Update: Now it’s even easier to find and share playgrounds wherever you go with our new, FREE Playground Finder iPhone App. Download it today!
Written by: Amy Rowland
While living on the West Coast, my family became well acquainted with I-5 and drove it daily. We also grew quite familiar with the traffic patterns and gridlocks that frequently occur, which could leave one stranded on the highway for hours (if not most of the day) should a major accident occur on any stretch where there is no alternate route (Tacoma, WA, through Olympia, WA). So, when we made our epic I-5 trip from Olympia, WA, to Monterey, CA, for Christmas we made sure to plot out good I-5 playground pitstops along the way.
To my pleasant surprise, we not only found a lot of places to stop, we discovered some truly remarkable I-5 playgrounds that are absolutely worth the diversion because, honestly, many of these playgrounds are just awesome (I may or may not have had more fun playing than my kids).
If you find yourself driving any stretch of I-5 for a lengthy period of time with kids, consider making a stop at one of these playgrounds. Many of these parks also have splash parks, which can be a great way to cool off and take a break when you’re stuck in the long line of Summer traffic heading home on Sunday after spending the weekend at the beach (at least in the Pacific Northwest where everyone flees to the South every weekend in the Summer).
Also, if you are looking for ways to keep your kids entertained on the long drive, check out our article that discusses 5 successful ways to keep kids entertained!
P.S. Even if it’s winter when you are traveling (note the snow in some of our pictures), it’s still worth the stop. Our kids didn’t mind one bit.
Lost Hills Paramount Park
Intersection of Lost Hills Rd. and Paso Robles Hwy (46)
Lost Hills, CA 98249
Both directions, exit 278 (2.3 miles, 5 minutes)
Kellogg Park Children’s Playground at La Jolla Shores (click for review)
8200 Camino del Oro
La Jolla, CA 92037
Southbound, exit 28 (2.8 miles, 9 minutes)
Northbound, exit 26A (2.7 miles, 8 minutes)