Since the early 1930s, Grape Day Park, Escondido’s oldest park, has been the center for community events and activities. Every year from 1908 to 1950, people from as far away as Los Angeles came to celebrate the annual Grape Day Harvest, a major industry in the Escondido valley.
The park continues its tradition as the center for community gatherings. It is a registered landmark and home to a turn-of-the-century working barn, Santa Fe Railroad depot, blacksmith shop, and other historic buildings, museums, and monuments.
* Heritage Walk, established for the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976, displays buildings preserved from Escondido’s early days
* Vinehenge – an interactive public art project located in Grape Day Park. The whimsical project includes a grapevine climbing structure with hidden secrets for children to find, a slide decorated with giant purple grapes with mosaic details, benches in the shape of oversized grape leaves and a perimeter of rocks reminiscent of the rocks in the hills around Escondido. The play sculpture is intended for children of all ages and abilities. It is ADA compliant. The project was designed and fabricated by the artist team, Nancy Moran and Valerie Salatino of Nature Works, Inc., an Escondido based company.
* Picnic tables
* 5 horseshoe pits
* Children’s tile art wall
* James A. Stone Municipal Swimming Pool (25-yard swimming pool and small children’s pool)
* Grape Day Park Military Tribute
Personal Experience: Weird. I lived in Escondido for 10 years. I even went to Grape Day park every once in awhile for various reasons and yet not ONCE did I actually explore what this park is all about! It actually has a ton of character and history in it. Whodathunk? The historical homes turned into museums and shops on the outskirts of the park are definitely worth visiting if you’re into the history of Escondido and the Grape slide is one of the coolest slides I’ve seen in SD. Great place to take kids and educate them. The Children’s Museum is across the street so this could be a full day for you. Check out the restaurants and shops on Grand Ave. while you’re at it.