||Santa Barbara, CA|
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As you walk under the "Tierra de Fortuna" sign that officially names Dinosaur Park, you feel you have indeed found a fortunate land! This little park has it all! The archway overgrown with flowers leads you onto a pathway. There you see ahead of you the gazebo, covered in vines and flowers, where families like to host birthday parties for the preschool crowd. Your child rushes exuberantly to the huge metal dinosaur to climb over. A yellow and blue merry-go-round thrills your child. "Look how dizzy I am!" your child cries. After you've had a go too, you stumble over to the swings and tire swing for some more dizzying fun. Then your little guy pretends he's an engineer and digs with the tractor scoop. It's the perfect size for little hands. You head over to the playground and climb, slide, and run across the bridge. Last of all, you all pile onto the four-man see-saw (teeter-totter)!
Make it a game to find "Fortuna" engraved in a log somewhere in the park.
Another game I like to play with my son here on the wide lawn is "What's the Time, Mr Wolf?" Start with your child standing on the far side of the lawn facing away from you. Then, stand behind him about twelve yards away. Ask him, "What's the time, Mr Wolf?" He has to name any number, such as "Two o'clock." Smaller numbers work better. Then you take two steps (or however many steps he named). Ask him again, "What's the time, Mr Wolf?" He says, for example, "Four O'clock." You take four steps. When he thinks you're close enough for him to turn around, run, and catch you, but not close enough to touch his shoulder (if he brings you that close, then he's out), he says, "Dinnertime!" So, for example, if he thinks you're about five steps away, and you ask "What's the time, Mr Wolf?," he should say "Three O'clock," just to be sure you don't get too close and touch his shoulder. Then the next time you ask, "What's the Time, Mr Wolf?," he should say, "DINNERTIME!" Then you must run back to where you started and if he catches you before you get back to where you started (use a tree as the starting point) then you are out! Then you are the wolf next time. Have fun!
You can walk down to Coal Oil Point from here, for a lovely view of the ocean- simply follow the dirt path that starts by the yellow "End" sign.
If you're hungry, head over to Anna's Bakery for a delicious muffin or donut. Or, in the same shopping center try Kahuna Grill, with its yummy chicken kebobs and great kids meals.
Dinosaur Park is on the edge of Isla Vista, the cool college town that is fun to walk around. Have a pizza at Woodstocks on the main drag (Embarcadero del Norte) or explore Isla Vista Beach, accessed via one of the many staircases that lead down to the beach from Del Playa Dr. UCSB is also nearby and is a beautiful place to go for a long walk.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
Enter under the flowering archway.
The dinosaur and merry-go-round!
The merry-go-round: weeeeeeeee!
Climb higher and higher!
The fun teeter-totter!
Find this log!
Looking through the vines from inside the gazebo.
Dinosaur Park is located at Fortuna Rd, Isla Vista CA 93117.
From Highway 101, take the Glen Annie/ Storke Rd exit. Turn towards the ocean. Follow Storke Rd until it turns sharply left and becomes El Colegio Rd. Turn right on Camino Corto. Turn right on Fortuna Rd. At the end of the street, park your car along the road- there's plenty of parking. The park is on your right.
There aren't any restrooms but you can drive to Camino Real Marketplace (see Anna's Bakery entry) for very clean restrooms in the archway near Starbucks.
Anna's Bakery, 7018 Market Place Dr, call (805) 968-5590.
Kahuna Grill, 7010 Market Place Dr, call (805) 685-3711.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|Thought I knew every park in the area, but this is a find - and a treasure!|
|I MISS HOME!!!!!!! i LOVE IT IN IV- IT IS BEAUTIFUL.|
|I brought my child here almost every day while I was studying at UCSB for grad school--- what a wonderful park it was!|
|loving this one!|
|I didn't know about this park! Thanks lotsafunmaps!|
|Our kids loved this park when they were young. We have had many fun visits there over the years. I hope the city keeps the old play equipment.|