Best Places to Take Kids in Montclair Village - 510 Families

Best Places to Take Kids in Montclair Village

We appreciate Oakland Dad, Adam Miller, sharing his favorite places to shop, eat, and play today in our Parent’s Guide to Montclair Village. 

Montclair Village Mural
Montclair Village mural by Oakland artist Michael Wertz painted by the Skyline High Art Club | Photo: Adam Miller

Tucked up in the Oakland Hills, above Highway 13, is the Oakland neighborhood of Montclair, or as the locals call it, “Montclair Village”. Its central business district is just a few blocks long but is packed with family-friendly restaurants, activities, and shopping. Plus, there is ample street parking and even a garage, so you won’t have to drive around with impatient kids asking how much longer until they can get out of the car.

What to Do with Kids in Montclair?

All aboard! Next stop playtime in the Montclair Park Wagon | Photo: Anna Azimi

Where to Play in Montclair Village

Montclair Park @ 6226 Moraga Ave.

Adjacent to the shopping area, sits the aptly, if not creatively, named Montclair Park. The park features slides, climbing structures, and swings for both the little and slightly bigger ones. There are two separate play areas, geared to different age groups, so that your 18-month-old won’t get run over by an excited pack of 5-year-olds. For older kids, there are tennis courts, a skating half-pipe, and a large grass field. The field is home to many softball, baseball, and soccer team practices throughout the year.

A small artificial lake lies in the middle, with geese and even a whole bale of turtles, likely descended from a pair of abandoned family pets long ago. Across from the lake, is a wonderful area with picnic tables and barbeque grills. It makes a great place for a birthday party for any age. Note though that reservations through Oakland Parks & Recreation for the tables and grills are required. [Read a lot more about Montclair Park]

Montclair Sports @ 1970 Mountain Blvd.

No matter what sport your kid is playing, you can find the proper shoes and equipment at Montclair Sports. This local institution is open seven days a week and provides knowledgeable customer service. Recently, they helped me pick out my daughter’s first tennis racket.
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Sponsor

Han Martial Arts @ 2220 Mountain Blvd.

If your child is looking to use bare hands rather than a racket, Han Martial Arts, located just outside of the central Village, provides classes for kids as young as four.
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CRUfit @ 6125 Medau Place

Does your kid get a kick out of cardio rather than umm kicking? CRUfit offers a cross training program, including rowing, cycling, and agility drills, for children age 10 to 14.
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Montclair-Cru-Fit
At Montclair’s CRUfit Gym, the family that cross-trains together, stays . . . in really good shape | Photo: Adam Miller

Tutu School @ 6206 La Salle Ave.

One block over from CRUfit, you’ll often see a parade of little ones in cute leotards making their way up the hill to Tutu School, which offers beginning ballet instruction to kids from 18-months to 8-years-old. Tutu School also offers camps and hosts birthday parties.
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Tutu School Princess Party
Oh, the cute! Tutu School Princess Party | Photo: Jodi Foucher for Tutu School

Montclair Golf Course @ 2477 Monterey Blvd.

Down the hill, on the other side of Highway 13 from the Village, is the Montclair Golf Course. It is a bare bones public course, which makes it the perfect place to learn for the aspiring junior Michelle Wie. We like to go to the driving range. There’s also a par 3 course, club rentals, plenty of parking, and even a pretty decent restaurant.
Phone: (510) 482-0422

Montclair Branch Library @ 1687 Mountain Blvd.

When we want some quiet time, we head over to the quaint building that looks like it leapt from the pages of a fairy tale to visit the Montclair Branch of the Oakland Public Library. There are extensive child, tween, and teen book collections amid the kid-sized furniture. Be on the lookout for special events, like Toddler Storytime and Baby Bounce. Note that it is closed on Sundays.
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Sponsor

Montclair Branch of the Oakland Public Library
Montclair Branch of the Oakland Public Library | Photo: Erich V via Yelp

Mountain Yoga @ 6116 La Salle Ave., 2nd floor

Kids aren’t the only one who need to attend to their physical needs. Carrying and running after kids can put a lot of strain on your body. Mountain Yoga provides a welcoming environment for people at all levels. It was a fantastic place for a 90-minute break for some rest and recovery after my little one was born. There is a weekly family yoga class as well.
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Let’s Eat Out with Kids in Montclair

Las Comadres Taqueria @2081  Mountain Blvd.

