This throwback to old Hollywood cinemas and glamor is a great place to see a film just like it was intended to be viewed, in a big theater with a large audience. Stanford Theatre with its neo-classical Greek/Assyrian architecture picks a classic film between the 1920s through the 1960s every week. The movie watching here becomes more of an event than your typical cinema experience.
Bryant Street Gallery offers for sale a variety of paintings, sculptures and photography by local Bay Area artists in addition to other American artists. They occasionally hold artists' receptions when new exhibits are installed so visitors can meet the artist. Even if you aren't in the market to purchase a work of art, visitors are welcome to just browse. The gallery also offers framing services.
The Elizabeth Gamble Garden is a 2.5-acre (one hectare) property that includes a historic Victorian home, carriage house, tea house, a gazebo, and formal and demonstration gardens. The garden is home to fruit trees, a herb garden, several varieties of irises, perennials, roses, wisterias and a Mediterranean garden. If you come at just the right time of year, you may even see the garden at the peak of its cherry blossom season! Home gardening classes taught by master gardeners are offered throughout the year, and tours are available for groups of eight or more who call in advance; the property is also a popular site for weddings and wedding receptions. Admission is free to the public every day during daylight hours, though the office is only open during weekdays.
A fabulous mix of undulating savanna grassland and evergreen forests, Enid Pearson-Arastradero Preserve teems with wildlife and natural bounty. Hugging the Arastradero Lake, the grassy knolls and hills make way for forested areas and nature trails. Much favored among bikers and hikers, most of the trails in the park are open through the year. Mountain lions, bobcats and deer are found aplenty here, so are many species of birds that flock around its pristine water bodies.
The Baylands Nature Preserve is known for its birdwatching and is considered one of the best birdwatching areas on the West Coast, offering both tidal and fresh water habitats. This park boasts of a total of 1940 acres (785 hectares) of swampland, which is the largest tract of undisturbed swampland remaining in the Bay Area, and 15 miles (24 kilometers) of trails. Besides birdwatching, visitors can also enjoy canoeing, kayaking or windsurfing in the ponds and lakes. Educational signs have been put up in place to educate visitors about natural habitats. Kids will love Baylands too as it is home to the Palo Alto Duck Pond and the trails too vary in difficulty levels. This park is open daily from 8a till sunset.
The Palo Alto Children's Theatre is run by the City of Palo Alto as part of the Lucie Stern Community Center. The program began in 1932 as part of the Mayor's Committee for Unemployment Relief. Today, the theater is both a performance venue and educational space for young people aged from four to 24 to enjoy and learn about theater arts. During the summer, the theater runs an outdoor series entitled Hot Dog Suppertime Shows, where families can enjoy an hour-long show and bring a picnic or purchase hot dogs and other barbecue items. Their shows appeal to a wide variety of audiences, from young to old, musical or dramatic. Past productions have included Hansel and Gretel, Charlotte's Web, Lord of the Flies, and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. For information about current shows, call the box office or check their website.
Located right next to the picturesque Professorville neighborhood, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo has been a reliable source of family fun since 1934, when it was established as the first children's museum west of the Mississippi. The zoo houses around 200 species of animals, including snakes, reptiles, tortoises, sharks, raccoons, bats, a red-tailed hawk and two bobcats. A total of 14 hands-on museum exhibits are designed to educate children about physics, earth science and math. It is also a popular destination for field trips and birthday parties.
Formed in 1922, Rinconada Park is among the two oldest parks of the city. This 19-acre (7.69 hecaters) park has something for everyone. Enclosed by mighty redwoods and live oaks which includes a two hundred old coastal live oak, it features the magic forest, playgrounds, tennis courts, a swimming pool, children's pool, picnic spots, athletic fields, a community theater, benches and a concrete bowl. The Junior Museum and Zoo is also a park of this park.
AS the name alludes, Children's Library is dedicated to children's education and recreation. The library offers a well-curated collection of books for infants through fifth graders. Its collection includes coloring books, picture books, children's novels, general knowledge and homework helpers that provide essential lessons with a bit of fun. The library also hosts, workshops, book-reading and playtime sessions for kids and parents as well.
This Spanish-Mediterranean style center features two theaters and the City of Palo Alto's Recreation Department. The theaters are available on a rental basis and are host to a number of events and performances. The three rooms are named Stern Ballroom, Community room and Fireside room. The pretty Stern Ballroom has two fireplaces and beautiful chandeliers which make this an ideal place for parties and other events. The community room and Fireside room are smaller and good for small gatherings and parties.
As the name suggests, Lucie Stern Demonstration Garden has paved the way for sustainable gardening. Opened to visitors since 2011, it is a joint venture between the City and Acterra, a voluntary group. The striking features of this park include native plants are grown here, special soil, environment ideal for birds and insects, and stress on conservation of sources like water and energy. Truly, the Lucie Stern Demonstration Garden with its beautiful landscape represents a lovely yet eco-friendly space.
Created in 1973, the Palo Alto Art Center is located in the Community Center area of the old city. Throughout the year, the center arranges for various visual art programs for kids as well as adults. There are exhibitions, benefits for various non-profit organizations, workshops and classes open to all. Most of these events are without any admission fees, but donations are welcome. The on site Gallery Shop stocks hard-to-find home decor pieces, gifting items, jewelry and such created by local artists. Check the website for their schedule for the month, they're bound to have interesting happenings!