Interpretative Playground at Agoura Hills Recreation and Event Center

There is quite a neat little interpretative play area at the City of Agoura Hills Recreation and Event Center at 29900 Ladyface Court. It has a Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area theme, including a slide, climbing wall, track ride and more. There's a gigantic Rattlesnake Seating Wall, Mountain Lion Climber, Bobcat Climber and Hawk Track Ride. More on the Recreation Center at

Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Calabasas

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The City of Calabasas' Juan Bautista de Anza Park at 3701 Lost Hills Road (corner of Lost Hills and Las Virgenes) has facility and recreation space available for rent. The rental space is ideal for birthday parties, holiday gatherings, corporate picnics, or company retreats.

There are three separate age appropriate play areas, a water fountain that shoots water streams eight feet into the air during the summer and a large sport court. This is a fun park that my kids always enjoy! Access to trails too!

Three large picnic areas are available. Each area seats 80 (240 combined). The park’s game and basketball courts may also be rented for party use. A multi-purpose room with panoramic views are also available for rental.

More information at www.cityofcalabasas.com/recreation/deanza.html or call 818.880.6461.

Indian Springs Park in Oak Park

Indian Springs Park, located at the corner of Rockfield Street and Hawthorne Drive in Oak Park, is a nice sized, flat residential park with a number of amenities. The park has two playgrounds (bigger kids and little kids), tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball court, restrooms and more. Visit www.rsrpd.org/oak_park/parks/indian_springs_park.php or call 805.584.4400 for more information.

This is one of the only local parks I can think of that has one of these metal spinner things (official terminology). I didn't last long on it as my kids pushed me around.
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Tomol Interpretative Play Area at Carpinteria State Beach

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Located at 390 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, at the northern corner of Carpinteria State Beach Park, the Tomol Interpretive Play Area opened in 2011 through the cooperative efforts of California State Parks, the Morning Rotary Club of Carpinteria, and the City of Carpinteria.

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The play area, universally accessible by all visitors, features a Chumash Indian village with slides, cave, sandstone boulders, a "tomol" plank boat, rainbow bridge and other play structures. Definitely something to stop by and check out with your little ones when you are in the area.

The interpretive play area was awarded the Universal Access Award by California State Parks for “outstanding achievement in increasing universal access” by all visitors regardless of physical limitations.  www.carpinteriachamber.org/carpinteria-parks

Sumac Park in Agoura Hills

Sumac Park is located at 6000 Calmfield Avenue in Agoura Hills. It is a small neighborhood park that was upgraded with a new play structure in 2010. There is a handful of parking spots and plenty of street parking, restrooms (these are pretty old style but functional) and a nice, flat grassy area. More information at www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/government/departments/community-services-parks-recreation/parks-facilities/parks.

Alameda Park in Santa Barbara

Ranking high up on the list of parks with cool play areas around town is Alameda Park, located at the corner of Garden Street and E. Micheltorena Street in Santa Barbara. Alameda Park has an 8,000 sq ft mostly wooden play structure that was built by local residents. This is the most unique play structure of any park I'm aware of in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (though the newer play structure at Gates Canyon Park in Calabasas gives it a run for its money).

Your kids will fall in love with the nooks, crannies, steps, bridges and places to hide in this play structure. There are also swings and things to climb on. The park itself is 2 blocks long and one of the oldest parks in Santa Barbara. It is next door to the beautiful Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden. Plenty of grass, spectacular, large shade trees and much more make this a perfect picnic lunch stop when you're in town.

More information at www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/parksrec/parks/features/horticulture/alameda.asp.

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Gates Canyon Park / Brandon's Village - Calabasas

Brandon's Village
Brandon's Village

The 7 acre Gates Canyon Park in Calabasas includes picnic areas with barbeques, fitness course, children's play area, basketball court, tennis courts and plenty of open grass area.  The park is north of the 101 freeway and east of Las Virgenes.

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Designed by Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization that designs and builds universally accessible playgrounds, and opened in October 2006, Brandon’s Village features playground equipment that is over 70% independently playable for children with disabilities and also provides meaningful and stimulating play opportunities for able-bodied children.

Gates Canyon Park / Brandon's Village is located at 25801 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Calabasas. Call 818.880.6461 or visit www.cityofcalabasas.com/vtour/parks-recreation/gates-canyon.html for more information.

There is a huge play area for 5 to 12 year olds with many unique features not seen in other parks, such as a unique roller-driven slide and a large "swaying" ship. There is also a separate play area for younger children. The video below doesn't quite do the place justice but will give you some feel for how cool Brandon's Village is.  This is a "must visit" place in my opinion if you live in the area with kids!

Dos Vientos Neighborhood Park in Newbury Park

Dos Vientos Neighborhood Park is a 5 acre park located at the corner of Lynn Road and Via Andrea in Newbury Park, across the street from Rocking K Horse Rentals. This is a a low-key neighborhood park with some, but not a lot, of parking available along Via Andrea.  It has a large grassy area, sand volleyball court, playground area, basketball court, four picnic tables and BBQ grills and a small restroom.  More information at the Conejo Recreation and Park District website at www.crpd.org/parkfac/parks/dosvientosneighborhood.asp.

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