Montclair Park & Rec Center

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Parent Q&A

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  • Hello! 

    We're doing the summer camp thing for the first time. The price for this camp can't be beat. I'm hoping to hear more about recent experiences. Thank you. 

    My then-5yo did Feather Hill last summer. It was a pretty basic summer camp experience like you might remember from your own childhood - lots of outdoor games, some arts and crafts, songs and skits.  I was happy with it - it's nothing fancy, but the staff was upbeat and friendly, the location was convenient for us and the price was right. He was luke-warm about the experience, but he tends to be that way about all camps, being something of a homebody, so take that with a grain of salt. The camp has been around for 65+ years, so they must be doing something right!

    I am delighted to give a very positive review for Feather Hill. My daughter has been going to summer camp here since she was in kindergarten (now in 5th grade). It is cheap and cheerful, and the staff are fantastic. She is currently attending Thornhill School and also attends their after school program and the same staff work with her at Montclair Rec as staff the camp during summer. Last year she moved up to the Tween Leadership camp and then in due course I expect she will be a CIT.

    Not only is this camp a great value but the hours are exceptional for working families. 

    The camp itself is basic -- the kids are outside in the park much of the day, playing games and singing songs. I think it is terrific. 

    Happy to answer any other questions. 

    Eh Feather Hill is ok. You get what you pay for. The counselors weren’t very warm and fuzzy; they are teenagers a little drunk with authority.  and once when I picked my daughter up, they were making the kids do a very physical activity in the hot sun while the counselors sat in the shade. My first grader was bright red and totally overheated. But, she loved the weekly field trips.

    Otherwise there are other Parks and Recs camps we’ve liked better for the same price. Check out Touch the Earth.

Parent Reviews

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Hi, our daughter has gone to both Studio One and Montclair Rec, since she was in K or first grade (she's now in 6th grade). We've done Montclair Rec a lot more because it is close to home. I have no complaints -- it is a very old fashioned cheap and cheerful summer camp. The kids sing songs, do sports, and roam the park. Once a week they go on a field trip (take the bus to a movie, go to Fisherman's Wharf, etc.). It is also very working parent friendly with drop off at 8 and pick up at 6 with no additional charges. The staff all look like a bunch of college students (and some are) but many are deceptively youthful looking and have been with Oakland Parks and Rec for years (we know them pretty well because she also went to the after school program at the park, and it is the same staff). Our daughter will be back this year, in a junior leadership position. 

I have less to say about Studio One because we've only been from time to time and haven't built community but we also like it there. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

March 2016

RE: Oakland parks that have a lot of kids

Montclair Park on Mountain Blvd - there's always kids there! Joanie

Jordan Park (turn north onto Jordan Rd off Redwood Rd, between Hwy 13 and MacArthur was always busy when my kids were younger (they're 7 and 11 now!), as well as Montclair Park (on Mountain Blvd, just off Hwy 13. Both are not too far from you! Park Mama

Sept 2002

RE: Site for outdoor 1st birthday party in October

Our moms group had a group one year old birthday party in Montclair Park last June. it was a lot of fun, plenty of room to set up the food on one or two tables, lots of grass for the kids to crawl around and a playground not too far away. I think that you have to reserve a table ahead of time and then get there early to stake your claim. We all had a great time. dawn

Re: Afternoon activities for Toddler (Oct. 2002)
Hi, I understand that the Montclair Community Center has afternoon toddler classes available. I think the ''semester'' has already begun, but give them a call. I have heard that they have good programs though I don't know first hand. My 21 m.o. son and I often go to parks in the late afternoons - in Montclair, Rockridge and the Laurel District of Oakland. They are great places to meet other moms looking for things to do in the afternoons as well. Enjoy, A Toddler's Mama

Montclair park up on the Oakland Hills, Montclair area has a duck pond, two large climbing structures, and lots of grass to frolic on. Susan (Oct 2001)


Re: Ballet for almost-3-year-old (Sept. 2003)
I'm sure you'll hear this from lots of parents: (Miss) Marilyn Patton at the Montclair Rec Center takes them young and does a great job with a combination of ballet and tap. You can register through Oakland Parks and Rec. Dana

Re: Ballet for 2-year-old (June 2002)
Dear mom of aspiring ballerina, I can really relate to the pushy stage mom anxiety. I even received a hand written note from one dance studio telling me to back off and let my child be herself. Well herself is that she dances constantly, wants to watch videos of ballets all the time, and has already outgrown what little I can teach her. The only place I've found that has classes for this age is Montclair Rec Center. You can find them and sign up on line at the Oakland Parks and Recreation site. I believe there is even an ''advanced level'' class for this age group. We start our class this Friday. Good luck! Dana

Re: Ballet for 2-year-old (June 2002)
My daughters have attended the following wonderful ballet classes at an early age: Montclair Rec Ctr in Oakland - Ms. Marilyn - starts at 2 yrs old

Re: Ballet for 2-year-old (June 2002)
Try Miss Marilyn at the Montclair Rec Center. They are starting up the summer session this week. She does beginning and returning classes for 2 and 3 year olds in Ballet/Tap. She is very easy going, and my daughter loves her. You don't need to live in Montclair or even in Oakland to sign up, and it's very reasonable. Phone: 482-7812 for more info. trusco

Cubs Day Camp

April 2005

I am considering sending my four and half year old son to the Cubs Day Camp at Montclair Park/Recc. Center this summer. What can anyone tell me about their childs experience with this summer program? Thanks for your imput. BRR

