A Parent's Guide to Berkeley's Fourth Street - 510 Families

A Parent’s Guide to Berkeley’s Fourth Street

We thank Fourth Street for sponsoring {510} Families and helping us produce this guide.

Wondering what to do with kids on Fourth Street? No matter what age a child is, Fourth Street in Berkeley offers enough fun that a stroll through this rapidly expanding shopping district can please the whole family with lots of places to eat, drink, and play and the best seasonal events to boot.

Family guide to 4th st

The best things in life (and on Fourth Street) are free

The patio outside of Peet’s Coffee hosts live music every weekend. Sometimes the musicians themselves are kids, an inspiration to little ones who will stop and watch.

Live music on Fourth Street Berkeley
Live music on Fourth Street Berkeley outside of Peet’s is a regular thing | Photo: Fourth Street

Trainspotting is easy on Fourth Street. The tracks run parallel to Fourth Street on the west side, and if you stand outside Crate and Barrel’s cool CB2 store long enough, you’ll be able to watch one pass by.

Family guide to fourth st

The East Bay Vivarium houses more creepy, crawling things than some Zoos! The renowned reptile store is actually on Fifth Street, but it’s a very short walk, about parallel with the Apple Store.

Adam and Aviva check out the Vivarium and other places to see animals up close
Adam and Aviva check out the Vivarium

After browsing the fun shops on Fourth Street, you’re pretty close to the Berkeley Marina for kite-flying or visiting Adventure Playground. Walk or bike west over the footbridge.

Events on Fourth Street

Kid-centric fun on Fourth Street in Berkeley
Kid-centric fun on Fourth Street in Berkeley during the County Fair | Photo: Fourth Street

We love Fourth Street for their special family-friendly events. Trick Or Treating and Lunar New Year are longtime favorites. The kid-friendly Fourth Street County Fair was on August 4 with carnival games, a petting zoo, bubble show, pie-eating contest, and a critter call contest. And, oh my goodness, don’t forget to look for Santa Claus and twinkling lights in December.

Visit the Fourth Street website to see what events are coming up.

Annual Lunar New Year activities | Photo: Fourth Street shops

Eating your way down Fourth Street — with kids

Three Twins Fourth Street ice cream cones
Pick a cone, any cone at Three Twins | Photo: Three Twins Fourth Street

Here’s where you’ll find us and what we’ll be eating.

Tacubaya has high chairs and a casual vibe. My daughter learned to eat black beans here when she was a baby, as they are served pureed. On Taco Tuesdays, a glass of sangria and two tacos is $13. Just saying.

Pollara, a counter-service Roman-style pizzeria, is opening mid-August. This kind of pizza is known for being able to stand up to many toppings. I hope they have a “plain cheese” option for my picky child. It shares communal outdoor seating with Market Hall.

Bette’s Ocean View Diner is great for early mornings (the bright side of being woken up at 6 am on Saturdays) and Bette’s TO GO makes sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and most importantly, cookies.

4th Street Bagel makes bagel sandwiches, plus they open early in the morning as well.

Three Twins is the tasty spot for delicious, organic ice cream in classic and creative flavors.

Market Hall is a gourmet food shop, where everyone can choose their own items for a picnic or eat out on the communal patio.

Cafe Reveille is an open air cafe, great for families who want to be outside while they eat. Located in the new complex at 1901 Fourth Street that includes Lululemon and Madewell. This food spot is actually on 5th street behind Soulcycle.

Specialty shops on Fourth Street

Though national chains are making their way into some of the newest spots on Fourth Street, you can still shop local there. These shops all have wonderful children’s items:

Builders Booksource offers a highly curated selection of books for kids. Hand-picked by book lover and co-owner Sally Kiskaddon.

The Gardener displays a sweet selection of books, stylish plush animals, clever wooden toys and other baby shower gifts.

Earthsake sells big ticket items like organic mattresses (for adults and babies), comforters, bedding, blankets, clothes and other cuddly things.

Five Little Monkeys is the place to find quality toys and books with a huge array of stuffed animals, games, LEGO, puzzles, and toddler toys. This terrific toy store hosts an annual host a free, annual, toy testing event on Fourth Street called Monkelypalooza scheduled for Sat 10/19/19.

Amazon Four-Star Store has a little bit of everything under one roof. Wondering what other folks in Berkeley have been putting in their shopping carts? Shelves are stuffed with items rated 4-stars and higher on the eponymous website. I know it isn’t really local, but I kinda love it.

Monkeypalooza 2018
Monkeypalooza is a giant block party for children that extends beyond the Five Little Monkeys Toy store to include music and entertainers | Photo: Fourth Street Shops

What to know before you go: Parking and restrooms on Fourth Street

Fourth Street has free parking at 3 large lots and 2 medium/small lots plus 1 pay to park lot across from the old Spenger’s just south of Hearst. On weekends the UC pay lot at Virginia and Fourth Street is open to public use.

There is a single restroom inside of Peet’s without a changing table.

Thanks again to Fourth Street for being a 510Families.com sponsor. Berkeley’s Fourth Street is located close to I-80 between the University and Gilman exits.

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3 thoughts on “A Parent’s Guide to Berkeley’s Fourth Street”

  1. correction: Cafe Reveille is not on the other side of the freeway or onramp. I have the feeling that line is a holdover from when there was a draft that included Sierra Nevada and Catahoula.

    Here are my additions:
    Project Juice has oatmeal and yogurt, my kids love them but the juice and smoothies are pricey.
    In that same area between Cafe Reveille and Warby Parker there’s an open space where I’ve seen musicians play, and a “maker’s row” with pop up shops, one of which just sells pencils!
    Instead of driving, try taking the 51B, 80 or 72 buses.
    Also the best restroom by far is at Artis, closer to Virginia St. I don’t think there’s a changing table. Artis also sells a “babychino” which is steamed milk with chocolate powder on top.

    1. Oops Libby, you’re totally right. It is just on the other side of Hearst Street… which has been covered with construction for so long, I forget it is just right there. I’ll correct. Thanks for the tips. I see kids at Maker’s Row but I wasn’t sure how welcoming it was… thanks for the input!

  2. Pingback: A Parent’s Guide to Berkeley’s Fourth Street – Discovered in Berkeley

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