Parks or venues with shelter or rain backup in Berkeley area

Hi all! Our daughter's third birthday is coming up in rainy January and we're looking for an inexpensive or free venue for her and her friends from school. My first thought was a picnic space at a park that has shelter in case it rains. However, it seems most parks' picnic tables are out in the open, at least that I could find.

Looking at the EBRPD site, I only found two shelters that can be reserved in a park in Fremont, which is a long ways from Berkeley. Does anyone know of any outdoor spaces with shelter that can be booked -- or camped out at early in the day -- closer to Berkeley / Oakland / etc.?

Also open to other suggestions for inexpensive birthday ideas that are rain-friendly but have space for kids to run around!

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I’m in the same boat - my son was born January 19 and my daughter January 22!

For his third birthday we rented the PRAM fieldhouse in Point Richmond. It’s basically a neighborhood clubhouse filled with toys, with a sink, fridge, restrooms, etc. It’s attached to a playground and a garden so if you luck out with the weather there’s plenty of outdoor space. Super affordable but bring your own bells and whistles. I volunteer for them now so message me if you have any questions! Also visit

Hi - This park could either be too weird/windy or really cool, depending on your crowd, but it does have a large covered picnic area. It is Middle Harbor park in the Port of Oakland:


The plus: great views of the water, SF, passing ships, plenty of parking, lots of room to run around, does have a bathroom

The cons: An out of the way location, doesn't allow dogs, can be windy

I'd check it out first and see if it suits...  I'm not sure how much use the picnic area gets in winter.

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is great and often underutilized. Lots of shelter, lots of sidewalks for scooters, and a lot of grass (with a lot of goose poop). Really pretty views of the city, too.

Hi, Jean Sweeney Open Space park in Alameda has a covered area with picnic tables. I believe it can be reserved through Alameda Parks & Rec department. I also know that the city of Oakland has various rec centers and facilities with space available for rental by the hour, but I don't know the details -- that could be an option for you too. Hope this helps!

Check out a place in Pt. Richmond called PRAM. It is a parent group and they have a field house to rent with an outside space. Go to I think it said it was 225. for 3 hours, but I think there were some cheaper options. I used to take my daughter there. It is a cool space.