We love taking our kids up to the UC Berkeley Campus. It’s where I went to school and I get a little wistful when they exclaim that they’d like to go to that school too when they grow up! We like to show off the campus so they feel comfortable with universities and they don’t seem so scary and big. We want to show that universities are actually fun and exciting places where you can learn, adventure and picnic! Of course, we don't hammer going to college into their happy little heads at this age, they just love the outing. Here are our top 6 things to do with our kids at Cal.
1. Visit the dinosaurs in the Valley Life Sciences building. There are quite a few dinosaur skeletons there to peep, plus exhibits on humans throughout the ages. Butterflies and tons of old microscopes are also on display to check out.
2. The Campanile (Sather Tower). On a clear day you can get spectacular views of the bay. Hours are: Mon.-Fri.: 10:00 am-3:45 pm, Sat.: 10:00 am-4:45 pm, Sun.: 10:00 am-1:30 pm and 3:00 pm-4:45 pm. Cost $3, kids 3 and under are free. Hitting the campanile around noon is fun for the bell tower tunes. From the western facing steps at the base, there is also a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge (if it’s a clear day).
3. Right next to the Campanile is the “Marry Poppins Building”, called South Hall. It’s the oldest building on campus built in 1873 and is the only remaining original building at Cal. The girls like to visit it and sing songs from Mary Poppins.
4. Participate in Research at the Berkeley Early Learning Lab. The girls have been research subjects in countless studies here since they have been born. It’s fun for them to get to play with the researchers and feel like they are doing productive work on campus! Bonus, they get a prize and a little PhD when they leave. I love to see what is being studied in childhood development and see if the girls have made the leap yet to make more cognitive connections. See our past posts about research at Cal.
5. Play on the circular sculpture in the grassy area at the north fork of Strawberry Creek. There are four others on campus as well. Nice picnic areas.
6. On the weekends when classes are out, we like to bring the girls into the different lecture halls to check out the classrooms or auditoriums. In certain light, this adventure can provide some nice photos opportunities.