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Places to Go & Get to Know

Family Friendly


Magical Bridge Playground – Designed to be a socially inclusive playground for children of all ages, physical and cognitive abilities, Magical Bridge Playground addresses the unique play needs of many children in the community, and allows everyone to play together on the unique play-structures. http: //

Rinconada Park – playground, tennis courts and swimming pool (outdoor public pool)

Greer Park – Cute neighborhood park with picnic tables and a skateboard park.

Cornelis Bol Park – Nicknamed “Donkey” park, after Perry and Niner, two donkeys that visit on Sundays and special occasions. Also features a bicycle/jogging/walking path, footpath, children’s playground, and comfortable benches.

Junior Museum and Zoo
Great place for families to explore, discover, create and play. The zoo is home to over 50 species, about 200 specimens total.

Palo Alto Children’s Library
Bring the kids to the Palo Alto Children’s Library. The oldest free-standing children’s library in the country, it features a wonderful collection that includes picture books, beginning readers, classics and contemporary fiction, non-fiction and so much more. Media and magazines are available for checkout as well.

Palo Alto Children’s Theater– Watch a show performed by the children of Palo Alto at the Palo Alto Children’s Theater.

Arts and Culture

Theater and Opera:

Palo Alto Players – See a spectacular performance by the Palo Alto Players, the Peninsula’s first theater company. Since 1931, Palo Alto Players have been continuously producing quality live theater, including comedies, dramas, classics and musicals in Palo Alto.

Theatre Works – A pioneer in diversity programming, a regular home to world and regional premieres and a widely-hailed source of original new works for the American stage, TheatreWorks is the nationally-acclaimed theater of Silicon Valley.

West Bay Opera – Experience the wonder of opera at the West Bay Opera at an affordable price. First-class singers, a top-notch orchestra and a magical stage makes for a sparkling, unforgettable performance.


Stanford University tours – Self-guided tours with map, free guided campus tours from Stanford.

Stanford Dish – Enjoy the scenery and take a hike or jog down the trail at the Stanford Dish.

Hoover Tower – Hoover Tower has a library, President Hoover’s historical collection and an observation platform.

Stanford Athletics – Internationally acclaimed football, baseball, basketball teams and more. (seasonal schedule).

Cantor Arts Center
Immerse yourself in the fantastic art collections at the Cantor Arts Center! The Cantor Arts Center’s diverse collections span continents, cultures and 5,000 years of art history and include one of the largest presentations of Rodin bronzes outside Paris. Come see a wide range of changing exhibitions and take advantage of docent tours, lectures, gallery talks, symposia, classes and special events. Admission is free.

Anderson Collection
Stanford University has become home to the core of the Anderson Collection, one of the world’s most outstanding private assemblies of modern and contemporary American art. Admission is free, and public docent-led tours are offered Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Bing Concert Hall
Bing Concert Hall’s 842 seats are arranged in a “vineyard” format, with seating sections ringing the stage; the center-section seating begins on the same level as the stage. The result is a concert experience of unparalleled intimacy, offering exquisite sightlines from all angles and a rare conjoining of artists and audience.


Stanford Jazz Festival – The Stanford Jazz Festival (SJF) attracts over 15,000 jazz fans every summer with artistic programming that represents the rich history of jazz, as well as the diversity and creative fertility of the contemporary jazz scene. Over the years, many of the greatest jazz artists have performed at SJF: Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, Louis Bellson, Hank Jones, Clark Terry, Joe Williams, Roy Haynes, Christian McBride, and many dozens of other legendary artists have appeared at the festival.

Stanford Shopping Center Summer Jazz Series – SFJAZZ has announced the lineup for its SummerFest concert series held Thursdays at the Stanford Shopping Center. The free performances run 6-7:30 p.m. in the courtyard between Nordstrom and Crate & Barrel. Clifford Brown Jr. serves as emcee.

Palo Alto Art Center
Take a look at the whimsical art galleries at the Palo Alto Art Center, which features both local artists and featured work of talented students in the school district.

