Indoor Fun: 10+ Things to Do on Rainy Days in the East Bay - 510 Families
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Indoor Fun: 10+ Things to Do on Rainy Days in the East Bay

Wow, can the time pass slowly inside the house on a rainy day! While we love cuddling up to some Disney+ under a blanket and splashing in muddy puddles, here is a list of fantastic indoor but out-of-the-house family activities for East Bay parents to consider.

Places to go with Bay Area kids on a Rainy Day

Step away from the screen

Well, trade screens for other screens, anyway. Big kids can get their video game fix at Plank in Oakland. In Alameda, the Pacific Pinball Museum offers pinball from every era. Berkeley’s new Game-On gets their brains working. Other places for big kids to play indoors are on this list >

Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda
Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda | Photo: Heather Flett

Play Indoor Sports and Games

Bowling offers hours of bowling fun for multi-generational crowds (find some bowling deals first). Try something new at Fat Shafts Archery in Benicia. Drive out to Concord for Q-Zar Lazer Tag or Round1 Entertainment.

Bowling with Kids and other weekend ideas
Throwback to Albany Bowl | Photo: Anna Azimi

Learn Something at a Museum

The science museums, Chabot Space & Science in Oakland and Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley are super kid-friendly. Berkeley Art Museum (BAMPFA) and Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) are beautiful spaces to explore together and offer hands-on areas for little ones to feel engaged. See a list of museums you can visit for FREE. Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward also offers an indoor space and it’s free.

See a list of Bay Area science museums for kids here >

Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland | Photo: Anna Azimi

Go to a Family-friendly Movie

With onsite cafes, The New Parkway in Oakland and The Cerrito Cinema in El Cerrito both make it possible to feed your kids a real dinner and watch a movie at the same time. If they need to flop their bodies around during the show, there’s room for that. Lots of other movie theaters offer $6 Tuesday movies >

New Parkway Theater in Oakland
New Parkway Theater in Oakland has couches and bean bags for wiggly bodies | Photo: Heather Flett

Make Art Together

Drop-in for some studio time at Brushstrokes Studio or Color Me Mine Alameda and paint pottery together. Big kids can collaborate on a family plate or individual mug. Babies can get in on the action by stamping footprints onto your work. Finish up your creative endeavors with hot cocoa. Drop-in Art Studio guide>

Brushstrokes Studio Berkeley
Baby keepsakes at Brushstrokes | Photo Nissa Brehmer

Imagine and climb

Need something to do before or after naptime? Kids Play Zone is a paradise for children up to age eight with pretend play stations, a two-level play structure, a tandem slide, a huge ball pit, tunnels, a log ride, and a special area for crawlers and pre-walkers. Check out our Indoor Playspace guide for more indoor fun.

kids at indoor playground
Pretend play stations include a food truck, grocery store, & kitchen. The ball pit was by far a favorite feature at KPZ. | Photo: Julia Gidwani

Jump and Roll Around

Check our calendar to see if any of the local open gym hours are happening. We like the ninja warrior courses at Traverse Fitness and the Ultimate Sports Open Gym. and if not, consider making the drive to Rockin Jump in Concord, Fremont, or Dublin for some bouncing time. Even Pump It Up in Oakland offers Pop In Playtime where you pay by the hour. Ruby’s Tumbling in Alameda also has pop in playtime on Monday and Friday mornings.

Richmond Plunge swimming pool
The Richmond Plunge | photo by flickr Skip Moore

Splash and Swim

There are a few East Bay indoor pools that are warm and fun on a cold rainy day. Albany has tot hours in the morning, as does the Richmond Plunge and Silliman Aquatic Center in Newark. Aquatech in Alameda is another great option, not far from the movie theater and Color Me Mine if you want to try a few indoor activities together.

What are your go-to activities for rainy days?


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2 thoughts on “Indoor Fun: 10+ Things to Do on Rainy Days in the East Bay”

  1. For tweens and teens, Game On in Berkeley is a great family destination. 510 Families wrote about it in October and called it “Wholly original, it is an easy birthday party destination (or family outing) for game lovers, puzzle enthusiasts, and creative thinkers.”

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