Oak Park is a popular picnic and recreation site located on Alamar Avenue between Tallant Road and West Junipero Street. It features playgrounds rated for 2-5 and 5-12, two public tennis courts, an outdoor raised wooden dance floor, horseshoe pits, picnic areas, and barbecue sites with hot coal-disposal receptacles.
- Features: Alcohol Allowed With Permit, Horseshoe Pits, Parking On Site, Parking On Street, Picnic Site, Playground, Pool, Popular Event Venue, Reservable Areas, Restrooms, Tennis Courts
- Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash
An 18-inch deep wading pool for children ages seven and younger is open June-August with an on-duty lifeguard. The Oak Park wading pool has been a part of summertime recreation for Santa Barbara families since it was constructed in 1928. Pool hours are usually noon-5pm. Children must be accompanied by a parent or responsible person age 18 or older and wear bathing suits or swim diapers.
Oak Park is also home to many large-scale cultural festivals including the Greek Festival and French Festival. Oak Park provides plenty of leafy shade and the picnic facilities can handle very large or very small groups.
There are over 800 trees in the 17-acre Oak Park, about 600 of those are coast live oaks, the species from which Oak Park got its name. Many of the larger oak trees date from the era of the park’s acquisition by the City in the early 1900s. A creek runs through the park and there's a small bridge crossing over it.
Portable barbecues and camp stoves that are self-contained, enclosed with a lid, and raised at least six inches off a surface may be used on any permanent picnic tables at this park or by permit such as a rental or special event. If there are no permanent picnic tables available at this park and it is not a permitted event then no barbecues are allowed at this park. Barbecue users must remove hot coals and ash from the park, unless a hot coal-disposal receptacle is provided.
The person largely responsible for Oak Park was Henry Tallant. Though this oak-lined section of Mission Creek was a popular gathering place as far back as the Spanish era, it was not until the efforts of Tallant that Oak Park officially came into being in 1904. Tallant organized a fund drive for the park that allowed most of the current land for the park to be purchased by the city. Barbecues, tennis courts, and a wading pool were installed during the 1920s and a wooden dance platform was added in the 1940s. Oak Park became the site of numerous ethnic festivals in the 1970s that continue to this day. A plaque in the park reads, "Erected June 26, 1909 By the School Children in Honor of Mr. Henry Tallant through whose efforts Oak Park was secured for Santa Barbara."