No Playgrounds, No Problem
Tried and True Places To Take Your Kids, Your Dogs
and Your Sanity During This Stay-At-Home Order
Mercedes is my long-time assistant with a calm and collected attitude on life. She is originally from Southern California but chose to settle in the Bay Area because of the abundance of nature preserves and open green space nearby. They have been proven to be a true invaluale resource and healthy escape during the stay-at-home ordinance as she and her family ride out this Pandemic. For her 2.5 year old toddler, playground closures didn’t phase her. Most playground structures are not yet age appropriate for her daughter anyway, so the great outdoors and nature day trips are what keeps her child entertained, exercised and happy. Here are some of top her go-to spots for safe, socially distanced fun for her family, her dog and their mental well-being.
Golden Gate Park
- Great for: Picnics, scooting, biking, people watching
- Tip: Park at 9th and Lincoln and grab a picnic lunch at any one of the Inner Sunset eateries – Pluto’s, Tartine, Gordo’s. Great picnic spots are right there at the entrance of the park on the north side of Lincoln.
- Best time to go: Lunch before the sun goes down.
Great Highway, Ocean Beach
- Great for picnics, scooting, biking, watching the big waves, sunsets
- Tip: Bring scooters and your child will have a great time on the Great Highway which is closed for more open space during the Pandemic. Park at Noriega or Judah. Both streets have neighborhood markets and eateries for snacks.
- Best time to go: Lunch until the sun sets. Bring layers!
Oakland Redwoods – Big Trees Trail
- Great for picnics, meandering, fort making, hide and seek.
- Tip: The best place for kids is off the paved trail right underneath the trees. Pack a picnic lunch and get lost. Then treat yourself to a hot fudge sundae at Fenton’s on Piedmont or Israeli food at Pomella.
- Best time to go: Mid-day while the sun is still high
- Great for dogs, interactive urban art sculptures, city views.
- Tip: There is new art all the time as old art withers away. Be sure to make it all the way at the end. Watch out for exposed rebar. Parking is tight.
- Best time to go: Any time of the day.
- Great for dogs, an easy hike, the occasional picnic.
- Tip: Try to park in the newer entrance earlier in the day, which has direct access into the park. Park in the older entrance later in the day – it’s closer to the coastal trail which has great views of Mt Tam sunsets. Look for owls and hawks.
- Best time to go: Any time of the day. Check out Point Richmond on the way back home for a great burrito at Maya Taqueria and coffee at Kaleidescope.
Get outside and breathe in some fresh air! In regards to safety, everyone out there is wearing their mask so don’t forget to bring yours!