- Plan and design around the interests and needs of parents, guardians and caregivers
- Commit to creating a safe, inclusive and family-friendly atmosphere as an explicit part of their mission
- Offer a range of activities for youth and children, in partnership with other local organizations
- Market directly to parents and caregivers by including families and children in the event description and promotional photos
- Provide specific kid-centered information on their website
- Ensure access is free, low cost and/or discounted for youth and seniors.
Lincoln Summer Nights - Summers
2017 marked the second year that Friends of Lincoln Square Park sponsored Lincoln Summer Nights, a first Friday outdoor event in the heart of Oakland Chinatown. According to event organizers, it's designed for every generation to celebrate together. There are no kids zones or set-aside children's stage, activities (like badminton) are everyone-friendly, and all are encouraged to mix it up and have fun.
2017 Partners include: Oakland Athletics, Lincoln Square Recreation Center, Oakland Parks and Recreation, Oakland Public Library, Asian Health Services, Aypal, The Spot Youth Center, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and local businesses
Oakland Pride - September
Fun Fact: Did you know Oakland PRIDE is one of the most diverse and family friendly celebration in the country? According to their website, "A Family & Children's Garden within the FESTIVAL focuses on providing a fun and safe area for children and their parents/guardians with free programs and activities."
The Children's festival is hosted by Our Family Coalition. 2017 sponsors include: Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Fairyland, Oakland Public Library, Berkeley Public Library, Museum of Children’s Arts, Six Flags, Abundant Beginnings, Oakland Fire Department and Oakland Zoo.
Art + Soul - September
Art+Soul has a long history of bringing people, art, music and kids to downtown Oakland. According to their website, "Art + Soul Oakland boasts the most exciting Family Fun Zone of any festival in the Bay Area. Children of all ages wiggle and giggle their way to a fun-filled afternoon of art & crafts, rides, games and more!"
In 2017, the festival is partnering with LEGOJeep and Oakland's Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) to provide: Fun & Games, carnival rides, inflatable bouncers, interactive art and face painting.
Mountainview Cemetery Pumpkin Festival - October
This long-standing pumpkin festival takes place after the Piedmont Avenue Merchant Association's annual Halloween Parade.
According to their website, "Children pick a free pumpkin and enjoy lots of other activities, including: several “jumper” inflatable funhouses, a hay-bale tunnel, a clown balloon artist, face painting, and a craft area to decorate pumpkins, masks, and treat bags.
East Bay Mini Maker Faire - October
According to their website, the East Bay Mini Maker Faire features both established and emerging local “makers,” and, "is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, digital fabrication, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations.
Oaktoberfest - Fall
According to their website, Oaktoberfest is hosted by the Dimond Improvement Association and the Dimond Business & Professional Association, and brings together elements of the district vision for a one day, everyone welcome, family-friendly craft beer festival.
The 2017 festival includes a Parents' Chill Zone and Kid’s Area courtesy of Dimond Library, Oakland Parks and Rec, and Komodo Toys, as well as children’s entertainment presented on the Family Stage.
Día de Los Muertos - October
The Día de los Muertos Festival is such a Oakland treasure that it was actually inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress by Congresswoman Barbara Lee as a “Local Legacy!” Each year over 60,000 people of all ages join in the festivities which include live music, Ballet folklorico, Aztec dancers, children's pavilion and family-friendly activities, local artisan craft stands and incredible alters and other artistic installations.
The Festival is sponsored by the Unity Council, in partnership with a wide range of community and corporate partners and supporters.
Children's Teach In - January
For the last few years, the Young Activists for Black Lives Coalition hosts a CHILDREN’S TEACH IN. According to their website, the event helps families talk to children (ages 3-13) about the historical and continuing injustices facing the black community, reclaiming Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy, and also discuss how we can move forward together. The event is followed by MLK's Radical Legacy March.
Since 2009 BIACFF has brought movies from around the world to the Chabot Space and Science Center for 3 days of screenings, discussions and other workshops for all ages. According to their website, "BAICFF is an annual Playdate for the Imagination™ where education and imagination collide. The festival offers families a cinematic view of the world’s varied cultures and traditions. The films inspire curiosity and conversation, and allow children to experience a wide range of cultural perspectives."
Oakland Running Festival - March
The Oakland running festival has quickly become a local favorite, a community running celebration through neighborhoods and showcase of everything we love about Oakland. That's why we're thrilled that kids too can enjoy the Oakland Running Festival with their very own Kids Fun Run. There's a 7 and under course and an 8-12 course. Participating youth get their own Kids Run t-shirt and a finisher's medal. The festival also includes a "Kids Fun Zone."
Pedalfest - July
According to their website, Pedalfest is, "Bike East Bay’s free celebration of cycling, family, food, and fun." Kids activities include a kids' Bike Parade and Bike Rodeo, and kids' bike decorating station
Pedalfest is presented by Bay Area Bicycle Law and Drake’s Brewing.
Did you know children under 18 can get in free to the Oakland Museum on Fridays? Start your weekend off right at OMCA. According to the event website, Fridays @ OMCA is a "family-friendly take on a festive night market, with the best in Bay Area curbside cuisine." Enjoy food trucks, live music, featured artists, a create marketplace and family-friendly drop-in workshops and dance lessons for all ages.
Bring a picnic blanket and be sure to catch storytime with the Oakland Public Library from 6 to 6:30 pm.
It's so much more than a fun time...
Let's extend the spirit and success of these events and build a more family-friendly city using the same strategies as these festivals. Together, we can create a more kid-friendly, teen-friendly senior-friendly, EVERYONE-friendly city so that all Oaklanders can thrive in all of our neighborhoods, each and every day.