Best Places to Take Kids in Albany - 510 Families
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Best Places to Take Kids in Albany

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.

Albany Twin theatre and best places to take kids in Albany
Find all you need in Albany just on or a few blocks off lower Solano Avenue. | PC: Anna Azimi

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.
  • 5 Tacos & Beers: Mexican food with a fun Family Pack Menu. Sit outside overlooking Solano for the perfect people-watching spot.
  • iSlice: Small pizza joint that offers to-go slices with no wait for impatient hungry eaters. Great lunch deals, too.
  • Little Star: No surprise here, Little Star makes the list because their pizzas are simply delicious. Both deep dish and thin crust available.
  • Oori Rice Triangles: Tasty Korean rice dishes served in a fun and convenient rice triangle, perfect for little hands. Hot, fast, and fresh.
  • Picnic: A cute take-out spot specializing in rotisserie chickens, porchetta, sausages, and charcuterie for a fancy lunch to-go for the park.
  • Royal Cafe: Just one order of pancakes can feed your whole gang. Parents must try the freshly baked scones with lemon curd.
  • Sam’s Log Cabin: THE place for brunch. There’s a reason it always has a line outside. Cozy outdoor patio and kid-friendly.
  • Suzette’s Crepe Cafe: Find sweet and savory crepes – we always get ours to go and eat at the school playground across the street.

Find more to do with kids on Solano Ave. >>

Something Sweet to Eat in Albany

  • Brown Cap Soft Serve: This adorable high-end ice cream truck serves tiny cones to toddlers for $1 and features a happy affogato for the parents (organic cold brew coffee on top of soft serve). Check the website for a schedule of appearances including many at Jewel’s Terrace Park.
  • As You Wish Frozen Yogurt: Our go-to fro-yo 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.
  • Nomi Tea: Gram some boba and mochi donuts for a special treat on Solono.
  • Tay Tah Cafe: Boba drinks, coffee, smoothies, scoops of ice cream, and tasty Vietnamese sandwiches.
Vanilla and chocolate cones at Tay Tah Cafe
Vanilla and chocolate cones at Tay Tah Cafe. | PC: Anna Azimi

Where to Play with Kids in Albany

  • Albany Aquatic Center: From rec swim to swim lessons, both indoor and outdoor pools, this is a great local public swimming pool.
  • Albany Bulb: An unofficial off-leash dog beach with beautiful views of San Francisco. If your kid doesn’t mind dogs, it’s great on hot days.
Albany Beach in the East Bay
Albany Bulb Beach : Photo: Whitney Moss
  • Albany Exercise Yard: Located on the Ohlone Greenway at the corner of Masonic and Solano Ave, this exercise area and log balancing area is fun for kids to work off some energy. Heck, you could even get in some reps!
  • Albany Hill’s Peggy Thomsen Pierce Street Park: On the west side of Albany Hill is a perfect play area for monkey-bar lovers. It has two play structures that focus on climbing, hanging, and jumping and a fenced-in area for younger toddlers.
  • Albany Library: Find weekly baby, toddler, and preschool story times. We love to grab books and read on their big, colorful rug in the kids’ area.
The Ohlone Greenway between Brighton Ave and Solano Ave in Albany is safe place for kids to run, bike, scoot, with a long patch of grass area too. | Photo: Kat Choi
  • 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. Great place to learn to ride a bike on the weekend.
  • Jewel’s Terrace Park: Jewel’s Terrace Park has two playgrounds, a large grassy field, tennis courts, a basketball court, picnic tables, and a BBQ grill. It is a bit tucked away.
  • Dartmouth Tot Lot: A used toy wonderland just two blocks from Solano Ave. A must for the preschool crowd.
  • Five Little Monkeys – everyone’s favorite neighborhood toy store!
albany hill playground
Albany Hill Playground: Peggy Peggy Thomsen Pierce Street Park climbing structures | Photo: Julie Herson
  • Albany Memorial Park: Albany’s main park with two play structures and grassy fields. It’s about two blocks north of Solano Ave., 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.
  • Ohlone Greenway Bike Path: Scoot, bike, run or walk along this bustling path. Nice and flat, and perfect for little riders when not too busy.
  • Toy-Go-Around: A fun toy consignment shop where you can find all sorts of treasures and even sell some of your own.
  • UC Gill Tract Farm: Volunteer at this urban farm to learn about community farming, Monarch preservation, and even catch a glimpse of the famous Albany turkeys.
Take a quick break at Solano and Masonic in Albany for some sit-ups | Photo: Julie Herson

Best Places for Parents in Albany

  • Ale Tales: A craft beer and bottle shop where you can even fill up your growler. Nice folks with great recommendations for newbies.
  • Berkeley Humane Thrift Shop: Adopt a kitty, find the perfect vintage jeans and maybe a puzzle or two, all while supporting a good cause.
  • Flora & Ferment: A specialty cider house with a rotating menu of local ciders. Great people watching.
  • 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.
Picking flowers at Flowerland and other places to play on Solano
Picking flowers at Flowerland. | PC: Anna Azimi
  • 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.
Oaktown Spice Shop in Albany
Oaktown Spice Shop on Solano has all the spices you’ll ever need. | PC: Anna Azimi

Bonus Finds for Families in Albany, CA

But wait, there’s more! Albany is also the home of Target (but you already knew that) and University Village with a plethora of kid activities, and a sweet secret tree for swinging on the top of the Albany Hill.

Albany Hill Swing and places to play in Albany CA
Find the secret swing atop Albany Hill. Follow Taft Avenue to find your way. | PC: Anna Azimi

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.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Monday, April 15, 2024

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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