Forget country clubs, expensive trips, and pricey tickets to water parks. For just $95 a year, your entire family can enjoy the East Bay Regional Park District's 65 spots in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. That means 108,000 acres, including 1,200 miles for hiking, biking, and nature study, all included in the annual membership, which covers two adults and up to four kids. The membership includes parking and swimming, so when you show up at your favorite park, there's no need to shell out any cash; simply flash your plastic card at the ranger and walk right in, whether it's Lake Temescal or Cull Canyon. And don't forget the district's other great parks as well: Lake Anza in Berkeley, Briones near Pleasant Hill (where it's fun to ride your bikes past cows munching on grass), and the cute farm at Ardenwood in Fremont. Your new status as a park district member gives you a freedom to check out parks you may have not thought to visit before, and provides new opportunities during the dog days of summer.
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