Posts Tagged ‘Palo Alto parks for preschoolers’

Bol Park is one of Palo Alto’s hidden gems. It has it all: a great playground, a large field for ball games, some woody scrubland for hide and seek, chickens, goats and donkeys to visit and a creek to play in. It’s the perfect destination for a long summer afternoon.

The Playground

The rather hot playground

This has plenty to keep very little ones and older preschoolers amused, including some slightly more adventurous climbing opportunities.  The Monkey and his chums particularly love the tyre swing. The playground backs onto a large open space which is itself edged with woods that the kids love to explore.  It’s really rather bucolic considering the park is only minutes from El Camino Real.

Space to run

The Animals

To find the chickens and the goats, just take the bike path at the edge of the playground deeper into the park.  The animals are attached to a private house on the right about 5o meters past the end of the play area.  The (super kind) owners seem very relaxed about kids petting and feeding the goats, just be careful to read the signs explaining what they can and can’t eat.

I wonder if we can catch one?

To find Barron Park’s two famous donkeys (well, one of them is THE Shrek Donkey), keep going along the bike path for a couple of hundred meters. They’re over the bridge on the right.  Again please pay attention to the posted information about feeding, or rather not feeding, them.  If you want a closer look at the donkeys, their handlers bring them into the playground area most sundays around 10am.

Barron Park’s own furry superstar

The Creek

Bol Park also has a wonderful creek which is perfect for paddling, throwing stones and making rock channels, especially in the warmer months when the water level is low.  There are also a couple of nice rope swings there for bigger kids.  To access the creek take the dirt path that runs along the opposite side of the field to the bike path.  There are some steps down to the creek midway between the donkey field and the playground.

There’s nothing more fun for toddlers than throwing stones into a pool of water.


Bol Park is also the venue for occasional special events, and it just so happens that one of our favourites is coming up this weekend.  On Sunday May 20th it’s the Bol Park Fete running from noon until 4pm. This is a lovely, low-key event perfect for little ones. In past years there’s been maypole dancing, children’s games, music, fire trucks and police cars to sit in, the donkeys and ice-cream.  It makes for a relaxed family afternoon.

The Negatives?

No toilets and not too much shade in the playarea itself.  On very hot days we head to the creek.


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