House Hunting With Kids? Try This No-Whine Trick To Keep Everyone Happy
Guess who’s bored?
We have kids. We get it. Spending a Sunday afternoon touring East Bay homes for sale isn’t magical fun for little ones. They get bored. They get squirrelly. And at some point, not even snack bars, juice boxes, or your iPhone will short circuit that impending meltdown.
So that’s when you promise to end a real estate day with a special brand of East Bay family fun.
As Abio Properties’ co-founder Linnette Edwards says, exploring these kid-friendly places isn’t just a bribe (yeah, we said it) so your children will let you see “just one more” Berkeley home for sale. It’s an opportunity to discover what Alameda and Contra Costa counties have for families.
So, go 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. Heck, you deserve a little fun, too!
Fuel and Treats
- Can you say deeeeep dish? Zachary’s Chicago Pizza was rated #1 on Tripadvisor, and lucky for us the pizzerias have several locations, so you can get your slice no matter where you are looking at East Bay homes for sale. 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.
- Roam Burgers in Lafayette has something for even the pickiest eaters. The menu includes beef, bison, elk, turkey, and veggie patties, and artisan toppings. Plus…organic ice cream shakes! 23 Lafayette Cir., Lafayette.
- If you are looking at Berkeley homes for sale, definitely stop by iScream, which uses seasonal organic ingredients like dairy 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.
- James & the Giant Cupcake in Oakland has traditional cupcake flavors alongside specials like the “Kurd Cobain” – lemon poppyseed, filled with lemon curd, and topped with lemon buttercream frosting. With two locations in Oakland: 6326 San Pablo Ave. and 341 17th St.
- 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.
- Berkeley’s Codornices Park features 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.
- Try to spy a gator 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.
- 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.
- Pan for real gold 49-ers style and learn about California’s history at the Oakland Museum, which hosts special family events on Sundays. 1000 Oak St., Oakland.
- 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.
- 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 Ave., Oakland.
- 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 Ave., Walnut Creek.
- 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.
- 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.
- Channel their (and your) inner artist at the Sticky Art Lab in Berkeley. Make cork Star Wars ships, toilet paper tube reindeer, pinecone owls, and more. 1682 University Ave., Berkeley.
- Adventure Playground at the Berkeley marina is a unique kind of heaven for young builders, who get the freedom to use simple tools and scraps to build whatever their hearts desire. 160 University Ave., Berkeley.
Arcades & Pinball
- Experience the evolution of pinball at Alameda’s Pacific Pinball Museum. For one admission price, play on some 90 pinball machines that span decades. The ’80s room is our favorite! 1510 Webster St. Alameda.
- 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.
- Oakland Ice Center in downtown is a locals’ secret. It has two ice rinks, snack bar, and gift shop. 519 18th St., Oakland.
Let us help you plan your day of viewing East Bay homes for sale! Contact any of our expert Abio Properties agents at 888-400-ABIO (2246) or firstname.lastname@example.org for advice about easy routes and kid-friendly stops.