Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Oakland

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Oakland this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Go to a Baseball Game

As the ultimate American pastime, baseball pairs perfectly with Independence Day! And the Oakland Athletics just happen to be playing the Boston Red Sox this year at home on July 4th. The afternoon game starts at 1:07 pm and you can get seats starting around $38. Oakland Coliseum is operating at limited capacity and following other COVID precautions. Concession stands will still be open so you can get that classic Independence Day hot dog, just know that they’re currently cashless.

Chevere Music Festival

Spend your Fourth celebrating Caribbean culture! The Chevere Music Festival, from 3 to 10:30 pm, will be “a Caribbean festival like you’ve never experienced before.” There will be food, merchandise, and of course, great music. Don’t know how to salsa or merengue? Don’t worry, because there will be dance lessons at the event!

Pine Knoll Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Pine Knoll Park, which has lovely views of Lake Merritt and grassy areas where you can spread out a picnic blanket. Grilling is allowed in designated areas which you can find here.

Jack London Square Farmer’s Market

Heading out to a farmer’s market to peruse fresh, local produce and crafts is always a fun way to spend a weekend. And as a Sunday event, the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market coincides with Independence Day this year (check their Facebook page closer to the date for updates). The market is run by the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association and runs from 9 am to 2 pm. Maybe you’ll find some fresh corn and berries to use for your Fourth of July dinner!

Muir Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and luckily, Oakland’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean means there are plenty of beaches around. If you want to escape the crowds, take a little trip across the bay to Muir Beach in Marin County. This low-key, quiet spot is popular with locals and a wonderful place to have a bonfire. The beach is dog friendly and there are no lifeguards. If you have a National Parks Passport, you can get a stamp for visiting since it’s a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Other cool aspects of this beach are that you need to access it via a 450 ft pedestrian bridge and nearby is Muir Overlook which presents a stunning view of the Pacific from the coastal cliffs.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Oakland, CA

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

San Francisco Botanical Garden

1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

Travel the World in 55 Acres.  Escape to a unique urban oasis of extraordinary beauty at San Francisco Botanical Garden, showcasing more than 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.

Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery

1552 Bancroft Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

A world-renowned 3.5-acre garden housing a collection of succulents, both unique and beloved, as well as drought-tolerant plants from around the world.  The garden’s found, Ruth Bancroft, lived to be 109 and was a pioneer in drought-tolerant gardening.  Open to the public year-round, the garden showcases fabulous bloom during every season and highlights plant structure and texture in robust plantings.

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720

The 34-acre UC Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, with over 10,000 types of plants, including many rare and endangered species.  Organized geographically, the Garden features nine regions of naturalistic plantings from Australasia to South Africa, along with a major collection of California native plants.  The Garden was established in 1890, and its living collections are invaluable resources for international research and conservation.

Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

650 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt is the home to some of the finest bonsai on the west coast. The Bonsai Garden Lake Merritt, located at Oakland’s Lakeside Park, is the only major all-volunteer bonsai garden in the country and houses some of the most important bonsai in the US.

Regional Parks Botanic Garden at Tilden

Shasta Rd, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, CA 94708

Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve

Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94620

Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve is an ecological jewel. The native plant community here is found nowhere else in the East Bay. It represents a relic plant association found only in certain areas along California’s coast where ideal soil and climatic conditions exist.  The vegetation association of Huckleberry Preserve finds its roots in past climates and geologic history. The plants originated in the distant past along the southern coast of California when the climate was moister and tempered by the cool coastal fog. Today, similar vegetation is found on the islands off the Santa Barbara coast and in isolated pockets on the mainland coast from Point Conception to Montara Mountain, south of San Francisco.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Oakland

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

The Montclair Egg Shop

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Oakland, there’s no better place for brunch than The Montclair Egg Shop, which has been a neighborhood staple since 1974. Their extensive menu includes brunch classics like Belgian waffles, corned beef hash, and huevos rancheros, as well as more unique options like Challah French toast and ham & cheese potato pancakes. You and mom can chase it all down with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa, too!

