Thursday, July 11, 2013

Out and About: Kid friendly activities on Webster Street, Alameda

After the closure of the Naval Air Station Alameda in 1997, Webster Street languished. Then a major renovation invigorated the area and kindled its transformation. Today, it’s a family friendly district with sweet boutiques for the younger set, amusing spots to take the kids, casual cafes and more.

By Stephanie Wright Hession
All photographs by Stephanie Wright Hession Copyright 2013.

1. Sweet Charlotte and The Diaper Connection

 1513 Webster St.: Inspired by Charlotte, her two-year-old daughter, Cassandra Caron just opened this boutique selling affordably priced attire for little girls—the most expensive dress costs less than $30. It features cotton sundresses, frilly tutus and party dresses designed by Caron, who also relocated The Diaper Connection here. (510) 523-7766,

2. AAA Premier Scuba

1517 Webster St.: If you’ve dreamed of snorkeling in turquoise hued, ocean waters, seeing tropical fish and coral reefs—or venturing deeper by scuba diving—talk to the experienced divers and instructors here. They share a passion for the sea and teach various levels of diving classes in swimming pools and the open water.
(510) 217-8587,

3. Alameda Sports cards and comics

1515 Webster St.: A small but fun place to browse and remember all of those comic book heroes from childhood, pick up new issues including the latest “Superman” adorned with a three-dimensional cover, Oakland A’s and S.F. Giants stuff, and quirky, pop culture toys including Tokidoki plush toys Donutina and Donuatino. (510) 769-0644.

4. Pacific Pinball Museum

1510 Webster St.: The thwack of the ball, the click of the flippers and the illuminated images of the classic pinball machines at this nonprofit museum delight adults and kids, who get to experience a game that isn’t virtual. No quarters required—$15 admission per adult and $7.50 per child younger than 12. (510) 205-6959,

5. Wescafe

1536 Webster St.: Wescafe’s menu includes breakfast croissants made with ham and cheese, spinach and feta or eggs, sandwiches including the pesto chicken and coffee cake. The family that owns it sources its fresh and organic produce from the twice weekly Alameda Farmers’ Market. Order at the counter and head to the back patio. (510) 522-7200,

6. First Transcontinental Railroad plaque

Lincoln Street (at Webster Street): On Sept. 6, 1869, the first Transcontinental Railroad train passed this spot on the way to its destination at the Alameda Terminal located on what is now Alameda Point. Its arrival established a vital trade and travel link between the East and West coasts.

Of Note: 

Enjoy the bounty of California’s summer crops, fresh fish, a bouquet of flowers, baked goods, etc. while listening to live music at the Alameda Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesdays and Saturdays. Webster and Haight streets. Open year round, rain or shine.

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