Take Our Children to Work Day (TOC)

group of kids looking at a plant and visiting baby cows

Celebrate your family during Take our Children to Work Day, Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is an annual national celebration of employers hosting children at their workplace. Designed to be more than a career day, we like to think of it as a family-oriented “mini Picnic Day”.

The day not only exposes girls and boys to what a parent or mentor does during their workday, but shows children the value of their education and provides an opportunity to share how they envision their future and begin steps toward their goals in a hands-on and interactive environment. Kids will have the opportunity to see how our UC Davis community functions, instructs, learns and grows. 

This event is for staff, faculty, students and their youth guests. Participating employees should coordinate with their supervisor to ensure coverage for operational needs. Release time is appropriate with supervisory approval. Parents/Guardians are responsible for maintaining supervision of their minors throughout the entirety of the program. 

Photos and Recordings:  UC Davis FOA/WorkLife may take photos and videos during the event for promotional campaigns for communications. If you don’t want your picture taken or used for public or promotional purposes, please decline photo taking by staff and activity hosts.



Below is a list of 2019 activities: (we will update 2020 in March 2020)

  • Start off your TODS day with the UC Davis Men's and Women’s Basketball teams at Hickey Gym! We will have a mini clinic for any and all kids in attendance from 10:00-10:45am.
  • Visit the Anthropology open house between 1:00-4:00 for coloring, wall displays and to enjoy cookies from different countries!  330 Young Hall
  • Two things to do at the Arboretum! 
    First, grab a partner and take a scavenger hunt through Peter J. Shields Oak Grove, one of the Arboretum and Public Garden’s most iconic collections. Discover what animals rely on our mighty oaks and learn about oak diversity around the world.  1:00pm Shields Oak Grove. 
    Second, The Arboretum Teaching Nursery will be open for visitors from 11:00am-1:00pm.  Browse the aisles of the 1-acre nursery to see our great selection of locally grown plants for sustainable gardens. A team of volunteers will be on hand with information about how to plant a garden that attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Plants will be for sale so you can purchase some for your home garden. Check or credit card only, please, for plant purchases
  • The Haven is a great place to bring your family for lunch. Stop by between 11:00am and 1:30pm to learn more about the amazing bees and the plants that support them. Docents will be on hand to guide informal tours, bee watching (including an observation beehive) and bee identification. We'll also have tools on hand for 'catch and release' bee viewing so visitors can safely view live bees up close. Located on Bee Biology Road, off Hopkins Road.
  • Curious about who studies insects and why? Visit the Bohart Museum of Entomology, part of the Department of Entomology!  TODS participants are welcome to come by to explore the displays and hold live insects. The Bohart Museum will have open hours for TODS from 1:00-5:00pm.
  • Form and function of plants from the world’s deserts, tropical forests, and carnivorous habitats are emphasized along with plant interactions with insects and other organisms. Location: Botanical Conservatory Headhouse at North end of Conservatory (middle greenhouse) North of Storer Hall. Open house from 9:00am-5:00pm. Tour at 2:00pm, enrollment required.                              
  • A mini version of the Chemistry club's annual Picnic Day Show. The Show consists of demonstrations that bring the amazing world of chemistry to participants. Trust us, you'll be awestruck. The show lasts 30 minutes and will be in the Chemistry courtyard. Come early to get a seat!  2:05-2:45pm. Rain cancels the show.
  • Minimum Age: 6
    Don't miss the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes of the largest restaurant on campus!  See what goes into serving over 7,000 people a day, and learn about the Coffee House's unique history and how its student-driven food service model works.  Tours of the kitchen areas will be followed by a cookie-decorating session for a take-home treat.  Closed-toe shoes required.  Meet at the MU Flagpole near the Quad. Tour/activity at 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Enrollment Required.
  • Learn the art of calligraphy and some easy Chinese crafts, including paper-cutting, lantern-making, and Beijing Opera Masks.  Explore Chinese culture through sampling Chinese tea and snacks and learn how to kick a Chinese shuttlecock!  3013 Wickson Hall, Open house 2:00-4:00pm.
