Chochenyo Park is a new nature-based play area near Park Street in Downtown Alameda. It’s pretty small, and there aren’t any traditional play structures, but if you’re looking for a peaceful place to have an outdoor lunch with toddlers, this pleasant little park is exactly that.
Chochenyo is the language spoken by the Lisjan Ohlone people native to our part of the Bay Area. This park was renamed in 2021 with lots of community involvement.
Chochenyo Park Features
Location: 2430 Encinal Avenue, Alameda 94501
Unique Features: Nature-based play area with lots of green space, shady trees, and room to use imagination. Log garden in a 50 foot diameter circle for gathering.
Fenced in? No
Surfaces: Wood chips and logs. Grassy fields and paved walkways around play area.
Bathroom: Sadly, no.
Lunch tables & seating: Plenty of benches throughout.
Parking: Easy and free street parking around the park.
Shade: Plenty of large trees throughout provide shaded spaces, but bring hats for the sunny play area.
Pros: Calm, clean and not busy, great for fun balance and imaginative play.
Cons: Small, no formal play structures and no bathroom.
Chochenyo Park for Little Kids
I’m not going to lie, my kids (ages three through ten), were not especially impressed with Chochenyo Park at first. Without the traditional trappings of a playground, and its rather diminutive size, my kids were initially underwhelmed. But after we’d eaten some snack and started balancing on the logs (floor-is-lava style) everyone started to enjoy themselves. Another little kid at the park brought trucks and shovels and was enjoying digging in the wood chips. Word is, a local volunteer will soon carve the logs into train-like structures, so if you have a train-loving toddler, this may soon be an especially sweet little park for them.
ProTip: The nice flat paved pathway around and through the park makes this a great option for practicing scooting skills for little kiddos.
My advice is to keep this park in your back pocket for when you’re out and about in Alameda and need a place to enjoy a quiet lunch on a blanket. There are plenty of great restaurants and shops just round the corner on Park Street. We stopped in a super fun candy, soda and toy shop called Rocket Fizz after getting bagels at House of Bagels. Together with the playtime at the park, my kids had a terrific afternoon.
The Bottom Line on Chochenyo Park
I wouldn’t make Chochenyo Park a destination in and of itself. If you’re in Downtown Alameda already, running errands (or perhaps even searching for fairies) with your toddler and they need a place to wiggle around and eat a snack, Chochenyo Park is a great option. Bring along a few sand toys (woodchip toys?), snacks/lunch, maybe a scooter, and your little one will be happy as a clam. The large trees, green grass, and convenient location make Chochenyo Park a welcome addition to Alameda’s many kid-friendly attractions.