31 Days in SF Bay: Oakland (East Bay)

This is Day 4 of our 31 Days in SF Bay series. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visitย the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

sfbaybannerAlthough we don’t go to Oakland too often, there are a ton of fun stuff to do in this city too. Hopefully, we will be able to add to this list soon.

Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt is a favorite running spot for my BIL when he worked in Oakland. I heard it is 3.4 miles around the whole lake. I think there is also kayak rental available, and a rowing club here. We took a gondola ride after our meal at Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill. It is also near Children’s Fairyland too. You can see more photos HERE.

Oracle Arena & O.co Coliseum

Gotta cheer on our Bay Area teams. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have been here for basketball games, and the girls also got to go to a Disney On Ice show last year. You can see more basketball pics from 2011 and 2012, and the Disney On Ice show HERE.

I came here often in the college days…mostly for hanging out with friends, and the garlic fries, but I did cheer when we got a run. :p The fireworks games are great ones to go to. We took the girls for the first time in 2010. They had a blast. Melody takes part in the Mathletics program during the summer, and she can get 2 free vouchers for completing a math workbook, so we continue to go to cheer on the Oakland A’s! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can see more photos from 2010, 2012, and 2013.

Eat Real Festival

In September, you can experience food from over 100 vendors around the Bay Area and beyond! All food items are $5 or less, and incorporates regionally-sourced, fabulous, and sustainably-produced ingredients. There is also entertainment, and it’s right by the Bay at Jack London Square. You can read the blog posts from 2010 HERE and HERE, 2011 HERE and HERE, and 2012. You can see more photos from 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Chabot Space and Science Center

We got one a coupon for one free admission with a purchase of an adult ticket from the library’s summer reading program, so we decided to make use of it. I think the girls were still a little too young at the time (4 years old and 2 years old) to appreciate the exhibits, and they were scared during the planetarium show. They did, however, enjoy the Discovery Lab, where there are a lot of hands-on exploration and discovery. You can read the blog post HERE. You can see more photos HERE.

Children’s Fairyland

This was another place we went because of the coupon from the library’s summer reading program. (You too can go to all these places using the coupons. Just read!) Emily ended up not feeling well the day that we had planned to go to Fairyland, but Melody took a whole crew of people with her. They went for the Winter Fairyland (Christmas lights), so it was pretty cold out, and they didn’t make it to any of the theater shows that they have there,ย  but everyone still enjoyed themselves. It is said that Fairyland inspired the makings of Disneyland, which makes it pretty old (opened in 1950). You can see more photos HERE.

Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA)

Okay, so it looks like all the places we go to in Oakland is because we had coupons from the summer reading program. This is another one of those places. :p The week that went, the theme was Cat in the Hat. There were different stations where you an make crafts related to various Dr. Seuss books. MOCHA actually just had their grand opening this past weekend. They are now in another building. It looks more spacious, so there’s plenty of opportunity to book a birthday party your kiddo here. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can read the blog post HERE. You can see more photos HERE.

Oakland Zoo

Although we don’t go to the Oakland Zoo often, we love that it is close to our house. It is a fun little trip if we are ever in need of finding something to do. We have gone here for MOPS playdates, birthday parties, and just to hang out with our friends…and the animals. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a good idea to bring your own lunch if you are coming around that time. The favorite of the kids is the play area in the Children’s Zoo. I enjoy watching the monkeys…any of them. They are quite entertaining. The petting zoo is also fun. And the bats? They are huge. We usually use our summer reading program passes to come here, or otherwise find a friend who has guest passes. It can get pricey if you add up parking, entrance fee, food, and rides. If you are looking for a membership, wait to get one on those group deal sites. You can read the blog post HERE. You can see more photos from 2010 and 2011 HERE and HERE.

I will probably add photos later, but here are some restaurants that we enjoy in Oakland. We have written reviews of some of these restaurants, so they are linked up.

  • Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill
  • Legendary Seafood
  • Buffet Fortuna
  • Restaurant Peony
  • Scott’s Seafood Restaurant

Other places to visit… (I will link photos and such later on. Come back to visit!)

We would love to add more places to go to in Oakland. I know there are a ton we haven’t been to. I’m sure there are many good restaurants too. What do you recommend?

This is part of our 31 Days in SF Bay series.

Summer Reading Game Completion

Melody participated in 2 reading programs this summer because we’re nerds cool. I had blogged about the one at San Leandro because that one was more “involved”. Melody had to do actual book reports. I can’t remember if I explained the CV one, and I don’t feel well today and don’t want to look through the blog to see if I did or not, so stay with me here as I explain (again).

Each participants get a game board. For each 30 minutes of reading, Melody got to color in a water droplet (theme is Making a Splash – Read!). When we go to the library which is once a week, at least, she can choose to spin the spinner or pick up a duckie with a number on the bottom to see how many spaces to move. It was just 1 or 2 spaces each time.

From Week 31 of 52 (2010)

Halfway through there is a 1st prize.

The first prize included:
*”Read” Tattoo
*Lawrence Hall of Science free admission with adult ticket purchase
*Chabot Space & Science Center free admission with adult ticket purchase
*Charles Schulz Museum free admission with adult ticket purchase

At the end, there was the final prize:
*Tote bag
*Book (Winnie The Pooh Grand Adventure)
*4 oz Golden Spoon coupon
*MOCHA drop in session
*Circus ticket (but I don’t think got the actual ticket, Melody just grabbed something from the box)

From Week 31 of 52 (2010)

I think that’s all she got. Can’t remember right now….

We are looking forward to going to all the places that Melody got prizes from, and also the Summer Reading Carnival at SL Main on Saturday.