Discover 6 Fun Things to Do in Oakland California

fun things to do in oakland california

Are you looking for a destination that offers a wide range of exciting activities and attractions? Look no further than Oakland, California! Whether you’re a nature lover, an art enthusiast, a foodie, or a fan of urban adventures, Oakland has something for everyone. With its vibrant culture, beautiful parks, diverse neighborhoods, and delicious culinary scene, this city is sure to captivate your heart. Check out the fun things to do in Oakland California.

In Oakland, you can immerse yourself in over 100,000 acres of parks and trails, where you can hike, have a picnic, and even catch a game at the iconic Oakland A’s stadium. The city is also home to unique attractions like the Oakland Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with exotic animals, and Lake Merritt, a picturesque waterfront destination perfect for leisurely walks and boating adventures.

For the art lovers, Oakland offers a thriving arts and culture scene. Visit the Oakland Museum of California to explore fascinating exhibits that showcase the state’s rich history. Dive into the city’s diverse street art scene, adorned with vibrant murals and installations. And if you’re a fan of live performances, make sure to catch a show at the historic Paramount Theatre.

Traveling with your family? Oakland has plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained. Take the little ones to Children’s Fairyland, an enchanting park where their imaginations can run wild. Explore the Oakland Zoo together and discover a world of wildlife. And don’t forget to spend a day at Lake Merritt, where you can enjoy outdoor activities and create unforgettable memories.

If you’re seeking unique urban adventures, Oakland won’t disappoint. Embark on the Oakland Cannabis Trail and explore the city’s cannabis culture with visits to retail shops, food spots, and sensory attractions. Beer enthusiasts can follow the Oakland Ale Trail, where you can sample a variety of craft breweries. And for the foodies, the Oakland Vegan Trail offers a delightful journey through the city’s vegan cuisine.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find paradise in Oakland’s natural beauty. Discover the awe-inspiring redwoods at Redwood Regional Park, where hiking trails await to be explored. Take a leisurely stroll around the serene Lake Merritt and embrace the tranquility of nature. With its abundant parks, Oakland provides countless opportunities for outdoor activities, from picnicking to biking.

Food lovers will be thrilled to experience Oakland’s diverse culinary scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to ethnic eateries, the city offers a gastronomic adventure like no other. Explore the local farmers markets, savor international flavors, and embrace the flavors of the local food truck scene.

Don’t forget to explore the unique neighborhoods that make up Oakland. Chinatown, with its vibrant shops and festivals, offers an authentic cultural experience. Fruitvale showcases the Mexican influences in the city, complete with vibrant murals and delicious cuisine. And Jack London Square, a waterfront district, is the perfect place for dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Fun Things to Do in Oakland California

  • Discover a vibrant arts and culture scene in Oakland, with attractions like the Oakland Museum of California and a thriving street art scene.
  • Enjoy family-friendly activities at the Oakland Zoo, Children’s Fairyland, and Lake Merritt.
  • Embark on unique urban adventures, such as the Oakland Cannabis Trail, the Oakland Ale Trail, and the Oakland Vegan Trail.
  • Explore Oakland’s natural beauty with hikes in Redwood Regional Park and leisurely walks around Lake Merritt.
  • Indulge in Oakland’s diverse culinary scene, from farm-to-table restaurants to international flavors and food trucks.
  • Take the time to explore Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods, including Chinatown, Fruitvale, and Jack London Square.

Arts & Culture in Oakland

Oakland is a hub for arts and culture, offering a diverse range of attractions for art enthusiasts. One of the must-visit destinations is the Oakland Museum of California. This renowned museum showcases unique exhibits that tell the story of California’s rich culture and history. From art installations to interactive displays, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant arts scene of the state.

In addition to the museum, Oakland is known for its vibrant street art scene. The city is adorned with colorful murals and captivating installations that reflect the local culture and creativity. Exploring the streets of Oakland is like walking through an outdoor gallery, where every turn offers a new piece of art to admire.

Oakland is also home to several theaters that host live performances and shows. One of the notable venues is the Paramount Theatre, a historic landmark known for its stunning architecture and impressive acoustics. Catching a show at this theater is an experience unlike any other, as the grandeur of the venue adds to the magic of the performances.

