It’s hard to believe it with all of the rain this year, but within the past month we have had a few perfect days in which we were able to go exploring. The Berkeley Marina has some great places one can land, including Cesar Chavez Park, McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, Adventure Playground, and Shorebird Park…in addition to some delicious restaurants right on the water.
We parked near HS Lordships restaurant, and took the trail leading to the playground. Shorebird Park has a nice sized playground, with two play structures, one being better for toddlers and preschoolers. In fact, the smaller structure is made to look like a ship, which adds an element of imagination. You will also find two sets of swings: one with baby swings, and the other with standard swings. The entire playground is covered in deep sand, so be sure to bring some toys for digging. One thing to note! Since Adventure Playground is close by, we were warned that there are plenty of nails stuck in the sand. Yikes! Please have your children keep their shoes on and be on the lookout for any nails needing to be trashed. I didn’t particularly come across any, but the man who notified us was using a metal detector, and had already picked up a handful!
When open, the Shorebird Park Visitor Center is a short walk away. Although small, there are a few things the kids can look at and touch. Clean bathrooms are in the building next door.
If you visit on the weekend, or during extended summer hours, you can also have a one-of-a-kind experience at Adventure Playground. “Adventure Playground is designed for children seven years old and older, however younger children are welcome as long as they are within arms reach of a participating adult.” You can read more about it here, but do note that nails, hammers, wet paint, and a waiver are all part of the package.
After you have had your fill of playing, scooting, biking, and/or walking along the water – head over to HS Lordships or Skates on the Bay for a hearty lunch. Skates on the Bay is mainly a seafood menu, and I am told is surprisingly kid friendly. They even have a kids menu. HS Lordships is one of my favorites; spacious with amazing views of the water. They brought out a coloring sheet and crayons for the kids, and were very gracious and accommodating to two rambunctious toddlers (and their tired mamas!)
Shorebird Park, 160 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA