This pretty Peninsula town enjoys mild weather, proximity to the waterfront and an attractive, trendy downtown. Most visitors gravitate to its vibrant main street, Burlingame Avenue, which is conveniently located right off the Burlingame Caltrain station. However, if you venture a bit beyond the downtown area you’ll also find some other attractions that would make for a great weekend of exploration.
photo: Joan T via Yelp
Even if you’re not checking out any books, the Burlingame library is worth a visit for a its beautiful Spanish-influenced architecture and interiors that will have you wandering every floor and checking out every corner. Visit the online calendar for children’s story time hours and other events. There’s also a café downstairs.
480 Primrose Rd.
photo: Manda B via Yelp
This park at the border between Millbrae and Burlingame is part of Bay Trail, a walking and hiking trail running through the Bay Area. The biggest draw of the park is the direct view of SFO: kids will love watching the planes take off and land. You can continue walking along the Bay Trail and enjoy more views of the serene shoreline.
Millbrae Ave and Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia
Don’t be fooled by the small size of this place: owner and curator Gary packs an enormous collection of Pez dispensers and classic toys into the space, and he has an extensive knowledge of the history of Pez dispensers and all the other memorabilia he owns. Conveniently located near the Caltrain station and downtown Burlingame, this is a great stop after an afternoon of shopping or playing.
214 California Dr.
Peninsula Museum of Art
This small but modern museum is a little tricky to find, but it’s worth the search. The galleries feature rotating exhibits from both international and local artists and you can also see local artists at work in the studios. The museum also offers weekly art classes for children—although you can drop in, advance reservation is recommended. Best of all, admission to the museum is free.
1777 California Dr.
Sky High Sports
If your kiddies have a lot of energy to get out, Sky High Sports is perfect. This indoor trampoline gym offers multiple jump areas, including a separate jump area for toddlers and a dodge ball court. Daredevils also love bouncing or swinging into the super popular foam pits. Sky High Sports also offers birthday party packages.
1524 Rollins Rd.
This park has a cozy, neighborhood feel, complete with baseball diamond, BBQ grills and bocce ball courts. The play equipment for kids is well organized and maintained, with separate areas for toddlers and older kids, a sand box and mini zipline. It’s also conveniently close to downtown Burlingame, so you can drive or walk there for a snack afterwards.
850 Burlingame Ave.
Rec Room Creative
If you have littles six and under, you won’t want to miss Rec Room Creative. It’s one of the prettiest and most original play spaces around, with room after room of toys, props and games to encourage imaginative play. Drop-in pricing lets you play in the space as long as you like (check their website for exceptions). They also hold “creativity classes” that encourage kids to explore and create through art, design and other projects.
1419 Chapin Ave. Suite 101
Burlingame has a wealth of gourmet pizza places, but Rise definitely rises to the top with its beautiful open space anchored by an enormous wood-burning oven imported from Italy. The smoked pancetta and potato pizza topped with egg is a standout and don’t miss their burrata menu. Kids will love the brownie-stuffed chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
1451 Burlingame Ave.
Even if you think your kids aren’t adventurous eaters, don’t pass up on Limon’s Peruvian cuisine. Most littles won’t say no to their very kid-friendly signature rotisserie roasted chicken over fries. Moms and dads can try some of the other equally delicious dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado and truffle mac and cheese. It’ll almost feel like a night out.
1101 Burlingame Ave.
This Burlingame classic serves authentic Burmese cuisine in a relaxed, cozy atmosphere. Dishes to try include their tea leaf salad, paratha and house special noodles. The space is small so get there early to avoid long waits.
1213 Burlingame Ave.
This unassuming shop offers a surprising variety of ramen, Japanese curries, and yes, a curry ramen. Their house specialty is a black garlic oil ramen topped with a pork rib, ideal for spice lovers. They also offer half sizes of their ramen, a welcome option for kids. The space is small so if you don’t arrive early, you may have to wait, but it’s perfect comfort food on a chilly evening.
723 California Dr.
This super popular spot is open all day but is especially ideal for brunch, when you can get a outdoor spot and people watch. The enormous menu spans from sandwiches to salads to pastas, and ensures something for everyone, and the generous portions almost guarantee leftovers. Don’t miss the dessert crepes.
1310 Burlingame Ave.
Tous Les Jours
This cozy little bakery offers a fusion of Korean and French influences in their pastries. There are soft milk breads, fruit and cream cakes, and curry croquettes, along with croissants, macarons and fruit tarts. Don’t miss their shaved snow ice and milk tea as well. A lovely place to stop after visiting the Peninsula Museum of Art across the street.
1849 El Camino Real
Retro Sweets Shoppe
Walking into this candy shop is a bit like stepping back in time. As you wander through the nostalgic selection of candy, you’ll rediscover gems like Crows, Big Hunk, Bottle Caps and Nerds. They even have fun retro sodas. With Willy Wonka on repeat on TV screens in the back of the shop, it’s hard not to fall in love with this place. Bonus—they also serve gelato!
1166 Howard St.
It’s-It’s Ice Cream
It’s-It’s ice cream sandwiches are a bit of Bay Area history: they used to be sold only at San Francisco’s iconic Playland-at-the-Beach before the park was demolished. Fortunately, It’s-It lives on. Yes, you can find It’s-It’s in grocery stores around the Bay Area, but it’s worth a stop by their factory store, as they carry some hard-to-find, rare flavors like pumpkin and strawberry. Plus, the ice cream sandwiches are super fresh as they’re made right there!
865 Burlway Rd.
Burlingame, CA 94010
Downtown Burlingame is centered on Burlingame Avenue, an attractive boulevard lined with a mix of well-known stores and unique boutiques, restaurants and cafes. You can spend an afternoon strolling down this street and browsing the shops. On Sundays there is a small farmers’ market and most of the stores are dog friendly. Below are some highlights for the kids:
Five Little Monkeys
This dream store for kids offers a well-curated range of toys, from games to dress up gear to outdoor equipment to arts and crafts. The selection is unique and high quality and the staff is helpful with recommendations. They also offer free gift wrapping, so it’s also a great stop for last-minute presents.
1111 Burlingame Ave.
If your child (or you) are obsessed with all things cutesy, Amiko Boutique is a must stop. Stuffed floor to ceiling with plushies, toys, stickers and collectibles from adorable brands like Pusheen, tokidoki, Sanrio, Skip Hop and many more, you may find yourself getting sucked in as much as your kiddo. Many of the specialty items they carry, like toy blind boxes or tokidoki bags, are hard to find elsewhere!
1112 Burlingame Ave.
Every town needs a neighborhood bookshop. This sweet bookstore has a welcoming, stay-and-browse vibe and boasts a cozy children’s corner perfect for kids to curl up with the newest release. The staff is welcoming and quick to give recommendations on their favorites.
1375 Burlingame Ave. Suite 101
What’s your favorite discovery in Burlingame? Share your spot below!
Photos by the author except where noted.