LA Park Adventures
Play, Fish, Cycle, Shop & Eat at Lake Balboa
I'm not sure if it's the pop-up toy stands, the giant swan-shaped pedal boats or the Mexican elote (corn) carts but I'm really digging the vibe at Lake Balboa Park in the San Fernando Valley.
We visited on a Saturday recently and it was almost more entertaining to walk around the park and see the different activities, vendors and experiences available, than it was to push my sons in the massive playground boat that gets kids screaming with joy.
Speaking of the playground, there's a toddlers area that looks like an undersea adventure with the cutest fish-designed slide and a beautifully adorned separation wall that I want to have in my own backyard!
Surrounding the play area, vendors set-up table booths and sell a bunch of toys– from inflatable sharks and plastic balls to toy guns, sandbox buckets and dolls. The children of course, always run to the toy tables and quickly find something they want. The toys are cheapish, which is probably why they're so affordable. Five dollars gets you enough toys for two kids to smile... you can always get mad at yourself later for caving and buying more unnecessary junk!
A stroll around the park means you will generally see people fishing.
The park surrounds Lake Balboa, a 27-acre lake filled with reclaimed water. The lake is stocked with Catfish during the Summer/Fall and Rainbow Trout in the Winter/Spring. Anyone 16 and older who wishes to fish must obtain a permit from the California Department of Fish and Game (I hear they're not expensive and I'm not quite sure exactly how many people actually honor this rule).
You will also find people racing remote controlled boats, folks cycling on tandem bikes or double surreys and paddle boating on giant swans, which cost an affordable $6 for kids and $11 for adults, per hour. The fitness enthusiasts are always running, jogging or stretching along the park trail.
Resting on a park bench means observing visitors walking their dogs, others feeding the ducks (which actually isn't allowed) and more toy vendors and tempting ice cream carts walk past you.
Benny and Toby spent hours in the playground. They had lunch there and after walking around the entire park, we all sat down to take a break. Fortunately, as Benny so convincingly told us, it was time for an ice cream treat.
Overall a day well spent! #OnlyInLosAngeles
Lake Balboa Park is located at: 6300 Balboa Blvd. | Encino, CA 91316
Thanks for reading, friends!