Spend Mother's Day at East Bay Parks with wildflowers and farm festivities

Spend Mother’s Day at East Bay Parks with wildflowers and farm festivities

Visit the East Bay's window into rural 19th century life at Ardenwood farm
Bring mom to enjoy a festive day Ardenwood History Farm on Sunday May 14. (Pete Cruz photo)

SF EAST BAY AREA (May 7, 2023) — There are several programs from which to choose if you’d like to celebrate Mother’s Day in the East Bay Regional Parks.

For instance, the parks will observe Mother’s Day with a variety of activities on Sunday, May 14, at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont.

Festivities will be continuous from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can create a flower crown, enjoy live music, and play a game of croquet or bocce ball. Take part in the buffet brunch with advance reservations (www.ardenwoodevents.com/mothersday) or you can purchase food from a special a-la-carte menu at the farm’s café.

Visit Ardenwood at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. Farm programs recreate life on a prosperous 19th century estate, whose centerpiece is the beautifully restored Patterson House. Admission fees apply; parking is free. For information, call 510-544-2797.

Del Valle Regional Park

Or you can celebrate Mother’s Day and learn about nature’s moms, during a two-mile hike at Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore.

The hike is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, with naturalist Alex Collins. The whole family is welcome. Some of the walk is on paved paths and there is a short hill. Registration is not required. Meet at the School House Flats picnic area.

Visit Del Valle Regional Park at the end of Del Valle Road off Mines Road about nine miles south of Livermore. Parking costs $6 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3146.

Big Break

And there’s more. “Mothers of Big Break” is the theme of a community campfire from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley, with supervising naturalist Wyatt Moore.

Gather the family for an evening in the park. Meet at the park amphitheater. Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy before the program. The group will explore the wonder of Big Break through nature-themed activities. The campfire will include s’mores, those gooey but delicious campfire treats.

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 510-544-3050.

Ohlone history

The Ohlone Peoples have called the area that includes Sunol Regional Wilderness their homeland for millennia. Their rich cultural history will be on display at the park during a program from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, with naturalist Kristina Parkison.

This drop-in program does not require registration. Parents must participate. Meet at the visitor center.

Sunol Regional Wilderness is at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, about five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. Before you go, check “Alerts and Closures” on the Park District website, www.ebparks.org, to be sure there is access. Geary Road has been blocked by rockslides several times as the result of winter storms. For general information about the park, call 510-544-3249.

Nature stroll

A naturalist-led stroll on the marsh boardwalk, with stories, songs and movement keyed to a nature-themed book is on the agenda from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.

Registration is not necessary. All ages are welcome; parent participation is required. The program is wheelchair-accessible. Meet at the visitor center.

Visit Coyote Hills at 8000 Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. The free program does not include the $5 per vehicle parking fee.  For information, call 510-544-3220.

Note also that Coyote Hills can get very crowded on weekends, leading to temporary park closure until vehicle parking spaces open up. You can find additional parking at nearby Dumbarton Quarry Campground.

Family Nature Fun Hour

Plan for some low-tide exploration during Family Nature Fun Hour, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Doug Siden Visitor Center at Crab Cove in Alameda. Find out what low tide reveals about bay creatures.

You do not need to register for this free event. Visit the center at 1252 McKay Ave. off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information, call 510-544-3187.

This is just a partial list of activities and programs available in your Regional Parks in coming days. For a full list, visit www.ebparks.org/things-to-do. And as mentioned above, check “Alerts and Closures” at the website to be sure the park you wish to visit has not been affected by weather or other factors.