- ADA Inclusion Center
- Adult Sports & Enrichment
- Community Gardening
- Cultural Arts Programs
- Discovery Centers
- Dog Play Areas
- Joaquin Miller Park
- Lake Merritt
- Oakland City Stables
- Recreation Centers & Facilities
- Rental Facilities
- Rotary Nature Center
- Sponsors & Partners
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Our Upcoming Events
Entrance at Grand Avenue & Bellevue Avenue
Lakeside Park is best known for Lake Merritt which is one of the most celebrated and accessible parks in Oakland with hundreds of visitors enjoying the park and its unique amenities daily.
There are so many enjoyable activities and places to have an adventure while visiting Lake Merritt inside Lakeside Park. Stroll along Edoff Memorial Bandstand which was built in 1923, jog or bike along paved trails, or bird watching nearby the five bird islands on the lake that serve as the oldest Wildlife Refuge in Northern America.
We enthusiastically invite you to visit Lakeside Park and the variety of surrounding attractions while you are in Oakland, make Oakland your destination.
There are a plethora of features and attractions for everyone to enjoy while visiting Lakeside Park.
Through a partnership with the Golden State Bonsai Federation and the City of Oakland the garden has been made possible, with a variety of beautifully placed trees and stones that are changed throughout the year.
A historic 10 acre outdoor park in which children's literature is "brought to life" through fairy tale exhibits, animals, and Talking Storybooks which children activate by turning a "Magic Key." 30 colorful sets depict the make believe world of Alice In Wonderland, Captain Hook's pirate ship, the enchanting Dragon Slide, and many more beloved fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
The Gardens at Lake Merritt
The Gardens at Lake Merritt, a seven-acre collection of themed gardens, is conveniently located in the heart of Oakland at Lakeside Park, our nation’s first wildlife refuge. Established more than a half century ago, the Gardens serve as a source of great regional pride, a cultural and educational center and a place to enjoy tranquility in the heart of the city. The Gardens are poised to serve as an example of the highest standards of horticulture and historic preservation, while providing enriching public programs.
Edoff Memorial Bandstand
Take a stroll along Lake Merritt on Bellevue Avenue and you will come across a magnificent bandstand where in recent years there were weekend concerts performed by an extremely talented Oakland Municipal Band. The Edoff Memorial Bandstand was built in 1923 and was recently renovated after the damaged incurred during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Marsha J. Corprew Garden Center
The Lakeside Park Garden Center is a large, charming facility which houses two separate fully functional kitchens and three separate rental rooms. Centrally situated inside Lakeside Park, the Lakeside Park Garden Center is one of the city's most inviting and versatile complexes. The center boasts a Japanese Garden and Koi Pond and an extensive array of herb and flower gardens.
Open daily 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Junior Center of Arts & Science
558 Bellevue Avenue
Oakland, California 94610
Founded in 1954, is an independent, nonprofit organization serving over 35,000 children annually The Junior Center of Art and Science encourages children's active wonder and creative responses through artistic and scientific exploration of their natural urban environment. The Junior Center's classes, workshops, exhibits, and events integrate art and science to promote children's fresh, hands-on and personalized interaction with their world. The Junior Center contributes to the development of citizens who value nature and appreciate the importance of art and science in our community.
Lake Merritt is a focal point, it stands as the jewel of Oakland, even crowned with lights. A unique fresh and salt-water lake, the largest such lake located within an urban area consisting of 3.4 miles around the circumference of the lake, covering 155 acres of land. The depth of Lake Merritt varies upon how much water is allowed to filter in from the Estuary and upon rain water intake.
Lake Merritt Boating Center
The Lake Merritt Boating Center is open year round for everyone to enjoy the plush scenery and calming atmosphere. The Boating Center rents a variety of non-motorized boats to the public to enjoy leisure afternoons and weekends with family and friends. Boats range from pedal boats to sailboats. With plenty of sailboats for all sailors to use by providing sailing certification and/or an verbal test followed by an on the water sailing test.
Lake Merritt Sailboat House
The Sailboat House is a rental facility which features a main room with floor-to-ceiling windows, which lends a pleasant setting for special occasions. Resting on Oakland's Lake Merritt surrounded by a "Necklace of Lights." The Sailboat House also includes a spacious outdoor balcony with a sweeping view of Lake Merritt.
Oakland Lawn Bowling Club
The Oakland Lawn Bowling Club invites everyone to join in this fun and active sport. The bowling greens are immaculately groomed and members have an active social calendar planned full of special events and invitation matches.
Rotary Nature Center
Constructed in 1953, the Rotary Nature Center is an interpretive establishment, providing education and information about the natural environment to its surrounding community. Continuing in this long tradition of education, the Rotary Nature Center offers a variety of services such as outreach programs, and summer day camps instructed by our dedicated naturalist staff.
Sally Rutherford Thales Memorial Fountain
This fountain was dedicated in 1961.
Lake Merritt originally resided as a wide, tidal estuary (salt water marsh) that was known as the Laguna Peralta. The Pacific flyway has remained a sanctuary and stop-over for thousands of migratory birds.
Parking inside Lakeside Park on Bellevue Avenue is $2.00 for two hours (or $10 for all day parking) during weekdays and $5 all day parking on the weekend and holidays. The parking operating hours are from 7:30am until dusk.
Lakeside Park History
In 1867, Dr. Samuel Merritt donated 155 acres of dammed tidal water from the headwaters of Indian Slough, it became known as "Merritt's Lake" and later Lake Merritt. In 1925, Lake Merritt's "Necklace of Lights" is lit for the first time during the Dons of Peralta Water Festival. There are 126 lampposts, each given by an organization or an individual. The lampposts and 3,400 pearly bulbs shine until 1941 when World War II blackout conditions are enforced. In 1963, the Wildlife Refuge at Lake Merritt was registered as a National Historic Landmark.
In the News
Pacific Horticulture magazine - “The Gardens at Lake Merritt: A Gem in the Heart of Oakland.” "Wander the Gardens at Lake Merritt virtually any day of the week and you’ll find moms or nannies with children in strollers, people practicing tai chi, joggers, walkers, readers, or people just ‘being.”
An Oasis is thriving right in the middle of downtown Oakland - an inside look at The Gardens at Lake Merritt.