Posts Tagged ‘park’

Playground / Beach Review: Oceanside Pier

Oceanside Pier - Playstructure

A pier, a beach, a playground AND lots of parking all within close proximity of each other…am I dreaming?! Nope, I’m at the Oceanside Pier and beach.

I’ve been here several times with J and even had her 1 year old photos taken at the pier. Most recently, we ended up here two days after Christmas as a detour from Legoland. Somehow J talked me into taking her to the Legoland Aquarium on the Saturday after the jolly man in the red suit made his appearance. Not a smart move, as the entrance to Legoland was backed up to the freeway. We drove right by the exit and the first suggestion that popped into my head was the beach.

Oceanside Pier

J’s one year old photo shoot. My ovaries may have twitched as I was looking at these photos.

Luckily everyone was at Legoland and the beach was not busy. It was beautiful weather and not windy so we hunkered down for a couple hours and played in the sand, waded in the water (yep, my bare legs were in the water in December and I wasn’t freezing) and played on the playground.

I found very few “cons” during this trip to the playground, however I have experienced some in the past which I will list after the “pros.”

Oceanside Pier - Panoramic

This panorama is a little disorienting because the two play structures are next to each other in real life. I stood between them to take this pic. Remember, this is December! (Click the pic to see it bigger and not blurry.)


Parking – There’s plenty of it both paid and free. I opted for paid parking and it cost a whopping $4 for two hours. There are kiosks where you can use a credit card to prepay for parking. For all you math challenged, parking is $2/hour with a maximum of $8 for all day use. There are several parking lots and pricing may vary slightly. Free parking can be found above the beach and the walk only takes a few minutes.

Pier – Geek out on a few pier facts here. It’s a wood pier and you can walk to the end where Ruby’s diner will greet you with the smell of greasy french fries.

Beach – the sandbox at other playgrounds ain’t got nothin’ on this mother. Bring your sand toys and other beach supplies and you’ll be happy as a (razor) clam.

Playground – The playground is on the beach! There are two structures with slides and climbing apparatus as well as swings (baby and regular).

Bathroom – There are public bathrooms near the pier. I haven’t been inside them, but assuming they’re your average public beach bathroom, I see this as a positive, especially with small children.

Seating / Tables – There is a covered area with picnic tables and seats.


Location – How is this a con? Well…Oceanside can get sketchy. There is a police station right next to the pier. So either you can feel really secure knowing the cops are close by or you can wonder why they need to be so near.

Seating / Tables – Also a con because some of the sketchy people will sit at the tables and stare you down.

Wind – The beach at Oceanside can get pretty windy. While it was calm the last time we were there, you should check the weather before you go, even on warm summer days.

Oceanside Pier / Playground / Beach

See how sandy J’s legs are? We had a fun day.


You can find the pier, beach and playground at

301 N. The Strand
Oceanside, CA 92054

For more info visit The City of Oceanside



Park Review: Hosp Grove Park

Hosp Grove ParkAs I’ve mentioned in some of my other posts, I’m the mom of a preschooler. We go to a lot of parks in North San Diego County and I thought it would be nice to review them from a mom’s perspective. I’m hoping to come up with some clever rating system, but that ain’t happening today.

I’ve made several visits to Hosp Grove Park in Carlsbad (it’s very close to I-5 and the 78) and each time I’m there, I think, “Hey, I should come back here more often!”

First I’ll list the Pros:

Hosp Grove Park Eucalyptus Trees

Can you spot my daughter?

Shade – it’s in a eucalyptus grove and there is a good amount of natural shade which is hard to come by in most of the parks I’ve visited. It’s also located near a lagoon . There are walking trails, however I haven’t been on them. There is lots of open space for kids to run around.

Swings – There are two toddler swings. I didn’t take a photo of the play structure and the swings because there were a lot of people at the park the other day. I will add a photo when we go on a day where we have the park to ourselves.

Popularity – As I just mentioned, I should be able to take a picture on a day when we’re the only ones at the park. During the week there are very few people who come here.

Location – This park is close to major freeways and also close to several strip malls, restaurants and toilets (see CONS).

Parking – There are quite a few parking spaces right next to the park.

Accessibility – From the parking lot, there is a dirt trail that leads to the play structure so it would be easy to push a stroller to the tot lot.

Sand – the play structure is in sand. Bring sand toys and you’ll be golden.


Sand – HA! I know I listed that as a “Pro” but this can also be a con. Parents, you know what I mean.

Hosp Grove Park - ToiletHosp Grove Park - ToiletPort-a-Potty – This is the biggest CON there can be. There is one potty. I don’t know what it looks like inside because the closest I’ve gotten was to take this picture. Nuff said.


Jefferson Street and Marron Road
Carlsbad, CA 92008

For more information, here is the City of Carlsbad’s official page about the park:

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