Naturalists at Crab Cove at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda are regularly on hand to take you out to the mudflats and scout for birds that live along the shoreline. It's a good idea to wear boots or water shoes because it can get quite icky walking in the tide pools. There, you can scour the low tide pools to find crabs and other sea life lurking about in the muck. When you're done in the water, naturalists pass out bird-identification charts, so you can walk about the grassy grounds, checking off what you find flying about. The nearby pond is also full of turtles and dragonflies. The activities are great for families with kids younger than twelve, and tours run through the week for schools and on weekends. There's also a small interactive exhibit and discovery center with an 800-gallon aquarium system, microscopes, and a crafts table. And the nature center is open every Saturday and Sunday from July through August from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. with special "family nature fun" activities. Tides change daily, so call ahead, or consult a tide chart to plan your visit. The activities are free, but there is a small parking fee.
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