You have got to see these state-of-the-art play areas.
San Francisco has some of the best playgrounds in the nation, and the City’s children have a total of 179 play areas to enjoy. San Francisco Recreation and Parks has poured millions of dollars into overhauling parks and playground equipment, often funded by the Let’s Play SF! initiative. 2012’s Clean And Safe Neighborhood Parks General Obligation Bond allocated $15.5M for playground renovation, and several other bonds have funded continued playground makeovers since then.
If you haven’t seen these incredible playgrounds post-renovation, there’s a handy map at the bottom of this article to help you plan your next kid outing!
The George Christopher Playground in Diamond Heights underwent a $5.2M renovation and opened its doors at the end of April 2021. The new play area is designed with both younger and older kids in mind, including swings, a whirl, and several exploration areas. Kids can play in a garden meant to spark their imaginations, complete with stepping stones, a bridge, a playhouse, and a dry riverbed.
Location: 5210 Diamond Heights Blvd
The Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground opened its doors in February 2021 after a $14.5M renovation. It’s named after University of San Francisco basketball star Willie Wong, who played there from 1948-1950. The brand new custom play equipment features a huge climbable water dragon sculpture and a beautiful phoenix. There are also cohesive bridges, pathways, a two-level tower, several slides, and brand new courts to accommodate basketball, volleyball, badminton and pickleball.
Location: 830 Sacramento St
3. Redwood Grove Playground
The City revealed this beautiful playground in October 2020, situated on top of a hill between two picnic areas in McLaren Park. SF Recreation and Parks incorporated native plantings and other natural elements such as boulders and timbers. A large tunnel slide descends from a towering structure in the center of the park, and there are plenty of climbing nets for kids who love to explore.
Location: 200 John F Shelley Dr
4. Sergeant John Macaulay Park
Sergeant John McAulay Park was revealed in October 2020 after a $2.9M renovation. Visitors can enjoy a ship-themed play structure, new swings, and plenty of nice seating, landscaping and public art.
Location: O’Farrell and Larkin St.
5. Margaret Hayward Playground
This playground in the Western Addition was revealed in October 2020 after a whopping $28M renovation. The 6-acre park features an exciting children’s play area with plenty of nets for climbing, as well as a brand-new clubhouse and kitchen, improved basketball courts, sports fields, and more.
Location: 1016 Laguna St.
6. West Portal Playground
Here’s an extra imaginative playground that opened in October 2020 after a $3.4M renovation. Its crowning moment is the enormous purple dragon head with a big red slide as its tongue. Its inclusive play equipment comes in exciting colors and is surrounded by new landscaping, seating, and rubberizing paving.
Location: Ulloa St & Lenox Way
7. Alice Chalmers Park
Alice Chalmers Park has a brand new, $3.7M playground as of October 2020. The unique design features 3 stacked boxes that children can climb inside of to reach an enormous metal tunnel slide. The architectural elements make for a memorable playground experience, not to mention new and improved landscaping and seating areas.
Location: 670 Brunswick St
8. South Park
This exciting park was revealed to the public after a $1M renovation back in March 2017, but it’s so beautiful we had to add it to our list. South Park is the oldest park in San Francisco, but it fell into disrepair years ago until SF Recreation & Parks made major repairs to park infrastructure and added an awesome new climbing structure.
Location: 64 South Park Ave
9. Merced Heights Playground
This massive playground features brand new equipment including a timber play structure, climbers, a spinner, and a bowl swing. It was revealed in October 2020 after a $5.3M renovation.
Location: 801 Shields St
10. Panhandle Playground
This fun playground opened in November 2019. It features a sandbox to dig for sea creatures, climbing structures, new swing sets, and a giant slide built into natural boulders. The surrounding landscaping showcases 80 species of trees!
Location: In Panhandle Park, near Oak St and Ashbury
These outdoor public slides don’t necessarily fit into the “recently renovated” category, but take a look for some fun adult-friendly playground equipment!
Featured Image: @sfrecpark via Instagram