Your Guide to Sacramento’s William Land Park
Considered one of the most prominent parks in the city, William Land Park is a massive 166.5-acre area park acting as a hub for community activity in the heart of Land Park. It’s much more than a park, as it hosts some of the area’s finest attractions, including a zoo, a miniature amusement park, an outdoor children’s museum, a golf course, a duck pond, and much more. There are so many things to do at William Land Park, whether you’re searching for a picnic spot, a leisurely game of golf, kid-sized thrills, or an up-close and personal look at wildlife.
Take a look at all of the many attractions at William Land Park to enhance your next visit. You can attempt to conquer multiple activities in a day or simply spend an afternoon enjoying one of its many features.
The Sacramento Zoo is perhaps the most popular attraction at William Land Park. This 14.3-acre zoo features more than 140 kinds of native, exotic and endangered animals. Visit with the wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and other types of interesting animals at the Sacramento Zoo! While it is an oasis for little ones, the zoo is a fun option for all ages — as the exotic wildlife on display never ceases to amaze their beholders. The zoo completely caters to its littlest guests, with daily educational programs, fun events throughout the year, and well-designed animal exhibits on display.
Funderland Amusement Park
Photo Courtesy of Funderland Amusement Park
Funderland Amusement Park has been dishing up kid-sized thrills since 1946. This amusement park for kids features nine exciting amusement rides, from a thrilling Flying Dragon roller coaster to the peaceful Funderland Train ride. This is the ideal entertainment for little ones not yet big enough for larger amusement parks geared towards big kids and adults. Buy a family value pack of 30 rides for $44.95, purchase tickets for 10 rides for $19.95, or opt for the unlimited ride wristband for $19.50 each (available on weekdays only)!
Just steps from the zoo, another imaginative world exists. Fairytale Town is a children’s play park and outdoor children’s museum that brings fairytales and nursery rhymes to life. The 3.5-acre children’s play park hosts 26 playsets based on nursery rhymes and fairytales, a friendly flock of farm animals, two performing arts stages, and several gardens! Plus, admission to Fairytale Town is extremely low, ranging from $5-$6. Visiting Fairytale Town is often a nostalgic experience for parents, as the park has been inspiring imagination, creativity and literacy since it opened in 1959.
Dating back to 1924, William Land Golf Course is one of the oldest courses in the area, as well as one of the most enjoyable. The 160-acre course was the vision of its namesake, who dedicated $250,000 to the creation of the William Land park and golf course, as well as another $200,000 to Sacramento’s poor. The course is a stunning tribute to the man who gave so much to our beloved city. Book a tee time to experience this historic course first-hand.
William Land Park is an excellent place for running, jogging or walking. In fact, you’ll see a steady stream of people utilizing the 3.4-mile jogging path winding through the park on a regular basis. Taking a stroll along the paved paths offers a pleasant overview of this gorgeous park and all it has to offer. So if you have nothing on the agenda for your visit to William Land Park, this is a great place to start.
Situated between Fairytale Town and the duck pond, the Land Park Amphitheater is a quaint and often overlooked amphitheater. It was built between 1935 and 1942 to include the low retaining walls, stone steps, and a series of wood benches providing seating for 300. In 1960, a semicircular concrete stage and stone backdrop were added. Today, Sacramento City College hosts a “Shakespeare in the Park” series at the amphitheater during the summer. We’re excited to watch the future of this space unfold, as a group of Sacramentans is working hard to carry out a plan for remodeling and renovating this historic amphitheater.
William Land Park has three ponds, all of which add a touch of beauty and serenity to the park. The largest of the three ponds recently underwent a $600,000 renovation, which transformed the opaque brown waters into a clear, picturesque pond. The 16-month project included draining the water, dredging out sludge, and increasing the depth of the pond. This is a popular spot for fishing, as the city regularly stocks this pond with catfish, trout, and other fish.
What is a park without a playground? William Land Park has an incredible playground area, with two separate play structures, one designed for your littlest ones and the other suitable for older kids, with a taller frame and longer slide. The playgrounds are accompanied by two swing sets and a tire swing.
The park is filled with an impressive number of picnic tables. This is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day or celebrate a special occasion. William Land Park has 22 large and small picnic areas, many of which have a shade structure and a barbecue or two. They can be reserved for small get-togethers, a larger event or a family reunion.
On hot summer days, top off your time at the playground with a visit to the William Land Park Play Pool, located just steps away. This fun splash area is open mid-June through mid-August. The play pool has a variety of amenities, including a shallow depth wading pool, a mushroom fountain feature, and a shaded deck and grass area.
William Land Park has a number of sports facilities, including two softball fields, three baseball fields, three soccer fields, and a basketball court. This is the perfect place to shoot some hoops, play a casual game of softball with friends, or practice your shots on goal on the soccer field.
Many do not realize there is a peaceful garden oasis situated in the middle of the park. Although it is pretty small in size, this hidden gem should not be overlooked. The rock garden features winding and sloping paths sprinkled with decomposed granite, small steps, and a few rock benches. You’ll discover a variety of unusual plants and flowers nestled amongst the rocks!
Land Park Farmers’ Market
Plan a trip to William Land Park on a Sunday morning during the spring, summer or early fall so you can visit the Land Park Farmers’ Market. The market takes place at the northern edge of the park on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from the spring through early October. This fairly new market features over 60 sellers offering prepared foods, fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, and charcuterie.
What William Land Park feature is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Category Neighborhood Guides, Sacramento
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.