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Berkeley Waterfront
Berkeley Waterfront

 

Webpage Title: Adventure Playground

 510-981-6720  

adventureplayground@cityofberkeley.info

Adventure Playground is 39 years old!
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Adventure Playground is one of the Marina Experience programs and has been written up as a top 10 playground in National Geographic.

It was voted  BEST  of San Francisco magazine 2016, Best Creative Playspace in Diablo Magazine. YELP has rated us 4.5 out of 5. We have been written about in the Architectural Digest, the Chronicle, the Boston Globe and Newsweek as one of the Top 5 playspaces in the country. NPR did a wonderful interview.

 To get information about our School year marine education programs, summer programsgreen buildings, shoreline clean-upsBay festivalShorebird Park rules and more ... see our Marina Experience web pages  click here

 School year hours are in effect August 18, 2018 thru June 16, 2019. 

 OPEN:  

Saturday and Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm (Nov. 4, 2018-Mar. 9, 2019). 

  • Tools are collected 30 minutes before closing
  • Zip line is taken down 15 minutes before closing
  • Winter closure is scheduled Saturday December 22 Through Friday January 4th.
    We will resume regular school year hours on Saturday January 5th. 
     

 CLOSED: 

  • Monday- Friday 
  • When it is raining
  • Winter closure scheduled Saturday December 22 Through Friday January 4th. We   will resume regular school year hours on Saturday January 5th.  
Open weekdays for groups by reservation only (based on staff availability). Please call 510-981-6720. 

Each adult & Parent who enters the playground must sign the waiver at the entrance for themselves and their children.  Adults cannot sign for other adults. 

Adults must stay inside the playground with children at all times. 
 

IS THERE A FEE? 

Individual Families
FREE for individual families: parents/guardians who accompany 4 children or less. If you are a large family, call please. 

 Groups

All groups with 5 or more children must make reservations and pay the group fee ($75-$180 depending on group size). 

Groups are:

  • 5 children or more, regardless of how many adults/parents you have
  • Organized programs of any size (daycare programs, summer camps, church groups)
  • Multiple small families who meet at the playground with 5 children or more -
    including individuals coming in from gatherings (like birthday parties) happening outside Adventure playground in Shorebird Park.

Summers and weekend days are very popular with the public. The only way to keep the Playground safe is to control the numbers by limiting groups. If you come in a group (5 children or more) without reservations, you will be asked to leave.

To make a reservation for a group click here [more...]

Drop In Program

Children seven years and older may stay (drop in) in the playground without their parent/guardian for up to three hours. A parent/guardian must fill out a registration form/waiver and pay a $10.00 fee.

Fee is paid at the Nature Center (open Tuesday- Saturday). No Drop-ins on Sundays unless fee is paid in advance.

More information here: [more...]

Plan Your Visit

Who should come?
Adventure Playground is designed for children seven years old and older, however younger children are welcome as long as they are within arms reach of a participating adult. Parents of older children are encouraged to participate (see below) and help out with safety for all children. Everyone needs to sign the walk-in waiver when you come in.

What should everyone wear?
Everyone must wear sturdy shoes like tennis shoes, NOT flip flops, sandals, crocs or clogs. Stepping on a nail is a possibility and sturdy shoes protect feet. Wear clothes that can get dirty, wet, painted on and you may consider bringing a change of clothes for wet or muddy days. Warning: Our playground paint is water based tempera (school paint) and ( red) may not come out of clothing even with pre treating. The other colors actually have soap in it but that makes for slippery painted surfaces when wet.

Summer Activities  

For information about 2018 Adventure Playground Summer Programs click here.

 Summer Marina Adventures 2018 Calendar- for June 2018 ; July 2018 ; August 2018  

Special activities are offered on weekdays for both drop-ins and children with parents.

History and Background

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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. Pictures of a fort building project. The concept for Adventure Playgrounds originated in Europe after World War II, where Lady Marjory Allen, a landscape architect and childrens 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. 

Listen to the sounds of Adventure Playground on National Public Radio.  

How You Can Help

How can parents and adults help? 

  • Please try your best to give your child your full attentionwe need your help to keep them safe. If you need a break from supervising them, register your child as a drop in and we will watch them.  

  • Please teach children to use good judgment and if what they are doing is destructive or dangerous- please stop them and help cleanup. Staff are making sure the playground is safe, you need to be sure your child is safe.  

  • Please pick up the wood on the ground and return it to the wood racks. If the wood has nails, put it in the red zones or bring it to the front tool counter. 

  • Please alert the staff if you see something dangerous, or if your child gets hurt, so that they may help you. 

 

  • Please do not let your children under the age of 6 ride the zip line.
  • If you do not finish your project before you leave, you may take it home with you. If you do not want to take your project home, please take it apart and return wood to the wood racks. 

  • please return all the tools (including paint, brushes, and clamps) to the tool shed and return all wood without nails to the wood racks before you leave. Any unsafe wood may be placed in the red zones.  

 

Adult Helper Cards

We have job task cards for adults to learn about each job that they can help with, just ask at the desk. Jobs include:

  • Small wood helper-Assisting kids with clamps and picking out the soft woods for them to learn to saw and hammer on.
  • At the base of the trolley we need help shoveling sand at a 45 degree angle so the children slow down and stop. 
  • We do ask that you do NOT HELP children onto the wooden seat at the top of the trolley platform. If they cannot do it themselves, they are not ready to ride yet.
  • We always need people to assist staff behind the tool counter passing out tools to the children. Please clarify that job with staff so you know which tools should NOT go out .
 

                                                  Volunteer Opportunities

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We are always looking for volunteers to help in the playground- must be 16 or older.

Students can get community service hours helping on weekends or in the summer.

If you or your child is interested, please call us for an interview and to fill our our paperwork. You will need to get a current T.B. Test and get the form from us to get fingerprinted with the Berkeley Police.

Download volunteer application. 


                                                         Donations

 We love small wood pieces or long 2X4 & 4X6.

We welcome donations of scrap materials that stimulate creative play: fabric, sturdy old wooden furniture, 8D, and 16D sinker nails, washable tempera paint, large 3/4" or 1" thick plywood pieces, long 2 by 4'sor 4 x6's or very small blocks of wood. 

 We cannot take the following items:

  • no pressed wood or particle board
  • no pallets    
  • no materials that could hurt a young child with bare hands - no metal, sharp, splintery wood or house paint. No old wood or thin wood please.

The dumpster fees for hauling away the materials are very high for us.

Call first, if you are planning on dropping items off so we can let you know if we can use them, and help you unload. 510 981-6720

 Yes, we do take pianos, but only in the summer.

Jobs

JOB OPENINGS: Accepting applications now for school year positions!

If you are interested in a Recreation Activity Leader position, you must have two (2) years of progressively responsible experience leading recreation activities, or a specialized talent with carpentry or art. Must be 18 years or older for a leader position.

Playground Leader Trainee positions are also available: minimum age 16 years, must have interest or experience in working with children outdoors. 

Job is out-of-doors, hard work and fun in the sun. 
Pay for Recreation Activity Leader position starts at $18.21 per hour.
Pay for Playground Leader Trainee position starts at $15.00 per hour.

Detailed Job Description PDF Application  & AdventurePlayground Supplemental Questionnaire 

Please mail applications and supplemental questionnaire to:

Shorebird Park Nature Center
160 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94710

 

 

Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Berkeley Waterfront, 201 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710
Questions or comments? Email: marina@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-6740
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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