Head to a new-to-us park by the beach after school (or in this case, after day camp). Add dinner if things go well.
To try this adventure somewhere other than Los Angeles … Head to a park near a body of water and bring along a picnic dinner.
I picked Dorothy Green Park because it’s right across the strand from a popular stretch of beach in Santa Monica. The park itself is pretty small, but the kids were eager to run around exploring.
Big hits here were the slide and ride-on bee. They also had fun running their toys through the sand and trying to see which made it down the slide first: their sand toys or them.
With things going well, I opted to stick around for dinner. Since I didn’t bring a picnic, I splurged on something from the snack stand just a few steps away from the playground.
Insider tip: Come prepared with a picnic instead of relying on beach fare. The food was nothing special, but cost an arm and a leg.
After dinner, we headed out to the beach and the water’s edge, where the real fun began.
The kids loved chasing the waves and daring the water to soak them (which it inevitably did, of course). Much laughter and joy ensued. Mission accomplished.
Insider tip: It’s a trek from the start of the sand to the water (especially for kids), so pack accordingly. And don’t forget a change of clothes.
Simple Ways to Connect With Nature at Dorothy Green Park & Beyond
- Chase waves.
- Bird watch while you dine alfresco.
- Bury your feet in the sand.
- Take a walk on the beach.
- Search for seashells.
- Watch the sunset.
Dorothy Green Park Essentials
- Small playground that includes a swing set, play structure with slides and a ride-on bee
- No shade protection
- Two parking lots available adjacent to the park; rates are $6-$9/day depending on the season or $1/per hour for up to two hours
- Two large grassy areas adjacent to the park
- Two sets of beach restrooms are available
- Perry’s Café is adjacent to the park offering food (cash only), bike rentals & more
Dorothy Green Park is located at:
2400 Barnard Way at Ocean Park
Santa Monica, CA 90401