It’s time to shake up that usual playdate plan! These two Westside parks (Tongva Park in Santa Monica, which opened earlier this year, and three-year-old Legacy Park in Malibu) are both part of the new “natural parks” movement.  So much more than swingsets and monkey bars; kids can learn about native plants, the water cycle and community enrichment, all while still getting to slide, puddle-stomp and climb up, up, up.  Both parks beautifully balance wild touches with an ultra-contemporary, family-friendly appeal that will have your kids asking to go back again and again.

Take a look:

A New Perspective

Kid-scale binoculars give curious kiddos a chance to birdwatch within Tongva Park's rich riparian ecosystem-influenced design, or to peer across the 10 freeway into downtown Santa Monica.

Tongva Park
1615 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, Ca  90401
Hours: 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Online: tongvapark.squarespace.com

Legacy Park
23500 Civic Center Way
Malibu, CA 90265

-Jennifer Arrow

Have you visited these, or any of Los Angeles’ other new natural parks (like Vista Hermosa Natural Park near downtown or Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park in south L.A.)? Which is your fave? Tell us in the comments!

Images courtesy of the author.