Summer is in Full Swing and it’s a great time to take the kids and explore all that the city has to offer. So, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite places to hang with kiddos.


1.) Oakland Museum of California 

Exploration, art, and fun. This is definitely one of the most fun places to bring the kids.


2.) Chabot Space and Science Center

Chabot Space and Science Center has great events going on all summer for kids. A great place for them to learn about space while having a lot of fun.


3.) Joaquin Miller Park

With a playground at the bottom and a waterfall and pond running down the steps, this is a great place to bring the kiddos for a picnic or just some play time.

The outdoor summer theater is a great family outing here as well!


4.) Fairyland

An Oakland family favorite, we of course had to include Fairyland. Bring the kids for a day of fairytales, fun rides, and some great puppet shows.


5.) Oakland Aviation Museum

This is a great place to bring the kids to learn about the history of flight, and flight in the bay area. Try to visit on an “open cockpit” day so they can get a glimpse of the workings of an aircraft.


6.) Kinetic Arts Center

If your kiddos want to fly high or learn to do some tricks, this is a great place to take them to play.


7.) Play Cafe

This is a great place to take your kids to play while you work. There are different play areas and they serve food and coffee drinks. There is an admission charge for the children however.


8.) Oakland Ice Center

Skating in July? Why not! You can take the kids to the rink for lessons or free skate time. And, with all that ice around you can cool off a bit from the summer “heat”.


9.) Museum of Children’s Arts

The Museum of Children’s Arts is a great place to get the kids imaginations and creativity going. They offer open studio times where you can come in with your child and create different art projects.


10.) Oakland Public Library

The library is always a great place to bring kids and share stories with them. Most of the public branches feature a story time or creative time for kids. Check your local branch for their schedule.


11.) Homeroom

A place devoted to making the best mac + cheese. Is there a better place to take kids to eat?


12.) Smitten

New to Rockridge Smitten uses science to make everyone their own special ice cream. They also do field trips for groups of 20 or less to learn about the process of making ice cream and the science behind it.


13.) Fenton’s

If you’re looking for a more traditional ice cream place to take the kids to, it of course must be Fenton’s. Whether you’re an avid Up fan, or have grown up on Fenton’s ice cream it is a great childhood memory spot for sure.


14.) It’s Your Move

A game shop where you can not only buy games but where you can take the kids (or yourself) to go play a variety of games at the shop.


15.) Oakland Zoo

The Oakland Zoo is a beautiful place for kids to see many different animals. They can take the gondola over the lions, or watch the monkeys swing.


16.) Jack London Square

There is so much happening in Jack London Square for kids this summer that it is definitely worth a trip (or two) down to the water. My personal favorite is the sing-a-long Wizard of Oz movie night.


17.) Take the Ferry To San Francisco

Make an adventure of going to the city, maybe to the Ferry Building farmer’s market? The ferry ride from Jack London takes an hour to the Ferry Building and is a beautiful way to see the bay and get the kids on a boat.


18.) Redwood Regional Park

This is a great place to take the kids hiking. It’s shady and beautiful with all the Redwood’s and the path is wide and not too difficult. There are also some great picnic areas.


19.) Explore the Lake Merritt Botanical Gardens

Open every day and with free admission, this is a great place to go when wondering around the Grand Lake area. They have gardening classes and an edible garden to teach people about growing their own food.


20.) Tour the Fortune Cookie Factory

For $1 you can go see how fortune cookies are made! And make up your own fortune. Head down to Shan Dong for lunch afterwards.

Just in case you need to venture to Berkeley these are a few great kids places to play as well:

Adventure Playground

The Little Farm


Lawrence Hall of Science

As You Wish

Written by Lesley

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