Sunday is for slow, leisurely walks through farmers markets. The Temescal Farmers Market is a fun choice for families near Rockridge. Both FROG park playgrounds (Little & Big) are within walking distance. Not only can you stock up on all the good seasonal produce for the week, but you can also catch some live music, grab a coffee, get knives sharpened (random, yet convenient!), chow down on fresh food from food stands, or snack on baked goods.
FROG Park feels like a natural extension of the farmers market. A 510 Mom says, “If you want to stroll to Frog Park, follow the creek-side path. Keep toddlers focused on finding the frog illustrations imprinted in the cement.” You have a couple options to dawdle: you can visit Little Frog Park or Frog Park (the larger playground). They are both almost equidistant from the Farmers Market.
Updated in recent years, it’s located between the Temescal and Rockridge neighborhoods in Oakland. It has a very natural and wooded vibe. The park has a lovely Redwood Grove that provides shade to the wooden play structures: one side for big kids and another for tots, complete with a sand box area. The big kid side has a wooden castle, spider web rope area, slides, stairs and tunnels. It’s definitely fun, but it’s also hard to watch multiple children on these structures because of the maze-like passageways. So bring another adult to supervise if possible. The little kid side features stairs, slides and a cute train structure.
Sadly, the park isn’t always in prime condition. Visitors may encounter instances of illegal dumping, overflowing trash cans, graffiti, yucky public bathroom, and general poor maintenance of the area and structures. It’s hit or miss, but take this into account when setting expectations. On the day we arrived in April 2023, the kids’ play area was clean but some sidewalks surrounding the park were not.
Close to the dog park, there are some new swings and a giant rope merry-go-round pyramid — which is pretty neat. My daughter very much enjoyed the tire swing.
Location: 5500 Claremont Avenue in Oakland
Unique Features: It has a number of swings, including a tire swing and seat swing. The wooden structure is charming and includes lots of stairs, bridges, and slides for kids.
Swings: A tire swing, baby bucket swings, a seat swing and big kid swings in the area closest to the fences dog park.
Fenced in? Not fully. The park boarders busy Claremont Avenue and there is a fence along this side of the park. The play structures are next to residential lots and fences are in place to keep your little ones out of a neighboring yard.
Surfaces: The swing and merry-go-round area features a cushy rubber mat surface. The play structure area has wood chips and a sand box.
Bathroom: Yes, but it’s pretty bare-bones and probably a facility that’s only used in extreme emergencies.
Lunch tables & seating: There’s limited seating and most are located near the play structures.
Parking: Free street parking along Claremont Avenue or nearby side streets in the neighborhood; parking can get busy on Sundays during Farmers’ Market hours.
Shade: There are lovely big redwoods that provide shade. An overpass also offers some shade.
Pros: Mixed-age appropriate; lots of open space near swings; accessibly via walking path.
Cons: Not always well maintained; Claremont Avenue has some unhoused people and illegal dumping; loud due to cars driving on overpass and adjacent dog park
Little Frog Park:
Is a dedicated toddler-size playground (albeit no closing fences) is located in the opposite direction from FROG Park. It features a similar wooded setting and castle-like design. There are often toys left behind that kids can play with. Here again, the condition can often be iffy due to illegal dumping or unhoused individuals setting up in the corners of the park.
Pro tips for visiting Temescal Farmers Market with kids
- There are fewer lines when the market opens around 9:30 am
- If you arrive later around 12:30 pm, while selection will be reduced, you can probably score some deals as the vendors are usually trying to offload whatever good they have left
- There are food vendors, which makes the market a great option for breakfast, lunch or brunch.
Bring: cash, grocery bags, sunscreen, water bottles, hats