Daddy Daytrips

Daddy Daytrips

Itineraries for your kind of father figure.

As the years pass, time with my 85-year-old dad has become precious. Instead of loading him up with ties, cute coffee mugs, or other tchotchkes on Father’s Day, I’d rather spend the day with him. But my dad doesn’t want to stroll through yarn shops, try on shoes, and get a mani-pedi with me—I’ll do that with Mom. No, Dad has definite likes and dislikes (and is not afraid to say so). So I’ve planned a day with him—Mr. Handyman—in mind, as well as daylong outings for three other common species of father: the Good Sport, the Music Man, and the Beach Bum—all of which describe my husband on one day or another. Some of the day’s adventures are very suitable for young children and others might be best for grown-up “kids.”

The Good Sport

Let Dad plunk his mat down next to yours in a sweaty Bikram yoga class at Funky Door Yoga—anything worth doing is worth doing in 100-degree heat, right? Shower afterward and continue into Father’s Day with gratitude. Drop-in cost is $16; $12 with student ID. First month of membership special is $29 for unlimited yoga; ask for more info. Funky Door Yoga, 2567 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 204-9642;

Instead of ham and eggs, or tofu and tofu, get a liquid breakfast up the block at Planet Juice. Choose between fresh orange and carrot juice and a tropical smoothie, or order your own unique blend off the Choose Your Own menu. A frothy, healthful beverage/meal will set you back less than $10. Planet Juice, 2202 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 540-5909;

Cruise over to The Missing Link and check out rehabbed bikes. Run cooperatively for some 37 years, the cyclery sells new and used bicycles, bike accessories, parts, and clothing. For bike repair and reconditioning, check out the Repair Annex, across the street. Fix-it classes are free, and so are loaner tools. A gift certificate for Dad might be just the ticket. The Missing Link, 1988/1961 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 843-7471; Or step it up a notch at Velo Sport Bicycles, specializing in custom and pro touring and road bikes for the serious cyclist. Dad can check out the accessories, gear, and clothing, or get fitted for the perfect height and size bicycle. Velo Sport Bicycles, 1615 University Ave., Berkeley, (510) 849-0437;

A sporting dad wants some food and some game. Try Top Dog, a local favorite since 1966, for sausage—or links or wieners—on a bun at any of three Berkeley locations. Top Dog, 2503 Hearst Ave., 2534 Durant Ave., 2160 Center St.; or at 5100 Broadway in Oakland; (A Lakeshore Avenue location is coming soon.) Then, dogs in hand, catch a baseball game at Evans Diamond, if one’s underway. Though the Cal baseball season is over, you may find a pickup or neighborhood game—plus, the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants are going head to head at the Colliseum (see Father’s Day Fun at the bottom).

Next, get the guy his alma mater team gear. Bancroft Clothing Co. on campus carries a large selection of licensed Cal products. In fact, students have voted this the best place to purchase Bear wear. Bancroft Clothing Co., 2530 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, (510) 841-0762; For tastes that run to other sports and teams, zip up the road to DomeFits. Each of two East Bay locations carries a huge selection of baseball-style headgear, from the MLB to the NBA to the NFL. DomeFits, 2345 Durant Ave., Berkeley, (510) 848-3487, or 1409 Park St., Alameda, (510) 521-3487;

By this time it might be too late to squeeze in a round of golf up at Tilden, so how about a 19th hole at the venerable Henry’s in the Hotel Durant? Pub grub plus a full bar could make this your last stop of the day—or a pit stop on the way to more fun. Henry’s at the Hotel Durant, 2600 Durant Ave., Berkeley, (510) 809-4132;

The Music Man

Don’t start the morning too early—chances are, a music guy had a late night. First, coffee at Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe in Emeryville—a diner with a punk-rock vibe. You’ll need energy for the musically inspired day ahead. A large coffee (black as the depths of a musician’s soul) and the Tower of Power—hash browns with pepper jack, tomatoes, and two Morningstar veggie patties, two eggs, and toast: $9.50. Can’t fail! Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe, 4081 Hollis St., Emeryville, (510) 594-1221;

Next stop, definitely a record store. Amoeba Music, carrying all forms of music media, is a solid pick for flipping through vinyl, posters, and other paraphernalia. Plus, Dad can trade in some old stuff for some even older stuff. Amoeba Music, 2455 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, (510) 549-1125;

If there isn’t a free concert on Sproul Plaza, let Pop make some music himself. Take him to The Starving Musician and chip in or spring for the uke, guitar, or mandolin that he’s always wanted to own. The Starving Musician, 2474 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 841-2648; Or at Berkeley Musical Instrument Exchange, get specialized with flamenco, Hawaiian, mariachi or steel guitars, among other gorgeous sound-treats. Berkeley Musical Instrument Exchange, 2923 Adeline St., Berkeley, (510) 548-7538;

Does rock-and-roll Daddy need some funky rags for his next gig? Stop in at vintage clothing store Mars Mercantile to find well-loved Doc Martens, Hawaiian shirts, skinny or fat ties, and more. Fedora? Beret? Waistcoat? Whatever the look, he’s going to look the part. Mars Mercantile, 2398 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley; (510) 843-6711.

