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EBParksOnline
Browse classes and activities online, or register online

Program Guides
Download Regional In Nature or other activity guides by visitor center 

Special Events
Find special events throughout the year for you and your family

Field Trips
Get information on planning a field trip to the East Bay Regional Parks

Nature Discoveries

Naturalist-led programs and activities are great way to learn about natural history and local East Bay history as it relates to its affects on natural communities. Visit the Program Guides page to download Naturalist monthly activity guides by visitor center.

For Educator: To arrange a school field trip, please visit the Field Trips page.

Naturalist-led programs by visitor center:

Ardenwood Historic Farm

A trip to Ardenwood is a journey back in time and a chance to discover what life was like 100 years ago. Enjoy the sights and sounds of elegant peacocks, peaceful livestock, busy pollinating insects and beautiful gardens. Discover the journey food takes from farm fields to your table. During your visit to the farm, be sure to join in Naturalist-led programs feeding and caring for the farm animals and planting, tending and harvesting organic crops. Also, lend a hand with traditional farm chores and learn about the transformation of wool from sheep to shawl. From April through November, you may also want to ride the horse-drawn train, tour the beautifully restored Patterson House Museum, watch the blacksmith at work and sample tasty old fashioned treats from our Country Kitchen. Every weekend is filled with activities for the whole family. Since Ardenwood is a working farm, the daily activities change from season to season- so no two visits are exactly alike! We also host a number of exciting special events including an Old Fashioned Fourth of July, Historic Rail Fair, Harvest Festival, Sheep Shearing Day and Johnny Appleseed Day.

Ardenwood Historic Farm is at 34600 Ardenwood Blvd in Fremont, CA 94555; (510) 796-0199; awvisit@ebparks.org. Open Tues-Sunday 10am to 4pm. Admission fee $5/adults $4/children 4-17 years and seniors 62+ (bargain days Tues, Weds, Sat $2/adults, $1/children and seniors). Parking is free.

Black Diamond Mines Greathouse Visitor Center

Discover the natural wonders both above and below ground at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, the only park in the Bay Area where kids can hike the hills and explore beneath them. Along the 60 miles of trails in the park, visitors can peer into several mine openings and even walk into some of them. Attend a weekend naturalist program to get the full details on the mines and local geology or, from spring through fall, take a tour of the Hazel-Atlas Mine. Every season brings a new wonder for visitors, ranging from spectacular Delta and Sierra panoramas on crisp winter days to the icy cold breezes blowing out of the mines in the heat of summer. For more information on Black Diamond programs, please call (925) 757-2620 or e-mail bdvisit@ebparks.org.

Coyote Hills Visitor Center

The Coyote Hills Regional Park visitor center is the base of operations in the Southwest Interpretive Sector for a wide variety of nature and cultural history programs and activities for children of all ages. Our Coyote Cubs, Nature Bytes, Junior Naturalists, and other periodic naturalist-led youth programs, give children an opportunity to explore the world around them in a comfortable setting, utilizing various educational activities. We also present our youth programs occasionally at other parks in our Sector, such as Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks in Hayward and Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area in Fremont. Some of our program activities include studies of reptile and amphibians, geology, marsh ecology, bird habitats, edible plants, Native Americans, primitive skills, and much more. A nature store is located at both Garin and Coyote Regional Hills Parks, where visitors can purchase bird guides, books on Native Americans, and other gifts and mementos of their visit. The Garin visitor center is open only on weekends in the summer. The Coyote Hills visitor center is open year-round, Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For further information about our programs and services, please contact us at (510) 544-3220 or chvisit@ebparks.org.

Crab Cove Visitor Center

Coast redwood forests, ancient volcanoes, lakes, oak-bay woodlands, serpentine prairie, and San Francisco Bay reflect the diversity of parklands served by the Central Interpretive Sector. Rich in history and natural wonders, Crab Cove Visitor Center is the hub of operations for naturalists who provide kids and family programs throughout these parklands. Our Sea Siblings, Sea Squirts, and Estuary Explorers youth programs typically meet twice a month at the visitor center, to explore various natural and cultural themes. Nature parties for children 3-12 years old are a fun way to celebrate with friends. With hands-on exhibits, aquariums that provide a look at seldom seen Bay creatures, and sharks and whale models "swimming" about, children want to return often to visit their new animal friends.

At the shoreline parks discover salt-marsh habitat, rocky shore and mudflat organisms, bay creatures, and shorebirds.

Lake parks provide camping, fishing, and boating opportunities. Occasional fishing programs with a naturalist include the equipment. Youth groups can rent the "Chabot Queen" pontoon boat with the option of arranging for a naturalist to provide a free program aboard! Free summer campfire programs are hosted every Saturday evening at Anthony Chabot Campground from Memorial through Labor Day weekend.

Ridgeland parks feature frequent programs for families. "Munchkin Meander," "Search for Slugs" and "Amazing Amphibians" are menu selections. Our partner Chabot Space and Science Center is often a meeting place for guided walks into the coast redwoods. Enjoy the center before or after your visit to the redwoods -- tallest living organisms on planet earth.

Come visit! Crab Cove Visitor Center is open year-round, Wed.-Sun.. For further information about our programs and services, please phone (510) 544-3187 or ccove@ebparks.org.

Sunol Visitor Center (and Southeast Sector Parks)

Sunol Regional Wilderness offers several serial nature programs for kids; Outdoor Discoveries for 3 - 5 year olds. Wilderness Trekkers for K - 6th graders, Science for Tykes for 4 - 8 years old and Eco-Explorers for 3rd - 7th graders. To receive a flier for these programs, you can contact the park at (510)544-3249 or email at svisit@ebparks.org.

The Sunol Visitor Center remains open on weekends during construction of the Calaveras Dam from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The Little Farm, Tilden Nature Area and Environmental Education Center (EEC)

The Little Farm, Tilden Nature Area and Environmental Education Center in Tilden Regional Park offer many nature-related programs and activities for adults and children of all ages. At the Little Farm, kids can learn about and help feed farm animals. In the 740-acre Nature Area they can join naturalists for enjoyable nature walks, muck about in ponds with dip nets and magnifiers, and ramble the hills and meadows looking for bugs, beetles, and animal tracks. Inside the Environmental Education Center, kids can make nature crafts and take a fascinating "underground" journey that reveals the story of the Wildcat Creek watershed. A "water discovery room" features interactive displays, and children can see microscopic pond life with easy-to-use microscopes. The EEC also offers books and nature-related gifts for sale and portable educational displays for rent. Information: (510) 544-2233 or tnarea@ebparks.org. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed Mondays). Fee: none.


Naturalist programs for kids  Naturalist programs for kids  Naturalist programs for kids