As January winds down, we want to remind you that as of Feb. 1, Oakland residents 12 and older will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter certain businesses like restaurants, gyms, and other indoor locations like senior centers and museums. Unvaccinated people can still enter the locations covered in the ordinance if they provide a doctor-verified note and a recent negative test.

We’ll continue to only highlight online events and outdoor activities geared to individuals or small circles of loved ones until the current surge is past us.

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

Guided bird walks at Lakeside Park

A black-crowned night heron perched on a fence at the Lake Merritt bird sanctuary. Credit: Pete Rosos

Lake Merritt is home to many creatures. Some live in the water, while others roam the skies and can often be found perched at various spots in and around the lake, the country’s oldest wildlife refuge. If you’ve ever visited the lake and wondered what type of birds are flying around you, this morning walk is the perfect opportunity to learn about the black-crowned night herons, the mallard and muscovy ducks, and even learn about pigeons. The walks take place on the fourth Wednesday of each month and are led by experienced members of the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Wednesday, Jan. 26 (fourth Wednesday of each month), 9:30 a.m., free, Rotary Nature Center (geodesic dome) 600 Bellevue Ave.

Youth Beat virtual film showcase and celebration

Youth Beat provides free media training for students attending Oakland public schools. Since it was founded in 2009, the organization has partnered with other media organizations—including The Oaklandside–to provide students with opportunities and a platform for their video projects, animation, and more. At this virtual event, you’ll get to screen some of the recent films made by this new generation of Oakland media creators.

Thursday, Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., via Zoom (must register).

Peralta Hacienda clean-up day

Last weekend’s high winds knocked trees into power lines, damaged PG&E equipment, left 28,000 local customers and businesses without electricity, and a trail of broken branches and debris in its wake. The grounds at Peralta Hacienda in Fruitvale suffered badly from the high winds, and the historical park is asking for volunteers to help clean up.

Have a few spare hours to pitch in? If so, then you can sign-up to volunteer this weekend. The folks at Peralta Hacienda will provide gloves, tools, and snacks to thank you for your help in keeping the park free of bark and branches.

Saturday, Jan. 29, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., use the online form to sign-up, Peralta Hacienda, 2465 34th Ave.

Children’s Fairyland writing workshop

Children’s Fairyland is hosting writing workshops for Oakland kids starting in February. Credit: Amir Aziz

Have a budding writer in your household between the ages of 8 and 12? If the answer is yes, then this free writing workshop put together by Fairyland is for you and your young writer. Kamaria Lofton, author of the Kids Love Oakland series, will teach kids the techniques they need to turn their ideas into narrative writing. The finished works will be featured at Fairyland’s book festival in June 2022. Participants must attend at least three of the four workshops on Feb. 6, Feb. 20, March 6, and March 20.

Register online, free to participate (spots are limited)

‘Town Landmarks: Abstract Oakland’ by Jorge Bejarano at Camron-Stanford House

Work by Oakland artist Jorge Bejarano is part of the ‘Town Landmarks: Abstract Oakland’ exhibit at Camron-Stanford House. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

This weekend, Camron-Stanford House will unveil its newest exhibit, an artist spotlight featuring the work of Jorge Bejarano. The exhibition explores some of Oakland’s most famous landmarks: The Fox Theater, City Hall, the Tribune Tower, and others through the technicolor eye of Bejarano, who blends digital artwork with paint. Camron-Stanford House is also offering a virtual viewing for those not ready to visit an exhibit in person. 

Sunday, Jan. 30 (every Sunday until May 1), 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $5 (free for members), Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Dr. 

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.