Where to Take Kids in the Bay Area

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 (Photo: Ethan Kan/Flickr)

Summer vacation is on the horizon and for those with kids that can mean a lot of unscheduled time. Forum talks about the best places in the Bay Area for kids and parents to have fun. Tell us -- what are your go-to spots for family-friendly outings.

Suggestions Mentioned on Air (organized by region)

San Francisco

Friday nights feature live music and events; Saturday activities  for children ages 4 - 12

 On non-game days kids can run around mini baseball diamond, go on the Coca Cola bottle super slide and giant glove 

Offers capoeira, music, hip hop dance, arts and crafts 

Free activities including crafts, scavenger hunts, archeology

Sundays 11-4; food trucks featuring kids' menus

Lots of family activities on the weekends including storytime, crafts and guided walks; admission is free for San Francisco residents 

Free for kids  under 18 but do require a ticket; listener recommends lunch at nearby Super Duper 

Free concerts  on Sundays, June 11 to August 21

Good views, kid-friendly hikes

 Good for a Disney fix; the Wish Upon a Star: Art of Pinocchio exhibit May 18, 2016 – Jan 9, 2017

Plays by kids for kids

East Bay



Heather Flett, founder, 510families.org

Sunny Chanel, Bay Area editor, Mommy Nearest


Designed for kids ages 7 and up, but younger kids permitted with adult supervision


Shows Warriors games


Free for kids under 18




LEGO Labratory on Sundays, Make-a-Telescope workshops, after-hours events


Kid-friendly rides, animals and storybook settings

Listener recommends Crab Cove, Coyote Hills and others

San Ramon 

Historic 16-acre farm located at the base of the East Bay Hills and Oak Creek

Listener says "good for little kids who can’t read"


Kids events once a month; features a "Downtown Detectives" activity where kids explore downtown Pleasanton

  • Oakland waterfront

Views of the bay; caller recommends watching container ships


2nd friday of each month June - Sept. ; free admission;  face painting, art booths, dancing in the streets



Offer a Kids-Skate-Free program (skate rental is $3.00)

Sunday picnics during the summer; small tractors for kids to ride, grass area for lawn games, walks through the grapes



Free access to farm animals; visitors can bring lettuce or celery to feed them


Board game cafe

 North Bay


New "Early Childhood FabLab" 3D printers, laser cutters, and vinyl cutters

Santa Rosa

Free KidsWorks Creative Workshop first Saturday of every month; "Bubble Science"  on Sundays; storytime and arts activities

Santa Rosa

Artwork documenting the Peanuts cartoonist's life, Christo's Wrapped Snoopy House Stories and crafts for ages 1–5 on Mondays


August 13-14; “Old fashioned, low tech family friendly”


Good wading area;  bbq spots.

Santa Rosa

Lake, amusement area, hiking, etc.

Along Highway 1 in Mill Valley

Tide pools. bird watching


Has evening-sky programs and safe-sun viewing in the afternoons

Between Muir Beach and Stinson Beach

Trails and picnic spots; Offers cooking, farming and animal care workshops

Glen Ellen

Asian botanical garden; free admission for kids 17 and under

Mt. Tamalpais

2-mile hike to a historic inn; monthly pancake breakfasts; cash only

South Bay

San Jose

Offers summer camps

Palo Alto 

Free admission


See goats, how goat cheese is made 

Los Altos Hills

Organic farming; summer camps

Palo Alto

Broadway-centric and has summer camps

San Jose

Kids six and under are free; summer camps offered

East San Jose

Offers dancing, painting classes, etc

San Jose

Community service program for youth

Menlo Park

Visitors can color and design aquatic life and upload to virtual aquarium; leaves in July

 San Jose  

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