group of kids looking at a plant and visiting baby cows

Take Our Children to Work Day (TOC)

Celebrate Your Family During Take our Children to Work Day

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, April 24, 2025 - Davis Campus

Take Our Children to Work Day is an annual national celebration on the 4th Thursday of April of employers hosting children at their workplace. Our celebration is 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 kids to what a parent or mentor does during their workday but, also shows children the value of their education. It allows kids to share how they envision their future and begin steps toward their goals in a hands-on and interactive environment. Kids will see how our UC Davis community functions, instructs, learns, and grows. The day is open to all UC Davis employees, including those at UC Davis Health.  WorkLife only manages this celebration on the Davis campus.


There are two components of the day, OPEN HOUSE activities, and LOTTERY REQUEST activities.
Families are welcome to come during the posted hours for an OPEN HOUSE event unless a specific meet time is noted in the description. Lottery events are space-limited activities, so we must control attendance by processing a blind lottery. Please read through all activity descriptions below for all age restrictions.

Registration opens two weeks before the event, and offers a chance to submit an entry for a lottery activity, if interested. 
This blind lottery will be completed the Friday before the event, and all employees will be contacted about the results on the Monday of TOCs. Please check your junk or spam folders if you don't locate the email in your inbox. 


One of our Open House opportunities is to eat lunch at the dining commons. The $2.00 LUNCH COUPON will be emailed to everyone registered by 9 am on the Wednesday before TOCs.  Please be ready to show this coupon at the register for each child 12 years of age and younger.

Click here for your $2.00 Lunch Coupon

Please see the end of our webpage for:

  • A printable SCHEDULE (updated 4/21/2024)
  • "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs)
  • The video of last year's celebration!

Please send all inquiries about Take Our Children to Work to
We will reply as quickly as possible, but please note, that only one employee in WorkLife coordinates this event.  

2024 Open House Events (listed alphabetically)

  • Aggie Athletics: Football (Ages 5-13) - Open House; 10am -11am 
  • See what it’s like to be an Aggie Football Player! Run through the tunnel to the field to participate in drills with some of our own Aggie football players and coaches.  We’ll finish up with coach pep talk out on the field. Meet in front of the ticket office at UC Davis Health Stadium at 10am.

    New for 2024: A Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement is required for all participants. Please print the waiver here, complete the form, sign, and bring to the football clinic activity.

  • Aggie Athletics: Gymnastics (Ages 12 and under) - Open House; 11am-12pm
  • Experience UC Davis Gymnastics! Meet and work with members of the gymnastics team and coaching staff. Jump into the foam pit, walk down the beam, swing on the bars, and tumble across the floor. See you in Lower Hickey Gym at 11am!

    New for 2024: A Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement is required for all participants. Please print the waiver here, complete the form, sign, and bring to the gymnastics clinic.

  • Arboretum (All Ages) - Open House; 9am-11:30am
  • Come & Play at the Arboretum and Public Garden! Join us at Wyatt Deck for a fun morning filled with games such as frisbee, bubbles, coloring sheets and much more! We will be having fun give aways for our participants. Make sure to also stop by and enjoy a relaxing morning watching our wildlife in our red Adirondack chairs and picnic blankets. Most activities are appropriate for all ages! 9am-11:30am
  • Bohart Museum of Entomology (All Ages) - Open House; 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm
  • Curious about who studies insects and arachnids and why? Visit the Bohart Museum of Entomology, part of the Department of Entomology and Nematology!  TOCS participants are welcome to come by to explore the displays and hold live insects. The Bohart Museum will have Open House hours for TOCS from 9:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00pm-5:00pm.
  • Botanical Conservatory (All Ages) - Open House; 10am-4pm
  • 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 10:00am-4:00pm.
  • California Raptor Center (Ages 6+, unless into owls/hawks/etc.) - Open House; 9am-4pm
  • The CRC is open for self-guided tours from 9am - 4pm. ( The Center's non-releasable raptors are on the outdoor tour route, with informative placards at each exhibit describing the bird, its backstory, and the natural history of its species. The small on-site museum is open as well with viewable taxidermy and interactive raptor-related activities. There is no charge for parking. Please keep self-guided tour groups to 6 people or fewer to minimize stress to the birds. To protect the Center's birds from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, please walk through the sanitizing footbath at the entrance of the facility when you arrive. 
  • Campus Rec Swim (All Ages) - Open House; 12pm-2:45pm
  • On April 25th, the UC Davis Rec Pool is participating in Take Our Children to Work Day by offering Rec Swimming activities from 12pm-2:45pm. All ages are permitted! Come take a dip in the Rec Pool (3-5ft), an attached 12ft diving well with a 1m diving board (children must pass a 25m swim test to swim in the diving well), and a sand volleyball court! Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or a little tentative in the water, there’s fun for everyone at the Recreation Pool.

