Sweeney Open Space Park: Fab Playground in Alameda - 510 Families
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Sweeney Open Space Park: Fab Playground in Alameda

Jean Sweeney Open Space Park in Alameda is a newer playground with tons of terrific features that’ll keep kids of all ages entertained for hours. From the super wide fast slide, large sand play space with water feature, long flat bike path for scooting with ease, and yes, a zipline (!) there’s something for everyone. So pack snacks, sand toys and your wheels of choice and enjoy a truly lovely day at the park.

Jean Sweeney Open Space Park
My daughters love the modified rope swing at Jean Sweeney Open Space Park | Photo: Julia Gidwani

Jean Sweeney Open Space Park Profile

Location: 1925 Sherman St Alameda, CA 94501
Unique Features: Zip line! Sand area with water feature; saucer rope swing; wide fast slide; logs and stumps for climbing/balancing; long flat bike path for riding bikes and scooters
Swings: Four baby bucket swings; one large saucer rope swing.
Fenced in? The tot lot is mostly fenced, but the gate no longer shuts. The rest of the park is not fenced but is set back from the parking lot and road.
Surfaces: Wood chips in the tot lot and most of the rest of the park; rubbery surface in upper play area and below the slide for soft landings. Separate sand area.
Bathroom: Yes and usually pretty clean; changing table available.
Lunch tables & seating: Many benches throughout, including tables for snack and lunch.
Parking: Easy and free parking lot.
Shade: Not a ton of shade, so bring hats for sure.
Pros: Mixed-age appropriate; lots of wide open space; unique play features; easy parking; great place for learning how to ride a bike; clean.
Cons: Not much shade; crowded on weekends; can get pretty windy at times; not super contained so can be difficult to keep track of little runners; little kids can get stuck in the upper climbing area and need help getting down.

toddler balancing on log
The logs and rocks around Jean Sweeney Park offer little kids the chance to practice their balancing skills | Photo: Julie Herson

Visiting Sweeney Park in Alameda with Little Kids

Toddlers will love the pint sized natural vibe of the tot lot, equipped with four bucket swings and plenty of opportunities for climbing and sliding. There’s even a cute little table and two mushroom stools where little kids can sit and have a (pretend) tea party. Pinkies up!

The sand area is another toddler favorite, with a large rock water feature set in the middle (FYI it’s not always “on”, depending on time of year and drought rules). Make sure to bring sand toys since there aren’t often freebies laying around. Pro-Tip: Bring a change of clothes and a towel if the sand water feature is the main draw for your little one. 

child playing in sand
The large sand area is always a draw for toddlers as is the water feature rock | Photo: Julie Herson

The zipline is a draw for little kids, but you’ll probably have to hold onto those under 4 years old because the kick-back at the end can be rough. The nature features around the park are also enticing to little kids who like to balance on logs and jump from stump to stump.

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child on zipline
My 3-year-old holding on for dear life on the zipline at Jean Sweeney Park | Photo: Julie Herson

Find more East Bay playgrounds with ziplines >>

The upper play area at the top of the slide has a cool climbing area that’s best for older kids, but toddlers will want to give it a try. They often get stuck though and will want help down, which can prove challenging for adults to maneuver. There’s also a super big and loud chime instrument in the upper play area that toddlers adore.

children climbing rope structure
This rope climbing structure is fun but challenging for little kids. Be prepared to find your way up | Photo: Julie Herson

If you have a little kid who wants to practice their scooting skills or learn to ride a bike, the long straight flat bike path is ideal. There can be commuter cyclists at times, but in general the path is pretty wide open. There are also wide open grassy spaces ideal for flying a kite on windy days, which in Alameda can be frequent.

child on scooter on bike path
The bike path, or walking path right next to it, offer the perfect surface for wobbly riders | Photo: Julie Herson

The Bottom Line on Jean Sweeney Open Space Park

This is a must-see park. If it’s a bit of a drive for you, pack a lunch and make a day of it. Little kids will love the big slide, climbing opportunities, water and sand combo, and swings. Big kids will wait in line over and over and over again for their turn on the speedy zipline. Both big and little kids will relish the opportunity to zoom on their bikes and scooters on the luxuriously long and flat bike path. And importantly, adults will appreciate the easy parking, clean facilities and stunning views of San Francisco on a clear day. Oh, and there’s a Target just a few minutes away! What’s not to love?

 

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