  • Everyone knows UC Davis has cows but here’s a chance to get an up close and personal look at the bovines at the Dairy Barn. Participants are reminded to stay with their guide at all times while at the barn. Meet at the parking lot behind the dairy.  For their health and safety, keep in mind that you are not allowed to touch the beautiful baby bovines. Tours at 2:00-2:45pm and 3:00-3:45pm. Enrollment required.
  • Join us for a tour of the UC Davis Fire Station #34, meet our Campus Firefighters and join in some activities that Firefighters do every day- like putting on turnouts and using a fire hose. You can even watch a Student Resident Firefighter use the station pole! 11:00-11:45am.
  • Come to the Engineering Student Design Center 1220 Bainer Hall (north wing of Bainer on the east end) There will be Gyroscope Wars, so come and see who can spin a gyroscope the longest.  Have you ever seen a 3-D printer in action?  We have six.  Who needs a Light Saber went you can cut with a Laser? 10:00am-2:00pm Open House
  • Open 12:00-5:00pm. Self-guided.  1316 Hart Hall.  LINK
  • Free for all! The museum will be open from 12:00-9:00pm for visiting the last weeks of our winter exhibitions: Xicanx Futurity and Zachary Leener: Three Sculptures. Get a close look at the museum and its history with a building tour at 1:00pm, Enrollment required for tour.
    ***Drop-in and get creative at the Parker Art Studio from 2:00-4:00pm and make your own Aromatherapy Sprays.
  • Ever wonder what goes on backstage at the Mondavi Center?  Here’s your chance to have a look behind the scenes! Check out the light lab, get a sneak peek at a dressing room, and bring home a nifty sun catcher that looks like a stage light!  Get acquainted with the most star-studded place in Davis and take advantage of a glamorous photo opportunity.  Also (parents!), enjoy a moment to cool off, freshen up, and grab a coffee or a snack. Join us between 11:00am-2:00pm enter the main lobby of the Mondavi Center.  See you there! 
  • Come visit our laboratory, where we provide services locally, nationally, and internationally to researchers. We will have some hands on activities, and then tour through the laboratory, and you will also get a glimpse into our cryopreservation storage facility, one of the largest mouse model repositories in the world. 3:30pm activity and tour. Enrollment required. 2795 Second Street, Suite 400
  • Minimum Age: 6
    How do scientists study wild animals and conservation issues? Visit the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology and take a tour of the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology! Get a sneak peek at the fish, bird, reptile/amphibian and mammal collections where you’ll see real specimens of animals, including study skins, and skeletons from around the world. Tours will start at 10:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, and 3:00pm and last approximately 40 min. Meet in the east side of Academic Surge Building in the main hallway by the MFWB exhibits under the wildlife banners. Please note, strollers are not allowed in the facility.  Enrollment Required
  • A tour of the Police Department starting with a special hello from our Chief of Police. We will visit our fingerprinting technician for your thumbprint that you can take home with you. An officer will be available on the tour for any questions and answers, and to show a patrol car with all of its gadgets.  11:00-11:45am
  • The California Raptor Museum is open for self-guided tours from 9:00am-4:00pm. (Please no groups larger than six.)
    Our non-releasable raptors are on the tour route, with informative placards describing each bird and its personal story. There is no charge for parking.  
    Please keep self-guided tour groups to 6 people or fewer to minimize stress to the birds. Located on Levee Road, off Old Davis Road.
  • Minimum Age: 8
    Working with rats is fun.  They enjoy a nice massage while being handled. Rats have helped us study many diseases and treatments which have helped people and other animals live longer and healthier lives. Come to rat handling class to learn ways to work with rats that make them more comfortable and provide them with the best care we can so they can help us find cures and treatments for many diseases. 2:00-2:45pm and 3:00-3:45pm.  
    Enrollment required. Off Old Davis Road, first left after freeway interchange. (See EVENT MAP above)
  • Have lunch like a student!  TODS participants are invited to have lunch at one of the Dining Halls—they’re not like they used to be, they resemble a really cool food court now.  Special for TODS day, kids (through age 12) can get a $2.00 lunch.  We will send all registered TODS participants the link to the coupon by Friday, April 19 end of day (after registration closes) that can be presented at the checkstand for the discount.  Lunch is from 11am-2pm at all three dining rooms – Segundo, Tercero and Cuarto.  The menu features all you care to eat soup and salad bar, grill items, entrees and desserts. 

