Leisure

Have fun with these low-impact, family-friendly activities that don't involve screens.

Featured resources

All resources

Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the site of the first lighthouse and US fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public, and the 18 month occupation by Indians of All Tribes which saved the tribes. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock - gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.

Biketopia Community Workshop is an all-volunteer cyclist-run nonprofit bike shop that provides bicycle education, repair services and a community space to connect with other riders.  They educate and empower the East Bay community to build, maintain and ride bicycles. Open Hours: Mon-Fri: 4-8:00pm

This is a peaceful world hotel holding 18 rooms of all different themes. They have a conversation cafe and internet.

"Traditional and nontraditional" family lodging. Varied activities and affordable prices.

As a Regional Art Center, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts is one of the most vibrant arts organizations in Sonoma County, and in Northern California. We present exhibits, performances, classes and events, in the visual, performing, literary and film arts - it means there's always something happening at our Center.

The San Francisco Bay Ferry provides weekday, weekend, holiday, and seasonal services to nine terminal locations around the bay: Alameda Main Street Angel Island AT&T Park Harbor Bay Oakland Jack London Square San Francisco Ferry Building San Francisco Pier 41 South San Francisco Vallejo

Sulphur Creek Nature Center is a wildlife education and rehabilitation facility whose mission is to promote the conservation of local environmental resources by fostering an appreciation and understanding of the animals in the world around us, and encouraging peaceful coexistence between people and native wildlife by serving as a community resource for wildlife issues. They offer educational activities for all ages as well as family activities, and special education programs. There is also an animal lending library which allows children to have a pet for a week. Programs include tours, field excursions, weekend interpretive programs, volunteer opportunities, and seasonal special events. Also available: wildlife discovery center with exhibits and displays, wildlife garden, nature trail, birthday party area, and picnic grounds.

Desert Survivors is a nonprofit organization that leads free backpacking trips and car camps for people of all levels of skill and fitness, as well as offering courses in beginning backpacking. Members of Desert Survivors are committed to experiencing and preserving the desert's unique beauty and value. The activities of the group fall into 3 broad categories: field trips, campaigning for desert-related issues and social events.

The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is a naturally beautiful and tranquil living museum of California native plants. Located within Tilden Park in the hills above Berkeley, California, this enchanting 10-acre garden is a sanctuary for many of the state’s rare and endangered plants and a place for visitors to wander among trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses from plant communities throughout the state.

The East Bay Regional Park District began acquiring land for Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in the early 1970s. Today, most of the mining district is within the Preserve's nearly 5,717 acres. The area is an ideal location for hiking, picnicking and nature study. Naturalists conduct a variety of programs relating the Preserve's natural and historic resources. One and one half hour-long, advance-reservation tours are offered seasonally -- see website for details.

Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marin Headlands covers various types of histories from the Miwok Indians to the Military, including historic Fort Barry and Fort Cronkhite, the NIKE Missile site and the 150 year-old Point Bonita lighthouse. Other attractions include varied hiking trails, dog friendly Rodeo Beach, and views of the coast and San Francisco.

This website gives information on management and restoration of the Golden Gate National Parks as well as volunteering opportunities.

Offers adventure learning in natural history, art, and photography for adults, families, and educators.

The Mendocino National Forest straddles the eastern spur of the Coastal Mountain Range in northwestern California, just a three hour drive north of San Francisco and Sacramento. Some 65 miles long and 35 miles across, the Forest's 913,306 federally owned acres of mountains and canyons offer a variety of recreational opportunities - camping, hiking, backpacking, boating, fishing, hunting, nature study, photography, and off-highway vehicle travel.

A vacation with a purpose, offers you the opportunity to discover world class rain forests and pristine ocean ecosystems. Come visit Guaria de Osa, Rain forest Ocean Discovery Center and Ethnobotanical Gardens on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica or join us on our annual sojourns to the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Sunday Streets Berkeley takes place on Shattuck Ave for 17 blocks from Rose Street to Haste Street. Sunday Streets (also called "Open Streets") closes streets to automobile traffic for a day so that people may use the space for other physical and social activities. The streets become parks as people replace car traffic. People walk, bike, skate and dance and play. Storefronts will be unobstructed, and business owners will be encouraged to promote commerce and visibility by setting out seating on the street, hosting activities, and otherwise inviting interest and community.

Buy Local Berkeley encourages Berkeley residents to shop locally by promoting small businesses and public spaces. Through their Facebook page, they bring their mission of building community, creating job opportunities, vitalizing the local economy and creating a healthier environment.

Parks are essential to the well-being of environments, economies and all people. California’s state parks and the recreational programs supported by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation, and Office of Historic Preservation, are gateways to these benefits and to opportunities to connect with families, friends, and communities.

Six rivers national forest lies east of Redwood State and National Parks in northwestern California, and stretches southward from the Oregon border for about 140 miles. It encompasses 957,590 National Forest acres and 133,410 acres of other ownership. Smith River National Recreation Area and Orleans, Lower Trinity, and Mad River Ranger Districts make up the Forest.

Bike rentals, tours and accessories for people traveling with children. Various locations in North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf.

Member supported community Jazz and public television station.

Performance troupe utilizing live theater forms to create sideshows for a techno-industrial world.

Located in California's beautiful Eastern Sierra, the Inyo National Forest offers clean air, crystal blue skies, mountain lakes and streams, challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and beautiful views. With over two million acres, the Inyo National Forest is home to many natural wonders, including Mt. Whitney, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes Basin, and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, as well as seven Congressionally-designated Wildernesses, comprising over 650,000 acres of land. Recreational opportunities include camping, picnicking, hiking, backpacking, equestrian use, and off-highway vehicle use.

The Klamath National Forest encompasses nearly 2 million acres of land straddling the California and Oregon border. The Forest is divided into two sections separated by the Shasta Valley and the Interstate Highway 5 corridor. In the mountains to the west, the terrain is steep and rugged while the east side has the relatively gentler, rolling terrain of volcanic origin. With elevations ranging from 450 to 8,900 feet above sea level, the Forest is one of America’s most biologically diverse regions, situated in a transitional region between the hotter and drier areas of the south and the colder and wetter locale of the north.

Their programs encourage bicycle and motorist awareness and teach bicyclists safe traffic riding skills. They advocate for more bicycle friendly roads and connecting the trails across the region. Volunteers re-build bicycles and offer them to children and individuals who cannot afford bicycles.

From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people. Point Reyes awaits your exploration.

The City of Berkeley’s Shorebird Park Nature Center is the first municipal straw bale building in the United States. The solar powered building serves as a model for the entire community on green building practices. The Visitors' Center provides information to visitors concerning all areas of recreation and marine conservation and education. They offer group tours that include an instructional video of the building process. They hold classes, workshops and trainings as well.

BART Bike Stations are a safe and convenient way to park your bike while you commute. There are currently four locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Each station offers slightly different services, including valet parking, self-service parking, bike rentals, bike repairs, classes and events.

Since 1999 our flagship program, Go Adventure has given 5000+ teens with opportunities to unplug, connect with nature, gain perspective and have fun, all while learning from positive and skilled mentors. Lifeschool partners with various non-profits, schools and youth groups nationwide to offer highly customized and meaningful adventure trips. As a charity it has always been a large part of our mission to ensure that our programs remain accessible to disadvantaged teens and only through fundraising endeavors can we provide these high impact programs to the kids who deserve it most.

Resourceful mobile app waiting list

Sustainability is easier with an app.

Join the early users

Become a member of the Ecology Center!

The Ecology Center depends on the support and participation of our members.

Become a member today