I don’t know about you, but as a mom I am always looking for fun activities to do with my kids. I know those days we get stuck at home can sometimes seem like they last forever and I think make me more tired than if my girls and I are out and about.
There are so many things to do in the Bay Area, and since we have only lived here for about 2 years, we haven’t been to nearly all of them. Whether it’s because I’m working on the weekend, just wanting a slow day, or not spend all day driving to get there, but we love going to new places and checking them out. I would say our goal is to try and do at least one fun activity a week to continue to explore the area.
I know some of the activities I am going to list as things we do, or have done, are specific to The Bay Area, but I’m hoping this list gives you some ideas and inspiration to look-up that may be around your area, or in case you visit you have some ideas for things to do while you’re in San Francisco Area.
Lindsey Wildlife Museum: This is a great morning activity. Unlike the zoo, it focus more on wildlife animals, like owls, hawks, rodents and even home pets (rabbits, rats, Guinea pigs). Whats cool about this place is every hour they have some kind of animal demonstration. The volunteers bring out one of the animals from the museum and talk about it, then the kids get to line up and pet the animal. Aria is a little timid, but she does love this. Another favorite here is the Animal Hospital. It is actually one of the Bay Area Wildlife hospitals so you can see them caring for sick and injured animals at certain times of the day. Lastly, there are just lots of fun activities like a bird flight simulator, coloring area, book/gift shop and a play area.
The Zoo: Really any zoo is fun for a kid, and adults. Checking out the animals and the activities the Zoo has to offer always makes for a great day. The Oakland Zoo isn’t too far from us, and it isn’t very big, so it makes the perfect activity to do in the morning and still get home in time for the girls to take a nap. Highlights from The Oakland Zoo are the giraffes, the train and the new gondolas (this gives you gorgeous views of the city and over looks the zoo grounds and eventually leading up to the California Trail, which will feature eight new native California animal species in expansive exhibits.
Tilden Steam Trains: Redwood Valley Railway in Tilden Regional Park offers steam train rides along a scenic ridge on a scaled-down steam train. We did this a few weeks ago and it was really fun, Aria especially loved it, as you’re sitting in an open car and have some amazing views of the mountains and quick views over The Bay and into the city. I love that this is such an affordable activity, it’s $12 for 5 rides and kids under 2 are free….meaning we rode this thing twice and it only cost us $12 dollars. Where else can you go for something fun like this and hardly pay anything????? I can’t think think of thing either….
Local Library Story Time: SO this is one of those activities you can do anywhere. My girls love going to story time. They read books, play fun group activities and at our favorite library story time the host plays his guitar and sings song. I know this activity may seem like an obvious choice, I think it’s worth mentioning because I didn’t realize there was such a a thing until we were exploring a new park and walked padded the Library with a sign about kids story time.
Oakland Rose Garden: My girls loved walking around the garden. It’s not crazy big, but I kind of love that about it, along with all of the colors of roses that are bloomed. Another cool place here at The Gardens is a tunnel that goes under the street and leads to a park for the girls to play on. I will say, this is a super short activity, which is why we went a little earlier in the day and this builds in any time for the girls to play on the play structure and then it’s not too far is Tilden so you can hit up the steam trains and/or the Merry-Go-Round.
Finding A New Park: Going to the park is almost a daily activity in our house. So when we are exploring a new town we always look up what parks are the most popular and take the girls for a little bit. Aria loves checking out new play structures and toy. I think since we have moved to The East Bay we have gone to about 10 parks, from going to a park in the city, to several in our own town and a few further north. I think trying out new places is great for a couple of reasons; it keeps the girls interested in playing outdoors longer and every park has different play equipment and structures. A couple of favorites are Heather Farms Park, Dennis the Menace Playground and Hap Magee Ranch
Farmer’s Market: This is one of those activities you can due any/every weekend, as most are only open for one day. Aria has been getting into to helping me pick out the berries and veggies and take part in choosing which ones have the best color, aroma and appearance. Annnd although she never eats what we pick up (#pickiest eater ever), I love that this exposes her to fresh fruit and veggies. I’m crossing my fingers that one day she will at least try and like something. If you’re in the East Bay Area, my favorite market I’ve been to so far is the one in Pleasanton, but I would love to hear your favorites if you’re close!
Bowling: Who doesn’t love to go bowling. It’s like one of those activities that reminds you of the old days, like middle school when you get to go on Friday night and bowl under the black lights and thinking you’re so cool….Anyone remember those days, maybe that was just the small town thing to do, HA! But, anyway we have such a great time taking the girls bowling. Yes, even Amelia loves to push the ball down the ramp. Something cool that you can still use for another month or so is this KIDS BOWL FREE coupon. So once you sign up your kid(s) will get a coupon for 2 FREE games everyday.
There are so many fun activities you can do with your kids, this list is just a small list. Other things we have done are the Muir Woods, The Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach, The Tilden Merry-Go Round, Sausalito and other cute little towns near us. A few things on our list are The Discovery Museum, Jelly Belly Factory and the Children’s Creativity Museum.
I hope this post has inspired you to find fun activities near you or if you’re ever in The Bay Area you can check out some of these fun places.
What are some of your favorite kids activities? I’d love to hear them and get inspiration from you all!
Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you have a fabulous week!