PHOTOS: Fairyland at Lake Merritt and more

Oakland Family Attractions

Children’s Fairyland
DESCRIPTION: Young children will enjoy this enchanting three-dimensional fantasy world in picturesque Lakeside Park, where popular nursery rhymes come to life with puppet theater, childrens theater special performances, rides and fairytale sets. When the kids get hungry after all the play time, there’s a Johnny Appleseed Café nearby.
ADMISSION: Ages 1-100 $7, babes in arms enter Free
DAYS & HOURS: Spring-Summer: Mon-Fri 10a-4:30p, Sat-Sun 10a-5p; Fall-Winter hours vary
ADDRESS: 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises
RAPID TRANSIT: 19th Street BART Station
PHONE: 510-452-2259
WEBSITE: http://www.fairyland.org

Oakland Ice Center
DESCRIPTION: Operated by the NHL’s San Jose Sharks team, the ice center is located in Oakland’s resurgant Uptown District. The rink has public skating hours every day. Skating sessions at affordable prices. The rink offers classes in skating, hockey and speedskating, as well as hockey leagues for children and adults. The Bay Area Curling Club gives curling lessons. Pick up hockey and freestyle sessions are also available.
ADMISSION: $14 or less for admission and skate rental.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 12a–Midnight, Sun 9a–12a
ADDRESS: 519 18th Street, Oakland, CA MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: 19th Street BART Station
PARKING: paid lots nearby
PHONE: 510-268-9000
WEBSITE: http://www.oaklandice.com

Chabot Space & Science Center
DESCRIPTION: From a stunning precipice in the Oakland Hills, this recently opened, 86,000-square foot center boasts one of the largest public telescopes in the United States and an exciting space-flight simulator; a 250-seat planetarium; train like an astronaut or experience what it’s like to perform tasks on a space walk. The hands-on science and technology exhibits in Challenger Learning Center will keep them the kids occupied 1-2 hours if you let them. Celestial Café’s menu features sandwiches, Kosher hot dogs, salads, chips, soft drinks and juice. You won’t want to leave without visting Starry Nights Gift Store.
ADMISSION: yes; IMAX Theatre requires a separate fee
DAYS & HOURS: Adults $15, Ages 3-12 $11, Ages 2 and under enter Free
ADDRESS: 10000 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises
PHONE: 510-336-7300
WEBSITE: http://www.chabotspace.org

Oakland Aviation Museum
DESCRIPTION: Want to sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet or bomber jet? No problem. OAM also features a collection of artifacts and library materials is the result of donations from people across the U.S. It also features an Aviation Hall of Fame. Group tours are available. Take the Rental Car Shuttle Bus to the Rental Car Center. Walk to the Earhart Drive exit and turn left. The Museum is two blocks from the Rental Car Center.
ADMISSION: $10 for adults and less for others
DAYS & HOURS: Wed-Sun 10a–4p
ADDRESS: 8252 Earhart Road, Oakland, CA MAP
PARKING: onsite
PHONE: 510-638-7100
WEBSITE: http://www.oaklandaviationmuseum.org

Oakland Zoo
DESCRIPTION: The zoo houses more than 375 native and exotic animals in a child friendly zoo that is easy to walk or push a stroller around. Recently renovated habitats are organized into geographic regions configured to resemble the animals’ native habitats; educational activities aplenty for kids; the African Savannah is a focal point of the zoo, located between the Tigers and Lions. The Rain Forest habitat, complete with naturalistic rockwork, vines, climbing structures and lush foliage is also quite attractive; check their website for animal feeding times.
ADMISSION: Adults $10.50, Ages 55+ and Ages 2-14 $7, Age 1 and under enter Free
DAYS & HOURS: daily, 10a-4p; Memorial Day to Labor Day open daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 9777 Golf Links Road, Knowland Park, Oakland, CA MAP
PARKING: $7 on premises
PHONE: 510-632-9525
WEBSITE: http://www.oaklandzoo.org

