Magical Bridge Playground, We’re Learning.

We opened on December 1, 2020!

We quietly opened the highly anticipated Magical Bridge Playground on Tuesday, December 1, and had the perfect number of users come to play. It was incredible to see the playground activated and we watched for hours as members of all ages and abilities climbed, swung, slid, and explored.

Not only was it a proud moment for our team, but extremely educational. We used the time to carefully watch how the play areas were being utilized, listen to our visitors, and learn what systems needed to be put in place to help our guests better understand the playground rules as well as our playground admission process during this complicated time. It’s important to note that while our county is in the Purple Tier, playgrounds are still allowed to remain open with modifications, and that is exactly what we have done. For the State’s Blue Print for a Safer Economy, go
What we have learned
As we head into the weekend, we want to share with you what we have learned this week and what you can expect moving forward–in the short term, of course. Our rules will change with the State and County guidelines as the virus rates change. Please do your best to play safely, treat each other with kindness, be patient with our staff, you never know what someone else is going through, and we are all in this together.


Please note that we are closely following the State, Region, and County guidelines and that a Stay-at-Home Order may be issued. We will follow this closely and will post any changes once we are made aware of them. This is another reason why wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, and following the Playground rules are so important. Thank you for your help!


1. Strollers, scooters & bikes

We have set up two areas for stroller and scooter parking. You can find stroller parking in front of the Playhouse and in the Swing/Innovation Zone which runs parallel to the Valota Road parking lot. Strollers must stay on the concrete surfaces and should not travel with you from zone to zone. Wheels in general cause damage to our rubber matting surfaces which is expensive to replace. Wheelchairs are the only wheeled mobility aid allowed on all surfaces. Please park your strollers and scooters in these designated areas. Bikes may not enter the park. Bike racks can be found currently at the South Entrance (Valota Road Parking Lot) and we are in the process of adding more racks to the North Entrance.

2. No food or drink is allowed

This is a COVID-19 rule, but in general, it is also a Magical Bridge Playground rule. The grounds of this playground cannot support ground-in-food, sticky drinks, or coffee spills on our surfaces. Our surfaces are also one of the main staples of our accessibility. Not only are messes extremely difficult to clean, but they are sometimes impossible to remove, and the only remedy is expensive turf replacement and park closures. This is the same reason we do not allow wheels.  Plus, we are in the process of creating special areas called “Nibble Nooks” in multiple areas around the playground fencing in addition to the picnic area that will be completed next year.

Water bottles are permitted, but please keep them with you or packed away in your strollers or bags out of sight from others. We have already noticed stray sippy cups and other children attempting to pick them up and drink from them.

3. Playground Hours

The playground will be open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm, 7 days a week unless otherwise noted. If a stay at home order is issued, we will close.

4. Playground Entrance

Entry will be limited to the two lower gates: North Entrance (Veterans Memorial Senior Center side) and South Entrance (Valota Rd. Parking Lot). Capacity is limited to 80 visitors on the playground. Once the playground reaches capacity, we will only start a line at the SOUTH ENTRANCE. This ensures everyone can enter in the order they arrived. Please practice social distancing and mask-up while waiting.

5. Capacity

In addition to the playground capacity of 80, you will notice that each area is marked with a zone capacity. While these numbers are based upon the entire area of the zone, it will be up to you and your children to maintain social distance on the play amenities.

6. 30-minute limit while others are waiting

Our community is very eager to play at Magical Bridge Playground. During COVID-19 regulations, all of our playgrounds have a posted limit of 30 minutes while others are waiting. We ask that you kindly pay attention to your arrival time and be aware that once a line forms, we may need to ask you to leave in order for more folks to come in to enjoy the playground. Once a line forms, our team will walk around the playground with gentle bells alerting you that the clock-watching has begun.  Please understand this is the least favorite part of anyone’s job, it is not in our DNA to ask people to stop playing, so your help in monitoring your own time is greatly appreciated.

7. jack frost has been visiting, use caution

Burr. We’ve had some cold mornings. Morning dew and cold weather have resulted in some frosty conditions on the Slide Mound, some pathways, and our Water Sensory Rock Area. Please make sure to check the surface of the rocks prior to letting your kids climb and use caution during the earlier morning hours. This area can be very slippery. Current thawing usually happens between 9:30am-10:00am


Just to keep everything in one place, here are some of our gentle reminders from our last post. Thank you for helping us to play safely!

No dogs allowed

Sorry, dogs, you know we love you, but you are not allowed inside the playground. Service dogs are permitted.

Face Masks

While as a whole, face masks will be required of every individual entering the playground age 2 and up, we also understand that not everyone can wear a mask. For those who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, our staff will provide a sticker for them to wear. If you see someone wearing a sticker, please be kind, understanding, and practice social distancing.

Wear Proper Footwear

Wear appropriate footwear at all times. Bare feet, flip-flops, high heels, and cleats are not permitted.

Wash, wash, wash your hands!

Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering and as often as possible while playing. Hand washing stations are available onsite, and the restroom will also be open.

Help us out, BYO Wipes

We encourage you to “bring your own wipes” and to self-clean any high-touch surfaces before using them. Staff will not be cleaning the playground throughout the day.

Keep toys and cardboard boxes at home

In addition, cardboard boxes (which we know are very popular on the slide mound in Palo Alto) and personal toys are not allowed in the playground at this time.

Subject to Change

As we have already experienced, the protocol is subject to change. We are aware of the uncertainty of these times and are doing our best to provide safety guidelines that will allow us to keep our playgrounds open, but ultimately it takes a village. We ask for patience and kindness while we navigate the evolution of this space because after all, it’s our first pandemic too. 

Thank you in advance for your attention to these protocols which are in place to protect the safety of the whole community. Your actions affect the health and safety of everyone and will help to keep our playground open and magical.

Kindness Ambassador

Become a Kindness Ambassador!

There is no better volunteer job to put on your resume than this! Thanks to our partnership with the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation, we will have a group of volunteers to help us open Magical Bridge, also known as Kindness Ambassadors, who will help keep the playground safe and magical for all who visit. As a Kindness Ambassador, your goal is to create a fun and inclusive space where visitors of all ages and abilities feel welcome. At this time, we are only accepting applications for Kindness Ambassadors ages 18 and up. You must be able to dedicate a minimum of 4 hours a month for at least 6 months (shifts are 2 hours long). Kindness Ambassadors will help safely open the playground and help lead family-friendly events and activities, once we are safely able to do so. Kindly click here to apply!


More information about how to play safely on our Redwood City playgrounds can be found here.

Visit our park and facility FAQ page for up-to-date information on closures and guidelines, here.

Here are the CDC’s safety guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities.

San Mateo County Officials Reinforce Message to Stay Safe and Support
Each Other to Follow All COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures

Lastly, here are the California Department of Public Health requirements for playground safety.

Please play safely! We are all in this together.