A Parent's Guide to Martin Luther King Jr Way in North Berkeley - 510 Families

A Parent’s Guide to Martin Luther King Jr Way in North Berkeley

In North Berkeley, most commerce takes place on Upper Shattuck Avenue or Solano Avenue where the stores and restaurants are plentiful, but Martin Luther King Jr Way, right around Rose Street is becoming its own mecca for parents. With a handful of independent family-friendly businesses all in a row, we love this little chunk of Berkeley.

Let’s take a tour, heading North past University Ave, on Martin Luther King Jr Way.

Mr. Mopps’ Children’s Books

Located on the corner, this independent bookshop has shelves packed with children’s books, carefully curated by passionate, book-loving staffers. Because the same owners have a toy store right next door, the bookshop is truly focused on books. It’s a sweet, kid-sized shopping experience.
Website >
1401 MLK JR Way
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

Storefront of Mr Mopps Children's Books in North Berkeley
Browse new titles and classics in Mr. Mopps’ | Photo: Mr Mopps’ Children’s Books Facebook Page

Ono Bakehouse

Say “Aloha!” to island snacks and desserts from Ono Bakehouse. Touted as the East Bay’s first dedicated Hawaiian bakery, Ono Bakehouse serves up delicious butter mochi, luscious chocolate Haupia Pie, and slices of flavorful Queen Emma layer cake. Servings are a great size to share with kiddos if you’re seeking a sweet treat. Or, select one of the savory items for a snack like spam musubi. Preorder to ensure your favorites are available, and don’t forget an espresso drink for mom or dad. This bakery is quickly becoming a favorite!
Website >
1922 MLK Jr Way
Hours: Wednesday through Friday 9 am – 3 pm; Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 4 pm

Music Connects

Offering music therapy to children and families who are dealing with emotional or behavioral issues, this little space is filled with instruments, large and small. It is not a drop-in or class-based facility for the general public, but surely the clients who seek this treatment modality benefit from the location of the office.
Website >
1415 MLK Jr Way
Hours: Contact for schedule

Creations Berkeley Dance Studio

Creations Berkeley Dance Studio offers a variety of movement classes for kids 2-5 years old, and adults. Many classes are drop-in friendly and free trial classes are offered.
Website >
1640 MLK Jr Way
Hours: See website for schedules

Child in yoga pose with instructor
Creations Berkeley lets kids move through yoga, hip hop, and more. | Photo: Maureen Burke

Mr. Mopps’ Toy Shop

An independent toy store that is full of treasures, Mr. Mopps’ is where kids and parents can browse forever. Filled with toys running the spectrum from innovative to quirky to nostalgic (think rubik’s cubes and playmobil sets), Mr. Mopps’ makes buying birthday gifts a pleasure. Pro tip: When you’re in the store, look up! Some special merchandise is only featured on the very top shelves. Don’t forget to check out their bookstore located next door.
Website >
1405 MLK Jr Way
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 am – 5 pm


An old-school coffee shop, established before that term meant purveyor of Venti-sized mochas, Fatapples is known for its attached bakery and pie selection, in addition to standard American diner fare. A complete menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, means you indulge in a full meal (for take-out only in 2022), or just walk in the bakery door and walk out with a scone or chocolate chip cookie. Don’t worry, the menu is current and the veggies are fresh. The Apple Salad– starring bacon, avocado, and blue cheese– is a favorite for Whitney. Maureen always orders her birthday pie from the bakery.
Website >
1346 MLK Jr Way
Hours: Daily 8 am – 5 pm

Variety of bakery fruit pies from Fat Apples
Order whole pies or drop in for a slice at Fatapples | Photo: Fatapples Instagram page

Other kid-friendly destinations near MLK Jr Way in North Berkeley

North Branch Library

Located at the corner of MLK Jr Way and The Alameda, the North Branch Library has a wonderful kids section and hosts children’s storytime on the lawn on Wednesday mornings. The lawn is also a sweet spot to enjoy a picnic or watch cars and trucks pass bay, plus the bordering trees are ideal for climbing.

King Park Playground and Pool

Renovated in 2022, King Park is home to two playgrounds and a pool. It sits just below the hill next to King Middle School. Toddlers will love the tot lot complete with a sand area (with a water feature), a kitchen/store play space, climbing features, and swings aplenty. There are two climbing towers, lots of swings, and a traditional play structure in the big kid area. King Pool hosts lessons for tots and kids, plus family and recreation swim hours. Just make sure you buy swim passes in advance—there is not a drop-in purchase option.

King Middle School and Edible Schoolyard

We love the middle school for exploring on the weekends. The Edible Schoolyard is free, open, and home to a diversity of edible plants, pathways, and chickens! The blacktop is great for new bikers and the little park on the backside of the school has playgrounds and grass.

Related: A kid-friendly guide to Hopkins Street

Ohlone Park Playground

The park runs along a stretch of Hearst Ave with a couple of playgrounds and a dog park scattered within it. Pro tip: Parents who are new to managing an infant and a toddler at the same time will be happy to settle in at the fenced-in tot park at Bonita and Hearst. Look for parking on Bonita.


A larger fenced-in playground for the 0-5 crowd, the Virgina and McGee location is just two blocks west of MLK Jr Way. With a great playstructure, swings, and plenty of shared push-toys and ride-ons, your tot will have plenty of entertainment.

Totland Berkeley Park
Totland | Photo credit: Anna Azimi

Other nearby destinations for which we have guides just like this one:

Solano Avenue with Kids >

North Shattuck with Kids >

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