By Belinda Lyons-Newman
This time of year presents the opportunity and challenge of finding fun creative things to do with little ones who may be home from preschool or other childcare during the holidays. What better place to be for the holidays than right here in our wonderful city? If you are looking for some fun Berkeley activities with your toddler between now and the end of the year read on for my top picks:
Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, CA 94720. Tel: 642-5132. Open Daily 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closing at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 24. Closed on Saturday, December 25.
Merry-Go-Round: Tilden’s antique merry-go-round with painted wooden carousel animals to ride is open Price: Under $10 ($2 a ride or 7 rides for $10.) Open 11:00 am – 05:00 pm. Closed December 24,25,31 and January 1. Tel#: 524-6773
Little Farm: Bring your lettuce or celery for your little one to feed the goats. This adorable farm never fails to bring joy and wonder as well as space for running around outdoors. Open daily from 8:30-4 p.m. Little Farm Tel: 544-2233
Steam Train: Toddlers never tire of riding the delightful Tilden Steam Train.
Tilden Park. Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Berkeley, CA 94708. Tel: 544-2747 Hours: Open weekends 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. or dusk, weather permitting. Open Christmas Eve day, day after Christmas, New Year’s Day. Closed Christmas Day. $2.00 per ride , $8.00 for 5 rides. Free: Under 2 years.
Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge at Shattuck, Berkeley, CA 94704 and other Berkeley locations. Tel: 981-6100.
In addition, for the holidays Habitot has a winter camp for kids 3-5 years old December 27-31 from 9:15 am- 1p.m for $30 per day (call ahead to confirm spaces are still available).
Habitot Children’s Museum, 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, CA 94704. Tel: 647-1111.
Quiet Day at Home
Last, if you find that holiday stress is taking its toll, consider these tips from Berkeley-based Greater Good Science Center’s Raising Happiness blog on dealing with holiday stress (click through to the center’s website for the full advice):
– Remember that it is not about you.
– Remember it is probably all about you.
– Take steps not to be a stress ball.
– Practice forgiveness, of yourself and others.
– Make New Year’s Resolutions.
Belinda Lyons-Newman lives in the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto with her husband and 2 year old daughter, Ella. She is a nonprofit consultant and a student in the Evening and Weekend MBA program at the Haas School of Business.