guides

7 Creeks and Streams in the Bay Area for Kids to Splash In!

Check out these hot spots where your kids can cool off

By Jennifer Hill Macaroni Kid Fremont Publisher July 25, 2020

We are lucky to have so many great creeks in the Bay Area region where kids can splash and play -- and you can feel good about social distancing. Reminder: some attractions may currently be unavailable due to COVID-19.

Here are five of my family's favorite creeks in the Bay Area area to visit. Don't see your family's favorite Bay Area creek here? Drop me a note at jenh@macaronikid.com and I'll add it to our list!

Put on a swimsuit, bring shoes good for creek walking, and don't forget snacks, hats, and sunscreen before heading out to any of these Bay Area creeks! (Mom tip: bring a change of clothes and plastic bags to put wet clothes and shoes in.) And remember, always watch your kids in water — no matter how shallow it is!

Creek at Lake Elizabeth/Central Park in Fremont
40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont

The creek near the Sabercat Playground at Lake Elizabeth/Central Park offers a nice cool creek that kids love to splash in. There's ample parking in the lot behind Aqua Adventure and plenty of green grass to spread out and enjoy the space. There is a walking/biking trail and several playgrounds at the park to enjoy as well as a little bridge my kids always enjoyed crossing. Picnic tables and bathrooms available.

Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward
1801 D. Street, Hayward

The Sulphur Creek Nature Center has creek access and a short hiking trail. You will also find rehabilitated animals indoors and outside to enjoy and a lovely picnic area. Free to visit (donations accepted). Plenty of parking and bathrooms available. 

Cornelis Bol Park in Palo Alto
3590 Laguna Avenue, Palo Alto

Cornelis Bol Park offers a creek and lots of shady trees. There is also a playground and chickens and donkeys to visit! Plenty of grassy areas, bike paths, and more. Street parking is available. Picnic tables available. No bathroom.


Wildcat Creek in Tilden Park in Berkeley/Orinda
2501 Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Orinda

Wildcat Creek offers a great trail where you will find a lot of spots to enter the creek. In addition, you will find a carousel, steam train, Botanic Garden, Little Farm and nature area, and more to enjoy a full day of fun. Bathrooms available.


Live Oak Park in Berkeley
1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

Live Oak Park offers lovely paths through the trees, a creek, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball court, a toddler playground and a school-age playground, art and garden center, and more. Picnic tables and bathrooms available.

Silver Creek at Silver Creek Linear Park in San Jose
Silver Creek Road and Greenyard Street, San Jose

Silver Creek has a creek that is easy to get to with plenty of shade and easy creek access. In addition, you will find playgrounds and picnic areas to enjoy. There are also a basketball court, tennis courts, and three exercise courses. There is a parking lot and bathrooms available.

Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos
333 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos

Vasona Lake County Park offers a lovely creek with water cascading over the rocks. You will also find 45 acres of lawn which is great for soccer, frisbee, and relaxing. Paddleboats and rowboats are available for rental from early spring through early fall. The lake also offers fishing and a hiking trail. Picnic tables and bathrooms are available.