Yerba Buena Gardens Play Circle

Last week was Spring Break for my kids, which meant over-booking, under-sleeping, and driving all over the Bay Area!
Image placeholder title

One of our most eventful days started at the California Academy of Science, and ended at the Yerba Buena Gardens Play Circle just before sun down!

Yerba Buena Gardens

If you’ve never been to Yerba Buena Gardens before, it’s an awesomely open, kid-friendly area in the middle of the big city, and it includes the Yerba Buena Rooftop Park, the Ice Skating and Bowling Center, and Zeum – Children’s Creativity Museum. Since this is right next to my parents’ apartment, we frequent these fun places as much as possible.

Image placeholder title

Play Circle

The Park is awesome – completely covered in the bouncy, rubber-ish, blue stuff that keeps kids from bashing their heads open if/when they fall off the climbing structure, or shoot out of the long slides!

Image placeholder title

Image placeholder title

There are two mostly-enclosed metal tube slides – one is long, and the other is super long! There is also a pretty long flat metal slide that is a little less intimidating for the younger ones. My daughter flew out of the tube slide a little too fast one time, and decided she’d stay on the flat slide for the rest of the day – LOL!

Sand Pit and Water Features

Besides the slides, there is a huge, open area with the bouncy, rubber-ish, blue stufffor them to run and jump and play. There’s also a (sometimes) awesome sand pit that has a (sometimes) awesome water feature. The (sometimes) comes into play on many windy San Francisco days where under-achieving parents like me don’t bring a change of clothes for their children who no longer require frequent clothing changes. Cold water = wet clothes, just add wind, and you have very grumpy, wet children, and soon after… grumpy, wet parents. Get my drift? BUT, on warm days, water is awesome! C’mon summer!

Speaking of water, this park also has a neat little water structure, or fountain of sorts, that I often see half-dressed children splashing through during warm days. I’m not sure if this is encouraged by park officials, but it sure looks like fun! Again, I’m usually the unprepared parent without a change of clothes, so we have yet to play in the fountain-ish-thing.

Image placeholder title

Climbing Structure

Last, but definitely not least, is the slightly-intimidating (for parents), yet exhilarating and living-on-the-edge-esque climbing structure! This part of the Yerba Buena Circle Park is geared towards the older kids. Even my three-year old has a hard time navigating the up and downs. She has to concentrate to make it up and down the ladder, and she’s usually pretty fearless. My 6-year-old, however, flies up and down this structure like nobody’s business!

Image placeholder title

​He also scales walls, though…

Image placeholder title

So, if you’re in the middle of San Francisco, and looking for a great place for the kids to run free, you have to check out Yerba Buena Gardens Play Circle! They have a wonderful park with slides, sand, and a big climbing structure – all grounded in that awesome bouncy, rubber-ish blue stuff (anybody know the technical name for this magical flooring?) that makes parents a little less nervous! If you make a whole day out of it, you should also make time to check out the Ice Skating, Bowling, and Children’s Museum!