Museum of American Heritage
Go back in time when you visit the Museum of American Heritage and discover inventions that shaped America in a century old home and garden!

Hewlett Packard House and Garage
Historic site of birth of Silicon Valley (on Addison)

Computer History Museum
Spend a day at the Computer History Museum. Find out why computer history is 2,000 years old. Learn about computer history«s game-changers in the fantastic multimedia exhibitions.

Outdoor and Recreation

Nature preserves
Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve – Go on a biking trip around the Palo Alto Baylands and enjoy the natural wonders of the bay: walking, biking, running trails that connect to the Shoreline Bayshore.

Lucy Evans Baylands Interpretive Center – Want to learn about the ecology of the Baylands? Visit the Lucy Evans Interpretive Center. All exhibits are completely handicapped accessible, and are presented in both English and Spanish.

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve– Enjoy nature to its fullest at the Los Trancos Open Space Preserve, a 274-acre area located in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Palo Alto. The preserve is situated at about 2,000 feet and always has fresh air scented with pungent bay leaves, sweet grass and damp woods. Visitors will find a pleasant environment of rolling grassland knolls alternating with oak woodland and cool shaded forest. On a clear day, one can spot the gleaming skyscrapers of San Francisco and pick out Mt. Diablo across the bay.

Palo Alto Duck Pond (near the airport and Nature Center) – The pond is home to geese, gulls, pigeons and two dozen species of ducks. It is a nice place out in the Baylands to take your kids to for an hour, or to stop and rest your legs on a bike ride up the Bay Trail.

Shoreline Aquatic Center
Take the whole family down to Shoreline lake for a nice afternoon boating session. There are small boats for rent and a chic lakeside restaurant.

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden
Relax, read a novel or take a stroll amidst the beautiful flower-decked paths of the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden.

Farmers markets

California Avenue Farmers Market – Wander through the delightful Farmers Market on California Avenue and enjoy naturally local grown produce. Open every Sunday.

Downtown Farmers Market – Open every Saturday May through December.

Golf courses
Enjoy a day at of golf and fun times with family, friends and colleagues at Palo Alto Golf course. The golf facility consists of a sporty 18-hole layout par 67 with great greens and a new faster pace of play, lighted driving range, full-service restaurant and bar, fully stocked golf shop, practice putting green area and bunker and golf carts with canopy tops.

Palo Alto Airport
Flying lessons and plane watching with the Stanford Flying Club.

Fitness centers
Stay active at these family friendly fitness centers!

YMCA – Members enjoy an assortment of free dance and group exercise classes (yoga, taekwondo, Zumba). Basketball courts, indoor heated swimming pool and a gym with workout machines are available for use. Fun for the whole family!

JCC – Fitness center with indoor and outdoor pool, volleyball, basketball, children’s play area, as well as weekly family events. Get a free three-day guest pass with full access to the gym.


Movie Theaters

Stanford Theatre – Watch a timeless movie classic at the stylish Stanford Theater, designed and built as a movie palace styled in Neo-classical Persian and Moorish architecture.

Shoreline Amphitheatre – Shoreline Amphitheatre is the premier spot to see any touring summer concert in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Shoreline Amphitheater was opened in 1986 and is an outdoor venue in the city of Mountain View.

Palo Alto Visitors Center
Need some help finding your way around town? Pick up some maps or guides at the visitors center. Free special tours require preregistration (“Humanities and Arts,” “Golf Cart Tours, “Engineering Quad Tour”).

Ice skating at Winter Lodge
Hold a birthday party or come ice-skate with friends at the outdoor skating rink at Winter Lodge. Skating lessons are available as well.


Stanford Shopping Center
Treat yourself to a day at a luxury spa and shop to your heart’s content at brand-name stores.

Town and Country
Check out the chic boutiques at Town and Country shopping center at the heart of the city.

Downtown Palo Alto
This is the place to go to shop, eat and play. Downtown Palo Alto hosts a fantastic collection of cozy outdoor cafes, bookstores, specialty shops, art galleries, boutiques and much more.

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