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Keeping Santa Monica’s Playgrounds Open During COVID-19

February 23, 2021 11:36 AM
by Peter James

Keeping Santa Monica’s Playgrounds Open During COVID-19

Each and every morning, Santa Monica’s Public Landscape essential worker team spends its first few hours inspecting and cleaning playgrounds to get ready for the day. With outdoor recreation as one of the few activities available to families during the pandemic, parks are busier than ever. Groundskeepers, crew leaders and park supervisors spend extra time cleaning sand of trash and debris, replacing swing chains and other play structure parts, and checking on the safety of equipment at playgrounds.   


All our city playgrounds are open for use from sunup until sundown, and Playground Partnership sites (elementary and middle school sites) are currently open after school hours and on weekends. To keep our playgrounds open and to ensure everyone’s children can enjoy a safe environment, please remember to follow COVID-19 safety requirements. 

Santa Monica residents are active people, and our playgrounds are among the highest used per year in the country. As a result, this means equipment parts wear out on a regular basis.  A reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is that supply chains have been impacted, including the City’s ability to obtain parts for playground equipment. Even though the playgrounds are open to the community, Virginia Ave Park, Douglas Park, and the South Beach Park are experiencing equipment closures for safety. Park Maintenance staff has closed these structures as we wait for parts to arrive, some of which come all the way from Sweden. Please respect these closures for your safety. We hope to have the equipment repaired in the next several weeks.    

On February 23, 2021, Council gave the initial approval that staff moves forward with replacing the Marine Park playground equipment. Progress on this project will be available at

As our playgrounds get older, one way you can help us maintain the safety of equipment is to use the equipment as it was intended.  The city has some incredibly fun climbing structures and bars at playgrounds. However, this equipment is designed for children and is not intended for outdoor fitness for adults. If adults would like to use outdoor fitness equipment, feel free to try out the fitness equipment at Clover Park, Ishihara Park, and Reed Park. This equipment is now open at these park locations, but please be sure to follow all COVID-19 safety requirements.  

Thank you for doing your part to keep our kids safe and healthy at City playgrounds.  


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