Junior Center of Art & Science - 510 Families
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Junior Center of Art & Science

The Junior Center for Art and Science is a wonderful gem of a science museum and art studio located next to the bird sanctuary at Lake Merritt, with amazing views of Oakland and all the beautiful wildlife that lives on and near the lake.

Mom and child play at Junior Center
Meet the animals every morning at the Junior Center of Art & Science. | Photo: Icarian

There are four main things to do at the Junior Center, plus classes and rotating exhibitions. Admission fees allow guests into these areas:

  1. Drop-in Maker Space. A room equipped with tables and shelves of craft supplies invites children to invent something — and take it home.
  2. Animal Discovery Room. Tanks are full of critters to meet, including Gary, a 40-ish-year-old tortoise.
  3. Art Room. Projects are set up and teachers are on hand to help parents and caregivers help their children.
  4. Toddler Play Room. A large playhouse, shelves full of toys and books, and a picture window overlooking Lake Merritt make this a fantasy playroom you wish you had in your home. Perfect for meetups with friends before or after a stroller walk around the Lake.
Lake Merritt Activities for Kids
My son, Lucio, and Gary the tortoise checked each other out | Photo: Juanita Villa

There is a lovely deck located right outside and sometimes they set up tables so the kids can enjoy their snacks if they so choose.

Plan your visit to the Junior Center for Art & Science

When no special exhibit or event is occurring, hours and rates: Tuesdays – Saturdays 10am – 3pm | $6 suggested donation. Annual memberships are also quite affordable. Get details here >

Junior Center for Art and Science is located at Lakeside Park
558 Bellevue Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610

Website >

There is a ton of fun to be had once you are in Lakeside Park. We also like the bird sanctuary, nearby play structure, and Fairyland all within walking distance. Quadruple the fun!  Parking can be found all along the lake.

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2 thoughts on “Junior Center of Art & Science”

  1. Thank you so much for bring this great facility to the attention of the Montclair community . Education ,awesome views, great facilitators , good customer service, and it’s free! Thanks Juanita for sharing all this with your community. John

  2. Pingback: Summer activities: Things to do in Berkeley and Oakland with kids

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