BAMPFA with kids: photo by Sally Mason
BAMPFA with kids. Photo: Sally Mason

By Heather Flett

Summertime means staying up late, swimming and eating frozen treats, right? Yes. But there’s a wealth of other options too. Here are ten terrific outings for you and your family.

1. Grab some sunscreen and a hat. Tilden Park’s Lake Anza is open daily through September 9 and the merry-go-round will be running this summer, too. (Check hours).

2. In North Berkeley, climb to the top of Indian Rock then follow secret stairs to an abandoned clubhouse at John Hinkel Park. Zachary’s is nearby if all this climbing gives you an appetite.

3. Strawberry Pool is open with three lanes for lap swimming and three lanes for play. There is also a kiddie pool. Day Passes are $6 for adults and $4 for kids under 12. Kids 3 and under are free. Afterward eat outdoors at one of Berkeley’s restaurants with a patio.

4. BAMPFA is back in downtown Berkeley and better than ever. Did you know that all children are admitted for free along with their accompanying adult? You can also look for special days like Family Fare and the hands-on Art Lab.

5. Take a FREE ride from the Cal Sailing Club aboard their fleet of keelboats and dinghies during open house at the Berkeley Marina. Upcoming Open Houses are from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays June 19, July 17 and Sunday, August 21. Children must be at least 5 years of age and accompanied by an adult.

6. Stroll through the Edible Schoolyard then putz around Hopkins Street for snacks and dinner. You might want to take a dip in King Pool or just run around the playground and track to get out your ya-yas afterward.

7. Pack a picnic and play on the lawn at Cal. Take the elevator to the top of the Campanile for a spectacular view before a frozen yogurt treat at Menchie’s (five more fun ideas for keeping kids busy at Cal).

Victory Point Cafe with kids. Photo by Heather Flett
Victory Point Café with kids. Photo: Heather Flett

8. Test the game guru at Victory Point Café while you nosh on snack bowls. My children like to try out new board games or play nostalgia games for the first time. I like that I don’t have to remember the rules to any of them. It costs $5 each to play as long as you like.

9. Watch the pros fly giant kites or see stunt kites do their thing at one of Berkeley’s most memorable summer traditions: The Berkeley Kite Festival at the end of July.

10. Thursday evenings from June through August, you can sit in the redwood grove with a snack and enjoy music as part of the summer concert series. Wander UC Botanical Garden beforehand with your paid ticket.

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

Want to know what else is going on in Berkeley and nearby? Visit Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. Submit your own events for free if they aren’t there already — and give them featured status for a few dollars a day.

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