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Best Kid Field Trips: Never mind getting permission 

Shorebird Nature Center

And now something similar for the kiddies: Under the inspired direction of program founder and coordinator Patty Donald, the Shorebird Nature Center at the Berkeley Marina has been getting kids' bellies on the rocks and noses in the tide pools for a quarter-century. There is often a long waiting list for the classes, which include sailing the Bay aboard the good ketch Pegasus, making a genuine Japanese-style fish print using a genuine fish, or examining the wide assortment of creatures clinging to the pilings under the Berkeley Pier. Classes take place in the mornings to early afternoon. When the center opens to the public (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.), even adults are welcome to check out its hundred-gallon saltwater aquarium, which displays creatures that live in the San Francisco Bay, along with a touch table and other wildlife exhibits.

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