LiLing Pang's Passport


Member since:
27 June 2008

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14, '16 Icon_founder_title

Icon_pictureBeen to 530 Attractions
Icon_star388 Reviews
Icon_star1249 First to Review
Icon_camera21226 Photos
Icon_thumbsup235 Helpful Votes

San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States

About Me & My Family
I'm a mother
3 Kids 3-11 years old boys and girls

When we travel, good food and adventure always abound. Our family loves to push the limit of what we can do with children. Our mantra has always been - have kids, will travel. However, this doesn't mean I'm unlike most frantic moms before a trip. Wanting adventure and being a control freak can sometimes be a lethal combination.
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, independent, spontaneous
We Just Got Back From
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Hawaii, Montana, Lake Tahoe
A Place We'd Love To Visit
New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Eastern Europe, Italy
Favorite Vacation Memory
Climbing Machu Picchu with a 4 month old infant in a slight and having all the locals stop us to ask what happened to his feet which were all bundled up. They just couldn't believe it wouldn't be bow legged.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Getting to the airport on our way to Scotland with my 15 month old and discovering that my husband's passport had expired. Instead of rebooking all of our flights, we decided that I would do the first leg of our journey on my own with baby. Unfortunately, we had not packed for me to be flying by myself. I could bearly walk to the runway with all my bags and a 15 month old who would get distracted by everything along the way. He then proceeded to sleep only 1 hour of the entire 11 hour journey (red-eye). It was pretty miserable.
Websites I Like:

Top 10 Destination Playgrounds in San Francisco Bay Area

All playgrounds are fun, but there are some playgrounds that are destinations in and of themselves.  These playgrounds have unique qualities that really make them stand out above the rest.


630 Summerfield Rd
Santa Rosa, California

Why this deserves to be top of this list: Few free playgrounds in this country can boast of so many unique play areas within one playground. It's set in Howarth Park which has a whole slew of other activities like boating, a steam train, and pony rides. Free

reviewed on: July 31 2009

"A little of everything"
Our day at Howarth Park Playground was lots of fun for our 3 and 6 year olds.  It is a large playground with a wide variety of activities that kids will love.  In particular, our kids love the splash pad.  Nothing particularly special here, but water is always delightful to kids.  They also really loved the dinosaur dig area.  The best thing about Howarth Park is that there are so many different sections to the playground that a kid who love imaginary play, climbing, sand and water play will find something to bring excited squeals.  Santa Rosa can be really hot in the summer, but this playground has lots of tall trees that provide a good amount of shade as well as several water play options.

You could send the whole day at Howarth Park Playground.  There are BBQ areas and lots of picnic benches.  But if you come during the weekend, you can also treat the kids to a carousel ride, pony ride or train ride.  Even older kids will not be bored here.

My only complaint is that the sand was pretty grimy and some of the fountains in the water play area weren't working very well.  Bathroom was clean and easily accessible from the playground.  Parking was fine on Friday.  Not sure what it is like on the weekend.


160 University Avenue
Berkeley, California

Why is this in the list? It is truly a unique playground for kids 4 and up. The playgrounds itself is totally made from recycled materials by the kids and volunteers. For a small fee you can enter this playground that is literally still under construction. $10 if you're dropping your child off (over 7 years old)

reviewed on: August 26 2008

"Play and learn about recycling"
This playground constructed by children and volunteers out of scraps of wood, old nets, and machines is beyond unique. It changes by the day as wannabe “Bob the Builders”, adorned with work tools and safety gear, pound, saw and paint with great intent. After all, building a wonderland playground is serious business to the 4-13 year olds who seem to be the main construction crew. Besides giving rowdy youngsters a constructive outlet for their need to destroy and build, the Adventure Playground also gives children the freedom to create fantastic creations out of mere scraps. Forts, tunnels, bridges, pirate coves, and towers abound with imaginations running wild and taking form.  This is definitely a lesson in resourcefulness and creativity!

The staff lovingly checks all the structures to ensure that it remains structurally safe for playing on and around. Children also learn to care for the environment - in order to earn a tool, they have to pick up 5 pieces of trash, loose nails or rocks. Other nice features, also created out of scraps, are slides, a jungle gym created out of tires, and a zipline.

Children 7 years and older may enjoy the playground for a fee of $6 (when parents leave them to the supervision of the friendly staff). That being said, even our 4 year old (free but must be under parental supervision at all times) was totally enthralled by the playground. He can just about hit a nail with a hammer without mommy fearing for this little fingers. He ranks the Adventure Playground 10 out of 10, up there with Disneyland. If that’s the case, then this place wins the prize for value for money.

For younger siblings (under 3), the Adventure Playground can be a little dangerous.  A young child will require 1 on 1 supervision. Sharp and rough edges abound, along with splinters and nails. So, I definitely wouldn’t recommend bringing a toddler along unless one adult can keep both eyes fixed on the little one. But don't dismay because adjacent to the Adventure Playground is a new modern and safe playground suitable for toddlers. To top it off, the view of the bay from both playgrounds and the picnic tables is magnificent. Other facilities next to Adventure Playground is the Shorebird Park Nature Center (built out of straw bales, recycled materials and solar powered), clean bathrooms and picnic tables with BBQ pits. This could be a fantastic location for a 7 year old’s birthday party. (I’m already planning….)
Nearby parking is limited, but there is plentiful parking on the other side of the road.


