Nature Kids Solano: Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Adventure Playground, Berkeley

Friday, May 5, 2017

Website: Berkeley Adventure Playground

Location: 160 University Avenue, Berkeley Marina

Hours: Open school year hours - 

11 am to 4 pm Sat & Sun only -- Nov 5, 2017 through March 10, 2018
11 am to 5 pm Sat & Sun only -- March 11, 2018 through June 17, 2018

School or group field trip information can be found here. Summertime hours - Special activities are offered on weekdays for both drop-ins and children with parents. Be sure to check website for any schedule changes. 

Fees: Weekends are FREE for individual families: parents/guardians who accompany 4 children or less. If you are a large family, call please. Click here for group rates. Field trips must be booked well in advance, and are scheduled depending on staffing available. 

About:  The Adventure Playground at the Berkeley Marina was opened in 1979. It is a wonderfully unique outdoor facility where staff encourage children to play and build creatively.  Come climb on the many unusual kid designed and built forts, boats, and towers. Ride the zip line or hammer, saw, and paint. By providing these low risk activities Adventure Playground creates opportunities for children to learn cooperation, meet physical challenges and gain self confidence. 

The concept for Adventure Playgrounds originated in Europe after World War II, where Lady Marjory Allen, a landscape architect and children's advocate, studied children playing in the "normal" asphalt and cement playgrounds. She found that they preferred playing with parts that they could move around and manipulate to make their own makeshift structures.  The formula for Adventure Playgrounds includes Earth, fire, water, and lots of creative materials. 

+ We booked a private field trip, which was amazing! For some of us, it was our first time visiting. After the orientation, most of us felt better about the risky play elements (kids get access to saws, hammers, nails, and paint, by checking out and completing a scavenger hunt type list - basically, earning their use of supplies). The kids all did well with their wild play and use of tools. Everyone went home with ten fingers and their eyes. ;-)  We most certainly will schedule a future field trip.  

++ There is a small park and play structure outside, which is good to know about, in case you arrive early or want to stay after your visit.

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