Cal Day, U.C. Berkeley’s annual open house extravaganza is on Saturday, April 12th, 9am-5pm. Every year, the university opens its lecture halls, research labs, museums, sports fields, libraries, galleries and gardens FREE to the public. Students and faculty showcase the many departments and clubs with a wide range of AWESOME kid-friendly activities.
- With over 300 unique events scheduled and large crowds, Cal Day can be overwhelming. Advance planning will save your time and sanity and make the day really special. There are so many great options but do not expect to do it all. Think about your child’s interests, attention span and mobility; then check out the Cal Daywebsite to plan your day.
- Parking is free for the day at the lots on campus. Metered street parking is enforced and there are privately owned lots near campus.
- U.C. Berkeley is a big campus so take advantage of the free transportation. There are free Cable Car Campus Tours (also available in Mandarin and Spanish), Campus Perimeter Buses and Hill Shuttles (to the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Botanical Garden, Samuel L. Silver Space Sciences Laboratory, and Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area which leaves every 15 minutes from Evans Hall.) They are worth waiting in line for and a fun way to see the area.
- Avoid the row of booths as you enter the university through Sather Gate. It is very crowded and geared for incoming and current students.
- It can get quite hot so don’t forget the sunscreen and water.
- Food trucks will be available on campus and serve delicious food.
Some highlights for this year include:
- Celebrate Children’s Literature – authors, local story tellers, and book illustrators will be present for hands on activities.
- Hug a Robot – meet a robot that folds laundry and will give you a hug.
- Fun with Fossils – help science students find dinosaur fossils at Museum of Paleontology. Get to the Valley Life Science Building early to sign up for a Behind the Scenes tour of the Paleontology Department – it books up fast.
- Lawrence Hall of Science – Activities will focus on “Xtreme Bugs” and exploring the wonders of the universe.
- Mask Making and Kids Workshop: The Upturned Table, activities are geared specifically for kids and include clay play and cloth to dye with local artists to help guide creativity at the Berkeley Art Museum.
- Oskiland on Memorial Glade has jumpies, games, face painting and more. The perfect place for young children to run off a lot of steam and interact with college students.
- Environ Design – “Kid, Build a Box City!” – help build a city and learn how cities are planned with the Environmental Science Department. Learn what makes a quality city and how citizens (and kids too!) can participate in the improvement of the build environment.
- Science at Cal Puppet Show & My Favorite Animal, geared for kids from 0-6, enjoy this interactive seminar as graduate students talk to kids about their favorite animal.
- For your middle schooler check out Preparing for College: The Middle-School Years
Cal Day is on Saturday, April 12th, 9am-5pm, at the University of California at Berkeley and perfect for all ages. Get there early to take advantage to the wonderful kid-friendly opportunities to experience anything from archaeology to zoology. There is really something for everyone on Cal Day.