6 Great Things to Do in Berkeley with Kids, from a Local Dad

Berkeley, California, boasts a unique blend of picturesque parks, engaging museums, and fantastic eateries that cater to families seeking memorable experiences.

To help you discover the best of Berkeley’s family-friendly adventures, we’ve compiled a list of five must-visit destinations that promise a fun-filled experience for visitors of all ages.

First, a bit about me. I’m a professional food and travel photographer whose work appears in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Food + Wine, and many more publications. I live about 10 miles from Berkeley and go there all the time. I also have three kids!

Discover Wonders at the Lawrence Hall of Science

The Lawrence Hall of Science, perched high above the UC Berkeley campus, offers an interactive and engaging environment for budding scientists of all ages.

The museum’s exciting exhibits, from a fun outdoor space that lets kids experiment with the Bay’s water flows to indoor sections focusing on electricity and the science of sports, mean Lawrence Hall is a great place for families.

Visitors can also enjoy stunning panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay Area from the outdoor patio.

The only downside is that parking is tough. Plan to visit with two adults if possible, and have one person drop you off in the circle, park the car farther up the hill in one of the UC lots, and then come back down to meet the group.

Embrace Nature at Tilden Regional Park

    Home to over 2,000 acres of pristine natural beauty, Tilden Regional Park offers families a wealth of outdoor recreational activities. The park features numerous child-friendly attractions, such as the enchanting Botanic Garden, the historic Merry-Go-Round, and the interactive Little Farm, where children can pet and feed farm animals.

    Don’t forget to take advantage of the park’s pristine picnic spots. I love Inspiration Point as a nice place for a picnic or a short, paved hike that’s stroller-friendly.

    Wander Through the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

    The UC Botanical Garden, nestled in Strawberry Canyon, showcases over 13,000 plant species from around the globe. Visitors can explore an array of climate zones, marvel at majestic redwood groves, and uncover exotic plants and flowers.

    For a cheaper and easier experience–albeit with fewer dramatic plants–Tilden also has a free botanical garden nearby.

    Explore the Arts at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

    The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a cultural hotspot offering diverse and enriching experiences for the entire family. The museum boasts an impressive collection of contemporary and historical art, while the Pacific Film Archive showcases an extensive range of films from around the world.

    BAMPFA also hosts a variety of family-friendly programs, including hands-on art workshops, guided tours, and film screenings designed specifically for children. Don’t forget to check the museum’s calendar for upcoming family events and workshops when planning your visit.

    Savor Local Delights on North Shattuck

    In the mood for pizza? One of the country’s best pizza places is right on North Shattuck in Berkeley: Cheese Board Pizza. Heads up: the flavors might be advanced for younger kids. Everyone will love their buffalo milk ice cream, though.

    Gregorie’s cheese puffs

    The small food court across from Cheese Board has lots of great eats for little ones, and Gregoires has iconic cheese puffs that kids love.

    Build Memories at Adventure Playground

    Adventure Playground, situated within the picturesque Berkeley Marina, allows children to unleash their creativity and imagination in a uniquely collaborative play environment. This popular playground encourages kids to build forts, boats and other creations, or to cruise around on a zip line.

    Great for parents: it’s free!


    Berkeley, California, is a treasure trove of unforgettable, family-friendly adventures waiting to be discovered. From exploring the wonders of science and nature to indulging in local cuisine, the possibilities for creating lifelong memories are virtually endless.

    Be sure to add these five must-visit destinations to your Berkeley itinerary, and embark on an exciting journey that will leave your family longing for more. We invite you to share your favorite family-friendly experiences in Berkeley with us and join the conversation, helping us create an ever-growing resource of enjoyable activities for families visiting our beautiful city.

    Thomas Smith

    Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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