Lake Merritt

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Lake Merritt. This unique urban space is right next to downtown and boasts a 3.4-mile-long shoreline along the East Bay. After you eat, you can take a stroll through the park and look for birds, after all, it’s in the United States’ oldest designated wildlife refuge.

Paint & Sip

If you want something unique to do with your mom, Wine & Design is a perfect place for a girls’ night. They’ll provide the instruction and all of the creative materials; you just bring the wine and get ready to have fun! For Mother’s Day, you can choose from one of eight floral paintings to create during the two-hour class. You can also opt-in to bottomless mimosas for an additional $15. They’re limiting class size to fifteen people due to COVID-19, so be sure to reserve your spot early!

The University of California Botanical Garden

A lot of people get their moms flowers for Mother’s Day – but how about taking her to see thousands of blooming flowers? The UC Botanical Garden in neighboring Berkeley is a lovely place to spend Mother’s Day with your special someone. You’ll enjoy lots of beautiful blooms on this 34-acre property in Strawberry Canyon. Make a day of it by paying a visit to The Garden Shop for prints, books, and gifts and The Plant Deck for plants that mom can take home.

Millennium Restaurant

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Millennium Restaurant, one of the most accoladed restaurants in Oakland. This upscale vegan eatery showcases globally inspired and locally sourced cuisine. It won the 2016 Michelin Bib Gourmand award and has been featured on “best of” lists by Huffington Post, Food & Wine Magazine, and The Daily Meal.

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Best Car Washes in Oakland, California

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Oakland, California. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Oakland has to offer.

First, we recommend Peoples Car Wash. This shop offers several packages for both car washes and also detailing for various sizes of vehicles, priced accordingly. They service sedans, SUV’s, large SUV’s, trucks, minivans, and full-sized vans. Add-on services include clay and wax, paint sealant, leather cleaning, tree sap removal, or engine detailing. Egift cards are also available online if you’ve been looking for that perfect gift. Call or go online today to book your appointment.

Second, we suggest Best Detail Inc. This shop prides itself in making your car look as good as it did when you drove it off the showroom floor. You may choose various packages from simply washing your car to detailing the interior, the exterior, or doing it all at once. They offer clay bar service, as well as vacuuming, cleaning interior glass, and a light polish to protect your paint. Best Detail Inc. strives to bring you a relaxing and welcoming environment as well as passionate and caring employees. They truly do care about your car and are determined to bring you the highest quality car wash you can get in the area.

Finally, XLNC Auto Beauty might just be what you’re looking for. This shop has over 25 years of experience in the Bay Area. Their motto is, “Excellence is Attention to Detail”, and it shows. Whatever you need, they are here for you, from just a quick wash to a full deluxe detail package. This shop is by appointment only, so be sure to call or go online to book your car wash and detail. Their services include odor elimination, engine detail, and a ceramic coating. They also do paint correction and a clay wash and hand wax. If you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further than XLNC Auto Beauty.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Broadway Carwash on Broadway, Gold Coin Car Wash on Foothill Blvd., or Suds Machine on Piedmont Ave. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Oakland, California, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Oakland

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Oakland and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Oakland that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Airbnb Guesthouse

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this guesthouse, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes free parking, Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and coffee. The studio-style Airbnb is stylishly decorated, with cozy nooks for reading and nice artwork to enjoy. There’s also a fenced-in outdoor space for pets! The host, Izzy, is an experienced Airbnb Superhost and has earned fantastic reviews for her hospitality, excellent communication, and friendly dogs.

Waterfront Hotel

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a quiet and relaxing place to stay, book a room at the Waterfront Hotel. This comfortable oasis from the city is located on Jack London Square right on the bay. You’ll find it easy to unwind with balcony views of the water, fireplaces, a heated outdoor pool, and concierge service. And should you have some extra energy, it’s also a really fun place to stay! The bright nautical décor and atmosphere of joie de vivre inside plus the proximity to nightlife and fine dining outside ensure that you’ll have a great time during your trip. The hotel is pet-friendly – you just need to sign a pet agreement at check-in.

