A Toddler’s Dream – Douglas Park in Santa Monica

Apr 27, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Most people, who’re driving west along Wilshire Boulevard toward Santa Monica, pass Douglas Park. From the street side looking north, it seems and looks like a place where there’s only lawn bowling .

Admittedly, watching this sport, of which I know nothing about, is a little daunting; but if you turn up either 25th Street or Chelsea Avenue, which are perpendicular to the park, there’s a lot more of this park then meets the eye.

Nestled behind the lawn bowling grounds is a park but I don’t mean just a few swings and a slide.

Douglas Park is a Toddler’s Paradise

Surrounded by sand, the children’s playground is full of slides, swings, teeter totters, climbing bridges, steps, inclines, and every imaginable “toy,” a preschooler would want. This portion of Douglas Park borders California Street, and it’s the size of an entire city block.

Bordering the playground is a perfect place for children to learn to ride a bike–that’s the vision I imagined after seeing the open space that’s only for kids!:

When my oldest daughter was learning to ride a bike, it was during the middle of winter—that’s when I was living on the East Coast. To help, I moved the cars, and she successfully mounted her bike, and soon she was riding her bike in the garage with very little free space.

If you’re inclined to enjoy time outside at the park it’s always fun to have a picnic. There’s plenty of space here to pack a lunch and relax, and when you’re all set, Douglas Park also has picnic tables for you to go all out.

Nestled comfortably within the shade of its large and tall green trees, spending time here feels like a millio miles from the hustle and bustle from the city–as you’re enveloped into its solitude and and cocoon of beauty and nature. After lunch, the playground might beckon again, but checking out their baby ducks might be a better choice:

This little boy had a wonderful time feeding his leftover bread to these mother and her ducklings. It isn’t often a child from the city gets to experience nature in the middle of giant urban oasis, but here, it’s a daily occurrence.

/p>Douglas Park has a small man-made stream running through it, with a few bridges and walkways circumventing it.

When you’re on the Westside–or thinking about going there–and desirous of taking the children out for a day outside, make a beehive over to Douglas Park and put it at the top of your to-do and to-go list. Remember that you read about it, also, on Travelin’ Local.

After visiting, drop us a line and tell us about your experience.

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