Serving Our Community


A core part of Habitot’s mission is to ensure that the museum’s exhibits and programs are available to a broad audience. Key partnerships with local community agencies help us reach out to and include families experiencing homelessness, foster and kinship care families, teen parents, formerly incarcerated parents, adults and children with disabilities and their families, LGBTQ+ parents and children, and many others.

BoxiTot Art, STEM and Maker Kits for families in need

FREE BoxiTot play and learning kits are available to a limited number of families in need, thanks to a grant from the Vela Foundation. We work with individuals as well as social service agencies to distribute these kits.

Social service agencies can fill out the Partner Scholarship Kit Form

Individual Families can fill out the Scholarship Kit Application Form

A Habitot staff person will review your application and contact you within 5-7 days. Please email with any questions or concerns.

Habitot staff has been creating and distributing play and learning kits for free through our agency partners throughout the pandemic. Over 650 kits were delivered through the East Bay Agency for Children, the Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center, Centerforce, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland in 2020 alone.

We’ve assembled and given 60 play and learning kits to Bananas and distributed over $1,000 worth of toys, books, and art supplies to the First 5 Center in Richmond, CA.

For 2022, the Trio Foundation is supporting the distribution of 230 art-focused kits with books and art materials to seventy families receiving public assistance. Applications here

Learn more about the kits!

Birthday-in-a-Box Kits for Shelters

Currently, Habitot is supporting 10 family shelters in Alameda and Contra Costa counties with our Birthday-in-a-Box program. Large containers hold reusable party decorations and equipment like parachutes and air pump tanks for balloons, plus plenty of hands-on materials for art and play party activities, $15 gift certificates for each birthday child living in the shelters, piñatas and party favors, and arrangements for deliveries of birthday cakes — enough for each shelter to celebrate the birthdays of every child staying in the shelter. 720 children are likely to enjoy these parties every year. More than half the support for this program came from individual donors. The Lowell Berry Foundation matched community donations 2021 to launch the program.

Children with Disabilities

At each of Habitot’s Pop-Up events, a “MellowHour” is reserved for children needed less stimulation or other accommodations to have a good experience.

Habitot brought its Mobile Museum to children who are deaf or hard of hearing to CEID’s community fair in March 2022.

In November, Habitot’s Mobile will be a part of the Deaf School’s Veteran’s Day celebration in Fremont.


Who We’re Partnering With

Formal partnerships with fourteen social service agencies and the Department of Children and Family Services help Habitot reach the most vulnerable young children and families. Pre-pandemic, Habitot offered free Open House times on weekday afternoons, when the Museum was otherwise closed to the public, welcoming over 8,000 at-risk parents and children every year.

When Habitot reopens, family engagement sessions will again be organized for teen parents, children with disabilities and their families, families experiencing homelessness, formerly incarcerated parents and their children, and families in the child welfare system including foster, adoptive and kinship care families.

Social workers at local agencies will have one-day passes to distribute to client families for free admission.

All families with EBT cards (receiving public benefits) are admitted to the museum at steeply discounted admission fees ($1-3) as part of the national Museums for All program.