BY DANIEL MCGLYNN //
The one-two punch of the turbulent economy and the holiday financial squeeze leaves families across America looking for ways to save money. Well, look no further than your own backyard. With the kids out of school and holiday vacation time, El Cerrito offers plenty of opportunities for outings, fun, and maybe a little adventure.
The following is a list of family-oriented places and activities for the upcoming holiday season:
Parks – El Cerrito is dotted with neighborhood parks.
Arlington Park, 1120 Arlington Ave – Tennis courts, barbecue and picnic area, a playground, a pond, basketball courts, and a grass playing field.
Canyon Trail Park & Art Center, 6757 Gatto – In addition to tennis courts, a picnic area, and a playground, the park also has a walking trails and some woods to explore.
Castro Park,1420 Norvell – A large playground and grassy field with basketball courts and a kickball diamond at the adjacent school. The park also has tennis courts and barbecues.
Cerrito Vista Park 950 Pomona – A big playground and a jogging track. There are tennis courts and a picnic area adjacent to the park.
Fairmount Park 715 Lexington – Playground equipment.
Harding Park 7115 “C” Street – Basketball courts and a kickball diamond at adjacent Harding School. The park has play equipment, tennis courts and a field.
Huber Park 7711 Sea View – Large cement slide, a climbing area and basketball court.
Tassajara Park & Pottery Studio – A playground, field, basketball court, tennis courts and a picnic area.
Further afield & other adventures.
Try out shiny new bicycles on the 2.5 miles of the Ohlone Greenway, while pedaling along a new frog habitat and wetland restoration project. Or trek further up in the hills to Wildcat Canyon Regional Park for miles of trails, fire roads and ancient oak trees.
The Swim Center in the El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, will be open for lap swim, but not open rec swim due to the season. Check the website for holiday hours. The cost is $5.50 per person.
The El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave, will stick to its normal schedule, but will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. Regular hours are Monday and Tuesday 12-8 p.m., Thursday 10-6 p.m., Friday 1-5 p.m., Saturday 10-5 p.m. For more information call 1-800-984-INFO, or (510) 526-7512, on the web at www.ccclib.org.
The Recreation Department is also holding two holiday camps. The camps are for kids ages 5-12 and will run in two sessions on December 22-23, or December 29-30. The times are 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 12:30 to 6:00 p.m. The cost is $25.00 for El Cerrito residents and $29.50 for non-residents.
Find all places mentioned in this on the map below.