Recently (2007) redone, Koret Children’s playground in Golden Gate park was, according to local legend, one of the first public playgrounds in the United States.
With two full play structures (one for the older playground set, one for the younger), spinner cups, a rope climbing web, cement slides (bring cardboard, these are a “left-over” from many years ago and probably would never be built today with current liability concerns. All that said, they are lots of fun), a water feature, toddler swings, regular swings, several locally-themed cement climbing structures (waves, crabs, sea turtles), and a little playhouse this playground might not have it all, but it sure does have a lot.
It can be busy after-school and on the weekends, so be sure to arrive mentally prepared for swarms of children. The play area is surrounded by several nice grassy areas that can be great for a picnic, somersaults, or just playing in the grass. Immediately to the west is the Carrousel, with a current admission price of $2 (kids five and under are free). Hours for the carrousel vary, so be sure to check ahead.