SPRING EGG HUNT EXTRAVAGANZA The City of Berkeley’s Egg Hunt Extravaganza takes place on Saturday March 26 at Willard Park. The day will be filled with tons of fun activities, and includes a petting zoo, a visit with the Spring Bunny, spring-themed arts and crafts and an interactive kids’ carnival with Bunny Hop dance lessons and prizes. Kids will receive a basket to collect all their spring goodies. Egg hunt times: 1-year-olds: 10am; 2-year-olds: 10:20am; 3-year-olds: 10:40am; 4-year-olds: 11am; 5-6-year-olds: 11:20am; 7-8-year-olds: 11:40am; 9-10-year-olds: 12pm. Kids aged 11+ can participate in a scavenger hunt for prizes. Saturday March 26, 9:30am- 1pm, Willard Park, 2730 Hillegass Ave. (at Russell). Cost: $6/youth. (more…)
SANDZONE FOR KIDS This weekend is the last chance for your kids to enjoy the one-week popup Sand Zone that Habitot created by transforming a 3,600 square foot parking lot at Adeline and Alcatraz in Berkeley into a giant sandbox to promote active play for children of all ages. Habitot received a $32,000 grant to create the play area from the 50 Fund — the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee NFL Foundation and KaBoom! SandZone is open 10am-6pm, and on Friday from 10am-8pm. The 48’ x 48’ pop-up play zone features 1,152 cubic feet of sand, 6” deep, with rain protection. Caribbean and Filipino food trucks will sell food throughout the week, and each day is themed with Friday being “Luau Party,” Saturday is “Treasure Island,” and Sunday is”Sand Castles.” Once it’s over, Habitot will distribute the SandZone materials to low-income preschools in the East Bay. SandZone is free and open to the public. Families may register at: sandzone.eventbrite.com (more…)
IRA GLASS If you’re a fan of This American Life (and if you’re not, you should start listening), you know host Ira Glass’s steady, deadpan tone. Cal Performances brings Glass together with choreographer Monica Bill Barnes and dancer Anna Bass for an unusual combination of “live talking and dancing and radio snippets.” Barnes, “the Tina Fey of dance,” according to the Washington Post, combines elements of vaudeville and dance to pair with Glass’s “signature wit and charm.” Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host will be performed Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Tickets available from Cal Performances. (more…)
DEMYSTIFYING BATS In an appropriately timed event, come learn about local bats on Saturday Oct. 31 at the UC Botanical Garden with Director of NorCal Bats, Corky Quirk. Quirk will talk about bats and discuss the harmful myths that surround these potentially cute animals. You’ll also learn the importance of bats in our environment. Live bats will be presented for viewing and discussion. Saturday Oct. 31, 10 a.m., UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, 200 Centennial Dr.. Price: $15 Adult/$10 Adult Member/$5 Youth (ages 3-17). Details on Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. (more…)
Trudy, the corpse flower at UC Botanical Gardens, is blooming.
KITE FESTIVAL This family-friendly event will celebrate its 30th anniversary this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in César Chavez Park. Every year, hundreds of people flock to the Berkeley Kite Festival to watch masters fly kites or to fly their own. The free festival will feature kite making and flying lessons, as well as food and craft activities. The festival begins at 10 a.m. each day and continues until 6 p.m. Parking in the Berkeley Marina and at Golden Gate Fields costs $15, although the shuttles to the festival are free. Parking space is limited and the Berkeley Police Department encourages you to take public transit to the event. There will be free valet bike parking. (more…)
BERKELEY SPARK FESTIVAL The Berkeley Spark 3.0 Arts and Innovation Festival will bring artisans, innovators and nonprofits to Civic Center Park on Saturday for a community-based, participant-driven event that aims to connect the great East Bay. The festival features local independent makers with a focus on sustainability and originality. It also serves as a place for fans of the Burning Man culture to gather, and for those who are heading to the desert to stock up on gear and accessories. Civic Center Park is at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Center Street. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more at berkeleyspark.org. (more…)
UC BOTANICAL GARDEN’S 125TH BIRTHDAY During its 125 years of existence, the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley has served as a haven for endangered plants rescued from smugglers, a lab for studying climate change, biomagnetism and hummingbirds’ territorial behavior, a seed bank, a classroom for children and an idyllic backdrop for weddings. The Berkeley garden, home to one of the oldest, largest and most diverse collections in the U.S,. kicks off its 125th anniversary celebration on Sunday, June 28, with music (by the Tiny Rock Band and The Banjo Racketeers), a beer garden featuring Trumer, cupcakes (by Kelsey Robinson of The Whole Cake), lemonade, and gelato (by Bar Gelato) at its 34-acre site overlooking San Francisco Bay. Read all about it. (more…)
This week in Bites, we have lots of beer and bar news, plus new brunch in Fruitvale and an abundance of Father's Day events in the East Bay.
PALLADE MUSICA A young early music quartet from Montreal will have its West Coast debut in a series of concerts by the San Francisco Early Music Society this weekend. Pallade Musica will play instrumental works from the 17th century, including compositions by Sweelinck, Castaldi and Buxtehude. The program “journeys from the beginnings of the Stile Moderno in the breathtaking sonatas of Dario Castello to the pinnacle of the Stylus Phantasticus with Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s ‘Mystery Sonatas’ for violin.” Pallade Musica will perform at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17. Call the box office for ticket availability on 510-528-1725. (more…)
BHS JAZZ ALUMNI IN THE BAY AREA Alumni of Berkeley High’s renowned jazz program are returning to their native East Bay to ring in the new year at a couple different venues. Brooklyn-based Zongo Junction, an energetic Afrobeat ensemble founded by BHS grad Charles Ferguson, will play at Leo’s (5447 Telegraph in North Oakland) on Friday, Jan. 2. The $20 show is 18+ and starts at 9 p.m. Here in Berkeley on the same night, the Chase Jackson Quintet will play at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazzschool) at 2087 Addison St. The eponymous vibraphone player, who now lives in LA, is an alum of the BHS jazz program, and is bringing to the stage with him several other young Bay Area musicians. The $12 acoustic jazz show starts at 8 p.m. (more…)
A rare Puya raimondii plant is beginning to bloom at Berkeley’s UC Botanical Garden, a sight that you may only have one opportunity to see — unless you find yourself in the right place at the right time in the Bolivian Andes.
A ROCK OPERA THRILLER This weekend, First Look Sonoma and ROCKIT Opera is presenting three performances of the world premiere of composer/librettist (and Berkeley local) Sheli Nan’s SAGA of the 21st Century Girl: A Rock Opera Thriller. The new opera stars Crystal Philippi as a disturbed young girl struggling to cope with her self-absorbed mother (Valentina Osinski) and gutless father (Jo Vincent Parks) and their dysfunctional home. Portraying various aspects of the predatory impulse are the Shadows, both hilarious and genuinely frightening, portrayed by Alexis Lane Jensen and John Duykers. The company says the show, with its “completely original narrative with haunting musical themes is dynamic, captivating, and humorous at times.” SAGA is recommended for mature audiences. SAGA opens tonight and there are performances Saturday and Sunday. The show is at the Osher Studio, 2055 Center St. in downtown Berkeley. Visit First Look Sonoma online for details. (more…)