Perched across the lake from Fairyland sits the Snow Park playground. You might miss it, as it sits just beside some very large Oak Trees and large buildings, except for the fact that its modern shapes and bright colors will catch your kids’ eyes.
It’s my go-to favorite local playground because it’s nearby, clean, entertaining and we enjoy the overall urban ambiance and lush gardens. The newly landscaped grounds are contemporary and fresh. It’s just off the lake trails and you can hear patrons chattering from the nearby trails and bike pathways.
Snow Park Playground Features
Location: Harrison St & 19th St in Oakland
Unique Features: Helix-shaped play structures with bright colors and modern shapes. Contemporary teeter-tot with space for 4 people, big or small.
Fenced in? The tot lot is fenced in, with a gate that latches. The larger play structure sits outside the gates.
Surfaces: New, bouncy, thick surface on both playgrounds, surrounded by lush, grassy fields.
Bathroom: Yes, but not the cleanest. I keep our travel potty in the car and I prefer it at this location. There are cleaner public restrooms by the Lake Merritt Boating Center if you’re making a loop around the lake.
Lunch tables & seating: There two benches in the tot area. There are a bunch more benches about 500 ft. away as you approach the lake.
Parking: Paid street meters that accept cash, coins, and cards. I’ve never had a problem finding parking here. Weekend bonus: free parking on Sunday!
Covid-19 Restricted Occupancy: Probably, but there aren’t any signs.
Pros: If you’re taking a stroll around the lake this is an excellent pop-off destination to get the wiggles out. The big cylindrical structures are on the larger side and great for high-energy climbers.
Cons: There is no parking lot so be prepared to parallel park, and the unsheltered population may take up residence in the surrounding areas. The streets are close to the playgrounds, so I do ask my children not to wander where I can’t see them (ie. behind large trees, etc.).
The Rest of Lake Merritt is fun, too
Lake Merritt and the Grand Lake neighborhood is a lovely destination for families to leisurely walk around the lake, enjoy lunch by the water, play soccer, bird watch, go boating, frolic in the gardens, scout for gnomes, and maybe go to the farmers market on Saturday morning. Snow Park and the newly renovated section of Lake Merritt is super awesome and it’s one of three playgrounds to pop up around the perimeter of the lake over the years.
Bottom Line on Oakland’s Snow Park
The newly landscaped expansive gardens and grassy areas sloping towards Lake Merritt, repaved bike trails and fresh walking paths are a wonderful compliment to the lake and Snow Park. This new playground gives the area a fresh, family appeal and is a major improvement from what the area used to be. If we’re walking or running around the Lake, I like to grab a coffee from 1888 Coffee Company or takeout from nearby Bacheesos.