Adventure Playground in Huntington Beach Reopens After a Four Year Hiatus

Slide into muddy fun at Adventure Playground!
Slide into muddy fun at Adventure Playground!
8/10/23 - By Kylie Williams

Adventure Playground will have you reminiscing and nostalgic for summer camp. This hidden outdoor recreational experience in the center of a Huntington Beach park is like nothing else. Kids will get to channel Tom Sawyer as they float in tubes and slide into muddy waters. If your kids are anything like mine, they'll have their best day ever at Adventure Playground. 

After a long-time closure through the pandemic, Adventure Playground reopened in 2023. It's as wholesome as the Andy Griffith Show, with a mudslide, innertubes, a rope bridge, and tree forts packed with larger-than-life LEGO bricks. Read on for all the details on where to go, how to get there, and what to expect. 

For more adventure, there's the Adventure Playground in Irvine, or you can discover the best playgrounds in Los Angeles and explore more places to climb and slides to conquer in our Guide to the Best Parks and Playgrounds of Los Angeles & OC.  


Finding Adventure Playground is Part of the Fun 

Before you hop in the car to head to this sweet spot, you'll need to call (714) 842-7442 or book a reservation online. It costs $4 per child. Adults over 16 are welcome to enter for free when accompanying a child. No reservation, no entry.

The Huntington Beach Parks and Rec website also has a map of the park showing where to find Adventure Playground. It is east of the Huntington Beach Library (which is on our list of best children's libraries in SoCal, by the way). 

Adventure Playground: Finding Adventure Playground is part of the fun
Embarking on the journey to Adventure Playground is part of the fun 

When you pull into the sprawling Central Park, I'd suggest parking in the covered spaces closest to the library. If you see the paved path cutting through the grass in the center of the park, you're about as close as you can get. If you have little ones with tiny legs, bringing a stroller for the journey may be wise.

Finding Adventure Playground is an adventure in itself. It's hard to locate, even with a map in hand. So, keep those eyes peeled as you trek a largely unmarked path. As you ascend, you'll notice a small, spray-painted banner with an arrow pointing travelers to "Adventure Playground."

Shortly after, you'll arrive at a chainlink fence and a small fold-out table, where a friendly staffer sits with a clipboard. Is your name on the list? If it is, you're good to go. Unfortunately, they were turning away anyone without a reservation, so planning is crucial. 

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Step into summer camp in Huntington Beach for a day

What to Do at Adventure Playground 

There are four main attractions at the playground—the innertubes, the rope bridge, the tree forts, and the mudslide. Four activities may not sound like a lot, but they are all so fun, engaging, and interactive that it was plenty to hold my kids' attention. To quote my seven-year-old, "Can we stay here the entire day?"

The innertubes were a major hit—my kids and their friends loved floating around the shallow pond together. Staffers made sure that children used the innertubes properly and safely. They helped kids get outfitted with a tube, and handed out paddles for anyone who wanted them. Even my toddler could maneuver through the pond, as the water was only about one foot deep. 

RELATED: The Best Swimming Lakes near Los Angeles You Need to Discover

Adventure Playground: The inner tubes are a major hit
Go tubing in the middle of Huntington Beach

The rope bridge was another hot ticket item amongst the kiddos—my boys (seven and four) could navigate it independently, but my two-year-old needed a helping hand to make it across. The bridge is suspended (only by a foot) over the water. The boys loved pretending they were scaling an alligator-infested swamp on a brave escapade. 

The tree forts are suspended about six feet off the ground and stocked with lots of larger-than-life LEGO bricks for making all sorts of different creative creations. Kids have to scale a small ladder to reach the platforms, and are instructed not to throw any LEGOs to the ground below. 

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Adventure Playground: climb a tree fort to reach giant LEGO bricks
Climb a tree fort to reach giant LEGO bricks

The infamous mudslide starts at the top of a wooden staircase. It is essentially a large tarp draped over a dirt hill, that ends in a muddy water pit. A staffer sits at the top with a hose, spraying the tarp to keep it slick while kids shimmy into the brown water. At one point, my boys were doing laps, up the slide and back down, with sheer joy on their faces. 

If you visited Adventure Playground in the past, you may remember hammers and nails, and wooden rafts in the pond. These features are no more, as they were permanently removed for safety reasons.

RELATED: Best Splash Pads, Splash Parks, and Water Playgrounds in Los Angeles 

Adventure Playground: Take a snack break at one of the shady tables
Take a snack break at one of the shady tables

Helpful Tips and Info 

The playground has several tables under a shaded awning, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations are allowed at this time). There are also chairs situated around the playground, and a few benches here and there. Tall pine trees provide sporadic shade, but make sure to bring some sunscreen along, as your kids will spend time in direct sunlight. 

Here are a few other things that should be on your Adventure Playground packing list: changes of clothes, a wet bag or grocery bag for wet clothes and shoes, towels, water, sun hats, and snacks. Picnics are welcome in the area- all of my kids took a quick break from playing to wolf down some PB&Js, apples, and veggie straws at noon.

There are some small changing rooms on the premises, unheated showers for kids who need to rinse off, and porta-potties for anyone who has to go. 

Adventure Playground Rules 

The most important piece of information you need to know about Adventure Playground is the close-toed shoes rule. All kids and adults to wear closed-toed shoes with no holes. This means no Crocs, no water shoes, no Natives, and absolutely no sandals. Kids need to keep their sneakers on at all times, even when they are in the water. We brought older shoes to wear, and extra shoes to change into afterward. 

Adventure Playground will turn anyone away that shows up with improper footwear. Kids are welcome to wear swimsuits or can splash around in play clothes. 

There is staff meandering around the playground to help keep things tidy and safe, but they are not there to supervise your kids. Parents are expected to keep a close eye on their little ones and help to enforce carefulness and kindness. 

Hours and Open Days 

Adventure Playground is open from 10am to 4pm, Mondays through Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays, and the season of summer fun ends on August 18th for 2023. Generally, the playground is open from mid-June to mid-August. The Adventure Playground website suggests that the space is designed for five to 12-year-olds, though my four and two-year-olds had a swell time, too. Adventure Playground brought out the kid in all of us. We will definitely be back for more soon.

All photos taken by author Kylie Williams


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