Dinner is at Yoshi’s, of course, featuring delectable sushi and elegant cocktails as well as jazz and world music. Get there early for best seating. The Father’s Day show features the amazing Tuck and Patti at 7 p.m. (tickets $26) as well as a 2 p.m. kids matinee (tickets $5 for kids). Yoshi’s Oakland, 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakland, (510) 238-9200;

Handyman Dad

This dad wants a solid breakfast, none of that fluffy mocha-wappa-chino folderol. Breakfast at Albert’s Cafe in Alameda is the thing: black coffee (regular or Peet’s), a plate of bacon and eggs, and make it snappy, bub. If your dad likes his coffee in a thick mug and his food on a plain white plate, Albert’s delivers the goods without any sissy stuff. Albert’s Cafe, 1541 Webster St., Alameda, (510) 523-4600.

Dads who like to build stuff will enjoy a trip with the little ones (his, and/or yours) to Adventure Playground. Here you’ll find old-fashioned, hands-on playing, with children climbing on kid-built forts, boats, and towers, riding the zip line, and hammering, sawing, and painting. Remind him to wear his grubbies—you’re both going to get splashed and possibly even painted. Adventure Playground, Berkeley Marina, 160 University Ave., Berkeley, (510) 981-6720; Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Or your handyman might enjoy a more grown-up playground: Urban Ore. Awe-inspiring aisles of doors, vintage bathtubs and sinks, cabinets and staircases pulled from demolished homes—this is just the kind of place to make his eyes glimmer. Watch out for forklifts, carts, and odds and ends, and remember to drag the man out the door before you faint from hunger. Urban Ore, 900 Murray St., Berkeley, (510) 841-7283;

Time to revive with a no-nonsense lunch. How about an all-American favorite at Burgermeister—a Niman Ranch beef burger done to taste, with oven fries and a beer on tap to suit the occasion. Burgermeister, 2237 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 649-1700 or 2319 Central Ave., Alameda, (510) 865-3032;

After lunch, lead the full, fully content man over to Whelan’s Smoke Shop and let him pick out a nice cigar (plan to spend $15-$25 for a good one) and a newspaper or magazine for later. Whelan’s Smoke Shop, 2486 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, (510) 549-3218.

And if he’s still in the mood for fun and games, pop into Oaks Card Club—a Bay Area landmark since the 1890s—for Texas hold’em, stud poker, Pai Gow, blackjack, or baccarat. Oaks Card Club, 4097 San Pablo Ave., Emeryville, (510) 653-4456;

Beach Bum

Start with a hearty breakfast for your captain or cabin boy: scrapple, corned beef hash, potatoes, poached eggs, or omelets at Bette’s Oceanview Diner. The smallish eatery opens on Sundays at 6:30 a.m., giving you an early start on your day. Bette’s Oceanview Diner, 1807 Fourth St., Berkeley, (510) 644-3230;

Give Dad a gift certificate for a year’s membership in the Cal Sailing Club; the annual $225 fee includes sailing lessons, windsurfing lessons, and Bay cruises. You can also purchase a three-month membership for $75. This is the best deal in the Bay Area for sailing lessons, and you can take a pal (or a spouse, or a big kid) along at no extra charge. In exchange, you’ll swab the decks or tie knots. Cal Sailing Club, 124 University Ave., Berkeley;

Or treat Dad to kayak lessons at the East Bay Regional Parks ($60, various locations). He’ll enjoy in-depth paddling instruction from certified instructors, with equipment provided, and lots of practice time in a safe environment. Registration required ahead of time, even for the Father’s Day lesson at Quarry Lakes in Fremont. East Bay Regional Parks, (888) 327-2757 or

Try fishing off the pier at any of the East Bay’s several sites, including the Berkeley Fishing Pier, Fruitvale Bridge Park, Bay Park Refuge, Middle Harbor Park, Portview Park, Estuary Park Pier, San Leandro Fishing Pier, or Emeryville Fishing Pier. No licenses are required for non-commercial fishing at city piers, but at East Bay Regional Parks, ages 16 and over must have a valid California state fishing license and a Parks fishing permit. There are a couple of license-free days each year, including July 2 and September 3, if you’d rather wait a few weeks for free fishing fun. East Bay Regional Parks, (888) 327-2757 or

