Finding a place to share a playdate, or just some good old fashioned play with friends, is relatively easy. Depending on where you live, the nearest playground could be in your neighborhood, a few blocks away, or a short drive across town. The playgrounds range from themed wonders to ones that have a good spread of play structures for all ages. Take a look, then take your child and go. Play. It’s a child’s world, all the time.
Fairytale Town
3901 Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA  95822
(916) 808-7462

As the name implies, this venerable and legendary place is a bit more than a playground. All of the nursery rhymes that you’ve read to your child just may come alive here at Fairytale Town. Generations of families, from the valley to the mountains, have made this trip over the years. It’s kid sized, welcoming, safe, and an urban wonder. Whoever put this together long ago should be in a hall of fame for Children’s Playgrounds. Climbing, sliding, digging, swinging, tons of giggles and laughter are what you’ll find here.

Promontory Community Park
2700 Alexandra Way
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
(916) 333-6624

What a wonderful place for the little guys, and their adults will probably like it too. Ever heard of a “sprayground?” It’s an area that sprays water out of fanciful doodads, soaking the children who are giggling through it. Shaded space is provided for the adults in the group. On a warm day, everyone may be running through it. If not, taking in the view from here may be on the ticket. Bring your lunch, sunscreen, and camera. You and your child will love this place.

Freedom Park
3429 Freedom Park Drive
North Highlands, CA 65660
(916) 332-7440

A park for children and an aerospace museum are an incredible combination. The Aerospace Museum of California is right next door to Freedom Park. How many other parks have a space shuttle play structure? Visit the museum, climb in a cockpit or simulator, then head to the park. An age-appropriate climbing wall will keep everyone busy, right after they cruise on the zip line. Maybe the sprayground will be on when you are there. The toddlers in the group have their own area. When the children get hungry, which is always, really, the shaded picnic areas will be the perfect place to refuel. The little ones can then head back to out space on the space shuttle.

Related:  Ask A Sacramento Expert: Easy Crafts To Do With Your Kids

McKinley Park
601 Alhambra Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 452-8011

Rebuilt in 2013, the park is a marvel of wonderfulness. Playdates are the thing to do. Climbing walls, swings for the really little to those who are a bit older, space to run around, balance bars, hand-over-hand static rings, and slides of all kinds. Shaded and picnic areas welcome young and old alike. This park is an urban oasis, loved by the community and is a stunningly nice place to play, relax, picnic, and meet new friends.

Maidu Park
1550 Maidu Drive
Roseville, CA 95661
(916 ) 774-5950

Maidu Park is a true wonderland. The play structures for the children look like an old western town, complete with a hotel, jail, train, and walk-up snack bar. They are climbable, swingable, and slideable. The area under the play structures is a very forgiving rubbery covering. For other spots, like by the bouncy horses, there are wood chips with some sand areas for digging. A child-sized wooden maze is a great place to play a little hide-and-seek. Picnic area includes grills, benches and tables with a large grass area to play on. Bathrooms are close to the play area, which is a must for playdates and playtime. It is a fantastic park for all, and children should take their grown-ups to this playground.

Related: Five Fun Ways To Turn Your Backyard Into A Water Park For Kids

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 41 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at