Exploring Oakland's Jack London Square with Kids - 510 Families

Exploring Oakland’s Jack London Square with Kids

Oakland’s Warehouse District is a beautiful sophisticated bustling waterfront with restaurants, shops and coffee roasters. Jack London Square has become a great place to bring the kids any day of the week for food, fun, play, and sight-seeing.

Scooting down the main strip of Jack London Square – filled with restaurants with harbor views. | PC: Anna Azimi

One of the things we like about Jack London Square is its open space to scoot or stroll around. We always bring scooters to get from our car, to a restaurant, or through the Farmers Market. There's no cars, so we only need to watch out for fellow pedestrians, which on weekends can sometimes get tricky with speedy kids. Look out!

Here's a list of the top kid-friendly outings at Jack London Square:

Things to do with kids at Jack London Square

  • Watch a Movie – See the latest films at Regal Cinemas. Stop for ice cream or coffee after to make the most of it.
  • Bowl at Plank – An adult arcade with a hipster vibe that your kids will love as much as you. Bowling, bocce ball courts, outdoor seating with beer and plenty of kid-friendly finger foods. Read our full review of Plank with kids >
  • Play on the Play Structure – Find the small, hidden climbing apparatus just outside of Plank. There's a grassy area just in front of it, if you want to bring a blanket to chill out.
  • Stroll the Sunday Farmers Market – Every Sunday visit the market for local food and finds. Visit the Kids' Corner for crafts and fun for the whole family.
  • Watch for Trains – My boys still get a kick out of waving to the trains as they roll by. Get up close and personal as the train gates go up and down, but be prepared, you're so close, it can get really loud.
Waving to the many trains that pass through Jack London Square hourly. | PC: Anna Azimi

Places for families to eat at Jack London Square

  • Belcampo Restaurant & Butcher Shop – Loved by meat-eaters for their quality meat selection and tasty sides. Dine in, or take fresh meat home to grill up. If your kid is into steak, there's a 5oz on the kids' menu calling their name.
  • Forge Pizza – Wood fired pizza with a great people watching view. Outdoor seating makes it a great place to bring busy toddlers.
  • Lungomare – A sit down restaurant that's good for lunch, but we typically stop at the cafe around the corner for baked goods and a quick cup of coffee.
Looking for boats, ferries, and birds at Jack London Square | PC: Anna Azimi

Sips and sweet treats at Oakland's waterfront

  • Ben & Jerry's – Funky ice cream flavors with catchy names. Chunky Monkey is always a crowd favorite.
  • Bicycle Coffee – Grab a cup just a few blocks off of Jack London Square. There's a cute kids' table with a few building toys to keep busy.
  • Blue Bottle – Get your coffee to go before you stroll. Kids can enjoy a fancy hot chocolate if they must.
  • Miette – Cutest bakery serving up almost too pretty to eat cupcakes, cakes, and macarons. Plus beautifully wrapped candies for an extra special treat.
Small play structure outside of Plank. | PC: Anna Azimi

Special Events at JLS

  • Eat Real Festival – Three days of food in all forms. Come hungry because you'll want to try one of everything.
  • Pedalfest – A yearly summer celebration for all things bike that's not to be missed – food, crafts, dare-devil stunts and a bike parade welcome to all.
  • Waterfront Flicks – Enjoy a weekly free film on the Jack London Square Ferry Lawn. Summer from June to September, starting at sundown. [Find all the outdoor summer movies]

Have you been to Jack London Square? What's your favorite thing to see or do? Let us know so we can add it to our list.

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