Whether you enjoy visiting art galleries, attending cultural festivals, or immersing yourself in the music and theater scene, Oakland offers endless opportunities to indulge in arts and culture.

Family-Friendly Activities in Oakland

Oakland offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions, making it the perfect destination for a fun-filled day with your loved ones. Whether you’re looking to engage with wildlife, immerse yourselves in a realm of enchantment, or spend quality time in the great outdoors, Oakland has something for everyone.

family-friendly attractions oakland

1. Oakland Zoo

The Oakland Zoo is a beloved destination that promises a thrilling adventure for visitors of all ages. With over 850 native and exotic animals to see, including majestic elephants, playful monkeys, and captivating big cats, this zoo is a haven for animal lovers. Take a scenic ride on the zoo’s aerial gondola for panoramic views of Oakland and its surroundings.

2. Children’s Fairyland

Located on the picturesque shores of Lake Merritt, Children’s Fairyland provides a whimsical environment where kids can let their imaginations soar. With storybook-themed sets, interactive exhibits, and charming gardens, this beloved theme park offers endless opportunities for play, learning, and magical adventures.

3. Lake Merritt

Embrace the beauty of nature at Lake Merritt, a serene oasis nestled in the heart of Oakland. Families can enjoy a peaceful picnic by the lake, rent paddleboats to explore its shimmering waters, or stroll along the scenic pathways while spotting ducks, geese, and other wildlife. Engage in outdoor activities and create lasting memories in this idyllic setting.

With an array of parks, playgrounds, and family-friendly events, Oakland ensures that families have plenty of options to create unforgettable experiences together. From the thrilling wildlife encounters at the Oakland Zoo to the enchanting wonders of Children’s Fairyland and the natural beauty of Lake Merritt, Oakland truly is a haven for family fun.

Urban Adventures in Oakland

For those looking for unique experiences in an urban setting, Oakland offers a variety of urban adventures. From exploring the city’s vibrant cannabis culture to indulging in craft beers and flavorful vegan cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The Oakland Cannabis Trail

Embark on the Oakland Cannabis Trail and immerse yourself in the city’s thriving cannabis culture. This curated journey takes you to retail shops, food spots, and sensory attractions that highlight the diverse and evolving world of cannabis in Oakland. Experience the aroma, taste, and creativity that make Oakland a pioneering destination for cannabis enthusiasts.

The Oakland Ale Trail

Calling all beer enthusiasts! Follow the Oakland Ale Trail and discover the city’s vibrant craft brewery scene. Sample a wide selection of locally brewed beers, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, and learn about the unique brewing techniques and stories behind each brewery. Whether you’re a connoisseur or simply appreciate a good pint, the Oakland Ale Trail is a must for beer lovers.

The Oakland Vegan Trail

Tantalize your taste buds on the Oakland Vegan Trail and explore the flavors of the local vegan cuisine. From innovative plant-based dishes to delectable desserts, Oakland has a thriving vegan scene that showcases the abundance of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in delicious and sustainable food options that highlight the city’s commitment to veganism and culinary creativity.

These urban adventures allow you to delve into different aspects of Oakland’s vibrant and diverse culture. Whether you’re a cannabis enthusiast, beer lover, or a foodie, these trails offer unique experiences that showcase the best of Oakland’s urban scene.

Outdoor Excursions in Oakland

With its vast outdoor spaces, Oakland is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or simply enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, Oakland offers a range of activities that will allow you to connect with nature and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Hiking in Oakland

Oakland is home to the stunning Redwood Regional Park, where you can immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the largest remaining natural stand of coastal redwoods in the East Bay area. Explore the park’s picturesque hiking trails, offering breathtaking views and the opportunity to witness these majestic trees up close. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring sights along the way.

Lake Merritt

In addition to its redwood forests, Oakland boasts the picturesque Lake Merritt, a saltwater lake located in the heart of the city. This urban paradise offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including walking or jogging along the scenic lakeside promenade, renting a paddleboat or kayak to explore the water, or simply enjoying a peaceful picnic surrounded by nature. Keep an eye out for the diverse bird population that calls Lake Merritt home, making it a popular spot for bird-watching enthusiasts.

