Children’s Park in Downtown San Diego – REOPENED!

children's park in downtown San Diego features a wood play structure

Children’s Park in Downtown San Diego got a MAJOR upgrade, and I’m thrilled to share all the details about the grand reopening of the park!

The $9 million project, a collaboration with Civic Communities, will help transform Downtown San Diego into a world-class urban center and aligns with the goals of the Downtown Community Plan, which encourages the development of a diverse range of outdoor opportunities for residents, workers and visitors. 

The park’s makeover includes a new children’s play area, picnic tables, adult exercise equipment, an off-leash dog area, public restrooms with an attendant booth, a multi-use lawn area, a new walkway through the Civic Pond and a vendor building. NOTE: Alcohol is NOT allowed at Children’s Park

155 W Island Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

Reservation Contact Information:

rendering of Children's Park in downtown San Diego

Total Upgrade

Children’s Park now feels completely upgraded. It’s a beautiful space that benefits everyone, right near the Convention Center downtown!

“With the redevelopment and reopening of Children’s Park, we have transformed a previously underused space into a truly vibrant place for the community,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “Downtown residents and visitors now have an extraordinary park to gather, relax, picnic, play and exercise – part of our greater vision to make San Diego a city that works for all of us.” 

The Children’s Park updates were designed by Miller Hull and the landscape architect is Spurlock Landscape Architects.

New Playground at Children’s Park

The playground at Children’s Park is very unique! It is a 9,500-square-foot children’s play area with a wood play structure (which you don’t see too often in San Diego). It also features swings, a large climbing sculpture, spinners, and a play boat. Also, it’s completely fenced! You enter the play area through gates in the center of the park.

large slide at Children's Park
a net group swing and two saddle swings at Children's Park
climbing structure at children's park
climbing structure at children's park

There is also a small spinner and a boat (I still need to get a picture of that!) to play on. The entire surface is rubber and, as I mentioned, it’s all fenced in. This play area is great for older kids (5+)… unfortunately, there really isn’t much for kids under 5. There aren’t even bucket swings (baby swings) for little littles, so I’d pick a different adventure if I had a toddler.

If you’re interested in the parking situation at Children’s Park, check out the bottom of this post!

Adult Fitness Area

The City of San Diego has really focused on adult fitness areas in parks in San Diego in recent years. Why not take advantage of the great San Diego weather?? The adult fitness area at Children’s Park is pretty cool.

This area had a stationary bike, an elliptical, pull-up bars, and stretching bars. The fitness area is completely separate from the playground.

adult fitness area at Children's Park

You can also find corn hole (bag toss), ping pong tables and event two FOOSBALL TABLES here (wha???? that’s so cool!).

Corn hole at Children's Park
ping pong tables at Children's Park
foosball tables at Children's Park

Dog Park at Children’s Park

dog park rules at Children's Park

Children’s Park in Downtown San Diego has the cutest little dog park! It’s completely fenced, but it’s “one size fits all” (there is no separate area for small dogs). It covered with artificial turf and has some agility equipment, as well as a drinking fountain for your pup!

agility equipment at dog park at children's park

Please note the times the park is closed for cleaning and maintenance on the sign below

dog park closures Children's Park


Children's Park bathrooms

The bathrooms at Children’s Park include two individual (gender-neutral) stalls and one of them has a changing table (on the right). The handwashing station is outside the door. These restrooms will have an security attendant outside when the bathrooms are unlocked.

Art Sculpture

Petrichor at Children's Park in San Diego
Miki Iwasaki artist info

San Diego-based artist Miki Iwasaki created a site-specific public art piece for the park. The artwork, titled Petrichor, was commissioned by the City of San Diego through Arts and Culture. Petrichor is a sculptural installation consisting of an abstract form that appears to float above the ground in a cloud-like shape and will serve as a beacon in the park.

Tables at Children’s Park

picnic tables at Children's Park

If you’d like to have a picnic or play a game at Children’s Park in San Diego, you’ll have some options! These picnic tables are located just outside the gate for the playground. Unfortunately, they are not wheelchair accessible.

game tables at Children's Park

These fun chess/checkers tables are located around the Civic Pond.

Children’s Park in San Diego has a retail space for snacks, but it currently vacant. In the meantime, you can bring your own snacks and enjoy them at these tables around the Civic Pond.

Civic Pond at Children’s Park

civic pond San Diego

I’ll have to return to Children’s Park to get some more pictures of Civic Pond. This beautiful water feature has paths so you can walk through the pond. That’s the San Diego Convention Center in the background!

Parking at Children’s Park

If you’re driving to visit Children’s Park, you will most likely need to pay for parking. I made this map to help you locate parking options. Children’s Park is right near The New Children’s Museum, which is a fun place to visit! You can do two-for-one by parking at The New Children’s Museum and then walking over to Children’s Park. The rate to park there is $16/day or $8 for museum members.

Additionally, there is a pay lot right across the street from Children’s Park. Rates vary (they’re pretty high during Padres game, for example), but if you don’t want to drive around, this is a great option. I parked in a metered spot on the street and paid $1.25/hr. Sometimes you have to circle, but it’s the least expensive option. Parking on Sundays is free! But, spaces can be limited.

Here’s a trick to remember parking rules in San Diego: you can NEVER park in RED (fire), WHITE (immediately loading) or BLUE (handicapped, unless you have a permit). GREEN and YELLOW are free on evenings (check signs for times… sometimes it’s after 6pm and sometimes it’s after 8pm) and on Sundays.

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