Best Toddler Taming Ground: And a place for adults to challenge their biases

Eastshore Park

There's something about taking toddlers to a playground. Maybe it's the way their eyes light up at the sight of a swing set. Maybe it's the sounds of glee that emanate from the sandpit on a sunny day, or the parents' relief that they may get a chance to rest their exhausted asses for ten minutes while their little go-bots play with newfound friends. The beautiful thing about the small playground on the east end of Lake Merritt (next to the Lakeshore Library, with one of the best kids' sections in town) — is that it has it all, and offers something that is priceless to any conscientious parent: diversity. Unlike many neighborhood playgrounds, this one brings together little ones from every walk of life. Kids don't see race and class; parents do, so this playground offers the opportunity for the grown-ups to unlearn their biases, while helping the little ones to not learn them in the first place. On Saturdays, there's the nearby farmers' market, and the park is always just one block from a strong cup of coffee, a vegetarian pizza slice, or a brand-new pair of kicks or khakis. After all, Mommy and Daddy deserve playtime too.
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