Activities

What To Do at Larkey Park in Walnut Creek

The East Bay has tons of great parks, from Heather Farm in Walnut Creek to perennial favorite Moraga Commons in Moraga. If you’re looking for something smaller and more manageable, yet still full of unique activities, check out Larkey Park in Walnut Creek.

Larkey Park is located just on the Walnut Creek side of the city’s Pleasant Hill border. You can access it from nearby Geary Road, taking the Treat Boulevard exit on 680 if you’re visiting from points North or South. Larkey Park isn’t huge, and parking is usually easily available.

What To Do at Larkey Park

There are several great things to do at Larkey Park. The park has a swim center which is open during the Summer months, complete with a splash pad for your kids. There’s a big, hilly, grassy area with picnic tables and barbecue pits. I’ve been to several parties there, and it’s a popular place to hang out, relax on the hill with a picnic, or play ball for families.

Larkey Park also has two playground areas. One is designed for bigger kids ages 5-12 and is relatively nice and well maintained. There’s a train-themed climbing toy for your young railfans, and nearby picnic tables where you can hang out and have snacks.

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There’s also a tot playground for the under 5 set. The best thing about this is a row of comfy Aridondack chairs where parents can relax and keep an eye on their kids on the playground.

Playground at Larkey Park
Playground at Larkey Park

The Lindsay Wildlife Experience

Larkey Park is also home to the wonderful Lindsay Wildlife Experience museum. You can visit the museum–which is good for a few hours of entertainment in and of itself–or you can visit the museum’s turkey vulture Lord Richard, who hangs out in a big cage out front (watch your fingers!). Staff members sometimes bring birds outside for more extensive shows for kids, too.

Bird cages at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience
Bird cages at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience

The park has good public restroom facilities which are adjacent to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, and are well maintained and kept clean. If you ever find an injured wild animal, Lindsay is the place to contact, and it’s good to know where the museum–which doubles as an animal hospital–is located.

Larkey Park is more subdued and calm than giant parks like Heather Farms, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a fun local activity in Walnut Creek, and especially if you’re visiting with the kids. Park in the lower lot, or park by Lindsay Wildlife and walk into the main park area.

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Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times.

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