Playground Guide: Salt Lake District Park
Climb your way through a jungle gym, swim at one of two pools and run around a sprawling green field at this O‘ahu playground.
Playground Guide is a monthly guide to our favorite playgrounds on Oʻahu.
Who: A mom, a three-year-old boy and his favorite green dinosaur
When: 1 p.m. on a Monday
Where: Salt Lake District Park, 1159 Ala Liliko‘i Place
Salt Lake has been our ‘hood for the past seven years and we love it here. It’s a 20-minute-drive (or less) to practically anywhere. Target is just a few minutes away from our home (a very dangerous thing), there is a hike nearby and so are multiple parks, grocery stores and a library.
Today, we had an hour to kill before picking up big sister, so we made a stop at Salt Lake District Park. Since our condo does not allow bike riding on premises, this park is one of our favorite places to take the kids so they can get on their wheels and ride around. My son Noah and I packed up his bicycle in the back of the van, and once we got to the park, he and his favorite green dinosaur went on an adventure.
What You Need To Know
Playground Equipment: We haven’t seen any other playground set up quite like this. The jungle gym is sectioned out into four separate areas of blue, grey and purple equipment and two of them are connected through monkey bars or another climbing apparatus.
Although it was empty today, we’ve come here with friends before and I love witnessing the kids’ imagination at work: one tower becomes home base, another morphs into a jail, while the other is the enemy base, and so on. There’s a cut-out section that has “General Store” written above so keiki can set up shop and play restaurant. The possibilities for creative play are endless.
There’s a small purple slide and another larger metal slide, but the majority of the playground equipment is set up for climbers. Think ladders, rungs, two types of monkey bars, a random metal bar you can hang off, horizontal ladder and more. Noah can’t manage all of them, but he especially likes the ladder bridge, as he calls it. A year ago, he couldn’t climb across—today he does it with ease.
SEE ALSO: Playground Guide: Wilson Community Park in Kāhala
Amenities: This is a pretty large park with eight basketball hoops in a huge court. On weekends when it’s not too busy, my husband and I like to shoot hoops while the kids ride around on their bicycles. Next to the basketball court, there’s an Olympic-sized pool and a smaller keiki pool.
I appreciate that there are four trash cans placed around the park for easy access. There are two water fountains and benches underneath giant trees. There are bathrooms, too, but the signs say they are only available for swimmers. I’m not sure if it is open for any park goers (although I’m not sure how they would enforce that since they are easily accessed through the pool entrance).
We usually stay at the courts to ride bikes or at the playground, but there is also a sprawling green field where games sometimes take place. You can take the stairs down the hill to access the field. In the past, we’ve gone with friends with cardboard boxes tor some good old-fashioned hill sliding.
Unique Offerings: The public pools make this park unique. The hours may change, but currently they are:
- Adult long course lap swim (50 yards): Tuesday and Friday, noon to 1:30 p.m.
- Short course lap swim (25 yards): Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon; Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Open public swim: Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 7 to 830 p.m.
- Keiki pool hours: Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Best For: Cheering on field games, kids who love to climb or want to learn how to ride a bike, and families who want to picnic under the trees.
Best Time to Visit: This park is located right next to Salt Lake Elementary School, so it’s nice place to stop by after class. If you are staying at home with younger keiki or homeschooling, note that the parking lot can get packed with the school pick-up lines, so consider going early in the morning or after 2 p.m. to avoid the crowd. During the weekday and weekend evenings, the basketball courts can get crowded.
Parking: There is a dedicated parking lot for the playground with plenty of parking spaces.
SEE ALSO: Playground Guide: Moanalua Community Park