Where to Find Dinosaurs in the East Bay - 510 Families
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Where to Find Dinosaurs in the East Bay

Does it feel like you’re always digging for dinosaurs? If you have a dino-crazy kiddo, you’ll want to check out our list of places to find everything from dinosaur-themed playgrounds to full-size fossils and skeletons. Keep this list in your back pocket when you need to inspire motivation to leave the house for your next expedition.

Finding real dinosaur bones and playful dino toys near Oakland

University of California Valley Life Sciences Building (Berkeley)

The UC Museum of Paleontology is primarily a research museum and so its collections are only open to the public during their annual open house on Cal Day. But you can visit the T. rex, Pteranodon, and triceratops skeletons for free any time the Valley Life Sciences Building is open. Building hours change during holidays and summer, but generally follow the hours of the Bioscience & Natural Resources Library. Try making a half-day out of it and explore all that the Cal campus has to offer.
Price: Free
Location: 1101 Valley Life Sciences Bldg, Berkeley, CA 94720
More info here >

toddler looking at T.rex
The T Rex at the Valley Life Sciences building at Cal | Photo: Julie Herson

FLAX art + design (Oakland)

This wicked cool art store has a super cool dinosaur mural in the parking lot painted by Nychos. It’s totally worth a visit if you’re in the area with a dinosaur enthusiast.
Price: Free
Location: 1501 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland, CA 94612
More info here >

flax t rex mural in parking lot
Stocking up on art supplies at FLAX Oakland when this T Rex caught our eye. | Photo: Julia Gidwani

Annie’s Annuals and Perennials Nursery (Richmond)

This beloved local nursery boasts not one, but three large dinosaur sculptures upon arrival. Little kids also often love wandering around looking at all the pretty flowers and plants too, so there’s plenty to keep everyone busy.
Price: Free
Location: 740 Market Ave, Richmond, CA 94801
More info here >

Dinosaur statue on roof
Three dinosaurs greet you at Annie’s in Richmond | Photo: Andrew C. via Yelp

Children’s Wonderland Park (Vallejo)

This fantasy-themed playground in Vallejo is full of fanciful play structures and spaces, including a sandy area where little ones can dig for dinosaur bones and climb on a dino sculpture. Don’t forget to bring your paleontology tools for the dig, and probably lunch for after.
Price: Residents and children under two are Free; non-residents $4
Location: 360 Glenn St, Vallejo, CA 94590
Hours: Seasonal, so check here for current hours
More info about Children’s Wonderland Park >

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Dinosaur play structure with two girls on top
Small World Vallejo has a climbable dinosaur in the sand play area | Photo: Krystle D. via yelp

Sabercat Playground (Fremont)

Not a dinosaur playground per se, this cool park has a fossil theme based on famous paleontological findings in the area. Kids can climb on and around the mastodon bones and enjoy the large play structure and surrounding fields. Bring along a bike or scooter to take advantage of the flat paved paths. Just FYI, there’s no shade, so bring a hat and sunscreen!
Price: Free
Location: 40464 Paseo Padre Pkwy Fremont, CA 94538
Hours: Playground hours
More info here >

sabercat playground has a mastodon climbing bones
Kids can climb on structures that look like real fossils of giant creatures! | Photo: Sharon H. via Yelp

San Francisco Premium Outlets Play Area (Livermore)

Nope, not in San Francisco, but still a drive. If you happen to be in Livermore, check out the playground at the Outlets. The dinosaur-themed play area has plenty of skeletons, eggs, and more to excite your dino-crazed kid. Park on the North East corner of the center near The North Face and Armani Outlet.
Price: Free
Location: 2774 Livermore Outlets Dr, Livermore, CA 94551. See a map here.
Hours: Stores open M-Th 11am – 7pm; F-Sat 10am – 8pm, Sunday 11am – 7pm
More info here >

shaded play area with dinosaur climbers
This dinosaur play area is particularly fun for an outlet mall. Shaded but gets HOT. | Photo: Michael W. via Yelp

Lost Worlds Family Fun Center (Livermore)

One of the less academic dino adventures, Lost Worlds is an indoor play space with attractions like mini-golf, laser tag, and trampolines. Read our kid report here > Perhaps this could be a great option for a birthday party.
Price: $24.95 ++
Location: 6538 Patterson Pass Rd. Suite E Livermore, CA 94550
Hours: Hours: Wed: 11 am-7 pm, Thu: 3 pm-7 pm, Fri: 11 am-8 pm, Sat: 10 am- 8 pm, Sun: 10 am-7 pm; Closed Mon (except holidays) & Tues.
More info here >

Lost Worlds Indoor Play Center in Livermore
Lost Worlds Indoor Play Center in Livermore | Photo: Heather Flett

Dinosaur Gardens (Various East Bay Spots)

Much like the magical little fairy gardens you can find scattered throughout the east bay, there are also a handful of Dinosaur Gardens. Maureen discovered a bunch of cool dinosaur gardens around town. Let us know if you know of any more!

Dinosaur garden in Upper Rockridge Oakland
Dinosaurs and friends in Upper Rockridge | Photo: Carol Burton

Finding Dinosaurs Beyond the East Bay

If you’re up for a longer drive, there are several dinosaur outings farther afield.

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Cal Academy of Sciences (San Francisco)

The iconic T Rex at the entrance of the Cal Academy is an excellent way to start your day off at this beloved bay area museum. There are also tons of other types of fossils and skeletons in the Naturalist Center on the second floor to further excite your little paleontologist.
Price: Age 2 and under are FREE; Youth (3-17) -$27.75 ; Adult -$35.50
Location: 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118
Hours: Monday–Saturday: 9:30 am–5 pm; Sunday: 11 am–5 pm
More info here >

T-Rex with mask
The masked T-Rex in the front lobby cracked up my big kids | Photo: Julie Herson

San Francisco Zoo (San Francisco)

The San Francisco Zoo has oodles of live animals, but they also have an area near the Aviary where surprisingly realistic life-sized dinosaur sculptures blend into the swampy greenery. See how many you can find!
Price: Adult (12-64) $25; Seniors (65 and over) $20; Children (2-11) $18; Children (under 2) Free
Location: Sloat Blvd &, Upper Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94132
Hours: 10am – 5pm
More info here >

child looking at dinosaur
Can you find the dinosaurs at the San Francisco Zoo? | Photo: Julie Herson

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