Tilden Regional Park - Places For Kids

Tilden Regional Park

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2501 Grizzly Peak Blvd
Orinda, CA 94563

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(510) 544-2233
8:30 am – 4 pm Daily


DESCRIPTION FOR Tilden Regional Park

If your kids don't know what a working farm looks like, Little Farm would be the perfect place to take them after it re-opens on March 2014. Toddlers will especially be fascinated by the various noises of the animals, which of course they'll want to imitate when you get home. The chickens will cluck, the ducks will quack – and the goats and cows will cluster around to be fed your wilted leftover lettuce and celery from the back of the fridge. (They are not picky about food quality.) The ducks have their own luxury pool with a sunning deck, so on the right day, you can catch them sunbathing as well as swimming.
The pigs and rabbits are also good watching and observing value,...

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TIPS FOR VISITING Tilden Regional Park

1. Closed to vehicle traffic: South Park Drive is only open to bikes between November and April. That's when newt migration takes place.

2. Trip planning: While cars are the preferred method of arrival, it is possible to get to Tilden Park if you're willing to walk between stops. For example, from Pier 39 in San Francisco, it'll take about 1.5 hours and 4 transfers to get to Tilden Park. Try the 511 Trip Planner from your area. There's a free parking lot if you do end up driving here.

3. Bring only two veggies to feed the animals: lettuce and celery. Carrots, bread, apples, etc can make the animals sick and bloated. Rabbits are not to be fed.

4. Hand sanitizer should be brought along, though there...

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BIRTHDAY PARTY AT Tilden Regional Park

Party Time at Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round

Telephone: (510) 524-6773

Time: Between 11 am – 5 pm (Saturday & Sunday)

Party price: $13 - $20 per person

Included: Reserved Party Table, Drinks, Ice Cream, Cake, Paper Goods, Rides (4-8 per guest) Packages: Basic, Superior, Deluxe

Membership: N/A

Website Link: www.ebparks.org/registration

Bring Your Own: Snacks

If you've already visited Tilden Park's Little Farm and stopped by the Merry-Go-Round, you'll know that this historical attraction hasn't lost any of its magic. The site is ideal for a kids' birthday party, because you're not restricted to a room or one or two events. The entire park stretches out for miles, and kids can always be taken over to the steam train for a ride or two on the other side...

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REVIEWS FOR Tilden Regional Park

0 Places For Kids review


Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

1300 Senter Rd.
San Jose, CA 95112

Happy Hollow is definitely the sort of place that kids love, and parents love that it's quite affordable. Many of the rides are quite young, and quite tame when compared to the thrills of Magic Mountain, but they are definitely suitable to the seven-year-olds and younger set. Parents may be underwhelmed by the Danny the Dragon ride featuring fairytale statues and a small dark tunnel, but small children seem fascinated and will probably insist on 'Danny again'. Since Danny is currently under a construction makeover, they may have to wait a while until he's ready to thrill them all over again. The carousel and Pacific Fruit Express roller coaster are also a quiet sort of fun, but the bumper cars and Frog Hopper may satisfy the boys' needs for a little adrenaline. The animals in the petting zoo can actually be petted, from the large cow to the ponies and donkeys, which is a step above some ultra-safety conscious facilities. You can brush them as well as feeding them, which is a definite plus, although the goats may have to be deterred from anything flapping that may look like food. No need to bring hand sanitizer, because there's a real hand-washing station with soap. If these activities aren't enough, try the puppet shows and the play areas. These are scattered across the grounds, so if at any time one of the kids has a desperate need to climb and slide and spin around, they can do so. If you pack along some yogurt bars and fruit cups, you can spread out at the picnic tables also scattered across the grounds, and then visit one of the many bathrooms. You may even be visited by face painters, if the season is right. In keeping with the rides, the zoo doesn't provide the larger impressive animals like elephants or giraffes, but the meerkats and birds are always good to see – especially if you make it during feeding time so the trainer can answer questions. Also, sometimes the jaguar lets himself be seen up close.

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0 reviews

Lemos Farm

12320 San Mateo Rd.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

If you're inspired by a local farmers market, or your kids wonder what it would be like to ride a pony, choo-choo train and a tractor, Lemos Farm is the weekend place to go. The goats can't be ridden, but for $1 per cup they can be fed, and so can the ducks and the wishing well – you have to cross its lip with silver. The train has gotten decorated with festive scenes over the years, so you may see Christmas decorations mixed with Western scenes. Christmas trees and pumpkins can also be chosen here instead of at a local lot. You can come on a weekend, park the kids on ponies and wear them out in laser tag, and then wander around finding the perfect fir that will house all of the kids' art projects and glittery ornaments all through December, or the perfect scary jack-o-lantern. While Lemos Farm is agriculturally themed, there are some unique offerings besides the Pumpkin Patch and the hay ride. From September through the end of October, kids can be entertained in the haunted house. No reservations are needed for zapping each other in laser tag, though it does cost $10 for 20 minutes. That may be one of the few drawbacks, that there are a few items not covered in the price of admission – laser tag is one, and operating a tractor in the Dig Zone is another. Otherwise, you do have the choice of just paying single tickets for items like Playtown and the hay ride – or you can get unlimited rides on the train and ponies and everything else by getting a day pass. Playtown is not to be missed for its mix of bouncy houses and rocking horses. This strange blend of activities goes back to the history of Lemos Farm, in which the current owner's city-dwelling grandfather was offered a cow as a debt payment. Since the cow was in the family way, a few more cows were bought and put on a farm to create a working dairy, but all that work required a tractor that still chugs around the grounds today. The pony rides and haunted house came in after the owners started thinking about expanding their Christmas tree side business with pumpkins. Lemos Farm is the place where anything can happen.

