There’s nothing quite like a day at the playground. Whether you’re meeting up for a playdate or just want to get outdoors and get the kids moving, the South Bay has many amazing parks. Keep reading to check out our list of the best Los Angeles parks in the South Bay.
Looking for more options? Check out our list of the best parks and playgrounds in Los Angeles for even more playtime excitement.
The Best Parks & Playgrounds In the South Bay
Best Parks in Manhattan Beach
Live Oak Park and Joslyn Community Center is a perfect spot for families. There are plenty of shaded areas, picnic tables, and bathrooms to take care of every need. The sprawling play area is a local favorite and features play structures for little ones and older kids. Parents can enjoy relaxing on one of the many benches while kids play. The community center and gazebo are available for rentals, making this one of the best playgrounds to host a birthday party.
Marine Avenue Park is one of the newest neighborhood parks in the city. This tranquil space has plenty of trees and benches if you want to relax or enjoy nature, but it also features a smaller playground with a rocket and climbing structure. The unique turf is made from recycled tires. The park also features a turf soccer field, basketball courts, and a skate park.
Polliwog Park is getting a fresh new look in Summer of 2023! Encompassing 18 acres, this is the largest and possibly most gorgeous park in the South Bay area. At the park’s center sits a large pond bordered on one side by a natural wildlife refuge, home to migratory birds and an occasional raccoon or possum. It’s a favorite spot for concerts, performances, weddings, and other special events; the park’s amphitheater looks out over the majestic pond as ducks and geese swim, providing one of the most idyllic and scenic backdrops for any occasion. The park also features three gazebos, a rose garden, and a lighthouse-inspired play structure with slides, misters, and a sand pit with separate play areas for younger children. The park is right next door to Begg Pool, a public swimming pool open during the summer, making it the destination playground after a day of swimming.
Sand Dune Park is named for the 100-foot-high sand dune that attracts kids of all ages. The three-acre park features a nature trail that can be accessed by a series of staircases and switchbacks that lead up to the top. The trail winds through plant life and provides a fascinating educational nature walk. The top of the dune offers a panoramic east-facing view of the City and a perfect spot for bird-watching. There is also a small playground with swings and climbing structures.
Best Parks in El Segundo
This massive park on Sheldon Street features a baseball diamond, tennis courts, lawn bowling, roller hockey, and a skate park. There’s a playground, tot lot, BBQ and picnic area, and tons of green grass. This park is also the home of El Segundo’s annual 4th of July Fireworks celebration.
Hilltop Park includes a large playground, grassy field, and picnic areas. It’s also home to Hilltop Pool, which opens during summer to help families stay cool.
Right next to the El Segundo Public Library is a beautiful park with walkways, a gazebo, and shady trees. It’s the perfect place to stop and relax with your library books after you check them out.
Best Parks in Hermosa Beach
Encompassing 5.33 acres, Valley Park is a favorite park in Hermosa Beach. The park, located off Valley Drive and Gould Avenue, features a playground with a Universally Accessible Swing for kids of all abilities. Numerous picnic tables and barbecue grills are available for all to use on a first-come, first-served basis or available to reserve for Hermosa Beach residents. Also within the park is an amphitheater area, where a bounce house is permitted with a reservation, and annual special events such as Movie in the Park and Shakespeare by the Sea take place. Other highlights include a fire pit, basketball court, and multipurpose sports fields for recreational activities. Free six-hour street parking is available on Gould Avenue.
Easily one of the most epic playgrounds in the area, South Park includes unique features like gigantic concrete slides and several climbing structures. It also features a large grassy area surrounded by walking and biking paths.
Best Parks in Redondo Beach
If you want to leave the manufactured play set behind for nature’s playground, this is the park for you! Developed in 1977 as a center for camping, nature study, and conservation, the 11-acre site includes; four ecological habitats: forest, meadows, streams, and ponds filled with turtles and koi fish to explore. If you can’t get enough of this magical place, you can even camp here overnight. The park features three overnight campgrounds as well as picnic sites, barbecues, and bathrooms.
No entrance fee is required for individuals or families who wish to visit the park.
