ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission.
$1-$5; free children under age 4. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. (510) 796-0199, (510) 796-0663, www.ebparks.org.<
BLACK DIAMOND MINES REGIONAL PRESERVE Originally the home of several Native American tribes, white men began coal mining in the area in the 1860s. The preserve today features old mines and displays of the history of the area.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
"Sleuthing Animal Signs," June 12, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Search for animal clues.
Free unless otherwise noted; $5 seasonal parking fee on weekends. Daily, 8 a.m. to dusk Somersville Road, about five miles south of state Highway 4, Antioch. Information: (925) 757-2620, Tickets: (925) 555-1212, www.ebparks.org.<
AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM -- The museum's permanent exhibition of internationally renowned automobiles dated from 1897 to the 1980s. The cars are displayed as works of art with room to walk completely around each car to admire the workmanship. On long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution is a Long Steam Tricycle; an 1893-94 Duryea, the first Duryea built by the Duryea brothers; and a 1948 Tucker, number 39 of the 51 Tuckers built, which is a Model 48 "Torpedo'' four-door sedan.
$5-$8; free for children ages 6 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. (925) 736-2280, (925) 736-2277, www.blackhawkmuseum.org.<
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.
Center Admission: $10.95-$14.95; 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.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.<
CHILDREN'S FAIRYLAND A fairy tale theme park featuring more than 30 colorful fantasy sets. Designed especially for children ages 10 and under, there are gentle rides, a train, the "Peter Rabbit Village,'' puppet shows, story-telling and lots of slides and animals. Admission price includes unlimited rides, special shows, guest entertainers and puppet shows.
OLD WEST JUNCTION -- Children's Fairyland's newest attraction is a Wild West-themed town sized just for children, with a livery stable, bank, jail and a water tower slide.
PUPPET SHOWS -- Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. All shows are at the Open Storybook Theatre. Free with regular Fairyland admission.
ARTS AND CRAFTS CENTER -- Activities on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.
ANIMAL OF THE DAY -- Saturday and Sunday, 1-1:20 p.m. at the Humpty Dumpty Wall. Learn about one of Fairyland's animal friends.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
"Animal of the Day!" Saturdays and Sundays, 1-1:20 p.m. Come up close and learn about Fairyland's creatures.
"Arts and Crafts," Noon-3 p.m. Event features arts and crafts projects for children and their families. $6.
"Puppet Show: The Wind In The Willows," through May 30 and June 5 through May 30, 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. The story by Kenneth Graham of Mr. Toad, Badger, Mole and Ratty comes to life at Fairyland. It's up to Mr. Toad's friends to save the day when he gets into trouble. Will it work out in the end? Come to Fairyland and see. Puppets and script by Randal Metz, with scenery by Lewis Mahlmann.
Blake Maxam, June 5 through June 6, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. "The Wizard of Ahhhhs'' astounds and amazes children of all ages with his magic show.
$6; free for children under age 1; $2 for a Magic Key. No adult admitted without a child and no child admitted without an adult. Summer (June through Labor Day): Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fall and Spring: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Winter: Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CLOSED DEC. 25-JAN. 4. 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 452-2259, www.fairyland.org.<
COYOTE HILLS REGIONAL PARK The park is located on the shoreline of Fremont Bay and features rich wetland areas as well as Ohlone Indian shellmound sites. Hiking in the park allows scenic views of San Francisco Bay and southern Alameda County. The 12-mile Alameda Creek Trail runs from the Bay east to the mouth of Niles Canyon and features an equestrian trail as well as a bicycle trail; hikers are welcome on both. The park conducts naturalist programs and has a visitor center with a nature store and Ohlone, natural history and wildlife exhibits.
SPECIAL EVENTS -- Free unless otherwise noted.
"Bird Walk Gawk," June 5, 8-11 a.m. Discover patterns of behavior, migration and habitat on this birding outing.
"Skills of the Past: Obsidian Arrowheads," June 6, 3-5 p.m. Experience firsthand the skill of turning a volcanic rock into a functional Stone Age cutting tool.