My daughter’s number one go to, not just in Montclair, but in all of Oakland is Las Comadres Taqueria. This taqueria is the closest you can get to a Mission-style burrito in our area and features a child-size burrito. For a special treat, order an horchata.
Pro tips: Don’t be afraid of the long line, it moves quickly! Las Comadres is closed on Sundays.
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Las Comadres Taqueria in Montclair
Kid’s version of the chef’s table at Las Comadres Taqueria | Photo: Adam Miller

El Aguavero @ 2071 Mountain Blvd.

If you’re looking for a sit-down Mexican restaurant (and perhaps a margarita after a long day), just a few doors down from Las Comadres is El Aguavero. There is a kids’ menu for those 6 and under, which even features some non-Mexican food items like burgers and chicken tenders, in case your little one isn’t craving a quesadilla.
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Mountain Mike’s Pizza @ 2042 Mountain Blvd.

Speaking of melted cheese, pizza abounds throughout the Village. Cybelle’s and Pizza Rustica have served Montclair well for years, primarily through pick-up and delivery. Montclair’s newest purveyor of pizza pie, Mountain Mike’s, offers a great dine-in option with a nice assortment of craft beers on tap.
Pro tip: Numerous big screen TVs have sports (and cartoons) on, and they are very good about requests to change the channel to your favorite team.
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Kotobuki @ 6111 Le Salle Ave.

Apparently three is a magic number in the Village as, like with pizza, there are three good sushi restaurants within a block of each other. Our family favorite is Kotobuki.
Pro tip: Ask for chopstick holders for kids.

Daughter Thai @ 6118 Medau Place

A somewhat recent and extremely popular addition to Montclair is Daughter Thai, which has sister restaurants in San Francisco and Jack London Square. Their take on Thai street food is mouth-watering and sometimes eye-watering. If they tell you something is spicy, believe them. There is a small kids’ menu.
Pro tip: Avoid Friday and Saturday night for a family dinner as there will be a wait.
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Pagarung Thai @ 6200 Antioch Street

My daughter’s Thai food allegiance lies at the other end of the Village however, at newly reopened Pagarung Thai. She did a little dance when she found out that she could start heaping peanut sauce on her chicken satay there once more.
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Pagarung Thai satay
My kid finds the peanut sauce at Pagarung Thai very satay-isfying! | Photo & pun: Adam Miller

Montclair Egg Shop @ 6126 Medau Place

Weekend brunch in Montclair means only one thing, and that is the Montclair Egg Shop. Since 1974, the Egg Shop has been serving everything from Corn Beef Hash to Challah French Toast to eager customers. Expect a wait if you show up during prime brunch hours.
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Drinks and Treats for Kids in Montclair

Colonial Donuts @ 6126 La Salle Ave.

For my daughter, the geographic and spiritual center of the Village is Colonial Donuts. Come by on a Friday morning and you’ll see me, along with dozens of parents, paying off their end of the week bribes to their children in the form of fried dough to get them out of bed and to school on time.

Montclair Village Oakland Colonial Donuts
Decision time at Colonial Donuts – the good news is there are no wrong choices! | Photo: Adam Miller

O Smoothie @ 2075 Mountain Blvd.

When we feel like a healthier snack, we head over to O Smoothie. This isn’t just a dessert dressed up as a nutritious smoothie; their drinks include vegetables like beets, broccoli, and avocados. They also have numerous dairy alternatives. I recommend the “B4” and my daughter loves the “Berry Happy!”. Don’t forget to get your frequent sipper card punched.

