Rolling Around Brooklyn Basin (Oakland) with Kids - 510 Families
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Rolling Around Brooklyn Basin (Oakland) with Kids

The Brooklyn Basin is a mixed-use neighborhood (residential & coming soon retail). Located along the Bay, it features a wide-open industrial space, perfect for roller skating, leisurely strolls, and preschoolers and toddlers on their scooters/bikes.

Roll, Don’t Walk, To Brooklyn Basin in Oakland

On a sunny spring day, we met up with a few other families at Township Commons Park located at the new mixed-use Brooklyn Basin development on the estuary in Oakland. We picnicked on the grassy hill and roller-skated and scootered around the park’s wide paved paths. We were struck by the architectural elements afforded by the remnants of parts of the historic 9th Avenue Terminal and impressed by the grandness of the boardwalk and deck. Instantly, we fell in love with the space and have watched the community at “the Basin” grow ever since.

family on skates and scooter
Our family’s favorite place to scooter and skate! | Photo: Nick Williams

We visit the park almost weekly for attending roller skating events, watching sunsets, grabbing delicious food and beverages from Rocky’s Market, and honing our skating and scootering skills. Township Commons Park at Brooklyn Basin is a fantastic new East Bay destination for families and it is sure to get even better as the development is built out with additional four parks over the coming years.

The Lowdown on Oakland’s Township Commons & Brooklyn Basin

township commons sign and child
Township Commons is the name of the first park at Brooklyn Basin | Photo: Nick Williams

Township Commons Park, Oakland

The whole Township Commons Park is expansive and broken up nicely into different areas. There is a massive boardwalk and deck with plenty of colorful modern seating options. On the weekend the deck is often filled with dance classes, live music, art pop-ups, and festive gatherings.

grandparents and grandchild eat on blanket
The grandparents enjoyed their time eating on the lawn at Brooklyn Basin | Photo: Nick Williams

The grassy hill at the end of the boardwalk is perfect for throwing down a blanket and eating. Next to this grassy lawn is the paved area most-frequented by roller skaters due to its size – it’s larger than your standard roller rink. Most weekends, roller skating classes are offered for kids and adults.

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Around the restored 9th Street Terminal building, there is space all around to enjoy the views, gather, or dine al fresco at Rocky’s Market.

Where to eat: Rocky’s Market

child eats grilled cheese
Enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich fresh off the grill from Rocky’s Market during one of many roller-skating events held at Brooklyn Basin | Photo: Nick Williams

We love Rocky’s Market! During the week, their grab-and-go options work perfectly for our family. They have delicious and vegetarian-friendly sandwiches and wraps, fresh produce, plenty of snack options, and their beverage selection always fits the bill.

On Fridays-Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm “The Kitchen” at Rocky’s Market is open. They serve brunch in the mornings and burgers, salads, soup, and seafood options afterward. Our son devoured the $6 Basin Grilled Cheese before eating the fresh fruit and snacks that we purchased inside the market.

burger and roller skates
You can roller skate inside Rocky’s Market and skate away with a juicy hamburger. #winwin | Photo: Nick Williams

Bathrooms

The bathroom situation is modern and interesting, and I’d say it works. There are about a dozen all-gender private stalls located in the bathroom inside the restored 9th Avenue terminal. They seem to stay relatively clean. There are also two large shared sinks that have always been stocked with soap and touchless paper towel dispensers. Our family has never had to wait in line.

Canoe and Kayak Rental

Our family is happier rolling on land than gliding in the water, but if you want to get into a canoe or kayak, California Canoe & Kayak has its flagship location with gear rental on site. Closed Monday & Tuesday. Website for info >

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Parent Tips for Enjoying Brooklyn Basin with Family

Parking: There is plenty of parking during the week and early on the weekends. If you come later on a Saturday or Sunday you might find yourself circling. You can always find parking on the Embarcadero if you are up for a short walk to the park.

Wind: While the wind does make this a great destination for your kid to fly their kite, on windier days you may want to postpone your visit. We’ve been to Township Commons on some of the windier days (I’m talking massive winds) and it was hard for us to even lay down the picnic blanket without it flying away. Needless to say, the wind makes scootering and skating nearly impossible.

Crowds: Over the last few months there are many groups leading various activities for people of all ages at Township Commons park. It’s a fantastic place to people-watch! Last weekend the boardwalk was filled with hundreds of salsa dancers, the roller-skating area had live DJs mixing dance music as people boogied and skated, and Rocky’s Market was preparing for a live comedy show. It is wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves at this new addition to the Oakland waterfront, but it can seem crowded. If crowds aren’t your thing, I’d recommend going earlier in the day on the weekends or during the week.

Plan your visit to Brooklyn Basin

child rolling down grassy hill
Rolling down the grassy hill at the end of Township Commons park never gets old | Photo: Nick Williams

Location: Point your GPS to “Township Commons” at 288 9th Ave @ Brooklyn Basin Way, Oakland.

Directions: The Brooklyn Basin development is just off the 880 freeway, along the Oakland estuary. Take the Embarcadero exit and drive along Embarcadero past the Homewood Suites. Pass the tall residential buildings at Brooklyn Basin and then turn left onto Brooklyn Basin Way. The park, Township Commons, is right where the street ends, at 9th St and Brooklyn Basin Way.

Parking: Parking can be tricky depending on the day of the week and time of day. There are a lot of spots along the roads that are to be developed. These spaces are only open on the weekends. If you get there before the afternoon weekend rush, there is always ample parking. There is also a public lot that fills up quickly near Rocky’s Market. If all else fails, there is always extra parking along the Embarcadero.

kids fishing in oakland
Two friends fishing along the estuary at Brooklyn Basin | Photo: Nick Williams

The Bottom Line on Township Commons park at Brooklyn Basin

child on scooter with helmet
People of all ages and abilities skate and scooter along the wide path at Brooklyn Basin | Photo: Nick Williams

Township Commons park at Brooklyn Basin is a beautiful and expansive new addition to the Oakland waterfront. It’s a great place for families to picnic and practice those biking, scootering, or skating skills. It’s lively on the weekends and serene during the week. There are ample food options inside Rocky’s Market seven days a week and their restaurant, The Kitchen is open Friday-Sunday. With four new parks still to be developed, Brooklyn Basin is shaping up to be an East Bay family destination for many years to come.

More places to scooter, fly kites, and go fishing with East Bay kids.

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