Middle Harbor Shoreline Park
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park (MHSP) is a 38-acre shoreline park built and operated by the Port of Oakland for the community, with more than two miles of pathways encircling Middle Harbor Basin. The planning and design of this park was done with extensive community involvement, which identified key goals for the park. Primary goals included creation of a place for learning about the local history, natural environment, maritime activities and stewardship for the environment. In addition, MHSP provides unprecedented access to the shoreline, with associated views of the bay, natural habitats and maritime activity.
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is great and often underutilized. Lots of shelter, lots of sidewalks for scooters, and a lot of grass (with a lot of goose poop). Really pretty views of the city, too.
Hi - This park could either be too weird/windy or really cool, depending on your crowd, but it does have a large covered picnic area. It is Middle Harbor park in the Port of Oakland: https://www.portofoakland.com/port/seaport/middle-harbor/
The plus: great views of the water, SF, passing ships, plenty of parking, lots of room to run around, does have a bathroom
The cons: An out of the way location, doesn't allow dogs, can be windy
I'd check it out first and see if it suits... I'm not sure how much use the picnic area gets in winter.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
My wife took the boys, then age 7 and 3, for free ferry boat tour of Port of Oakland. They all loved it -- something of a mix between a pleasure cruise and a factory tour! Weekdays only, I believe, perhaps with a morning and an afternoonsailing time offered. Anyone have current info on this? Jay
I have one idea for adventurous toddlers and older kids that others may not have heard of: Port View Park at the end of 7th St. in Oakland, in the middle of the port, has a bright new fire-engine red playscape, a sandbox with built-in digging toys, terrific views of the Bay, and _tugboats_ tied up close by. There are also the giant cranes for the container ships and nearby construction vehicles, which my boy loves. There is a sandwich shop/snack bar right there, with big glass windows for the views. The park is not heavily used, so bring playmates for your kids -- and companions for yourself if the neighborhood makes you nervous. I felt safe in the park, but getting between Berkeley and the park may raise some doubts. Note that the sign on the playscape says it is designed for older kids (5-12, I think), but I thought it was OK for a toddler if a parent follows pretty close, and it is easy for a parent to do that on this structure. Also note that the Bay is right there, so keep an eye out for wandering tots. And I saw some broken glass, not in the playscape, but on the ground around the fishing pier nearby.
Getting there is a bit tricky because part of 7th St. (between Adeline and Maritime) is closed for construction (replacing the Cypress structure), so check a map to decide the best route for you: either head for the Bay Bridge, get off at the Grand Ave. exit before the toll plaza, turn right on Maritime and then right on 7th, or go down Adeline to Middle Harbor Drive and turn left once it loops back to 7th. Andrea