About Bibiana Heckmann: I moved to the Bay Area five months ago, after having lived in Switzerland for 10 years. Originally, I am from Germany. I am an architect, started my career in Germany with building and renovating residential houses and have been concentrating on commercial projects in Switzerland. I enjoy exploring my new surroundings with my three year old son.
1. Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose
This is a hands-on museum for children of all ages. There is a wonderful area for children up to the age of four separated from the rest of the museum. We always explore the water play area, the bubble making area, the fire truck and the ambulance. During the summer vacation I noticed many summer camp excursions took place there, but it is a bit quieter after lunch time.
2. Seven Seas Park in Sunnyvale
This is a new playground in a new park. There are three different areas. An enclosed playground for small children with a sandbox and climbing/sliding structure, a water splash area and a play area for older children in the shape of a pirate ship. The pirate ship is very good for pretend play. We like to play being in the ocean, discovering the crabs, shells, etc. sitting on the rocks. The water splash area is also lots of fun.
3. Mitchell Park, 600 E Meadow Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94309
This is a huge park with different playgrounds. There is a new playground (magical bridge) on one end with interactive music pipes, many slides, a theatre with a stage. The playground is for all children, there is a carrousel where wheelchairs can be placed. The founders were very thoughtful about every detail.
4. CuriOdyssey San Mateo
Interesting museum with local animals, water explore and hands on area which we still need to explore further. It is situated in the Coyote Point recreation area. There is the Magic Mountain Playground nearby which looks awesome.
5. Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale
Nice park with different playgrounds. They are next to a very large pond, but due to draught I guess there is no water in it at the moment.
6. Happy Hollow in San Jose
This a large park where you can spend all day. There are different areas – the zoo on the hill, the zoo in the hollow and the area where you find all the carrousels. We love the carousel at the entrance, the bug carousel and police car/ fire truck carousel. They also have a wonderful playground.
7. Cuesta Park, Mountain View
Nice playground with lots of shade.
8. Whimsy Saratoga
This is an indoor play space, things are very new and clean. They have many wooden toys, costumes and a cafe.
9. Bumble Cafe in Los Altos (kid friendly cafe)
Very nice restaurant with an outside sandbox, children’s menu with choices of healthy sides and an indoor supervised play area (extra cost, we have not tried this yet).
10. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley Street, Palo Alto CA 94301
We like to walk around the garden, look at the different kinds of flowers and herbs and enjoy the different scents.