Franklin Park is small but with plenty of features, including a grass field, playground, restrooms, two basketball courts, two shuffleboard courts, and picnic areas with two BBQs.
If you’re looking for a park with a view, you can’t beat Veterans Park, a 6.3-acre park located at the corner of South Catalina Avenue and Torrance Boulevard, providing an ocean view while you play. The somewhat new playground is separated into two play areas with a pirate ship themed play structure for bigger kids on one side and a gated play area for younger kids on the other. Between the ocean breeze and the shade covers, this is a great playground to hit on hot days.
Best Parks in Rancho Palos Verdes
This park features a community building with a small activity room and patio, which are available for rent and perfect for a birthday party. There are also two large play structures, wide grassy fields with walking paths, and a baseball diamond.
This park is currently under construction for a complete renovation, and we can’t wait to see the end result! An update is coming soon.
This well-shaded playground is nestled among mature trees, providing a great spot to play on hot days. The park also features a 1/4 mile walking path surrounded by grassy fields and wildflowers. The upper park area includes baseball and soccer fields and numerous picnic areas with barbecues. Several hilltop spots offer breathtaking panoramic ocean views and even a glimpse of Catalina Island on clear days.
You won’t find a playground at Del Cerro Park, but you can enjoy an excellent family hike. The park is situated high atop a bluff at the southernmost end of Crenshaw Boulevard and is known for its sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. There is a parking lot (parking by permit only) but no restrooms. Dogs must be on a leash.
Coming Soon: South Coast Botanic Garden Breaks Ground on New 3.5-Acre Marilyn and John Long Children and Family Garden
The official groundbreaking for the 3.5-acre children’s and family garden at South Coast Botanic Garden served as both a sneak peek at the designs for this new multi-million dollar project and the beginning of the Cultivate the Future campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the Garden’s 62-year history.
Best Parks in Torrance
With over 40 acres of beautiful grounds, this park has it all, including a large playground with unique climbing structures and a rock wall. Kids will love exploring the famous Tree House, a large elevated wooden structure perfect for all kinds of pretend play. The park also features picnic areas, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, a hockey rink, an outdoor amphitheater, a splash pad open seasonally, and so much more. It is also the home of the Torrance Certified Farmers’ Market.
Also home to the Southern California Live Steamers, a non-profit organization that is run by volunteers and dedicated to preserving and promoting railroad history and model railroading by providing train rides on scale models of real trains. They offer excursions on their vintage trains, which are one-third scale models of real ones from the past.
This hilltop playground will have you feeling nostalgic for your own playground days when massive climbing structures like this famed rocketship were the norm. It is a rarity nowadays, making this park a must-visit for all kids (young and old) who enjoy climbing. Besides the rocketship, there is a small playground, grassy areas with walking paths, and an incredible city view.
This 15-acre park offers sprawling grassy areas dotted with perfect climbing trees, a large playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and a community garden.
This park is on the small side but features a kids’ playground with sand, a walking trail, basketball courts, a picnic area, and excellent views of the city. There is also a reservable community room with a full kitchen.
This lovely little park has a newer playground situated alongside another classic rocketship climbing structure of bygone days, offering fun for kids of all ages. The play area is surrounded by green space with picnic areas, walking paths, and tennis and sand volleyball courts.
This small pocket park has a newer playground, a large grassy field, picnic areas, walking paths, and a basketball court.
Best Parks in San Pedro
This beachside park is the perfect place to play when you need a break from the beach, or you just want to enjoy the view. Besides the gorgeous scenery, it’s also a great spot to explore sea creatures in the tide pools. Pack a picnic and make a whole day of it!
This grassy park sits atop the rugged coastal bluffs and features a playground, amphitheater, trails, and picnic areas. It is also home to the historic Point Fermin Lighthouse.
Best Parks in Hawthorne
This community park offers a colorful, sandy playground, a wading pool perfect for splashing on summer days, tennis and basketball courts, and picnic benches.
Holly Park offers a large playground and tot lot, baseball fields, and another wading pool for hot days. There are also picnic tables, horseshoes, shuffleboard, basketball courts, croquet, and more rounding out this 10-acre park.