There is something for everyone in Dimond Park! This 12-acre oasis located right smack in the center of Oakland has scenery, a creek, paved paths, sports courts, a recreation center, and great play structures.
When you visit Dimond Park you can literally choose your own adventure, at least that’s what I tell my four-year-old. Need a place for a scenic snack or lunch? Want to playground-hop on three distinct play structures? Is stomping in a creek on the agenda? Or if you are in the mood for other activities like basketball, tennis, swimming, biking, scootering, or some serious hiking? If you like any of that, then Dimond Park is also the right place for you.
All About Oakland’s Dimond Park
Location: 3860 Hanly Rd, Oakland
Parking: If you follow your map app, you’ll arrive at the park’s parking lot. I’ve never seen it even close to full. There is also plenty of street parking on Lyman Rd. and a small parking lot near the Tot Lot on Canon Ave.
Bathrooms: A decent amount of single-stall bathrooms. Bring your own hand sanitizer.
Dimond Park Features and Highlights
Three Playgrounds: Spread throughout the park, there is a play structure for every age-level (yes, even adults)
Sand play: You’ll find sand at the old school play structure and a nice toddler-friendly sandpit closer to the creek
Swings: There are four big-kid swings near the bigger-kid play structure
Paved Open Space: Perfect for novice bike riders and speedy scooters, also
Sausal Creek: Always our family’s favorite park feature, we keep rain boots or water shoes on hand so we can explore one of the creek’s many access points. Fishing is never allowed and watch out not to crush fish/salamander habitats.
Pro tip: Read I Am Sausal Creek/Soy el Arroyo Sausal, a bilingual children’s book about the environmental and cultural history of Oakland told through the voice of the creek or work to conserve the creek and park with The Friends of Sausal Creek.
Hiking Trails: There are hiking trails for most abilities around Dimond Park. Find a quiet place to have a snack or make a big day of it and hike all the way to Joaquin Miller Park for the rewarding views.
Educational Signage: As a teacher, I love the signs spread throughout the park that teach about local watersheds and the park’s biodiversity.
BBQ Pits & Picnic Areas: Reservations are required for bbq and picnic areas throughout the park.
Basketball Court: A single basketball court blends in with the paved open space that is frequented by little ones on scooters and bikes.
Tennis Courts: Two tennis courts are currently closed for renovations are set to reopen “soon”.
Swimming: Swimming at Lions Pool is currently “by appointment only,” but the Lions Pool has been a good option for kids’ swimming lessons in the past, and we hope it will be again.
Parents should know there’s room for improvement
No running water: Bring hand sanitizer since the sinks next to the bathrooms do not operate.
The playgrounds are not well-maintained We still love visiting this park, but each of the three play structures requires some TLC and updating.
The tot lot is not fenced-in: Wouldn’t that be a wonderful addition? Some of us parents really need a fence.
Creek pipes stick out: Be on the lookout for pipes that stick out as they run along and through the creek.
The Dimond Park Playground Lowdown
One, Two, Three! There are three play structures, and my four-year-old enjoyed surveying and climbing on all of them.
Dimond Lower Playground
The oldest play structure is metal, painted blue, and in good shape. It’s located close to the tennis courts, by the creek. There’s a fast slide, monkey bars, rings, and plenty of sand for digging. When we visited there were a couple of adults playing dance music and working out using the equipment. In my experience, this play structure is the least used, but it works.
Dimond Tot Lot
The tot lot has an out-of-this-world space theme and is located conveniently next to the bathrooms. Kids can climb through rockets, travel up funky stairs, and slide down their choice of slides. There is also a light-up activity center with music and games, although some of the buttons and features won’t work properly (the kids never really notice though). There is also a giant green bench-turned-climbing structure for any bigger kids who need a place to hang while their little friends run wild.
Dimond Upper Park Playground for Big Kids
The third play structure is, theoretically, for the big kids, but my four-year-old had loads of fun climbing and sliding. Located past the swimming pool, adjacent to the creek, there are swings for big and little kids, a sand play area, a grassy hill for relaxing, and a couple of play structures that are currently partially-boarded up. It looks like the play structures used to be connected and need some attention. This play space is large and fits lots of small groups comfortably. I prefer to throw a blanket down and let my kid roam free. This spot is right at the start of the hiking trail which takes you along the creek. Check it out!
The Bottom Line on Dimond Park
When you head out to Dimond Park you will find activities suitable for all ages. Pack a picnic, haul the bikes and scooters, and don’t forget your creek shoes! There is something truly beautiful about this spacious oasis located in the center of Oakland. I think that once you’ll visit you’ll find many reasons to come back.
You should also use your visit as an opportunity to explore Oakland’s Dimond District. When you’re in the neighborhood you’ll want to grab a vegetarian pizza from the kid-friendly Dimond Slice Pizza (hello chalk wall!), brunch at the newest location of Grand Lake Kitchen, taste some Italian ice at Flavor Brigade, or borrow books from the Dimond Branch Library to read in the park.