Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Love this place!! Great for both kids and adults… huge sandstone rock formations to climb, small caves to explore, gorgeous views, fun hiking trails… what’s not to like?? You’ll find Rock City in Mount Diablo State Park, on South Gate Road, near the Live Oak Campground.  For more information about Mount Diablo, visit the website… Mount Diablo State Park. Photos from our visit, June 21st … Continue reading Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Yoda Statue: Lucasfilm Headquarters, San Francisco

For my young Padawan, we made the pilgrimage to the Lucasfilm Headquarters in the Presidio to see the life-sized Yoda statue…. Photos taken June 20th, 2013 *** Interested in going?  You’ll find the Yoda fountain in front of the Lucasfilm Headquarters, located in the Presidio, at 1 Letterman Drive, San Francisco.  There is a security guard in the parking lot.  Simply tell them you’re there … Continue reading Yoda Statue: Lucasfilm Headquarters, San Francisco

Shadow Cliffs: Pleasanton

Yesterday, my son had a school field trip to Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, a large park located in Pleasanton, near the Livermore border.  The students have been learning about the life cycle through the study of trout.  They went to Shadow Cliffs to release baby trout into the lake.  But they also had a lot of fun running around the grass and beach, checking … Continue reading Shadow Cliffs: Pleasanton

Fun! Magic Mountain Playground, San Mateo

I have to rate this playground one the best in the entire San Francisco Bay Area.  We’ve been here a few times over the years, and it’s always so much fun.  If you have a kid who’s into knights, princesses, dragons, and/or castles, this park is a must-visit.  The three-story slide is a highlight! Interested in going?  Magic Mountain Playground is located within the Coyote … Continue reading Fun! Magic Mountain Playground, San Mateo

Building Forts! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

The Adventure Playground in Berkeley… the only place I know in the San Francisco Bay Area where kids are encouraged to get creative with saws, hammers & nails, and paints to build forts.  And play on their creations!  Photos from our school field trip to the playground yesterday… For more information, check out this post from our August visit… Wow!  Adventure Playground, Berkeley Continue reading Building Forts! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Cemetery Fun!

The other day, while playing at Dublin’s Heritage Park, my son suggested we head to the attached cemetery (Dublin Pioneer Cemetery) to look for monsters. Why not? We spent the next hour searching for, running away from, and battling monsters. Here’s a post I wrote last spring about letterboxing (treasure hunting) at this cemetery…  Letterboxing:  The Search for the Gingerbread Man.  Who knew cemeteries could … Continue reading Cemetery Fun!

Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Photos from a hike in Mount Diablo State Park earlier this week with my Nature Time playgroup. We hiked a section of the Trail Through Time, from the Rock City parking lot to (and up) Sentinel Rock, allowing the kids to climb and play on and in the limestone rock structures and caves as much as they wanted.  Kid-heaven!! For more information about Mount Diablo … Continue reading Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Scrambling: Fun on the Rocks

I wish more city parks had rock structures like these for kids to scramble on.  The following photos were taken earlier this week at Emerald Glen Park in Dublin, California.  The boulders challenge kids in a way the regular play structures don’t.  In order to climb these rocks, children have to use their minds to pick a route, figure out how to climb it, and … Continue reading Scrambling: Fun on the Rocks

Great Park for Nature Play: Chabot Park, San Leandro

Yesterday, we attended a wedding reception in a park I’ve never been to… Chabot Park in San Leandro. What a great park for nature play! There were quite a few boys between the ages of three and six at the wedding, and they had a blast running up and down the hills, along the trails, and on the grass.  The sticks were a highlight.  What … Continue reading Great Park for Nature Play: Chabot Park, San Leandro

Kids ‘n Carousels

What is it with kids and carousels?  I’ve given up trying to figure out what children love about them.  I only know they do. Does your child have a favorite?  Do you have a favorite memory of one from childhood?  Please share! *** Links to carousels in the San Francisco Bay Area Creativity Carousel, San Francisco Golden Gate Park Carousel, San Francisco Eugene Friend Carousel, … Continue reading Kids ‘n Carousels