Airbnb Tiny Home

When you’re traveling, it can be nice to stay somewhere that’s a bit of an adventure so that the stay itself feels just as exciting as your excursions. That’s where this tiny house comes in. Despite its small size, this space is airy and filled with light, with stylish and modern décor of natural wood and white fabrics. And don’t think you’ll be sacrificing comfort for the experience: the Airbnb comes with a basic kitchen, a queen bed (and additional pull-out couch), a TV, and Wi-Fi. Breakfast and other essentials are provided. Finally, you and your pet will have access to a huge shared yard with a fire pit, garden, and hammock.

Hilton Oakland Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Hilton Oakland Airport, which is just 1.5 miles from the airport. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than a free, quick shuttle service to take you to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable stay, with access to an outdoor pool, a gym, a business center, and an aviation-inspired restaurant. Pets who weigh up to 75 pounds are allowed for a $75 fee.

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What to do in Oakland, California

If you’ve found yourself in Oakland, California without anything to do, we have a few fantastic ideas that might get you excited to go on a new adventure. Oakland is full of fun and amazing things to do; these are only a handful. But perhaps you’ll be inspired and have a great time in this wonderful city. Let’s take a look at what Oakland has to offer.

First, we recommend the sweeping beauty of the Morcom Rose Garden. This rose garden has been open for just about 100 years. Located on 7+ acres in the heart of Oakland, this garden is the green jewel of the city. Several winding paths, glorious stairways, and wondrous water features are enough to tantalize your senses, but this garden is also a sanctuary for several different species of birds. The garden has also been accredited by the American Rose Society. Beauty surrounds in all sizes, colors, and flowers. You don’t want to miss a walk in the Morcom Rose Garden.

Next, we suggest the amazing adventure of the Oakland Zoo. Open to the public at varying entry times, your favorite animals await! Events and shows have been canceled until further notice, but all exhibits are open, including the African Savanna, Adventure Landing, the California Trail, the Flamingo Plaza, and the Tropical Rainforest. All shops and restaurants are open as well. Come on down and bring the kids for a lovely day at the Oakland Zoo.

The Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is another great option for those who love to hike and the great outdoors. If you’re in the mood for a walk in the forest, this park is an excellent choice. With 1833 acres, you’ll likely not hike the same trail twice. If you’re a wildlife lover, you’ll be delighted to know the rare golden eagle and the Alameda striped racer are residents of the park. You’ll also find raccoons, rabbits, deer, and squirrels on your travels. This park was once the site of a huge logging endeavor during the Gold Rush of the 1800’s, but it has since regrown and become lush once again.

Finally, come on down to Jack London Square and discover the heartbeat of Oakland. Fantastic food, biking trails, and kayaking are all available all along the waterfront. Named after the famed novelist, Jack London Square used to be where London himself worked at the docks. You’ll be able to see the USS Potomac docked here, which was the presidential yacht of Franklin D. Roosevelt at one time. If you’re in Oakland on a Sunday, you’ll be able to shop at their farmer’s market which takes place from 9am to 2pm. There’s something for the whole family down at the Square!

Oakland is a beautiful city to find yourself in. Whether you’re on vacation, on business, or you’re a local, by yourself or with the whole family, you’ll be sure to find something to do while you’re in town!


On Air Parking (OAK) –

Morcom Rose Garden –

Oakland Zoo –

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park –

Jack London Square –

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near OAK

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Alameda County Public Health

1000 Broadway

Oakland, CA 94607


Hours:  Monday – Friday 830 am to 5 pm

Several Oakland retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         Rite Aid

·         Safeway Pharmacy

·         Walmart

·         Walgreens

There are also several vaccination hubs available.  Contact the locations ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         STAT MED Urgent Care

·         Livermore VA Medical Center

·         Dublin Center

·         Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare Medical Center

·         COVID-19 Vaccine Location – Alameda County Fairground

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Great Places to Stay Traveling to Oakland

Airport parking near oak, try for the best rates!

