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Adult-Friendliest Kids' Venue 

Lawrence Hall of Science

Grownups desperate for an outing that will stimulate not only Johnny's brain but also Mom's or Dad's need look no further than Lawrence Hall of Science, a science and math exploratorium perched in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus. The panoramic bay views take your breath away, while the hall's exhibits and programs challenge the whole family. Take in a show at the Planetarium; explore the outdoor science park; meet Spot, the leopard gecko, in the Biology Lab; then grab some lunch at the Bay View Cafe. Ongoing exhibits include NanoZone, which explores nanotechnology research; Forces That Shape the Bay, which offers hands-on learning about plate tectonics, water, erosion, and mountain building; and Prove It! A ChemMystery, which allows visiting sleuths to solve two mysteries using tools like chromatography to analyze inks and matching DNA in fingerprint samples. Lawrence Hall of Science also offers classes and camps for children and families. Playdates may not be just for kids anymore. Open daily, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Readers' Pick:
Children's Fairyland
699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, 510-452-2259
Fairyland.org

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