So many fun outdoor adventures await for you and your small child. Unplug, roll around, be together, get dirt under your fingernails! Preschoolers, toddlers in the fresh air? Bring it on! Here's a round-up of great outdoor adventures so you can play outside with your little kid (many are also great for bigger kids!):
- Ride scooters around Harbor Bay Island (Alameda) or enjoy the Bay Trail bike path near the Costco gas station in Richmond.
- Fly a kite (especially this super easy-to-fly kind of kite) on the Berkeley Marina or favorite windy spot.
- Take the ferry to SF for a treat at the Ferry Building. Riding a big boat under the Bay Bridge is so special, sip cocoa on board no matter the season!
- Wander through the totally touchable gardens at Lake Merritt. While you're there, Junior Center of Art and Science is located next to Lake Merritt. Drop-in activities are for kids 2+ and vary by day.
- Bring a sweater up to ride Tilden Park's steam trains or hop on the carousel. Feed those greedy goats at Little Farm; ride your balance bike or scooter along the paths afterward or just enjoy the playground and a snack.
- Swing, slide, and climb at Heather Farms Park, Totland, Doyle Street Park, Memorial Park, Frog Park, Dreamland, Always Dream Play Park, or ANY playground that needs to be conquered.
- Have fun with small animals at Sulphur Creek Nature Center (Careful, they have a guinea pig lending library!)
- Hug a redwood tree at Roberts Park in Oakland. You can also find a fantastic “barrier-free” children's play area.
- Meet your buddies at Codornices Park for the cement slides or wandering along the creek.
- Improve your miniature golf skills and sportsmanship at Golfland in Castro Valley.
- Bust out your sand toys at Richmond’s Keller Beach or any new-to-you Bay Area beach. Did you know baby powder keeps sand from sticking to your body? Totally weird but true!
- Schedule a mid-week visit to the Oakland Zoo for rides, sky-high gondola, petting zoo, and all the animals with fewer big kids to peer around.
- Get your hands dirty at Alameda’s Crab Cove. Squeeze in a class like Sea Squirts. Phone ahead to make sure no field trips will get in your way.
- Climb up and around on Indian Rock in North Berkeley. See if you can find John Hinkel Park if you're really feeling curious.
- Spend some quality time at the Discovery Museum in Sausalito with lots of room to run around and climb the ship play structure or dig with a hard hat. It’s different every time as kids age into new exhibits.
- Ride an Amtrak train to Martinez and back again. Bring a scooter to roll to and from the park. You'll enjoy the playgrounds, bike paths, ducks to feed, and skateboarders to watch.
- Go back in time at Ardenwood Farms. Since it is a working farm, the daily activities change from season to season so no two visits will be exactly alike
- Grab fresh food at Market Hall and stroll or roll to Frog Park for a picnic. There’s a creek and a doggie park for extra entertainment.
- Take the elevator to top of the Campanile at UC Berkeley then scooter around the paths or run around the lawns at Cal.
- Spend the day at Fairyland with pint-sized rides and old-fashioned story characters around every turn. Look for the goat near the turf sliding hill.
I hope you're enjoying the warm and wonderful weather with your younger child and are inspired to take them a new place to play. We also have a list of the best indoor places to play with little kids.
Tell me about your favorite outdoor spots to enjoy with your toddlers and preschoolers!