Things to do at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center

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Are you thinking about taking your kids to Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland? Read this mom of three’s review, first! Thank you to Chabot Space & Science Center for offering complimentary admission to facilitate this review.

A woman standing with her three grandchildren in front of Oakland's Chabot Space & Science Center.

I visited Chabot Space & Science center with my three children (ages 7, 5, and 2) plus my mother-in-law. We had been once before when my older children were 3 and 1. At that time, we were able to visit for free through a Discover & Go pass

We have visited and reviewed several California attractions, including Fairytale TownMonterey Bay Aquarium, SeaQuest Folsom, DisneylandCasa de Fruta, and Medieval Times.

,A picture of Project Create at Chabot Space & Science Center

Project Create

The highlight of our trip was Project Create. This area is totally hands-on and geared toward younger kids! They have several STEAM projects that they rotate through that kids can get their hands-on and learn in a fun way.

A boy doing string art in Chabot Space & Science Center's Project Create room.

There is a giant light bright wall on one side and a lego wall on the other.

A boy building a creation on a LEGO wall.

The also had string art, giant blocks, and a sensory wall! In addition to their room full of STEAM projects, they rotate through weekly themes, including Dinosaurs, Colors, Water, Engineering, and Gardening. 

A little girl and her grandma playing in the Sink or Float exhibit.

While we were visiting, they had a “sink or float” project. They had several materials laid out and kids were offered the chance to build their own boat and experiment whether it would “sink” or “float” in a boat filled with water. This took some trial & error on our part but all three kids ended up with boats that could float!

Two girls smiling with the boats they created.

Project Create also has an outdoor area where kids can stretch their legs. It has a beautiful mural, a small pond with a turtle and tadpoles, and a wildflower garden. 

A boy standing next to the boat he built that is floating in water.

If you are local, then Project Create is enough reason to purchase a membership because there will be different things to explore every time you visit. Not to mention the whole rest of the museum, which I cover below! 

kids inside a rocket ship.

Ask Jeeves Planetarium

After Project Create, we headed over to the planetarium show. It was a large planetarium with lots of seating. We watched Astronaut, which was fascinating. It kept my 7-year-old entertained the entire time and 5 & 2 year-olds entertained for 3/4s of the show. Which is really not bad! 

Three kids with their grandma, watching the planetarium show at Chabot Space & Science Center.

If you visit Chabot Space & Science Center, make sure you stay for the planetarium show. It’s a really great experience for all ages and is included in the price of admission.

A picture inside the Going The Distance exhibit at Chabot Space & Science Center

Going the Distance: Our Reach Into Space

This exhibit was fun and kept all three kids engaged. It was so cool to see an authentic Russian Module up close. Boy, it sure was close quarters in there! This exhibit also had a Mars statute that the kids enjoyed touching and hugging. 

A girl standing next to a large model of Mars.

Luminous Moon

One of the most exciting exhibits happening at Chabot Space & Science Center is Luminous Moon. It’s here from June 22nd to September 8th. This special exhibit is all about sharing the beauty of the moon through detailed pictures.

A full sized astronaut suit.

They also have hands-on activities (which is totally needed for little kids) including an opportunity to “touch the moon” and launch meteorites. In conjunction with Luminous Moon, Chabot Space & Science Center is offering several lunar related events and activities all summer long!

Three kids looking inside a Russian space module.

Events at Chabot Space & Science Center

They offer several fun events each year to members and visitors, including: 


August 17, 2019, 10 AM – 5 PM

This event is fun for all ages! You can learn the science behind bubbles, make some bubbles, and see some awesome performers!


April 2020

This event is all about tinkering! They feature “take apart” zones where you can learn how things work by taking them apart yourself! This event is geared toward families! Keep an eye on their website for more details in the new year.

A wall with rockets painted on them and their progression over the years.

If you are local to the San Francisco Bay Area or are coming for a visit than Chabot Space & Science Center needs to be on your list!



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