    *Please keep in mind that children must meet at least one of the following requirements to swimat the Rec Pool*
    - swim within arms reach of a supervising adult
    - wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket (no water wings or puddle jumpers permitted)
    - pass a 25m swim test conducted and supervised by an Aquatics Staff member

    *By passing the swim test, children are welcome to swim in any part of the pool unaccompanied​*

    The Rec Pool is so excited to see you all at Take Our Children to Work Day! We will have women's, men's, and inclusive locker rooms available for your use. You are welcome to bring drinks, snacks, and small pool toys. The only flotation device permitted are life jackets. No glass containers permitted. 

    By entering the Rec Pool facility, you agree to abide by posted rules as well as rules enforced by Aquatics Staff.

    New for 2024: The Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement is required for all participants. Please print the waiver here, complete the form, sign, and bring to the campus rec swim activity.

  • Chemistry Show (All Ages)  - Open House; 11am
  • A mini version of the Chemistry club's annual Picnic Day Show. The Show consists of demonstrations that showcase chemistry as the science of change. Trust us, you'll be awestruck. The show will begin at 11am and last 30 minutes. It will be located in the Everson Courtyard, which is between Chemistry and Everson Hall, and on the south side of Everson Hall. Rain cancels the show.
  • Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (All Ages) - Open House; 10am-2pm
  • Stop by and chat with CITRIS to learn about INSPIRE, our K-12 STEM summer workshop, and get a chance to win some prizes and taste liquid nitrogen ice cream! We have established a strong alliance with K12 students, teachers, school districts, community colleges, and education-focused NGOs within a 60-mile radius of our campus. The purpose of this alliance is to foster closer interaction and engagement, raising awareness about the diverse field of semiconductors, which may be unfamiliar to many K-12 communities. Information will be available for "INSPIREships" available to UC Davis staff dependents to attend an INSPIRE workshop this Summer!! ​We will be located inside the lobby of the Engineering Student Design Center from 10am-2pm
  • DataLab: Data Science and Informatics (See description for Age Restrictions) - Open House; 9am-11am
  • Explore Augmented & Virtual Reality at DataLab. Future scientists! Come explore how we develop and use Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for research and teaching. Make mountains in our AR Sandbox and see what happens when it rains -- or a volcano explodes (ages 6+)! Then go on a virtual hike of your landscape in VR (ages 13+). Learn about coding and coordinates as you draw and color alongside our team of data scientists (all ages). Visit us on the 3rd floor of Shields Library, near room 360. More information can be found on our website:
  • DVM: Anatomy Lab (Ages 10+) - Open House; 9am-12pm
  • Have you ever wondered...How big is an Elephant Skull? How tall is an Ostrich? How big is a Galapagos Turtle Shell? Come on by the Anatomy Department (located at Vet Med 3A, Room 1215), and get an up close and personal view of our collection of skeletons and other various specimens. Open house from 9am-12pm.
  • Engineering Student Design Center (All Ages) - Open House; 10am-2pm
  • Future Engineers, Designers, and Creatives Unite! Have you ever seen a 3-D printer in action? We are sure these are the "droids" you are looking for. Who needs a Light Saber when you can cut with a Laser! Come check our our NEW Engineering Student Design Center in 1500 Bainer Hall (access from the East side of the Bainer North wing).  Open House from 10am-2pm.
  • Fire Station (All Ages) - Open House; 10am-12pm
  • 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! Open House from 10am-12pm at 625 Kleiber Hall Drive.
  • Gorman Museum of Native American Art (All Ages Welcome) - Open House; 11am-5pm
  • Self-guided tours. Visit the museum website to learn about the current exhibits. The museum is located at 181 Old Davis Road and is open from 11am-5pm.
  • Manetti Shrem Museum (All Ages) - Open House; 11am-2pm Art Activity; 11am-6pm Gallery visit
  • Stop by the Manetti Shrem Museum to see exhibitions reflecting UC Davis’ diverse creative legacy, featuring life-size sculptures of horses, luminous watercolor paintings, and empowering screenprints: Deborah Butterfield: P.S. These are not horses, Shiva Ahmadi: Strands of Resilience, and Malaquias Montoya and the Legacies of a Printed Resistance. Visit the museum’s website for more information. Galleries are open 11am–6pm. 

    Make art together on the Events Plaza from 11am–2pm. Contribute a design to a collaborative drawing, completing the phrase “I am” in Malaquias Montoya’s Yo Soy Chicano with a part of your identity you want to honor.
  • One Health Institute (All Ages) - Open House; 10am-3pm
  • Come join us in the Vet Med 3B Lobby from 10am-3pm to learn more about the different programs within the One Health InstituteKids will get a chance to “travel” from one table to another and learn about exciting science through hands-on activities such as leaning about how southern sea otters stay warm in cold waters, an up-close look at bird feather structure and how oil disrupts this structure and helping take care of animals in disasters such as wildfires and floods.
  • Police Department (All Ages) - Open House; 11am-1pm
  • 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. Open house from 11am-1pm at 625 Kleiber Hall Drive. 
  • Residential Dining (All Ages) - Open House; 11am-2pm
  • Have lunch like a student!  TOCS 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. The menu features all you care to eat soup and salad bar, grill items, entrees and desserts.

    Special for TOCS day, kids up to age 12 can get a $2.00 lunch.  We will send all registered TOCS participants a link to the coupon on Wednesday, April 25 that can be presented at the checkstand for the discount.  Lunch is from 11am–2pm at all three dining rooms – Segundo, Tercero, Cuarto PLUS Latitude.  
  • Sheepmowers: Climate Poetry with Sheep (All Ages) - Open House; 10am-2pm with demonstration from 12-1pm
  • The UC Davis Sheepmowers will be stenciled with words and phrases related to climate change and allowed to graze on the lawn across from Asmundson Hall. Visitors will then be invited to spot word combinations and phrases unwittingly arranged by the sheep and to compose their own poems, drawings, and watercolors based on the results. We will have markers, watercolors, pencils, paper, and Sheepmower coloring pages available to encourage visitors to participate! Open House from 10am-2pm with demonstration from 12pm-1pm.
  • Tiny World of Microscopes (Ages 6+) - Open House; 9am-12pm
  • Come see what a scientist sees when they peer into the eyepieces of a microscope.  Look at microscopic organisms that swim around on the slide with a compound microscope. Admire the detailed surfaces of insects, plants, and everyday items with a stereo microscope. Microscope Services staff and assistants will be available to discuss the different types of rental microscopes that we offer for teaching, research, and clinical applications. 

    We’ll have an assortment of specimens to look at, including live ladybugs! Visitors are welcome to bring items from home to look at up-close. Come find us inside the campus Scientific Store at 650 La Rue Rd,  south of the Tercero Residence Halls and Visitor Parking Lot 47. Open House from 9am-12pm. 

  • UC Davis Arts in Public Places (All Ages) - Open Activity; 9am-5pm
  • 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 their course of study or discipline. Art in public places are central to the experience of UC Davis. View Guidebook Here.
  • University Credit Union (All Ages) - Open House; 9am-2pm
  • Stop by for some credit union financial tips as well as some goodies to take home. We are located on the 2nd floor of the Memorial Union. Open House from 9am-2pm.
  • Vegetable Crops and Greenhouses (All Ages) - Open House; 11am & 12pm tours
  • Come see our new greenhouses! CA&ES has over 120 Greenhouses and related facilities on the UC Davis Campus. The greenhouses serves over 100 research and teaching projects related to plants including, plant breeding, insects, plant diseases and ecology!! DIRECTIONS: Go to the Core Greenhouses located next to the Bowley Plant Sciences Teaching Facility.  Parking is located on the west side of the ‘Core Headhouse’.  Open Tours at 11am and 12pm.
  • Youth Programs (Ages 6-14) - Open House, 12pm-1pm
  • Join Youth Programs in making slime at 12pm in the Rec Pool Courtyard, located near parking lot 30. We recommend children wear appropriate clothing for crafting and closed toe shoes.

