Thanks to our guest poster, Chantal Laurie, who put together this list of things to do with kids in Oakland.
- Roberts Park: It’s a healthy dose of Playground paradise. Travel up Skyline Boulevard and you’ll stumble upon a park area surrounded by hidden, peaceful trails through Redwood forests. Within the park, you’ll find a pool that’s the ideal reprieve from summer heat, a big grassy area perfect for soccer games with a toddler, and a huge play structure to capture anyone’s imagination.
- Mills College Pool: Looking for a workout and some family time? Mills College pool is open to the public at $7 a visit (or $56 for a pack of 10 coupons). It’s ideal for lap swimming (beautiful Olympic size pool) and has a swim area blocked off for family frolicking. It’s an ideal place for parents to tag team – one gets a work out while the other splashes around with the kiddos (and then swap!).
- Montclair Playground: Recently renovated, the two playgrounds here are great for kids of any age. There’s also a little duck pond if you’ve got an animal-lover-of-a-kid on your hands. And, in case you work up a sweet tooth with all the monkey bar activity, there’s a Yogofino just a two minute drive away in Montclair Village
- Children’s Fairyland: Humpty Dumpty on a wall? Check. Puppets and fairies? Check. Alice in Wonderland? Clearly. Seven dwarves? Obviously. Children’s Fairyland is a landmark in Oakland and seeing as it inspired Disney himself, it’s destined to inspire the likes of local parents and kids. It should be noted that it’s run down in some spots (looks like it hasn’t been re-painted since 1923) – but kids don’t seem to notice and it’s a great morning or afternoon outing. (Related: Heather's analysis of a Fairyland membership)
- Grand Lake Farmer’s Market: Bouncy castles, live music, giant bags of kettle corn, Belgian waffles…oh, and fresh fruit and produce, make this one of the best farmer’s markets in the Bay Area. Watch out for parking though, it can be a bit of a headache…
- Bites off Broadway: From 5:30-8:30pm every Friday through October, enjoy the delicious grub that gourmet food trucks have to offer. Bring a blanket and your appetite (and if it’s classic foggy, San Francisco-type weather, a parka). And – if you need something to top off the evening, don’t be shy about swinging by Fentons Creamery (where their generous serving sizes of ice cream will make your kids squeal…) on your way home!
- Lake Temescal: There’s a great little beach, a couple of playgrounds, tons of picnic tables, lots of shaded and sunny grassy areas, and plenty of little paths to stroll along. And, it’s where Baby Bootcamp meets if you’re interested in working off some of that lingering (and terribly annoying) baby weight.
Thanks, Chantal for sharing your tips with us. If you've got advice you'd like to share with local parents, please use the submit a tip link above and tell us!