Cedar-Rose Park in North Berkeley offers a fun little fenced-in tot lot, a wide open lush green field, and a bigger kid playground. So if you’re looking for a park that’ll satisfy kids of varying ages, Cedar-Rose Park a great option. I can can keep my two- and four-year olds happy in the tot lot while my bigger kids, ages seven and nine, either play soccer in the field or swing in the big kid playground. And Acme Bread is just down the street if you want to pop in for a post-playground treat!
Cedar Rose Park Features
Location: 1300 Rose St between Cedar and Rose in North Berkeley.
Unique Features: Tot lot play structure includes several little slides and climbing opportunities; tunnels to walk or crawl through; a three-way bouncy toy; stairs and a ramp.
Swings: Two baby bucket swings and a big kid swing in the tot lot; two big kid swings in the older kid play area.
Fenced in? For the tot lot, yes, hooray! The older kid playground is not and is right next to Rose St.
Surfaces: The sand has been replaced with fresh wood chips and a cushy rubber mat surface near the play structures and swings.
Bathroom: Yes, but it’s pretty bare-bones and is frequented by unhoused locals.
Lunch tables & seating: Several benches scattered throughout and several tables in the tot lot area (often commandeered for birthdays over the weekends).
Parking: Easy and free street parking is pretty much always available all around the park.
Shade: There are lovely big redwoods that provide shade at the edges of the sports field. There is shade in both the tot lot and bigger playground near the benches.
Covid-19 Restricted Occupancy: 21 in the tot lot; 15 in the bigger playground.
Pros: Mixed-age appropriate; lots of wide open space.
Cons: Not always well maintained; dog poop; graffiti; Cedar and surrounding streets have some long-term motorhomes and unhoused people.
Cedar Rose Tot lot
The tot lot at Cedar-Rose Park is fully fenced-in and is a favorite among neighborhood families and some preschools. There are two bucket swings, which are always popular, and a single big kid swing. The little play structure is perfectly sized for the toddler set. And the crawling tunnels, stairs and ramp are oddly the most fun part of the park for my little ones. They love running after each other, up and down and around, again and again and again.
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The rubber mat surfaces and wood chips are newly installed. Personally, I think this is a big improvement to the sand that was there previously, which was a magnet for animal poop and general yuck.
Cedar-Rose Park Big Kid Playground
Just across the way on the Rose St. side of the park is the bigger kid playground. This area is best for five years and up, though my little kids enjoy themselves with a little bit more supervision. It’s not fenced-in and is right next to the street, so you’ll need to keep your eye on the younger kids. The tot lot isn’t directly next to the bigger playground, so that may pose a problem for those trying to supervise kids in both playgrounds. I usually start in the tot lot and then move to the bigger playground after a little while for a change of scenery. The tire swing and jumpy bridge are big draws for all my kids.
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The Big Field at Cedar Rose Park
The lush and green field at Cedar Rose Park is a lovely piece of open space in the middle of the city. It can get crowded on the weekends, and often there are soccer games or Quidditch matches (yep) that take over large parts of the field.
On a regular midweek morning, visit we always find plenty of space to run wild. Bring a soccer ball, stomp rockets, or bubbles to encourage big activity. Or if you’re looking for a place to scoot or ride a bike, there’s a looped pathway around the park that’s great for practicing your skills.
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The Bottom Line on Cedar-Rose Park
Cedar-Rose Park is a great option for toddlers to elementary aged big kids. The wide open green space is great for running around and the swing and play structures offer plenty of entertainment for a morning full of play. I also love the Westbrae Neighborhood just down the Ohlone Greenway for coffee, bagels or beer (all the necessities!). There are some of the usual city-park concerns as far as cleanliness and homelessness, but I’ve not had a problem as far as that goes and it won’t dissuade us from visiting. During this Covid-19 time, try to come at off-times (like before 10am) to avoid the possibility of crowds. And wear a mask!
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