Tilden Park, part of the large East Bay Park System, has been a favorite of S. F.Bay Area families for many years.  With its welcoming trees and greenery that house its varied wildlife, it is always a new adventure for families each time they visit.  While it has many things for adults to do, there are some interesting things that will hold children's attention as well. 

One of the most popular attractions is the Merry-Go-Round.  This delightful attraction, complete with beautifully carved, and handsomely painted animals to ride, along with wonderful calliope music, is a joy for children and adults.  Merry-go-rounds are becoming increasingly rare, so this is a unique treat.  It is open only on the weekends in the Fall, and charges a fee for the rides.

Another old favorite, and one that has been around for quite a while, is The Little Farm.  This is a miniature version of a typical small farm, and allows the children to learn about farm animals, and maybe get a chance to feed them.

The Tilden Nature Area provides children with naturalist led tours throughout the area that allows them to search for butterflies, frogs, beetles, etc., and to learn all about them, and ask as many questions as they would like.

Also full of lots of nature displays, projects and activities is the Environmental Education Center.  This is an ideal way to stop and spend some in depth time studying all the park has to offer.

Not too far away, and up the hill a bit is the location of the Steam Train.  This is an opportunity for the family to climb into miniature scaled down passenger cars pulled by a perfectly fitted scaled down steam engine, and ride across the hills of Tilden Park.  A lot of time and effort has been put into preserving these trains by fan and hobbyist alike, and they are a popular attraction. The train is open weekends year round, and runs when the weather permits. 

So, since Fall is here, and the weather is still pleasant, why not consider a trip to Tilden Park in the Berkeley hills?  Access is off Grizzly Peak Boulevard via Canon Drive, Shasta Road, or South Park Drive.  They have a web site with all the details about times open and any fees charged.  Access to the park itself is free.  Enjoy.



Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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