2024 Lottery Events (Lottery closed - 4/19/2024)

  • Coffee House at Memorial Union (Ages 6+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • Don’t miss this 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 area will be followed by either build-your-own personal pizzas for lunch (11am, 12pm and 1pm tours) OR a cookie decorating session for a take-home treat (2pm and 3pm tours). LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.
  • Facilities Management (Ages 5+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • Come join the excitement at Facilities Management as we embark on a thrilling journey to discover the secrets of working safely! Each participant will be decked out in their very own awesome safety gear! This engaging and educational activity is set to begin at 1pm, and is tailored for the young adventurers aged 5 and above. Don't miss out on the fun! LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED
  • Goat Barn (Ages 4+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • Bring your kids to meet our kids! Visit the Goat Barn for a goat milking demonstration, brief tour, and the chance to meet goat kids. Tours at 10am and 11am. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED
  • Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology (Ages 6+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • 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 research collections of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.  You’ll see real specimens (study skins, fluid-preserved, eggs, nests, and skeletons) of species that occur around the world. Check us out before TOC to Work Day at 45 minute tours at 9am, 10am, 11am and 12pm. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.
  • Rats in Research (Ages 8+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • 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. 2pm and 3pm. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.
  • Shields Library Archives: Behind the Scenes (Ages 10+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • From ancient artifacts to the history of chocolate, Shakespeare to sports, explore rare items and memorabilia in the library’s Archives and Special Collections. Then get a glimpse of how the library’s Preservation team restores damaged books behind the scenes. 12pm and 3pm. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.
  • Student Farm and Ecological Garden (All Ages) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • The UC Davis Student Farm is a 23-acre community where students create, maintain, and explore sustainable food systems.  Join us for a scavenger hunt farm tour, vegetable tasting, crafts and more at 9am. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED. 
  • Swine Barn (All Ages) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • Come visit and tour the UC Davis Swine Facility! For over 20 years, the UC Davis Swine facility has been the premier collegiate swine facility in California for student learning and research. Our herd consists of 65 sows with all aspects of production: farrowing, nursery, finisher, and gestation. While our main purpose is to facilitate teaching and research, we also have other niche markets in the community as well. 

    Maintaining the health of our herd is VERY important at the swine facility. We ask that ALL visitors have at least 24 hours away from any swine contact-including pet pigs and any international travelers/visitors need at least 7 days in the U.S. with no other swine contact before entering the facility. Closed toed shoes and long pants are required. Shoe covers will be provided. Tour at 9am. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.

  • Unitrans (Ages 5+)  - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • Tour the Unitrans Maintenance Facility and go for a ride on one of the busses!  See how those great London buses make the University GO!  Tour at 12pm. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.
  • Veterinary Genetics Lab (Ages 10+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • Are you interested in genetics? Have you ever wondered what DNA looks like? Come talk to the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory team to learn about animal genetics and how genetic testing can improve animal health. After a short discussion, you will get a chance to isolate and look at DNA from strawberries!  Session will be held at 10am. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED. 
  • Vet Med: Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology (Ages 7+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • Come meet Chonk the Axolotl! Discover these amazing and adorable animals that you may have seen in Pokémon and Minecraft and learn about how they are helping researchers understand stem cells and regeneration. Spend some time creating your own axolotl art and crafts to take home. Sessions at 10am and 11am. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.
  • Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Ages 10+) - LOTTERY REQUEST
  • 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. Tours at 9am, 10am and 1pm, last an hour and a half. Tour at 4pm will last one hour. LOTTERY NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • What exactly is Take Our Children to Work Day?
  • This national observance in the US gives children a glimpse into the working world. Created by Gloria Steinem in
    1992, it focuses on taking children to work to inspire them to consider future job opportunities and the
    significance of education. At UC Davis, we view it as a family-oriented “mini” Picnic Day.
  • What age children can participate in this event?
  • While the national program is geared towards children aged 6-12, our campus is open to all ages. Please see event listings above for a more specific age range for each activity, and plan accordingly. 

    For those younger than 6, please make sure that time on campus (particularly in the workplace) is very limited. Have another adult available to manage and bring the child home after a brief visit. Most ages enjoy visiting the
    museums, participating in crafts, and lunch at the Dining Commons. Some older than 12 enjoy the career-aspect
    of the day and are welcome to participate. We trust the parent or caregiver to determine whether an activity
    would be good for the child, as well as respectful to the work environment. Please do not bring a child younger
    than the indicated age to any event. You will be turned away if your child is not of listed age.

