House Hunting With Kids? 14 Ways To Cap The Day With East Bay Family Fun
We have kids. We get it. Touring open houses isn’t magical fun for little ones. They get bored. They get squirrelly. And at some point, not even Cheerios, juice boxes or your iPhone will short circuit that impending meltdown.
So that’s when you promise to end a real estate day with East Bay family fun!
Get spacey at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Scream for iScream in Berkeley. Stretch fidgety legs at Codornices Park. Blow them away with a warehouse filled with pinball machines at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach. Fuel up with a slice of Zachary’s deep dish.
As Abio Properties’ Principal Agent and East Bay native Linnette Edwards reminds us, exploring these kid-friendly places isn’t just a bribe (yeah, we said it) so your children will let you see “just one more house.” It’s an opportunity to discover what our beloved East Bay offers for families.
Abio’s Picks for East Bay Family Fun
- iScream in Berkeley uses seasonal organic ingredients, including dairy products from Marin County’s Straus Creamery. Their popular small-batch ice creams are made daily. Our fav flavors? Salted Caramel, Mexican Chocolate and Creme Brulee. 1819 Solano Ave, Berkeley. Open Sun.-Thurs. 12–9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 12-10 p.m.
- Play and explore at northeast Berkeley’s Codornices Park, featuring a baseball field, basketball court, tot play area, swings and 40-foot hill slide (bet you can’t resist sliding down this concrete slope on a sheet of cardboard). The hiking trails lead you through sunny glades and groves of oaks, bay trees, and redwoods, along Codornices Creek, and through a tunnel beneath Euclid Avenue to a rose garden across the street. 1201 Euclid Ave. between Eunice St. and Bayview Place.
- Children’s Fairyland on the shores of Lake Merritt was designed for children under 8, but people any age will be charmed by the storybook sets, whimsical gardens, rides, domestic animals, puppet shows and 60-year history. (It was an early inspiration for Disneyland.) 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland. Open Fri.–Sun. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. weather permitting. Cost: $10. Children under 12 months free.
- Studio Grow in Berkeley and Danville was named Best Indoor Play Space for the under 6 set by Bay Area Parent magazine for its art, music, tumbling, dress up corner, Legos, trains, blocks and balls. 1235 Tenth St., Berkeley and 3612 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. & Sun. 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost: $10 before 1 p.m.; $7 after 1 p.m. Children under 1 free.
- Habitot in Berkeley is another favorite for young children because of its themed areas like Waterworks, Medical Center, Infant Toddler Garden, Wiggle Wall, Little Town Grocery and Café, Wind Tunnel, Train Table, Art Studio and DIY face painting. 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley. Fall/Winter Hours: Oct. 1-March 31, Mon.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Fri.- Sun. 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Spring/Summer Hours: April 1–Sept. 30, Mon.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
- Channel their (and your) inner artist at the Sticky Art Lab in Berkeley and experiment with arts and scraps. Make cork Star Wars ships, toilet paper tube reindeer, pinecone owls and more. 1682 University Ave., Berkeley. See their website for schedule and cost.
- Can you say deeeeep dish? Zachary’s Chicago Pizza was rated #1 on Tripadvisor, and lucky for us the pizzerias are sprinkled throughout the East Bay. Popular pies include the spinach-mushroom-olive and the carne special. Deep dish takes about 30 minutes, so don’t arrive starving. 5801 College Ave., Oakland; 1853 Solano Ave., Berkeley; 3110 Crow Canyon Place, San Ramon; 140 Crescent Dr., Pleasant Hill.
- Lawrence Hall of Science is located above UC Berkeley with a spectacular 180-degree view of the San Francisco Bay. It has all ages, hand-on science and engineering exhibits, a Planetarium, a stop motion animation studio, 3-D nature films and special events. One Centennial Dr., Berkeley. Hours: Wed.–Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: Adults $12, Kids and Seniors $10.
- Playland-Not-At-The-Beach in El Cerrito is a 9,000- square-foot building filled with pinball machines, video games, antique penny arcades, live magic shows, a hand-carved miniature circus, Santa’s Village and more. Note that some exhibits might be too intense for kids under 3. (“Laughing Sal” can be either hilarious or maniacal, right?) 10979 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. Hours: Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: General $15, Youths up to 14 years $10; Seniors $10.
- Did you know Oakland has an ice rink?! Oakland Ice Center in downtown is a locals’ secret. It has two ice rinks, snack bar and gift shop. 519 18th Street. General Admission: Ages 13 & over $10; Ages 12 & under $8.50; Seniors $8. Skate Rental: $4.50.
- At Frog Park in Rockridge you might not catch an amphibian, but will discover a sweet play structure with winding stairs, hidden animal carvings, a drawbridge and a giant turtle sculpture. At Hudson St. & Claremont St., Oakland.
- Ride the Redwood Valley Railway in Tilden Park. This miniature steam train takes you on a 12-minute ride through the beautiful wooded park. Just $3 per ride. 2501 Grizzly Peak Blvd., Orinda. Hours: Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-dusk. Also open on special weekdays, including spring and summer breaks.
- Go gator watching at the Lafayette Reservoir. Rent pedal boats at the visitors center and chug along while watching for jumping fish, turtles and the legendary (imaginary?) Lafayette alligator rumored to skulk in the lake. Or go for an easy hike and then romp on the big play structure. 3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette.
- Connect with the East Bay’s wild side at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek. The interactive exhibit hall includes ravens, hawks, owls, lizards, turtles and, if you’re lucky, a Madagascar hissing cockroach. The campus also includes one of the nation’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation hospitals. 1931 First Avenue Walnut Creek. Hours: Wed.-Fri.: 12-5 p.m., Sat. & Sun.: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: Ages 2-17 $6.50, Adults $8.50.
For more tips on inclusive and fun house hunting with kids, contact our agents at Abio Properties. Call or email us at 888.400.ABIO or hello@localhost