Do you have travel to Oakland coming up soon? Whether you’ve been to the city before or it’s your very first time, if you don’t have relatives or friends to stay with, you’re going to be looking for a quality place to rest your head.

Finding the very best place can be overwhelming when you have to consider all the factors, like price, comfort, service, health & safety, location, and more! To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Oakland. All are very different -from quirky to traditional- but highly rated. Read on to see why these are your best options, and then choose the one that best serves your needs!

Waterfront Hotel

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, chances are you’ll be cramming a lot into your days. If you want a quiet and relaxing place to stay, book a room at the Waterfront Hotel. This comfortable oasis from the city is located on Jack London Square right on the bay. You’ll find it easy to unwind with balcony views of the water, fireplaces, a heated outdoor pool, and concierge service. And should you have some extra energy, it’s also a really fun place to stay! The bright nautical décor and atmosphere of joie de vivre inside plus the proximity to nightlife and fine dining outside ensure that you’ll have a great time during your trip.

Urban Farm Retreat

When you’re traveling, it can be nice to stay somewhere that’s a bit of an adventure so that the stay itself feels just as exciting as your excursions. That’s where the Urban Farm Retreat comes in. This charming Airbnb has 5-star reviews for features like a garden full of organic fruit and veggies (yes, you can eat them), a friendly outdoor cat, nearby hiking trails, and artwork throughout the property. Don’t think you’ll be sacrificing comfort though; your stay includes a kitchen, washer and dryer, Wi-Fi, and TV.

Mandarin Oriental Oakland

Have some junior explorers tagging along with you on your trip? A fun place for families to stay is the Holiday Inn. Rooms are affordably priced and kids stay free here! A stay here will be very comfortable for adults in your party, too, due to its good service, free airport shuttle, large onsite sports bar, fitness center, and its high rating on TripAdvisor.

Hilton Oakland Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Hilton Oakland Airport, which is just 1.5 miles from the airport. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than a free, quick shuttle service to take you to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable stay, with access to an outdoor pool, a gym, a business center, and an aviation-inspired restaurant.

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Spring Celebrations and Events Near OAK

Airport parking near oak, try for the best rates!

As the days get longer and winter gives its last hurrah, our mind turns towards sunshine-filled warmer days.  With spring just around the corner, we can begin looking forward to spring days filled with celebrations and festivals. 

In anticipation of the fun times ahead, to be enjoyed with family and friends, we have gathered some ideas on celebrations and events of interest near Oakland, CA.

Berkeley Spring 2021 Plant Swap

March 13, 2021 10am – 12pm

Strawberry Creek Park

1260 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Share your houseplant hobby with the East Bay plant community amidst servings of cupcakes, coffee, and conversation.  This is an in-person event hosted outdoors at Strawberry Creek Park, Berkeley.

Spring Break Coastal Scrub Camp

March 29, 2021 9:30am – April 2, 2021 2:30pm

Slide Ranch

2025 Shoreline Hwy, Muir Beach, CA

Slide Ranch’s Coastal Scrub Camp offers nature exploration on our farm and coastal wildlands

Coastal Scrub Camp is a new Slide Ranch program inspired by the greater-than-ever need to connect kids with nature and with each other! Coastal Scrub Camp offers children the opportunity for safe outdoor play in small, cooperative groups

Virtual Spring Break ZooCamp Adventures

March 29, 2021 – April 9, 2021

Oakland, CA

The camp will feature live videoconference activities with a camp counselor, and behind-the-scenes opportunities from 9 am to noon daily, then asynchronous activities to do at your own pace in the afternoons. Campers will receive a discovery box in the mail full of unique animal activities and ZOOmming costumes for that week’s theme. Everything you will need to create animal enrichment, science experiments and build a unique Lego™ animal. Two one-week sessions with live videoconference from 9 am to noon daily.

