ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission.
ONGOING PROGRAMS --
"Blacksmithing," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into useful tools.
"Horse-Drawn Train," Thursday, Friday and Sunday. A 20-minute ride departs from Ardenwood Station and Deer Park.
"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3-4 p.m. Help slop the hogs, check the henhouse for eggs and bring hay to the livestock.
"Victorian Flower Arranging," Thursday, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Watch as Ardenwood docents create floral works of art for display in the Patterson House. "Country Kitchen Cookin'," Sundays, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy the flavor of the past with treats cooked on Ardenwood's wood burning stove. Sample food grown on the farm and discover the history of your favorite oldtime snacks.
"Horse-Drawn Train Rides," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Meet Jigs or Tucker the Belgian Draft horses that pull Ardenwood's train. Check the daily schedule and meet the train at Ardenwood Station or Deer Park.
"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. Feed the pigs, check for eggs and bring hay to the livestock.
"Toddler Time," Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. Bring the tiny tots out for an exciting morning at the farm. Meet and learn all about a new animal friend through stories, chores and fun.
"Potato Harvesting," Learn the spectacular history of this New World native as you dig with your spade and help find the spuds.
$1-$5; free children under age 4. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. (510) 796-0199, (510) 796-0663, www.ebparks.org.
Alphabet Rockers, Oct. 3, 3 p.m. $4-$6.
1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.
AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM -- The museum's permanent exhibition of internationally renowned automobiles dated from 1897 to the 1980s. The cars are displayed as works of art with room to walk completely around each car to admire the workmanship. On long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution is a Long Steam Tricycle; an 1893-94 Duryea, the first Duryea built by the Duryea brothers; and a 1948 Tucker, number 39 of the 51 Tuckers built, which is a Model 48 "Torpedo'' four-door sedan. "International Automotive Treasures," An ever-changing exhibit featuring over 90 automobiles.
"A Journey on Common Ground," An exhibit of moving photographs, video and art objects from around the world exploring the causes of disability and the efforts of the Wheelchair Foundation to provide a wheelchair for every person in need who cannot afford one. Free Public Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Docent-led guided tours of the museum's exhibitions.
$5-$8; free for children ages 6 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. (925) 736-2280, (925) 736-2277, www.blackhawkmuseum.org.
CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films.
Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.
CHILDREN'S FAIRYLAND A fairy tale theme park featuring more than 30 colorful fantasy sets. Designed especially for children ages 10 and under, there are gentle rides, a train, the "Peter Rabbit Village,'' puppet shows, story-telling and lots of slides and animals. Admission price includes unlimited rides, special shows, guest entertainers and puppet shows.
OLD WEST JUNCTION -- Children's Fairyland's newest attraction is a Wild West-themed town sized just for children, with a livery stable, bank, jail and a water tower slide.
PUPPET SHOWS -- Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. All shows are at the Open Storybook Theatre. Free with regular Fairyland admission.
ARTS AND CRAFTS CENTER -- Activities on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.
ANIMAL OF THE DAY -- Saturday and Sunday, 1-1:20 p.m. at the Humpty Dumpty Wall. Learn about one of Fairyland's animal friends."Arts and Crafts," Noon-3 p.m. Event features arts and crafts projects for children and their families. $6.
"Animal of the Day!" Saturdays and Sundays, 1-1:20 p.m. Come up close and learn about Fairyland's creatures.
$6; free for children under age 1; $2 for a Magic Key. No adult admitted without a child and no child admitted without an adult. Summer (June through Labor Day): Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fall and Spring: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Winter: Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CLOSED DEC. 25-JAN. 4. 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 452-2259, www.fairyland.org.
CRAB COVE VISITOR CENTER At Crab Cove, you can see live underwater creatures and go into the San Francisco Bay from land. You can also travel back in time to Alameda's part. The goal is to increase understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay and the ocean ecosystem. Crab Cove's Indoor Aquarium and Exhibit Lab is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the East Bay."Sea Siblings," Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Explore the natural world and take part in a theme related craft. Designed for the 3-5 year old learner. Registration is required. $4. (888) 327-2757.
"Sea Squirts," 10-11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discover the wonders of nature with your little one. Registration is required. $6-$8.
"Catch of the Day," Sundays, 2-3 p.m. Drop by to find out more about the Bay and its wildlife through guided exploration and hands-on fun.
Free unless otherwise noted; parking fee may be charged. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.
DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.
ESTATE GROUNDS -- Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.
GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free.
Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.
FOREST HOME FARMS The 16-acre former farm of the Boone family is now a municipal historic park in San Ramon. It is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and is divided into two parts by Oak Creek. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that has been remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. Also on the property are a barn built in the period from 1850 to 1860; the Victorian-style David Glass House, dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s; a storage structure for farm equipment and automobiles; and a walnut processing plant.
