What to Do With Kids in Kensington - 510 Families

What to Do With Kids in Kensington

Thank you to Zip Code East Bay for sponsoring 510families.com. Zip Code East Bay is an independent real estate practice and certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) located in Kensington, CA.

Josh Dickinson, broker of Zip Code East Bay, and his wife, Creative Director Camden Richards, live with their three children in Kensington. When they opened Zip Code East Bay in 2012, they chose Colusa Circle as the location of their office because of its charm and status as a vibrantly growing business district. They love to take their kids to dinner at Benchmark Pizzeria and to walk and run along the surrounding neighborhood streets and paths on the weekends.

Favorite Family-friendly Kensington Destinations

We thank Josh and Camden from Zip Code East Bay so much for sharing their parent tips on the best things to do with children around Colusa Circle and Upper Kensington. We love their real-parent tips.

Colusa Circle in Kensington is a hot spot for great food, activities, and a variety of services. Upper Kensington has lots of scenic beauty to boast about. And once you cross out of the bounds of Kensington into Berkeley, Albany, or El Cerrito, you’re still close to so much! Here are some tips on where to go and what to do.

google map of kensington
Kensington borders Tilden Park, North Berkeley, South El Cerrito, and East Albany

Kensington Park, Library, and Community Center

On the north upper side of Kensington near Hilltop School is the Kensington Library, which is adjacent to the park, and the newly renovated Community Center, both of which offer activities and classes for kids and adults. The park is a favorite spot that many locals visit daily, frequenting the play structures, basketball courts, and tennis courts. One of the fields at the park is perched on a hill with a view of the bay and is very popular with dog owners.
Location: 61 Arlington Avenue, Kensington
Library Website >

Blake Garden, Kensington (Weekdays)

blake garden in kensington
Blake Garden in N. Kensington is practically in El Cerrito | Photo: Anna Azimi

Also in North Kensington, the University of California’s Blake Garden features 10 acres of green space used for landscape architecture and environmental planning research with a large diversity of plant materials. Children are welcome to explore along the paths but are not allowed to pick anything or climb on rocks or trees. Camden said, “Our kids love walking through the Redwood Canyon, checking out the Koi fish at the Reflection Pool, and most of all building their own eco-creation at the Create-with-Nature Zone”. The garden is open to the public on weekdays and is a favorite spot for anyone looking to spend time outdoors.
Location: 70 Rincon Road, Kensington
Website >

Upper Kensington is super close to Arlington Park in El Cerrito >>

Find a local path with the Kensington Pathkeepers

2 kids hiking
Wandering Ye Olde School Trail on the edge of Tilden in Kensington | Photo: Rae Quigley for ZCEB

There is a large network of public walking paths that connect streets and areas in Kensington. The paths serve as shortcuts and are enjoyed by many for their wooded hiking and spectacular views. The path connecting upper and lower Kensington is very popular and can be found on the Kensington Pathkeepers website. Another popular and extensive path is Ye Old School Trail, a hiking trail that runs along the ridge that separates Tilden Regional Park from Kensington.
Website >

colusa circle map
Zooming in on the Colusa Circle part of SW Kensington

Kensington Farmers Market, Colusa Circle (Sundays)

kensington farmers market stalls
Kensington Farmers Market Stalls are a favorite site on a Sunday — keep your eyes open for dancing toddlers | Photo: Hadley Koo

Kensington’s Farmers Market takes over Colusa Circle from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine on Sundays. Stock up for the week on fruits, produce, jam, granola, seafood, and more! We love the strawberries that several vendors carry (incl. Frog Hollow Farms) and can’t get enough of Gold Rush Kettle Corn. Kids are easily entertained by live music (lots of toddler dancing going on there) while you can enjoy some mean BBQ or burritos.

