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Best Cheap Kids' Day Out 

Kennedy Park

Those of us with small children know that one-stop shopping makes everything much easier, whether it's picking up dinner on the way home from preschool or keeping the ol' ankle-biters entertained on the weekend. For a truly all-encompassing (but inexpensive) kids-day-out experience, swing down to Kennedy Park in Hayward. A buck-fifty buys a ride on the cheerful, Thomas the Tank Engine-esque "Kennedy Express" or on the classic metal carousel, which boasts 38 jumping horses and 2 chariots and has been in operation in Hayward since 1965 (before that, there was a 10-year stint at Oakland's Robert's Park). Or if the wee bairns won't settle for anything but the real deal, try a pony ride for $2. Want more? Check out the bounce house, Triple Pines petting zoo, tennis courts, picnic areas, or either of the two ginormous play structures replete with eleven slides, monkey bars, and a zip line. How much you wanna bet the tikes will fall asleep in the car on the way home?

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


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