Lawrence Hall of Science
DESCRIPTION: This public science museum and research center for K-12 education is located in the hills above the University of California at Berkeley campus. Upon arrival you see a spectacular 180-degree view of the San Francisco Bay. Inside the hall, National Geographic 3D Theater shows edutainment films from space to the tiniest animals beneath our feet. Movies are nice, but passive experiences. The science hall believes in hands-on engaging experience to spark science imagination. So Hall Experiences include animal investigations, design build & test, Earth & Space stargazing, puzzles & brain teasers and more. Popular summer science camps are available.
ADMISSION: $12 adults, $10 seniors and kids
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: One Centennial Drive, Berkeley, CA MAP
PHONE: 510-632-9525
WEBSITE: http://www.oaklandzoo.org

Robert Crown State Beach
DESCRIPTION: Arguably, Robert Crown is the most inviting family beach in the Bay Area, when you consider that San Francisco beaches are often chilly, cloudy and have riptides. In contrast, Robert Crown is sunny and warm on the same day. Jog or bike to your heart’s delight while taking in great views of pleasure craft, the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, Yerba Buena Island, airplane departures and a nature preserve for migrating birds. The 2.5-mile beach with sand dunes bordering a bicycle trail is a great achievement of landscaping and restoration with sand from San Francisco Bay, pumped ashore by pipeline from a barge.
ADDRESS: 1252 McKay Avenue, Alameda, CA MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: High-speed ferry to San Francisco Ferry Building via Baylink Ferry (707-643-3779)
PHONE: 510-521-7090
WEBSITE: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/crown_beach

Waterworld California
DESCRIPTION: This 30-acre water park is home to more than 37 attractions, including slides, rides and pools. This includes the newly renovated Lil’ Kahuna’s Water Works for younger ages as well as the thrilling Break Point Plunge for those who want a more extreme experience. Additionally, guests can enjoy the new Capri Cabanas with upscale amenities while keeping cool at the Park. From Northern California’s longest lazy river to the world’s steepest body slide, there is something for everyone!
ADMISSION: Adults $32, Kids under 48″ $16. Rent a cabana for the day when its hot.
DAYS & HOURS: hours vary by season
ADDRESS: 1950 Waterworld Parkway, Concord, CA MAP
PHONE: 925-609-1364
WEBSITE: http://www.waterworldcalifornia.com

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
DESCRIPTION: America’s only combination wildlife park, oceanarium and theme park, recently debuted Zonga, a roller coaster which takes its name from a Swahili word for coil or loop; this supercoaster features four full looping and two giant back to back circles inversions; the Sea Lion stadium, shark experience, alligator isle and the go carts are family favorites; Tony Hawk’s Big Spin is the latest ride; there are a multitude of dining options and nearby inexpensive hotels; newest entertainment attraction is holiday-themed characters on parade and those lovable Looney Tunes characters; family reunion packages are available
ADMISSION: Adults $45 at the park or save $15 by purchasing online; you can also order a Flash Pass online to speed your way through long lines for many popular rides
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10:30a-7p, longer hours in Summer
ADDRESS: 2001 Marine World Parkway, Vallejo, CA MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: High-speed ferry to the park from San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf via Blue & Gold Fleet (415-773-1188) or from San Francisco Ferry Building via Baylink Ferry (707-643-3779)
PARKING: One-day $15
PHONE: 707-643-6722
WEBSITE: http://www.sixflags.com/discoveryKingdom

Jelly Belly Visitor Center
DESCRIPTION: Take the kids on a FREE 40-minute tour to see them cook over 150 different sweet treats and discover why it takes more than a week to make a single bean; the best part — tasting samples of the world’s best jellybeans
DAYS & HOURS: daily 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA MAP
PARKING: free on premises
PHONE: 800-522-367
WEBSITE: http://jellybelly.com


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