We are pleased to publish this amazing list of things to do with kids in Oakland, specifically Rockridge, in collaboration with Emily Goldenberg who owns GoldenBug Shoes on 5520 College Avenue. Emily’s tour offers enough activities to fill multiple days, with meals, shopping, and side trips. Thanks for joining us on a few days of fun in Rockridge!
The first stop on my tour of kid-friendly Rockridge is Market Hall. The bakery has amazing chocolate chip cookies for a little pick-me-up, or pizza by the slice makes a great lunch for kids and adults alike. Don’t forget to order an espresso drink at Highwire Coffee, which sits next to the bakery. Next, check out the live crabs and lobsters in the tank during crab season at Hapuku Fish Shop inside the hall.
Stop by the floral department at Safeway and pick up a balloon to tie around your little one’s wrist. ($1.49!) Then head down to the Rockridge Branch Library and borrow a copy of Emily’s Balloon by Komako Sakai. Take a moment to remember the pure joy of balloons through the eyes of children.
Pop into Bella Vita for a look at a great selection of adorable children’s clothes, toys, and accessories. (And great women’s clothes too!)
Spend a few hours at the FROG park with a picnic lunch. In the hottest weather, the shallow stream will be “swimming” with bare-footed kids, cooling off under the shade of the trees. I recommend wearing a pair of water shoes or flip-flops in the stream to protect sensitive feet from the rocks at the bottom. Stash an extra towel in the car in case you get wetter than expected! (P.S. GoldenBug carries all kinds of water shoes, naturally)
Pay a visit to Pegasus Books and pick up a copy of Cars and Trucks and Things that Go by Richard Scarry. Read it on a BART ride from the Rockridge station to SF’s Powell Street Station. Then jump on a cable car! (PRO TIP: do this on a weekday to avoid the crowds on the cable cars)
One of my all-time favorite farmer’s markets is in the DMV parking lot on Sundays. Be sure to visit Tomatero Farm for amazing deals on organic bunched greens in the cooler weather and her fantastic strawberries in the summer. There is almost always live music as well. Sit down with the kids to enjoy it while you munch on your fresh goodies.
Dinner at the Ramen Shop (5812 College Ave.) is a favorite for us. PRO TIP: We get there when they open at 5 pm to be seated quickly. We love their kids’ ramen bowls and also their fried rice and rice bowls. The food always comes out quickly which is perfect for our “window of patience” when dining with the kiddos. A new parklet offers outside seating, too.
Thanks for the tour, Emily! This sounds like the best day ever!
Other (510) Families Faves in Rockridge
- Cole Hardware is fun to browse and hosts kids’ activities, seasonally (currently on hold)
- Bird and Bean sells adorable apparel and gifts
- Golden Squirrel is family-friendly for a beer and burger
- Oori Rice Triangles make for a portable, kid-friendly snack
- Kumon offers afterschool reading and math programs
- Smitten Ice Cream serves up sweet treats with a side of wow
- East Bay Booksellers has a delightful collection of books for kids and teens
- Boba Guys milk teas are fun for older kids and teens
- Rockridge Cafe is a classic diner for families
[All photos by Whitney Moss unless otherwise mentioned; all rights reserved]