Spend a week in Oakland

Buy some Oakland gear from LisaOur friend Lisa, gives us the lowdown on spending a week in her fair Oakland, CA. OK, well we’ve never actually met her, but she did us the honor of being the first guest Rookie Mom. You could be next – just volunteer.

Here’s Lisa’s one-outing-per-day schedule:


Lake Temescal
Tucked in an unlikely place right next to Route 13 is Lake Temescal, a sweet little oasis right before the Oakland Hills. This lake is surrounded by picnic areas, green patches, and a great sandy beach. When it’s warm, you can swim in the lake, and when it’s not, you can still have fun making sandcastles and strolling along the paved paths.

Bittersweet Chocolate Café in Rockridge near Rockridge Kids @ 5427 College Ave, Oakland 94618

Just because you’re no longer pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t still crave chocolate. Make a date with a girlfriend at Bittersweet Café on College Avenue. Although it might be a tight squeeze, this charming café will make it all worth it when you score your table and settle in with a cup of their signature Bittersweet drink and some pan au chocolat. A great place to spend a Monday morning, and when it’s sunny, you, your friend, and baby can park yourselves out front at a sidewalk café table.

(closed Monday)

Cure: A Nail Spa @ 1240 Powell St. E-ville 94608

Becoming a new mother is not a glamorous time. What with the feeding and the barfing and the feeding and the pooping, a lady might even be accused on letting herself go. On Wednesdays between 12-5pm, Cure offers individual treatments for 10% off for new moms. Although they don’t provide daycare, they are stroller-friendly, or you can hold your baby while you get that pedicure.

(closed Sunday & Monday)

Mama’s Royal Café @ 4012 Broadway, Oakland 94611

With a name like Mama’s, you know you’re in the right place. This hipster diner joint will remind you that just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you’re not still cool. Show off your tats if you got ‘em—everyone else here is. Saddle up the highchair next to one of their booths and order from the chi-chi diner menu and don’t forget to check the specials.

Chabot Science Center

This is a underrated gem of the East Bay—take the picturesque Skyline Blvd. to the Chabot Science Center. Put baby in a carrier and take your time to explore. Although the outdoor telescope viewing hours may be past your bedtime, there are different programs featured daily, including a 15-minute planetarium show for visitors under 5. Check their calendar of exhibits for other kid-friendly programs and inspire your future rocket scientist.

(closed Monday & Tuesday)

Oakland Zoo

Your kid doesn’t even need to be walking yet to enjoy the Oakland Zoo—in fact, this is a great place to put some miles on that stroller . Tiny babies will appreciate the new sites (and smells). Older kids will enjoy the children’s zoo and just making faces with the monkeys.

Jack London Square Farmer’s Market

Although it’s tough to compete with San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza farmer’s market, the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market is a close second. Set along the waterfront, this is stroller friendly, with lots of high quality vendors selling everything from fresh eggs to eggplant. Don’t miss the lumpia cart down at the South end.

Jack London Square Farmer’s Market is from 10am – 2pm on Sundays

We have more details about yoga classes, Baby Bootcamp and more in our week in Berkeley post. Share your ideas about fun in Oakland or wherever you are!!

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.