Our new series A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will showcase fun itineraries for parents and kid’s adventures in different Bay Area neighborhoods. Read up on where to go at the Red Tri website, then look for our window clings to locate Red Tri-approved businesses when you’re on the ground in the neighborhood! All itineraries are meant to keep kids and adults entertained for about four hours.
Berkeley’s Fourth Street is an oasis of upscale shops and attractive eateries in the formerly industrial neighborhood of the Berkeley marina. It’s a great place to explore with kids, as most of its attractions are within walking distance even for little legs. While you do have to hop in the car to head to Adventure Playground, we assure you kids will think it’s worth it!
Shop: Be sure not to miss the Ark Toys while you’re browsing through the Fourth Street boutiques. This local chain has several outposts in SF and the East Bay, but each is something special. The Fourth Street Ark is known for their awesome train display, which younger kids especially find enchanting.
Eat: Once lunchtime rolls around and wee stomachs start grumbling, you’ll find you’re spoiled for choice of restaurants on Fourth Street. It’s hard to beat Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto for its classic seafood and nautical vibe, however. The main dining room is even wallpapered in boards from an old sailing vessel, which adds an element of adventure to mealtimes. Their kids’ menu is known for having some healthier options, although the San Francisco parent should be advised it’s never too early to ditch the kids’ menu and introduce your child to delicious clam chowder.
Do: When you’re done basking in the quaint atmosphere cultivated on Fourth Street, head one block up to the East Bay Vivarium for an ambiance that’s anything but cute. The East Bay Viv is one of the nation’s oldest and largest herpetological supply stores; for kids (and those of us who don’t speak science) that means they have reptiles! While it isn’t for the faint of heart, a trip to the store is certainly fascinating.
Play: While you can’t walk to the Berkeley Adventure Playground from Fourth Street, it’s only a short car ride away. And since it’s probably the coolest playground in the history of the universe, we recommend you make the trip. The wild playground features a zip line, tire wall, rope swing, and multiple structures, but the kicker is this: designed to get kids creative juices flowing, the adventure playground actually allows them to build and paint on the play structures!
Check out our list of approved businesses in the area for more fun ideas, and let us know about your own Fourth Street adventures in the comments section below!
Red Tricycle Approved Fourth Street: