Waterparks in the San Francisco Bay Area – Let’s Cool Off
In the heat of the summer, there is absolutely nothing better than to head to one of the kid friendly waterparks in the San Francisco Bay area. The three big waterparks with all the slides and theme park action are of course Waterworld in Concord and Raging Waters in San Jose, reviewed here by my fellow blogger, Natasha Kay, and Raging Waters in Sacramento. But I know from experience, that sometimes you’re not looking for that big time adventure and instead want to head to a park that still has water play features but is a little more low key and less expensive!
Here I bring you a select few that will keep your kids cool, happy and well behaved for the rest of summer (and if you believe that you’ll believe anything!)
1. Lakewood Park – South Bay – 834 Lakechime Drive, Sunnyvale
Lakewood Park has two swimming pools and a lot of other water features to keep the kids entertained. As well as basketball courts, a handball court and tennis courts, the water play area works really well for younger children who need cooling down.
There is a big barbeque area with lots of tables, and a fire pit for more grilling fun – smores anyone!
Parking isn’t the best, so heads up, you might have to park on a neighbourhood street and walk a block or two.
2. Rinconada Park Pool – Peninsula – 777 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto
This is a really fun waterpark for kids. You have to pay for admission, but you can definitely spend a good amount of time here and be entertained. Adults admission is $5 and it’s $4 for kids age 3 and up. For older swimmers, you have a lap pool and diving boards, whereas the for the younger kids, there is a play structure that is truly inspired with water bicycles, fountains and lots of water toys that will catch you unawares – watch out!!
This park will get pretty busy, so my advice is to head there early if you have young kids that need a shady picnic spot under the trees.
3. Ryder Park – Peninsula – 1801 J. Hart Clinton Dr. San Mateo
Another great park with lots of fun to be had. The great thing about kid friendly waterparks is all the other play equipment available, especially in this park, it’s structures are really quite something – lots of modern European designs. This means your kids don’t get bored and you can fill a whole day with fun! Ryder park is one of my favourites simply because of its lovely paved bike path that goes along the coast. Build up a sweat and then cool off in the water features which spurt water every five minutes!
Bringing your own shade is recommended as with all parks as you never know if you will get a shady spot.
4. Newark Aquatic’s Center – East Bay – 6800 Mowry Avenue, Newark
Not all of the waterparks in San Francisco Bay are for use in the summer only! This indoor adventureland is a lovely 72 degrees year round! There’s a lazy river (my personal favourite!), several slides for different age groups, water fountains, lap pools, you name it, it’s there. This is a great spot for a birthday party, year round.
5. Fremont Centre Park – East Bay – 40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
This is a park where real memories are made. Go here once and you won’t hear the end of it – in a good way! An award winning park with an 83 acre lake for boating an kayaking, the aqua adventure park, certinaly rivals the bigger theme parks. With three big spiral slides for bigger kids, a little squirts pool for the babes, lots of shaded eating areas and another lazy river – oh yeah! This is a really great day out. Just remember, no outside food or drink is allowed in this park, so it might be worth having a picnic in the surrounding park areas and obtaining a wrist band for easy re-entry.
6. Maria B. Freitas Park – North Bay - Montecillo Road (at Trellis Drive), San Rafael
A lovely water park for younger children as the water flows straight back into the soft flooring. With a gentle geyser, that pops up here and there, and slowly builds into a water display, younger kids will enjoy this park a lot. This is a good introductory waterpark.