Free unless otherwise noted. Public tours available by appointment. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. (925) 973-3281, www.ci.sanramon. ca.us/parks/boone.htm.
HABITOT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM A museum especially for children ages 7 and under. Highlights include "WaterWorks,'' an area with some unusual water toys, an Infant Tree for babies, a garden especially for toddlers, a child-scale grocery store and cafe, and a costume shop and stage for junior thespians. The museum also features a toy lending library. "Waterworks." A water play gallery with rivers, a pumping station and a water table, designed to teach about water.
"Little Town Grocery and Cafe." Designed to create the ambience of shopping in a grocery store and eating in a restaurant.
"Infant-Toddler Garden." A picket fence gated indoor area, which includes a carrot patch with wooden carrots to be harvested, a pretend pond and a butterfly mobile to introduce youngsters to the concept of food, gardening and agriculture.
"Dramatic Arts Stage." Settings, backdrops and costumes coincide with seasonal events and holidays. Children can exercise their dramatic flair here.
"Wiggle Wall." The floor-to-ceiling "underground'' tunnels give children a worm's eye view of the world. The tunnels are laced with net covered openings and giant optic lenses.$6-$7. Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday-Tuesday. 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org.
HALL OF HEALTH A community health-education museum and science center promoting wellness and individual responsibility for health. There are hands-on exhibits that teach about the workings of the human body, the value of a healthy diet and exercise, and the destructive effects of smoking and drug abuse. "Kids on the Block'' puppet shows, which use puppets from diverse cultures to teach about and promote acceptance of conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, leukemia, blindness, arthritis and spina bifida, are available by request for community events and groups visiting the Hall on Saturdays. "This Is Your Heart!" An interactive exhibit on heart health.
"Good Nutrition," This exhibit includes models for making balanced meals and an Exercycle for calculating how calories are burned.
"Draw Your Own Insides," Human-shaped chalkboards and models with removable organs allow visitors to explore the inside of their bodies.
"Your Cellular Self and Cancer Prevention," An exhibit on understanding how cells become cancerous and how to detect and prevent cancer.
Suggested $3 donation; free for children under age 3. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 549-1564, www.hallofhealth.org.
HAYWARD SHORELINE INTERPRETIVE CENTER Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Center offers an introduction to the San Francisco Bay-Estuary. It features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. The Habitat Room offers a preview of what may be seen outside. The 80-gallon Bay Tank contains some of the fish that live in the Bay's open waters, and the Channel Tank represents habitats formed by the maze of sloughs and creeks that snake through the marsh. The main room of the Center features rotating exhibits about area history, plants and wildlife. Part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. "Exploring Nature," An exhibit of Shawn Gould's illustrations featuring images of the natural world."Nature Detectives," 11 a.m.-noon. An introduction and exploration of the world of Black-Crowned Night-Herons. Ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration required.
"Weekend Weed Warriors," 1-4 p.m. Help the shoreline to eliminate the non-native plants that threaten its diversity. Ages 12 and older. Registration required.
"Waterfowl of the Freshwater Marsh," 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Join an expert birder to go "behind the gates'' to areas of the marsh that are not open to the public.
Free. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward. (510) 670-7270, www.hard.dst.ca.us/hayshore.html.
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF THE EAST BAY
"Shabbat Celebration for Young Children," Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Join other families with young children to sharethis weekly Jewish holiday of joy and renewal.
1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 848-0237, www.jcceastbay.org/.
JUNIOR CENTER OF ART AND SCIENCE A center dedicated to encouraging children's active wonder and creative response through artistic and scientific exploration of their natural urban environment. The center's classes, workshops, exhibits and events integrate art and science. Three educational exhibits are mounted in the "Children's Gallery'' each year. A docent-led tour, demonstrations, hands-on activities and art projects are available to school groups throughout the year.
"Jake's Discovery Garden," Jake's Discovery Garden is a new interactive studio exhibit designed for preschool-aged children and their adult caregivers that teaches young visitors about the natural environments found in their backyards, playgrounds and neighborhoods.Free; programs and special exhibits have a fee. September through May: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June through August: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 558 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 839-5777, www.juniorcenter.org.
LAKE CHABOT REGIONAL PARK The 315-acre lake offers year-round recreation. Services include canoe and boat rental, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, picnicking and seasonal tours aboard the Chabot Queen. For boat rentals, call (510) 247-2526.
Free unless noted otherwise; $5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs. Daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 17930 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.
LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE "NanoZone," Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.
"Forces That Shape the Bay," A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.
"Real Astronomy Experience," A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.
"Biology Lab," In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
"The Idea Lab," Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.
