Good Free Fun: The East Bay Vivarium - 510 Families
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Good Free Fun: The East Bay Vivarium

An afternoon on 4th Street in Berkeley can turn creepy fast at everyone’s favorite reptile store. Heading out of the sunlight and into the East Bay Vivarium will take you through a world of reptiles, unlike any other pet store.

Berkeley's Vivarium
Berkeley’s Vivarium is a reptile store and lots more | Photo: Kai Schreiber via flickr

The East Bay Vivarium reserves the weekends for shopping visits. 

Sure there are cute turtles swimming in tanks, big ol’ tortoises munching on lettuce, and lizards that fit in the palm of your hand, but there are also boas, enormous pythons, and giant geckos with weird eyeballs that will make you shiver. That is if the feeder supply of crickets and mice didn’t already put goosebumps on your arms.

The Vivarium is a fascinating place to stop and entertain any kid (for free). Lucky timing might even provide you with an opportunity to pet someone scaly. The layout is floor to ceiling, wall to wall tanks of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Creepy crawling things abound at this reptile lovers’ nirvana. It’s best to come and browse on a weekday morning (open at 11 am). They have oodles of snakes and turtles, frogs and lizards, and so much more. Don’t miss Lemondrop, the 15-foot snake in the back right corner of the store! Pro tip: Make sure your little one knows what will or will not be coming home with you before you enter.

Plan your visit to the Vivarium

1827-C 5th Street in Berkeley, California.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 11 am-7 pm Saturday & Sunday, 11 am-6 pm

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