunnel ladder and a wooden bridge. The two toddler full-backed bucket swings are placed far from the two older kid swings. Both sets are far from the play structure, which lowers the risk of kids running into the swing zone, but poses a problem if you have multiple children who still need side-by-side assistance and want you to be at two different places or swings at the same time. Near the toddler swings resides the ever-favorite climbing turtle. The one of-a-kind picnic and barbecue facility is in a ring of towering redwood trees, (who knows how many kids these giants have watched grow up and have kids of their own?). There is an amphitheater behind the library. Bring rain boots or water sandals because the creek is always tempting to explore. This park is not fenced in.

Bonus

There is an original Gravity Train car to climb on from the Mount Tamalpais crookedest railroad in the world. The replica of the old mill built over the creek, however, is not for climbing.

Bathrooms

Nice public restrooms with running water.

Drinking Water

Fountain outside bathrooms.

Parking

Street.

Other

Food is available in the many downtown restaurants or pick up a picnic at Mill Valley Market. On your way to the park, check out the great kids’ store on Throckmorton Avenue called Mill Valley Baby & Kids.

Scott Highlands Park

Vista Linda Dr
Mill Valley, CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

This newly remodeled playground has lots of fun new items. The fully fenced in park is divided into an upper and lower area. The upper area is reached by concrete steps. Use the handrail. It is covered in wood chips and has a large plastic, wood and metal play structure with two plastic slides. Separate from this is a swirling stick, a yellow saucer seat spinner, a long row of monkey bars and a spectacular Christmas tree merry-go-round. The lower ground is covered in a soothing black spongy composite. There is a fun tunnel train that rocks, a small log play house, a four seat coil teeter and a gravel pit with gravel digger. There are only two benches and shade from the surrounding trees. Despite the lack of toilets, this park is well worth a visit.

Bathrooms

No

Drinking Water

No

Parking

Limited off street parking by side of road. One new handicap spot

Other

Large grass field is above the play ground for a game of ball. Beware it is not fenced in so the balls could fall into the street

Strawberry Park

Belvedere Dr & Ricardo Rd
Mill Valley, CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Right in the bosom of Strawberry Recreation Center rests this little charmer. It is meant for use by kids 5 and under. It is dwarfed by the expansive soccer field, baseball diamond and Community Center Pool. but it holds it own with a fun metal and plastic play structure built over sand that has 3 plastic slides. Separate from this is another slide built in the hill with a sand digger near the base. there are two toddler full-bucket swings and a bit of shade with a bench. There is one picnic table with umbrella.

Bathrooms

Yes in the center.

Drinking Water

Yes.

Parking

Parking lot and neighborhood.

Sycamore Park

Sycamore Ave
Mill Valley CA 94941
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

This cheerful playground is symbolic of what happens when a few parents get together and use their infectious determination to bring together the entire community to support their dream The playground was completely rebuilt over the course of a few days in the summer of 2006.

Look for this park entrance between houses. Like many other local parks, its entrance may be confused with a driveway. Two long narrow lawns shape the letter “L”, right in the corner of this shape sits the playground divided into two large areas one is a fenced in tot lot, the other is a big kids’ area both carpeted in wood chips. The cement pathways leading up make it somewhat wheel chair accessible. The play structures are built from wood and plastic composites. The general themes are reflective of Marin County such as the bay, the mountain, historic trains, Miwok Indians and native animals. The tot lot is ringed by a slatted fence embossed with sponsor names as well as hand painted sponsor tiles. Your little one can play on the two toddler bucket swings or the one chair swing. There is an elephant slide, a caterpillar tunnel, climbing rings and a sand box with a train station depot and professional mosaic wall. In the big kids’ area there are no swings but several slides of varying shapes. The play structure is called the Presidio Tree Fort decorated with hand painted insects, animals and plants. There is the Mt. Tam climbing wall, a fabric trampoline bridge and the S.S. Tennessee Sunken ship among other treats. One barbecue grill is set off on its own, there are many benches but no picnic tables at present. Because of local ordinances, there are no toilets of any kind.

Bonus

Pee Wee softball is taught here

Bathrooms

None

Drinking Water

No

Parking

Neighborhood

Other

For great sand toys and birthday gifts for kids, visit Hopscotch Kids on Miller Ave