Tucked away in the Oakland Hills sits Roberts Park. This gem of the East Bay Regional Parks District is a vast recreation area with a huge playground, a calm pool, plus hiking trails and more. If you're coming from the Berkeley area, it's about a 20-30 minute drive (depending on traffic), but it's a good one and worth it. If you're in Oakland, just head toward Chabot Space & Science Center.
The park's playground has one of the biggest and most engaging structures I've seen. Various slides, climbing structures, bridges, tunnels, holes, and poles. Throughout the structure you can find little educational stations – a map of the United States, tracing games, number and letter recognition wheels, name that vegetable – all really great opportunities to engage with your child through play. I loved it. It's also fully wheelchair accessible which is pretty neat.
There's a grassy area to sit up on a hill where you can watch your child play below, swings, boulders, clean bathrooms, and a huge grassy field to run, toss a ball, or have a picnic. And when you are done and sweaty, hop in the pool just steps away.
The Roberts Pool is open to the public mid-April through the end of September for recreational swim. The pool is heated, has a shallow end of 3 feet, and lifeguards on duty. At the time of this posting, prices are $3/adult, $2/1-15, and free for babies under one.
- Weekends and Holidays (Apr 28 – Sep 16) : 11am – 6pm
- Mon – Thur (Jun 11 – Aug 16): 11am – 4:30pm
- Fri (Jun 15 – Aug 17): 12pm – 6pm
To be certain, call first: (888) 327-2757, option 3, extension 4555.
And if that wasn't enough, there are small trails from the parking lot where you can explore the redwoods. Walk as little or as long as you want under the shaded trees. So pretty.
If your child doesn't fall asleep on the windy road home, stop in Montclair Village for lunch or a sweet treat. Park, pool, hike, food – what a day! Go.
Roberts Regional Recreational Area is located on 10570 Skyline Blvd. Plenty of parking is available, however there is a flat $5 fee – even if you are just playing at the park.
[Photo Credits: Anna Azimi]