Category: #alamedakids

What Alameda Pokémon know that you don’t

Pokémon in Alameda are smart critters. They are hiding on all the open spaces, a few in the streets and lots will lead you to cool icons around town. You might think that the game seems ridiculous or you might be having tons of fun playing. Regardless, these critters are smart. See what they know about Alameda that you don’t!


1. Vintage signs

Have you taken for granted all the cool lighted sign architecture around town? Pikachu doesn’t. Many of these signs can be found by the game gps as Pokestops.  We counted 18 retro signs around the city. One of our favorites, on the east end is the Van De Kamps sign.

Rich with history, the Encinal market used to host a Van de Kamps bakery. The sign is in great condition while the bakery has been long gone.

VanDeKamps Bakery Sign

A full photo archive of sign architecture can be found at Roadside Signs.

Pokemon tip: Find a  gym under the sign.

 Pokemon alameda

2. Open air groceries

You know about Dan’s produce, of course! But if you haven’t been in while, you may not have known that they were designated a Pokestop.  (BTW who doesn’t love picking up fresh groceries like they would on a french countryside.) Players can get free Pokeballs in the game for stopping by and the owners are not complaining.

According to the staff at Dan’s Produce, they like being a Pokestop. They even hung up a sign! Even though they haven’t seen more traffic, it has been a great topic of conversation among their current customers.


Dan's produce and Pokestop

Dan’s produce and Pokestop

Pokemon tip: Go to Dan’s to possibly capture a Tangela!



3. We have quiet places

Following along the designated Pokestops along the islands edge, led me to quiet places I had not been. There were little Poke-critters to catch, so they must have known about these tree-lined paths. We quietly caught them (and took pictures of scenery), and a nice elderly lady strolled by with a baby stroller. She asked about the game and we chatted a moment. If you play politely then it can be a nice way to meet your community.

The game GPS, knows all the great views and quiet spots around town.


Quiet walks in Alameda

Pokemon Tip: Water Pokemon hang out by the estuary and the beach



 4. Historic Significance

A friend of mine is a 3rd generation Alameda resident, living in her family home with her kids. Even after all these years, she never realized the significance of her home architecture until she realized her home was a Pokestop. Now your first reaction might be how terrible that would be to suddenly be a public place for gamers, but she has embraced it. She says there has been just a few people outside, and that it made her realize that her home was more important than she realized.

Well, the Pokemon might know the historical significance of your home before you do.


Pokemon tip: If your house is a Pokestop you can get unlimited free Pokeballs from your living room. The stop refreshes ever 4 minutes.


Pokeball Toy Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

5.  Historic Train Stations

You might know about all the old train stations if you read this content from Alameda Magazine. Riding the rails in the 1920’s and 1930’s was an important part of our cities history.  Did you know that the electric train that used to run through this high street station sparked the development of all the East End homes?

Now at each of the old rail stops, you will find Pokemon!

high street train station

Pokemon tip: Catch lots of Rattata and Pidgey’s all over Alameda. Transfer your lower point Pokemon to the professor for 1 candy an evolve.


Pokemon Players in Alameda:

Want an advanced Pokemon tip? Sit between several Pokestops and near a training center (Lincoln Park or Crab Cove) . Use a lucky egg to double your points for 30 minutes. Post a lure, fight a battle and double up on all points for 30 minutes. Use the last few minutes to transfer and evolve to get to the next level in a very quick amount of time.


Please don’t drive while playing,  never trespass and be polite! Remember to be careful especially in the roads.
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What do you think about Pokemon Go in Alameda? Do you have tips? Thoughts about the game? Leave us a comment.

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Crown Beach Ultimate Guide

Crown beach is one of our cities best kept secrets. This is a favorite for lots of local parents. My kids will play on the beach for an entire day and never get tired.  This is our local’s guide to Crown Beach with kids or without.  A 2.5 mile beach with sand dunes and bicycle trail. This is a city favorite.

Cool things to do at Crown Beach

1. Build a sandcastle
2. Eat a picnic lunch
3. Play in the low tide pool
4. Watch the sunset
5. Windsurf
6. Ride bikes
7. Fly a kite
8. Put up a beach tent
9. Paddle board
10. Collect Shells
11. Read a book
12. Wade out in low tide
13. Ride the small waves at high tide (kids need supervision although it is not very deep)


Girls on the beach collecting shells. This photo was taken at 3:30 pm on a summer day.

Crown Beach Map (full pdf)

The beach itself is very long, so there will be lots of options for you to settle in.  Check out this pdf which will show you the beach route and parking.


Great map of Crown Beach photo:

Where should we go?

Toddlers: There is a reason you see lots of toddlers by the Westline street parking below Washington park. The reason is that the water is shallow so little kids can dig and scoop.
Curious Kids: Venture just past Crown Beach on foot to Crab Cove visitors center and tide pools.
Teenagers & Adults: There is more food to buy (Mod Pizza, Chipoltle, Sushi House) and bikes to rent if you park closer to Southshore. We see lots of families camping out for the day in that area. This side is also next to the bird sanctuary for a stroll.
Joggers: Start at Southshore and your jog can go all the way to crab cove. Joggers, strollers and bikes are welcome.
Dogs: You can walk the path along the beach and enjoy the views. Catch the dog park at the top of Washington Park along the way.

