Didn't make special plans for Father's Day? How about a family hike in the Oakland hills, a Big Band concert aboard a historic aircraft carrier or a UC science and engineering geek-out? None of these events require advance registration or reservations — just go!
Huckleberry Botanic Preserve, off Skyline Boulevard in the Oakland hills, will be the setting for a "Sunday stroll" sponsored by the East Bay Regional Park District. It's a moderate 2.3-mile hike along trails bordered by a rich and unique array of native plants (Read more about the preserve in ). The EBRPD says it should be great for families (but it's not a stroller-friendly trail). No dogs, please. Meet at the park's staging area on Skyline (between Broadway Terrace and Snake Road) at 10 a.m. for the two-hour walk. Free.
Aboard an Aircraft Carrier
Over in Alameda, at the former Naval Air Station, the USS Hornet Museum will honor World War II veterans as part of its Living Ship Day series aboard a decommissioned aircraft carrier.
The day will feature a panel of veterans beginning at 1 p.m. Among those scheduled to speak are Sgt. Francis “Jeep” Sanza of Napa, personal jeep driver to General Patton in Europe, and Doug Aitkin, who served aboard the USS Hadley and shot down more than 23 kamikazes in a day. Other veterans will be available for a special “meet and greet” throughout the day.
Among the day’s highlights are a musical performance from the Frisky Frolics, WWII-era military displays and historical re-enactments by the Santa Cruz Living History Group.
The museum comes to life as an operating aircraft carrier with flight simulations between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed into launch position. Visitors can meet former crew, sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet, and enjoy the sights and sounds of naval aviation. There will also be a Big Band performance at 1 p.m.
The USS Hornet Museum is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular museum admission is $6-$15 for youths through adults. Ample free parking is available across from the pier. For directions and more information, visit www.uss-hornet.org or call 510-521-8448.
Math and Science Fun
Inspired by WIRED Magazine's GeekDad, the Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, encourages dads (and moms) to help raise geek generation 2.0 by making marble machines, experiencing Tony Hawk Rad Science, and seeing surfers catch the Ultimate Wave in 3-D.
The Hall is open daily, including Father's Day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission prices are:
- $12 adults (ages 19–61).
- $9 students/seniors/disabled (ages 7–18, 62-plus).
- $6 children (ages 3 to 6; children under 3 are admitted free).
- Free for members, UC Berkeley students and staff.
- As a Blue Star Museum, free for active duty military, National Guard and Reserve members, and their families, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012.
- 3-D films and planetarium shows are each an extra $4 per person, with some age restrictions.