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Berkeley Waterfront
Berkeley Waterfront

 

Webpage Title: Adventure Playground

 510-981-6720  

adventureplayground@cityofberkeley.info

160 University Ave, Berkeley CA, 94710

 
  

Sitara and Ruby AP


Adventure Playground is one of the Berkeley Marina Experience Programs which include: 

School year marine education programs, summer programsgreen buildings, shoreline clean-upsBay festivalShorebird Park rules


Hours

School Year hours are in effect August 17, 2019 thru June 14, 2020

Please note: the Nature Center will be CLOSED on Saturday 8/24. All Adventure Playground drop-ins must have a prepaid Playment Card to be dropped off on 8/24. 

OPEN:  

  • Saturday: 11am-5pm
  • Sunday: 11am-5pm
  • Tools are collected 30 minutes before closing
  • Zip line is taken down 15 minutes before closing 

CLOSED: 

  • Monday thru Friday
  • When it is raining 
Open weekdays for groups by reservation only (based on staff availability). Please call 510-981-6720. 
 
Plan Your Visit
 
 
Need to know information: 
  • Is there a fee? Adventure Playground is FREE for individual families: parents/guardians who accompany 4 children or less. If you are a large family, call please.
  • Each adult who enters the playground must sign the waiver at the entrance for themselves and any children.  Adults cannot sign for other adults. 
  • All children MUST be accompanied by a supervising adult at ALL TIMES. Children seven years or older may participate in our drop-in program.
  • No pets (service animals only). 
  • No eating in the playground. 
  • Groups with 5 or more children must make reservations. 

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 clogsStepping on a nail is a possibility and sturdy shoes protect feet. Wear clothes that can get dirty, wet or painted on.


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 

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...]  


Summer Activities
   
For information about 2019 Adventure Playground Summer Programs click here. 

Summer Marina Adventures 2019 Calendar- for JuneJuly

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

History and Background

zip line AP 09  

Adventure Playground is 40 years old!

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.  

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.

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 
front gate ap

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

Donations are by appointment only. Please call or email first so we can let you know if we can use the items and make a plan to help you unload510-981-6720 or adventureplayground@cityofberkeley.info

We welcome donations of scrap materials that stimulate creative play:

  • small or long 2x4 or 4x6's 
  • Fabric
  • sturdy wooden furniture
  • 8D or 16D sinker nails (not galvanized, please)
  • Washable tempera paint
  • 3/4" or 1" thick plywood pieces
  • 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.

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

Jobs

JOB OPENINGS: Accepting applications now for Fall 2019!

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 $18.86 per hour.
Pay for Playground Leader Trainee position starts at $15.00 per hour.

Detailed Job Description PDF Application  &  Adventure Playground 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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