Best Toddler Park 

Virginia-McGee Totland

This toddler park in North Berkeley has everything parents and toddlers would want — picnic tables, slides, play structures appropriate for the tykes, a water and sand table, bathrooms, a gated entrance so your child can't run out into the street, and lots of toys and tricycles. It's one of those parks where people have, over the many years, donated numerous play kitchens, balls and shovels, and ride-alongs (in kid-gear speak, little cars, trucks, and tricycles that kids can ride on), for everyone to enjoy. What that translates to is hours of fun for your little one — so much fun, in fact, that parents usually have to peel their kids away from play time kicking and screaming. The City of Berkeley officially took over this park in 1948, and since then it has been renovated by neighbors, who even added a clubhouse with a bright mural on one side. The clubhouse is used by the Young Artist Program during the school year and Berkeley Day Camp during the summer. This park designed just for the five-and-under crowd is a few blocks from the North Berkeley BART station in a residential neighborhood. And, of course, for families on a tight budget, it's a great deal.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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