Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival on May 31: one of many fun events for kids this summer in Berkeley. Photo: Cori Kesler

By Heather Flett

1. Admire the chalk art as you chomp on chocolate! Even if your children are too young to participate, there’s so much to see (and eat!) at the Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival, an annual North Berkeley annual street fair, happening on Saturday May 31.

2. Children who are motivated by goals and lists should sign up for the East Bay Regional Parks Kids Challenge; this popular self-guided program includes activities, tips, maps, and more for getting the most from our area’s parks. Berkeley parks’ challenges include: swimming at Lake Anza and finding frogs at Jewel Lake. Preschoolers can join Tilden Tots for age-appropriate adventures.

Kid’s club at BAM/PFA. Photo: BAM/PFA
Kid’s club at BAM/PFA. Photo: BAM/PFA

3. Get creative at BAM/PFA to take part in a year-long kids’ club art project Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. for kid programming; children under 12 are always free, but you’re free on the first Thursday of each month.

4. Weekends, its All Aboard the steam trains in Tilden Park. Each Sunday between Memorial Day and the end of September, the Golden Gate Live Steamers open their tracks to the public for rides between noon and 3pm. It’s a blast for riders of all ages but no babes in arms!

5. Wednesdays, Lawrence Hall of Science is bringing back the popular Summer Fun Days series to keep summertime brains busy with activities like boat racing, bubbly sidewalk-painting, exploding stuff, and making ice cream. All events are free with paid admission.

6. Anytime is a good time to kick a ball, have a picnic, hike the paths, or zoom down the concrete slide at Codornices Park in the Berkeley Hills. The tunnel linking up the Rose Garden is also fun for little explorers.

7. Sundays, pretend you’re in Bangkok with brunch at the Thai Temple in South Berkeley. You’ll feel like you’re at an authentic market when you pay for your dishes with tokens. Stop by Grove Street Park to run off your noodles.

Kite flying at the Berkeley Marina. Photo: Cori Kesler

8. Spend the best day ever at the Berkeley Marina by flying a kite, swinging a hammer at Adventure Playground, then watching your dinner (and knives!) fly through the air at Hana Japan.

9. Don’t miss Shrek the Musical at Berkeley Playhouse with dates between June 19 and August 3. This silly, modern-day fairytale can be made into a family meal by adding on Extreme pizza with fruit as a pre-show picnic on the lawn.

10. Need a summery treat? Wait in line for a custom ice cream sandwich at CREAM or indulge an epic cinnamon roll at Cinnaholic, both near campus.

Haether Flett is the founder of, a website to help parents have hecka fun with their kids. Find more great ideas for Berkeley families on its 99 Days of Summer Guide for East Bay Kids on

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