A lot of much needed new playground equipment was installed at Kit Carson park in 2002. This new play structure for older children is a large plastic fort featuring 5 slides, large climbing wall, 2 suspension bridges, swingset, monkey bars, and an over-hand slide. Be prepared to lift your kids up for the over-hand slide because it's higher than they can reach and no booster-platform or stepping-stone was installed (a real oversight). And as of April 2006 a platform or stepping stone to reach the over-hand slide has still not been provided! There isn't much shade around the new play area, so bring your sun screen and sun glasses. Overall, however, this large play structure is a wonderful addition to Kit Carson Park. The research team loved the different slides and fort design.
Also, there is a new type of play area called a "sculpture garden" behind the duck pond. It was completed in 2003.
Queen Califia's Magical Circle (designed by internationally renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle) is full of bright and colorful mosaic figures for families to explore, but it's also HOT! There is no water fountain available and no shade. Also, there is a security guard at the structure. The guard we encountered did not want children climbing on the mosaic figures. Touching was okay. Other families have told us that guards they have encountered have let them climb.
In our opinion, Escondido missed an opportunity to provide kids with something really fun. Yes, the structure is unique and artistically beautiful. But it's not kid friendly. There are sharp edges, it really isn't safe for climbing and play. It's hot and there is no water or shade. What a wonderful place this would have been for kids in the summertime if Escondido had only provided a wading fountain of some type in the sculpture garden! Then it would've added a much needed place to cool off. Something that is so desperately needed in Kit Carson Park!
In 2006 a brand new refurbished skateboard and rollerblade park opened in Kit Carson Park.