I discovered Valley Oak Park in Irvine while searching for a good place to meet up with grandparents.
It’s an ideal choice because of the level walking surface from the dedicated parking lot to the playground – and plenty of benches (not to mention, the proximity to the 405 freeway).
Directions to Valley Oak Park in Irvine: Easy to find from Interstate 405 and 5. From 405, exit Sand Canyon and go toward mountains. Turn left on Alton and take an immediate right on Valley Oak Drive. Turn left into the parking lot before you hit Barranca Parkway. If you are coming from the 5, head toward the 405 and turn right on Barranca. Then take the left onto Valley Oak Drive. (Park Address: 16001 Valley Oak, Irvine) MAP to Valley Oak Park in Irvine
- All-in-one kind of park complete with a grassy area, basketball court, play structures for all ages, sandbox, tennis courts, swings
- Excellent picnic area with grills – great place to bring lunch
- Even the recycled rubber play surface is decorated with oak leaves and acorns
- Very compact so it’s easy to see the kids everywhere
- I love meeting people here because it’s easy to find
- A variety of slides and crawl-through tunnels
- Good for both little kids and big kids (bring a basketball or soccer ball)
- 2 bench swings, 2 baby swings
- Restroom and drinking fountain very near the playground – it even has a bottled water refill station at the playground location AND near the tennis courts.
- Close to other parks and shopping areas
- Can’t really think of anything to “Be Aware” of at Valley Oak. Except, I have seen the parking lot fill up and there is almost always someone there.
- Parking in dedicated lot (maybe 20-25 spots)
- Recycled rubber and sand play surface
- Very nice restrooms (open at 9am and close at dusk)
- Drinking fountains near the playground and tennis courts, both with refillable water stations
- Shade under patio cover
- Easy to view kids
- Full basketball court
- Tennis courts
- Access to the bike path that runs along the creek parallel to Barranca
- Official City of Irvine website
- Nearest library branch: Irvine Heritage Park or Irvine University Park
- Oak Creek Community Park is right across Barranca from here
- Quail Hill Loop Trail (hike/nature walk)
- Heritage Park in Irvine
- Orchard Park in Irvine
Originally published in April 2009.