Ghost Shrimp, Anyone? 

Take an urban vacation at Alameda's Crab Cove

SAT 4/3

"It's no French Riviera," was one visitor's pithy assessment on arriving at Crab Cove at Crown Beach in Alameda a couple of years back. And granted, it's no major international vacation destination, but as an easy-access urban getaway, Crab Cove -- with its protected beach, expanse of grass, and shaded picnic tables -- is an excellent place for an afternoon with kids. Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m., will be extra fun as the folks at the cove's visitors' center unveil their new exhibits, including an 800-gallon aquarium, and microscopes that let kids peer down and see what's living little in the water. Outside, the Dog Watch Nautical Band plays at 1 and 2:30 p.m., and there are kids' crafts and games, cake, and refreshments. Hang around until the tide goes out at around 3:30 p.m., and naturalist Anthony Fisher leads an all-ages, low-tide exploration of the mud flats, searching out ghost shrimp, lugworms, and bent-nosed clams. Crab Cove is off Central and McKay avenues in Alameda. More info: 510-521-6887 or -- Eve Pearlman

SAT 4/3

Open Call

Drawing conclusions

The Pleasanton Art League is looking for fresh talent. Young painters, sculptors, collagists, pencil sketchers -- aspiring visual artists of all kinds -- are invited to a free Youth Visual Arts Workshop this Saturday afternoon (4 to 5:30 p.m.) at CarrAmerica Conference Center, as part of the Poetry & Arts Festival. Art supplies will be provided. The workshop is taught by Madelynn Ellis, an experienced painter whose acrylic work, First Street, was recently acquired by the city of Pleasanton. CarrAmerica is at 4400 Rosewood Dr. in Hacienda Business Park, Pleasanton. For more info: 925-461-4864. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 4/4

No Strings Attached

As part of Berkeley's Puppet Love Festival this year, the Kids' Rad Puppet Mini-Fest offers an afternoon of family-style fun Sunday at the Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. Lots of activities to choose from, beginning with Jennifer Levine's puppet musical Dragons Never Laugh, featuring the always-assertive Princess Moxie, at 3 p.m. It's especially for kids two and up. Then there's the Puppets and Pie puppet-building workshop (sock puppets, finger puppets, etc.) with Gitty Duncan, followed by the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew and their performance of the Granny Cure-All Quilt Show, complete with songs, sketches, talking plants, and the Green Man. $6 recommended donation. 1924 Cedar St. (at Bonita), Berkeley. For more info: 510-763-0022 or -- Kelly Vance


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