Wow! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Bored of the usual playground facilities?  Then check this one out! The Adventure Playground in Berkeley is a special place, unlike any other park we’ve experienced.  The structures are all built by children (with parental and staff supervision), using provided tools (hammers, nails, saws, and paint).  This place encourages serious creativity!  It’s best for kids seven and older, but for younger children who aren’t ready … Continue reading Wow! Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Celebrating the Summer Solstice, Part 1, Shorebird Park, Berkeley

We celebrated the Summer Solstice yesterday with two awesome nature outings. The first? Beach play with friends at Shorebird Park in Berkeley. I’ve been wanting to visit this park for a while now, as this is where the famous Adventure Playground (considered by National Geographic to be one of the top ten playgrounds in the U.S.) is located. We didn’t make it to that playground … Continue reading Celebrating the Summer Solstice, Part 1, Shorebird Park, Berkeley

Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

On our way back to the car from the San Francisco Botanical Garden (see post from yesterday), we took a little detour to visit Stow Lake.  We first discovered the lake on a visit to Golden Gate Park a few weeks ago.  Now, how did we “discover” a lake that’s been there since 1893?  Let alone Golden Gate Park’s largest body of water?  We simply … Continue reading Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Walking with Friends, Inspiration Trail, Tilden … and Playtime at Orinda Community Park

On Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a lovely 3-mile walk with friends on the Inspiration Trail in the Berkeley Hills.  This is a trail that has grown with us through the years.  My husband and I liked to hike here because of the gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay, the Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge, and, back then, we could veer off the … Continue reading Walking with Friends, Inspiration Trail, Tilden … and Playtime at Orinda Community Park

Great Climbing Structures, Creekside Park, San Ramon

A friend recommended that I check out this park, and we finally made it there a few weeks ago. Creekside Park in San Ramon is a fun little park, with two play areas; one for little kids, one for older kids. This is one of the few parks around that might actually be challenging for older (8+) kids to climb on.  The structure also has … Continue reading Great Climbing Structures, Creekside Park, San Ramon

Ten Fun East Bay Parks with Free Water Play Features

The weather is warming up, so  it’s time to find fun outdoor activities for the kids that incorporate water play.  Kids love to play in water… any kind of water!  The play areas I’ve included in this list are all free and are located within local community parks.  If the features aren’t already on in the park near you, they will be beginning this Memorial … Continue reading Ten Fun East Bay Parks with Free Water Play Features

Nature Play, Roberts Regional Park, Oakland

One of our favorite parks for play is Roberts Regional Park in the Oakland Hills.  This park, nestled in the redwoods, has something for everyone.  First, if you have a child, the play structure here is among the best in the Bay Area (and it’s barrier free / wheelchair accessible).  But other than that, the park has a variety of hiking trails, a baseball field, … Continue reading Nature Play, Roberts Regional Park, Oakland

Walk, Run, Bike, Scooter….Alamo Creek Trail, Dublin

I found the Alamo Creek Trail in the center of Dublin when my son was about four months old, and this great little trail has grown along with him. While he was a baby, I would put my son into the ERGObaby carrier and walk around, showing him the little things we saw along the trail (geese swimming in the creek, smooth manzanita branches, turkeys, … Continue reading Walk, Run, Bike, Scooter….Alamo Creek Trail, Dublin

Scooters at the Skate Park (Val Vista, Pleasanton)

Simple park play… ride scooters at the skate park! We like to go when the park is quiet, when the big kid skateboarders aren’t there.  And safety always comes first.. notice my son has on a helmet and both elbow and knee pads. Photos from our outing yesterday to Val Vista Community Park in Pleasanton, California… Related articles More Scooter Fun at the Skate Park, … Continue reading Scooters at the Skate Park (Val Vista, Pleasanton)

Fun! Children’s Fairyland, Oakland

Children’s Fairyland is a storybook park that’s been around longer than Disneyland.  In fact, it inspired Walt Disney to create his Magic Kingdom.  Fortunately, Fairyland has maintained it’s small size and original charm since it opened in 1950.  I have fond memories of visiting the park when I was a child, during visits to see my grandma, who lived in Oakland.  If you have a … Continue reading Fun! Children’s Fairyland, Oakland