The Lake Merritt Boating Center was the starting place for this 9th birthday party hosted by Irisa and Josh from Berkeley. The Boating Center is a division of Oakland Parks and Recreation.
The party consisted of an instructor-led kayak outing on the lake, during which the 9-year olds paddled their own kayaks, followed by snacks, drinks and cupcakes next to the dock with all the parents and siblings who stayed.
Irisa reports that 90-minutes was the perfect amount of time for the 4th graders to explore the lake and stay engaged in the activity. This group of kids had their own boats, and many guests rented additional boats to take younger siblings out on the lake, too. Staff at Lake Merritt Boathouse recommends kids under 8 have an adult riding in their boat.
Here's what you need to know:
- Call ahead to reserve an instructor. The instructor's time is $25/hour.
- Bring cash. The Boathouse takes only cash. The price of kayak rental is $12 for Oakland residents/$15 for non-residents.
- Secure a group rate. When you rent five or more, boats, you get 25% off for everyone in your party. (Including the folks who you are not necessarily treating to rentals.) One instructor can handle up to 15 boats.
- Bring your own table to set up food and drinks.
More info at Lake Merritt Boating Center webpage >
Get more birthday party ideas from our East Bay Kids Birthday Party Guide.