There is so much to do and see at Mia’s Dream Come True, a wonderful all-abilities playground in South Hayward. This fully-gated playground is an addition to Tennyson Park (with a baseball field, skate park, and fitness court). This Hayward-centric playground has a very open play format that allows for lots of people to be around without feeling too crowded or busy.
This post was written by East Bay parent, Jessie Fritzen. Follow Jessie on Instagram at @amom2kidsandapark.
Mia’s Dream Come True was kicked off by the Make a Wish Foundation and made real by the major efforts of local donors and the vision of Mia’s parents to get an all-abilities park in Hayward for their daughter, Mia, and other families with special needs children. We were super impressed.
Mia’s Dream Come True playground profile:
Location: 28377 Huntwood Avenue at Tennyson Road, Hayward.
Unique Features of Playground: Accessible play structures, swings, slides, and materials. See below for a thorough run-down and lots of photos.
Fenced in? Yes.
Swings: All-abilities swings, bucket swings, standard swings, and a Liberty Swing (a swing that fits an entire wheelchair!).
Surfaces: Cushy rubber mat surface and Astro-turf in most of the park. Some natural woodchips and concrete in the reading area. Fully wheelchair accessible.
Bathroom: Yes, automated magical Exeloo toilet (photos below).
Unique Features of the Park Overall: Fully accessible and incredible park features designed in the image of Hayward’s local landmarks.
Lunch tables & seating: Many benches and tables are scattered throughout.
Shade: There are some big trees around and shade structures. Still, it can get hot in the play areas on sunny days.
Pros: Mixed-age and mixed-ability appropriate; lots of wide-open space; bathrooms; great condition.
Cons: A very popular park, so it can get crowded.
Mia’s Dream Come True Park features well-known elements of Hayward turned into imaginative areas of play.
To represent Hayward Shoreline, the entrance features a boat and humpback whales for climbing (both push out mist but not enough to count as a splash pad), a merry-go-round, and rubber flooring.
Just beyond the welcoming whales, a Hayward Fire Truck that doubles as a playhouse with a rolling pin slide, a climbing rope, double rider rocking toys, and an awesome embedded trampoline nearby.
Repping Hayward Airport is a large airplane that functions as a swing set with all-abilities swings, bucket swings, standard swings, and a Liberty Swing (a swing that fits an entire wheelchair!).
A miniature version of the Hayward Cannery water tower functions as a lookout deck and slide. A covered barn with climbing tree stumps, a big climb-on caterpillar, a wide slide, a huge flower sculpture, and cute animal cutouts representing Sulphur Creek.
Tucked behind the Sulphur Creek barn are different climbing options on rubber hills to represent the Hayward Hills plus a standing teeter-totter that looks like a bridge wide enough to fit a wheelchair.
Other areas in the park include a quiet corner with reading chairs and two little free libraries; a mallet, drums, and electric musical area; and a natural ground area with climbing rock. There are so many sitting spots and nearly every inch is wheelchair accessible. Most of the ground cover is Astroturf or rubber foam flooring.
There are very nice state-of-the-art Exeloo toilets (seriously, you have to see them! Music plays while you use it and the toilet flushes only once you wash your hands or open the door to leave).
Plan your visit to Mia’s Dream Inclusive Playground in Hayward
Mia Vasquez, the park’s namesake, is a real person, and we met her and her family while we were there. She is a thriving 13-year-old girl with a severe form of cerebral palsy who loves to be outside. Check out Mia’s story and how the park came about. The Vasquez family’s love of Hayward is what inspired the park design to feature design elements inspired by Hayward.
- Open daily from 8:30 am to 8 pm.
- This is a public park so there is no entrance fee nor reservations needed.
- The water misters on the boat and the humpback whales don’t produce too much wetness, more for looks than a splash pad but great for cooling down if you get close enough to the spray.
- The gate and security cameras are still up to protect this awesome park from damage.
- Disabled parking spots are available in the lot. Able-bodied people should use street parking.
- Location: Huntwood Ave and Tennyson Rd in South Hayward
Please remember to always follow local guidelines around masks and distancing when in public places around unvaccinated children and adults.
This park really is a dream come true! What’s your favorite feature?
This post was written by contributor, Jessie Fritzen. Follow Jessie on Instagram at @amom2kidsandapark.