The earliest history museums had little actual history to draw on, and instead padded exhibits with wildly speculative displays about how dinosaurs would be elected to Congress by the year 2000. See how far we've come with today's Groupon: for $12, you get admission for two to O Zone at the Oakland Museum of California on Friday, September 30, from 5 p.m. to midnight (up to a $24 value). Children aged 8 and younger attend for free.
Honoring the eco-active spirit of John Muir, O Zone will host live music performances and earth-loving activities for all ages during a night of celebration, eating, drinking, and rump shaking. The party starts at 5 p.m. and doesn’t stop until the clock bangs the bongo at midnight and hybrid cars transform back into pumpkins. In addition to snacks and beer from East Bay breweries, the festivities include performances from hip-hop band The Coup, acoustic folk from Whiskerman and Conspiracy of Beards, and music from DJ Platurn of the Oakland Faders. Guests whose Chia beards didn’t grow in time can create Muir-inspired facial fuzz at the beard and mustache station before stopping by the photo booth or entering the beard and mustache contest.
After building a replica of John Muir’s shack in the OMCA gardens with artist J. Otto, guests can enjoy a sneak peek at the latest addition to the Gallery of California History, California…To Be Continued, which highlights the people who came to California from 1975 to the present. Visitors are also invited to tour the OMCA galleries and to take a peek at the A Walk in the Wild: Continuing John Muir’s Journey exhibit, which portrays the legacy of Muir’s environmental explorations through interactive displays, digital mash-ups, and oil paintings of Muir in moss-covered armor.
Oakland Museum of California
California is too vast and diverse a state to capture through just one medium. That's why Oakland Museum of California combines art, history, and natural science collections—more than 1.8 million objects total—to tell the state’s story.
Organized around themes of land, people, and creativity, the art gallery showcases more than 70,000 works from the 19th century through present day, ranging from paintings and sculptures to new media. Encompassing more than 100,000 artifacts, including several thousand bird eggs, the natural sciences gallery spotlights seven particular landscapes, including Yosemite and Mount Shasta. The history gallery includes more than 2,200 objects that trace major periods in the state's history, tying together the lives of the indigenous people, incursions by Spanish settlers, and the giggling mad dash of the gold rush. In a nod to the history of Tinsel town, the interactive Creative Hollywood station lets visitors create an animation, add sound effects to movies, and forget a personal assistant’s birthday.
Forming the roof of each level, verdant gardens separate the galleries, while more greenery and sculptures beautify the museum's outdoor roof gardens and courtyards. The museum uses more outdoor space to hosts its Friday Nights @ OMCA, a family-friendly market full of live music, dance lessons, and local cuisine. Local and seasonal ingredients, meanwhile, flavor the dishes available in the museum's Blue Oak café. The café doubles as a residency for jazz bassist Ron Crotty, a founder of The Dave Brubeck Quartet, who grooves his way through jazz standards every Friday.