1-2-3 Things – A Walk Around Lake Merritt

Hello Adventurers!

Did you get out to see the new Jet Playground and take a hike through Stern Grove last week? We arrived at the Jet a little after it had the dedication ceremony, and man it was mobbed. We got around for a little peek but then took off for our hike through Stern Grove. Walking down into the the grove the noise from 19th avenue quickly faded away and we sat down to have some picnic lunch by the lake at the Trocadero. From there we strolled through the concert meadow and down to the end of Pine Lake and back. We walked about 6 miles and climbed 25 floors (according to my fitbit). When we got back to the Jet where we parked, things had cleared out a bit and we got a chance to play for a while. 

It's certainly not the old jet, but the group who planned out the new playground really put a lot of time and effort paying homage to the original and their attention to details across the entire thing. From steps that are sculpted like suitcases, to being able to crawl through the plane, and the rubber floor surface looks like a runway. Next time you are driving down 19th avenue, maybe take a pit stop for some play time here. We highly suggest it. 

This week’s adventure is a chance to walk off some of that Thanksgiving dinner around Lake Merritt. The walk around the lake is just over 3 miles, and a nice way to walk off some off all that food. 

Also let us know if you go, we would love to hear about your trip. Simply reply to this e-mail. And please feel free to forward this to a friend. 

Chief Happiness Officer at kiddiewalks.com
A project from aSmarterParent.com 


1-2-3 Things — A Walk Around Lake Merritt

Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area

From kiddiewalks.com 

  1. Walk around Lake Merritt

  2. Visit the Gardens at Lake Merritt

  3. Take a trip to Fairyland 

Walk around Lake Merritt 


At just over 3 miles, this is a lovely spot to walk off some of that indulgence most of us took part in for Thanksgiving, it's also a lovely walk year round. With spots like the Lake Chalet, Fairyland, and the Gardens to stop off and spend a little time, this is a great spot to spend a day. 

Visit the Gardens at Lake Merritt


We haven't actually visited the gardens, and only recently read about them. There seem to be a number of gardens here (Bonsai, Mediterranean, Rhododendron, sensory, palm, pollinator, and many more). The spring is probably a better time to visit, but I'd expect the garden to still be a pretty nice visit. 

Take a trip to Fairyland


You are probably already familiar with this spot, but since 1950 Fairyland has been entertaining families with a visit into fairytales. It does close for inclement weather, so be aware. 


  • The Lake Chalet is a nice spot to visit for a quick bite with the family. They are owned by the company who runs the Beach and Park Chalets in Golden Gate Park. Grab a house brewed root beer, an appetizer, and kick back and relax.  http://www.thelakechalet.com/ 
  • The Oakland Museum isn't very far and an engaging spot to visit with the kids (or duck into during bad weather) http://museumca.org/

Feeling Adventurous