Orinda: A Single BART Stop Past Rockridge - 510 Families
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Orinda: A Single BART Stop Past Rockridge

Orinda– just one BART stop past Rockridge or a quick drive through the Caldecott Tunnel– is closer than you think. This charming city has small-town feels and two main stops: Orinda Village and Orinda Theatre Square. The village and square are on opposite sides of the freeway and are about half a mile apart.  While you could park on one side and walk to the other, we prefer to drive to avoid the walk back with kids.

What to Do with Kids in Orinda Village

Start your morning at Orinda Village– park once and get a cafe, park, library, bookstore, and even a pizza joint if you make it until lunchtime. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Play at Orinda Community Park

Big and beautiful. There are two play structures– one for older kids (ages 5-12) and one for younger kids (5 and under) — separated by a huge grassy field. Website for details >

orinda community park
The little kid play structure at Orinda Community Park | Photo: Michele Yuen

The park is mostly fenced-in and has tennis courts and a paved path perfect for scooters or bikes. Lots of trees provide good shade since it can get hot here during warmer months (consistently 10 degrees hotter than Berkeley) so best to be prepared.

orinda community park playground
The older kid play structure (ages 5-12) at Orinda Community Park | Photo: Michele Yuen

Stop for a bite at Cafe Teatro and visit the Library

If you need your coffee early, stop here first. Just a few steps from the park (and the Orinda Library), this small coffee shop has outdoor seating, cool sculptures to examine, sweet and savory bites, and most importantly, caffeine! The Orinda Library has a delightful children’s section and reading corner.  A perfect pairing.

Browse and Play at Orinda Books

This gem of a bookstore is just across the street from the park and has a great selection of children’s books. The kids’ section has tiny chairs for reading and they have children’s story time every Thursday at 3:30 pm. My daughter was delighted to pick up a few new books and also came away with a free bookmark.

orinda books
Selecting a few new books at Orinda Books | Photo: Michele Yuen

Grab a slice at Village Pizza

I can’t speak for this personally, but if your toddler is STARVING and can’t make the 2-minute car ride to the Theatre Square, then pizza is always an option. Village Pizza has been serving Orinda since 1984 and is the perfect way to satisfy a hangry kiddo.

Guide to Orinda Theatre Square with Kids

Next stop, Orinda Theatre Square– the hub of this small city offers a variety of stores restaurants, yummy treats, coffee, and entertainment.

Orinda Theatre Square | Photo: Michele Yuen

Dining: Almost every restaurant in the square has outdoor patio seating. Take your pick from Mediterranean food, burgers (plus beer and live music), Mexican food, and lots more. Our favorite pick is Kibi’s Cafe— a tasty spot for Vietnamese sandwiches and pho. Do a quick walk-through to see what suits you.

Coffee and Drinks: Need more caffeine? Stop by Peet’s or Sharetea.

Sweet Treats: We love Loard’s for ice cream. Step into the past with bright pink and white decor, old timey tables, and vintage photos. We had the entire corner booth to ourselves to enjoy our favorite scoops of ice cream (green tea for me and vanilla with rainbow sprinkles for my daughter).

Love ice cream? Check out our Favorite Ice Cream Spots for East Bay Families >

loads ice cream orinda
Indulging with ice cream at Loard’s in Orinda | Photo: Michele Yuen

Entertainment: Don’t forget the movies! It’s the square’s namesake after all. Orinda Theatre shows new movies with a nostalgic feel. Catch a kid-friendly flick during your visit.

orinda theatre
Orinda Theatre | Photo: Michele Yuen

Orinda is worth a visit for a change of scenery. It’s a charmed, low-key outing for kids to play outdoors, munch on tasty eats, and even bring back a few books for home.

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