Lake Balboa Park
||Los Angeles, CA|
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When we stumbled upon Lake Balboa Park we couldn't believe our eyes! Right in the middle of LA suburbia is this little paradise! It was like a day out of a movie when they have a music sequence and a series of happy scenes: families fishing on the lake, kids kicking paddle boats with their parents, tots running up to the icecream truck for a cold treat, birthday party games spread out under huge pine trees...and this was before the new playground.
The new playground is the most amazing playground I've seen! What fantastic people must have designed it! Under huge shade canopies kids will find everything their little hearts could dream of. Even my ten year old who doesn't like playgrounds anymore had a blast. There's a space net (rope pyramid) you can climb way up high on. There's slides, bridges, little stations with activities, every type of swing, wild bouncy things for four kids to stand on. There's a toddler playground too with imagination stations such as a Bait and Tackle shop. And there's an area with shiny shells and marbles built into stone, where you can spin wheels that make rain sounds. There are drums and other music stations. And the playground is on nice spongey ground so there's no wood chips in your kids' shoes, though there is some sand. Your child can spend hours here and won't want to leave so plan on staying a while.
There are also nice winding bike paths all through the huge park. I read somewhere else that the bike paths are filled with crazy impolite riders, but I actually didn't see anyone on them on the Saturday that I was there recently.
On the weekend it's very busy so park on Balboa Blvd and you will save yourself the headache of driving around and around looking for a place to park in the parking lot.
For Fido, nearby you can find Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park on the corner of White Oak Ave and Victory Blvd with everything a dog could want: fire hydrants, drinking stations, shady trees, separate section for small dogs, and ivy-covered fence.
Pedlow Field Skate Park is also nearby, on Victory Blvd between Louise Ave and Encino Ave, just west of the Army National Guard Bldg. You can rent helmets and pads for $1. There's handrails, steps, a pyramid, and plenty of ramps.
If you're hungry, you can get a great salad plus kid's meals at Corner Bakery on Ventura Blvd (see below).
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Exit Highway 101 at Balboa Blvd and turn north at the exit, onto Balboa Blvd. Drive past the golf course and over a bridge. Park you car along the road. Walk into the driveway on your right to get to the park. It's a bit of a walk but it saves driving around for half an hour looking for a spot. If it's a weekday you can drive into the park and find a parking spot closer to everything.
Pedal boat rentals 10-6:30 daily during the summer, 10- 3:30ish weekends the rest of the year. Cost is $9 for a half hour and $12 for an hour.
Skate park is open noon-dark on weekdays, 10-dark on saturday, 9am-dark on Sunday. Special hours for younger kids 11 and under are Saturday from 9:30-10:30am. Cost is $1 per month for kids and $5 per month for adults.
Corner Bakery, 15626 Ventura Boulevard, call (818) 981-7514.
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Overall Visitor Rating:
|Best playground around!!!! :-)|
|Please do not feed the ducks. It is against the law.|
|I discovered this place a few years back, and I still love it. I recently bought a pro camera and bring my children here to photograph them, great place for this type of activity. Mind you, I live in Palmdale (50 mi. away) and this place is well worth the drive. My kids love the wildlife that is all around, My wile loves the lake itself, and I love the fact that everyone is enjoing the day. I havent gone through the bike path for atleast two decades, but i'm sure it is still a great ride. In case you havent done enough research by now... this place is huge! Loads of fun for everyone of every age. what more acn I say? Go and have a blast.|