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0 reviews

Oakland Zoo

9777 Golf Links Rd.
Oakland, CA 94605

Animals and kids go together, especially at the Oakland Zoo. As a parent, it's important to have that 'magical' place in your back pocket, with plenty of activities, that isn't as pricey as Disneyland. (Parents in the Bay area should think about getting a membership, which includes free admission, parking, guest tickets, and 8 ride vouchers.) For parents without a car, the 511 Trip Planner can save a lot of time on public transport. Since the Zoo is spread across more than 500 acres with hills, parents with toddlers should definitely remember the backpack or stroller. What's great about the Zoo is that there's more than just waiting for the lions to roll over, or reading up on monkey grooming habits. If your kids are of the 'do everything' type, you'll want to check out the train, carousel, and rollercoaster. If your kids are of the 'observer' type, there are 650+ animals to watch, and Monday through Friday feeding times - from alligators to elephants to sun bears. If your kids are of the 'up close and personal' type, scrambling through the meerkat tunnel or the reptile cave is always a good idea, along with the play areas. (Don't forget to take a bathroom break after all that crawling – restrooms are right next to the meerkats, the Bug House, the picnic area, and the goat and sheep barn.) The lack of a 'concrete jungle' at Oakland is what sets it apart from the Los Angeles Zoo. Kids and parents who want to see animals in a naturalistic environment can't go wrong here. It's also more interactive, from the bat house to the goat petting area, and the cable car allows you to see the Bay area while peeking into animal cages.

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0 reviews

Coyote Point Recreation Area

1701 Coyote Point Dr.
San Mateo, CA 94560

Slides and swings, green grass and picnic tables, you can get at almost any park area. Not every park has a castle playground with a dragon theme, unless it's an amusement park, which often charges much more than $6 per person. The five-year-olds and pre-teens have one area for their use, while the toddlers and preschoolers have their own area, so there's less reason to be worried about age conflicts. With over 20 swings and slides, a tire swing, a balance beam, monkey bars, and a 40-foot castle on a hill, there shouldn't be too many reasons to suppose that the kids won't have anything to do. Although there isn't a sandbox or a water zone, parents will be happy to know that there are showers available for a small fee, and that the kids will be cushioned on a recycled rubber coating that keeps bumps and scrapes to a minimum. If you bring a soccer ball and a Frisbee, there are a lot of ways to entertain yourself and the kids on one of the many fields, from freezetag to Flag Football. Beside the playground is a paved bike trail where you can exercise your bikes, or you can go watch the golfers chip at their shots for a while. Also bring sturdy closed-toed shoes, because the ducks and geese are very active and leave frequent signs. There are no food vendors, so it's a good idea to pack along a picnic with some water bottles, or even a board game if it's a sunny day. The airport is nearby, so you can watch the planes fly in and out for free at the lookout point. Most people know about the Marina with the Beer Can races and summer sailing programs. There's even a small gravel beach on the north side where you can bring drinks and sunbathe. What many people may not know is that there's a pistol and rifle range at the heart of the park. It's open on Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays, between 7 to 10 pm, and the admission cost is $5 and under. This is a great place to go for target practice, and maybe meet some law enforcement officers in plain clothing.

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0 reviews


Habitot Children's Museum

2065 Kittredge St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States

This is definitely a place to bring the young ones, whether they want to operate the spaceships and ambulances, don an apron and splash paint around, or splash around in the Waterworks zone. This water zone is even more important in this indoor facility than at others, because the facility is in a basement. One of the only repeated complaints from reviewers was that the museum is smaller than the party area, and occasionally gets hot and stuffy. Staying near the water zone can help alleviate this issue, while the indoor bathroom helps alleviate calls of nature. Other parents had high praise for the arts and crafts area, from the hands-on instructors to the quality of the materials available, though the kids may want to just hang out at the Train Tables all day. Also, if you've ever had a great time at a park or museum, only to have the kids fall apart when they realize they can't take home the toys, this won't happen here. Habitot members can access the lending library for books and toys, and you can get ideas for what will keep them entertained at home. While street and lot parking are relatively inexpensive and easy to access, the facility is very accessible by public transport in downtown Berkeley. Habitot can also be used as a drop-off center every fourth Friday for the monthly Parents' Night Out – the kids get pizza and play while parents get to remember life before diapers. It's a win for everyone.

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0 reviews

Playland Not at the Beach

10979 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Video games, pinball machines, and a magic show. Can there be more bliss at an arcade amusement park? Yes, there can, and it doesn't even depend on whether or not you like Pac-Man, Skee-ball, Sidewinder, or Donkey Kong – they're all here. If the kids have never seen a diorama except those made in school projects, they should come to Playland just for that historical experience alone. Every game has a historical explanation, so game buffs can really go wild about which games were created when by what companies. Minature circus displays, Haunted House displays, boardwalk games – all of these are free as soon as you get inside, and there are prizes for winning. Surprisingly, the magic show has gotten really impressive reviews, especially since the white rabbit can be petted after it's pulled out of the hat. You can have your palm read electronically – press in the palm and get your fortune told. Some of the machines are a century old, but they don't run like ancient artifacts because the volunteers keep them oiled and tuned properly, especially those in the 3D pinball room lit by blacklight. There are relics, but they work just as well as an Xbox. The younger kids may not have experienced the low-key joys of coin tosses and bean bag tosses, not to mention tic-tac-toe machines, so this could while away at least 20 minutes. The haunted house and Santa displays, not to mention Laughing Sal, may be scary for the younger ones – so be prepared. They can always get fascinated by the historical video about the original Playland and the Sutro baths and museum, which shows the difference between the 'then' and 'now' of Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park. If your group is fortunate enough to have a grandparent along, they might be able to tell stories about playing some of these games, and add in some personalized history.

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0 reviews