"Learn to Construct a Tule Boat," June 6 and June 27, Jun. 6, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Jun. 27, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. On June 6, help gather tule, then see a slideshow on California tule boats. On June 27, build a three person tule boat and launch it for a paddle around the lake.
"Introduction to Ohlone Culture," June 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Practice string making and learn about Ohlone tools.
Free unless otherwise noted; A parking fee may be charged. Registration required for events. April through October: daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; October through April, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., unless otherwise posted. 8000 Patterson Pass Road, Fremont. (510) 636-1684, (510) 795-9385, www.ebparks.org.<
CRAB COVE VISITOR CENTER At Crab Cove, you can see live underwater creatures and go into the San Francisco Bay from land. You can also travel back in time to Alameda's part. The goal is to increase understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay and the ocean ecosystem. Crab Cove's Indoor Aquarium and Exhibit Lab is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the East Bay.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
"Catch of the Day," Sundays, 2-3 p.m. Drop by to find out more about the Bay and its wildlife through guided exploration and hands-on fun.
"Sea Squirts," 10-11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discover the wonders of nature with your little one. Registration is required. $6-$8.
"Sea Siblings," Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Explore the natural world and take part in a theme related craft. Designed for the 3-5 year old learner. Registration is required. $4. (888) 327-2757.
"Nature by Parachute," June 6, 1-2 p.m. Explore nature in a whole new way, with parachute play.
"Children's Storytime and Exploration," June 12, 9-10:30 a.m. Watch duckling, ladybug and crabs at the pond.
Free unless otherwise noted; parking fee may be charged. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.<
CROWDEN MUSIC CENTER
"Very First Concerts: Learn to be a Conductor," June 5, 11 a.m. This classical series for younger listeners gives you the chance at hands-on musical activities. Free. (510) 559-6910.
1475 Rose St., Berkeley. (510) 559-6910, www.crowdenmusiccenter.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.<
FOREST HOME FARMS The 16-acre former farm of the Boone family is now a municipal historic park in San Ramon. It is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and is divided into two parts by Oak Creek. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that has been remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. Also on the property are a barn built in the period from 1850 to 1860; the Victorian-style David Glass House, dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s; a storage structure for farm equipment and automobiles; and a walnut processing plant.
Free unless otherwise noted. Public tours available by appointment. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. (925) 973-3281, www.ci.sanramon. ca.us/parks/boone.htm.<
HABITOT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM A museum especially for children ages 7 and under. Highlights include "WaterWorks,'' an area with some unusual water toys, an Infant Tree for babies, a garden especially for toddlers, a child-scale grocery store and cafe, and a costume shop and stage for junior thespians. The museum also features a toy lending library.
ONGOING EXHIBITS --
"Waterworks." A water play gallery with rivers, a pumping station and a water table, designed to teach about water.
"Little Town Grocery and Cafe." Designed to create the ambience of shopping in a grocery store and eating in a restaurant.
"Infant-Toddler Garden." A picket fence gated indoor area, which includes a carrot patch with wooden carrots to be harvested, a pretend pond and a butterfly mobile to introduce youngsters to the concept of food, gardening and agriculture.
"Dramatic Arts Stage." Settings, backdrops and costumes coincide with seasonal events and holidays. Children can exercise their dramatic flair here.
"Wiggle Wall." The floor-to-ceiling "underground'' tunnels give children a worm's eye view of the world. The tunnels are laced with net covered openings and giant optic lenses.
SPECIAL EXHIBITS --
$6-$7. Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday-Tuesday. 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org.<
HAYWARD SHORELINE INTERPRETIVE CENTER Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Center offers an introduction to the San Francisco Bay-Estuary. It features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. The Habitat Room offers a preview of what may be seen outside. The 80-gallon Bay Tank contains some of the fish that live in the Bay's open waters, and the Channel Tank represents habitats formed by the maze of sloughs and creeks that snake through the marsh. The main room of the Center features rotating exhibits about area history, plants and wildlife. Part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District.
ONGOING EXHIBIT --
"Exploring Nature," An exhibit of Shawn Gould's illustrations featuring images of the natural world.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
"Nature Detectives," 11 a.m.-noon. An introduction and exploration of the world of Black-Crowned Night-Herons. Ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration required.
