Imaginations can run wild at Matteo’s Dream Playground in Concord. The park is jam-packed with exciting features for kids that they’ll want to spend hours moving, climbing, swinging, and engaging in imaginative play. The park is large and can accommodate children of mixed ages and all abilities. Matteo’s Dream is easily in the top five of my family’s favorite playgrounds in the far East Bay.
Matteo’s Dream Playground was inspired by a little boy named Matteo and his parents. It came to be with the help of many community volunteers who raised funds and built the playground.
Matteo’s Dream Playground Features
Location: 2050 Olivera Rd, Concord
Unique Features: The play space is divided into a tot lot and a bigger kid playground. This all-abilities playground is so unique! It has so many clever features I hadn’t seen before mixed in with some classic favorites:
- Scores of tunnels, ramps, bridges, turrets, slides, and monkey bars encourage movement and imaginative play.
- Wide ramps and pathways, plus rubber surfaces allow children in wheelchairs, crutches, or walkers to move easily through the play area and structures.
- Some slides are specially treated to prevent static which can interfere with cochlear implants or other hearing devices, plus children with visual impairments can explore thanks to tactile features.
- Play structures that resemble a castle, train, boat, and village add another layer of fun.
- Two water misters, one in each play area, keep kids cool.
Swings: Yes. In the tot lot, there are a few bucket swings, plus a swing chair. For bigger kids, there are standard swings, a tire swing, and a tandem swing for a child and caregiver to ride together.
Fenced in? Mostly. A fence runs around the perimeter, but the entrance is open. The fence can be low in some areas and may be tempting for climbers to scale.
Surfaces: Soft and squishy rubber surface.
Bathroom: Yes, there are public (accessible!) restrooms next to the playground.
Lunch tables & seating: Several tables are situated in the grassy areas surrounding the playground. Most tables are shaded by trees or a gazebo.
Parking: A parking lot offers free and plentiful parking.
Shade: A portion of the big kid playground receives some shade in the morning.
Pros: Inclusive for all kids and their abilities; mixed-age appropriate; plenty of open space; wide variety of features and designs will keep kids entertained.
Cons: Not fully gated; limited shade; unhoused individuals using picnic space near playground; water misters can make surfaces slippery; some blocked corners make it difficult to monitor children at times.
Matteo’s Dream Tot Lot Playground
The tot lot features a large play structure, swings, and a little village. The play structure is expansive and adorable featuring a cute train area, tunnels, stairs, castle-like turrets, ramps, bridges, and slides. There’s plenty for little ones to see and do. Though the various levels, tunnels, and hidden corners can make it easy for a toddler to hide. My preschooler enjoyed scaling the stairs to a tall lookout to play Rapunzel, driving the train, and playing house in the village area.
Matteo’s Dream Big Kid Playground
The big kid playground is divided into three areas: swings, a play structure, and monkey bars. There are a total of four swings, including a tire swing and a tandem swing. Unfortunately, the tandem swing was vandalized and couldn’t be used during our visit. There are several sets of monkey bars in various styles and heights.
The play structure is sizable, with fun features like a boat, tunnel slide, and climbing wall, plus a handful of bridges and staircases. Accessibility features are a win for everyone. Ramps and pathways are wide enough to fit two wheelchairs side by side. Textured panels and handrails help guide visually impaired children, and add cute points of interest. My child enjoyed the spacious area to explore both on and off the play structure.
The Bottom Line on Matteo’s Dream Playground
We were very impressed with the playground and will return. It’s located about a 30-minute drive from Oakland and near other kid-friendly hot spots like West Wind Drive-In Movie Theater and Buchanan Field Playground. Playground time is important and this park offers an inclusive space to make that possible. Regardless of your child’s age or ability level, a visit to this park is sure to win big smiles.