Chabot Space & Science Center
Location: 10000 Skyline Blvd. Oakland, CA 94619
Hours: Mon & Tue: Closed, Wed & Thu: 10am - 5pm, Fri & Sat: 10am - 10pm Sun: 10am - 5pm
Description: Chabot Space and Science Center is located up in the Oakland hills amid towering trees. The walking trails surrounding the Space Center are very beautiful and popular for hiking and walking dogs (just in case you have extra time, I recommend taking a little walk around). Inside Chabot you will find everything to ignite your little space explorer's minds and it's pretty interesting for adults too. The Planetarium offers different shows for you to relax and gaze up at "sky". You are relaxed back in chairs and get to have the trippy experience of feeling like you are exploring outer space from the comfort of your chair. There is a hands on room- only open at certain hours for your smallest astronauts. There is a healthy cafe located on the first floor if you and your explorers are running low on food. In one of the rooms there is the Black Hole experience with colored lights and lasers as well as a crawl through tunnel to disappear in to the abyss. Also in that room is a giant kaleidoscope swirling together many earthly pictures. Of course the Space Center documents every lunar event and you can go watch it or star gazing through their giant telescope. Upstairs there are many rooms to explore. There is a room where your children can get the feel of what it is like to be an astronaut. Upstairs is an exhibit hall that is very interactive for youngsters and with the help of fun science experiments, they can get points on a card for using less energy and learning how to help the planet. The points on the card can be taken home, where you can log on to a website and your children can play video games based on the things they learned. They have tons of shows, special experiences, and group events- just check their website for all the happenings.
Highlights: They have laser shows in the Planetarium that are set to music. They are really cool and trippy! The music is set to either Pink Floyd or the Beatles. I do not recommend taking your young children to the Pink Floyd one. The lasers eventually turn in to images and make way for some pretty adult themes. I was shocked at all the content and my 5 year old daughter was confused. If you love Pink Floyd go with your adult friends!
Tips: Bring some walking shoes. You can leave your car parked in the parking lot at Chabot and take a detour in to the woods to explore the hiking grounds. It is really pretty and serene among the tall redwoods. Your young explorer will get a kick out of leading the way on an adventure.