Memorial Park in Albany is home to so many family-friendly resources and events, that all parents in communities north of Berkeley should know about it. While parking is plentiful, the streets surrounding Memorial Park are flat and relatively quiet, so biking there is inviting.
Memorial Park toddler playground
The toddler playground is fenced in, which is a godsend for those juggling a baby and a toddler (Preschoolers tall enough to reach the handle from inside will quickly figure out how to open it). The tot playground features two baby bucket swings; sandpit; and a play structure with one curvy slide, one baby slide and climbing steps.
Memorial Park big kid play ground
An open playground for kids five and older offers big kid swings, a very tall curly slide, and plenty of equipment to climb on and swing from. The swirly slide is exciting for the kids but makes me dizzy when I go on it too many times in a row with my girls.
Albany's Memorial Park has more to love
Baseball fields serve the adjacent high school, Albany Little League, and occasionally, Bay Area Vintage Base Ball.
There is a large green grass area for kids who need to run in circles or for those savvy enough to play a game of touch football. When the park hosts its annual 4th of July festival, this area is covered with inflatables and activities for families. There is a mustache and beard contest during the event, so consider this your warning: Start your facial hair growing today.
A cement platform serves as a stage for September midweek concerts and also as a stage for my children to pretend they are putting on “shows”.
At the West end of the park is tennis courts, basketball courts, and the swimming pool complex, where classes and teams form. The pool is actually part of the Albany Unified School District, not the Parks and Rec department, so you'll find information about swim schedules and swimming lessons here, on the AUSD website.
The park's public bathrooms do not have changing tables and are minimally clean, but not unbearable.
Weekend tip: Pick up take-out food from nearby Solano Avenue and enjoy longer daylight hours with outdoor dinner at Memorial Park.
[All photos by Kat Choi, used with permission]