25 Things to Do With Kids in Alameda - 510 Families

25 Things to Do With Kids in Alameda

Thanks to the folks at the Downtown Alameda Business Association for helping us put together this super fun list of things to do with kids in Alameda. Here are 25 terrific things to do with kids in Alameda

Alameda Theatre at dusk by Maurice Ramirez
Alameda Theatre at dusk | Photo: Maurice Ramirez

Where to Play with Kids in Downtown Alameda

Downtown Alameda is centrally located in the Bay Area and a great hangout spot for families. From restaurants and ice cream spots to gift stores and family entertainment centers, there’s something for everyone in Downtown Alameda’s Historic Park Street District.

  1. The historic Alameda Theatre hosts first-run films, kids’ deals, and special events. Tuesday is discount day. 2317 Central Avenue at Park Street Website >
  2. Swings and Wings sensory-based playspace has equipment and toys curated to encourage skill development through play. 2307 Blanding Avenue Suite E
  3. Find new treasures at Toy Safari (the Island’s best toy store with new and used!) or Mommy’s Trading Post (our favorite resale shop). Toy Safari: 1410 Park Street | Mommy’s Trading Post: 1428 Park Street
  4. Tiptoe into Tutu School, a boutique-style ballet school for young dancers with classes, camps, and birthday parties available beginning at 18 months. They believe twirling should be a fundamental to childhood. 1419 Park Street Suite F
  5. SubPar Miniature GolfThis custom-built mini golf arena is a love letter to Alameda with 19 landmark such as Park Street Bridge, U.S.S. Hornet, and Lake Merritt. Reservations are strongly suggested. 1600 Park Street
subpar indoor mini golf hole 15 of port of oakland with cool containers and dock loaders
Colorful Hole 15 at Subpar is a tiny Port of Oakland with cool containers and dock loaders | Photo: Subpar Miniature Golf
  1. High Scores Arcade is an interactive museum of fully playable classic games. 1414 Park Street
  2. Twirl hosts makery sessions and playtime during weekend hours, camp, parties, and Parents Night Out childcare. 1424 Park Street
  3. Books, Inc. has an extensive children’s section with frequent author presentations and events. 1344 Park Street
  4. Rocket Reuse has an amazing and ever-changing collection of used kids’ books including a FREE basket. 1355 Park Street
Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda
Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda | Photo: Heather Flett

Tasty Places to Eat with Kids in Downtown Alameda

  • Tucker’s Ice Cream – Eat dessert first! An island favorite with classic flavors as well as rotating seasonal ones. They offer baby scoops for the youngest eaters. 1349 Park Street
  • Spinning Bones – Offers a kids’ bento box, tasty desserts, and a cart filled with books and coloring sheets. Look for Star Wars graphics on the wallpaper. 1205 Park Street
  • Tomatina – Beloved casual, fresh pizza and pastas. Kids eat FREE on Thursdays after 4 pm.1338 Park Street
  • Spiesekammer – Head here for German fare in an outdoor biergarten. Children like the kids’ spätzle (similar to mac & cheese) and wienerschnitzel strips. 2424 Lincoln Avenue
  • Pampered Pup – Recently made the SF Chronicle’s Best Bay Area Hot Dogs! Classic options for the kids plus really creative combos for adventurous eaters. 1401 Park Street
  • Project Burger – Next door to the movie theater, the perfect spot to grab a burger and fries before or after the show. 2319 Central Avenue
  • The Hobnob – Neighborhood restaurant and bar with board games. Kids’ menu includes the usual favorites (chicken tenders, pasta, cheeseburgers). 1313 Park Street
  • Dragon Rouge Bistro – Indoor and outdoor Vietnamese with child-pleasing options like pho and garlic noodles. Watch the Park Street Bridge go up. 2337 Blanding Avenue
  • Breakfast for dinner. Island Dad, Chris Kiuchi, loves Jim’s Coffee Shop for “huge portions and lots of booths, plus it opens at 5:30 – what’s not to love? Ole’s Waffle Shop is great too but the breakfast lines are long. Save Ole’s for a special meal.” Jim’s: 2333 Lincoln Ave, Alameda | Ole’s: 1507 Park Street, Alameda 
  • So many boba shops!
kids embrace bubbles and a clown
Kid Zone at Alameda’s Art & Wine Faire | Photo: Maurice Ramirez

