Oakland's rec centers and parks are hosting special events in July to mark National Park and Recreation Month.
Many of the sites where events will be held are historic or are designated city landmarks.
On Friday, Mosswood Recreation Center is hosting its open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Located on four acres of parkland near Broadway and MacArthur Boulevard, Mosswood Park is host to many events, programs and classes year round, and during the summer months has a busy summer camp program. Mosswood boasts basketball and tennis courts, a community garden, baseball field, and a dog run for both big and small canines. The park's recreation building houses a dance studio, computer lab and kitchen.
The historic Mosswood House also is inside the park. The well-preserved Carpenter Gothic style landmark was once the home of civic leader Joseph Moravia Moss (1809-80), who came to California and made his fortune in banking, canal and railroad building, and telegraph and gas utilities. He also was a member of the University of California's first Board of Regents.
After the death of Moss and his wife -- who was named Julia Wood, hence the name Mosswood -- the property came into city hands and has been a popular North Oakland attraction ever since. For more information about offerings at Mosswood Center, call 510-597-5038.
Another former historic estate, this one located in West Oakland, is the DeFremery Recreation Center, which is hosting its open house on the afternoon of July 20.
Long a neighborhood hub, DeFremery features a swimming pool facility, tennis and basketball courts, softball field, and a dance studio for African dance classes. There also a popular skate park. The former DeFremery family Victorian-style mansion is now used as the center for classes and can be rented for weddings and receptions.
Thought to be one of the oldest houses standing in Oakland, the DeFremery House was built about 1861 and was home to Dutch immigrant and 49er James DeFremery (1826-99) and his large family. The DeFremerys called their estate The Grove -- for all the magnolias, elms, poplars and the grove of coastal live oaks on the grounds.
For more on DeFremery Park's upcoming open house call 510-238-7739.
A full listing of all the open houses, which are being held under the direction of city department head Audree Jones-Taylor, is available on the city's Office of Parks and Recreation, at www.oaklandnet.com/parks.