Despite its recent closure for renovations, the of the still offers some of the finest free entertainment for kids in Berkeley — tree climbing.
Just outside the branch building, in the small triangular park between Alameda and Josephine Street, sits a small copse of trees, each bearing sturdy, low-hanging branches perfect for small hands to grasp.
Kids clamber through the boughs like forest elves, swinging and swooping from the limbs with gleeful ease. Even the tiniest and most tentative hands can test out their tree climbing skills here.
The tree trunks are forked low, almost at ground level, allowing beginners to gain easy purchase — and quickly win confidence. Bring a blanket to spread out on the grass, a thermos of lemonade, and a few Band-Aids (small scrapes and abrasions come with the territory), then kick back and watch the kids disappear into their own woody realm.