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Costeau Park in Laguna Hills: Climb into a Kids Only Treehouse

Costeau Park in Laguna Hills: Climb into a Kids Only Treehouse

Costeau Park in Laguna Hills underwent a big renovation in April/May 2011 which removed all the bark play surface and completely replaced it with green recycled rubber.  I was ready to be under-impressed because I liked the old wooden equipment. In fact, I overheard some teenagers say “We played at that old park, like, our whole lives.” Despite my doubts, I have to say, I think the new version really is an improvement!

Location: At the corner of Alicia Parkway and Costeau, very near I-5 and AAA of Southern California office.  Exit I-5 at Alicia and turn towards Laguna Hills (away from Mission Viejo).  Pass Hon and take your next left on Costeau. You’ll see the playground on your right. MAP to Cousteau Park

Highlights:

  • I love the “Kids Only” treehouse theme.  Have your kids look for wildlife hiding in the tree.
  • The climbing equipment and slides kept my 5 year old entertained.  We even played a simplified hide-and-seek.
  • Those with toddlers will appreciate that this park is almost sand-free. There’s a separate sandbox at the little kid area.
  • 2 baby swings, 2 bench swings on separate sets.
  • Two spinners. I’ve seen these before, but I like the “bowl” version at this park because it’s close to the ground so kids can stop themselves.
  • Springy mini teeter-totter for extra bounce.
  • Lots of interpretive panels with numbers, counters, and planets.
  • Basketball courts
  • Large grassy area and hills for rolling down. Bring a ball or a frisbee.

Be Aware:

  • Loud roar from traffic on Alicia Parkway, especially during high traffic times
  • The baby swings are near the big kid equipment and the big kid swings are BETWEEN the little kid/big kid equipment. So watch the little ones when they travel back and forth between the structures while big kids are swinging.
  • In rare instances, you might compete with school children or day care programs for use of the park.
  • It’s near a street corner. However, because it’s slightly sunken in kids rarely run for the road.

Checklist:

  • Plenty of close on-street parking
  • Recycled rubber play surface
  • NO restrooms
  • Shade from trees surrounding the play area
  • Hopscotch near basketball court
  • Easy to supervise children
  • One picnic table right near each play area, more tables with grill near the basketball court
  • Wire mesh benches with backs
  • Softball field, basketball court, hopscotch
  • Official City of Laguna Hills website for Costeau Park

Don’t Forget the Sloth

The plaque under this giant ground sloth statue is inscribed as follows: “This prehistoric giant ground sloth represents the Ice Age animals that flourished here 40,000 years ago. In 1965, sloth bones and teeth were recovered from this site with the fossils of bison, horses, camels, mammoths, dire wolves, and sabre-toothed cats. These animals lived by a perennial stream, now Alicia Parkway, in grasslands similar to African savannas. Costeau Park was established to preserve the thousands of fossils that remain buried beneath the surface. Historical Monument, Dedicated July 3, 1999.”

Originally published October 2008.

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