"I Like My Bike Night," First Friday of the month, 9 p.m. This monthly series brings bicycle innovators, enthusiasts, artists and organizations together under one roof, as well as encourages regular Ashkenaz show-goers to leave their cars in the driveway and arrive at the venue by bicycle instead. $8-$25.
1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.<
AUCTIONS BY THE BAY
"ArtiFacts: A Lecture Series for Collectors," Guest curators, scholars and conservation experts from throughout the Bay Area discuss the art of collecting. First Sunday of every month, 3 p.m. $7.
Auctions by the Bay Theater-Auction House, 2700 Saratoga St., Alameda. (510) 835-6187, www.auctionsbythebay.com.<
BAY AREA FREE BOOK EXCHANGE
"Free Books," Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Donate your unwanted books and receive new titles for free.
10520 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. (510) 526-1941, www.bayareafreebookexchange.com.<
CALIFORNIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY AND LIBRARY
"California Genealogical Society and Library Free First Saturday," 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Event takes place on the first Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Trace and compile your family history at this month's open house event. Free. www.calgensoc.org.
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland. (510) 663-1358.<
CALIFORNIA MAGIC THEATER
"Dinner Theater Magic Show," Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Enter the joyous and bewildering world of illusions and magic while chowing down on a home cooked meal. Each weekend features different professional magicians. Recommended for ages 13 and older. $54-$64 includes meal.
729 Castro St., Martinez. (925) 374-0056, www.calmagic.com.<
CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films.
ASK JEEVES PLANETARIUM -- The planetarium features one of the most advanced star projectors in the world. A daily planetarium show is included with general admission. Call for current show schedule.
"Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity," Take a ride to the inside of a massive black hole and learn about the latest scientific evidence, which suggests that black holes are real. Narrated by Liam Neeson. Suitable for age 12 and older. Free with General Admission ticket.
"Sonic Vision," Friday-Saturday, 9:15 p.m. This show uses the latest digital technology to illuminate the planetarium with colorful computer-generated imagery set to today's popular music, including Radiohead, U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Moby and more.
"Tales Of The Maya Skies," "Tales of the Maya Skies'' is a new full-dome planetarium show that explores the cosmology of the ancient Maya, along with their culture and their contributions to astronomy. Starts November 21.
"Astronaut," What does it take to be part of the exploration of space? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Narrated by Ewan McGregor. 25 min.
"Space NOW!", Each week, this real-time ride through constellations, stars, and planets will reflect current happenings in our sky. Space NOW! will also tie in activities going on throughout the center. This is Chabot's first daytime guided tour of the universe.
"Immersive Space: Fly Through the Cosmos," Fridays, 8 p.m. Experience the "digital universe'' in a new full-dome system. Travel to the nearest star and beyond in seconds.
"Sunshine," A 15-minute planetarium show for children ages 5 and under. In the show, Sunshine, a lovable animated cartoon of the Sun, urges the children to sing and play along with his tricks. In the process, he introduces the colors of the day sky and the other suns of the night sky. Free with regular general admission.
"Secret of the Cardboard Rocket," Take a journey through the solar system with two young adventurers who turn an old cardboard box into a rocket. Recommended for ages 5-10.
"The Search for Life: Are We Alone?" A voyage from the ocean deep to the outer reaches of the cosmos in search of life, narrated by Harrison Ford.
"The Sky Tonight," Saturdays, 8 p.m. Take a live tour of the starry sky overhead on the night of your visit. The show includes a look at constellations, planets and special celestial objects.
CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER -- "Escape from the Red Planet," a cooperative venture for families and groups of up to 14 people, age 8 and up. The scenario on this one hour mission: You are the crew of a shuttle to Mars that has been severely damaged in a crash landing. Your replacement crew is gone, the worst dust storm ever recorded on Mars approaches, and air, food, and water are extremely low. The mission: get the shuttle working again and into orbit before the dust storm hits. Reservations required. Children age 8-12 must be accompanied by an adult; not appropriate for children under age 8. $12-$15; Does not include general admission to the Center. Reservations: (510) 336-7421.
SPECIAL EXHIBITS --
"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," This new permanent exhibit honors the 123-year history of Chabot and its telescopes. The observatory is one of the oldest public observatories in the United States. The exhibit covers the three different sites of the observatory over its history as well as how its historic telescopes continue to be operated today. Included are informative graphic panels, multimedia kiosks, interactive computer programs, hands-on stations, and historic artifacts.
TIEN MEGADOME SCIENCE THEATER -- A 70-foot dome-screen auditorium. Show times subject to change. Call for current show schedule. Price with paid general admission is $6-$7. Theater only: $7-$8. (510) 336-7373, www.ticketweb.com.