  • How do we get the time to participate? Do I need to take the day off?
  • Participating employees should coordinate with their supervisors for time away to ensure coverage for operational needs.  Limited release time is appropriate with supervisory approval.  What does this mean? It means that it is your supervisor's
    discretion as to how you can participate in the day based on the needs of the organization. Each
    supervisor/director sets parameters based on what is appropriate for their work environment. Some units
    utilize the day as a unit-wide celebration of family and approve release time or juggle schedules for their staff,
    others limit participation to a window of time, while some may ask you to use PTO or vacation time. We allow and
    encourage another adult in your family to attend who can supplement taking the child to activities away from your
    work time for a portion of the day or who can transport a child after a part-day of fun (honestly this is all most kids
    can absorb anyway).
  • Do I have to register for the event?
  • Yes. You will register for the entire day in advance at our website. If you are interested in one of the lottery events,
    the lottery will close at noon on the Friday before TOCs. The lottery will be processed and you will be notified of the
    results on Monday.
  • How is the Lottery processed and why can't I indicate more than one choice?
  • Every employee will have one entry to the lottery event of their choice. As we do not have a budget to run this program, the lottery is run by one employee using a Random Number Generator to select the entries for the lottery events. This is a complicated process when dealing with single entries for each employee.

    We managed a lottery when we offered each employee the chance to choose their top three options, however, it became more complicated to locate the duplicate entries once an employee was selected to attend a tour. Given that this is a manual process, and we are completing 30 different lotteries for almost 1000 employees, we do not have the capacity to change this process.  

    The chance to enter the lottery closes on the Friday before TOCs. The lottery is processed and the results are emailed on the Monday of the week of TOCs. Please check your spam or junk folders if you do not locate this email in your inbox.

  • What type of activities can we expect at TOC?
  • The goal is for youth to envision their future, so many sites have hands-on activities and tours for youth to learn
    about different career fields. The descriptions above will tell you about the activities. There is everything from sports to science, to creative opportunities to explore.
  • How do we get from event to event?
  • Fifteen minutes is built in between each activity to allow you to get to the next activity. Most people bike, while
    strategically scheduling their visits. Some drive to the off-campus animal sites and then do on-campus biking. If
    you need help finding OPEN HOUSE locations, please use the Event Map linked above. Remember, as the departments participating in our event are VOLUNTEERS, we can't control how spread apart these events are. 
  • What about lunch?
  • Lunch is on your own, but the Dining Commons $2.00 child lunch coupon (up through age 12) is a great way to
    have your child experience lunch at college! We will send the link on the Wednesday before TOCs to those who
    have registered for the day...simply click and present it to the cashier at the Dining Commons. Once
    emailed, the coupon will be available on the TOC website.
  • Is this event only for children of employees?
  • No. We encourage employees to bring any important child in their life to the day.
  • How do we see everything?
  • You don't. Based on years of experience, we highly recommend pacing yourself, choosing the appropriate
    amount of input and stimulus for the age of your child, and not running from event to event. Also consider
    choosing an activity you may not have done in previous years or are unfamiliar with--that's how we grow, gain
    new visions and discover hidden interests. Consider not applying for a lottery event that you have already done
    in the past so we can spread the joy around more equitably. 
  • How does this event work with my child's school schedule?
  • You may need to check your child out of school early to participate in some activities.
  • If randomly selected for an LOTTERY event, what happens if I "No-Show" the activity?
  • As our LOTTERY events are in such high demand, we need to respect the time and efforts of the units that host these activities and fill as many spots as possible. Therefore, if you "no-show" a LOTTERY event, you will not be eligible to participate in the lottery for the following TOC program. We ask that you please cancel your participation by 12 pm the Wednesday before TOCs, if possible.
  • Any safety rules?
  • Adults or caregivers must supervise children at all times. Parents/guardians are responsible for care, custody
    and control of minors at all times. If you want to attend a lottery event, ALL members of your attending group
    must meet any age guidelines. Use common sense regarding safety and appropriate behavior (please no
    children under six in the office for more than a brief visit!).
  • What are the options for parking on campus?
  • AggiePark via the AMP Park app is Aggie's Pay-to-Park app and solution to your daily parking needs.  Please visit the UC Davis Transportation Services website to download the app, set up your profile, and learn more.
  • Any other things I should know?
  • Have fun. Plan ahead with your child. Get out of your comfort zone and explore wider possibilities and remote
    corners of campus. Don't rush from thing to thing. Focus on a day of education and exploration. Lastly, please
    remember it is an all-volunteer event and respect the fantastic students, staff, departments, and amazing people
    who have taken the time out of their busy day to host you and your guests...and don't forget to express
    appreciation to them!