Sunny day destination: Antioch Water Park

Antioch Water Park

There are splashy activities for babies and every age on up: super shallow tadpool, toddler and preschooler waterslide, and big kid body slides.

Taking the San Francisco Bay Ferry

Ferry from Jack London Square to San Francisco

This weekend, my family rode the ferry from Jack London Square to San Francisco, just for the thrill of it. My kids did not have much interest in our destination, San Francisco’s epicurean Ferry Building and adjacent farmer’s market, because it was terribly crowded. They couldn’t see anything, and they’re not inclined toward gourmet food. […]

What to expect at the Lake Merritt Boating Center

Canoe on Lake Merritt

I lived next to Lake Merritt for two years and have lived in the East Bay for 16 since then, but this weekend was my first time taking in Oakland from the vantage point of being on the lake. We rented two canoes for my family of four and paddled against the wind for a […]

99 Days of Summer for Bay Area kids {2014}

A day-by-day guide to summer fun for kids in Oakland, Berkeley and other 510 cities

Never run out of family fun ideas with our 99 destinations for summer fun! We have one for each day between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Each day, choose another adventure! Whether you like to add them to your calendar right now (go on, we fact-checked*), bookmark this page for inspiration, or print it out and stick it […]

The Gardens at Lake Merritt are totally not boring

Lake Merritt Garden

As we strolled around The Gardens at Lake Merritt, a chunk of Lakeside Park that shares a parking area with Children’s Fairyland, my husband and I agreed that visiting botanical gardens always sounds boring, but is usually a big win with my family. In the Sensory Garden, one of eleven themed sections of the Lake […]

Maker Faire 2014 is this weekend in San Mateo

San Mateo Maker Faire

If you like to get your tools out and invent in a crafty, constructy, tinkery kind of way then you should head south for the 2014 Maker Faire. There are several excellent exhibits for curious kids (but to be completely honest, I usually wish I left them at home so I could enjoy my own playtime). […]

Half-day trip to Marin for woodsy hike + pancakes

Hike to West Point Inn for pancakes

Take a lazy hike in the woods and reward yourself for the (mild) exertion with a huge plate of pancakes. You’ve just discovered the secret recipe for the Marin’s West Point Inn.

Swimming lessons for East Bay kids

20-ish places that offer swim lessons in Oakland and Berkeley

It’s that time of year: parents are looking for swimming lessons. Let’s make this a community effort, shall we? Add your experiences in the comments below so that we can all benefit from your swimming lesson knowledge. Here are 17 swimming pools to consider to help teach your child how to swim, arranged roughly from […]

It’s that time of the year: May is Bike Month

Get your kid riding

Put your helmet on and let’s ride! Bike East Bay (the coalition formerly known as the East Bay Bicycle Coalition) is offering family safety bike clinics, rodeos, helmet fittings, and street parties in addition to the usual Bike to Work and School rides. Find some more events on the EBBC website calendar. I requested their […]

{510} Family Faves with Hip Mama, Michelle Cruz Gonzales

{510} Family Faves: Michelle is a Hip Mama

I’m excited to bring you one more in our series project profiling contributors to Bay Area-based parenting magazines, Rad Dad & Hip Mama. Visit the respective websites to purchase and read everything from childcare swaps tips to sex-positive parenting. Michelle Cruz Gonzales is the sixth in our continuing series. Michelle teaches English/Creative Writing at Las Positas College; she was […]

Profile: Adventure Playground

Berkeley's Adventure Playground

Kids can imagine, build, and decorate their own play structures with saws, hammers, nails, and paint. They earn the right to use these tools by collecting hazards like loose nails…

See you at Cal Day?

visting the bug doctor

There really is something for everyone as UC Berkeley, AKA Cal, opens its doors to the families of the East Bay for Cal Day. My husband and second grader have their eyes on auditing another physics class while my kindergartner and toddler want to run around the grounds making slime and looking for doggies and […]

Easter Egg hunts and activities in the East Bay

egg coloring april 2011

There are so many fun places to hunt for Easter Eggs and try to spot the Easter Bunny that we only have a partial list. Please share your favorites in the comments! Saturday April 12 Splash into spring egg scramble at Crab Cove Oakland Egg Hunt with appearances by the Easter Bunny & Amazing Steve […]

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

snow-park-sierras

While our raincoats and boots are drying in the entryway, there is some snow in Tahoe (like only 20% of normal — eek!). Here are a few places that might be worth the drive: Leland snow play, tubing for all ages has been open off-and-on this season Tahoe Donner, affordable for kids and beginners, is […]

Sugar Bowl ski resort for little skiers

Sugar Bowl Ski School - Review on 510Families.com

Sugar Bowl ski resort in Tahoe has enough snow right now to offer a great experience for families, and I road-tested it for you. Last year I recommended Northstar (also open due to sophisticated snow-making capabilities) after my kids made significant progress there on the road to skiing. This year we discovered that Sugar Bowl […]

Lunar New Year events are family-friendly and fun

chinese-acrobats

As the Year of the Horse approaches, a handful of Lunar New Year celebrations are scheduled around the Bay Area. Here are some places to take your children to celebrate the cultures of many local families. The Incredible Peking Acrobats at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley -  January 24th and 25th This exciting kid-friendly show has […]

Ride the steam trains for a cheap thrill

Tilden Park Steam Trains

The steam trains in Tilden Park are one of the East Bay’s best kept secrets. Kinda.