Take a stroll around the streets of Chinatown. Take in and join the morning hustle and bustle of the daily rituals and activities within the parks. Relax with Tai Chi or join in on a friendly game of Xiangqi, also known as Chinese Chess.
Portsmouth Square is rich with history and has been the center of many critical events in history. It is known to be the site where the discovery of gold was first announced by Sam Brannon on May 11, 1848.
Today, Portsmouth Square provides a recreational space for local residents. Portsmouth Square is one of the city’s most intensely used recreational spaced for the children and adults in Chinatown. It is a favorite meeting place for seniors who come here to talk, play Chinese chess, or simply sit and watch children run around in the park. In this square, you will most likely find elderly residents enjoying the fresh air of the morning while huddling over a friendly game of Qiangqi, also known as Chinese Chess, or getting their daily dose of exercise with Tai Chi. Today the park is symbolic to the residents in and around Chinatown dubbing it the name the “Heart of Chinatown”. It has also been named Chinatown’s living room.
Chinese Playground (Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground)
Chinese Playground, built on the side of a hill, features two sand play areas, three sports and game areas, a large indoor recreational facility and gym. The recreational facility offers an afterschool program providing homework help, activities and snacks.
Chinese Playground was later renamed Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground in honor of one of the finest Chinese American basket players, Willie Woo Wong who was born and raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
The park is located between Stockton and Grant Street.
Muni: 9X, 9AX, BX, 30, 45
St. Mary’s Square
St. Mary’s Square was presented as a gift to the city by the Catholic diocese in 1912. Within the square holds Beniamino Bufano’s statue of Sun Yat Sen, the first president of the Republic of China (January 1, 1912-February 14, 1912) who later fled to San Francisco as a political asylum for several years.
This park is located at 651 California St. (Between Kearny St. and Quincy St.) San Francisco, CA 94108
Woh Hei Yuen Park
Woh Hei Yuen, meaning “garden of peace and joy” was named by the community after a naming contest asking for submissions had taken place. The park is adorned with a beautiful landscape of various types of trees and flowers, a dry creek under a bridge and offers its visitors to bask in its elegance on its benches. A playground occupies the corner of the park allowing the leisure for children to run and play. The park also offers the use of a recreational center for people of all ages to take advantage of. Visitors have the opportunity to select from a wide range of activities including board games, ping pong, Kung Fu, karaoke, exercise and Lion Dancing. In addition, educational programs are also offered. These include adult drama classes, English classes, Children’s cooking classes, homework help and Chinese lessons.
This park can be found between Powell St. and John St.