Fairyland wants to help larger groups better afford a fun, safe, outdoor activity throughout the summer and early fall season. Credit: Amir Aziz

Indoor masking is again mandatory in the Bay Area, and as fear surrounding the Delta variant continues to mount, more people are choosing to forego indoor activities altogether. 

That’s why this week and for the foreseeable future, we’ll be focusing our roundups solely on outdoor events. We know that a lot of you are going through Zoom fatigue and the weather is too beautiful to stay indoors, so we’ll continue looking for safe outdoor activities to share with you all. 

In the meantime, if you’re experiencing symptoms or think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 (regardless of your vaccination status) and need to get tested, you can check out our updated COVID testing guide.

If there’s an event you think we should feature in the future, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org or fill out the form at the bottom of this page. 


Live music, special sales at local shops, activities for the family, and more await you on College Avenue. This large outdoor community event in Rockridge is one to check out if you’re looking for things to do outdoors while safely masked up. You’ll find crafts for kids, giveaways and special sales at local shops, live performances by over a dozen music acts from DJs to live bands, and more. The event takes place on the second Saturday of every month through October. Saturday, August 14, 11 a.m., free, on College Avenue in Rockridge

Roots soccer at Laney College

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, Oakland Roots games are always a good time. You’ll find comradery in the stands with fellow Oaklanders, repping the Town and rooting for the home team. The Roots had to cancel their home opener back in June due to issues with the turf at the Laney College Stadium. But now the players are back, and finally got a chance to play their first home game last Wednesday. For Saturday’s matchup, the Roots will play against LA Galaxy II. 

Saturday, August 14, 5:10 p.m., $20-$60, Merritt College Soccer Stadium, 12500 Campus Dr., Oakland Roots.

A Roots game at the Laney Stadium during the inaugural season in 2019.
A Roots game at the Laney Stadium during the inaugural season in 2019. Credit Azucena Rasilla

Summer Stage 2021

Starting next Thursday, August 19, the Oakland Symphony will be hosting free outdoor concerts at Brooklyn Basin. The new waterfront park has gained popularity due to its versatile open spaces and views. Join the Oakland Symphony’s music director Michael Morgan as he takes you on a classical music journey, beginning with Beethoven’s First Symphony, and continuing with Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and a symphony from pioneering Black composer Chevalier de Saint-Georges. No need to reserve tickets in advance, but you can pre-order food from Rocky’s. Bring your chairs, dress in layers, and carpool as parking is limited.

Thursday, August 19, 6:30 p.m., free, Brooklyn Basin, 288 9th Ave.

Kayaking Oakland’s waterfront

California Canoe & Kayak has been giving open-water aficionados the chance to explore the East Bay’s waterfront, since 1972. Anyone can rent a kayak for an hour. Try a single or double kayak. Or, test your balance on a standup paddleboard. Kids are allowed as long as they’re accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You can kayak away from either Jack London Square or Brooklyn Basin but must reserve your spot ahead of time. 

Monday through Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., $30-$80, Calkayak, 288 9th Ave. Suite C. 

Fairyland’s “discount days”

Last summer, Kymberly Miller, the executive director of Fairyland, spoke with the Oaklandside about the need for more diverse representation and greater accessibility for families at the children’s park. To follow through with this pledge, the park debuted its “discount days,” which take place Monday through Thursday. This week and through October 14, Fairyland will offer groups a special discount for the purchase of five or more tickets, at $2 off each ticket.

Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., $11, Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave.

Aug. 12 update: The Roots game had a location change.

Azucena Rasilla headshot

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.