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Central Park and Japanese Garden
Park Location: 50 East 5th Avenue

About this Park
The city purchased the Kohl Mansion property in 1922 and transformed this 16.3-acre property into the City’s signature park in downtown San Mateo, Central Park.

Central Park is home to many signature community events such as the Central Park Music Series, 4th of July in the Park, Eggstravaganza, and more.

The Central Park Recreation Center offers popular aerobic classes and rentable space for meetings and other functions. Aerobic classes take place in the mornings, and then you can rent the center rooms for all kinds of social events from noon to midnight!

Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden, in San Mateo Central Park is one of the finest gardens in California. It was designed by landscape architect, Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo, and features a granite pagoda, tea house, koi pond and bamboo grove.

The Japanese Garden is beautiful throughout the year, but be sure to visit in the late Winter and early Spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Sorry no dogs are allowed in the Japanese Garden.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday - Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am to 4:00pm

PLEASE NOTE: The Japanese Tea Garden will be closed for Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Koi Feedings:
Koi feedings are done during public viewing hours during Spring and Summer only (fish are not fed during public hours November - February)
  • Monday - Friday: 11:00am and 3:00pm (Spring/Summer)            

For more information about the Koi feedings, call (650) 522-7490.

Central Rose Garden
A beautiful wedding spot available for rent
Location: 50 E 5th Avenue
Phone: (650) 522-7434

Mini Train

The Mini Train that operates in Central Park is a childhood delight. Weather permitting, it typically runs year-round on weekends from 11:00am-3:00pm, and additionally on weekdays from 11:00am-3:00pm between June 15 and August 15.

Park and Picnic Photos





Japanese Garden Koi

Central Park Playground

Available Park Amenities
  • Baseball diamond
  • Central Park Mini Train
  • Children’s train
  • Grassy play areas
  • Japanese Garden
  • Kohl Pumphouse
  • Picnic areas
  • Playground
  • Rentable Spaces
  • Restrooms
  • Rose Garden
  • Small gazebo – perfect for outdoor weddings
  • Tennis courts
Picnic Area Information
This park offers both reservable and drop-in picnic areas.

See Map of Picnic Areas
Picnic Area #1
Picnic Tables: 10
BBQ Grills: 2 Large
Fee: $150
Picnic Area #2
Picnic Tables: 7
BBQ Grills: 2
Fee: $75
Reserve: Online
Picnic Area #3
Picnic Tables: 6
BBQ Grills: 1
Fee: $75
Reserve: Online
Picnic Area #4
Picnic Tables: 4
BBQ Grills: 1
Fee: $50
Reserve: Online
Drop-In Areas
Picnic Tables: 14
BBQ Grills: 2
Reserve: N/A - Drop-In Only
Reserve by Fax/Phone
If you prefer to make your picnic reservation by phone or fax, please see below:

By Phone: (650) 522-7434
By Fax: (650) 522-7421

Print Picnic Reservation Application

San Mateo City Hall – 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

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