The market is a non-profit, community-based organization that believes the sustainable community is just as important as sustainable agriculture. It’s also a California Certified Farmers’ Market, which means that their vendors are certified by the state to ensure that they grow or make what they sell.
Location: On the circle
Website >

Kensington is a short drive to Little Farm in Tilden Park >>

Colusa Circle is a ten-minute walk to Albany Memorial Park >>

Shout out to Nan Phelps Portraits & Photography, Berkeley

Dickinson family portrait
Dickinson family | Photo: Nan Phelps Photography

Based in Colusa Circle since 2008, Nan Phelps has been photographing local families since 1989. We love her professional and captivating work and we’re thrilled with the portraits she’s taken of our family (museum-quality, don’t you think?). Her expertise has saved important memories of events, portraits, and snippets of daily joy.
Location: On the circle at 398 Colusa Ave, Kensington
Website >

Family-friendly Events Around Colusa Circle

Colusa Circle 5K (Spring)

jogging stroller and parent
Josh cheers on the kid runners & parents with jogging strollers at the family-friendly 5K in Kensington | Photo: Zip Code East Bay

Zip Code East Bay hosts this community fun run each spring to raise money for local charities. Participants run and walk along the stroller-friendly route through the quaint streets of Kensington and El Cerrito. The event includes a pre-race group warm-up session from Fuse Fitness (another great business in Colusa Circle!) and post-race fun with local treats, coffee, and a raffle. Previous races have raised money for Urban Tilth, BOSS, and Giveback Homes.

Colusa Circle Halloween Harvest Festival (October)

Colusa Circle Halloween children and snake
Colusa Circle gets pretty wild around Halloween | Photo: Nan Phelps Photography

Put on by the Kensington Farmers’ Market and the Colusa Circle Merchants Association, this festival is a celebration of autumn with pumpkin decorating, a parade, animal show, Halloween lunch at Benchmark Pizzeria, obstacle course from Fuse Fitness, free ice cream, kid and pet costume contests with prizes, and more.

Colusa Circle Tree Lighting (December)

2 kids with lit up xmas tree
Christmas Tree lighting in Colusa Circle | Photo: Satria R. Santoso

The Colusa Circle Tree Lighting is a festive evening celebration put on by the Colusa Circle Merchants Association to kick off the winter holiday season. People of all ages come out to see the Circle’s Oak tree wrapped in light and to spread holiday cheer with live music and free hot chocolate.

Used Art Supplies Recycling Drive (July & August)

markers and pens
Gather up your used markers and help stop the breakdown of microplastics

Are you cleaning out your kids’ art supplies as you prep for back to school? Zip Code East Bay is hosting a used art supply recycling drive. You can drop off your used markers, pens, crayons, and more at the ZCEB office at 380 Colusa Ave on Sundays this July and August from 10 am-noon. They’ll make sure the supplies are recycled properly using a Zero Waste Art Supply recycling box.
Questions? Email hello@zipcodeeastbay.com
Details about the art supply drive >
Location: On the circle at 380 Colusa Ave, Kensington

Kid-friendly Places to Eat in Kensington

Semifreddi’s Original, Colusa Circle

The original Semifreddi’s has it all for the breakfast and afternoon-snack crowd – different kinds of baguettes, loaves, rolls, pastries, cinnamon bread, and cookies. It’s tiny and gets crowded but there is some outdoor seating as well as a few benches only a few steps away.
Location: On the circle at 372 Colusa Ave, Kensington

Kensington Circus Pub

Currently, only offering take-out. The Kensington Circus Pub has been around for a long time and it’s definitely worth a visit with your kids. It’s a very, VERY kid-friendly pub.
Location: On the circle at 389 Colusa Ave, Kensington
Website >

Benchmark Pizzeria

We love to get a slice from Benchmark Pizzeria. Pizza, salads, and soft-serve ice cream are a combo of local, organic, and sustainable farms and suppliers. It is a nice place for dinner (or Sunday for lunch before or after a stroll through the Farmers Market) if your children will sit still for a nice meal. Great for a date night.
Location: 1568 Oak View Ave, Kensington
Website >

Thank you again to Zip Code East Bay for sponsoring 510families.com. Zip Code East Bay is an independent real estate practice and certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) located in Kensington, CA.

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2 thoughts on “What to Do With Kids in Kensington”

  1. We have had great experiences at Benchmark Pizza with our almost 3 year old. They provided a small cup for water, and the first time we went they gave her dough to play with while we waited. The next time they had a small blackboard with special crayons. The pizza takes a bit to come out, but these activities kept her busy and the food was worth both the wait and the price!

  2. Pingback: 31 things to do in January with Oakland and Berkeley kids - 510 Families

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