What to Do With Kids on Berkeley's Fourth Street - 510 Families

What to Do With Kids on Berkeley’s Fourth Street

We thank Fourth Street for sponsoring {510} Families and helping us produce this guide. Between University Avenue and Virginia Street on Fourth Street in Berkeley is a collection of shops, restaurants, and treasured experiences for families. Here’s how to get the most out of this little slice of Berkeley.

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 shopping district can please the whole family with lots of places to eat, drink, and play and the best seasonal events to boot.

Kid-centric fun on Fourth Street in Berkeley
Kid-centric fun on Fourth Street in Berkeley is a regular occurrence | Photo: Fourth Street

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

The patio outside of Peet’s Coffee hosts live music each Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm to 3 pm. Sometimes the musicians themselves are kids, an inspiration to little ones who will stop and watch. You’ll find a full range of musicians from blues, salsa, folk singers, and the Berkeley High School Jazz band.
1776 Fourth Street, Berkeley

group of people doing dance lessons outdoors
Dance lessons always include children | 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 the cool CB2 store long enough, you’ll be able to watch one pass by.

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.
1827 Fifth Street, Berkeley

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.

Creative & Festive Annual Events on Fourth Street

We love Fourth Street for its special family-friendly events. Trick-or-treating and Holiday Lights are longtime favorites.

The adorably tot-friendly Halloween Festival & Trick or Treating is the perfect amount of Halloween fun for young families in costume. Never too scary, each year Fourth Street adds a new activity to its winning formula of cute kids + free candy + festive decor = Halloween Magic. Find a scary hair booth, live music, and bubbles, too.

Halloween in Berkeley
Halloween on Fourth Street is the place to be | Photo courtesy Fourth Street

Kid-friendly Fourth Street parties have included storytelling, bubble shows, caricature artists, art activities, hair design, and always live music to enjoy. Fourth Street makes Father’s Day and Mother’s Day memorable with relaxation stations, treats, card-making for the kids, giveaways, and photo booths. The Valentine’s Day event includes succulents, gift-making, and free cookies.

4th Street twinkle lights at Christmas
Holiday twinkle lights ignite 11/11 with an evening stroll | Photo: Fourth Street

You can win parent of the year by attending Holidays on Fourth Street. The street sparkles with Dazzling Holiday Lights each November and December with cheer every night beginning at dusk. Santa comes to visit with kids and they can drop off letters to him and Mrs. Claus at the North Pole Mailbox located in front of Peet’s Coffee. Kids learn how to create fused glass ornaments at Stained Glass Garden. Kids can join carolers, donate food, and visit the street by driving by or waking the 4 blocks during the Holiday Fantasy Parade at night to see the Grinch, a giant snow fox, gigantic Christmas trees, the Tudor Lion, and more favorite characters!

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

Eating your way down Fourth Street with kids

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

Tacubaya has high chairs and a casual vibe whether you’re inside or out. Kid favorites include beans, rice, and quesadillas (my daughter learned to eat black beans here when she was a baby, as they are served pureed). Don’t forget a margarita for the parents. 1782 Fourth Street

Market Hall is a gourmet food shop, where everyone can choose their own items for a picnic or eat out on the communal patio. Find hot prepared meals, sandwiches, soups, and treats. 1786 Fourth Street

Oceanview Diner is great for early weekend mornings and boasts great food. I’m a huge fan of the soufflé pancake when I’m not with my kids. The To Go shop is also a hit. 1807A Fourth Street

Noble Cow Creamery is the tasty spot for delicious, organic ice cream in classic and creative flavors tucked in right next to Oceanview Diner. Cones, cups, milkshakes, and sundaes. 1809A Fourth Street

Artís Coffee (on Fourth Street closer to Virginia St.) has delicious coffee and cocoa for all ages and, Libby tells us they sell a “babyccino” of steamed milk with chocolate powder on top for toddlers and preschoolers. They also have a nice bathroom. 1717B Fourth Street

Dumpling Time has delightfully small portions of dumplings and gyoza for little appetites. This tasty spot can get very busy at peak times. 1795 Fourth Street

Zut Tavern has great pasta, pizza, and burgers for kids but I have found that the kitchen is flexible if your family needs food substitutions. Patio, parklet, or inside dining is comfortable and tasty. 1820 Fourth Street

Cafe Reveille is an open-air cafe, great for families who want to be outside while they eat with crazy-delicious coffee drinks. 760 Hearst Street at 5th Street.

Specialty Shops on Fourth Street with Cool Stuff for Kids

While national chains are present on Fourth Street too, you can still ‘shop local’ there. Keep an eye out for Annual Sidewalk Sales. Parents and kids love to visit on sale days as merchants bring out all kinds of discounted items and the party spills onto Delaware and Fourth for kids. Here are some shops to watch for wonderful children’s items:

Maker’s Row Tucked in between Fourth and Fifth Streets toward Cafe Reveille is a lovely collection of small makers’ booths on the weekend. Browse for trinkets, treasures, and toys. 1919 Fourth Street

Builders Booksource offers a highly curated selection of books for kids. Hand-picked by book-lover, co-owner, and understander-of-kids, Sally Kiskaddon. 1817 Fourth Street

The Gardener displays a sweet selection of books, stylish plush animals, clever wooden toys, and other baby shower gifts. 1836 Fourth Street

Earthsake sells big-ticket items like organic mattresses (for adults and babies), comforters, bedding, blankets, clothes, and other cuddly things including small items for new babies. 1772 Fourth Street

Five Little Monkeys is a terrific shop for kids of all ages. Aisles filled with quality toys and books with a huge array of stuffed animals, games, LEGO, puzzles, and toddler toys. 1810/12 Fourth Street

grinch at outdoor christmas event with holiday lights
See you at the Holiday Fantasy Parade on 12/16/23 | Photo: Fourth Street

Related: Things to Do With Kids in Berkeley

Clean Hands, Bathrooms & Parking on Fourth Street

Free parking is available at most lots on Fourth Street plus there are two pay-to-park lots at the south side of Fourth and Hearst (old Spenger’s Lot) as well as at Virginia and Fourth Street which is a UC lot.

There are three portable restrooms in the large, customer lot that are cleaned regularly at night so they are hopefully ok for use during the day. Peet’s also has a public restroom (no changing table) and many shops do allow customers to use their facilities.

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. Instead of driving, you can also take the 51B, 80, or 72 AC Transit buses.

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