The Chabot Space and Science Center, located at 10000 Skyline Blvd., in Oakland, CA 94619, is California’s premier museum for anything related to space and science. With tons of exhibits, plenty of hands-on projects, and much more that can entertain both kids and adults, Chabot makes a great stop for a weekend out with the family in Oakland. Let’s take a look at what makes this great space and science museum such a good place to visit in Oakland, CA.
The Chabot Space and Science Center is located in the Redwood Regional Park, which spans 13 acres among the trails of the park. The history of the Chabot Center dates all the way back to 1882, when the superintendent of the Oakland School system, James Gilson, decided that Oakland students should have access to a telescope similar to what students on the east coast had. Over the course of a century, the telescope became the foundational piece for what would become the Chabot Space Center.
Now, the center offers more than just the telescope for locals and visitors to enjoy. In fact, there’s quite a lot to do. One of the main attractions is the Ask Jeeves Planetarium. The planetarium uses three different systems to display a beautiful recreation of the universe, including the upper atmosphere of Earth, the Milky Way, and even fields of dark matter.
The Chabot Center also has three observatories which the center was founded around. These observatories allow visitors to view space at any time of the day. The telescopes allow observers to view 180 degrees of the cosmos. The observatory deck also lets you see a view of the bay area at an elevation of 1500 feet.
In addition to the main features of the observatories and planetariums, they host a wide array of exhibits. You can view a simulation of the sun based on almost real-time footage straight from NASA spacecraft, rendered in stunning 3D. The simulation also allows you to play with the model, giving you the ability to make sunspots and manipulate plasma. Other exhibits can tend to be limited time affairs, such as their current luminous moon exhibit. The exhibit allows visitors to view high-quality photos and interact with the exhibit by creating lunar habitats and feeling a model of the moon’s surface.
You can also rent the center out for various life occasions. These events include weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, team-building exercises, and other private parties. Their wedding venue allows for dining and catering to a large number of people.
The Chabot center also has a cafe staffed by the “Town Kitchen”, serving up salad, sandwiches, and coffee for the many hungry visitors who need lunch while touring the center. The Cafe’s hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM, and Saturday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
The center is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM, and closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Be sure to check before you go as they may close for some special events.
Getting to Silva & Associates from Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland
via CA-24 W
- Get on CA-13 N/State Hwy 13 N in Oakland from Skyline Blvd and Joaquin Miller Rd
- Head southeast toward Roberts Ridge Trail
- Turn left onto Skyline Blvd
- Turn right onto Joaquin Miller Rd
- Turn right to merge onto CA-13 N/State Hwy 13 N
- Continue on CA-13 N/State Hwy 13 N. Take CA-24 W to Brush St. Take exit 1C from I-980 W
- Merge onto CA-13 N/State Hwy 13 N
- Use the left lane to merge onto CA-24 W toward Oakland
- Continue onto I-980 W
- Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 1C for 12th St
- Continue on Brush St to your destination in Alameda
- Merge onto Brush St
- Continue straight to stay on Brush St
- Turn left onto 7th St
- Use the right 2 lanes to turn right onto Webster St
- Slight right to stay on Webster St
- Use the left lane to turn slightly left onto Constitution Way (signs for Marina Village Pkwy)
- Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Marina Village Pkwy
- Turn left
- Turn right
- Sharp left