Hart Park in Orange: Sunken Parking and Sunny Playground

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Hart Park in Orange feels a lot like Pearson Park in Anaheim with its historical buildings, mature trees, pool, and outdoor space for community concerts.  The first thing to strike me about the park is the parking lot!  We came in off Glassell Street, driving down a short and steep driveway, to enter the parking lot which easily stands 6 or 7 feet below park level. Upon reading a local history blog, I found it’s called “The Orange Plunge” and was constructed to channel Santiago Creek when the park was built back in the 1930’s.

Location: Right off the 22 Garden Grove Freeway near Old Towne Orange. However, I visited on the day I went to Pitcher Park. We came by way of the 55 Freeway. Exit on Chapman Avenue and head to Old Towne. Go through the roundabout and head toward the 22 on Glassell Street. The park entrance is on your before you hit the 22 overpass. MAP TO HART PARK IN ORANGE

Recommended by: Carrie of This Is Me Journal (I met Carrie last year at the OC Blogger’s Ball. I’m embarrassed to say it’s taken me this long to visit the park and type it up for all of you! The funny thing? Carrie happened to be there on the day of my visit and we got to play!)

Highlights:

  • This park has everything! A sand volleyball court, amphitheater, tennis courts, large and small picnic areas, and a pool!
  • The bike trail off Santiago Creek makes it easily accessible by bike. It’s even possible to bike to the Discovery Science Center and Santiago Park from here.  You can make all sorts of discoveries along the bike trail (locals tell of some old school metal slides which are not to be missed).
  • 4 bench swings, 2 baby swings
  • Especially nice for picnics

Be Aware:

  • Very near traffic and the busy Glassell Street
  • It’s a large and central park – so there are people from all walks of life using the park (not just a small neighborhood park with families)
  • No shade on the playground.
  • Not that most people visit playgrounds during heavy rain . . . but this would be an especially bad choice because of the creek/parking lot.

Checklist:

  • Free parking in the Santiago creekbed  – dedicated lot. There are quite a few one way entrances to the park (not just off Glassell). However, there’s only one exit off
  • Bark play surface
  • Restrooms right near the playground
  • Picnic areas with shelters available for reservation
  • Beautiful pool, open in the summer for recreational swim and lessons. Click here for more info.
  • Two baseball/softball fields
  • Amphitheater (or some sites call it a “bandshell”)
  • Tennis courts
  • Click here for more info on permits and park rules.

Comments

  1. Michael Gerald says

    Can you bring dogs to this park. I wish it would say this. Its very unproffesional that they can’t even say if this psrk is dog friendly.

  2. Estabon Mayo says

    She also forgot to mention that the tennis courts and the volleyball courts have lights on timers for free nite use as well as 6 professional clay horseshoe pits. The public is welcome to play. It also has free use of nite lights

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