Tips for Visiting Whaley Park in Long Beach

The newly updated Whaley Park in Long Beach is one of the BEST parks in the area. So what makes Whaley Park so great? Featuring lots of climbing and a STEAM focus, there’s a LOT to love about this neighborhood treasure.

If you haven’t been to Whaley Park in Long Beach lately, you’re definitely want to catch up on all the update at this gorgeous, kid friendly park.

It’s located in East Long Beach, near CSULB. With a STEAM focus, there’s a little something for everyone at this playground. Climbers will love the intricate climbing structures, there’s musical activities at an accessible level, and the merry-go-round disc swings are definitely a highlight for sensory seekers.

Planning a trip to Whaley Park in Long Beach? Here’s what you need to know before you go!


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Planning a Visit

Whaley Park is located on the south side of Atherton St in Long Beach, between Bellflower and Palo Verde. The park itself is hidden from view, and the entrance to the parking lot is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it (though it is at a traffic light).

For best directions, google the Whaley Park Community Center Address:

Whaley Park
5620 E Atherton St, Long Beach, CA 90815

What is parking like at Whaley Park?

Whaley Park has a large parking lot located on the west side of the park. Parking here is rarely an issue.

What facilities does Whaley Park Have?

Whaley Park facilities include:

  • Two basketball courts
  • A large baseball field
  • Community Center
  • Picnic Tables
  • Benches surrounding the park (both sun and shade)

Is Whaley Park gated?

The majority of Whaley Park is not gated, but there is a small tot-sized playground with a gate enclosure.

My favorite part about this gated playground is that it is not separate from the larger playground. If you have a child in each section, you can easily supervise both.

Is Whaley Park on a Busy Street?

Atherton itself is a pretty busy street. However, the playground is on the other side of the community center.

If you have a runner, you might want to use more caution. But most kids will be far enough removed from the busy street that it won’t be a problem.

How are the bathrooms at Whaley Park?

There are very clean, well-maintained bathrooms inside of the community center at Whaley Park. Currently, this part of the park is not open to the public.

There are also bathrooms located near the baseball field. These are pretty standard park bathrooms. There are flushing toilets and running water at the sink, and not much else.

Does Whaley Park have sand?

If sand is not your think, you’re out of luck at Whaley- there is TONS of sand here.

There is also rubber foam beneath all play structures for safety, and lots of grass in the surround areas for tag, hide and seek, and the like.

Is Whaley Park accessible for kids with disabilities?

Unfortunately, Whaley Park’s playground structures are not easy to navigate for kids with physical disabilities. The climbing structures, tall ladders, and swings that require good hand grip would all pose difficulties for less mobile kiddos.

However, Whaley Park does have accessible portions that all kids can use. There is a musical instrument session that should be easier to reach, and does not require large gross motor skills to use.

Does Whaley Park have shade?

Whaley Park has enough shade to make playground play tolerable on most days. While some parts of the playground (the merry go round and swings, for example) are full sun, kids can take a break in the shady portions.

The climbing structure, picnic areas, and grassy spots all have lots of shade to offer a little relief from the sun.

How many swings does Whaley have?

Whaley Park has two infant swings, two “big kid” swings, and one of those infant-and-big-kid combo swings our children love so much.

What is the best age range for Whaley Park?

Whaley Park is my favorite Long Beach park for kids of all ages. Our babies have just as much fun as our 8 year olds, and we regularly see preteends enjoying the climbing structure.

There is also a small gated part of the playground, which unlike other parks in Long Beach, is located next to/inside of the regular park. That means you can keep a good eye on your bigger kids while containing any toddlers.

Is it a good place for a picnic?

While there are no large picnic structures, Whaley Park does have lots of picnic tables scattered throughtout the park. There is also lots of shade if you choose to bring a picnic blanket and set up on your own.

Would this be a good place for a party?

Parties are allowed at Whaley Park in general terms. However, it is an active sports field and a very popular neighborhood park, so this place is almost always busy (especially on the weekends)

Check with the City of Long Beach parks department if you are interested in having a party at Whaley. We do recommend stopping by on a Saturday before planning something there, just so you know what you’re getting into.

What do we love most about Whaley Park?

We could go on and on about this one, but let’s break it down by features:

Sensory Play

Whaley Park is exceptional for its sensory-friendly equipment. This park is ideal for sensory seekers, and includes places to climb, long slides, and swings for kids to get sensory (vestibular and proprioceptive input).

It also has some potential for risky play (and we say that in the best way possible, because we are BIG fans of risky play for kids). There is a large merry-go-round structure featuring three disc swings, so kids can get a little carnival-ride action in BIG spins and turns.

There are also two different color wheels- one kids hang on and spin, like a moving monkey bar. There is also a color wheel that can be operated from the ground, making it accessible for kids with low mobility or kids who use wheelchairs.

Musical Opportunities

This playground also puts the art into STEAM with it’s musical instrumetns, built right into the playground.

Kids can play drums, a xylophone, and some kind of chimes (I mean, I wasn’t a music major. I just know it’s fun.)

These parts of the playground are also easily accessible, and entertain kids from ages 2-14 (trust us, we’ve seen them ALL using it).

LOTS of opportunities for climbing

There’s a reason my kids call Whaley Park in Long Beach “the climbing park.” No matter what kind of climbing they love, there’s a LOT of opportunities for them to get up high.

From the “spider web” ropes course to graduated platforms, kids can get up as high as they like at Whaley.

There are also areas with simulated rock walls, stepping stones, and a high slide, so kids can conquer their fear of heights (or just test its limits).

Looking for more Long Beach parks to visit? Check these out-

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