31 Days in SF Bay: Oakland (East Bay)

This is Day 4 of our 31 Days in SF Bay series. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

sfbaybannerAlthough we don’t go to Oakland too often, there are a ton of fun stuff to do in this city too. Hopefully, we will be able to add to this list soon.

Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt is a favorite running spot for my BIL when he worked in Oakland. I heard it is 3.4 miles around the whole lake. I think there is also kayak rental available, and a rowing club here. We took a gondola ride after our meal at Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill. It is also near Children’s Fairyland too. You can see more photos HERE.

Oracle Arena & O.co Coliseum

Gotta cheer on our Bay Area teams. 🙂 We have been here for basketball games, and the girls also got to go to a Disney On Ice show last year. You can see more basketball pics from 2011 and 2012, and the Disney On Ice show HERE.


I came here often in the college days…mostly for hanging out with friends, and the garlic fries, but I did cheer when we got a run. :p The fireworks games are great ones to go to. We took the girls for the first time in 2010. They had a blast. Melody takes part in the Mathletics program during the summer, and she can get 2 free vouchers for completing a math workbook, so we continue to go to cheer on the Oakland A’s! 🙂 You can see more photos from 2010, 2012, and 2013.

Eat Real Festival

In September, you can experience food from over 100 vendors around the Bay Area and beyond! All food items are $5 or less, and incorporates regionally-sourced, fabulous, and sustainably-produced ingredients. There is also entertainment, and it’s right by the Bay at Jack London Square. You can read the blog posts from 2010 HERE and HERE, 2011 HERE and HERE, and 2012. You can see more photos from 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Chabot Space and Science Center

We got one a coupon for one free admission with a purchase of an adult ticket from the library’s summer reading program, so we decided to make use of it. I think the girls were still a little too young at the time (4 years old and 2 years old) to appreciate the exhibits, and they were scared during the planetarium show. They did, however, enjoy the Discovery Lab, where there are a lot of hands-on exploration and discovery. You can read the blog post HERE. You can see more photos HERE.

Children’s Fairyland

This was another place we went because of the coupon from the library’s summer reading program. (You too can go to all these places using the coupons. Just read!) Emily ended up not feeling well the day that we had planned to go to Fairyland, but Melody took a whole crew of people with her. They went for the Winter Fairyland (Christmas lights), so it was pretty cold out, and they didn’t make it to any of the theater shows that they have there,  but everyone still enjoyed themselves. It is said that Fairyland inspired the makings of Disneyland, which makes it pretty old (opened in 1950). You can see more photos HERE.

Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA)

Okay, so it looks like all the places we go to in Oakland is because we had coupons from the summer reading program. This is another one of those places. :p The week that went, the theme was Cat in the Hat. There were different stations where you an make crafts related to various Dr. Seuss books. MOCHA actually just had their grand opening this past weekend. They are now in another building. It looks more spacious, so there’s plenty of opportunity to book a birthday party your kiddo here. 🙂 You can read the blog post HERE. You can see more photos HERE.

Oakland Zoo

Although we don’t go to the Oakland Zoo often, we love that it is close to our house. It is a fun little trip if we are ever in need of finding something to do. We have gone here for MOPS playdates, birthday parties, and just to hang out with our friends…and the animals. 🙂 It is a good idea to bring your own lunch if you are coming around that time. The favorite of the kids is the play area in the Children’s Zoo. I enjoy watching the monkeys…any of them. They are quite entertaining. The petting zoo is also fun. And the bats? They are huge. We usually use our summer reading program passes to come here, or otherwise find a friend who has guest passes. It can get pricey if you add up parking, entrance fee, food, and rides. If you are looking for a membership, wait to get one on those group deal sites. You can read the blog post HERE. You can see more photos from 2010 and 2011 HERE and HERE.

I will probably add photos later, but here are some restaurants that we enjoy in Oakland. We have written reviews of some of these restaurants, so they are linked up.

  • Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill
  • Legendary Seafood
  • Buffet Fortuna
  • Restaurant Peony
  • Scott’s Seafood Restaurant

Other places to visit… (I will link photos and such later on. Come back to visit!)

We would love to add more places to go to in Oakland. I know there are a ton we haven’t been to. I’m sure there are many good restaurants too. What do you recommend?

This is part of our 31 Days in SF Bay series.

