Why you should visit the Oakland Museum of California

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Last weekend, I went on a field trip to the Oakland Museum of California, or OMCA, for one of my classes. What I learned and witnessed touched me, and I walked away with a greater understanding of the heritage that makes California, and specifically the Bay Area, what it is today. For those of you who aren’t inveterate museum-goers, I urge you to pay a visit to the OMCA.

It only takes 20-25 minutes to get there!

From the Downtown Berkeley BART station, get off five stops down at Lake Merritt on the Warm Springs/Richmond line — the museum is about a block from the station. It’s perfect if you and your friends wish to get away from campus during the weekend, but not go too far!

Take advantage of the free gardens

OMCA houses its own beautiful gardens, complete with a koi pond and remarkable sculptures. There are  vibrant fish and colorful flowers of every variety imaginable. The rich oaks, redwoods and cedars provide a much-needed break against the fast pace of life at UC Berkeley.

If you aren’t the outdoorsy type, no worries! You also have access to a wide range of board games, as well as a giant Jenga set to turn it into a game night with your friends.

OMCA is turning 50

What better time to go than during the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration! With ‘Friday Nights at OMCA’ from 5-10 p.m., get ready for a fun night of live dance, music, performances and food to truly immerse yourself in the authentic Californian culture.

There’s something for everybody

Whether you’re a history buff, an art aficionado or a nature geek, OMCA is the place for you! With three galleries each devoted to California history, California art and California natural sciences, you could get lost in there!

Learn about the rich culture and history that shaped the state we call home

Visit the Gallery of California History and take yourself on a journey through the tumultuous past. From the chilling accounts of the Native American genocide to Spanish colonization, the Gold Rush era and finally trace the development of Hollywood.

With all of these amazing resources just a BART ride away, why wouldn’t you want to visit the OMCA?

Contact Nandita Radhakrishnan at [email protected].