What better way to end a seafaring day with your pop than at a classic seafood restaurant like Skates on the Bay? Steamed clams, oysters on the half shell, cioppino, or the fresh catch of the day, with local sourdough and California wine—it doesn’t get any better. Skates on the Bay, 100 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, (510) 549-1900;

Nightcap? A little farther down the road is another salty dog: Quinn’s Lighthouse, on the dock with sailboats rocking. Situated in a historic landmark lighthouse built in 1890, Quinn’s is great for dinner or for cocktails. The Upper Deck Pub, with its carpet of peanut shells, is just the right atmosphere for a Sea Breeze. If the weather cooperates, venture onto the deck outside and swig a tot of rum. Here’s to each and every variety of dad! Quinn’s Lighthouse, 1951 Embarcadero East, Oakland, (510) 536-2050;

Father’s Day Fun

Maybe a full day is too much for one dad. Maybe one outing is just right. Check out these East Bay community events and activities designed especially for dads and families on Sunday, June 19.

Oakland A’s vs. San Francisco Giants: Game starts at 1:05 p.m., but get there early and collect some autographs. $17-$80 seats available. Coliseum, Oakland, (510) 638-4627;

Cruising the Classics on Father’s Day: It’s a car show, it’s a concert, and it’s a picnic—all in one. There are even free hot dogs for the kids. Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Blackhawk Automotive Museum, 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville; (925) 736-2277;

Father’s Day BBQ at Chabot: A barbecue at the Full Circle Café followed by a chance to explore interactive exhibits, watch a show, and look through telescopes. Noon-2 p.m. $13 for dads and members, $15 general admission, $10 children. Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, (510) 336-7300;

Father’s Day at the Zoo: Dad gets to ride the train for free on his day. Visit animal families and see how a father lion, elephant, or chimpanzee interacts with his babies. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $12.50 adults, $8.50 ages 2-12; under 2 free. Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, (510) 632-9525;

Father’s Day Botanic Garden Tours: Learn about California native plants on a free guided tour at the 10-acre Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tilden Park, off Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley, (510) 544-3169;

Father’s Day Adventures: Fire-Making: Discover how to make fire without matches or a lighter, using various techniques. Bring a lunch to cook over a fire you make. Atlatl-Throwers: A day of Stone-Age activities, including throwing a stone-tipped dart, used by hunter-gatherer societies. Watch a flint-knapping demonstration and try hitting a target with an atlatl. Both of these activities are for ages 9 plus; registration required. Garin Park, 1320 Garin Ave., Hayward, (510) 544-3220 or (888) 327-2757; register at

Dad’s Day Hike and Starry Night: Hike the hills on this 4-mile loop with a picnic near the summit. Stay for the star party at the staging area. Bring blanket, picnic, flashlight. Hike: 5-9 p.m.; star-gazing, 9-10:30 p.m. Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, Laughlin Road, Livermore, (510) 544-3242;

10th Annual Father’s Day Camp Out: Bring sleeping bags and small tents for this exclusive camping event. Go fishing, find bugs, take hikes, build sand castles, play games, roast marshmallows, and learn about the animals and plants that make up the Shoreline habitat. Registration required. June 18, 2 p.m., to June 19, 11 a.m. Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, 3050 West Winton Ave., Hayward, adult/child pair $75, (510) 670-7270;

Dads of the Coal Field: Walk through the historic Somersville town site and up to Rose Hill Cemetery while sharing true stories of fathers who worked and lived in California’s largest coal-mining district. 10 a.m.-noon. Black Diamond Mines, 5175 Somersville Road, Antioch, (510) 544-2750;

Living Ship Day on the USS Hornet: Climb aboard the historic aircraft carrier to witness simulated flight operations throughout the day, participate in mission briefings, and sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Special guest veterans will recount their experiences while serving in World War II. Half-off Father’s Day admission for Dad when accompanied by a paying adult. USS Hornet Museum, 707 W. Hornet Ave., Alameda, (510) 521-8448;

Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast: A morning aboard the SS Red Oak Victory Ship, hosted by the Richmond Museum of History. Coffee, orange juice, sausage, bacon, and fluffy pancakes for $6 per person. Children under 5 are free and reservations are not required. Tours of the ship available at an additional fee of $5 per person. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 400 Nevin Ave., Richmond, (510) 235-7387;

Julia Park Tracey lives and writes in Alameda and at

Faces of the East Bay