Parks and Recreation FAQ

Are parks open?

Yes. Parks are open for passive use only, please be careful when enjoying open space areas. 

The following rules are in place at City Parks:

  • Everyone is required to bring a mask or face covering with them when recreating, and you must wear it if you cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others outside your household.
  • Classes cannot run in city parks without a permit/approval from the City of San Mateo. If you meet the requirements and want to run a fitness class in a city facility/space, please see our application and details.
  • Follow the latest state guidelines about gatherings. Stay at least 6 feet apart from others
  • All dog parks and play areas (including mornings at certain fields) are open
  • Basketball courts are open to people within the same household (up to 5 people)
  • Fields are open for passive use only (no organized sports or pick-up games). In accordance with state and county health orders, restrictions are in place for use of fields within City of San Mateo parks.

For more information regarding San Mateo County Parks, please visit the County Parks Department web page for more information.


For your family’s safety, all playground visitors must follow these mandatory safety rules from the California Department of Public Health. 

Playground visitors must:

  • Wear face coverings at all times (including anyone over 2 years old)
  • Don’t crowd. Do not use if you can’t maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Playground capacity limits have been posted at each location.
  • Wash or sanitize hands before and after use. Hand washing stations have been provided at those playground locations without restrooms. 
  • Children must be actively supervised at all times
  • No eating or drinking
  • Limit visits to 30 minutes when others are waiting

If you or your child are unable to comply with these safety rules, we ask that you refrain from use of the playground areas at this time. It is important to note that even when all state safety guidelines are followed, visitors should be aware that there are risks involved with using this high-touch, shared equipment.

Please note that the City simply does not have the resources to monitor playgrounds for compliance or provide daily cleaning. Just like all other activities we participate in during COVID-19, people will have to make their own decisions about what risks they feel comfortable taking. We all need to take personal responsibility for following the rules, being a good neighbor and taking steps to protect ourselves. Remember, your actions affect the health and well being of our community. Please play safe!

Learn more on the California Department of Public Health website.

Fields & Courts

  • Please email for field space.
  • Youth Sports: Youth sports groups may use fields to practice during limited times after acquiring a permit from the City. Organizers and participants are required to follow state safety guidance. (Guidance includes wearing face coverings when they cannot stay 6 feet apart)
  • Drop-in Use: People may use the fields so long as they are not in groups larger than seven (7) people. Please only recreate with people within your household. THIS IS FOR YOUR SAFETY.
  • No unpermitted group play, or games of more than seven people on fields or 5 people on a court. Anyone with questions about use of the City’s fields may call (650) 522-7400 during normal business hours.
  • Tennis Courts are open. Safety protocols are in place, and players must register in advance for a court through our online registration system ( to book a time slot at Beresford Park. Reservations will be available from 8am-11:45am. Open play will resume in the afternoons. Please call (650) 522-7430 if you have any questions.
  • The Central Park Tennis Court is anticipated to be open in April 2021. Please visit the Downtown Garage Renovation web page for more information.


Restrooms are now open at the following locations: 

  • King
  • Central
  • Parkside Aquatic
  • Joinville
  • Los Prados
  • Beresford (near tennis courts only)
  • Casanova
  • South side of Seal Point
  • Shoreview 
  • Laurelwood

Parking Lots

Parking lots are open with the exception of 1/2 of Upper Beresford

Japanese Garden

  • The Japanese Garden is open Monday-Sunday from 10am-4pm. Face masks are required for adults and a maximum of 20 people are allowed in at a time. Please follow social distancing rules in place.

Poplar Creek Golf Course

  • Poplar Creek Golf Course has reopened with safety precautions. To learn more and sign up for a tee time, visit Please note that weekend rates will apply on Friday, January 1, 2021.

Skate Park

The skate park has reopened. Please do not share equipment, maintain social distancing, and wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible.

Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball Courts at Beresford Park are open for play daily from 8am-10pm.

Facility/Park Rentals

Park Rentals are back! Please visit our Picnic Area Online Rentals web page to book a picnic reservation now!

What current programs and classes are being offered?

Who can I call or email about questions I have?