31 Days in SF Bay: San Leandro (East Bay)

This is Day 3 of our 31 Days in SF Bay series. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

sfbaybannerNext we will share about some place in San Leandro, where Joyce grew up.

San Leandro Farmers’ Market

There are 2 farmers’ markets in San Leandro that are open weekly throughout the year. There is one downtown, but we usually go to the one at Bayfair Center on Saturdays. Whenever you drive up to the market, you can smell yummy food. You can see a few photos HERE and HERE.

Halcyon Park
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Halcyon Park is a great place for kids to ride their bikes around the path, or to take a walk, if you want. There is an enclosed play area for younger ones, with a car table, and another play area for older kids. There is a field inside the bike/walking path where kids can play soccer.

Marina Park

I think there are 2 play structures at Marina Park, but we usually go to the one for younger kids. There are lots of walking/running/biking paths. You can watch the airplanes take off or land, or watch the boats and kayaks. In more recent years, there have been geese around. There is a volleyball sand pit. During Easter, there is the annual egg hunt. You can see a few photos HERE.

Washington Manor Park & Pool

This is our usual spot if we end up at the Manor branch library storytime on Thursdays. This the area for smaller kids, and there is a structure for older ones as well. There is also a basketball court. It is great to ride a bike along the path or push a stroller. We took swim lessons at the pool back in the day before it is how it looks now. No pics, but you can probably do a Google search to find it. There are also tennis courts. After the park, we usually head to the Chinese Bakery for some yummy pastries. You can see more pics from 2009, 2010, and 2012.

San Leandro Main Library

There are so many great program at the San Leandro Main Library. I can go on and on, but we certainly enjoy the Summer Reading Program the most! You can see some photos from playing with blocks HERE, Warriors reading night HERE, and summer reading program 2010, 2011, and 2012.

San Leandro Manor Branch Library

You can see more photos from Summer Reading Program 2010 HERE and 2011 HERE, Easter storytime, birthday love, St. Patrick’s Day dancers, Halloween storytime, random HERE and HERE, Lunar New Year performance, toddler concerts,

Creekside Kids’ Theater

Melody has been involved with Creekside Kids’ Theater since last summer. She was a bee in the first production she was in, Winnie the Pooh Kids. Earlier this year, she was in Schoolhouse Rock Live! And next year, both of the girls will be performing in A Year with Frog and Toad. Melody is Mouse and Emily is the bird chorus. You can see more photos of Winnie the Pooh Kids HERE. You can see more photos of Schoolhouse Rock Live HERE.

I will probably add photos later, but here are some restaurants that we enjoy in San Leandro. We have written reviews of some of these restaurants, so they are linked up.

  • Paradiso Restaurant
  • Horatio’s
  • Sylantro Vietnamese Cuisine
  • Le Soleil
  • Fat Fish Sushi
  • Daimo Chinese Restaurant
  • Chinese Bakery and Deli
  • D T Dim Sum & Tea
  • Oriental Tea House
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Minami Sushi
  • Elios Family Restaurant
  • New China Buffet
  • Denny’s Restaurant
  • Chili’s Grill & Bar
  • Alohana Hawaiian Grill
  • Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant
  • Pizza Guys
  • TOGO’s Sandwiches
  • Buffet Fortuna
  • Fresh Choice aka California Fresh
  • Round Table Pizza
  • Quiznos
  • Clancy’s Ice Cream Parlor
  • Baskin-Robbins

Other places to visit… (I will link photos and such later on. Come back to visit!)

  • Otis Spunkmeyer
  • Asian Art Museum
  • Memorial Park
  • Pacific Recreation Complex
  • Marina Square (Bath & Body Works, Gap Outlet, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill, Men’s Wearhouse, Nordstrom Rack, Panda Express, Starbucks)
  • Bayfair Center (Alohana Hawaiian Grill, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Century 16 Bayfair Center Theatres, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Jamba Juice, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, Old Navy, Panda Express, Staples, Starbucks, Target, Wingstop)
  • Greenhouse Marketplace (Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake, Great Clips, .99 Cents Only, Safeway, McDonald’s, Jack in the Box)
  • West Gate (Office Depot, Home Depot, Verizon Wireless, Ohana Hawaiian BBQ, Payless ShoeSource, Sports Authority, Wal-Mart)

This is part of our 31 Days in SF Bay series.