Atlantis Play Center an Island of Imaginative Ocean-Themed Fun

Last week T and I met up with some friends at Garden Grove’s (CA) Atlantis Play Center.

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Enter into the world of Atlantis at Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove (CA).

Enter into the world of Atlantis at Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove (CA).

T and other kids set sail at Atlantis Play Center.

T and other kids set sail at Atlantis Play Center.

This past June (2013) Atlantis Play Center celebrated its 50th year in operation. Visitors can find this plaque to the left of the bottom of the sea dragon slide.

This past June (2013) Atlantis Play Center celebrated its 50th year in operation. Visitors can find this plaque to the left of the bottom of the sea dragon slide.

Atlantis may be called a playground, but it’s much more than that, RMT’ers. This year Atlantis celebrates its 50th anniversary of keeping Southern California’s children and their guests entertained in its wonderful, water-themed world. In other words, that’s three – perhaps four – generations who’ve stepped into the imaginative kingdom of Atlantis.

A wide shot of the sea dragon play area inside of Atlantis Play Center.

A wide shot of the sea dragon play area inside of Atlantis Play Center.

The story of Danny the Sea Dragon at Atlantis Play Center.

The story of Danny the Sea Dragon at Atlantis Play Center.

Named for the mythical island of the same name, Atlantis tells a story at every turn. Each play area boasts a short poem or story about something ocean-themed that’s related to that area’s play structure’s design. It’s a great way to explore the entire park and do some summer reading at the same time (if your kids will stand still long enough to read or listen to all of the stories, that is!).

a 1-1/2-year-old T on the whale slide at Atlantis Play Center (taken August 2009).

A 1-1/2-year-old T on the whale slide at Atlantis Play Center (taken August 2009).

This was how T preferred to play on the whale slide this visit, about four years after the last time he was here.

This was how T preferred to play on the whale slide this visit, about four years after the last time he was here.

T on the shark (August 2009). I didn't see him on or around this area this time, but admittedly I gave him a lot more room to roam this time at 5-1/2-years-old than I did when he was just a toddler.

T on the shark (August 2009). I didn’t see him on or around this area this time, but admittedly I gave him a lot more room to roam this time at 5-1/2-years-old than I did when he was just a toddler.

Bettina the Bat Ray greets the littlest visitors of Atlantis Play Center. This is T in August 2009.

Bettina the Bat Ray greets the littlest visitors of Atlantis Play Center. This is T in August 2009.

T going down the sea dragon slide in August 2009.

T going down the sea dragon slide in August 2009.

T and friends on the sea dragon slide last week, or four years after his previous visit to Atlantis Play Center.

T and friends on the sea dragon slide last week, or four years after his previous visit to Atlantis Play Center.

Atlantis is a place that T and I first visited a while ago… as in many, many years ago. T wasn’t even two-years-old when he last was here, but he remembered it all, especially the sea dragon slide. Most of his four-plus hour visit last week was spent on and around this slide, just like last time. He also remembered a lot of the other fun spots at Atlantis, which is easy as not much has changed in the last few years (decades).

The Splash Pad at the 50-year-old Atlantis Play Center is a more recent addition to the park.

The Splash Pad at the 50-year-old Atlantis Play Center is a more recent addition to the park.

Rules for the Atlantis Splash Pad.

Rules for the Atlantis Splash Pad.

What was new since our last visit, however, was the Splash Pad. Access to this area is included with admission, but participants must wear appropriate swimsuit attire (and swim diapers for the littlest visitors). It’s about 1/3-to-1/4 the size of the Splash Pad at Sigler Park in nearby Westminster, so not large but big enough for visitors to take five and cool off. T and his friends didn’t even see the Splash Pad on this visit (it is tucked away in its own corner apart from the other play areas behind the snack stand and picnic table area), which was good because neither myself nor the other mom knew it existed so we didn’t have swimsuits for our kids (oops!). We’ll definitely check that out next time though; it’s a wonderful addition not just because of the water theme throughout the venue but also because despite all of the shade throughout the park, it still can get very hot here during the summer and early fall months.

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So if you’re looking to kick your playground outing up a notch, then pack a picnic and blanket, don’t forget those swimsuits and the sunscreen, and head over to Garden Grove and into the world of Atlantis.

Atlantis Play Center is at 13630 Atlantis Way, Garden Grove, CA 92844. Hours as of August 2013 are: Tuesday-through-Saturday 10 a.m.-to-4 p.m.; Sunday Noon-to-4 p.m.; closed Mondays (please double-check website for hours as these can change seasonally). Admission is $2 per person three-and-up (including adults); ages two-and-under are FREE. All persons 12-and-up may not enter without a child(ren) at Atlantis, and kids ages six-and-under must have a supervisory guardian aged 14-and-up with them at all times. In other words, adults may not enter Atlantis without children, and children may not enter Atlantis without adults. Picnics may be brought in and are welcome in all open park and grass areas inside Atlantis and at the tables near the entrance and snack stand; only privately reserved events are permitted inside of the birthday pavilion. Bathrooms on premises near entrance and snack stand. There is a dedicated parking lot on site and parking is FREE. Please click here for all of the rules and regulations of Atlantis. For more information on Atlantis please call (714) 892-6015 or check this FAQ for more details; to book a special group event or party, please call (714) 741-5200.

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One response to “Atlantis Play Center an Island of Imaginative Ocean-Themed Fun

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