What to rent?

Bicycles: Pedal Beach Rentals
Kiteboards: Boardsports California
Paddle Board: Mikes Paddle (Ballena Bay)
Picnic Table for Parties: Parks and Rec

Just a few tips for your beach day

  • Bring your sand toys for little ones (I know that’s pretty obvious!). The water is shallow so many kids love to refill their water and create big castles or pools.
  • Park off Westline or near Southshore center for easy access to Crown Beach.  Sometimes Westline has a cash only parking fee.
  • Bigger kids may love to windsurf or paddle board. Call (415) 385-1224 for information.
  • No boats and no dogs on the beach
  • Pack a picnic lunch!  The kids will want to stay so bring drinks and food to share. Don’t forget a trash bag and hand wipes.
  • There are concerts and the annual sand castle building contest.
  • To reserve a picnic table for a party, you must go through the parks department. If it is free you can use it.
  • Bring your camera to take wildlife and beach photos of the kiddos
  • The mornings are low tide, so it is great for scooping and sand castling. Toddlers are so easy at this time.  Afternoons have a few feet of waves, so it can be more fun if you want to get in.  Check the tides.
  • There is a place to rinse off before hoping in the car to go home if you park in the 8th street lot. It is near the bathrooms.
  • There are snacks and food at Southshore or there is a little market on 8th street
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen, chairs, blankets, towels and a book to read!

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Alameda Top Schools

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Alameda schools are at the top according to Great Schools! The cities rating at the time of this posting was 9 out of 10!

See the details on:

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1. Public Schools

Alameda has a neighborhood public schools system where most kids walk, bike or scoot to school within 15 minutes of their home.  If space is available kids can attend the school nearest their home and have friends on all the streets in between.  Some streets have a walking school bus! Children can also attend one of several charter or magnet schools with alternative education structures.  We have a technology school, magnet school and charter school.

Walking school bus


2. Private Schools

There are way too many to list, but our private school education is top notch.

Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School &

Saint Joseph Notre Dame Elementary School

Through our educational approach of balancing the spiritual, academic, physical, and social development of our students, we believe that they become well-rounded and caring individuals. We challenge our students to develop a love of learning by utilizing a variety of teaching methods. We believe that this can be accomplished through a curriculum that fosters creativity, curiosity, and an understanding of their world. We motivate our students to realize their potential.



St Phillip Neri

Saint Philip Neri Catholic School encourages each student to be a respectful, responsible and reverent life-long learner. Our approach to whole-child education balances academic achievement with faith formation in an environment demonstrating the joy of learning as the foundation for lifelong success.

Courtesy of Jessica Murray/Saint Philip Neri Catholic School Saint Philip Neri seventh-graders Ben Ratto, Katie Ohno and Bella Conner experience a virtual tour of the Red Sea using Google Cardboard on Oct. 27.

Courtesy of Jessica Murray/Saint Philip Neri Catholic School
Saint Philip Neri seventh-graders Ben Ratto, Katie Ohno and Bella Conner
experience a virtual tour of the Red Sea using Google Cardboard on Oct. 27.


Chinese Christian School

We offer a balanced and comprehensive curriculum, character development through Bible classes and chapel, Mandarin language courses, many enrichment classes, and life skills electives.  We believe learning should incorporate hands-on experiences with clear conceptual understanding.  Our goal is to equip students with the 21st Century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

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Always check with your school district or private school first for availability and new rules. We hope you find this information helpful in your search for Alameda schools!

Leave us a comment.


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See Jane Run: Half Marathon, 5k and Kiddie Run

See Jane Run is beautiful flat course race running through the shoreline of Alameda in June.  It is one of several runs right on Alameda Island, and the whole city participates. People volunteer, cheer people on and race along side. Volunteers hand out waters. Residents cheer from their balconies, and it involves champagne and chocolate. Lot of goodies passed out and fun to be had. If you love that active lifestyle this is a great race that will keep you close to home.
See Jane Run is a half marathon, a 5k run and a kiddie run.

If you want to participate in the run the half marathon usually starts at 8:00 am and is 13.1 miles (check the link below as it may change year to year). They also have a 5k run at 8:30 am which is 3.1 miles. We wouldn’t want to forget the kids. Their race starts at 10:30am. The whole community comes together on this early morning to support and participate.

I run for chocolate and champagne! Alameda, Ca

See Jane Run Goodies in prior years included:
Commemorative champagne glass
Food at finish
Finisher medals for all runners including kids
Technical T for all racers
Reusable See Jane Run tote bag
Race goody bag


If you want to participate in an upcoming race, you will want to go to mark your calander. Check times, see photos and register at the website for See Jane Run.

For current information on this years or next years run

Photos of the 2016 race including the amazing kids in the race and preparty. See our winners as well!

See Jane Half Marathon Alameda

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Do you love to run? Let us know what you thought of this race in our comments below!

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