320 Bowling Green Drive
San Francisco, California

The first playground in the America which has recently been renovated. Fantastic mixture of unique architectural play structures and traditional playground equipment. Free

reviewed on: July 29 2008

"Must visit for any family with young kids"
The Koret Children's Quarter is truly one of the most wonderful  free playgrounds.  Our 5 and 2.5 year old simply love this playground.  Many of the playground structures were custom designed.  This is no ordinary playground.  A large wave creates a climbing wall.  A tall concrete slide is a delight for kids and parents who are young at heart (like myself).  The rope pyramid is challenging, but perfect for a 5 year old who loves to climb.  Young children will enjoy the fantastic climbing structures and the little water play area in the sand "box"

Although this playground is almost always crowded, that adds to the energy of the playground.   Parking is often very difficult on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am onwards.

The plentiful but old school bathrooms are clean, but no changing tables were available.  Nearby is a large meadow for running and the famous carousel for children is such a steal at $.50 for kids and $1.50 for adults.
Bring a picnic and enjoy the large trees that surround the playground.


2400 Old Sonoma Road
Napa, California

A playground that was hand built by parents themed as a castle and with a cool concrete river with water flowing down it. Free


Yosemite Dr & Humboldt Ct
Pacifica, California

Mostly just known by locals, this is another playground designed by parents and hand built by local Pacifica families. Free

reviewed on: April 18 2009

"Unique and lovingly hand built"
Frontierland playground is not like any other playground out there.  That's because it was designed by the families of Pacifica and hand built by the community.  It is a fairly large playground, but all sides are enclosed so that it's pretty easy to watch you little ones.  The playground is generally castle themed, but there is also a small climbing wall and musical areas made out of metal pipes.  There is also a well/dungeon you can climb down that is made out of tires.  There are lots of slides, swings, and a tot area with a train depot for pretend play.  When it gets hot, there is a water mist area that little ones enjoy walking through.  Whenever we go to Frontierland, I think about the creative use of various materials that have been applied to create this fantastic playground.  The only downside is that bathrooms while available are a little far away.  It is also deep in the valley and far from Hwy 1.  The upside of this location is that it's almost always sunny here.  Lots of picnic tables and large a grassy area is adjacent to the playground and is perfect for a picnic, kicking a ball or flying a kite.


Roberts Regional Recreation Area
Oakland, California

A playground designed for children with differing abilities. The largest of it's kind in California and set in a park with a heated pool and other activities.


1499 Abbott Ave.
Campbell, California

Very popular with parents in the area because of it's cool water feature and extensive playground structures. Free


233 Blossom Hill Rd
Los Gatos, California

Oak Meadow Park's special features is the jet plane sitting right in the middle of the playground and the Billy Jones Wild Cat Railroad and Carousel that get lots of thumbs up from Trekaroo families.

reviewed on: August 17 2011

"Beautiful setting and lots of do"
Come to Oak Meadow Park and hang out for the day.  The playground area is large with both a little kids area and a big kids area complete with swings.  The equipment is pretty typical, but what really makes this playground special is the USAF T-33 Jet that sits right in the middle of the action. The moment my boys laid eyes on it, they headed straight in that direction climbing into the cockpit and letting their imaginations run wild.

Although Los Gatos can be hot in the summer, Oak Meadow is surrounded by beautiful old oak trees.  There are lots of picnic benches, so bring your lunch or purchase a hotdog from the concession stand near the carousel.  You might want to bring along a table cloth though because we had a hard time finding a table that didn't have too many bird droppings on it.

The fun at Oak Meadow only just begins at the playground.  The Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad takes you on a ride through the park where you can see get a glimpse of Lake Vasona.  It's just $2 per person for a ride.  It was such a pleasant ride and surprisingly long. The Carousel is also just $2.  If that's not enough entertainment for the day, you can head over to Lake Vasona and rent paddle boats and head out onto the Lake.  There are also lots of nicely shaded hiking trails throughout the park that are stroller friendly.

Parking is $6, but there is lots of street parking at the edge of the park if you're willing to walk a little.  


1801 J. Hart Clinton Dr.
San Mateo, California

Beautiful setting by the bay with great flat biking trails and a huge playground with a fun water fountain feature that the kids simply love to play in. Free

reviewed on: August 04 2008

"Always sunny, but often windy"
Ryder park is where our family goes to escape the fog that hugs the coast where we live.  You are almost guaranteed to find sunshine even on days when the coast is so thick in fog that you can't see the tree 100 ft in front of you.  The water fountains are a huge hit with the kids especially on very hot days.  However, this park always seems to be windy and can make the cold water fountains uncomfortable for young children who are already a little tentative of the water springing unpredictably from the ground.
We love to bring a picnic and spread a blanket on the well manicured grassy lawn.  This playground has a fantastic group BBQ area.  A perfect location for birthday parties.  The bike path is flat, paved for a lot of the way, and takes you on a fantastic ride along the shoreline.  Great for young children.  A huge bonus for airplane lovers is being able to see airplanes coming in for their landing at SFO.


16th and Dolores
San Francisco, California

After a full renovation, Mission Dolores Park now has a very special playground. Not only are the views at this hilly park spectacular, the new playground boasts a central play mound with an ADA-accessible suspension bridge, built-in slide and climbing nets; custom-made ship wrecked boats; and a 40' super slide built into the natural hillside behind the playground. It's a work of art.