  • For a quiet break in a busy day, join us for Storytime & Coloring in the Shields Library Courtyard!  Coloring fun for kids of all ages throughout both activity times! Two age-targeted activities planned:

    11:00-11:45am: English Professor Fran Dolan will read children’s books (for younger children), followed by a short Q&A with a librarian.

    2:00-2:45pm: Professor Dolan will read an excerpt from Harry Potter, followed by brief librarian Q&A on the Making of our Harry Potter Exhibit.

  • Drop by and see what a scientist sees when she looks into a microscope.  View microscopic organisms that wiggle on the slide as well as every day articles from your own pocket.  Our own Microscope Services staff will be on hand to discuss the various parts of microscopes and tell you about the different types of microscopes that are used on campus too.  Hutchison Hall Room 0005, Basement on East Side.  Open House 10:00am-12:00pm, bring cool stuff to look at up close--we will be providing worms to spy on!
  • Self-guided. Art in public places enhances the beauty of our campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and they also convey the emotional power and spiritual values of art itself to every student, no matter his or her course of study or discipline. Art in public places are central to the experience of UC Davis. LINK
  • Tour the Unitrans Maintenance Facility and go for a ride on one of the double deckers!  See how those great London buses make the University GO!  Meet at the Maintenance facility on Garrod Road.  12:00-12:45pm. Enrollment required.
  • Come see what it is like to work at the Greenhouses. Learn about growing of vegetable transplants. What are the best kinds of tomatoes, peppers, melons to grow in the back yard in the local region?  What do I need to have a career in working greenhouse industry?  Talk with students who are working in the greenhouses. Come and plant vegetables to take home with you!! OVERVIEW: CA&ES has 152 Greenhouses on the UC Davis Campus. The greenhouses work on over 100 research and teaching projects related to Plants, Insects, Plant diseases and ecology!! DIRECTIONS:  Go to the core greenhouses located in the Bowley Plant Sciences Teaching facility off Extension Center Drive.  Parking is on the west side of the ‘Core Headhouse’.  Open Tours at  11:00-11:45am and 12:00-12:45pm
  • Minimum Age: 10
    The tour of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital includes both the small and large animal clinics and will give you an opportunity to see the workings of an animal hospital. You won’t see many animals, however, because they are being treated for an illness.  Two tours from 3:00-4:30pm.  Meet in ground floor lobby of Small Animal Clinic.  
    Enrollment required.
  • All ages welcome to the Young Scientist Program's Industrious Insects activity. Take an in-depth look at insect diversity through exploring preserved insects and participate in an up close and personal activity with live beetles!  1:00-3:00pm Life Science Addition Courtyard (between Briggs Hall and Life Science Addition Building).

100% of participants surveyed said that they would recommend this event to their fellow employees.

You can simply register for the overall day and provide an email contact. In addition, you may choose (in the same form) to be in the lottery system for ONE specific event where enrollment is necessary- these nine events are:

  • Botanical Conservatory Tour
  • Coffee House
  • Dairy Barn
  • Manetti Shrem Museum
  • Mouse Biology Program
  • Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology
  • Rats in Research
  • Unitrans
  • VMTH

Please note the event is limited to UC Davis employees and their child/family guests. Please respect listed age limitations, particularly for enrollment events.

TODS at UC Davis Health: 

TODS at Health is managed through SWACAAC, with WorkLife as a co-sponsor. 

Ongoing Kid Friendly Activities: