Dracena Quarry Park in Piedmont is a cozy little neighborhood beauty with attractions for kids of all ages. With plenty of variety, it'll keep preschoolers and elementary kids occupied for hours. The climbing wall and rocky hillsides are fantastic for my adventurous older kids, while the sand and play structure is perfect for the littles.
Dracena Quarry Park for preschoolers
My one-year-old and three-year-old love a good sand pit and swings, so the Dracena Quarry Park's little kid area does not disappoint. There are two baby swings, a somewhat simple play structure, and plenty of benches for adults to sit on under the shade of the statuesque redwoods.
I appreciate that there's also a clean bathroom and water fountain available. A wide stone slide separates the little and big kid play areas. My preschooler loves climbing the stairs and sliding down over and over and over again. Unlike the daunting nature of the slide at Cordonices Park in the Berkeley Hills, this stone slide is just his size.
Pro tip: Be cautious with new walkers, stone is not so forgiving. Oh, and don't forget, stone slides tear up pants!
We didn't bring any bikes or scooters along, but we saw plenty of other preschoolers burning rubber around the closed loop through the back of the park. Indeed, one of the best attributes of this park is that the back is enclosed and your precocious little ones can't easily escape. Between the scooter path, a large open grassy field for running around, and plenty of other little kids to play with, Dracena Quarry Park is a preschooler's paradise.
Dracena Quarry Park for elementary aged kids
My five-year-old and eight-year-old have BIG imaginations and don't suffer basic parks gladly. So when they ventured into the back of the park and found the rocky hillsides full of “Mars Rocks!”, they were in seventh heaven. They spent several hours clambering up and down the hillsides hunting for alien rocks, inventing games and getting as dirty as possible. Even my little ones joined in after a fashion.
When they finally tired of that, they made a pit-stop at one of the many shaded benches for snack-time. Then they were back at it, this time testing their bouldering skills on the surprisingly challenging rock wall.
I wish I'd brought their bikes as I think they would have loved racing the loop pathway through the back of the park. Something to look forward to next time!
Parking, Dogs and Bees at Dracena Quarry Park
Parking. Dracena Quarry Park is a neighborhood park, so parking isn't always easy. Make sure your phone sends you to the Ricardo Avenue side of the park. I've had luck parking on Artuna Avenue on a weekday morning, but I can imagine it gets crowded on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Dogs. There is also an off-leash dog run off of Artuna Avenue, though dogs must be on leash in the grassy area where kids are. So just be aware if you have dog-weary little ones.
Bees. There's clover in the grassy fields, and clover means bees. I'd shy away from barefoot frolicking for the kiddos at this park.
Pro tip: I make sure to carry antiseptic numbing spray and bandaids should the unfortunate occur.
Bottom Line on Dracena Quarry Park
Dracena Quarry Park is a beautiful, clean and versatile park to add to your arsenal. Great for kids of all ages with plenty of shady benches for adults. It's also the perfect jumping off point for exploring the lovely little city of Piedmont. So before you go make sure to check out our guide to the best places to go in Piedmont with kids to find a place to eat or explore afterwards (Crepevine is great for lunch and not too far from the park!).
Address: 130 Dracena Ave, Piedmont, CA 94611 Aim your GPS for around 198 Ricardo Avenue for the best parking.
[Photo Credits: Julie Herson]