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  • Habitot Children’s Museum
    A group of teachers and parents founded Habitot Children's Museum in 1998 with one specific mission in mind: to foster children up to 6 years old by encouraging their creativity and natural curiosity. Today, the 4,000-square-foot museum backs up this mission with research—gleaned from studies by scientists, psychologists, and educators—positing that healthy play spurs social skills, creative thinking, and problem solving, laying the foundation for kids to succeed later in life and imprison boogeymen in their booby-trapped closet tomorrow. At Habitot, kids find such opportunities at small-scale exhibits and themed play areas throughout the museum. Aspiring doctors, nurses, and EMT's get a chance to inspect x-rays, wrap bandages, and drive the ambulance in the Medical Center. Young explorers press buttons, turn dials, and issue commands for pretend space launches inside a 13-foot model rocket ship or navigate a vertical floor-to-ceiling maze designed to mimic worm tunnels. At the waterworks table and pumping station, young engineers manipulate water using buckets, funnels, waterwheels, and pitchers to help them understand H2O’s unique properties, such as how it keeps boats afloat on the arms of a thousand mermen. (At different times throughout the year, the staff transforms this area with a different theme; at times it’s been a car wash, a marine-science lab, or the racing grounds for a rubber-ducky regatta.) Visitors can tap into their inner Van Goghs at the art studio, where they play with soft clays and go nuts on a paintable wall. Habitot also hosts year-round children's camps with themes such as beaches, transportation, space, castles, and science. Two free activities offered include the Hip Stix dance program on the 1st Saturday of the month, as well as Wiggly Wednesdays, a free weekly singalong class.
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    2065 Kittredge St
    Berkeley, CA US
  • Saul's Restaurant and Delicatessen
    The Three Faces of Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen Old-World Inspiration Karen Adelman and Peter Levitt pay tribute to their cultural roots at Saul’s by evoking the Jewish delicatessens of days past. That means towering pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, beef brisket, and chopped liver with onions. And to make things even more authentic, they serve cream and celery sodas, matzo brei breakfasts, and complimentary pickles. Fresh Ingredients and Humane Meats Though they pride themselves on their old-school deli vibe, you won’t find any Big Apple kitsch or lip service to New York here. You’ll more likely see the names of local farmers and humane butchers. The corned beef and pastrami come courtesy of Niman Ranch, the tuna melt comprises Oregon line-caught fish, and the breads are baked by Acme or Grand Bakery. Cooks pay the same level of attention to eggs, cheese, veggies, and even those cream and celery sodas, which they make in-house from seasonal ingredients. Classic-Meets-Modern Digs Saul’s sits in a spacious arched structure with curved ceiling beams and stainless steel that evokes a train terminal or airplane hangar of yesteryear. But the exposed brick, red accent wall, and wrought-iron light fixtures are decidedly modern. This blending of classic and modern elements makes the location a great spot to enjoy an old-fashioned sandwich while sipping a contemporary craft beer or cocktail. Even the live music reflects this charming dichotomy—Saul’s hosts everything from old-world klezmer music to new, improvisational takes on traditional folksongs.
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    1475 Shattuck Ave
    Berkeley, CA US
  • Platano
    Platano: A User’s Guide Upscale Pupuseria | Salvadoran Seafood and Steak | Veggie-Friendly | Great for Kids | Latin American Beer and Wine Sample Menu Salad: avocado salad Starter: fried yuca Pupusas: one revuelta con frijoles (pork, cheese, and beans), one loroco Side: plantains with beans and sour cream To drink: sangria When to Go: lunchtime, which features special combos that let you sample three signature dishes for around 10 bucks. Inside Tips You’ll notice a red bottle and clear glass jar on your table. You’re meant to slather both on the pupusas. The sauce in the bottle is tangy and quite mild, and the shredded cabbage slaw in the jar is a zippy topping known as curtido. Though you might not expect it, Platano’s a great place for kids. Small plates allow for lots of sampling by little fingers, and simple cheese pupusas are as good as grilled cheese for inexperienced palates. There’s even a play area stocked with plush toys. Vocab Lesson Pupusa: a thick corn tortilla stuffed with ingredients such as beans, meat, cheese, or veggies Yuca: Not to be confused with the spiky-leaved yucca plant, this large, starchy root is often boiled, baked, or fried much like potatoes. It’s also the source of tapioca.
