For some of us, signing up a whole session of a weekly toddler's activity is overwhelming in terms of both time and money. Drop-in classes are God's gift to commitment-phobe parents who are still in need of fun ways to spend time with their kiddos. Here is a whole list of weekday things to do with toddlers and preschoolers in the East Bay.
Drop-in toddler classes in the East Bay
Rockin' Kids Singalong (Berkeley)
Ex-punk rocker turned mom Stephanie Pepitone plays kid-friendly songs with a little extra noise. It's a musical playgroup. Kids can join her on the stage, stare off into space, or grab one of the instruments or scarves she provides. Best for ages 1-4.
When: Friday mornings at 10.30
Where: La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
Price: sliding scale from $10-$20.
More details >
City of Berkeley's Wee Play
Drop-in indoor open play sessions for ages 1-4. You can find toddler playthings set up for kids and their caregivers at two Berkeley park recreation centers.
When and Where:
From June 19-Aug 9
Tues and Thurs 9:30am-11:00am Frances Albrier Auditorium
More details for Summer 2018 >
Storytime at Totland (Berkeley)
Can you hold off naptime until after 1 pm? For ages 0-5, books will be read at the Totland clubhouse. Located in a fun playground.
When: From June 20-Aug 10 at 12:15
Where: Totland Park at Virginia and McGee
Richmond Tot Splash (Richmond)
A clean, indoor pool with a shallow entry area for toddlers hosts an hour of wet fun for little kids on weekdays.
When: 9:45-10:45 M-F
Where: Richmond Swim Center, 4300 Cutting Blvd 510-620-6654
Cost: $2 per person
Rec Room (South Berkeley)
Daily play space and cafe for parents and children. Includes daily craft, storytimes, yoga, and more. Drop-in and play.
When: Mon-Fri 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Rec Room, 3222 Adeline Street, Berkeley
Price: $10 per child. Babies under 1 and parents are free.
More details >
MOCHA Drop-In Art (Oakland)
Kids as young as 18 months old can make art in the studio at Mocha in Oakland. Kids are welcome up to age 6.
When: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday between 10 am and 1 pm.
Where: 1625 Clay Street, Oakland
Price: $5 per person for children and adults ($10 for an adult/child pair)
Junior Center of Art and Science (Oakland)
Located next to Lake Merritt, Junior Center invites drop-in visits. Meet the Animals; access to a small play space daily, best for toddlers under 3. Learn more about Junior Center.
When: 10 to 3 pm on Tues-Sat (Closed Sun/Mon)
Where: 558 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland
Price: $6 from 10 am to 1 pm, animals will come out for close-up viewing; $5 from 1 pm to 3 pm, animals seen only through tank.
Review of a Junior Center visit from 510 Families >
Blue Moon Learning Center (Alameda)
This is a small indoor play area for toddlers in Alameda. Session-based language and music classes are offered in a classroom.
When: Weekdays 9:30 to 5 with exceptions noted on calendar.
Where: 650 Central Ave, Alameda
Price: $6 to enter and play. Babies under 1 are free.
See the website >
City of Alameda Wee Play (Alameda)
Indoor drop-in playtime is offered through the city for children ages 6 months to 3 years. Activities include play, music time, and coloring. Activities are minimally structured which allows children to enjoy and explore on their own terms.
When: M, W, F 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Alameda Veteran’s Memorial Building, 2203 Central Avenue
Cost: $6 per child
Here's a review from a local dad>
On hiatus from baby and toddler classes (check back soon)
Bear Cub Open Gym (Berkeley)
Kids ages 1-5 may play in the gymnastics center during this time slot. Bring a snack to take a break, and then play some more! Pay at the cashier window.
When: Wednesdays from 11:45am-1:15pm
Where: Golden Bear Rec Center, 25 Sports Lane, Berkeley
More details >
Cost: $5 per child
Bladium Fun Zone (Alameda)
Drop-in Fun Zone hours, for kids 18 months to 8 years old. Drop in at this expansive indoor soccer field and gym. Parents can use their free wi-fi while kids play on bouncy things and run around on the turf fields. Runs November through April. Fall hours start first Thursday in November.
When: 9.30 am to 3 pm, Thurs and Fridays
Where: 800 W Tower Ave, Alameda
Price: $9 for non-members; $7.50 for those currently enrolled in a sports class; $6 for club members.
November through April
*Dates and times exclude the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas up to New Year’s Day.