We just love Hayward for families and young children and here are some of the BEST places to go. Hayward is a city of hidden treasures, culture, history, and diversity. There is something going on every day of the week. We spend most of our time on the one-way B street downtown. Whether we are laughing it up with the kids at the ice cream shop, listening to toddler story time at the Library, or walking the Farmers Market on the weekend we always having fun! Just 30 minutes from the South Bay, North Bay, or the Peninsula it is definitely a must to bring the family to explore.
Dining with the kids in Hayward
Cannery Café: Connected to the Hayward Area Historical Society, this breakfast joint is a win win for us! Grab brunch, and then walk next door to the museum where you can learn about local history and play dress up or enjoy an afternoon story time in their kids’ corner- (did I mention the museum is free of charge and they also do toddler events every month- check the calendar on their website www.haywardareahistory.org)
- Val’s Burgers: Old school burger joint with 55+ years of business. Val’s has the best burgers, fries, and milkshakes in town, yummy. We can never go there without getting the whole combo and unbuttoning the top pants button.
Pro tip: Wear leggings 😉
- Buffalo Bill’s Brewery: Another classic family-friendly restaurant we love! Sit outside and take in the views of downtown especially when the lights are lit so beautifully on the trees along B Street. Our must-haves are pizza for us and the classic grilled cheese for the kids. [More family-friendly brew pubs in the East Bay]
- Eko Coffee Bar and Teahouse: Don’t be fooled by the name, the Crepes are what you come here for! Savory or sweet they got both. Located next to the Century Movie Theatre a great way to end a fun day of hanging out or watching a movie.
Feeding your sweet tooth in Hayward
- Charlotte’s Ice Cream and Café: – Sweet tooth lover’s one stop shop. You name it they got it- ice cream, fresh fudge, pies, cakes, and a big assortment of candy, mouthwatering! Be careful going in here hungry, your eyes may prove to be bigger than your stomach.
- Yogurt Hill: 40+ yogurt combinations to choose from. Use your imagination and go wild with flavors and toppings.
- Frostie Rolls: More bold and unique flavors. Bring your kids here to widen their flavor palette! My favorite is the S’mores flavor with a toasted marshmallow and a dab of peanut butter on the side.
Where to play inside with the kids in Hayward
- Jumpity Bumpity: Indoor play center great for ages 0-12. My kids burn all their energy out here on the obstacle course and I love going down the slides with them. [More to know about Jumpity Bumpity]
- High Scores Arcade: Empty the piggy bank and bring all your spare change here. Described as an interactive arcade museum, High Scores has all the classics to relive your childhood while playing with your child: the best combination!
Parks and Playgrounds in Hayward
- Sulphur Creek: Animal education and drop-in toddler activities are programmed into this Hayward destinations year-round fun. [Love letter to Sulphur Creek]
- Garin Regional Park: We like to fish on the pond’s pier, wander into the Barn’s Visitor Center, or see what creatures we can spot on the park’s many trails. My kids love the little bridges we cross over the creeks and, for me, of course, the best part is the view of the Bay Area once we reach the top. Visit website to learn about kite-flying and the apple festival.
- Greenwood Park: Trampoline, toddler area, sand pit, rock wall, and a hill you can slide down!
Pro tip: bring cardboard it will be easier to make it down the hill. Also did I mention surrounding the park there are musical structures where you can play a quick tune with the kids!
- Kennedy Park: One of the best parks in Hayward includes carousel and train rides, petting zoo, and a jumpy house! (Currently CLOSED for renovation) The park is still open with a toddler and little kid playground as well as picnic tables for bbqs or family gatherings. We always spend a few hours here and make sure to bring comfy shoes and sunblock. [More we love about Kennedy Park]
Hayward Locals’ Secret Spot
Hayward Japanese Gardens: I love to disconnect from the world and enjoy a stroll in this beautiful, serene garden right near the busy downtown area. My toddler especially loves the koi pond at the end of the gardens filled with turtles, beautifully colored fish, and a waterfall that pulls it all together. Remember your camera for plenty of Instagram-worthy candids!
And now you know all my favorite hidden gems for families in Bay Area, Hayward, we love you. Have fun exploring, learning and making memories with your family!
Drop any of your Hayward favorites in the comments.
Coming soon for families around Hayward:
Our calendar has lots of upcoming events in the Hayward area. Here are the next few.