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Sunday 13 April 2014

Cal Day 2014

Yesterday we spent the day at university for the annual Cal Open Day. For one day every April the UC Berkeley campus is open to the public with pretty much the entire university experience on display.

The girls and I with Cal mascot, Oski Bear 

Busy day on campus

Much like last year the huge amount of things to do and see was a little overwhelming. There were performances, demonstrations, tours, hands on projects, lectures, freebies and many, many fun things to keep the littlest future students happy. The girls had a blast.

We started the day by picking up Cal Day passports for the girls. Various exhibits around the campus offered stamps and stickers for the passports once the kids had completed an activity. Ava and Lola are always pretty keen to collect stamps and stickers so this was a big hit with them. Their first activities included learning about animals with a few card games followed by a little craft with flag decorating.

Playing "Go Extinct"

Making flags

Lola with her flag

Then it was time for a little school spirit with the Cal Band marching around the campus, flag waving and meeting the Cal mascot Oski Bear.

Cal Band on the move

Cal Band on the move

Lola tries out the drum

Ava the drummer

Giant flags

Much happier to meet Oski this year

The campus police display was a hit with the girls again. They enjoyed pretending to drive the various police vehicles and meeting a police dog. While Ava was happy to pat the police dog Lola preferred to stay a little further back. Maybe she remembers the big kiss he gave her last year!

Little truck

Ava meets the police dog

Another crazy vehicle

Ava takes the wheel

The girls liked the Harley Davidson the best

Just like last year the student union offered free cotton candy. The girls remembered this from our last visit and couldn't wait to go get their free sugar on a stick! The cotton candy was super popular with a constant long queue. In fact, I overheard one couple discussing that the day should be renamed "Free Cotton Candy Day"!

Free cotton candy and free sunglasses

Beardy weirdy

A goatee was enough for Lola

Lovely views while queuing for cotton candy

Like last year we spent quite a bit of time in the Life Sciences Building. Here the girls looked at bugs, searched for fossils, looked at bones and skeletons, held sea creatures and played games.

Outside the Life Sciences Buidling

Spinning the wheel to win stickers

Ava pats a sea creature (that I can't remember the name of!)

The girls liked the little starfish

Lola wasn't so keen on the crab which was stuck to some other sort of sea creature

Much happier with a little starfish again

Ava was a little scared of this big starfish and complained that it was spiky

It was pretty spiky on the underside

Putting on rubber gloves to hold something slimy

Ava holds some sort of sea creature slime!

Sorting out fossils

Ava looks for fossils

My little scientists

Looking at insects

The girls liked the butterflies


Lola gets her Cal Day passport stamped

Ava fishing for a lizard

She caught one!

Lola caught a lizard too - with a little help

Our last activity of the day, and I think Ava's favourite, was origami. We made blow up hearts, butterflies and a ninja star.

Ava with the heart she made

Making butterflies

Starting to look like a butterfly

Almost done

Ava with the butterflies we made

We had a fun time at Cal Day again this year. It really is a great family day out and quite interesting to see the ins and outs of such a big university - even if we only saw a tiny fraction of it.

We look forward to visiting Cal Day again in 2015!


  1. Is this an open day at Uni - are you going back to studying? Looks like O-week here perhaps?

    1. Not going back to study. I think I have a little too much on my plate already!
      The university open day is for the whole community, not just prospective students. It's great to be able to see what goes on at the university seeing as it's such a major part of Berkeley.


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