There is a little hidden gem of a park located down (and I mean downhill) a short access road at 400 University Avenue, just south of Foothill Expressway, called Shoup Park. Look for the small sign on the west side of University Avenue about one block south of Main/Burke street.
Its just 3.7 acres but offers enjoyment for the entire family. The old cement mound (main play area), with its tunnels, was replaced a few years back with a larger toddler play area with sand, play structure, rocking animals and small swings. There is an additional playground designed for older children that has a larger play structure and bigger swings (recommended for ages 5-12).
The central grass field is perfect for frisbee and/or soccer and the large oak trees provide plenty of shade. Adobe Creek runs through the west side of the park and makes a great day of collecting rocks, hunting for tad poles (when there is water), or playing hide and seek (when it is dry).
On the northwest side of the park is the Veteran’s Memorial Cradle of Liberty by R.J. Truman.
Shoup Park also has the Garden House that is the home of the Underground (a drop-in center for teens) and the Patriot Corner Picnic area that can be reserved for larger outdoor functions.
Shoup Park plays host many outdoor functions and concerts. If you are lucky, you might be able to hear the Ye Olde Towne Band playing in concert.
Even though Shoup Park is only a few blocks from downtown, it seems as if you are miles away. By the way, the name Shoup is prononced “Shauwp” Park. Get there and enjoy the day!