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    2042 University Avenue
    Berkeley, CA US
  • Amphora Nueva
    More than 50 stainless steel Italian fusti containers line the walls at Amphora Lafayette, ready to dispense samples and full bottles of aged balsamic vinegar and single-varietal, extra-virgin olive oil harvested from farms in both hemispheres. The shop’s globe-spanning selection process isn’t just for variety—it also ensures freshness year-round, in accordance with the old saying “It’s always olive-oil season somewhere.” The curators of this bounty select Italian white and dark balsamic vinegar as well as unique specialty oils, including roasted butternut squash, pumpkin and Italian truffle. Once they’ve added them to the casks, they post harvest dates, acidity levels, and polyphenol counts for each extra-virgin olive oil to give an idea of its antioxidant content and flavor strength. Each staff member touts a comprehensive understanding of the chemistry and uses of olive oil and vinegar, always happy to share recipe ideas to jazz up everyday dinners or science fair volcanoes. They’ll also help put together gift sets and wrap any bottle for free. Beneath its high ceilings, the atmosphere harkens back to far more ancient times, with a marble tasting counter and oil containers balanced atop the rough clay of the giant, authentic amphorae that give the company its name. Guests stop in not just to do some shopping but to take in a laidback learning experience—the San Francisco Chronicle found a visit to the shop “as much fun as it is educational,” and manager Nate Bradley reported to Diablo Magazine that they’ve occasionally “had people spend two hours in here just exploring.”
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    2928 Domingo Ave.
    Berkeley, CA US
  • The Claremont Hotel & Spa
    Property Location A stay at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa places you in the heart of Berkeley, convenient to Judah L. Magnes Museum and Berkeley Art Museum. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Memorial Stadium and Berkeley Art Museum. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 131 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and flat-screen televisions. Cable programming along with video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment. Private bathrooms have designer toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and desks, as well as direct-dial phones with free local calls and voice mail. Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials. You're sure to appreciate the recreational amenities, which include 3 outdoor swimming pools, outdoor tennis courts, and a health club. This hotel also features wireless Internet access (surcharge), a concierge desk, and supervised childcare/activities. Dining Satisfy your appetite at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar. Dining is also available at a coffee shop/café. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Business, Other Amenities Featured amenities include a business center, audiovisual equipment, and a technology helpdesk. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
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    41 Tunnel Road
    Berkeley, CA US
  • Lush Gelato
    Five Things to Know About Lush Gelato Lush Gelato opened its first location in Oakland in 2009, and—thanks to its experimental gelatos and seasonal sorbettos—has been steadily building a loyal fanbase ever since. Read on to learn more about this Bay Area gem and the sweets behind its success: It specializes in “farm-to-cone” desserts. The staff here make all of the gelato and sorbetto from scratch using local and organic ingredients gathered from farms around California. They even make the cones fresh daily. Co-owner Federico Murtaugh is a self-taught gelataio. When the Argentinian native stumbled upon a chance to become an ice cream maker, he immediately began experimenting, talking to other chefs, and reading books on the craft. Once he mastered the process, he began selling his small-batch desserts at local farmer’s markets, hotels, restaurants, and, eventually, his own storefront. The flavors are anything but ordinary. Guests have a better chance of finding flavors such as Earl Grey and Stout Beer on the menu than traditional chocolate and vanilla varieties. The stores even regularly feature a French-cheese-flavored concoction, dubbed the Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc. The Polk St. location in San Francisco has a viewing window. Through it, guests get a peek of Lush staff members churning out all those different flavors, which rotate daily. They encourage sampling. Each shop is manned by friendly folks who have no problem helping you decide which flavor will best conquer your craving.
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    1511 Shattuck Ave
    Berkeley, CA US
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