Parks in Oakland & Piedmont

Archived Responses: 

Best playgrounds in Oakland?

June 2006

I'd really love to hear recommendations for good, safe, clean playgrounds. We've pretty much exhausted the ones in our neighborhood - both public parks and schools with open yards - and would love to hear favorites of others. Thanks!
Mom of Two

Are there any hidden parks that are great for toddlers in Oakland? Kind of like Tot-land in Berkeley? We are on a mission this summer to find the perfect park. we've been to a lot already. But still haven't found the park for us. Mybe you know of a hidden neighborhood park? Not too crowded? Not to vacant. Jordaon Park of 35th avenue is no good for my girl, she doesn't like it there. I think it's too crowded for her. She's shy. We like the one off Joaquin Blvd. Too, but sometimes she doesn't get to swing. also there not much atmosphere. i.e. toys. Still looking. Thanks for your ideas.

We like: - Frog Park (off of Claremont). - ''Little'' Frog Park (also off of Claremont, ''behind'' Bananas). - Colby Park at 61st street. - Lake Merrit park (near the ''birds'' area).

Except for Colby Park, where there are communal toys, and a few sand toys at Frog park, you'd need to bring your own toys to the other parks.

We've enjoyed the new-ish park at Union Point on the Oakland Waterfront, on the way to Alameda. People leave toys a-la totland and it is a nice playground with a pirate ship, kite flying and clean restrooms and sinks; a nice pic-nic area and cool spiral walking thingy... Union Point Park. 2311 Embarcadero Oakland, CA 94606

One place that we just discovered is the Union Point Park, in Oakland. It's right by Embarcadero off of 16th street exit on 880. It's so nice! it's very new, has a HUGE lawn, picnic areas and a great play area with a nautical theme. It's by the water, so you need to watch carefully, but it's perfect for a toddler
mommy in oakland too

There's a new park in Oakland along the waterfront - Union Point Park (close to the Park Street Bridge to Alameda) 2311 Embarcadero is the address. It's got a great view of the estuary and sailboats, a nice play structure in the shape of a sailboat and some ride-on toys brought by neighbors. It does get hot there as there isn't enough shade yet except for the picnic tables adjacent to the play structure. I recommend checking it out.
fan of new park

Beautiful hiking places in and around Oakland

June 2005

Hello there. I am looking to expand my short list of great places to walk or hike especially around nature in and around Oakland. Do you have a favorite place close by that gives you the feeling that you've ''gotten away''? A place you can go to before or after working that's rejuvenating for mind and body? Please share these with me. Thank you so much. Tova

Well, these may be places on your short list already, but here's mine (btw: since I'm a dog owner, most of these are places where you can take dogs, so there would be dogs at these places, just to warn you). These are in no particular order of preference:
Redwood Regional Park
Leona Canyon
Joaquin Miller (dogs on leash only here)
Sausal Creek (but you have to know the trail to take, it's not the main one)

Person of two doggies

You probably already know about the incredible East Bay Regional Park system that goes through Oakland. But, you may not have truly explored it. There are several incredible trails that make you feel very far away indeed. I can only recommend that you explore on your own. Go down trails that are embedded in the forest or down a hill, so you're hiking underground. Some of my favorites are Big Trees, Tres Ensanadas, Sequoia Bay View, but there are many more. Many of these also have places to stop for a bite (tables and benches set among redwood groves) - very ideal. Have a great time exploring.
Hiker in Oakland

Parks in Oakland for Toddlers

May 2005

I recall hearing about a park for toddlers that was designed by the people who did Hardy Park (Frog Park) in Oakland. I think the toddler park was located off of Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. If anyone could give me any info about this park or other parks that are good for toddlers in Oakland, I'd be very appreciative. I checked the archives but couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance. Toddler mom

Toddler parks: 1. Jordan Park from MacArthur go up 35th ave Left on Jordan (it's easy to miss this side street if you've gone to the highway you've gone too far) Park on your right 2. Willard Park Make the Right where Andronicos is on Telegraph Ave Park's on your right 3. Totland Mcgee in Berkeley (sorry, i can't remember the side street) 4. Dimond Park From MacArthur take Fruitvale towards the hills Pass the Safeway and start looking for a wide, cement staircase on your left. that's the park. take the walking path past the pool for the toddler park jw

There are two excellent new parks close to where I live that are wonderful. One is a small park by the Cascade on Joaquin Miller Road. It has a play structure, cushy surfacing and right now the fireproofing goat herd is right next door munching away. Fun for a toddler to see. The other is a new structure in Robert's park on Skyline (near Chabot Space and Science Center), beside the public pool (pay parking in lot). It's the largest outdoor play structure I've seen in a city park and has a huge grassy area beside it. Have fun! JPC

Frog Park off Claremont Ave (the smaller one near the DMV an the larger one near the dog run under highway 24).

Colby Park on 61st Street a little above Telegraph Ave (a smallish park).

Willard Park (in Berkeley) behind Willard Jr High on Telegraph Ave.

Bateman Park (in Berkeley) at the corner of Colby & Prince by

Alta Bates emergency entrance (another smallish park)

Montclair Park on Moraga Ave, has a little Western Village theme.

