BEST Things to Do at Civita Park

Picture of Civita Park sign with words "BEST THINGS to do at CIVITA PARK"

UPDATE 1/25/2022

The splash pad is OPEN! 

The Civita Community Instagram page has updates. 

There is so much at Civita Park in San Diego, it’s really incredible! Here is my list of the BEST things to do at Civita Park. You can read my blog post allllll about the park here!

This park can be reserved with a park permit (see more information below!) by calling: 619-531-1563.

Picnic tables, deluxe barbecues, lots of grassy areas, parking lot, game plaza, amphitheater, sculptures, gender neutral bathrooms, changing table, showers, garden, military tribute space, splash pad.

Lots of things to climb, baby swings, saddle swings, group swing, tot lot, small slides, big slide, spinner, sand, rubber round, wheel chair accessible (the slide has a ramp).

Run/walk trail, half-court basketball courts, stairs for exercise, stretching bar, large grassy areas. 

[the_ad id="3372"]

Play on the Playground

The new playground at Civita Park is SO COOL! There is a lot to climb in this bright, beautiful playground. There is a tot lot with a small play structure, logs to climb and a sand box. The large slide on the 5-12 lot is accessible by wheelchair. There is a group swing (pictured lower right, in the photo below) and spinners. There is a covered picnic area between the two playrounds, and nearby restrooms. You can read more about the playground HERE!

Climb "The Stairs"

The Stairs are located in the very back of the park. According to my five year old, there are 121 steps here and you’re rewarded with the Civita Tunnel at the top (keep reading below)!

See Civita Tunnel / "Magic Tunnel"

At the top of the stairs, an incredible treat awaits! This incredible mural is inside the tunnel that connects the dog parks to the stairs. You can access Civita Tunnel with a wheelchair by parking at the dog parks (Via Alta and Apex Way). Heads up that if you also wanted to visit the main park, you would have to drive down and park at the main park entrance (the main park and the dog park are connect by “The Stairs”). You can read more about the tunnel here, and see lots more pictures!

image courtesy of Sudberry Properties. 

Splash in the Splash Pad

My daughter loved the splash pad! The sign said that hours of operation vary depending on season, but I’d imagine that means it would be off if it’s raining. The way to activate it is to stomp on the “stomp here!” and then go through it… the jets have motion sensors (which the kids LOVED!). There is lots of seating so parents can watch and the bathrooms/showers are nearby. 

[the_ad id="3372"]

Play a Game in the Game Plazas

The games plaza are fun spots! There are two: one my the amphitheater and by the gardens. The game plaza by the amphitheater has a giant chess board, a few table tennis (or ping pong) tables, and several tables with a chess (or checkers) top. You’ll find more table tennis tables and a bocce ball court in the other plaza.

Enjoy a Concert at the Amphitheater (and other Community Events)

There is a beautiful amphitheater that is set up with tables and chairs when not used for performances. Seating for the amphitheater is on the grassy hill, and it’s a great place for a blanket or low chair. 

Civita Park has hosted several events, including farmer’s markets, food trucks and concerts in the park. 

The amphitheater is available to reserve for events (the phone number to reserve is 619-531-1563), but is otherwise open for use (if not reserved). 

See the Mining Relics

This is the only playground where you’ll find preserved mining equipment! This heavy machinery was used when the Civita Park site was operated as a quarry. There is a Caterpillar D8 bulldozer, large augers and conveyer belt. It’s for display only, but kids of all ages would still love to check them out!

Civita Park Mining Relics

image courtesy of Sudberry Properties 

Stroll Through the Gardens

Phase 2 of Civita Park has lovely gardens, including a Scent Garden, a Winged Garden and a Succulent Garden.

You’ll also find several rose gardens (which I’m sure will look lovely when it starts to warm up in San Diego) and beautiful flowers throughout. There is a lot of drought-resistant landscaping, and boulders, dirt paths and plants around. And, of course, palm trees (it’s San Diego, after all!).  

Civita Park Gardens
[the_ad id="3372"]

Have a Barbecue or Party (or Get Married!)

Civita Park is a great place for a barbecue or party! There are two areas I saw with deluxe barbecues (and hot coal bins) and tables/seating for small events. One area nestled up the hill passed the basketball courts and the other is by the gaming plaza. 

The large grassy area (pictured below) is available to reserve by quadrant. It’s a great spot for a bouncy house (permit required), but you would need to bring tables and chairs to accommodate a party. The number to reserve is 619-531-1563.

In addition to the four areas that you can permit on the grassy area, you can also get a permit for events at the Wedding Arbor, Turf West and East (see below), and the Amphitheater. 

Visit the Dog Parks

At the very top of the park, you’ll find two fully-fenced dog parks: one for small dogs (less than 25 pounds) and one for large dogs. I think these are some of the nicer dog parks in San Diego! In the picture below, the large dog park is in the middle and the small dog park is on the left. 

The small dog park is grassy, with a little bit of shade. The large dog park is much larger, mostly dirt with a little shade, and also some agility equipment. 

[the_ad id="3372"]

Check Out the Civita Community Garden

Near the entrance to the park, there is Civita Gardens. The gate was locked when I was there, so I didn’t go in. There is a cute red tractor outside the gate which is a great photo op. 

Play Basketball

Civita Park features two half-court basketball courts. They are located right in the middle of the park!

Salute the Military Tribute Plaza

Right at the entrance to the park is the Military Tribute Plaza. Check it out and take a moment to say thank you to the women and men who protect our freedoms. 

[the_ad id="3372"]

Count the Bunnies!

Throughout the park, along the walking path, there are cute little bunny statues. The book at the park entrance tells the story of Franklin and Alta, two bunnies looking for their way home.

image courtesy of Sudberry Properties

picture of little girl petting a bunny statue
[the_ad id="3372"]

Civita Park in San Diego

Civita Park Bathrooms

With everything there is to do at Civita Park, you might find yourself at the park for a long time! If you need to use bathroom facilities, you’ll be happy to know there are two nice, clean buildings.

The lower park has five gender-neutral, wheelchair accessible stalls and one family restroom (also wheelchair accessible) with a changing table. Each stall has a toilet and a sink but no soap, you’ll find soap at the sinks outside the stalls. There are two showers for rinsing off before and after the splash pad.  

Next to the playground is another restroom building, similar to the one pictured above. It has six gender-neutral, wheelchair accessible stalls, and two family restrooms with changing tables (also wheelchair accessible). 

Civita Playground bathrooms

Get Ready for Fun!

Our coloring pages are almost yours… Simply opt in below to have them sent directly to your email inbox!