Outdoor Summer Fun in the East Bay
Summer's not over yet: Here's how to make the most of the rest of the season.
Ninth Street Park, Benicia
Courtesy of Visit Benicia
Don’t let your summer go to waste! Gather a group of friends, a date, or the whole family and take advantage of the great weather and wide selection of activities that the East Bay has to offer.
For the Music Lover
The East Bay is chock-full of awesome summer concert series: Almost every city has adopted this fun outdoor experience. Here are a few to get you started.
Alameda Summer Beats: Bring your family and enjoy local wine, beautiful sunsets, free beach balls, a professional face painter, a bounce house, and more. Free, Saturdays at 5 p.m., August 1, 15, and 29, 5 p.m., South Shore Center, 523 South Shore Center Way, Alameda, (510) 521-8100, alamedasouthshorecenter.com.
Alamo Summer Concert Series: Enjoy the fresh air and dance in the grass to rock, soul, and blues at Livorna Park. Free, Fridays in August at 6:30p.m., Livorna Park, Alamo, (925) 313-2272, co.contra-costa.ca.us.
Blackhawk Rockin’ the Plaza: End your work week with some rockin’ tunes at Blackhawk Plaza. This series is always a hit! Free, Fridays in August at 7 p.m., Blackhawk Plaza, 3380 Blackhawk Plaza Cir., Ste. 215, Danville, (925) 736-2751, shopblackhawkplaza.com.
Clayton Concerts in the Grove: Come on Saturdays for the regular Concerts in the Grove, and on Thursdays for Clayton’s Classic Car Show Series. Free, Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. through September, The Grove Park, Clayton, ci.clayton.ca.us.
Wente Vineyard Concerts: Enjoy a spectacular dinner followed by music by world-renowned musicians including Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat. Prices vary, Wente Vineyards, 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, (925) 456-2424, wentevineyards.com.
For the Movie Buff
Summer weather means warm evenings out under the stars. So grab some blankets, pack a picnic, and take the kids to see some cool flicks on the big screen under the open sky.
Alameda Starlight Movies: Bring your chairs and blankets, and let your kids enjoy the games, snacks, and crafts before showings of The Lego Movie and Big Hero 6. Free, Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m., Alameda Point Multi-Purpose Field and Leydecker Field, 3225 Mecartney Rd. and Bay Farm Island, Alameda, alameda.ca.gov.
Danville Moonlight Movies: The whole family will find something to love at this movie series. Crafts are available every week for kids before the movies starts. Free, Fridays at sunset in August, Town Green in front of the Danville Library, 400 Front St., Danville, (925) 314-3466, danville.ca.gov.
Pleasanton Movies in the Park: Find a spot in the grass for hits including Maleficent, Back to the Future, and Into the Woods. Free, Thursdays at sunset in August, Amador Valley Community Park, 4455 Black Ave., Pleasanton, (925) 931-4826, cityofpleasantonca.gov.
Waterfront Flicks: Arrive early to Jack London Square for pre-movie festivities including small eats, trivia, and giveaways. Enjoy popular films such as Night at the Museum, Finding Nemo, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Free, Thursdays at 8 p.m. in August, Ferry Lawn at Jack London Square, Embarcadero W., Oakland, (510) 645-9292, jacklondonsquare.com.
For the Festival Reveler
From food and music to urban and outdoor, here’s a rundown of all the cool fests happening in our 'hood.
Urban Art Xperience: More than 20 urban wineries will provide a variety of white, rose, red, and dessert wines to taste and enjoy. Local restaurants will also team up with wineries to create deliciously well-paired bites to go with each glass. $15-$70, August 1, Jack London Square, Embarcadero W., Oakland, (510) 473-2821, eastbayvitners.com.
Art and Soul: Blues, barbeque competition, dance performances, cuisine from around the world, carnival rides, and much more await in beautiful downtown Oakland. $7-$12, August 1 and 2, Downtown Oakland adjacent to the 12th St./City Center BART station, Oakland, artandsouloakland.com.
Eat Real: Foodies rejoice, the festival for you is approaching! Celebrate food at this incredible non-profit street-food block party. September 18-20, free to attend, Jack London Square, Embarcadero West, Oakland, (510) 842-1017, eatrealfest.com.
For the Waterfront Fan
Del Valle Regional Park is a hidden Tri-Valley gem that also has a hidden gem of its own: two swimming beaches. Take the family for the day or the weekend: The park also has a 150-site campground. Parking is free, boat launch is $5, and fishing is allowed. Entrances at the Arroyo Road Staging Area and Del Valle Rd., Livermore (888) 327-2757, ebparks.org.
Ninth Street Park in Benicia is pristine waterfront property. The park looks out at the Carquinez Strait, and the kids can wander down to the beach and play in the water. The park also has a grass volleyball court, a play structure, and picnic tables. West Ninth St., Benicia, visitbenicia.org.