Sophie’s Cuppa Tea @ 2078 Antioch Ct.

Sometimes though, a smoothie energy boost isn’t quite enough, right, parents? If you need caffeine, Montclair has a Peet’s and a new, large Starbucks. My favorite place for a caffeine fix, however, is Sophie’s Cuppa Tea. Chalkboards throughout the tea shop display the names of their over 100 teas, sourced directly from China. For curious kids, the staff can suggest teas with low caffeine levels. Note that it is closed for a couple months each spring as the owners lead tea trips to China.
Pro tip: On weekends there is live music, and during the week, it is a lovely quiet place to try a new tea while a baby sleeps in a nearby stroller.
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Yogofina @ 6140 Medau Pl

Montclair is divided into two frozen yogurt factions. There are Tutti Frutti fans and there are Yogofina fans, but rare is the Montclarian who will claim allegiance to both. Our family is a punch card carrying member of Yogofina, which, like Tutti Frutti, is a self-serve model in which you pay by the ounce.
Pro tip: the cups are large, so watch your child before you end up paying $7 for a frozen yogurt topped with a dozen sour gummi worms.
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Le Bonbon Chocolates & Candies @ 2050 Mountain Blvd.

If your family needs a variety of treats: a truffle for you, gelato for your teen, and jelly beans for your youngest, pop into this sweet shop. You’ll know it by the huge “Godiva Chocolates” sign, beckoning you up the hill.
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Where to Shop for Kids in Montclair

Montclair Toyhouse @ 6115 La Salle Ave.

Go to any birthday party in the neighborhood and presents wrapped in Montclair Toyhouse paper are ubiquitous. Recently celebrating 50 years of operating in the Village, the Montclair Toyhouse has a good selection of LEGO, Squishees, slime, and more.
Pro tip: Best of all for the busy parent, gift wrapping is free!
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A Great Good Place for Books @ 6120 La Salle Ave.

Across the street from the Toyhouse is A Great Good Place for Books. There are numerous children and young adult books on the shelves in the back. The knowledgeable staff is also happy to suggest new titles to young readers or to order a book for you.
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Annie’s Hallmark Shop @ 1976 Mountain Blvd.

An underrated spot for children’s gifts is Annie’s Hallmark Shop. There is usually a good assortment of stuffed animals, but where the store really sets itself apart is with a wide variety of stickers that kids love. Also, if you need helium balloons to lift up your party, this is the place.
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McCaulou’s @ 2020 Mountain Blvd.

Just a block down from Annie’s Hallmark is the (now smaller) McCaulou’s. Want to give a gift of Oakland? McCaulou’s often has a variety of Oaklandish apparel in stock.
Pro tip: I always keep my eyes open for their big 2 for 1 clearance sales on children’s shoes to keep pace with my daughter who seems to be outgrowing a pair every few months!
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Pelago @ 6134 Medau Pl.

Lastly, if you’re on the hunt for a special gift for a mom-to-be, stop into Pelago. Pelago has an extremely well-curated selection of gifts to help you find that something special for someone special.

Montclair Farmers Market
Don’t miss the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Montclair | Photo: Adam Miller

That’s just a taste of all that small, but mighty, Montclair Village has to offer. We love living here.

A great time for your first visit is a Sunday morning for the Farmers Market, where you can enjoy free parking in the garage and pick up some fresh fruit as you explore the Village streets.
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Upcoming Events in Montclair for families

No Events

[Photos by Adam Miller and others as noted]

Thank you so much to Adam and his family for sharing their favorite spots with {510} Families today.

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1 thought on “Best Places to Take Kids in Montclair Village”

  1. Don’t forget our wonderful indie bookstore, Great Good Place for Books! Kathleen and her staff have one of the most vibrant retail sites in the village and there’s even a cozy little reading area in back for kids…complete with cookies. Get to know them, let them get to know your kid’s reading preferences, and they will have book recommendations for you for years to come. They run a great summer reading program too…

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