"Weekend Weed Warriors," 1-4 p.m. Help the shoreline to eliminate the non-native plants that threaten its diversity. Ages 12 and older. Registration required.
"Waterfowl of the Freshwater Marsh," 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Join an expert birder to go "behind the gates'' to areas of the marsh that are not open to the public.
Free. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward. (510) 670-7270, www.hard.dst.ca.us/hayshore.html.<
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF THE EAST BAY
"Shabbat Celebration for Young Children," Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Join other families with young children to sharethis weekly Jewish holiday of joy and renewal.
1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 848-0237, www.jcceastbay.org/.<
JUNIOR CENTER OF ART AND SCIENCE A center dedicated to encouraging children's active wonder and creative response through artistic and scientific exploration of their natural urban environment. The center's classes, workshops, exhibits and events integrate art and science.
EXHIBITS -- Three educational exhibits are mounted in the "Children's Gallery'' each year. A docent-led tour, demonstrations, hands-on activities and art projects are available to school groups throughout the year.
"Jake's Discovery Garden," Jake's Discovery Garden is a new interactive studio exhibit designed for preschool-aged children and their adult caregivers that teaches young visitors about the natural environments found in their backyards, playgrounds and neighborhoods.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
Free; programs and special exhibits have a fee. September through May: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June through August: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 558 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 839-5777, www.juniorcenter.org.<
LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER
Jose Luis Orozco, June 12, 10 and 11:30 a.m. $5-$12.
3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.<
LAKE CHABOT REGIONAL PARK The 315-acre lake offers year-round recreation. Services include canoe and boat rental, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, picnicking and seasonal tours aboard the Chabot Queen. For boat rentals, call (510) 247-2526.
Free unless noted otherwise; $5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs. Daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 17930 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.<
LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE
$6-$12; 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.<
LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.
WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
$5-$7; free children under age 2. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.<
THE MARSH BERKELEY
"The World's Funniest Bubble Show," through June 27, Sunday, 11 a.m. Bubble Man Louis Pearl presents his fun and family-friendly antics. $7-$50.
The Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. Info: (415) 826-5750, Tickets: (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org.<
MUSEUM OF CHILDREN'S ART A museum of art for and by children, with activities for children to participate in making their own art.
ART CAMPS -- Hands-on activities and engaging curriculum for children of different ages, led by professional artists and staff. $60 per day.
CLASSES -- A Sunday series of classes for children ages 8 to 12, led by Mocha artists. Sundays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
OPEN STUDIOS -- Drop-in art play activities with new themes each week.
"Big Studio." Guided art projects for children age 6 and older with a Mocha artist. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. $5.
"Little Studio." A hands-on experience that lets young artists age 18 months to 5 years see, touch and manipulate a variety of media. Children can get messy. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5.
"Family Weekend Studios." Drop-in art activities for the whole family. All ages welcome. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $5 per child.
FAMILY EXTRAVAGANZAS -- Special weekend workshops for the entire family.
"Sunday Workshops with Illustrators," Sundays, 1 p.m. See the artwork and meet the artists who create children's book illustrations. Free.
"Saturday Stories," 1 p.m. For children ages 2-5. Free.
SPECIAL EVENT --
"Saturday Stories," 1 p.m. For ages 2-5. Free.
Free gallery admission. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 538 Ninth St., Oakland. (510) 465-8770, www.mocha.org.<
OAKLAND ZOO The zoo includes a Children's Petting Zoo, the Skyride, a miniature train, a carousel, picnic grounds and a gift shop as well as the animals in site specific exhibits, which allow them to roam freely. Included are "The African Savanna,'' with its two huge mixed-animal aviaries and 11 African Savanna exhibits; the Mahali Pa Tembo (Place of the Elephant), with giraffes, chimpanzees and more than 330 other animals from around the world; "Simba Pori,'' Swahili for "Lion Country,'' a spacious 1.5-acre habitat offering both a savanna and woodland setting for African lions; "Footprints from the Past,'' an anthropology exhibit showcasing four million years of human evolution and an actual "footpath'' of the first hominids to emerge from the African savanna; "Sun Bear Exhibit,'' a stateof-the-art space the zoo has developed for its two sun bears; and Siamang Island, a state-of-the-art, barrier-free area that emulates the gibbons' native tropical rain forest habitat. Also see the Malayan Fruit Bats from the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Florida that are now roosting in trees at the zoo. In addition there are special exhibits and events monthly.
