In most of the Bay Area, we are transitioning to a phase of re-opening with more businesses and activities permitted. We must continue to comply with COVID-19 safety precautions. Read more from the California Department of Health here.
What’s open now for families
Lots of wonderful businesses are starting to re-open. Yay! But please, when in doubt, check with the venue!
As of Friday, April 16, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties are in the Orange Tier; Solano county remains in the Red Tier.
Now open for Bay Area families
Open for both regular showings with reserved seating and private auditorium rentals. Theaters can allow 25% capacity or 100 guests, whichever is smaller in Red Tier counties and 50% capacity or 200 guests, whichever is smaller in Orange Tier counties.
- AMC and Cinemark chains have opened.
- The Landmark chain has opened only on Shattuck Ave in Berkeley. Their other theaters (California, Solano Ave, Piedmont) remain closed.
- Alameda’s independent theater reopened on April 16.
East Bay Parks
Outdoor attractions are open, many with advanced reservations.
- The Gardens at Lake Merritt (seven acres to explore! no reservations! not boring!)
- Adventure Playground has opened reservations. Learn more.
- Steam Trains in Tilden Park are open as of April 3. Buy tickets at the booth or use your pre-pandemic passes. Learn more.
- Ardenwood Farms is open for scheduled visits. Here’s how it works.
- Little Farm in Tilden Park offers scheduled visits, including the Nature Center as of April 3. Here’s how it works.
- Botanical Garden in Tilden is open.
- Tilden Park’s Merry Go Round will open April 17 with reservations encouraged.
- BAMPFA in Berkeley will reopen two days per week to the public during the first week of May.
- Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is now open with free admission through October 12. We have details here.
- California Academy of Sciences reopened on March 17. More details and ticket information here.
- deYoung Museum is open to the public as of Saturday, March 6. More info here.
- SFMOMA is with advance ticket purchase only (kids are free). See the hours here.
- Bay Area Discovery Museum has its indoor and outdoor exhibits open. Advance tickets required. Great for a day trip.
- Oakland Aviation Museum is open for outdoor exhibits. More details on further reopening plans here.
- Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco is hosting free outdoor events until they reopen.
Open with a variety of social distancing solutions, some requiring reservations.
- Strawberries in Brentwood’s Farm District
Swimming lessons are deemed essential. Here’s a guide to swim lessons to sign up for.
In-Person Classes and Athletic Teams for East Bay Kids
- Athletic Playground Limited in-person classes available, and online classes are available. More info here.
- The Crucible is reopened with smaller class sizes and safety policies in place. More program info here.
- NOLL/SOLL Little League has opened registration for a delayed season which will stretch into summer. Check for updates here.
- Traverse Fitness is closed for regular hours, but is open for children’s school day camps/distance learning pods. Learn more here.
- Tutu School is hosting ballet classes for little ones.
- Berkeley Public Libraries You can check out books for outside pickup at any of the five libraries. More info here.
- Contra Costa Public Libraries Front Door Service is available now at 25 library locations. See how it works here.
- Oakland Public Library Ten (10) OPL locations are offering sidewalk pickup service during limited hours.
Family Entertainment Centers
- Boomers in Livermore has hours for mini-golf, go-karting, and the rock climbing wall.
- Golfland in Castro Valley and other mini-golf venues are open.
Pottery Painting venues
- Brushstrokes is open with limited seating. Make a reservation before you go.
- Children’s Fairyland reopened on March 19. Here’s the deal.
- Skystar Observation Wheel in Golden Gate Park is now open. Amazing views of San Francisco. More info here.
- Great America has scheduled its opening day for May 22.
- Santa Cruz boardwalk is now offering rides for CA residents only with advanced purchase (and looooong waits, we hear) and games as well as food stands. Learn more >
- Bigger amusement parks, including Disneyland, are open(ing) with limited capacity or are scheduled for later this spring. Get all the Bay Area amusement park reopening details here.
Niles Canyon Railway is running steam train rides. Buy tickets in advance.
- Oakland Zoo is open with advance ticket purchase and limited capacity and indoor exhibits closed. See more here.
- San Francisco Zoo is open with advanced ticket sales. Indoor attractions like the Insect Room are still closed. Details are here.
Indoor Children’s Playspaces
- Kids Play Zone Oakland is offering private play hours, by reservations in two-hour blocks. Learn more.
- Swings and Wings, Alameda’s sensory-based indoor play place serving kids from 6 months to 8 years old is open for reservations – one social pod at a time.
- Twirl, an art-focused playspace, has opened an outdoor play garden and is hosting their first Kids’ Night (two-and-a-half-hour drop-off session) on Friday, April 2.
- Jumpity Bumpity, Hayward, an ocean-themed indoor play space for young walkers through about age 12. Open for walk-in play as of April 1.
- Read about more indoor kids play spaces in the East Bay >
- Oakland A’s are selling 2 or 4-person ticket pods to home games at the Oakland Arena
Openings In The Near-Future
- Great Wolf Lodge, the indoor waterpark/hotel is taking reservations for mid-June onward.
- Gymboree Oakland plans to open April 20
- Happy Hollow Zoo will open their playground activities at the end of April.
- Kidtopia in Fremont will open the indoor playspace on May 3. (Here’s our 2018 review of it.)
- Lindsay Wildlife Experience is still closed but is now offering a socially-distanced outdoor program for children and hikes.
- The Lawrence Hall of Science is closed through June 2021 but will have in-person camps this summer. Plenty of online resources too.
- The Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda has announced its phased reopening plan, with members and teens and adults allowed first access.
- Summer Camps are open for registration. See a huge list of summer camps & a big list of Bay Area overnight camps.
- Alameda County Fair announced they will do their traditional annual fair in October
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 kids locally; you will have to take some of those suggestions with a grain of salt (and a packet of sanitizing wipes).
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 >
Local COVID-19 information resources
Local health officials are loosening restrictions and counties across the Bay Area are starting to open up. Officials are still asking for social distancing and mask wearing, but we’re now seeing some venues like museums and places like restaurants opening up at reduced capacity.
Find the most current information through the City and County departments of health: