We were staying with our friends about an hour’s drive east of San Francisco in San Ramon. We didn’t want to drive to the city every day, of course, so I found several great things to do that were closer. The first thing, of course, was hanging out with the friends we miss and enjoying their heated swimming pool. If only the children had gotten along better…
San Ramon Central Park
Boy, they spared no expense with this playground. With a built-in creek, complete with climbing rocks and a splash pad, this playground entertained our kids forever and also kept them from fighting: a literal miracle.
Children’s Fairyland in Oakland
So this little theme park predates Disneyland and was in fact visited by Walt himself for inspiration. Nowadays they are only doing a half-assed job of maintaining it, so it is a bit creepy and weird to see functioning puppets moving in the little dust-covered enclaves. There are broken sidewalks, a sliding hill on which nothing really slides, and broken exhibits. Nevertheless all the rides are working and with a little imagination and some good cleaning, this place could be a super cute and fun park for little kids.
Mt. Diablo’s Rock City
Less than a half hour’s drive away is Mt. Diablo, and within the park is a rocky area called Rock City. The kids enjoyed scrambling over the rocky trail and crawling into caves. My friends got tired so we took them home and came bike to hike some more. M and I climbed to a great view and we both enjoyed sitting up there in the sun watching the hikers meaner by. Great place!