We are a small, arts and science community center located in Lakeside Park on Lake Merritt — our learning spaces focus on self-guided learning through play.
Activities are set up in each space as invitations to our young visitors to create and explore with us. Activities are open to learners of all ages.
GENERAL ADMISSION | $6
TUESDAY 10AM – 3PM
WEDNESDAY 10AM – 3PM
THURSDAY 10AM – 3PM
FRIDAY 10AM – 3PM
SATURDAY CLOSED DURING SUMMER
WHERE WE’RE LOCATED
We are located at 558 Bellevue Avenue in Lakeside Park.
The City of Oakland will charge a fee for parking in Lakeside Park from 7:30am to dusk. Parking is $2 for 2 hours or $5 for the day unless otherwise noted. Metered street parking is also available on Perkins, Grand, and Bellevue Ave.
If you are a school group planning to visit the Junior Center, please contact us to find out about necessary arrangements.
The Junior Center is wheelchair accessible.
Service animals specially trained to assist disabled persons are welcome, but please no pets.
We accept cash and major credit cards as payment for admission, membership, programs with a matching photo ID.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Visitors are asked to eat lunches and snacks on the decks unless it is raining. Please no eating or drinking in our exhibit areas or playrooms. There are also several wonderful places to eat nearby – please ask staff for a suggestion.
RESTROOM AND CHANGING TABLES
Restrooms are designated with orange doors. A changing table is located in the first restroom as you enter the building. Health regulations require that all diaper changing be done in restrooms.
Please keep track of your child or children at all times – we do not have staff supervising during general admission hours. Please do not take materials or tools out of drawers marked “STAFF”.
For your safety – children are not allowed to climb or sit on railings around the deck.
**The Junior Center reserves the right to refuse service and/or access, onsite and online, to any individuals disregarding Junior Center policies or those disrespectful to Junior Center guests, staff, exhibits or property.
Please ask any floor staff should you need first aid assistance.
Lost and Found
Lost and Found is located behind the front desk. Please ask a staff member for assistance.
We recommend that strollers be left on the back deck and that you keep your valuables on your person. The Junior Center is not responsible for any items that are lost or stolen.
OPEN STUDIO AND DROP IN INFORMATION
How old does my child need to be to visit the center?
Our programs are open to children and youth of all ages – activities are appropriate for visitors from 0 – 12 years old.
What is the drop-in fee and what can I do?
Drop-in is $6 per person suggested donation for children and adults.
All activities are hands-on and self-guided. Projects are set up with invitations on tables/walls. However, please feel free to ask any staff for assistance if needed.
Can I drop off my child?
You must remain with your child at all times. Not only is this a legal requirement — we also value the opportunity for children and caretakers to participate together.