Archives For Parks

As a family, we love discovering new and unique parks. Recently, on our way to San Diego, we discovered Alta Vista Botanical Gardens in the city of Vista. The Children’s Discovery trail has a “music garden” where children can make music with a variety of natural instruments. Additionally, there is a “butterfly teepee” where kids can sit and watch butterflies from below, “totally tubular tunnels” to run through, stepping stumps to hop from, a human sun dial, zig zag balance beam, a “hidden tea room” perfect for sharing a snack in the shade, blocks to build with, and more. There are also plenty of shaded picnic benches to sit and have lunch.

We spent hours on the trail and our kids did not want to leave!


1270 Vale Terrace Drive
Vista, CA 92084

Please note: The Children’s Discovery Trail is located at the entrance of the botanical gardens. Park in the same parking lot as Alta Vista Park.


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM


Admission: $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3-12 (cash only honor system)

Kelly, Blog Contributor

About the Author
Kelly and her husband have two boys, ages 5 and 7. She loves taking her boys on adventures around Southern California that focus on learning, getting their wiggles out, and having fun! When she isn’t fulfilling her mommy duties she teaches at a local elementary school and community college. 

Heritage Park in Irvine

Maruska —  July 24, 2017

This is a seriously cool park! It has everything you need- huge playground, splash pad, a pond, swings, shady tables and clean restrooms. This park can keep your kids busy for hours. It’s situated in a quiet neighborhood, far from busy streets. Be sure to bring swim gear and water shoes because you know your kids will want to play in the splash pad! Take a stroll around the lake and keep an eye out for birds and turtles.


  • Splash pad– a great way to cool off on a hot day
  • Ocean-themed playground with a toddler and big kid area. There’s a rocking boat and plenty of things to climb on
  • There’s a good amount of shade, including a few shady picnic tables near the toddler play structure
  • Inside the Community Center are restrooms, ping pong tables and snack vending machines

Know Before You Go:

  • The parking lot is large – drive past the library and recreation center until you see the park area, otherwise you’ll be in for a long walk
  • The pond area is open with no fence, so keep a close eye on your little ones
  • Beware of goose poop near the pond
  • The outside restrooms are sometimes locked, but follow the signs for the inside restrooms
  • Irvine Recreation hosts many programs at this park, so it may get crowded with large groups of kids
  • The community center may be closed if there are no scheduled facility use


14301 Yale Ave., Irvine 949-724-6750
Located at the corner of Walnut and Yale. Follow the signs to the parking lot


Park Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am-9:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-10:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm

Amy Dilling, Blog Contributor

About the Author:
Amy and her husband have two boys 3 and 6. She loves to find fun places to keep her active guys busy! Parks, beaches and special events are on her top list of things to do with her family.  

Atlantis Play Center

Maruska —  July 6, 2017

atlantis park

Atlantis Play Center is a place I used to go as a kid, so now that I have kids of my own, it’s always a stop we make when the splash pad opens in the summer! This park is huge! It has lots of shade from all the trees around the park! You will find several play areas great for all ages and even a splash pad. 


  • Offers many playgrounds for all ages
  • Lots of different play structures 
  • Splash pad with outside shower to rinse off
  • Bathrooms with baby changing stations
  • Plenty of close free parking
  • Gated in
  • Lots of shade
  • Lots of grass
  • Plenty of benches for sitting and picnics
  • Not usually crowed
  • Great for birthday parties

Photo Jul 12, 11 32 31 AM

Know Before You Go:

  • The splash pad has a timer and turns off every few minutes. There is a button to turn it back on, which is a bit difficult. The trick is to use your elbow to press down.
  • Come wearing a swimsuit. Most kids play in the park first in their bathing suit then head to the splash pad.
  • This is cash only so bring $2 per person. Kids 2 and under free.
  • Pack a lunch, this park is huge and offers so many great picnic spots.
  • Don’t forget sunblock.
  • Picnic tables can be reserved for $5 but you can use them if no one reserved them.
  • As a safety precaution you must have a child to enter the park or you will not be allowed in.   

Photo Jul 12, 11 30 25 AM


Atlantis Play Center
13630 Atlantis Way
Garden Grove, CA 92844
(714) 892-6015


Mondays: closed
Tuesdays – Saturdays: 10am-4pm
Sundays: 12pm – 4pm

The splash pad is open until Labor Day Weekend


$2 for ages 3+.
Free for 2 years old and under
Cash Only.

Parking is free.

Photo Jul 12, 11 30 17 AM

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