Parks and Recreation FAQ

Who can I call or email about questions I have?

Are parks open?

As we all work to curb the spread of the virus and protect our community, we’re sorry to announce ACCESS TO CITY PARKS WILL BE LIMITED in order to protect public health. Please remember when venturing outdoors, to stay local and only visit areas you can walk or bike to, please do not drive or take transit to recreation areas. Parks are open for passive use only, please be careful when enjoying open space areas. 

The following rules are in place at City Parks:

  • MASKS & RECREATING: 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.
  • No gathering. Stay at least 6 ft. apart from others
  • All dog parks and play areas (including mornings at certain fields) are open
  • Picnic areas & BBQ pits are closed
  • 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.


  • Playground Use:  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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Pt
    • Shoreview 
    • Laurelwood
  • Parking lots are open with the exception of 1/2 of Upper Beresford.
  • The Japanese Garden is open Monday-Sunday from 10am-3pm. 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.
    • Wednesday, November 11 (Veterans Day): OPEN    
    • Thursday, November 26 Thanksgiving Day): OPEN from 10am-2pm
    • Friday, November 28: OPEN from 10am-3pm
    • Saturday, November 29: OPEN from 10am-3pm
    • Sunday, November 30: OPEN from 10am-3pm
  • Poplar Creek Golf Course has reopened with safety precautions. To learn more and sign up for a tee time, visit
  • Tennis Court 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 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 Courts at Beresford Park are open for play daily from 8am-1pm. Please see the list of rules in our Summer Activity Guide Sports page.

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

How about facility and park rentals?

Due to COVID-19, all rentals (inside centers and at parks) have been cancelled. In addition, no rentals will be booked within this time-frame.

When will programs and classes be offered?

A variety of programs are being offered now! The 2020 Fall Activity Guide can be viewed at at Registration is available online at

When will we know about in person programs/classes/events?

The situation is fluid, and we are following the recommendations based on the San Mateo County Health Department. We will continue to keep you informed as much as possible.

Which other programs are offered at this time?

The Senior “Get Around” transportation program, as well as the Senior Lunch Program Bay Tree Bistro (Pick-Up only) are still operating. 

Pre-Registration is required for the lunch program – please call (650) 522-7490 to be put on the waitlist.