The Best Parks and Playground In and Around San Diego

Published on April 11, 2022 - Updated on April 11, 2022

With San Diego's perfect year-round weather, every season is playground season. Get out and explore this list of our favorite playgrounds in and around San Diego! There's something for everyone in all parts of the sunny city.

Maruta Gardner Playground

1100 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

Maruta Gardner Park Playground

This stunning beach playground located in Bonita Cove offers numerous play elements designed for children of all ages. The playground includes double-seated swings, a saddle swing, a large rope course that resembles the Giant Dipper roller coaster, balance equipment, musical play equipment, slides, hammocks, an ADA swing, a see-saw, and a fun carousel swing. One of the best things about the park is the beach-inspired theme and the shaded built-in beach chairs right near the sand! 

Civita Park Playground

7960 Civita Blvd, San Diego, CA 92108

Civita Park Playground

Located in the heart of metropolitan San Diego, Civita Park rolls through 14.3 acres of natural hilly landscape. It is a multi-level experience that boasts two playground areas for different ages, a garden, multiple seating areas with ample space, a splash pad, bocce court, an open-air amphitheater, an exciting tunnel mural by local artist Kevin Anderson, and so much more.

San Dieguito Park Playground

1628 Lomas Santa Fe Dr, Del Mar, CA 92014

San Dieguito Playground

San Dieguito County Park boasts an impressive array of activities for the whole family to enjoy together. Perhaps the most sought-after feature at this county park is the main playground located on the upper park side. Among the five playgrounds that the Park offers, (yes FIVE!) this playground is the largest. It's a high sensory structure that will keep your children entertained for hours on end. They always truly enjoy its forest theme, all while being surrounded by the Park's lush greenery!

Olympus Park

Olympus St, Encinitas, CA 92024

Olympus Park

Olympus Park, located in Encinitas, is an amazing new park filled with some truly unique whimsical playground structures. It includes a dog park, a zipline area, sports courts for basketball and pickleball, a small skate park, and a pump track for bikes, skateboards, and scooters. The park also has walking paths, a gazebo, and a botanical garden to explore. Kids will love the extra-long tunnel slide, rope climbing structure, and tire swing!

Moonlight Beach Playground

400 B St, Encinitas, CA 92024

Moonlight Beach Playground

This playground has all the amenities and is just steps away from the best family beach in Encinitas. Covered with canopies, this playground offers different age-appropriate areas with a fun beach theme. If your kids want to ride a toy dolphin, this is their chance! After you play at the playground, walk a few feet west and you'll be at the beach!

Kellogg Park Playground at La Jolla Shores

8277 Camino Del Oro, San Diego, CA 92037

Kellogg Park La Jolla

Steps away from one of the best beaches in Southern California is a large playground for all ages with bathrooms and large grass areas. It is a fabulous spot to enjoy the exceptional views and ocean sounds, with a big playground space with swings for babies and big kids, as well as two playsets for the different age groups and lots of slides too. The monkey bars and climbing contraptions are always a hit as well!

Waterfront Park Playground

1496 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101

Waterfront Park Playground

Located in the heart of San Diego, Waterfront Park is only blocks from the ferry buildings and the ocean. This is a unique park with climbing hills, swinging toys, and a wide variety of less common structures that will keep kids entertained for a good amount of time. We also love the seasonal spray park features on warmer days that kids can run around and play in.

Glen Park Playground

2149 Orinda Dr, Cardiff, CA 92007

Glen Park Playground

A fun little playground with plenty of grassy areas, shade trees, and covered picnic tables. The canopy-covered play structure has lots of climbing features, slides, swings, and a big sandy area to play in. With many beautiful large trees, this is the perfect playground for a picnic!

Poinsettia Community Park Playground

6600 Hidden Valley Rd, Carlsbad, CA 92011

Poinsettia Community Park Playground

Newly reopened in September 2019, this Carlsbad playground is one of the coolest spots you'll see in San Diego. It offers different age group play areas and has a truly fresh approach. Your kids will be running up and down little mountains throughout the playground and enjoying a modern spin on oldies like the merry-go-round and monkey bars, along with a rock-climbing wall that leads to a slide. You won't be disappointed stopping here!

Balboa Park's Sixth Avenue Playground

Sixth Ave & Spruce St, San Diego, CA 92103

Sixth Avenue Playground

One of many throughout Balboa Park, Sixth Avenue Playground is a great stop while you're visiting the park area. This play area offers multiple age-friendly areas with baby swings and big kid swings, and beautiful trees all around. 

Be sure to tag us on Instagram with any of your family's adventures @gethappyly.

Looking for more to do outside in San Diego? Check out our Top Three Kid-Friendly San Diego Beaches blog post!

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Thoughtfully captured by:
Jessica Parrish
I am a Massachusetts native who grew up in the suburbs of Boston and on Cape Cod. As a military spouse I have lived all over the country from Florida to California, and several places in between. My family has now settled in Virginia where I am a stay-at-home mom to two awesome girls. I love to explore and hike National and State Parks, and spend tons of time at the beach with my kids, splashing in the waves in the summer and searching for shells and seaglass in the winter. I also love running, yoga and cooking!
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