(credit: lawrencehallofscience.org)

Traditionally marking the back-to-school and end of summer transition for kids, Labor Day weekend historically celebrates the American worker. The long weekend offers the perfect opportunity for families to spend some quality time reconnecting before the hectic fall season. The East Bay has something to offer every family, from those who love the outdoors to those who love to play games together. Here is a list of five of the East Bay’s best family-friendly Labor Day events.

Historic Rail Fair
Ardenwood Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94555
(510) 554-2797
www.ebparks.org/ardenwood
Dates: Sept. 5 – 7, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An East Bay gem, Ardenwood Farm is one of the largest extant working farms in the area. Now part of the East Bay Regional Park District, the farm also offers visitors a living interactive museum experience. On Labor Day weekend. Ardenwood will be holding the annual Historic Rail Fair, where visitors will have a chance to explore all manners of railway-related memorabilia from model and garden railroads to early gas engines. Make sure to hop on one of the steam train or hand car rides and swing by the produce stand for some fresh grown fruits and veggies.

Family Day Celebration
Golden Gate Fields
1100 Eastshore Highway
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 559-7300
www.goldengatefields.com
Date: Sept. 7, 2015 at 12:45 p.m.

Golden Gate Fields is one of the Bay Area’s last vestiges of horse racing. This family-friendly track offers free admission every day for kids 17 and under. On Labor Day, the track will be hosting its annual Family Day Celebration. For the low price of free, families can enjoy a concert by Notorious, bounce houses and pony rides. Everyone who comes to the races will also receive a free racing-themed fleece blanket.

Science Fiction / Science Future
Lawrence Hall of Science
One Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-5132
www.lawrencehallofscience.org/exhibits 

Daily, through Sept. 7, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Head on over to the Lawrence Hall Of Science to catch the last weekend of the interactive family-friendly “Science Fiction/Science Future” exhibit. The exhibit allows visitors to experience once-fantastical inventions come to life. The whole family can have fun playing with mind control, robotics and teleportation. The museum is open daily, and also contains a theater and planetarium.

Scottish Highland Games
Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Ave.
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 426-7559
www.thescottishgames.com 
Dates: Sept. 5 – 6, 2015, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This Labor Day weekend marks the 150th annual Scottish Highland Games. Grab the family and head on over to the Alameda Fairgrounds to spend a weekend enjoying all that Scottish culture has to offer. Visitors can marvel at everything from traditional heavy caber tossing and hammer throwing to exhibits on falconry, Clydesdales and sheepdog trials. There will be plenty of Scottish fiddling, dancing and piping, as well as whisky tasting, regional foods and kilt, candle and jewelry vendors.

Celesticon Game Convention
Fremont Marriott
46100 Landing Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 413-3700
www.celesticon.com
Dates: Sept. 4, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. to Sept. 7, 2015 at 5 p.m.

CelestiCon is a family-friendly four-day-long gaming convention held in the Fremont Marriott hotel. The whole family can join in playing all manner of games, including board games, role-playing games and card games. There are separate rooms especially for teens and young players, and prizes will be awarded for select games. This year’s special guest will be Sandy Peterson, who created the Call of Cthulhu. Gaming will begin at noon on Friday and run 24 hours a day until 5 p.m on Monday.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.