5 cheap and fun summer family activities in Alameda

Thanks to Leslie Harvey from Trips with Tykes for being our guest blogger today.

Alameda is one of the East Bay’s best kept secrets.  My neighbors often joke that “we like it that way!”  But I love Alameda too much not to share the fun it has to offer with friends who live nearby. In the summer time, there are so many cheap (or free!) activities for kids and families.  Consider making the trip to our fair island this summer to enjoy some of these events and traditions.

1) Concerts at the Cove

Alameda offers three free Friday evening concerts every summer right by the Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Beach.  Bring a blanket and a picnic and come enjoy good music and local food (including wine and beer from Alameda’s own Rock Wall Wine Company and Faction Brewing).  The concerts run from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, so you can still get the little ones in bed at a reasonable hour.  A Tom Petty tribute band already played earlier this summer.  August 8th’s concert will be a Battle of the Bands.

2) High Scores Arcade Museum

High Scores Arcade in Alameda

Many people know about Alameda’s magnificent Pacific Pinball Museum, but you also shouldn’t miss a newer addition to our gaming scene, High Scores Arcade Museum.  Located on Park Street, this business features classic arcade games from the 1980s and 1990s like Tetris, Pac-Man, and Mortal Kombat II.  Admission is $5 for one hour of unlimited play or $10 for a day pass.

3) Summer Street Festivals

Alameda Festival

Alameda has a number of summer weekend street festivals that are perfect for entertaining the kids at a reasonable price.  Still coming up this summer are the Park Street Art & Wine Faire (July 26 & 27) and the Neptune Beach Community Celebration on Webster Street (September 6 & 7).  Each festival has tons of tasty food and live music as well as a kids play area with jumpy houses and other attractions.

4) Neptune Beach Pearl Baseball 

Baseball fans shouldn’t miss Alameda’s summer baseball team, the Neptune Beach Pearl, in its fourth season of play on the island.  The Pearl features some of the best college players from around the country and competes in the California Collegiate Summer League.  Several former Pearl players have now been drafted into the major leagues, so this is a great chance for your kids to meet and interact with some real baseball talent.  Best of all, games are free!  (Note that the team is playing some its games at Laney College in Oakland and at a few other locations this season, so check the schedule carefully before heading to a game.)

5) Crown Beach

Alameda's Crown Beach

On warm days, there is nothing better for kids than a trip to Alameda’s shoreline to enjoy one of the best and cleanest beaches in the Bay Area.  Crown Beach stretches over 2.5 miles along Alameda’s south shore from Crab Cove visitor center to the South Shore shopping center, so there is plenty of space for families to play.  The beach has calm water and a very gradual slope into the water so even toddlers can wade safely.  It also features a stunning view of the San Francisco skyline and a bike trail that runs the length of the shoreline.  Bring bikes, kites, and sand toys!

Leslie from Trips With Tykes

Leslie Harvey lives in Alameda’s Gold Coast with her husband and two kids (ages 5 and almost 1).  She also blogs about the joys and challenges of travel with her family at Trips With Tykes. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.