San Francisco International Film Festival

April 5, 2021 – April 19, 2021

San Francisco, CA

Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Held each spring for two weeks, the International is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in the country’s most beautiful city, featuring some 150 films and live events with more than 100 filmmakers in attendance and nearly two dozen awards presented for cinematic excellence. The Festival attracts an annual audience of more than 75,000.

Spring Break Art Camp

April 5, 2021 8pm April 9, 2021 11pm

Lemon Blossom Creations

1548 Palos Verdes Mall, Walnut Creek, CA

During our spring break camp, we will be making a variety of art and craft projects.  Morning Session 9:00AM-12:00PM  Afternoon Session 1:00PM-4:00PM  Ages: 3-8 years old  Price: $225

Contra Costa Home and Garden Show

April 9, 2021 12pm – 6pm

Concord Pavilion

2000 Kirker Pass Rd, Concord, CA

36th Annual “Spring Show” Hundreds of Quality Exhibits. Things for the Yard! Landscaping Pools and Spas Fencing Ladders Pottery Outdoor Furniture and more.

Spring Craft Faire

April 24, 2021 5pm – 10pm

1919 Buchanan Rd, Antioch, CA

3rd annual craft faire. Vendors selling their one-of-a-kind crafts and gifts just in time for Mother’s Day.

Supporting our local Mission Elementary school.

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What to Do at the Zoo in Oakland, California

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If you’re hanging out in Oakland with nothing to do, why not consider coming on down to the Oakland Zoo? They’re reopening on February 3rd and the price for admission is as follows. Children under 2 are completely free. From the ages of 2-14, the price is $20. From the ages of 15-64, the price is $24. For Seniors between the ages of 65-75, the fee is $20. All people aged 76 and older are free! Parking for cars is $10 while bus parking is $15. With a paid admission, the gondola right is absolutely free. Hours of operation are 10am-5pm with the final admission at 4pm.

You might also wish to become a member. Membership fees for an Individual begin at $99. For a Couple’s membership, the fee is $139. For Family membership, 2 adults and 4 children, the fee is $174. For Family Plus, 3 adults and 4 children, the price is $209. All tickets and memberships must be purchased online.

Even though the Oakland Zoo is reopening, the Adventure Landing Rides and the Petting Yard remain temporarily closed until further notice. Public feeding times will also be discontinued until further notice to prevent crowding in certain exhibits. Reservations at zoo venues are also on hold at this time.

Something you’ll be excited for at the Oakland Zoo is Glowfari! This event begins again on February 5th and features several hundred lanterns of larger-than-life animals all over the zoo. This event is beautiful and breathtaking; you do not want to miss it! It runs throughout the entire month of February and the first two weeks of March. Make sure you get your tickets reserved sooner rather than later, as this is a first come first served event. Come and be wowed by the size and the glow of these spectacular lanterns.

If you’re hungry while at the zoo, the Landing Café and the Tuskers Grill are offering orders online. Simply choose your pickup time and take your food to go. All seating is outdoors so please make sure you practice social distancing and wear your mask at all times unless eating. Both restaurants are open 11am to 3pm every day. Alternatively, you may choose to pack a lunch from home and eat it at the zoo.

If you’d like to enjoy the zoo from the comfort of your own home, go online and check out the Oakland Zoo’s webcams. They have webcams available for the Grizzly bears, the elephants, the sun bears, the black bears, and the condors. You can also subscribe to the Oakland Zoo’s YouTube channel and watch videos about the zoo and its keepers from the comfort of your couch.

The Oakland Zoo is proud to reopen their doors and welcome back children of all ages. If you’re looking for something new and fresh to do while in the Oakland area, be sure you don’t miss out on a day of adventure with friends and family!

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