Livermore’s May Nissen Playground is fun, creative, colorful, and sprawling. Similar to Magical Bridge, it seems that May Nissen has a playground feature for any capability. It has an enchanting nature theme with eye-catching flower umbrellas, toadstool mushroom jumps, and forest-inspired play structures. The playful layout flows naturally into zones for younger children, older children, and even adults.
Since so many of our family’s favorite play areas have been closed over the past year, I’ve been surprised myself at just how far I’ll drive for a new playground experience. I discovered May Nissen through @aparkadaybayarea where a mom and her two small children explore parks throughout the Bay Area. Her pictures convinced me it was going to be worth the drive. I took a gamble, and we totally scored.
May Nissen Community Park Playground Features
Location: 685 Rincon Ave, in Livermore (about 35 minutes from Oakland)
Unique Features: Kid-powered music feature, bouncy baubles to jump on, multi-tied sandpit, and three giant hopscotch areas.
Swings: Six to be exact! Bucket swings, baby swings, and big kid swings.
Fenced in? Yes, but not all entrances have latched gates. Even without full enclosure, we felt safe. The park is set in the midst of a quiet residential area, so traffic is low.
Surfaces: New, very clean, and super bouncy. Outside the playground is a giant, grassy sports field.
Bathroom: Yep, clean with soap and a changing table, inside the playground.
Lunch tables & seating: Many places to sit all throughout the playground with plentiful picnic tables.
Parking: A huge, free lot right next to the basketball courts.
Shade: Thoughtfully placed giant, permanent, flower umbrella shades all throughout the playground. This playground is a pleasure to the eyes for this reason.
Covid-19 Restricted Occupancy: No signage. Use your best judgment.
- So pretty and fun to look at! Very clean and new.
- This playground is next level with all the slides, bridges, climbing walls, music features, hopscotch courts, carousels, teeter-totters. It is impossible to be bored here.
- The walkways between each of the structures are wide enough for strollers and wheelchairs.
- The drive is over a half-hour, without traffic.
- When we visited, only half the guests (of all ages) were wearing masks. I encouraged my kids to respectfully distance, as California still recommends wearing a mask when leaving home.
Enjoying the Rest of May Nissen Park
Not only did we enjoy the playground, but also there were families taking full advantage of the surrounding area. The sports field next to the playground is large enough for several soccer games, safely distanced. There are two basketball courts, several tennis courts, and five other playgrounds I counted within sight. There is also a dog park, library, and a community pool.
Bottom Line on May Nissen
This playground is fresh, delightful, and a pleasure to visit. This thoughtfully designed playground and surrounding community center not only has a gorgeous playground, but plenty of space for families to safely spread out and not feel overwhelmed or crowded. A great time to visit and make the drive even more worth it is to pair this outing with a pumpkin patch visit and other fall activities. We passed many farms and vineyards on our drive and had fun counting the cows on the hills.
This is not an average, nor boring playground. Its diverse range of inclusive features and activities kept my girls running, climbing, jumping, active and engaged. Maybe a little too much because as soon as we got in the car, they asked if they could go back the next day. Maybe not tomorrow, but I’m sure we’ll be back in the near future.