One of the many "Bridgeview Trolls" created by an anonymous trio. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

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Why not take advantage of the sunny weather and get outdoors? Read on to see our recommendations for things to do this weekend around the Town.

As a reminder, we are currently only highlighting activities that are online or outdoors and geared to individuals or small circles of loved ones. We’re steering clear of indoor and large outdoor events until the current surge is past us. 

Email your questions and comments to azucena@oaklandside.org, and if there’s an upcoming online event you think we should feature, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Meet the trolls who live at the Bridgeview Trail

Frank and Filbert are two of the trolls hikers can find at the Bridgeview trail at Dimond Canyon. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

With the sunny weather forecast for the next week, now is an excellent time to get your hiking boots on and explore one of the countless trails around the Town. Dimond Canyon has a particular one worth exploring: the Bridgeview Trail. Upon entering the trailhead, you’ll immediately see wooden trolls. Maybe you’ll see Bebe with her long braids, or Frank and Filbert peeking through the greenery. The trolls began taking residence at the trail in September 2020 courtesy of an anonymous trio who safeguard the makeshift creatures. The troll makers also have handy maps so hikers can identify all of the trolls that live on this trail. The hike is family-friendly.

Directions: Dimond Canyon’s Bridgeview Trail  

Visit the Farmers Market at Jack London Square

If you made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, like me, checking out a farmers market is a great way to get your greens on. At this farmers market, conveniently located at Jack London’s waterfront, you can purchase in-season produce from several of the 300 farmers that are part of the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association. The association’s website offers a variety of safety guidelines and advises shoppers to “allow vendors to pick out produce for you if that is the vendor’s preference.” Buy your healthy produce for the week, and enjoy the waterfront. 

Every Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 472 Water St.

Find the ‘Bee Hotel’ at The Gardens at Lake Merritt

Our friends at Secret Oakland were the first ones to bring this hidden hotel to our attention (we wrote about this popular Instagram account in March 2021). The “Bee Hotel Garden” was built for native nesting bees, whose only job is to “pollinate 70% of the food we grow here in California.” The Bee Hotel is one of 13 gardens located on the seven-acre Lakeside Park. If you suffer from pollen allergies, take advantage of the gardens before the spring.

Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m to 4 p.m., 666 Bellevue Ave. 

Have a date at the Rose Garden

The Morcom Rose Garden is 7 acres and is located a block off Grand Avenue. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

Whether you’re trying your luck dating or in a committed relationship, a walk around the Morcom Rose Garden is sure to spark some romance in your life. Unfortunately (or fortunately), you won’t get to see Gerald the turkey. He was relocated in November 2020. But you can still see beautiful flowers, lots of greenery, and enjoy watching groups of families and friends having picnics or strolling around. Since it is located a block off Grand Avenue, it’s easy to quickly grab some food from one of the great restaurants in the area, and walk over to have a lovely picnic of your own with a loved one. 

Anytime, 700 Jean St. 

Donate clothes to Hip Hop for Change

The local nonprofit Hip Hop for Change, which uses hip-hop culture to battle socio-economic injustices, is hosting a month-long clothing drive. While this isn’t an event to attend, it is an excellent way to help. The organization is currently looking for new and used women’s and men’s coats, jackets, raincoats, sweatshirts, new socks and underwear, sleeping bags, and 4-person tents. So if you’re starting your spring cleaning early, here’s the perfect place to donate all that extra stuff in your closet. 

Every Thursday until Feb. 3, drop-offs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Hip Hop For Change, 515 55th St., Suite A

Azucena Rasilla is an East Oakland native, a bilingual journalist 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.