If you’ve never been to Albany – a whole square mile town just north of Berkeley – let me tell you, you’re missing out. Park nearly anywhere on lower Solano Avenue (for FREE) and I promise you’ll find a place to play, a place to eat, or a place to relax – even with kids in tow. Hanging around Albany with kids is our favorite.
Where to eat with kids in Albany:
- Boss Burger – simple menu of burgers, fries, and milkshakes, including kids meals, outdoor seating, and arcade games while you wait.
- Cantina del Sol – Mexican food with a kids menu. Sit at the bar overlooking Solano for the perfect people-watching spot.
- iSlice – a new small pizza joint that offers to-go slices with no wait for impatient hungry eaters. Great lunch deals, too.
- La Crema – we love La Crema’s guac and chips and its huge space to sit anywhere you like.
- Little Star – no surprise here, Little Star makes the list because their pizzas are simply delicious.
- Royal Cafe – just one order of pancakes can feed your whole gang. Parents must try the freshly baked scones with lemon curd.
- Suzettes Crepe Cafe – find sweet and savory crepes – we always get ours to go and eat at the school playground across the street.
- As You Wish Frozen Yogurt – our go to ice cream spot! Find us here almost every Friday – serve yourself with extra toppings on top.
- Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery – vegan artisanal ice cream that’s pretty dang good. So many unique flavors you won’t know what to choose.
- Tay Tah Cafe – boba drinks, coffee, scoops of ice cream and tasty Vietnamese sandwiches.
Where to Play:
- Albany Bowl – fun for the whole family, with various discount days too. Kids bowl free during the summer!
- Albany Library – weekly baby, toddler and preschool story times. We love to gather books and read on their big, colorful rug in the just for kids area. You can also find stuffed animals, dress-ups and little hand games to keep busy.
- Cornell Elementary – this elementary school sits right on Solano Avenue with a huge playground perfect for scooting around. We love to get food to go and eat here, or run around after a dinner on Solano.
- Dartmouth Tot Lot – a used toy fairyland just two blocks from Solano Ave. A must for the preschool crowd. Read a full review here>
- Five Little Monkeys – everyone’s favorite neighborhood toy store!
- Memorial Park – Albany’s main park with two play structures and grassy fields. It’s about two blocks north of Solano, or a quick scoot on the Ohlone greenway path under the BART tracks. On a lucky day, the ice cream truck might even roll by.
Best for Parents in Albany:
- Flowerland Nusery – don’t skip this spot! Such a beautiful nursery with a trailer serving coffee on the spot. Plus, their marquee sign gets me every time.
- Hal’s Office – cutest coffee shop in the heart of downtown Albany. It’s next door to As You Wish, if you prefer coffee over ice cream.
- Morningtide – around the corner from Hal’s sits a lifestyle shop with unique finds, including a cute little section stocked for things just for kids.
- Ocean View Brew Works – super kid-friendly spot to grab a drink with friends.
- Oaktown Spice Shop – stop in to smell the spices, or take your time to browse with a sleeping baby in tow.
But wait, there’s more! Albany is also the home of Target (but you already knew that), Golden Gate Fields and Dollar Day Sundays, University Village with a plethora of kid activities, and a sweet secret tree for swinging on the top of the Albany Hill.
There you have it! The best of Albany – it’s so small, but I guarantee you, you won’t want to miss it.
Coming soon for families around Albany:
Our calendar has lots of upcoming events in the Albany area. Here are the next few.