Tewinkle Park in Costa Mesa

7 BEST PARKS FOR FAMILIES IN ORANGE COUNTY

Parks and playgrounds are filled with wonder and adventure for all ages. Some like to soar like birds on the swings, while others transform into little monkeys, swinging from vine to vine on the steel bars.

Orange County is sprawling with many safe, family-oriented neighborhoods, so no matter what your kid is into, the playgrounds listed below have it all, making them the best playgrounds for a families in Orange County.

Baker Ranch Park in Lake Forest

This aesthetic and well-maintained park is tucked away in the beautiful new community known as Bakers Ranch. It has playground equipment for infants through adults, including a rock wall, a 40' tube slide, climbing bars, checker/chess boards, mini tables, rocking toy, spiral slides, chain climbs, 3 lap/mile walking path, basketball court, and ball field. All of the greenery is astroturf instead of grass so it always looks crisp and freshly mowed here.

Highlights:

  • Fake grass is a plus for allergens
  • Rock climbing
  • Wall climbing
  • Large long slide
  • Picnic area in view of all the playgrounds
  • Climbing net and bars
  • Misc climbing equipment
  • Two little playgrounds
  • BBQ'S
  • Picnic tables

Tip: Bring some cardboard and wax paper to slide down one of the big hills.

Heritage Park in Irvine

This serene and family friendly park is the perfect place to have an all day picnic. The park sits next to Heritage Park Regional Library on the corner of Yale and Walnut. A man-made lake sits in the center of this park and it is filled with turtles, ducks, and fish. Bring some bread to feed the ducks or take a leisurely stroll along the walking path.

Highlights:

  • Tennis Courts
  • Basketball Courts
  • Splash Pad
  • Soccer Field
  • Baseball Field
  • Handball Court
  • Community Center
  • Lake
  • BBQ'S
  • Picnic Tables
  • Electrical outlets

Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove

This little gem is hidden at the end of a cul de sac. With the added benefit of the entire park being fenced in, Atlantis Play Center is the perfect spot for Birthday Parties. There is a small fee to enter the park ($2 per person) and adults can not enter without a child. This is an excellent safety feature. There are so many nooks and crannies to play, hide and explore at this park, and it is filled with swings, slides, trails, even a toddler-friendly splash pad. There is also lots of shade for the parents and plenty of tables to sit at. Don't miss the giant serpent slide, it's sure to put a smile on your face!

Highlights:

  • Gated in
  • Spread out equipment
  • Splash pad with WARM water!
  • Tons of shade
  • Abundance of grass areas
  • Many" small private areas
  • Lots of table seating
  • Great place for parties
  • Very safe

Serrano Creek Park in Lake Forest

Hidden from all the city lights and noise, this park is great if you're looking for a place to relax. The smell of Eucalyptus trees just adds to the effect. While not a huge park, Serrano Creek has a nice sized playground area that is great for kids of all ages. The bathrooms are clean & there are trails right next to the park to explore, walk your dog, push a stroller, etc. The park is also adjacent to the Serrano Creek Ranch Equestrian Center and kids can walk through and look at the horses.

Highlights:

  • Huge Eucalyptus Grove
  • Plenty of shade
  • Creek to look for animals

Tewinkle Park in Costa Mesa

Eco-friendly and quiet, Tewinkle park is a hidden gem in the heart of Costa Mesa. The park runs alongside the 55 freeway so if you are not actively looking for it, you likely will not see it. There are waterfalls, streams and a big lake full of ducks and geese. Bring a picnic or visit on your lunch break because it's a great way to destress mid-day. For little ones, there is an enormous playground that has a"  variety of play structures so kids definitely will not get bored here. Sports fanatics will love Tewinkle park as it has numerous amenities including a baseball field, 12 tennis courts, amphitheater, lake, 30 picnic tables, two softball fields, basketball court, and more. .

Highlights:

  • Amazingly well-maintained
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Equipment features" that is great for motor skills

Bluebird Park in Laguna Beach

This park is the ideal park for a parent! The entire park is enclosed, there is a big kids playground and a little kid's playground, and large grass area as well as plenty of sidewalk/concrete area for riding bikes/trikes/etc."  You can see everything from the little kids area because you are above the big kids playground and grassy area. Play equipment on both playgrounds is very smart and age appropriate. The 4-story rocketship slide is perfect for little imaginations.

Highlights:" 

  • Park is fully contained
  • Giant multi-story rocket ship perfect for the imagination.
  • Two awesome slides going down a wall embankment (one of which is a tandem racing slide).
  • This park is very spacious and has plenty of room on a busy weekend afternoon.

Pavion Park in Mission Viejo

Pavion Park Playground is about universal play, and providing fun activities and equal access for all, including children and caregivers of all ages and abilities. The park includes a wide variety of accessible play equipment including a main tree-house with slides and accessible ramps and interactive boards, rocking boat that fits a wheelchair, accessible sand diggers, spinners, swings that are equipped with harness/support to protect a child's neck, and interactive light/sound games."  Shade trees surround the playground, and benches and chairs face one another and are embedded throughout the playground to encourage visitors to interact.

Highlights:

  • Surface of playground is a soft, spongy material
  • Lots of bright vibrant colors
  • Lots of swings with various styles of seating (many for handicapped)
  • Electronic games
  • Jungle Gym

Photo Credit:

Title Image: yelp/Douma C.
2. Yelp/Michelle K.
3." friendsoflaguna.org
4. Yelp/Les S.
5. Yelp/Douma C.