ONGOING EXHIBITS --
"Valley Children's Zoo," The three-acre attraction offers a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"Endangered Species," An exhibit of photographs about the most endangered animals on the Earth and what can be done to save them. At the Education Center. Open daily during zoo hours. ONGOING EVENTS --
"Valley Children's Zoo," Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The three-acre attraction will offer a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Free with regular Zoo admission.
"Wildlife Theater," Saturday, 11:45 a.m.; Sunday, 1:45 p.m. On Saturday mornings listen to a story and meet a live animal. On Sunday afternoon meet live animals and learn cool facts about them. Meet in the Lobby of the Zoo's Maddie's Center for Science and Environmental Education. Free with regular Zoo admission. (510) 632-9525, ext. 142.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
$7.50-11; free children under age 2; $6 parking fee. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Knowland Park, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. (510) 632-9525, www.oaklandzoo.org.<
POINT PINOLE REGIONAL SHORELINE The 2,315-acre parkland bordering Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo offers views of Mount Tamalpais, the Marin shoreline and San Pablo Bay. There are trails through meadows and woods, and along the bluffs and beaches of San Pablo Bay. Visitors can hike, ride bikes or take the park's shuttle bus to reach the 1,250-foot fishing pier at Point Pinole.
$5 per vehicle; $4 per trailered vehicle; $2 per dog (guide/service dogs free). Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. Giant Highway, Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.<
ROBERT SIBLEY VOLCANIC REGIONAL PRESERVE East Bay residents have several volcanoes in their backyard. This park contains Round Top, one of the highest peaks in the Oakland Hills.
Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 6800 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.<
SCHARFFEN BERGER CHOCOLATE FACTORY This hour-long tour covers the history of chocolate making, from the cultivation of cacao beans to the finished product. After a chocolate tasting, visitors take a walking tour of the factory floor. Open to children 10 and up. Reservations required.
Free with reservation. Every hour on the half-hour, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 914 Heinz Ave., Berkeley. (510) 981-4066, www.scharffenbergertour.com.<
SHADOW CLIFFS REGIONAL RECREATION AREA The 296-acre park includes an 80-acre lake and a four-flume waterslide, with picnic grounds and a swimming beach. Water slide fees and hours: (925) 829-6230.
$6 per vehicle; $2 per dog except guide and service dogs. May 1 through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; shortened hours for fall and winter. Stanley Boulevard, one mile from downtown, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.<
SULPHUR CREEK NATURE CENTER A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility where injured and orphaned local wild creatures are rehabilitated and released when possible. There is also a lending library of animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and more. The lending fee is $8 per week.
ONGOING EVENTS --
"Toddler Time," Learn about animals by listening to stories and exploring. Themes vary by month. Call for schedule. $7 per family.
"Day on the Green Animal Presentations," Meet an assortment of wild and domestic animals. Wildlife volunteers will present a different animal each day from possums to snakes, tortoises to hawks. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
CHILDREN'S EVENTS --
Free. Park: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Discovery Center: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Animal Lending Library: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1801 D St., Hayward. (510) 881-6747, www.haywardrec.org/sulphur_creek.html.<
TILDEN REGIONAL PARK This park is large and contains hiking trails, a golf course, a miniature scaled train to ride, The Brazilian Building and picnic areas.
SPECIAL EVENTS --
"Toddlers and Friends," June 6, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Toddlers caan explore the meadows, ponds and trails in the Nature Area.
"Sushi Basics Workshop," June 13, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Learn the natural and cultural history of this cuisine and prepare and taste seven basic types of sushi. $29-$39.
Free unless otherwise noted. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entrances off Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Berkeley. (510) 525-2233, www.ebparks.org.<
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.
$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.<