A familiar fruit in surprising variety will be the attraction at the Garin Apple Festival, a family friendly event set for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Garin Regional Park in Hayward.
Garin Park has an antique apple orchard, tended by volunteers, where 160 varieties of apples are grown, many no longer available commercially. During the festival, docents will lead tours of the orchard.
Other activities will include apple cider pressing, making ice cream, live music, dancing, crafts and old-fashioned games. It's all centered on Garin's Red Barn Visitor Center near the park's main parking lot. For information, call 510-544-3220.
Garin Regional Park is located at the end of Garin Avenue off Mission Boulevard. There's a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. Entry to the festival is free.
Though the announcement in the park district's Regional in Nature Activity Guide lists fees, that was a mix-up. Those charges are actually for the Ardenwood Harvest Festival, which takes place on Oct. 12-13.
Hikes for Tykes is a program of free hikes led by naturalists and designed for young children accompanied by a parent. Average distance is a mile; strollers aren't recommended.
There's a Tyke Hike from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. Meet at the park's Skyline Gate trailhead on Skyline Boulevard. Bring a snack.
If you can't make that one, there's another at the same time on Sept. 24, at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley. Meet at the parking lot across the road from the park district's public safety department headquarters on a hilltop off Lake Chabot Road. For information, call 510-544-3187.
Bees and other insects are the focus of a couple of programs on Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley.
From 10:30 a.m. to noon, naturalist James Wilson will host a program about bees at the center's Kids Garden. Honey sampling is included. Then from 2 to 4 p.m., James will lead an easy walk through the nature area, a safari in search of all kinds of insects.
Both programs are free. The center is located at the north end of Tilden's Central Park Drive. For information, call 510-544-2233.
While we're at Tilden, portions of the park may be closed temporarily this fall in order to make improvements to the sewer system. Areas to be closed may include the Indian Camp parking and picnic areas, weekday closure of the Environmental Education Center, and reduced vehicle access in other areas.
And because the project involves extensive open trenching in and around the Little Farm, the farm will be closed to the public from mid-October through early next year. The farm animals will still be well cared for, though.
For up-to-date information as the work schedule is finalized, check the park district website at www.ebparks.org.
There's only one 'old growth' redwood tree still standing in the East Bay. You can get a view of it from a distance by joining naturalist Michael Charnofsky on a five-mile hike from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
Meet Michael at Leona Heights Regional Open Space's Canyon Oaks Drive staging area off Keller Avenue in Oakland. For information, call 510-544-3187.
Owl scat reveals what the birds have been eating. You can find out for yourself by joining naturalist Eddie Willis in a program from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch.
Meet Eddie at the uppermost parking lot at the end of Somersville Road, five miles south of Highway 4. Eddie's program is free, but Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 when the kiosk is attended. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.
At Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County, naturalist Katie Colbert will lead an easy stroll along the Indian Joe Nature Trail from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. Along the way, the group will remove some deer-proofing screens from some young oak trees that have outgrown the cages.
The hike is free, but registration is required. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2 and refer to program number 3563.
Sunol has a parking fee of $5. For more information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3249.
Sharks will be the stars of family nature fun hour this weekend at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. From 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8, Crab Cove naturalists will host programs about those toothy predators, some types of which live in San Francisco Bay.
Then from 3 to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, it's fish feeding time at the visitor center's large aquarium.
Crab Cove is located at 1252 McKay Ave. off Central Avenue. For information, call 510-544-3187.
Email Ned MacKay at email@example.com.