Last year sucked… (I was sick.) So this year, me and my family can’t get enough of road trips, the great outdoors, food trucks… you name it! Summer may be over, but out here in No. Cal. it has still mostly been warm and we are really enjoying our freedom to explore our great home by the Bay. So much so, that we’ve decided to make it a habit.

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My family and I exploring Lands End.

Every weekend, we spend some time together as a family and go outside together. We call them our “Family Activity Days”, or FAD for short. We try to keep it active, like city hikes, or bike riding or “soccer”. But mostly, it’s just having fun together and being grateful that we have this amazing time together. I know the girls will not be little much longer. And, now they are big enough for us all to have some real fun together.

Life is very special, it’s important not to waste our time together.

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Top 10 Family Activities in the Bay Area

Here are a few of the things we’ve been doing this fall in the Bay Area:

  1. Visit Lands End Don’t forget to explore the cave… you can hear the water rumbling in and out of caves below and the sound was so exciting! Finish off your adventure with adult and kids beverages and fish and chips at the Park Chalet.  If you are lucky, on Sunday you may catch some great live music.
  2. Picnic at the Presidio – You only have a few weeks left to enjoy this slice of heaven as this ends November 2nd. Get your craft beer or rose while your kids frolic in the grass. You don’t even need to bring lunch because there are a wide array of Off the Grid food trucks. (Just don’t forget to bring your wallet!)
  3. Point Reyes Lighthouse – Be prepared to walk LOTS of stairs and brave some wind. You will be rewarded on clear days by one of the best views of the ocean you’ve ever seen.
  4. Hike Hawk Hill – Speaking of views…. This one boasts an amazing view of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. And if you visit in the next week or so you’ll be treated to some of the best raptor viewing in the country.
  5. Riding Bikes at Crissy Field – This is a great safe place to ride with your tykes. It’s nice and flat and you can stop at the Warming Hut for hot cocoa at the end of your journey.
  6. Explore Golden Gate Park – Hike Strawberry Hill, check out Buffalo, walk the Botanical Gardens, meander the Japanese Tea Gardens, ride the Carousel… there’s so much to do here, you simply can’t do it all in a day!
  7. Walk Muir Woods – This is what nature’s cathedral looks like. Big and little hikes await under mossy green redwoods, beside ferns and flowing creeks. When you are finished, grab a snack and an English ale at the Pelican Inn… This is heaven!
  8. Pick pumpkins at a Pumpkin Patch – One of our favorite pumpkin patches is the one at Nicasio Valley Farms. They are not cheap, but there is a bouncy house and lots of (expensive) pumpkins to choose from. If you are willing to make it a road trip, the best pumpkin patch we’ve been to so far is the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch with one of the coolest, and largest corn mazes I’ve seen.
  9. Spend the Day in Sonoma – Visit the California Missions Museum at Cline Cellars (and maybe the kids will let you grab a taste of wine too!). Little one’s will love it if you head down to the square to feed the duck and play in the playground. My girls are too “big” for TrainTown. But it was a big hit when they were two. Talking of trains, this list would not be complete it I didn’t mention…
  10. Have a Tidlen Park Adventure – This little slice of heaven in the East Bay is not only gorgeous, there is also a small Steam Train and even a Little Farm.

Related Reads: Great SF Summer Activities with Kids

I’m sure I missed a few. If you have some good suggestions, please post them in the comments below. What are your favorite family activities this fall?

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/adventureplayground/ My family loves the Adventure Playground in Berkeley. We always take a picnic and enjoy a walk along the water too.

    Reply

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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