Big Boy’s birthday is fast approaching and serving pizza and cupcakes at the local park’s recreation room won’t do this year. He wants a Nerf Gun Battle with his friends!
I comprised a mental list of the local parks on the Westside that had huge trees to serve as cover, a lot of green space to run around in and a venue that wouldn’t be inundated with people who would fall victim to being hit by the foamy Nerf darts. Rustic Canyon Recreation Center in the Palisades automatically came to mind. “Ah, been there, done that,” I thought to myself.
“What about that empty park just south of the private summer camp on Kenter, you know, that park up in Brentwood? The one that is open to the public?” an acquaintance suggested.
How did I not hear about this slice of heaven before?
Crestwood Hills Park is a public recreation area nestled within the northern hills of Los Angeles’ Brentwood community. The surrounding neighborhood comprises of beautiful Mid-Century homes, all uniquely nestled within hills and nature that the locals lovingly call Crestwood Hills.
Upon entering the venue, I am immediately struck by the lack of crowds or team sports activities commonly found at parks during the weekend. Still, I locate a group of school-aged boys having a pizza lunch with their coach at the park’s amphitheater. A-ha! Games do occur here! I then notice from faraway a case of bottled water sitting at a set of picnic tables, just south of the park’s hiking trail.
My family and I decide to have a picnic lunch ourselves to further gauge the amount of visitors the park receives. After enjoying our packed lunch, the kids ran off for some jungle gym play time. We figured that maybe 4 families, 6 if you count the group of nannies and their respective wards, walked into the park… a total of 12 park visitors.
We finally decide to test the waters… Out came the Nerf guns.
Boom! It was as if the toys were kid magnets! We stayed an extra hour because every child who approached us just had to play. Wow, what fun! No one got injured, either.
Whatever happened to the case of bottled water? As we were preparing to leave the park, we notice the same group of boys from the beginning of our visit, now in civilian clothing, working in tandem with the coach, to rescue a captured drone helicopter that somehow entangled itself in a cluster of tree branches. They subsequently took a water break, headed toward the picnic tables, took a swig of water, then returned to the north side of the park to continue with the drone retrieval project.
The cooperative vibe these guys put out was quite impressive.
As we drove away from Crestwood Hills, Big Boy broke the news… he thought this place was cool, but it just wasn’t our neighborhood, so he would rather celebrate his Nerf Gun Battle with his friends at the first park I thought of.
Maybe this birthday location scouting was more of a treat for me because I enjoyed the beautiful trees the park had to offer, the surrounding private residences in the neighborhood and the sense of community the park visitors seemed to have. Check it out sometime. You might even find wildlife roaming about.
Crestwood Hills Park
1000 Hanley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90049
© Copyright 2012-2017 by Deborah Kuzma, californianativegirl.com and californianativeblog.wordpress.com. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah Kuzma, californianativegirl.com and californianativeblog.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.