In the Bay Area, we are now urged to shelter in place. Find additional information on sheltering in place with kids over HERE.
Local and Global Health Departments are strongly recommending social distancing, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus. With so many closures and cancellations, parents are juggling extra variables to keep the kids happy and healthy. While not a comprehensive list, we've gathered resources and tips to help East Bay families. In some cases, we have linked to our affiliates for your convenience.
Please add more helpful tips in the comments!
Local information resources during planned COVID-19 emergency
Local health officials are asking for “social distancing” strategies that include canceling large gatherings. We're seeing many pre-planned activities canceled and rescheduled: concerts, festivals, playtime, sports events, storytimes, and other gatherings.
Find the most current information through the City and County departments of health:
- California Department of Public Health: cdph.ca.gov
- Alameda County Public Health Department: acphd.org
- Contra Costa Health Services: contracostahealth.org
Where to play and what to do with kids during social distancing
Outside places to play
If the weather is pleasant, playing outside is a terrific option when you need to get out of the house. The more natural and distant from one another, the better! We have many suggestions about where to play outside with little kids and where to play outside with big kids; you will have to take some of those suggestions with a grain of salt (and a packet of sanitizing wipes).
If the weather is rainy, that's okay, too! Here are five recommended East Bay places to get even wetter on a rainy day >
Stay home with your family
We have baking projects and silly activities to do in the house. Not to mention all that TV! Here's more to do when you're stuck at home with kids >
Homeschooling tips for novice parents
If you're managing life at home with a K-12 student, here is a wonderful resource about how to prepare for extended school closings—and not lose your mind by giving students some space and some structure. Speaking as a work-from-home parent, I will refer to this article over and over again.
8 fantastic educational resources for online learning, just in case you need them, parents. Dozens more free distance learning programs (we cannot vouch for this list, it is hella long!)
Virtual Museum Tours from around the world – Stuck at Home? Take a video field trip 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours from London, NYC, Washington DC, Paris, Seoul, Berlin, Amsterdam, LA, Florence, São Paulo, and Mexico City.
iD Master Classes —The moment you register for an iD Tech summer program, your child gains access to 12 monthly online iD Master Classes (valued at $300). View iD Tech website for lots more info >
How to talk to your kids about Coronavirus & COVID-19
Resources for Children We Love
NPR put out a comic book for talking to kids about Coronavirus. Depending on your children's ages, you may want to check it out online together or print it out as a booklet or poster.
I also really loved this article by the Greater Good Foundation about How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak (In the midst of our panic around COVID-19, we must look to each other to help us get through it). You may find that the article helps you reframe some of your worries into calm action so you can be more present with your family.
Additional Resources for Children
Habitot put together this list of resources and articles that we wanted to share, too.
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children
- Boston Children’s Museum: Cover Your Cough and Sneeze! How to Teach Kids to Cough/Sneeze into Their Sleeves
- Small people can have big feelings when they hear about scary stuff on the news. How to speak to your children about Coronavirus
- CDC: A video to teach your children how handwashing helps prevents the spread of Coronavirus
A partial list of closings and cancellations
Lots of wonderful businesses are temporarily closed to prevent additional community spread of the Coronavirus. Many pre-planned events are being cancelled or rescheduled: concerts, festivals, playtime, sports events, storytimes, and other gatherings. Here's a list of temporary building closures and recurring program cancellations. When in doubt, check with the venue!
- Albany Berkeley Soccer Club (ABSC) activities cancelled through April 5th.
- Athletic Playground planned closure until March 31
- BAMPFA has cancelled all film screenings, tours, and public programs through March 29, 2020.
- Bay Area Children's Theater shows and events are cancelled.
- Bay Area Discovery Museum planned closure until March 31, 2020.
- Berkeley Public Libraries planned closure until March 31, 2020.
- Canyon Swim School is stopping swim sessions in March
- Chabot Space & Science Center is closed until March 31, 2020.
- Contra Costa Public Libraries planned closure until March 31, 2020.
- The Crucible is cancelling Spring Break camps.
- Habitot plans closure until March 31, 2020.
- Jack London Square has suspended all public events through March 31, 2020 but shops and restaurants are open.
- Junior Center of Art and Science closed until 4/6
- Kindergym with Dawn classes cancelled until 4/22
- The Lawrence Hall of Science is closed through 3/27
- Lindsay Wildlife Experience closed through 4/1
- The MADE will be closed at least until the end of March 2020
- Major League Baseball will suspend spring games and delay opening day by at least two weeks.
- Messy Art Day hosted by ECPC is postponed
- Michaels Crafts has cancelled kid classes and events
- Monterey Bay Aquarium is closed through 3/27.
- NOLL/SOLL Little League suspended all games until 4/6/20.
- Effective Monday, March 16, the Oakland Public Library will close all Library locations, and these closures will remain in effect until further notice.
- OMCA, Oakland Museum of California is closed through 3/27
- Rock N Roll Playhouse at the UC Theatre The Music of Queen for Kids is postponed until June.
- Traverse Fitness closed until 4/5.
- Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society will be closed to the public until March 24, 2020
- Youth Musical Theater Company shows are cancelled through 3/17/20
East Bay School Closings (not a comprehensive list)
Check in with your School Board directly, we can't really manage this list, but we'll start it.
- Berkeley High School will be closed beginning Friday, March 13. The remaining Berkeley Public Schools will be closed starting Monday, March 16 through Spring Break, re-opening April 6
- Oakland Unified Schools will be closed starting Monday, March 16 through Spring Break, re-opening April 6
- West Contra Costa County School District will dismiss midday on Friday, March 13 and resume school April 6, 2020, with plans for distance learning in the works.
Special thanks to Whitney Moss, Carol Burton, and Kat Choi for sharing their experiences and advice. Share your tips, too!