Selected Resources for Berkeley and the East Bay
Visit Berkeley provides lots of information on what to do, where to dine, where to stay and where to shop in Berkeley.
Arrival Guide for International Students and Scholars at UC Berkeley (55 page PDF document, may take a little time to download on slow internet connections) This guide, although intended for international students and scholars, has a wealth of information for any international newcomer to Berkeley.
English-in-Action at the Berkeley YWCA – A free program that finds a partner for you to practice English conversation.
Laney College, Oakland
English Studies Institute (ESI), Berkeley
The English Center (ECIW), Oakland
Adult schools offer inexpensive daytime and evening classes in ESL, computers, art, music, foreign languages, dance, yoga, exercise and more.
Community & Recreation Centers
Community and recreation centers offer classes in a variety of areas including art, cooking, sports, computers, etc. You can pick up an “Activity Guide” at your local library or community center, or visit the website for each center.
At a community college, you can take individual courses, get certificates in certain programs, or get an Associate of Arts (AA) degree (2-year).
Laney College, Oakland
UC Berkeley Extension – offers professional certificates and specialized programs of study.
Habitat for Humanity – helps build homes for low-income families
Taproot Foundation – An organization that provides pro-bono consulting to non-profit organizations
MOTHERS’ CLUBS AND PARENTING RESOURCES
Joining a mothers’ club is one of the best ways to meet other moms. Mothers’ clubs organize many events including dinners with other moms, outings, playgroups, babysitting co-ops, parent education talks, stroller walks, etc.
510 Families Provides resources for meeting other moms in the East Bay
Parents, Resources and More (PRAM), Richmond
Lamorinda Mother’s Club – A mothers’ club for mothers in Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga.
Berkeley Parents Network – Besides an incredibly thorough listing of local resources, this site has advice on many specific topics. Visit parents.berkeley.edu/subscribe.html to join and receive their newsletters.
Bananas – Offers free parenting information, workshops and referrals to family child care, child care centers, preschools, babysitters, in-home caregivers, nannies and playgroups.
NurtureMom – Rick and Jan Hanson, authors of the book Mother Nurture, have written and lectured extensively on parental stress and depletion, ways to nurture mothers and fathers, and how a couple can be both strong teammates and intimate friends while raising a family. Their website has great articles and resources.
Acalanes Adult Education Center, Walnut Creek
Excellent parent education (mommy and me) classes starting from birth to 5 years.
Tot Drop – (925) 284-3999 or 1-888-TOT DROP
Tot Drop is a class for walking babies through preschoolers. Cost is $12/hour; minimum appointment is 1 hour. Open 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m. Drop your child off occasionally or arrange weekly appointments. Locations in Lafayette. Pleasanton, and Livermore.
FamilyPaths 24-Hour Crisis Hotline – (510) 893-5444; (800) 829-3777
Just call anytime if you are feeling stressed and need to talk with someone.
T.V. PROGRAMS FOR SMALL CHILDREN
Parents (70%) believe that the best programming for children and young people can be found on PBS. KQED, Channel 9, is our local channel. PBS Kids’ Programs
Friday Morning Coffee This is a weekly conversation group for accompanying partners that I facilitate at Caffe Strada in Berkeley, Fridays from 11Am-1PM. Please join my Facebook group, Creating A Fulfilling Life in America, to receive reminders about the Friday Morning Coffee and other useful information.
Partners@Berkeley This group is for Berkeley partners who leave their home country behind to accompany their partners to study and do research at UC Berkeley. They have a Happy Hour the last Wednesday of the month.
Inspire This group provides a network for accompanying spouses in Berkeley to inspire, support and motivate each other.
Life in the Bay A blog started by Stanford spouses to help accompanying spouses/partners settle into their new lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
FUN AND RECREATION
San Francisco City Guides – offers free, guided walks in San Francisco.
Especially Fun for the Kids
Bay Area Kid Fun – a list of fun things to do by city
Habitot Children’s Museum, Berkeley
This museum is great for young children. They offer hands-on exhibits and drop-in art activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and families. They also have parenting classes and parent support groups.
Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round
Herschell Spillman merry-go-round in Tilden Regional Park is a splendid antique carousel with hand-carved and beautifully painted wooden carousel animals to ride. For information, call (510) 524-6773. For days and hours of operation please see the Tilden Attractions schedule. There is a fee: $2 per ride; $10 for 7-ride ticket book. Fees are subject to change.
Adventure Playground, Berkeley
The Adventure Playground at the Berkeley Marina is an outdoor area where children can play and build creatively. Children can hammer, saw or paint, climb on forts, boats, and towers, and ride the zip line.
Open Saturday and Sunday, 11- 5pm.
Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley
A public science center with exciting hands-on experiences, exhibits, a planetarium, animal discovery room, classes and camps for kids, and a science-themed gift store. Don’t miss their outdoor park with a fabulous view of the San Francisco Bay and a giant whale that kids can climb on.
Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland
Chabot Space & Science Center seeks to educate students of all ages about Planet Earth and the Universe. It offers an observatory, planetarium, classes, lectures, shows, and interactive exhibits.
California’s Great America Theme Park
For kids of all ages who love thrill rides!
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
When it gets hot, head out to Concord (about 30 minutes east of Berkeley) for some fun water slides.
Exploratorium, San Francisco
Housed within the walls of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a collage of hundreds of science, art, and human perception exhibits. In its vast interior, children of all ages can interact with unique machines, experiment with sound, light and texture, and learn about physics in a fun way.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
If your kids like giant roller coasters and dolphin shows, then this amusement park (about a 30-minute drive from Berkeley) is the place for you.
Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Walnut Creek
A fun museum where kids can see live, California wild animals such as hawks, owls, eagles, fox, bobcat, opossum, coyote, snakes, toads, and turtles.
JOB SEARCH RESOURCES
Live Career – A website with lots of job-search advice.
Craigslist – Lists job openings in the Bay Area.
Alta Bates Medical Center
2450 Ashby Ave., Berkeley
Children’s Hospital Oakland
747 52nd Street, Oakland
Children’s Hospital Oakland’s is the Bay Area’s only emergency department completely dedicated to the care of children and staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week with certified pediatric emergency medicine specialists. They treat children from birth to 18 years only.