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  Places to see, Things to do
Places to see, Things to do in Walnut Creek

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Lesher Center for the Arts
The City's performing and visual arts center, opened in October 1990, houses the 800-seat Hofmann Theatre, the 300-seat Margaret Lesher Theatre, the 130-seat Knight Foundation Stage 3 theatre, the Bedford Gallery, offices and rehearsal space.

Bedford Gallery
The gallery, located in the Lesher Center for the Arts, offers such events as "Art Mornings" and docent tours. Watch for openings of new shows.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum

  • (Map) Address: 1931 First Avenue (in Larkey Park)
  • Phone: 925-935-1978
  • Admission: $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 2 - 17, always free for members and children under 2.
  • Hours: Wednesday through Friday, noon - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Call for extended summer hours.
  • Wildlife Hospital -- Fall / Winter hours (Labor Day weekend through March 31) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Spring/Summer hours (April 1 - Labor Day), 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; call 925-935-1978, seven days a week.
  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum, located in Larkey Park, displays live native California wildlife in its Exhibit Hall and operates a nationally-recognized wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center. A pet education program, hands-on activities, children's discovery room, and a wide array of classes, trips and tours offer children and adult a variety of ways to connect to the natural world. The Lindsay Wildlife Museum Store carries books, nature games, bird feeders, and other items.
  • Membership: $65 for families, $35 for individuals

Shadelands Ranch Historical Museum

  • (Map) Address: 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road (near Shadelands Office Park)
  • Phone: 925-935-7871
  • Hours: Wednesday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. (Tours of 10 or more by appointment at other hours.)
  • Office hours: Mon-Thurs, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Admission: $3, adults; $1, students ages 6-17, free; children under 6 and WCHS members. Reservations for 10 or more by appointment.
Built by early Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman, this 1903 redwood-framed house is a showcase for numerous historical artifacts, many of which belonged to the Pennimans. It also houses a rich archive of Contra Costa and Walnut Creek history in its collections of old newspapers, photographs and government records. The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and belongs to the City, but is operated by the Walnut Creek Historical Society.

Walnut Creek Open Space Recreation Areas/Old Borges Ranch

Walnut Creek owns 2,700 acres of public open space, which are found in the Shell Ridge, Sugarloaf, Lime Ridge and Acalanes Ridge open space recreation areas. The former ranch of early Walnut Creek pioneer Frank Borges is today the home base of Walnut Creek's Shell Ridge Open Space activities. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Old Borges Ranch is also a ranger station. An Environmental/Living History Program is offered at the ranch for school-aged children, college and civic groups to provide a hands-on ranching experience Tuesday through Thursday. Group tours, large group picnicking and overnight camping are by reservation only; call 925-943-5860. The original Borges family home, built in 1899, houses a visitor center with historical displays of the turn-of-the-century. Admission is free every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and the first Sunday of the month from noon to 4 p.m. Donations are appreciated.

Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society

The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society's Diablo Valley Lines is a permanent, 1,800-square-foot model train layout in a large brown building leased by the City. The impressive HO-scale train set has more than 4,300 feet of laid track on over 175,000 individual ties and more than 340 turnouts. Public viewing areas surround the entire layout and can accommodate up to 150 people an hour. The club's annual Fall Show is held over the weekend in November.

The Gardens at Heather Farm

The Gardens at Heather Farm embrace a six-acre hillside adjoining Heather Farm Park. Twenty-three demonstration gardens serve as a living classroom for children and adult programs, while showcasing landscape styles and plants adapted to our Mediterranean climate. The building and grounds can be rented for events.

Ruth Bancroft Garden

(Map) Address: 1500 Bancroft Rd., Walnut Creek

What: Hundreds of varieties of cacti and succulents are displayed in the garden planted by Ruth Bancroft, whose late husband's family had established a fruit farm in the Ygnacio Valley over 100 years ago. Tours must be scheduled in advance.

Phone: 925-210-9663

Cost: $7.00 per person (members free); reservations required

Reservations for Docent led tours are highly recommended. Self guided tours can be taken during our hours of operation M-F/ 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturdays/ 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Please see the website for further information – http://www.ruthbancroftgarden.org/

Miscellaneous: Plant sales are held after each tour

Sugarloaf Open Space

  • (Map) Address: 2161 Youngs Valley Road, off Rudgear Road
  • Phone: 925-944-5766
  • Hours: Open daily during daylight hours
  • Admission: Free This 177-acre bank of open space land in the southern portion of Walnut Creek affords visitors eye-popping ridgeline views, nearly three miles of scenic trails and one of the few remaining walnut orchards in the area. Picnic areas and restroom facilities are provided, as are facilities for the handicapped.

Walnut Creek Equestrian Center
  • Address: North end of Heather Farm Park, off North San Carlos Drive

Horse lovers of all ages will enjoy a visit to the Walnut Creek Equestrian Center, a 6-acre riding and training facility owned by the City and operated by a private organization. The center has two rings: a 150' by 300' Olympic-size ring available only to Equestrian Center members, and a 50' by 75' ring open daily, free of charge, to anyone.

Boundary Oak Golf Course

This 18-hole municipal course overlooks Walnut Creek from a hilltop vantage point. This 160-acre recreational facility opened in 1969.

Walnut Creek Skate Park

  • Corner of Marchbanks Drive and Heather Drive in Heather Farm Park (across from Clarke Swim Center)
  • Free admission
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hotline number: 925-256-3584
  • All users must wear helmet and knee pads and elbow pads. See rules.