Oak Park, Santa Barbara
||Santa Barbara, CA|
Print Leave a comment
Oak Park is a nice place to laze on the lawn under the oak trees (by Alamar Street) after walking around one of the many free festivals held in the park. A dry creek runs through the park and there's a cute bridge that kids like to cross over it. There's a wonderful plastic playground with a log cabin look to it. It has a huge horizontal rope climby, a big kids play structure, a toddler play structure, a grasshopper bouncy, little house areas beneath the structure where kids play imaginative games, and tons of sand to play in. The splash pool, a shallow pool for children under 7 years old, is open in summer, from mid-June to end of August, daily from noon to 5pm. The fountain in the middle of the pool is a lot of fun for little kids.
Unfortunately, about 5-10 homeless people are now living near the playground on the rows of picnic tables.
My favorite festival at Oak Park is the French Festival, which is held each year on the Bastille Day weekend (around July 14). It's great to sit under the shady trees at the center stage and listen to bands play French music. Jessice Fichot, a singer who grew up in Paris, is one of my favorites. Make sure you don't miss the awesome drag show, which is held at the end of the day on the big wooden stage. You really can't figure out if it's men or women dressed up as drag queens, and the dramatic singing and dancing is fantastic. I got such a kick out of seeing those guys do their shows! Also at the French festival is an eiffel tower, food and gifts, a can-can show, and a poodle show.
Each year is different (festival organizers get burned out!), but some of the free festivals they've held here over the years have been: Multi-Cultural Festival, Jewish Festival, Caribbean Festival, Greek Festival which has some amazing pastries made by the local Greek Orthodox Church, Mexican Festival, and Irish Festival.
All the festivals can be a bit crowded, and make kids feel overwhelmed. And the festivals are sometimes full of vendors selling stuff that isn't even related to the festival. But parts of them are fun- mostly the live music. To get away from the crowds, head over to the large beautiful lawn beside Alamar Street for a break.
This park is near Cottage Hospital and it's a nice place to come to improve your outlook if you've had to visit the hospital.
If you're hungry, head over to Loreto Plaza (see directions below), where you can treat yourself to some amazing Italian gelato or a sandwich at Via Maestra 42 and browse Chaucer's Bookstore, the only bookstore in Santa Barbara.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
Oak Park is located at 640 W. Junipero St, Santa Barbara CA 93105.
From Highway 101 northbound, exit at Pueblo Street. Take the 2nd right, onto Junipero Street. Oak Park is on your left. Park along the road or turn left into the parking lot.
From Highway 101 southbound, exit at Mission, and get in the left lane. Get back on the freeway going north. Stay in the merge lane and exit at Pueblo Street. Then follow the directions above.
To get on Highway 101 northbound after your time at the park, head back where you came on Junipero Street, and then turn right on Calle Real. Drive straight through the intersection and then take the freeway entrance on the left.
To get on Highway 101 southbound after your time at the park, head back where you came on Junipero Street, and then turn right on Calle Real. Turn left on Las Positas Rd and then left onto the freeway.
To get to Loreto Plaza from Oak Park, head back where you came on Junipero Street and then turn right on Calle Real. Turn right on Las Positas Rd and head over the hill. Then turn left into Loreto Plaza before the State St intersection.
Wading pool: Swim for kids 7 and under. June 13- August 24, 2015, daily from noon to 5pm. Admission is free! There is a lifeguard. No floats or toys are allowed.
There are restrooms.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|ALMOST PERFECT EXCEPT WHY IS THE OPENING DATE SO LATE? ? ? ?|
|I grew up there its very nice- there are so many beautiful places!|
|Another amazing playground in Santa Barbara|
|Wow...doesn't hardly look like the same place.|
|This looks great, thanks for this.|