Arroyo Seco Park is one of South Pasadena's tucked-away treasures. It spans 19.9 acres of parkland and includes soccer fields, baseball diamonds, horse and hiking trails, picnic tables, barbecues, undeveloped wooded areas and a flood channel. It's a quiet, breezy getaway curving along the Arroyo Seco with the skate park, racquet center and wonderfully retro golf course on one end and San Pascual Stables on the other. You'll even find a tiny, underused river rock amphitheater behind one of the baseball diamonds. (Why underused, you ask? Well, although the stone stage begs for a Hamlet soliloquy, the poison oak warning signs behind it are a bit of a buzz kill...) All in all, this is a beautiful oasis ideal for taking a jog, kicking a ball or just stretching out under one of those heritage maple trees.
But seriously, what's up with the playground equipment?!
Garfield Park and Orange Grove Park have lovely, well-maintained playscapes that are not only safe for little exploring hands but challenging for little developing minds. By contrast, Arroyo Seco Park has a few tired swings, a jungle gym that makes you hope your tetanus shots are up to date and a slide that is to playground equipment what Charlie Brown's Christmas tree was to holiday decorations. Come on, South Pas! Who do I have to bug to make this playground fun for the preschoolers and worthy of the magnificent surroundings?