Baby-friendly places in East Oakland

May 2005

Hi - any suggestion out there for places to take an 8 month old learning to crawl - places specifically in East Oakland (near Mills college)? She loves other kids and toys and it would be nice to know of places close by our house to take her. thanks so much

It's on the other side of 580, but we love the park on Jordan just off of 35th (left on Jordan off of 35th (coming up from McArthur). the park is about a block down. It's big with a section for little kids with a sandy area, one for bigger kids, basketball nets, grassy knoll. And, people have donated all kinds of little tykes stuff. It's quite busy whenever we're there but I our son loved it before he could walk and is now holding his own with the other kids now that he's a toddler. I will say, because there are so many kids, a baby will sometimes get knocked around, but as long as you watch your baby closely, it should be allright. anon

We hope to share with future mothers' groups our five years of experience planning fun excursions, or just good places to meet. We list a lot of fun places to go with babies and toddlers on our website, We have un-password protected those parts of the site we feel may be helpful to those outside our group. Enjoy! Carolyn

Try the park in Oakland right off 35th Ave on Jordan Rd. It is toddler friendly with an area for smaller kids and one for bigger kids, all surrounded by sand. It is 100% enclosed by gates and everyone in the community leaves older toys, plastic trucks, etc. so there is a lot to do. There are swings, slides, tunnels to crawl around. There is a big grassy area as well to picnic or let your toddler crawl around. It is one of our favorite parks. Wendy

Oakland parks where I can meet other toddler moms

June 2003

I am a stay at home Mom with a 2 year old girl whojust moved here from La Jolla and we are having a hard time connecting with other stay at home parents. In La Jolla, we met a lot of great parents in the parks and beaches around our house. We're not finding it so easy here, since it seems the parks we have been frequenting (Montclair and Piedmont) are mostly kids and nanny groups. Does anyone have any insight into the great parks that are mostly moms and kids. I love the nannys and they are always very friendly, but I feel a little on the outside. Thanks. Mona

Try the FROG parks in Temescal/Rockridge. There is a smaller park at Redondo and Clark Sts, near the intersection of Telegraph and 51st, which is specifically for kids younger than 5, and further north is Hardy Park. More information on location is here: I've found a higher ratio of parents to nannies at these parks.

Also, if you go up to Berkeley, Willard Park in Southside, San Pablo Park in So. Berkeley, and Codornices Park in No. Berkeley are all great. Robin

Try Jordan Park (real name Avenue Terrace) on Jordan Ave off of Redwood Road - take 13 to Redwood Exit - go down the hill to Jordan and take a right. Park is on the right. Or Willard Park in Berkeley - sorry don't know the street, but if you're on Telegraph, you turn right just before Andronico's market. The park is on the right just past the tennis courts. Or, may I recommend a toddler program, like Kindergym, Music Together, or Kids in Motion? Lots of Moms and Tots at these events.

Welcome to the Bay Area and good luck meeting people. If you're interested in joining a very active Mom's Group - post again and include your email address - I'll contact you then. Alison

Try the small park near Rockridge Bart. It has a nice wooden play-structures, a good sand box, and, I believe a good 'mom' ratio. I don't have the exact address, but it is right next to the dog park, under the 24 Freeway overpass, just south of Claremont Avenue. Also Tot-Land in Berkeley, on California and Virginia, is fabulous. Anna

Have you tried Frog Park in Rockridge? The larger playground is located near the intersection of Hudson and Claremont, also accessible from Miles and Hardy. It's a great park for kids, and while many nannies and kids go there, I have been among many other moms and dads - particularly on weekday afternoons (after 3) and weekends. Good luck Jennifer

I've met other toddler parents at Frog Park (Hardy and miles, near 24 over pass) and Avenue Terrace Park (Jordan St. near redwood road, just west of 13). To begin your best bet is going to be late afternoons and weekends. During the day it does tend to be a lot of nannies. Also check out mom/toddler programs. I find that on the days I am home w/ my daughter I want guaranteed socializing. I've enjoyed and signed up for kindergym (off for the summer unfortunately) kindermusik (classes start next week), and swim classes (mills pool has them through early August) and made connections that way. Good Luck! extroverted toddler mom

Dimond Park

Re: Picnic site for 1st birthday party (August 2003)
Hello -- Dimond Park is located between the Glen Park and Dimond neighborhoods of Oakland. There is a nice playground and a couple of areas with tables and benches for picnics. There are also public bathrooms, a swimming pool and a small community center. The Sausal Creek trailhead is just across the street from the park too. Happy Birthday to your son! Cindy

Montclair Park

Re: Afternoon activities for Toddler (Oct. 2002)
Hi, I understand that the Montclair Community Center has afternoon toddler classes available. I think the ''semester'' has already begun, but give them a call. I have heard that they have good programs though I don't know first hand. My 21 m.o. son and I often go to parks in the late afternoons - in Montclair, Rockridge and the Laurel District of Oakland. They are great places to meet other moms looking for things to do in the afternoons as well. Enjoy, A Toddler's Mama

Montclair park up on the Oakland Hills, Montclair area has a duck pond, two large climbing structures, and lots of grass to frolic on. Susan (Oct 2001)

Parks in Piedmont

May 1998

The tot lot on Linda Ave in Piedmont is enclosed and a lot of fun. Linda runs between Piedmont Ave and Grand Ave. the tot lot is between the elementary school and the tennis cts. the playground is NOT shaded and it can get quite hot there. Deborah