Larkey Park Buena Vista Ave & 1st Ave, Walnut Creek, CA94597
The setting: Larkey Park is a well-maintained neighborhood park with a large open area and…More ample space to hold gatherings for large group events. The park is also home to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society.
What's here: Larkey has a layout that is open and inviting with a large open turf area for variety of outdoor sports such as soccer, baseball, and Frisbee. There is also a shade-covered event area of six picnic tables and BBQ pits to accommodate a large group gathering for birthday parties or any other outdoor festivities. The city of Walnut Creek even allows jump houses.
Coolest feature: There are two dual playgrounds catering to all ages. The smaller playground – geared towards the younger set, (tots to preschool age) - has two slide play structures and one toddler climbing structure. There is also a sailboat play structure for imaginative play as well as three toddler swings and two “big kid” swings. All equipment is on tanbark mixed sand ground covering. The larger play structure is adjacent to a smaller playground with the equipment on sand. This larger play structure is better for school aged children and has three slides – one two-story twisty slide, metal plank walkway, monkey bars, rings, and lots of areas to climb.
Ideal for: Parents with two or more kids several years apart will delight in the fact that they can feel safe with the younger child while the older one roams and explores in the larger play structure.
The park also seems to be a stop for many school children to let out some steam after a field trip to the Lindsey Wildlife Museum, a refuge for injured or orphaned animals.
How's the sand? The sand in the larger play structure is not as clean due to the pine needles from the pine tree shading the area. The smaller playground has sand mixed with bark and a wet n' wild area with regular play sand.
When you're done playing: Lindsey Wildlife Museum is adjacent to the park and there is a direct pathway from the playground to the museum. The museum is open at noon during the week and parents of young toddlers needing naptime may opt for weekend visits instead. During the summer months, Larkey Swim Center is open for recreational public swimming but there are many swim groups who regularly occupy the pool. The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society also calls Larkey Park home. These hobbyists created Diablo Valley Lines Railroad, a show-stopping HO scale model railroad display (train cars are about 6 to 11 inches long). The display is open to the public on designated days and features 4,300 feet of hand-laid track
Parking? Minimal. Approximately 20 spaces in front of the park but street parking is widely available on Buena Vista Avenue, First Avenue and Larkey Lane.
Restroom proximity: Public restrooms are located on the side entry of Lindsey Wildlife Museum. The sign is not quite visible unless you are directly on path to the museum and younger children may have difficulty locating the facility.
Safety Concerns? The play structure geared for school-aged children needs an update. The aluminum slides are too hot to slide on warm days and children can easily come down too quickly, resulting in potential injuries.