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Leisure Activities

Sports and Outdoors

Cal Recreational Sports: The Recreational Sports Facility is open to family, partners and spouses of those academically affiliated with the university. They also offer youth programs for children and teenagers.

YMCA: Affordable sports classes (Aerobics, Pilates, and much more, look for the updated class schedule) and other fun activities. Please also check the YWCA in Berkeley.

Sierra Club: Organizes free hikes at all intensity levels in the Bay Area.

Berkeley Parks: The City of Berkeley has 52 parks located throughout the City that include athletic fields, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, as well as numerous playgrounds.

Restaurants, Bars, and Cafés

Yelp: This website has ratings for pretty much all restaurants, bars, and cafés in the Bay Area. The ratings are done by locals who have been there, so they are 100 percent trustworthy. Yelp can be compared to the European QYPE.

Berkeleyside: is an independently owned local news site with great restaurant reviews, local news, current events, movie recommendations and much more.

East Bay Express: Great local FREE newspaper, published weekly. It always has restaurant, CD and movie reviews in it and also informs you about local events. Great resource, not only for foodlovers.


San Francisco Walking Tours: The San Francisco City Guides offer free walking tours in different parts and quarters of the city. Local volunteers guide the walks.

Miscellaenous Activities

Meetup: On this website you can sign up for all kinds of local activity groups (hiking, cooking, sightseeing, languages, i.e.)

Berkeley Public Library: Renting books and DVDs from the Berkeley City Library is free. All you need is a Berkeley address and you can apply for the card. The library is even open on Sundays and has several locations throughout Berkeley. They do offer free drop-in career counseling every 4th Wednesday of the month.

Places to go on public transportation


Children’s Creativity Museum: (BART stops Montgomery or Powell Street) 

Oakland Museum of California: (BART stop Lake Merritt; become a family member and get a year of free entrances for the whole family and two friends)


SF Zoo: (Muni L Taraval line, lines 18 and 23, stop at the zoo) 

Golden Gate Park: (Muni #44, 5, 16X, 71, 28, 29 or 33; very nice playgrounds for all ages!) 

Via BART/AC Transit

Oakland Zoo: (BART to the Coliseum and then bus #46 until the zoo; better than SF zoo for young kids!) 

Via AC Transit

Lawrence Hall of Science: (bus #65 runs hourly to the hall, or take Campus Shuttle; free for Cal members!) 

Tilden Park: (bus #65 towards Euclid, get out at Grizzly Peak; difficult without a car!) 

Albany Waterfront: (#80 bus, get out at Buchanan, walk towards the water; strolls, bird watching, tidal ecosystem; grab a beer or coffee for $1 dollar on the way home at the horse race track!)

Free local events

Annual Discovery Day at AT&T Park, San Francisco (meet local scientists; November 2017)

Harvest Festival, Berkeley (urban farming, celebrating food; October 2017)

Bay Area Discovery Museum: Sausalito (free every Wednesday; 557 McReynolds Road; take BART to Civic Center and then bus #30 to Alexander Ave) 

Berkeley Botanical Garden (free first Wednesday every month, free for UC Berkeley staff & students; bus #52 to Greek Theater, walk from there. Difficult with stroller!)

Tilden Little Farm (free! bus #65 towards Euclid, get out at Grizzly Peak)

YWCA: (volunteer-run information and events for toddlers; every Thursday morning from 10-12 at 2600 Bancroft Way) 

Adventure Playground Berkeley Marina (every Saturday kids can build and paint their own playground structures here; bus #51B to Berkeley Amtrak)

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