When you have pre-swimmers or young kids (or just need a change of pace), a splash pad is an excellent change of pace from the pool, the park or the average playdate. Locally, Moraga Commons provides parents with an easy-to-access splash pad that’s conveniently located (with super easy parking!) at the intersections of St. Mary’s Road and Moraga Way.
Moraga Commons Splash Pad is very conveniently located to a few playgrounds and plenty of shaded grass. The features are non-aggressive and appropriate for all ages. But, what do you do when you need a change of pace? Other splash pads have you covered and we’ve paired up a few suggestions to make a ‘full day’ out of exploring other water features nearby:
Want to drive to Concord and get wild? Six Flags Hurricane Harbor can be followed by a kid (and happy hour) friendly meal on the patio of Lazy Dog Cafe. Waterslides, wave pools and then a lazy meal? Perfect...all the way down to the sunset fire pits and the chance to make a quick trip to treats like Krispy Kreme, obviously for the following day. Obviously.
Venturing into Danville to get away from the norm? Hap Magee Park has a few unique water features that make it a worthy destination. After the kids have worked up a hunger, catch a slice of pizza just off the freeway in Walnut Creek at Pizza My Heart and reminisce on California surf culture at the same time.
A bit of a drive but a worthy reason to bribe the kids to participate in a Costco run is Rancho San Ramon Community Park. With perhaps the biggest splash pad in the area, it’s worth the jaunt when you just can’t look at your own front door anymore. Time it right to grab a few things (including hotdogs) from Costco.
If running errands doesn’t float your boat, just know that one of the region’s few In-n-Out burgers can be frequented here, especially if the kids are too grumpy to get out of the car. Hit it up just before jumping on the 680 to get home and the kids will be ready for bed when you pull in the driveway!
Make the drive to Martinez! Rankin Aquatic Park has an awesome “playground in the water” and since it has an easy ‘zero entry pool’ area, littles can wade in an inch at a time. When you’re done, check out cute and ‘coming for ya downtown Martinez at Creek Monkey. If you fall in love, you might want to check out the Sunday Farmer’s Market for a taste of small town in the Bay.
For the MOTHER of all splash parks, check out The Wave in Dublin. What you will find is essentially a full-sized park drenched in water. Absolutely drenched! When you’re done, you have soooo many off-the-beaten track options for food. A wonderful Indian-inspired “Tandoori Pizza” (if you’re eating after) or, a great idea is to fuel up BEFORE at Denica’s Real Food Kitchen and have all kinds of breakfast and baked goods treats both onsite (to fuel the fun) and “to go”.
Finally, if nature’s got your goat and it’s summer, head over to Lake Anza in Berkeley’s Tilden Park. Families can chill on a convenient lake beach that’s safely cordoned off for swimming. A little nature goes a long way...and hungry tummies can fill up on famous Zachary’s Pizza in Rockridge before scooting through the tunnel to get hom.
Pool boredom is easy to banish with these quick and fun day trips from Lamorinda!