What to Do With Kids on Berkeley’s Fourth Street


We thank Fourth Street for sponsoring {510} Families and helping us produce this guide. Between University Avenue and Virginia Street on Fourth Street in Berkeley is a collection of shops, restaurants, and treasured experiences for families. Here’s how to get the most out of this little slice of Berkeley.

Wondering what to do with kids on Fourth Street? No matter what age a child is, Fourth Street in Berkeley offers enough fun that a stroll through this rapidly expanding shopping district can please the whole family with lots of places to eat, drink, and play and the best seasonal events to boot.

The best things in life (and on Fourth Street) are free

The patio outside of Peet’s Coffee hosts live music every weekend from 1 pm to 3 pm. Sometimes the musicians themselves are kids, an inspiration to little ones who will stop and watch.

Live music on Fourth Street Berkeley
Live music on Fourth Street Berkeley outside of Peet’s is a regular thing | Photo: Fourth Street

Trainspotting is easy on Fourth Street. The tracks run parallel to Fourth Street on the west side, and if you stand outside the cool CB2 store long enough, you’ll be able to watch one pass by.

Family guide to fourth st

The East Bay Vivarium houses more creepy, crawling things than some Zoos! The renowned reptile store is actually on Fifth Street, but it’s a very short walk, about parallel with the Apple Store.

Adam and Aviva check out the Vivarium and other places to see animals up close
Adam and Aviva check out the Vivarium

After browsing the fun shops on Fourth Street, you’re pretty close to the Berkeley Marina for kite-flying or visiting Adventure Playground. Walk or bike west over the footbridge.

Creative & Festive Annual Events on Fourth Street

costumed child and adult
See the Grinch or Grumpy Cat depending on the holiday | Photo: Fourth Street

We love Fourth Street for its special family-friendly events. Trick Or Treating and Holiday Lights are longtime favorites. Festivals have included storytelling, bubbles show, face painting, art projects, scary hair design, and live music. Fourth Street makes Father’s Day and Mother’s Day memorable with giveaways and photo booths.

In 2020, Fourth Street created a December Holiday Fantasy Parade where the families drive by in cars and costumed characters wave from the sidewalk including Snow queens on stilts, a jumping reindeer, a three-person wolf puppet, tall Christmas trees, Santa, the Grinch, and Mrs. Claus. Look for that again in 2021.

The street sparkles with Dazzling Holiday Lights each December with cheer every night beginning at dusk. Holiday lights embroider every tree from Hearst to Virginia and glowing balls of light dangle from the branches. They are lovely to walk under, drive through, or sit under.

4th Street twinkle lights at Christmas
Christmas twinkle lights in December | Photo: Fourth Street

The adorably tot-friendly Halloween Festival & Trick or Treating is the perfect amount of Halloween fun for young families in costume. Never too scary, each year Fourth Street adds a new activity to its winning formula of cute kids + free candy + festive decor = Halloween Magic.

Each month, look out for the family-friendly Out & About events. They close the west end of Delaware at Fourth Street and invite us all to enjoy the open space with extra seating and live music. Whether you’re having lunch with friends or coffee and cocoa with your kids, it is a lovely time to be out.

Bubbles and children
Any celebration is a great excuse to break out the bubbles | Photo: Fourth Street

Visit the Fourth Street website to see what events are coming up.

Eating your way down Fourth Street — with kids

Three Twins Fourth Street ice cream cones
Pick a cone, any cone at Noble Creamery on Fourth | Photo: Noble Creamery Fourth Street

Here’s where you’ll find us and what we’ll be eating.

Lots of these restaurants on Fourth Street have expanded their outdoor eating areas in the past several months.

Tacubaya has high chairs and a casual vibe whether you’re inside or out Kid favorites include beans, rice, and quesadillas (my daughter learned to eat black beans here when she was a baby, as they are served pureed). Don’t forget a margarita for the parentals.

Pollara, a counter-service Roman-style pizzeria can stand up to lots of toppings and is delicious just plain. It shares communal outdoor seating with Market Hall.