"Forces of Nature," This film showcases the awesome spectacle of earthquakes, volcanoes, and severe storms as scientists continue their quests to understand how these natural disasters are triggered.
"The Living Sea," The film celebrates the beauty, power and importance of the ocean. Produced in association with The National Maritime Center, the Ocean Film Network and Dr. Robert Ballard.
"Dinosaurs Alive," A global adventure of science and discovery, featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous, "reincarnated" life-sized for the giant screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world's preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendents of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history.
"The Human Body," This show explores the daily biological processes that go on in the human body without our control and often without our notice. This amazing story is revealed in detail on the giant screen.
"Cosmic Voyage," A breathtaking journey through time and space. Zoom from the surface of the Earth to the largest observable structures of the Universe and back down to the sub-nuclear realm, a guided tour across some 42 orders of magnitude. Explore some of the greatest scientific theories, many of which have never before been visualized on film.
Center Admission: $9-$13; free children under 3; Movies and evening planetarium shows: $6-$8. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.<
DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.
ESTATE GROUNDS -- Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.
GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free.
Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.<
FRANK OGAWA PLAZA
"Oakland Artisan Marketplace," Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The City of Oakland and Cultural Arts & Marketing Department presents a weekly market featuring fine arts and crafts of local artists. Free. (510) 238-4948, www.oaklandartisanmarketplace.org.
14th Street and Broadway, Oakland. <
JACK LONDON AQUATIC CENTER
"Oakland Artisan Marketplace,"' Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The City of Oakland and Cultural Arts & Marketing Department presents a weekly market featuring fine arts and crafts of local artists. Free. (510) 238-4948, www.oaklandartisanmarketplace.org.
115 Embarcadero, Oakland. <
"Spring Fling," May 15, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Venture off the island for a night of art, wine, music, food and fun. $25-$30.
55 Fourth St., Oakland. (510) 465-5900.<
LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER
Grupo Raiz, May 15, 8 p.m. $20-$25.
"Foodshare," May 16, 7 p.m. Event features cutting edge work by young people and their adult mentors to build a more just and sustainable food system in the Bay Area. $15.
"Ohana," May 20, 7:30 p.m. Program features Asian American music, poetry and performance from local talent. $5-$8.
Andres Alejandro, May 21, 8 p.m. $13-$15.
Bang Data, May 22, 8:30 p.m. $10.
"Revolutionary Ecology," May 23, 7 p.m. Program recognizes the 20th anniversary of the bomb attack on Earth First with activist Judi Bari with speakers, music and film. Free.
3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.<
LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE
ONGOING EXHIBITS --
"NanoZone," Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.
"Forces That Shape the Bay," A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.
"Real Astronomy Experience," A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.
"Biology Lab," In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
"The Idea Lab," Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.
"Math Around the World," Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.
"Math Rules," Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.
HOLT PLANETARIUM Shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Programs recommended for ages 6 and up unless otherwise noted. $2.50-$3 in addition to general admission.
"Mysteries of Missing Matter," Investigate the complexity of the universe and learn why astronomers now think that most of the matter in our universe mysteriously invisible to us.
"Journey to the Moon," Experience a time traveler's view of the changing shapes of the moon as it waxes and wanes in the planetarium. Ages 4-7.
"Constellations Tonight," Learn to identify the most prominent constellations of the season in the planetarium sky with a simple star map.
$5.50-$10; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.<
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE Exploring cinema from the Bay Area and cultures around the world, the Pacific Film Archive offers daily film screenings, including rare and rediscovered prints of movie classics; new and historic works by world famous directors; restored silent films with live musical accompaniment; retrospectives; and new and experimental works. Check Web site for a full schedule of films.
"First Impressions: Free First Thursdays," first Thursday of every month. Special tours and movie presentations. Admission is free.
Single feature: $5-$8; Double feature: $9-$12 general. PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 642-5249, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu.<
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, MORRISON LIBRARY
"Lunch Poems," First Thursday of the month, 12:10-12:50 p.m.
2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 642-3671.<
USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center.
ONGOING EVENTS --
"Limited Access Day," Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.
"Flight Deck Fun," A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.
"Protestant Divine Services," Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m.
SPECIAL EVENTS -- Closed on New Year's Day.
"Family Day," Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member.
"Flashlight Tour," Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day.
"Living Ship Day," Experience an aircraft carrier in action, with simulated flight operations as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed in launch position. Some former crewmembers will be on hand.
"Heroes of the Pacific," May 16, 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The USS Hornet pays tribute to the soldiers who survived the desperate days of the Pacific Campaign with a screening of the finale of the HBO miniseries "The Pacific,'' along with guest speakers, including some of the Hornet's very own World War II veteran crew who will share their experiences.
$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.<