Discover San Mateo's Central Park
Central Park in downtown San Mateo literally has something for everyone. This local landmark has a beautiful gazebo that is great for outdoor weddings, picnic tables, a playground, lighted tennis courts, the Bianchi children’s mini-train and more. The mini-train typically runs on weekdays from 10:30am – noon (closed on Thursdays), and on weekends from 11am – 3pm (I'd recommend calling 650-340-1520 to confirm the hours of operation.)
Next, take an unexpectedly pleasant stroll through one of San Mateo's best kept secrets: The Japanese Tea Garden, one of the finest in California. This garden, which is on a forested site in the middle of a highly urbanized setting, was designed by landscape architect Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo and features a granite pagoda, tea house, and bamboo grove. The Japanese Tea Garden is beautiful throughout the year, but you don’t want to miss the late winter and early spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. During spring and summer you can watch the koi feedings, so be sure to get there soon as the public feedings end in November. Check with the park for the feeding schedule by calling 650-622-7490, or by clicking here. (And a friendly heads up to those of you who have dogs: they're not allowed in The Japanese Tea Garden.)
During the summer, Central Park hosts its free Music Series on Thursday evenings from 6pm – 8pm, where local talent and food vendors provide a relaxed, festive atmosphere where you can socialize and dance with your friends (and kids!) on the hardwood dance floor set up on the grass. Bring a comfy chair or a blanket and you and your family can enjoy a night out without blowing the budget. In fact, you can even bring your own gourmet picnic (or pick some awesome premade delicacies at Draeger's across the street!). The Music Series is one of Central Park’s major community events, so you want to be there for the fun.
If you'd like to volunteer for the 2012 music series, click here.