Other Outdoor Activities

Oakland’s extensive park system provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as biking, picnicking, and enjoying the fresh air. Explore the various parks and trails scattered throughout the city, each offering its own unique appeal. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon surrounded by nature or an active adventure, Oakland has something to offer.

So lace up your hiking boots, grab your binoculars, or simply pack a picnic basket, and get ready to embrace the outdoor beauty that Oakland has to offer.

Culinary Delights in Oakland

Oakland is renowned for its diverse culinary scene and offers a wide range of dining options to suit every palate. From local gems to Michelin-rated restaurants, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The city is home to a vibrant food scene, with a focus on farm-to-table and sustainable cuisine. Visitors can explore the city’s many farmers markets, where they can find an array of fresh and locally sourced ingredients. These markets provide an opportunity to connect with local farmers and support the community while discovering the freshest produce.

For those looking to indulge in a culinary adventure, Oakland’s restaurant scene offers a diverse range of cuisines. From international flavors to fusion dishes, you can experience a global culinary journey without leaving the city.

Whether you prefer fine dining or casual eats, you’ll find an abundance of options in Oakland. From cozy cafes to trendy bistros, the city has it all. Don’t forget to explore the food truck scene, where you can savor delicious street food from various cuisines.

When it comes to dining experiences, Oakland has something to offer for everyone. Enjoy waterfront views at restaurants along the Jack London Square or take a stroll through the vibrant Oakland Chinatown and savor authentic Chinese cuisine.

With its culinary delights and diverse dining options, Oakland truly is a food lover’s paradise. Whether you’re a fan of exotic flavors, farm-to-table experiences, or simply want to explore the local food scene, Oakland has it all. Indulge your taste buds and discover the mouthwatering culinary experiences that await you in this vibrant city.

Neighborhoods to Explore in Oakland

Oakland is a city of diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and attractions. When exploring Oakland, don’t miss the opportunity to visit these distinctive neighborhoods:


Chinatown is one of the oldest and largest Chinatowns in the United States, offering a rich cultural experience. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you stroll through the bustling streets filled with colorful shops, traditional restaurants, and fascinating festivals. Take in the sights and sounds, and explore the unique offerings of this historic neighborhood.


Fruitvale is a neighborhood known for its vibrant Mexican influences. Indulge your taste buds at the taco trucks and tequila bars that line the streets, offering a delicious and authentic culinary experience. Admire the vibrant murals that showcase the neighborhood’s rich culture and history. Fruitvale is a must-visit destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in Oakland’s diverse heritage.

Jack London Square

Located along the waterfront, Jack London Square is a dynamic district offering a wide array of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Enjoy a scenic stroll along the waterfront promenade, dine at one of the many waterfront restaurants, or browse through unique boutiques and art galleries. Jack London Square is a vibrant hub that captures the essence of Oakland’s lively spirit.

Oakland Neighborhoods

Exploring these neighborhoods provides visitors with a deeper understanding of Oakland’s history, culture, and vibrant local community. Each neighborhood offers its own unique experiences and attractions, making Oakland an exciting and diverse destination to explore.


Oakland, California offers an array of exciting activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene, engaging in outdoor adventures, or indulging in the diverse culinary delights, Oakland has something for everyone.

For families, the Oakland Zoo and Children’s Fairyland provide fun-filled experiences that will entertain children and adults alike. With its variety of parks, trails, and the picturesque Lake Merritt, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and boating while immersing themselves in the beauty of nature.

Food enthusiasts will be thrilled to discover Oakland’s culinary scene, with its range of restaurants, food trucks, and farmers markets offering a diverse array of flavors. From farm-to-table cuisine to international delights, Oakland has options to satisfy every palate.

Additionally, exploring Oakland’s unique neighborhoods and engaging in urban adventures such as the Oakland Cannabis Trail, Oakland Ale Trail, and Oakland Vegan Trail, provides visitors with an opportunity to delve deeper into the city’s culture and heritage.

Plan your visit to Oakland today and embark on an unforgettable journey, experiencing all the wonderful attractions and activities this vibrant city has to offer. Whether you’re seeking arts and culture, outdoor excursions, family-friendly fun, or culinary delights, Oakland is sure to exceed your expectations!