Where Fairy Tales and the Country’s Oldest Wildlife Refuge Meet (in Oakland!)


This is our weekly guest-blog post from the moms behind Red Tricycle, a site that focuses on the "lighter side" of parenting. Every week, they'll be bringing us their picks of stuff to do around the Bay Area with kids.

Moms need not be convinced of the charms of Lake Merritt – just say the word “Fairyland” and we’re off and running! But there’s much more to this local gem than a storybook park nestled within the grounds. Did you know that the country’s oldest wildlife refuge is in Lake Merritt? (Really, you ask – is there even wildlife there?). Others would be surprised to know that the Gardens at Lake Merritt were recently voted as one of the most romantic places to visit in the East Bay by CBS San Francisco and Diablo Magazine (File that away for your next date night!). Read on for more on the secret wonders of this urban, East Bay landmark.

Go: Any time of year. The perimeter of the lake is just over 3 miles and the paved path is shared by joggers, walkers, and strollers alike. It’s great for families with little ones who like to stop every few minutes.

Click here for more details on how to get there, where to eat, and more things to do in the area!

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