"Math Around the World," Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.
"Math Rules," Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.
HOLT PLANETARIUM -- Shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Programs recommended for ages 6 and up unless otherwise noted. $2.50-$3 in addition to general admission.
$6-$12; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.
LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.
WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital.$5-$7; free children under age 2. June 16-Sept. 15: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun.; Sept. 16-June 15: noon.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.
MUSEUM OF CHILDREN'S ART A museum of art for and by children, with activities for children to participate in making their own art.
ART CAMPS -- Hands-on activities and engaging curriculum for children of different ages, led by professional artists and staff. $60 per day.
CLASSES -- A Sunday series of classes for children ages 8 to 12, led by Mocha artists. Sundays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
OPEN STUDIOS -- Drop-in art play activities with new themes each week.
"Big Studio." Guided art projects for children age 6 and older with a Mocha artist. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. $5.
"Little Studio." A hands-on experience that lets young artists age 18 months to 5 years see, touch and manipulate a variety of media. Children can get messy. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5.
"Family Weekend Studios." Drop-in art activities for the whole family. All ages welcome. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $5 per child.
FAMILY EXTRAVAGANZAS -- Special weekend workshops for the entire family.
"Sunday Workshops with Illustrators," Sundays, 1 p.m. See the artwork and meet the artists who create children's book illustrations. Free."Saturday Stories," 1 p.m. For children ages 2-5. Free."Saturday Stories," 1 p.m. For ages 2-5. Free.
Free gallery admission. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 538 Ninth St., Oakland. (510) 465-8770, www.mocha.org.
"America's Got Talent," Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. The hit NBC TV show comes to Oakland with Jerry Springer hosting the festivities and performances. $39.50-$99.50.
POINT PINOLE REGIONAL SHORELINE The 2,315-acre parkland bordering Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo offers views of Mount Tamalpais, the Marin shoreline and San Pablo Bay. There are trails through meadows and woods, and along the bluffs and beaches of San Pablo Bay. Visitors can hike, ride bikes or take the park's shuttle bus to reach the 1,250-foot fishing pier at Point Pinole.
$5 per vehicle; $4 per trailered vehicle; $2 per dog (guide/service dogs free). Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. Giant Highway, Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.
PREWETT FAMILY WATERPARK There are pools and water slides for all ages, from the Tad Pool for toddlers to Boulder cove for older swimmers. In addition to fun pools and slides there are fitness pools for lessons and exercise, lawns for relaxing, locker rooms, community room and kitchen. Lap lanes are open year round. Food and beverages are not permitted in the park. Picnic tables are available outside the park.
$4-$11. Sunday through Friday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Aug.23-27, 30-31. 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch. (925) 776-3070, www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CitySvcs/Prewett.
ROBERT SIBLEY VOLCANIC REGIONAL PRESERVE East Bay residents have several volcanoes in their backyard. This park contains Round Top, one of the highest peaks in the Oakland Hills.
Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 6800 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.
SHADOW CLIFFS REGIONAL RECREATION AREA The 296-acre park includes an 80-acre lake and a four-flume waterslide, with picnic grounds and a swimming beach. Water slide fees and hours: (925) 829-6230.
$6 per vehicle; $2 per dog except guide and service dogs. May 1 through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; shortened hours for fall and winter. Stanley Boulevard, one mile from downtown, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.
SULPHUR CREEK NATURE CENTER A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility where injured and orphaned local wild creatures are rehabilitated and released when possible. There is also a lending library of animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and more. The lending fee is $8 per week. "Toddler Time," Learn about animals by listening to stories and exploring. Themes vary by month. Call for schedule. $7 per family.
"Day on the Green Animal Presentations," Meet an assortment of wild and domestic animals. Wildlife volunteers will present a different animal each day from possums to snakes, tortoises to hawks. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
CHILDREN'S EVENTS --
Free. Park: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Discovery Center: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Animal Lending Library: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1801 D St., Hayward. (510) 881-6747, www.haywardrec.org/sulphur_creek.html.
USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center. "Limited Access Day," Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.
"Flight Deck Fun," A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.
"Protestant Divine Services," Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m.
"Family Day," Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member.
"Flashlight Tour," 8:30 a.m. Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. $30-$35 per person.
"History Mystery After Hours Tour," 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Explore the USS Hornet after hours and learn the history of this ship while it is illuminated in red lights used for "night ops." Also, hear stories about the ships' legendary haunts. Reservations required. (510) 521-8448 X282.
$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.
WATERWORLD CALIFORNA `
$19.95-$31.95 General Admission; Season pass: $39.99-$59.99. Park closes in October and reopens in May. 1950 Waterworld Parkway,, Concord. (925) 609-1364, www.waterworldcalifornia.com.