Families in San Mateo who are looking for parks for their preschool-aged children are fortunate to have a wealth of resources available. With a variety of parks – many of them right on the bay – San Mateo is a great place to take your kids exploring.
Shoreline Parks is two parks in one. Part of it is a dog park (Seal Point Park), which may not be ideal for preschoolers, but the other part, Ryder Park, is perfect for young children. It has a large sandbox, which is more of a sand pit, swings, a climbing structure, and picnic areas for when it’s time for your child to fuel up for more playing. There are also a variety of birds and other wildlife that can be seen but won’t get too close, for parents who like to point out nature to their children. Wildflowers are also present during much of the year, and it is easy to see your children if they get the urge to run free. In the summer, there are water features for children to play in after they get too hot from all their other play.
Coyote Point Park has a parking fee, which isn’t ideal, but is an absolutely beautiful, clean park that is perfect for preschoolers. The playground, a favorite with young children and their parents, includes a large slide, four swings, an alligator climbing structure, and a bouncy log to practice balance (and have fun!) The whole park overlooks the bay with a great view of windsurfers and bay wildlife. In addition, there is a well-maintained picnic area and clean bathrooms.
One park that is not as close to the bay is Laurelwood Park. It is located in a residential area but is still a wonderful park for children, and there is plenty of street parking so their parents don’t have to pay! There are several climbing structures for children to play on and a creek nearby for children to explore with supervision. The playground has a sandbox area and the park is kept very clean – even the bathrooms! The whole park is very grassy and has a calm feeling.
The City of San Mateo’s Central Park is another good place for children to play. There is plenty of street parking so parents don’t have to pay for parking. There are several play structures so that children don’t have to fight over slides and climbing structures while they play. There’s also a rose garden for the whole family to enjoy, and a Japanese garden in the middle of the park.
Finally, Beresford Park is good for children of all ages with a tennis court, bocce ball court, skate park, and more. However, for preschoolers, there is a big grassy field for playing and picnics and a special playground set aside for young children (with two others for older kids). Community gardens are educational and the grass is perfect for children who have endless energy to run and run.