Where to Play & Explore with Kids Beyond Downtown Alameda

  1. The Farmers’ Market on Tuesday and Saturday on Webster & Haight [Schedule] is a great one. Grab a Donut Petit treat afterward.
  2. Pacific Pinball Museum invites you to try your hand at 100 playable pinball machines with one low admission. 1510 Webster Street
  3. Crab Cove Visitor Center. Check out the Bay creatures in the 800-­gallon aquarium system and play at the spacious playground of Washington Park before or after.
  4. Cool classes. The City of Alameda offers many classes & camps through the Recreation and Park Department including free tot classes called Wee Play.
  5. More cool classes. Find enrichment classes at Village Kids’ Club, swim lessons at Aquatech, music lessons at Ozzy’s Music Academy, and crafting sessions at Michaels.
  6. South Shore Center has a colorful play structure, a Color Me Mine pottery painting studio, and active toddler classes at The Busy Bee Activity Center. Nearby is the modern bowling alley, Bowlero Alameda.
  7. Corica Park is a 3 par 9-hole course & driving range. For kids enrolled in Youth on Course, games are only $1 or free. One Clubhouse Memorial Road, Alameda
  8. Grab a racket. Public tennis courts can be found at three Alameda parks and pickleball is popular at Lincoln Park.
children reading on the floor of a bookstore
Children reading from the massive kids’ selection of books in Rocket Reuse | Photo provided by Downtown Alameda

[Look for kid-friendly brewery & brew pub experiences in Alameda]

  1. Test drive your newest trike or bike on the many walking paths along the bay or lagoons on Bay Farm Island. Bike your way along the path on Shore Line Drive. Find kid-friendly cycling routes here >
  2. Look for little fairy doors. There are doors and tiny villages hidden in plain sight for children to seek.
  3. Crown Beach offers a massive expanse of shallow water and great views. Older kids might try stand-up paddle boarding (SUP!). Robert Crown Memorial State Beach, Otis and Westline Drives, Alameda
  4. Malaya Tea Room is a lush garden oasis in a small storefront. They serve up Malaysian and English high tea that can be scaled down easily for small appetites. 920 Central Ave, Alameda
  5. Sweeney Open Space is a wide open play area with paths and room to run or scooter. 1925 Sherman Street, Alameda
  6. Littlejohn Park is a smaller playground with inclusive play features 1401 Pacific Avenue, Alameda
  7. The USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier that served in World War II and Apollo recovery is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, with special overnight adventures available.
  8. The Antiques Faire/Flea Market at Alameda Point on the first Sunday of each month is gigantic! Collectibles are 20+ years old, including furniture, clothes, sporting equipment, Matchbox cars, apparel, dolls, and vintage toys. (This is more fun as a baby-wearing outing and less fun as a bored-5-year-old-pulling-your-arm outing.) 3900 Main Street, Alameda
Crown Beach Alameda
Crown Beach in Alameda | Photo: Whitney Moss

Annual Events Kids Love in Alameda

  • Sandcastles. Early June boasts the Sand Castle & Sculpture Contest at Crown Beach.
  • The Fourth of July Parade in Alameda is the longest in the nation with 140+ entries of horses, musicians, and decorative floats. Kicks of 7/4 at 10 am from Park Street & Lincoln Avenue.
  • Downtown Alameda Art & Wine Faire includes a kid zone, continuous music, puppet shows, and bungee jumping along with the art and wine. 7/27-28 from 10 am to 6 pm.
  • Downtown Winter Market & Hot Cocoa Stroll. After holiday shopping from local shops and artisans, Santa leads a stroll to sweet locations throughout the downtown and businesses provide a warm welcome and treats on 12/7.
  • Christmas Decorations to delight. Save one December night to stroll down Alameda’s legendary Christmas Tree Lane and enjoy the community vibe.
    Lincoln Park Alameda monkey bars | Photo: Megan Small

    7 Upcoming Events for Alameda Kids

    Wednesday, May 29, 2024

    3:00 PM: Fish Feeding Viewing @ Crab Cove Visitor Center

    Thursday, May 30, 2024

    10:30 AM: Preschool Storytime @ Bay Farm Branch | Alameda Free Library

    Friday, May 31, 2024

    10:30 AM: Story Time @ Crab Cove @ Crab Cove Visitor Center

    Saturday, June 1, 2024

    9:00 AM: Annual Sand Castle & Sculpture Contest @ Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach
    11:00 AM: Summer Reading Kickoff Party @ Main | Alameda Free Library
    1:30 PM: Family Nature Fun Hour @ Crab Cove Visitor Center
    3:00 PM: Fish Feeding Viewing @ Crab Cove Visitor Center

    Thanks again for all these great ideas for things to do with kids in Downtown Alameda, and beyond! See you around the island.

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    1 thought on “25 Things to Do With Kids in Alameda”

    1. The Busy Bee Activity Center in South Shore has a wide range of activities for kids ages 0-12 yrs old including Zumbini Music & Movement (adult & me) class for little ones ages 0-5yrs old, Zumba Kids (ages 6-12 yrs old) and Zumba Kids Jr (ages 4-6 yrs old), tumbling & rec. gym classes (ages 2-6 yrs old), Drop-In Play, Day Camps, and Drop-Off Movie Nights. You’re sure to find something you love for your little busy bees at The Busy Bee Activity Center in Alameda’s South Shore. Visit TheBusyBee.net to enroll! Sibling discounts are available.

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