Family activities for preschool children in Berkeley, CA

Families of the San Francisco Bay Area are fortunate to have lots of choices when it comes to fun, educational activities for preschool children. The gorgeous natural setting of the Bay Area offers preschool children a diverse landscape to see and explore. The agricultural and historical bounties of the East Bay and San Francisco enrich the senses and inspire wonder.

Photo Courtesy Haas School of Business, UCBerkeley

With its close proximity (2 min drive) to I-80 and I-580, Nomura Preschool straddles several communities in the East Bay, CA. This convenient location between Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Kensington and Berkeley allows parents to quickly drop off their child without adding significant commute time.

As a longtime member of East Bay communities and a cultural leader in Bay Area preschool care, Nomura Preschool children and parents are encouraged to apply their imaginations and curiosity to the world around them. To that end, we’ve developed a short list of children’s activities for each of our local cities. By no means comprehensive, these lists include a few city-specific places, events and organizations where your child can grow and have fun.

Berkeley Public Library

The Berkeley Public Library has a great kid-friendly website offering Homework Help, California history, a movie introducing how to search the library catalog, and much more. Worth checking out for any Bay Area resident with children.

Cedar-Rose Park

1300 Rose St between Hopkins & Cedar

This five-acre park in Northwest Berkeley offers sports fields, youth and toddler playgrounds, picnic areas with BBQ, stage/amphitheater, and community gardens nearby. Handicapped accessible.


2065 Kittredge St, Berkeley / 510.647.1111

Hours vary from Fall-Winter and Spring-Summer.

General Admission: $9 / Children under 12 months free / 10% off for Seniors and the disabled.

Habitot is a childrens’ museum with mulitsensory free-play exhibits designed for children to activate learning, social interaction, negotiating and planning. The arts, science, toys, and play structures are all part of the experience, and adults are encouraged to facilitate and have fun. Habitot offers a toy lending library, birthday party events, family resources, and a calendar which includes Free Admission days and Parents’ Nights Out.

Studio Grow Berkeley

1235 10th St, Berkeley / 510.526.9888

M-F 9:30am-6pm / Sat-Sun: 9:30am-2pm

$9 per person before 1pm / $6 per person after 1pm / Children younger than 12 months and extra adults free

Free parking / Admission charge good for the entire day

Studio Grow is “a clean, safe, education play space offering developmentally appropriate activities using mostly natural materials for young children and their parents and caregivers.” A playspace for children and parents to provide social opportunities and a variety of activities for children ages 0-6. Parents or caregivers remain on site with their children. Includes infant space for children who are not yet walking. Discount Cards & Discount Days offered.

City of Berkeley Pools (King Pool, West Campus Pool)


Features: Full size pool, Open swim, lap swim, swimming lessons

Berkeley Marina / Cesar Chavez Park

Features: Kayaking, Boating, Kites, Water sports, Picnic, BBQ, Walking/Jogging, Pier fishing spot, Playground, Field sports

As this park and marina are right on the water, make sure to prepare for windy, cool conditions! Enjoy beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Lots of green hills to run around on and a zillion places to explore.

Aquatic Park

80 Bolivar Drive, Southwest Berkeley

Featuring “Dream Land for Kids”, a playground designed by Robert Leather in collaboration with Berkeley school children featuring wooden castles, walkways and other exciting structures. Water sports rentals available through City of Berkeley Recreation office.

Easy Bay Vivarium

1827-C 5th St, Berkeley / 510.841.1400

M-F 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

The East Bay Vivarium is one of the largest reptile specialty stores in the Nation with its collection of snakes, lizards, other reptiles, tarantulas, and more animals. Children will love seeing all sorts of reptiles and learning their names and what they eat. The store also runs an education outreach program that brings the animals to schools, clubs and museums in Northern California. A fun, educational experience for free.

Adventure Playground

Sat-Sun, 11am-4pm / Closed Mon-Fri, Holidays, When Raining

Groups of 5 or more are considered a ‘group’ and will be required to have reservations.

This is a wonderfully unique outdoor facility where staff encourage children to play and build creatively.  Come climb on the many unusual kid designed and built forts, boats, and towers. Ride the zip line or hammer, saw, and paint. By providing these low risk activities Adventure Playground creates opportunities for children to learn cooperation, meet physical challenges and gain self confidence. A Bay Area and Berkeley family treasure for over thirty years!

Recommended for 7+; younger children welcome “as long as they are within arms reach of a participating adult”. Some activities are on the dangerous side, so a waiver is required for everyone who enters. Check website for clothing, chaperone and other recommendations.