San Rafael

Santa Margarita Valley Park

De La Guerra Rd
San Rafael, CA 94903
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Nestled in a cul-de-sac this playground has two areas. The lower area is the toddler area. It has two full bucket swings, sailboat climber made of plastic and metal and a play structure with a short slide and a and box. It is partially shaded and over woodchips. Two drawbacks are that it is not fully fenced in and there is a steep set of concrete steps going up to the next play level. The big kids play area sits above in the middle of a grassy field. There is a giant play structure over woodchips with many things to climb, a double slide, a tube slide, and unique monkey bars composed of three steering wheels and two swings. This level also provides picnic and barbecue facilities, a large lawn, and a basketball and tennis court.

Bathrooms

Toilets with running water.

Drinking Water

Fountain.

Parking

Neighborhood parking.

Other

Barbeque pit with picnic tables.

Oliver Hartzell Park

Golden Hinde Blvd
San Rafael, CA 94903
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

This hill top park sits in full few of the road near an apartment complex. It is not fenced in, but your kids can’t wander far without you noticing. The simple metal and plastic gym sits on clean sand and contains a short slide, a tall, curling slide, a chain climber, a toddler swing and one tire swing. Two picnic tables sit off to the side. There is no shade.

Bathrooms

None.

Drinking Water

Drinking fountain.

Parking

Neighbor street parking.

Other

Anne Curtis Swim club is across the street and offers great lessons for children in the summer months.

Oleander Park

Oleander Dr
San Rafael, CA 94903
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

This very tiny, clean playground with partial fencing, sits on a small field of grass. The play area is composed of sand with metal and plastic play structures over rubber padding. A pair of twin plastic slides gets a little bit of shade from a neighboring cypress. A swing set is divided in two with a set of toddler full-buckets swings and another pair for older kids. One picnic table stands guard in the middle.

Bathrooms

No.

Drinking Water

Fountain.

Parking

Neighborhood street parking.

Freitas Park

Trellis Dr
San Rafael, CA 94903
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

You don’t come here for swings and slides. This unique playground uses water for it’s entertainment. Press the hand on the red pipe and a slow trickle of water emerges from a row of three giant rings, then a small geyser sprouts up from the ground as a gentle Old Faithful which disappears and pops across on the other side. Slowly the water performance grows and the children get less intimidated. It builds to a crescendo blasting from all the rings at once and kids run through, under and around giggling and getting soaked. Do not drink the water since it is reclaimed. On these 3.5 acres you will find one shade offering gazebo, a field, picnic and barbecue facilities, and checker/chess tables with cement stools which terrace above the water play. To get to them you must like steps since only one is wheel chair accessible.

Bathrooms

Very tidy toilets but a hike uphill and far from the activity.

Drinking Water

Drinking fountain by toilets.

Parking

Street parking which can get crowded if the hospital is busy.

Victor Jones Park

Robinhood Dr
San Rafael, CA 94901
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Most folks go to Peacock Gap when they are in this vicinity, but if you are looking for a change, try this neighborhood playground. The park is stretched out over a long narrow hillside. On the upper end near Robinhood Dr. is the playground. The toddler side is fully fenced in and has a small plastic and metal structure over sand. The older kids have a larger climbing structure with a big arch of swings. To date there are six swings, but the spacing police may cut these back to three as has been the pattern. Plenty of shade covered picnic tables and barbeque facilities reside on the lower level area.

Bonus

There is a lot for older kids and for the big kid in all of us. Check out the baseball diamond, volleyball court, shuffleboard, and two basketball courts.

Bathrooms

Toilets.

Drinking Water

Drinking fountain.

Parking

Neighborhood street parking.

Sun Valley Park

Solano St
San Rafael, CA 94901
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

This fully fenced in playground sits on a large span of lawn which includes a gazebo with picnic and barbecue facilities, and a basketball and volleyball court. The playground is divided into two areas one for toddlers and the other for older kids. They are just the right size for keeping an eye on children in both areas at the same time. The structures are made of metal and plastic on sand. The toddler area has a play house and slide structure with a motorcycle coil rocker. The big kids’ area has a climbing structure, slide and tube slide. The swings include two toddler full-bucket and two big kids where four used to be. Some shade.

Bonus

Sun Valley Market is a close stroll on California St.

Bathrooms

Toilets with running water.

Drinking Water

No. Drinking fountain removed.

Parking

Neighborhood.

Other

Dogs are permitted on the grounds. Conveniently placed pooper-scoopers are available.

Schoen Park

Spinnaker Point Dr
San Rafael, CA 94901
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

This tiny park can be easily missed, just look for it right on the roadside. It also borders a marsh and the bay with a jogging and dog run. Partial fencing encircles one picnic table, a swing set with four toddler full-bucket swings and two older, a climbing gym over sand with one long metal slide colorfully painted, and a toucan coil-rocker.

Drinking Water

Fountain.

Parking

Limited neighborhood parking.

Other

Plenty of shade.

Pickleweed Park

Canal St & Sorrento Wy
San Rafael, CA 94901
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Here is a beautiful park situated in the Canal district (an area avoided in the past but now is being gentrified.) The general theme is trains with a set of rails imbedded in the cement walk and a stationary train for kids to “drive”. In the center is a clever roadway just the right size for kids and their bring-along peddle vehicles. It comes complete with street signs, a round-about and parking meters. You will not have to wait long for a swing since there are plenty of toddler full-bucket swings and older ones. Plastic and metal slides and a large climbing structure on sand and rubber padding provide lots of fun. Check out the unique rope spider web climbing wall for older kids. The unfenced playground borders a large lawn with picnic and barbecue facilities where kids may be tempted to run astray.

Bathrooms

Toilets and running water.

Drinking Water

Yes.

Parking

Small lot.

Other

The recreation center posts announcements and activities.

Peacock Gap Park

Peacock Dr
San Rafael, CA 94901
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

This delightful playground is tucked at the end of an eclectic display of houses with varying architecture ranging from adobe to 70’s ranch style. There’s lots of space for your little one to take off and run which can be a good thing especially if they have been cooped up too long indoors on rainy days. Happily the toddler lot is fully fenced-in. The gym is in the shape of a boat with ladders to climb and a slide. There is also a playhouse, a coil rider motorcycle with passenger seat and three toddler full-bucket swings all on sand. This is also the only part of both playgrounds that has any shade. The big kids’ area is open and on sand. There is a wide seesaw to accommodate many kids at once and a swing set. The broad climbing gym is of metal, wood and plastic and requires supervision. Benches sit in a circle between the two playgrounds but it is hard to keep an eye on kids in both areas at the same time. Separate picnic and barbecue facilities are offered, along with a field, tennis courts and a small walking trail with labeled exercises.

Bathrooms

Clean toilets with running water.

Drinking Water

Fountains.

Parking

Small lot.

Other

Dogs are abundant.

Gerstle Park

San Rafael Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

The playgrounds here sit on land purchased by Mr. Gerstle for his wife Hannah in the early 1900’s. In time they built a summer home which contained 36 bedrooms and 16 baths. In 1936 the estate was deeded to San Rafael as a park. The 3.5 acres holds a field, 28 picnic and barbecue facilities, a basketball and tennis court and playgrounds. In 1955 an arson fire destroyed the main house, the foundation of which can still be seen if you go exploring. The playgrounds are spread out over several terraces. The largest one houses a basketball court, a large grass area, four kid swings, a tire swing and an elaborate play structure on sand. The upper playground as been removed and replaced except for the unique climbing dragon.

Bathrooms

Toilets with running water.

Drinking Water

Fountains.

Parking

Neighborhood street.

Web

http://www.gerstlepark.com/