Family Activities for Warm Weather

Fun outside things to do with children in Oakland

School may have started, but continue to enjoy the mild California weather as long as you can! Here are some suggestions for outdoor activities this fall:

  • The Oakland Museum of California has reopened to the public with limited hours. Their beautiful, sustainably redesigned gardens are open as well. Check out this wonderful green space next to Lake Merritt (and the Main Library). Keep an ear open for when the Friday night Off the Grid celebrations will resume.
  • Visit an urban farm (right here in Oakland!) or a plant nursery to get some ideas for what you could grow at home. City Slickers' West Oakland Farm Park has daily open hours, regular work days, and a weekend farmstand (currently on pause), as well as plenty of gardening tips online or in person. Acta Non Verba Farm at the Tassafaronga Rec Center is set up to help kids and teens learn about where food comes from -- check out their hybrid online/in-person after-school camps. Other community gardens in Oakland may be open to volunteers; be sure to contact them to find out.
    adults and children tending a raised garden bed children smiling near small clay pots child's hands holding an earthworm adults and children around a raised garden bed
  • Get the whole family involved in some active games! Remember ConcentrationDown by the Banks (SO many versions!), and Roller Coaster (Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop)? Brush up your skills and have fun teaching clapping games to the kids. You could also find a few pieces of equipment and try your hand at lawn bowling, bocce, double dutch, hooping, or a game of H-O-R-S-E.

    This is #goals!

  • Head outside for a nature walk! Look closely and you may be surprised by what you find. You could just go around the block (especially great if you catch a rare rainy day), or travel farther afield to one of the many parks in and around Oakland. National Public Lands Day is September 25th, and the national parks offer free admission. Here's a map of the East Bay Regional Parks; they're where this summer's nature journals came from. If you've filled yours up, or didn't get one during summer reading, it's fine to make your own! Or print this EBRPD activity guide. You could find your new favorite park walk/picnic spot. (One of mine is the Morcom Rose Garden.)

You may be missing the free events and activities usually offered by Oakland Public Library. We miss you, too! All OPL locations are back to full open hours with inside services, but the usual programs are limited. Please know that we are keeping safety in mind as we gradually plan in-person events. You can check the events calendar here to see what's coming up online or face-to-face, or visit a library branch to find out more.