1. Attend a Chabot Space “After Dark” adventure – Chabot Space center is full of educational and entertaining events.  Why not let your kids stay up past their bed time to learn something new and have fun!  Visit their website for more information: http://www.chabotspace.org/index.htm
  2. Go Camping – Choose your favorite spot for the kids to hike, ride their bikes, swim, get dirty, and eat s’mores.  Nothing prepares them for going back to school like a nice weekend camping with their family.
  3. Visit the Jelly Belly Factory – Make a day trip out to an area you would never expect to venture too.  The Jelly Belly Factory is full of yummy treats for your kiddies!  Did you know it takes 7 to 21 days to make a single Jelly Belly jelly bean?  Visit their website for more information: http://www.jellybelly.com/
  4. Go to Africa – Okay, so we know that Africa is a little unrealistic when you have young children, so instead, how about a safari adventure in Santa Rosa?  Safari West is home to over eighty species of animals, including zebras, cheetahs, and giraffes!  Visit their website for more information: http://www.safariwest.com/
  5. S.F Fire Engine Tour – You may have visited San Francisco as a family before; however, have you been over the Golden Gate Bridge on the Big Red Shiny Mack Fire Engine?  You start in Fisherman’s Wharf, then venture over to Presidio, Crissy Field, Sausalito, Fort Baker, and then back over the bridge to Union Street.  Finally, your journey ends at the Cannery.  Visit their website for more information: http://www.fireenginetours.com/
  6. Explore Pixieland Amusement Park – This amusement park is geared towards family fun.  Come here to enjoy Tea Cup rides, the Dragon Rollercoaster, or the Pixieland Express Train.  They also have a “Kids Café” so your little ones can fill up after a long, hard day of riding rides.  Visit their website for more information: http://www.pixieland.com/Home.html
  7. Create a Family Movie Night – Choose a night of the week where one member of the family selects a movie to watch and rotate every week so everyone gets a chance to pick their favorite movie.  You can also have rotating snack pickers.  When one child gets to pick the movie, the other child picks what snack to eat.
  8. Roaring Camp Railroads – Choose between the Santa Cruz Beach Train or the Redwood Forest Steam Train, either way your family is sure to have a fun journey.  Visit their website for more information: http://www.roaringcamp.com/
  9. Explore Shorebird Park Nature Center & Adventure Park – Alright, I know we are all guilty of sitting on the bench at the park as you watch your children playing on the playground, thinking “I wish I could play like a kid again”.  Well, there’s good news!  You can!  This park is a playground in Berkeley is not only for children but also adults.  Visit their website for more information: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=8666
  10. Visit the Lindsay Wildlife Museum – School may be out but there are plenty of resources in the East Bay to continue educating your kids.  The Lindsay Wildlife Museum hosts various classes during the summer that are geared towards several age groups to help your kids learn on summer vacation.  Visit their website for more information: http://wildlife-museum.org/
  11. Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex – This is a perfect place for families to cool off from the summer heat.  If you don’t feel like traveling down to the beach or going to Raging Waters, Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex is the best alternative for you and your family.  Visit their website for more information: http://apps.ci.brentwood.ca.us/emotion/Facilities/FacilitiesDetail.asp?FacilityId=67
  12. Create a BIG scavenger hunt – A fun way to prepare your children for back to school is creating a big scavenger hunt in the backyard for them to find their back to school items. First, they are going to find their brand new “cool” backpacks.  Second, they are going to find their new pack of crayons, etc.  You can hide their school supplies all around the yard and by the time they are done, their backpacks will be packed and ready to go for the first day of school!
  13. Children’s Fairyland – This is a great place to go to enjoy the story time sets, kid rides, animals, and acres of luscious gardens.  Your family is sure to have a blast!  Visit their website for more information: http://fairyland.org/
  14. Create your own Family Garden – Have everyone in your family choose their favorite vegetable.  Then find spots in the backyard to plant them and give your children the responsibility of caring for them and watching them grow.  When you are finally able to eat them for dinner, your kids will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.
  15. Host a Family Picnic – As summer is winding down and you want to spend precious moments with your family, before the hectic school year begins, go on a nice family picnic.  Whether it’s in your backyard, Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek, or your local park down the street, nothing says family time like a nice picnic where you eat sandwiches, play in the sun, and relax in the shade.