We did Cubs camp last summer -- my son had just turned 5 -- and he loved it. He came home each day dirty, happy, and exhausted, just as you want from summer camp. They played games, learned songs, did art projects, and had treasure hunts. The supervision seemed excellent to me, and the counselors seemed well organized and experienced. All in all, a very good experience, and affordable too! We'll be doing the next level up (feather hill) this summer. nelly

Feather Hill Day Camp

March 2007

I was wondering if anyone has any positive/negative experiences with Feather Hill day camp at the Montclair Rec. Center. Our daughter will be doing the summer camp ''thing'' for the first time this year (finishing Kindergarten) and we are looking for a fun and well run place. Feather Hill's price is great compared to other day camps, and so far very few people have signed up for the open slots, so it just got me thinking why more people haven't ''jumped'' on this option. Thanks. Kevin

Hi - Though our son hasn't gone to Feather Hill yet (he will this summer) he has attended the camp for younger kids at Montclair Rec for the past two summers (Cubs Camp) and loved it. That said, it's not for everyone. The camp is all day, loads of outdoor fun, lead by teen-aged counselors. There are games & activities but it's largely just playing outside. They go on a weekly field trip - which my son always loved. He also really liked the counselors. I guess cool and mildly aloof is a breath of fresh air to a guy who spends a lot of time with his stay-at-home mom. They are not as attentive as many counselors at more expensive camps, but they are responsible & are supervised by at least one adult who I believe is present all day long. If your child needs lots of attention or is slow to jump into the action, this camp may not be for them. If they can jump into a new situation without a lot of extra care and coddling, it just might be their cup of tea. And, like you said, the price is right. (Especially considering they have free pre and after care!) As to why they have so many openings, I think folks (like me) might still be formulating summer plans - Feather Hill & Cubs do fill up more later in the spring. They also usually have a few openings for last-minute sign ups. ~Maybe we'll see you there.

My kids (then 4 and 5) went there last summer and really loved it! I originally planned on sending them there for just a couple of weeks, and then doing a different, ''fancier'' camp, but they were so enthusiastic after the first week, I decided to keep them in for about 8 weeks total.

The counselors are all really dynamic--silly, fun, totally into the kids. They did a camp sing-a-long at the end of the summer and it was clear how much the counselors enjoy the kids. My son likes sports and running around, while my daughter likes art, dance, gymnastics and they were equally happy with the camp, although it definitely leans more toward the outdoor play. It's pretty basic--lots of outside games and playing in the playground, camp songs, inside art projects--but the kids definitely get a lot of nurturing and encouragement from the counselors. Another plus is that the camp (counselors and campers) is pretty ethnically diverse.

I think people may not have signed up yet because the impression is that it doesn't fill up quickly. Last summer, I was able to add sessions the week before, and it was never a problem. But the camp definitely had lots of kids. The price can't be beat, and I've been extremely impressed, overall, with the quality of the classes and activities that are offered through Oakland Parks and Rec. We've done ballet, soccer, t- ball, and swimming through Montclair and Dimond Park, and the coaches and instructors have been stellar.

I'm signing my kids up right now! Melissa


Re: Low-cost tumbling class for 3-year-old (Aug 2004)
Montclair Rec Center (Oakland) has nice, low cost tumbling classes. My now teenaged kids took classes there (way back when) and it was great. I've talked to people whose children have been enrolled recently and they are pleased.


Re: Soccer for 3 yr old? (Dec 2006)
When he's 3.5, he can do the Tot Soccer class at the Montclair Rec Center - see the Oakland Park & Rec website at or stop by their office in Montclair Park for more info. Our son (who actually was only 3 when the class started) just completed the fall session there in both soccer and t-ball and had a blast. They also periodically do an all-sports class where the kids try soccer, t-ball and other sports in a single class. Other options: Piedmont Park & Rec summer programs, Lil' Kickers at Bladium in Alameda JP

Re: Soccer class for 3.5 YOs in Oakland/Berkeley? (May 2006)
Check out the offerings from Oakland Park & Rec ( They have programs all over the city from age 3.5 on up. Our son did soccer and tball last summer at age 3.5 and loved both. They're enrolling now for classes starting in April onwards. soccer mom

Re: Soccer for 3 year old (April 2005)
The City of Oakland Parks and Rec offers pee wee soccer. Helena Re: Soccer for 4-year-old (Sept 2004)
My 4yo daughter just loved taking soccer at the Montclair Rec Center taught by a great teacher, Coach Lester. It's not a league...just a low-key fun class so if your child is a serious soccer plyer this may not be for her/him. Elizabeth

Re: Sports class for 4 1/2 yr. old (April 2000)
Montclair Recreation Center offers soccer classes for young children. The spring session just started but the summer session starts June 26th. Their phone number is 510-482-7812.

Summer Arts Workshop

June 2010

Re: Art/ drawing classes for a 5-yr old
Oakland Park & Rec has very good classes at the montclair rec center. i don't remember the teachers name but she was wonderful & the classes are very inexpensive! Alex

Feb 2008

Re: Full day art camp for elementary aged child
Montclair Summer Arts Workshop -- offered through Oakland Parks and Rec. Takes place mid-to-late August each year. My 6 year old and several of his friends LOVE it. Check it out online at Maybe we'll see you there?