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Rotary Playgarden, San Jose

#2 of 9 in Fun & Games in San Jose
Playground · Hidden Gem · Garden
The Rotary PlayGarden is the Rotary Club of San Jose’s centennial gift to the community.

Rotary’s goal was to provide an inclusive place to play for all children and their families so they solicited input from the Santa Clara County Office of Education, San Andreas Regional Center, city parks staff, and families raising children with special needs to determine what features to include.

The proposal for the PlayGarden went to the San Jose City Council after it had adopted a resolution in 2010 that no new parks would be built unless they had a privately funded maintenance plan. Recognizing that the city’s lack of operations and maintenance funds could jeopardize the project, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy (GRPC) assumed responsibility for ongoing maintenance so the PlayGarden could move forward.

The resulting PlayGarden design incorporates

standard play elements and adds adaptive swings, a wheelchair-accessible merry go round, kinetic art, sensory experiences, and much more. The design takes advantage of the proximity to Mineta San Jose International Airport and features the wildlife found along Guadalupe River.

Rotary collected over 400 donations from members, individuals, corporations, government agencies, and foundations to fund the project.

The stunning six-million-dollar project, which includes a new parking lot and reconfigured intersection, creates an inviting place for children with special needs to play alongside their siblings and friends.

GRPC's goal is for the Rotary PlayGarden to be the cleanest and safest park in the South Bay. To achieve that goal, the entrance will be staffed, and no dogs, bicycles, skateboards, inflatables or BBQs will be allowed in the PlayGarden.

The hours will vary by season and be 10 am to 6:30 pm daily during the summer and 10 am to 4:00 pm the rest of the year.

Two areas can be reserved in advance; all other areas/tables are first come, first served.

The six-table picnic area and amphitheater can each be reserved for $125 for a two-hour period.

An online reservation system will be live soon. Proceeds from the reservations will be spent to maintain the PlayGarden.

Guadalupe River Park Conservancy (GRPC), a

non-profit organization, provides community

leadership for the development and active use of Guadalupe River Park & Gardens through education, advocacy and stewardship.

GRPC produces Pumpkins in the Park and the Super Guadalupe River Run, provides hands-on, science-based education in the park for nearly 5,000 students each year, and coordinates over 17,000 volunteer hours each year in service of the park. GRPC will also provide programming in the PlayGarden.

GRPC is raising money for the PlayGarden’s

programming and upkeep; please consider making a tax-deductible donation.
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Rotary Playgarden reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
28 reviews
  • We took some children to play at Rotary Playgarden. Its a creative place to go and have fun. Its artistic and cute. Its free of charge.  more »
  • Rotary play garden is a safe place for the kids to burn off some energy. The entire play area has a padded surface to soften any falls from the playground equipment. The are numerous things to swing.....  more »
  • Great place to take kids for some outdoor fun. Easy accessible from major highways with adequate parking. Before you visit make sure you check their website to ensure they are open as they are closed at different times/different days of the week. If you need to get a kid tired this is a great place to take them. Very clean and very safe.
  • It was pretty cool, but like the rest of the reviews there's not much shade. Also, the water fountain for play; all the buttons didn't work so water didn't come out or it would have been cool. Second the concrete slides maybe I didn't see them but they should have some sort of warning that you can almost fly off or that you can slide down extremely fast. I seen a few children fall off of them well flip and get hurt. Or parents carrying one or two kids at a time almost flipping themselves. Some parents first time trying don't expect it to go as fast especially if you to the old school slides. The swings are very cool and comfortable to sit on. The planes flying over the park is awesome! A lot of the playground is metal or hot to touch on hot days obviously. Was our first time so we wanted to check it out since in the area.

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