Hello Bonelli, My Old Friend

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November 1st is Opening Day at Bonelli Park for our family.  While Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park is wonderful and well worth the $10 entry fee, we consider this our Winter Park.   From November 1st through the middle of April, there is no entry fee on non-holiday / non-event weekdays.

Frank G. Bonelli Park contains a reservoir (Raging Waters is uses a portion of the reservoir for its park) and so has boating, fishing and the like.  There is a swim beach in the summer, but the most our family does is walk along the water and maybe feed the ducks.  To be honest, even these activities take away from our true destination within the park — The Playgrounds.  There are so many wonderful playgrounds within the park (at least 6 on the south side of the reservoir alone) and I will do a complete post on all of them later this winter.  But yesterday, after preschool pick-up we took a picnic to the park and went to our favorite of the playgrounds.  As far as I know, there are no official names for any of these playgrounds, but our family calls this one — The Rocks Park.

See my Tinkerbell up there?  She is walking along the ropes to get to Treasure Island.  That is what I love so much about this playground.  When we go to parks with typical play structures, my kids swing for a bit, go down the slide a few times and then they start digging in the sand or asking for a snack.  But, while there are plenty of physical challenges at the Rocks Park there is also so much room for imagination to flourish.  In addition to the challenging journey to Treasure Island, there are caves to defend and towers to use for look-outs.  Fairy homes are plentiful.  As tan bark was being placed on some flat rocks, I over heard “sprinkle, sprinkle, hot, hot” meaning my little guy was busy cooking on his rock oven.  I feel quite certain that sometime in the near future I will witness a rousing game of “can’t touch the ground ’cause it’s hot lava.”

Park Information: Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park is located at 120 Via Verde; San Dimas, CA 91773.  There is a $10 entry fee per vehicle which is waved during the week from November to mid-April.  However, there is a Park and Ride just outside of the western entrance to the park where you can park and walk in.  If you are up for a good hike, you can park at Brackett Field (La Verne’s small airport) and walk in through the RV Park.  There are some serious hills that will give you a nice workout to go this way.  The Rocks Park is closest to the second parking lot that you come to once inside the park (from either the eastern or western entrance).


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  1. Berit’s avatar

    I’ve seen that playground from a distance as I bike past. I didn’t realize that the entry fee was waived on weekdays during the winter months! That’s awesome.



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