Palms Park: A Time Capsule of Dated Fun in Lakewood California

Baby Quinn enjoying the swing at Palm's Park

Palms Park in Lakewood, California, features what your everyday local park provides: A children’s playground, a community center, basketball courts, and a ton of grassy fields for picnic festivities.

The park has been around since 1978, and the worst part is that it looks like it was still in 1978. Although everything seems to be functional, this park needs a makeover.

The good news is that the city of Lakewood had a recent meeting to discuss new renovations for Palms Park!

Table of Contents

Facilities and Amenities

Palms Park Community Center

The community center room at Palms Park in Lakewood, California, can be booked for $30 if you’re a resident and $54 for those that are non-resident. There is also a deposit fee of $250, which includes a processing fee.

It has been years since I last visited Palms park, and we were there for an event at one of the community center rooms. The room that we were in was able to fit  100 people. The room looked dated as hell with old beige walls. The tile floors looked like they hadn’t changed for over 20 years.

The outside of the building looked like a community center that’s been abandoned. It doesn’t have a welcoming feel as opposed to other local parks.

In my experience, the city of Lakewood can be strict with the limit of people in each room, and that’s because of safety reasons.

If you are looking to book the community center room, ensure you have the exact number of expected visitors. The last thing that you want is to go over the limit and for your event to get shut down.

Bare in mind any community center in Lakewood does not allow alcohol within the park. When we were at the event, we only had access to soda and water.


We took our 1-year-old daughter Quinn to the playground. The playground had a couple of swings for babies and young children, as well as several slides for you to go on.

The playground did seem to look a little bit up to date, but I seriously feel like the city didn’t put much effort into making the playground look as welcoming.

The sand on the playground seemed to be maintained, as in there wasn’t any trash for kids to step on in the sand. And the padded floors seemed to be well-kept.

The only thing we had our 1-year-old daughter do at the playground was to go on the baby swing, which she enjoyed, and go down the slide with my assistance.

Safety Considerations at Palms Park

The safety of the park is the most important thing to consider, especially for your family. One thing about Palms Park is that it has that family-friendly vibe (even though it’s dated). However, the surrounding neighborhood doesn’t seem to be the safest.

Although Lakewood is an awesome city, the neighboring city, Hawaiian Gardens, isn’t. Crime rates are a lot higher in Hawaiian Gardens in comparison to Lakewood. And it’s unfortunate that Palms Park is at the corner end of Lakewood and Hawaiian Gardens.

My advice is to only go to the park during opening hours and try to stay within an area where there are other people.

Athletic Fields for Sports Enthusiasts

Palms Park has a large athletic field or two where you can play soccer or baseball. When we were there on the weekend, it was empty.

According to their website, you can reserve the athletic fields for $20 per hour if you’re a Lakewood resident. However, the fields will not have the lights on. If you want the lights on, it will be $35 per hour for Lakewood residents and $50 per hour for non-residents.

Bathrooms at Palms Park

The bathrooms were functioning but dated. They were maintained, but they had this creepy vibe for me to use them. Granted, this was the men’s restroom, so I’m not sure if it’s the same type of creepy vibe feeling for the women’s restroom.

We did not take our daughter Quinn to any of the bathrooms as we felt that although it was clean, we still felt uncomfortable just by the overall layout.

Whenever we’re out in public with our daughter, we feel uneasy about changing her in public restrooms. And so, we either bring our own diaper pad or have her wear a coterie diaper for longer comfort.

Basketball Courts

There are several full basketball courts at Palms Park. I remember playing at the basketball courts years ago with a couple of family members whenever there was an event. When we were there, we barely saw anyone playing basketball. I also think that’s because the courts looked a little dated.

There are three things that matter to those that love playing outdoor basketball. The condition of the court (glass backboards are nice, Palms parks backboards were not glass), the court’s floor, and if the rim was the double rim. Double rims are usually frowned upon by most, as it’s harder to get the basketball in the hoop.

Shaded Areas for Relaxation and Picnics

One thing I remember the most about Palms Park is all the shaded areas in the grassy fields. There are a lot of trees where you can have a picnic with your loved ones.

The shaded areas at Palms Park are also a good choice to stay under during the summer. If you have a newborn, you want to protect them from the sun as much as possible.

Covered Picnic Tables for Your Convenience

There are plenty of covered picnic tables or picnic shelters at Palms Park for family functions. You will need to make a reservation for the covered picnic tables as well as in person.

The bad news is that you must be a Lakewood resident to make a reservation. The good news is that it’s free compared to reserving a community room.

Wading Pool for Kids’ Entertainment

The outdoor wading pool was empty, and it looked disgusting. It saddens me that this used to be a pool where many kids would swim.

Now, it looks like a pool located in an abandoned park. The tiles could be upgraded, as well as the design of the overall pool.

Street Parking Situation near Palm Parks

There’s a fair amount of street parking next to the community center at Palms Park. If it’s packed, you can always park along the street in the neighborhood. The best part about street parking is that it’s free.

We never had a problem finding parking at Palms Park, and we’ve been going to this park for many years.

Overall Impressions of Palms Park in Lakewood California

I’ve had a lot of history at this park growing up. Whether it was playing basketball, flying a kite, or attending an event, Palms Park gave me great memories.

Although the park is a little dated, it’s still a park to visit occasionally. Is it my first go-to choice? Absolutely not. I’d only take my family here if there was an actual event.

I'm a professional marketer from Los Angeles, California. More importantly, I'm a brand new father who can't wait to take my beloved partner and daughter on all sorts of hiking trails. My mantra is that work will always be there, but watching your little one grow happens once in a lifetime.

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