Explore: Tilden Park

As the year winds to a close, we must sing the praises of one of our favorite Bay Area spots to take the little ones: Tilden Park. Now’s as good a time as any to visit the carousel which recently re-opened after upgrades and the installation of a—drumroll, please—weatherproof shield! It’ll never be too windy for the merry-go-round again. The enclosure will open up in warmer months, but for now, it, and the Christmas tree, keep things cozy for the holidays. When you are ready to brave the elements, bundle up, pack some hot chocolate, and take the kids for a ride on the steam trains, or hit one of the many trails that wind through the park (we like the loop around Lake Anza, which is also great for dogs who like to swim). You might want to wait for a dry day for Little Farm and the adjoining Tilden Nature Area–perfect stops for kids interested in animals and nature. Bring lettuce to feed the pigs, goats, cows, sheep and more!

P.S. In the summer, don’t forget about the beach at Lake Anza. It’s a great place for a dip. And if you’re looking for a site for the next birthday party, look no further: the park’s loaded with shady spots and grills, picnic tables, and grassy stretches achin’ for games, races, and lolling about looking at birds, bugs, and trees.