Planning a visit to Del Valle Park in Lakewood? Known as Airplane Park to locals, you’ll quickly see why it got it’s nickname (and why kids love it SO MUCH). Find all the information you need to visit this Long Beach favorite.
Our family loves pretty much every Southern California park we’ve been to. They all have different features and reasons to love them. But Del Valle Park in Lakewood will probably also hold a special place in our heart.
Of all the parks we’ve visited, we’ve spent the most time at Del Valle. We have literally spent hundreds- maybe even thousands- of hours here over the years.
And with it’s two play structures, sports fields, wading pool, and even a city-run co-operative Tot Lot, there’s a LOT to love about Del Valle.
But before you head over, keep scrolling for our pro-level tips for visiting Del Valle Park in Lakewood. Believe us on this one-we’re straight up experts, and we’ve got all the information you need when planning a visit to Airplane Park.
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Planning a Visit
Del Valle Park is located on the south end of Lakewood, near the Long Beach border.
It is also close to a shopping center with grocery stores (and a Marshall’s! and a Home Goods!) so you can entice kids to run errands with a promise of park play after.
Here’s the address, for your GPS purposes: 5939 Henrilee St, Lakewood, CA 90713
What is Parking Like?
Parking at Del Valle is street-parking only, and there’s lots of it! Parking along the inlet at Woodruff is one way only (heading south to north) but you can park on both sides of the street there.
There is also lots of parking on both sides of Henrilee, near to the Big Kids playground.
What Facilities are at Del Valle Park?
There’s lots of features that make Airplane Park so amazing:
- A large model airplane, permanently installed at the park
- A memorial to Lakewood community members who served in the military
- A large, sensory-friendly “Big Kid” playground
- A large, gated “Little Kid” playground
- A city-run cooperate preschool playgroup, called Tot Lot
- Three basketball courts
- Two baseball fields
- Shaded picnic structures
- A community room
- A Youth Center (teen focus)
- A wading pool
Is Del Valle Park gated?
The Big Kid park isn’t gated, but the Little Kid playground is gated. It is HUGE for a gated park, and filled with appropriate structures for the preschool set.
The playground is large enough that your kids will probably be happy to play there for longer than they might in other gated parks.
The only thing worth noting- and it’s a big one!- is that there is a city-run Tot Lot program that uses this gated playground on weekday mornings. Some visitors are allowed, but on a very limited basis. You may be denied access during the week.
Is Del Valle Park on a busy street?
While Woodruff is considered to be a busier street, this section is pretty tame. The playgrounds are also far enough away from Woodruff that traffic and street safety shouldn’t be an issue.
How are the bathrooms at Airplane Park?
As with most parks in Lakewood, the bathrooms are very clean and well-maintained.
They are located halfway between the two playgrounds, and are regularly cleaned and restocked with soap, paper towels, and TP.
Does Del Valle Park have sand?
If sand is not your thing, this park is not for you!
While there is rubber padding under the Big Kid structure, there is not way you’re getting out of this place without a shoe full of sand.
Is Del Valle Park accessible for kids of all abilities?
Unfortunately, the Little Kid playground is not accessible for kids with physical disabilities. Everything is accessed by ladder or stairs. There is a small playhouse kids may be able to get to, but it is a short walk across sand.
The big kid playground is more accessible. There is a ramp to some accessible toys on the structure itself, and there are a few areas (like a cockpit and a cave) that can be accessed by kids of all abilities.
Does Airplane Park have shade?
While there are large trees in the green spaces, the play structures and wading pool at Del Valle park are full sun most of the day.
How many swings are at Del Valle Park?
In the Big Kid playground, there are four “regular” swings.
There are two more regular swings, as well as an impressive four infant swings, in the Little playground, meaning that there is almost always a swing available.
What is the best age range for Del Valle?
The Little Kid playground is PERFECT for kids 6 and under.
The wading pool is great for kids under 5. Older kids will likely get bored quickly.
The sports fields and green spaces work well for all ages, and the Big Kid playground is probably best for kids 11 and below.
Is it a good place for a picnic?
There are several great picnic areas at Del Valle park. First up, you can bring a blanket and set up under any of the giant, shady trees.
If Tot Lot is over for the day, you can also use the large and small picnic tables located inside the gated playground. My kids always loved eating at the “tiny tables.”
There are also plenty of picnic tables and shelters scattered throughout the park. Unfortunately, none of these are located right next to the playgrounds, so you’ll have to walk a bit.
Can you have parties at Del Valle Park?
City of Lakewood does issue permits for structures and facilities to residents, such as the picnic structures or community rooms. If they are not reserved, they are available for use on a first come, first come basis.
As of this posting (check here for the latest information), you can hold casual parties with your own set up in the grassy areas, too. No bouncers, full tents, or food trucks, taco trucks, etc are allowed.
You also may not hold a party within a fenced in playground, so setting up shop inside the Little Kid Playground wouldn’t work. Instead, set up your party on the grassy area next to it.
What do we love most about Del Valle park?
Well, first and foremost, the Lakewood City TOt Lot is one of my FAVORITE things about Del Valle park. Parents volunteer one day a week, and then can drop off the rest of the weekday mornings. Both of my kids spent hours there playing while I worked from home. Find more information on the City Website.
I also love that this park appeals to kids of all ages. We can go back and forth between the two playgrounds as needed to keep things interesting.
The Big Kid playground has TONS of high interest options. Lots of climbing, tall slides, places to hide, and rock walls keep this place interesting for far longer than your standard park.
Ask my kids, and they’ll tell you that they love the Zipline at airplane park the best. There’s tons of sensory play spaces – seats that spin, teeter totters, and musical instruments- but the zipline has their heart.
Personally, I love the wading pool. It was the perfect solution for hot days when my kids were young. It was safe, gated, and helped keep everyone cool. (It also helped us squeeze in some epic naps, the value of which can NOT be overrstated.)
Hours for the wading pool are somewaht limited. Click here for the most up-to-date Del Valle wading pool hours.