The Thousand Oaks tot lot ranks high on my list for watching one upright walking child and low on my list for watching two or more kiddos. Thanks to its toddler temptations, it is best for the under-three set.
For parents who want to relax on a bench, there is a play structure, four bucket baby swings, sand, and following the Berkeley trend, often discarded plastic vehicles and playsets to occupy toddlers. For parents who want to run around, there is a grassy area for playing catch or picnicking. And for the nature lovers, there is a small creek to explore.
Proximity to Solano Avenue invites a stop at Peet’s or picking up sandwiches at Safeway for park picnic dinner. There is no bathroom at Thousand Oaks, so visitors must rely on the Solano shops for facilities.
The creek that runs along the edge of the park is a Pandora’s Box, so know that once you have shown it to a toddler, you will be forced to go down to the water every time you visit Thousand Oaks.
An open gate allows passage between the tot lot and Thousand Oaks Elementary School. On the weekends, when school is not in session, it is a wide flat space on which you might work on scooter or bicycle skills. Similar to the attraction of the creek, we have found that once the exciting ramps of the elementary school campus have been introduced, the lure of the tot lot is diminished and keeping an energetic 4-year old playing there can be impossible.
Struggling with a newborn-toddler combo? We recommend Totland or Acton-Bancroft Park instead.