East Bay Summer Fun for the Family

It’s almost summer. Time to build sand castles, ride the rails, and catch a musical matinee. The East Bay is rich in activities that you don’t need to be rich to enjoy. We’ve picked out a few highlights for free or inexpensive summer play for the kiddos.

And don’t forget to start or wrap up your activity with a delicious meal from the Food Hall at Public Market!

The Junior Center of Art and Science
558 Bellevue Ave. Oakland

The 60-year-old nonprofit has exhibits, art and science classes, and workshops. It serves more than 30,000 children each year. It also hosts themed parties for kids, which typically involve hands-on craft projects. And check out their newly renovated space, with a public celebration featuring art-making, science fun, food and music: June 16th, 12:30-3:00 PM

Crab Cove Visitor Center and Aquarium
1231 McKay Ave, Alameda

Part of the East Bay Regional Parks District, Crab Cove is a Bayfront education center with an 800-gallon aquarium and interactive exhibits about marine life. The center’s summer programming is chock full of events for all ages. Download the guide here and mark up your calendar. A summer favorite is the Annual Sand Castle and Sculpture Contest, which takes place this year on June 2nd.

Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, Fremont

Another gem of the East Bay Regional Parks District, Ardenwood in Fremont is a Victorian era farm with a blacksmith shop and home tour. Since Ardenwood is a working farm, the daily activities change from season to season and no two visits will be exactly alike. But rest assured, there’s plenty of fun for the little ones, including train rides, food samples, farm activities, arts and crafts and music.

Bay Area Children’s Theatre
Various locations

Specializing in high quality theater adaptations of great children’s books, BAC Theatre’s performances are held primarily in Berkeley, but the shows tour throughout the region. This summer, check out the rockin’ musical “Pete the Cat.” Recommended for ages 3 to 8, this send-up based on the popular book series open on June 16th and runs through September.