(credit: tingtoshi/shutterstock)

(credit: tingtoshi/shutterstock)


Even in this digital age of web surfing and iPads, children still love going out to play. The jungle gym, a playground staple for decades, remains a favorite place for the young ones to climb and explore. Orange County is fortunate to have many outdoor facilities, some of which are neighborhood parks, that feature jungle gyms and other child-friendly amenities. When school is out, check out one of the following OC parks so the kids can have fun places to hang around — and on.
Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park
4 Civic Center Plaza (Corner of Barranca Parkway and Harvard)
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 724-6714
www.legacy.cityofirvine

Named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Colonel William E. Barber, this well-maintained park earns high marks for its amenities and diverse facilities. As one Yelp reviewer put it, the kid’s jungle gym in the park is, in a word, “insane.” With picnic shelters, batting cages, play areas and soccer fields, Bill Barber Park is a great place for the whole family. The facility is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

David Sills Lower Peter Canyon Park
3901 Farwell Ave
Irvine, CA 92602
(949) 724-6944
www.legacy.cityofirvine

This park, named after one of the greatest judges in Orange County history, has a great jungle gym and other places for the young ones to climb. It also contains a softball field, tennis courts, picnic tables and electrical outlets. As is the case with most Irvine facilities, David Sills Lower Peter Canyon Park has well-maintained restrooms and ample places to park. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 pm. on Friday.

Pioneer Road Park
10250 Pioneer Road
Tustin, CA 92782
(714) 573-3000
www.tustinca.org

Embracing the look of the Old West, this Tustin park contains pioneer-themed structures. Children can enjoy the two age-designated play areas while older visitors can head over to the grass volleyball court. The water play area also earns high marks. Fans of Pioneer Road Park call it a “hidden gem” and a “quiet little neighborhood park.” Where else in Orange County can you find a covered wagon jungle gym.

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Green Park
18751 Seagate Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 536-5486
www.surfcity-hb

Named after Peter Green, a former City Council Mayor, the park was first dedicated in 2005. This OC location stands out because it has a lot for toddlers to do and explore. There’s a large jungle gym for the older children and a smaller one for younger visitors. Park curfew hours are between 10 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.; there also are no water fountains and restrooms on site.

Bluebird Park
Intersection of Cress Street and Bluebird Canyon Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
www.laguna-beach-info

Bluebird Park is notable for many reasons, not the least of which is its historic rocket ship. A combination jungle gym and slide, the structure fell into disrepair over the years, but the local residents raised enough funds to restore this piece of Americana and the park was upgraded at the same time. Bluebird Park also has plenty of swings, slides plus a half-court basketball area. In the summer, this area hosts a live music concert series as well. It is a place the family can enjoy year-round.

Related: Best Indoor Playgrounds in Orange County

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Steven Bryan calls Irvine, California his home. A freelance writer for more than 20 years, he has interviewed a wide range of notable celebrities, including a variety of up-and-coming musicians and artists as well. Passionate about movies and comic books, he also makes an annual pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic-Con.