20 free things to do in the East Bay before summer is over - 510 Families
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20 free things to do in the East Bay before summer is over

Take on one of these items as your mission every day, and you’ll definitely be getting the most out of the East Bay — and having tons of fun with your kids. One parent advised us to literally write the outing into our calendar to make sure that each day contained a little adventure.

  1. Play in the creek near Frog Park in Rockridge
  2. Learn something new at the Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda (at Crown Memorial State Beach, where the beach is free, but parking is $5)
  3. Hike around Lake Anza
  4. Seek out a homemade Little Free Library and borrow a book.
  5. Feed the animals at the Little Farm in Tilden Park, open daily from 8.30 to 3.30.
  6. Spend a few minutes investigating the Discover & Go program through which you can use your library card to get free passes to expensive museums like The Exploratorium.
  7. Try a new park, like Washington Park in Alameda or even Golden Gate Park in San Francisco (here’s a great guide).
  8. Hit the beach in Richmond — Keller Beach
  9. Watch the ferries at Jack London Square
  10. Fly a kite in the Berkeley marina (bundle up first!)
  11. Marvel at the front lawn decorations in North Berkeley
  12. Try a concrete slide at Cordonices or Dorothy Bolte park
  13. Ride bikes and watch the trains go by at Shoreline Park in Hercules. The flat, paved Bay Trail here offers a perfect place for toddler scooters and parent joggers alike.
  14. Climb around at Indian Rock.
  15. Photograph your kid in front of graffiti or murals.
  16. Stroll through the Edible Schoolyard
  17. Do a free craft project at the Lakeshore Learning Store in San Leandro.
  18. Take a spin on Emeryville’s superfun playground
  19. Watch a free outdoor movie
  20. Take a kid-friendly hike in Dimond Park: Past the pool, back near the (great!) play structures, you’ll find a sweet, easy, groomed path that takes you up the creek into Dimond Canyon. In the other direction, it’s an easy walk to delicious La Farine and Peet’s for a snack.

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2 thoughts on “20 free things to do in the East Bay before summer is over”

  1. Can I add another cool free adventure spot? We recently visited Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland and it was super cool. It’s one of the East Bay Regional Parks and has a big wow factor for little and big kids alike: container ships. “Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is situated in the heart of an active container seaport. Visitors can see the direct loading and unloading of a ship, and observe the different pieces of equipment it takes to move cargo.” In addition to the action packed port, the beach trail is delightful and there’s an observation tower with those big viewing binocular things where you can zoom onto the Bay Bridge, SF, Yerba Buena Island, etc. It’s got big clean bathrooms and lots of picnic and BBQ options. Family fun for sure!

  2. Lots of fun ideas! My nearly 4-year-old daughter and I aim to have a “little adventure” each day … enough so that when we stayed in the house yesterday because of bad weather, she kept demanding to know where we were going to go and which friends we were going to see. And I love the idea of putting an outing in your calendar each day. The calendar would then be a good keepsake.

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