Habitot Children's MuseumCommunity Subscriber
Hands-on Children's Museum with children's classes, camps, special events and parenting support.
I agree the zoo is quite pricey. Have you looked at the Lindsey Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek? Another option for an indoors party (but no animals) is Habitot museum in Berkeley. It's very child-focused but it's a nice venue where adults can watch their kids and chat at the same time. It's small enough for 2 year olds but there's lots to do and the rooms are small enough to facilitate small groups of adults chatting while their kids play. They also allowed you to bring food around the museum which surprised me.
Habitot in Berkeley has lots of programs/classes for parents/caregivers and children. Lots of hands-on fun activities and it is a great space.
The first drop off situation I did with my daughter before she started preschool last fall was at Habitot - they do a once a month parents night out on the fourth Friday of the month, for ages 2 and up. If you're open to an evening drop off situation, Habitot has worked out very well for us, my tentative child loved it at 2 1/2.
At that age both of my kids loved the camp put on at Habitot.
Definitely try Habitat! Not only is it tons of fun for Littles, but it's also a great cause to support. Habitat often has free events for needy families (homeless, foster, special needs, etc.) that ensure all kids have equal access and makes underprivileged families really feel special. So I would absolutely encourage any family to support them!
Not outdoors but check out Habitot. Had my 2 year old's birthday there last year and it was a blast.
Habitot is expanding their summer program (for ages 2.9-5) to be full-time this summer, which we are super excited about! EBI also offers full-time camp for preschoolers. Our kids have done both programs and enjoyed both. There unfortunately aren't too many options for three-year-olds, particularly if you need full-time care, but we were happy with these two. Monkey Business Camp is also great and full-time, but their preschool program only runs for three weeks (although it includes some of the weeks you need!)
Try Habitot Children's Museum. Part of the summer their camp only runs half-day, but part of the summer it runs full day, so check your dates. Also, check out www.510families.com/east-bay-summer-camp I just checked and found at least 5 options for kids that age (there are more, I just stopped counting). Good luck!
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Re: Morning or afternoon camp for 3.5 yr old
Try Habitot, they have a great summer program that runs week by week.
Re: New ideas for daughter's 5th birthday (Dec 2003)
Try the great theme parties at Habitot for your 5 year old. My son did the cake bake, but they have several others, too,-- see their website, www.habitot.org. Plus having a party there supports our little Berkeley nonprofit treasure! Kathy
Re: Winter birthday party for outdoorsy 5-year-old (Nov 2003)
Habitot has GREAT birthday parties -- my son did the ''bake your own cake'' afew years ago and had a blast but they also do a carpentry one and others, I believe. Their number is 647-1111 or website www.habitot.org. Have fun! Kathy Re: Winter birthday party for outdoorsy 5-year-old (Nov 2003)
My daughter and I attended a really fun birthday party for a turning-four-year-old last November at Habitot Museum in Berkeley. The family had booked it for the evening and the kids had a blast (got to run around and explore the art room, shopping, water play area, etc...). There was staff there as well and Habitot party bags... seemed good. I'm not sure about the cost or how popular/in demand it is. Anon
Re: Afternoon activities for Toddler (October 2002)
Habitot has afternoon classes for 2 year olds....you're only a month away! Shoshana
Re: Art Classes for Kids (Sept 1999)
Have you considered Habitot? I know they have art classes of some sort, and clay is part of what they do. And their ages are up to 7. Don't know how it would be for *you*, though! :^) Good luck! Dawn
I would also highly recommend Habitot for your 6 month old. There is an infant/toddler room where he can crawl around and enjoy the scenery. He'll also enjoy watching other children play and do art work and it won't be long before he's ready to create his own art work. There are also parenting excellent classes and special events for the whole family. Randy
So what do we all think about it? My friend and I took our 2.5-year-olds and her 5-year-old on Tuesday. We arrived just as it opened at 9:30, and left shortly before 11. At some point in between it got too crowded -- this is my main concern about the place. It just doesn't work with too many children. But they had a great time most of the time. If you're going for the first time, be aware that your children are liable to get quite wet and covered with paint! I wasn't expecting this, not that it was a problem in my case -- but I had imagined it to be more museum-ish, like an interactive science museum aimed at younger children. The place is all underground, which is a little weird lighting-wise. There's a stage area where they have fire-fighter costumes the children can dress up in (apparently this will change periodically), and a place to put on face paint. Then there's an art room, where someone sets the children up with various media -- clay, finger paint, and wall painting when we were there. Then a water room, with various cool water toys. And a hallway with a bunch of fans behind a screen and some appropriate toys for playing in the wind. And a pre- and just-walking area with soft cushions they can move around. And a cafe/grocery store with lots of cash registers, fake food, etc. I think that's it. They're planning to add more stuff.
Anyway, it's a good place. I would have thought the East Bay could support several of them, though maybe in a few months it'll get less crowded. Right opposite, still underground, is an excellent free health museum -- most of the stuff more suitable for older children, but well worth going to. My friend and I probably enjoyed it more than the kids... Tahani
I second Tahani's recommendation of Habitot. We liked it enough that we got a family membership, a good deal if you think you'll be going there often. In a way, I'm glad to hear that it was crowded recently, as we've heard from friends who went when the place was almost empty, and were worried about the survival of the place.
One thing to remember is that the place is called Habi*tot* for a reason. I wouldn't take a child over about 7-8 there; most of the activities seem to be aimed at kids under 5 or 6. We were there about an hour and a half, and our 16-month-old (she of the tiny attention span) was engaged the entire time; we only left when we did because my older daughter and her friend (5 and 6) were running out of things to do. Quite a switch from the typical family outing, believe me! Greg