Howarth Park has enough attractions to keep you busy all day long, and though it’s further away than Tilden Park, it’s almost definitely sunny there, because Santa Rosa has about 5 degrees on Berkeley all summer long, and it’s not in the hills.
You will want to bring your own food because options are limited and there are plenty of places for picnicking.
Here are 10 things to do in Howarth Park:
- Playgrounds. The novelty of different play structures kept my kids engaged for quite a while, even though they are getting old for playgrounds. Kids under 8 will definitely want to spend some time climbing around.
- Rock climbing wall.
- Pony rides. This is for the under 110-lb crowd and the ponies are lead around a small corral, so I’d say it’s most compelling for children under 10. $4 for one lap; $7 for two laps
- Carousel. Old-fashioned fun.
- Train ride. A quarter-mile loop with some fictional suspense built-in. The storyline will go over the head of younger children and won’t be noticed by them. $2 per person. Babies under 1 are free.
- Animal barn. Similar to Tilden’s Little Farm.
- Jumpy house. Another $2 ticket for 10 minutes of bouncing off the walls.
- Vast trails and green to explore.
- Boating. There are paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards at the boathouse for about $10/hr.
- Fishing. The lake is stocked with trout, bluegill, catfish and bass
Howarth Park is located at 630 Summerfield Road in Santa Rosa, CA, about one hour from Berkeley. Parking is free.