South Bay’s most famous playground

Here’s a great idea–bring a veteran here with you! For almost five decades, kids have been climbing on and in a real air force plane here in Los Gatos. Veteran’s Day (or any day) could be a great day to bring a veteran along, because experts say veterans are more likely to share their experiences and feelings around museum pieces and the like.

I remember my father, a WWII Air Force Captain, being reluctant to talk about his experiences serving. Now that he’s no longer with us, I learned (too late) how certain places and things make them want to share. Another way could be to ask a veteran what one of their funniest moments was while serving.

Plane in the background, duck in front.

You can find this USAF Lockheed T-33A “Shooting Star” in the Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos (next to Vasona County Park). The plane has been part of the playground 1974. It’s a two-seat T-33 jet designed for training pilots already qualified to fly propeller-driven aircraft. Cement was poured into the plane so kids won’t crawl inside and becoming trapped (it used to happen.)

The playground is also known for having a vintage fire truck:

There’s also a carousel, paddle boats and a train that takes you around the park.

As you can see though, I prefer my bike – stopped here at Vasona Lake, just a short walk from the playground.


– Chris Jackson


Chris Jackson

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