Market Hall is a gourmet food shop, where everyone can choose their own items for a picnic or eat out on the communal patio. Find hot prepared meals, sandwiches, soups, and treats.

Bette’s Ocean View Diner is great for early mornings (the bright side of being woken up at 6 am on Saturdays) and Bette’s TO GO makes sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and most importantly, cookies. I’m a huge fan of the soufflé pancake when I’m not with my kids.

Noble Cow Creamery is the tasty spot for delicious, organic ice cream in classic and creative flavors tucked in right next to Bett’s.

Project Juice has oatmeal and yogurt that kids love along with fresh-pressed juice drinks, smoothies, and superfood bowls.

Project Juice bowls and kids
Slurp up organic juices or split a superfood bowl at Project Juice | Photo: Fourth Street

Artis (on Fourth Street closer to Virginia St.) has delicious coffee and cocoa for all ages and they sell a “babyccino” of steamed milk with chocolate powder on top for toddlers and preschoolers. They also have a nice bathroom.

Zut Tavern has great pasta, pizza, and burgers for kids but I have found that the kitchen is flexible if your family needs food substitutions. Patio, parklet, or inside dining is comfortable and tasty.

Cafe Reveille is an open-air cafe, great for families who want to be outside while they eat with crazy-delicious coffee drinks. Located at 760 Hearst Street at 5th street.

Specialty Shops on Fourth Street with Cool Stuff for Kids

While national chains are present on Fourth Street, too, you can still ‘shop local’ there. Keep an eye out for Annual Sidewalk Sales. Parents and kids love to visit on sale days as merchants bring out all kinds of discounted items. Here are some shops to watch for wonderful children’s items:

Five Little Monkeys is a terrific shop for kids of all ages. Isles filled with find quality toys and books with a huge array of stuffed animals, games, LEGO, puzzles, and toddler toys.

flexa shop exterior
Flexa on Fourth Street in Berkeley | Photo: Flexa

Flexa brings joy to children across the nation with our unique design of children’s furniture and interiors that combines Danish design with the highest standards of safety and quality. (All about Flexa)

GoldenBug Children’s Shop has lovely children’s clothing, shoes, accessories, gifts, and toys for children ages 0 to 5.

GoldenBug Kids shop on Fourth St Berkeley
Photo: GoldenBug Kids

Maker’s Row Tucked in between Fourth and Fifth Streets toward Cafe Reveille is a lovely collection of small makers’ booths on the weekend. Browse for trinkets, treasures, and toys.

Builders Booksource offers a highly curated selection of books for kids. Hand-picked by book-lover, co-owner, and understander-of-kids, Sally Kiskaddon.

The Gardener displays a sweet selection of books, stylish plush animals, clever wooden toys, and other baby shower gifts.

Earthsake sells big-ticket items like organic mattresses (for adults and babies), comforters, bedding, blankets, clothes, and other cuddly things including small items for new babies.

Amazon Four-Star Store has a little bit of everything under one roof. Wondering what other folks in Berkeley have been putting in their shopping carts? Shelves are stuffed with items rated 4-stars and higher on the eponymous website. I know it isn’t really local, but I kinda love it.

Clean Hands, Bathrooms & Parking on Fourth Street

Free parking is available at most lots on Fourth Street plus there are two pay-to-park lots at Fourth and Hearst (old Spenger’s Lot) as well as at Virginia and Fourth Street which is a UC lot.

Fourth Street has installed 10 hand sanitizing dispensers on their buildings and they keep them filled for any little hands that need a cleanup!

There are three portable restrooms in the large, customer lot that are cleaned regularly at night so they are hopefully ok for use during the day. Peet’s also has a public restroom (no changing table) and many shops do allow customers to use their facilities.

Thanks again to Fourth Street for being a 510Families.com sponsor. Berkeley’s Fourth Street is located close to I-80 between the University and Gilman exits. Instead of driving, you can also take the 51B, 80, or 72 AC Transit buses.

xxx

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