Places to Go

Places to Go!

I believe that children learn by touch, experience, and sounds. I love taking your children outdoors!

Zoo & Parks

The zoo is always a fun place to go with little ones, and in the Bay Area we have some excellent zoos and parks.

San Francisco Zoo
My family’s favorite Bay Area zoo. The family membership is a steal at $70 per family per year. Parking can be a bit rough on sunny winter weekends. Make sure you catch the phenomenal lemur habitat.

Happy Hollow
Located in San Jose, Happy Hollow is has a small zoo and a small amusement park for the price of one ticket. The amusement park features all you can ride carouselles, as well as a train and a puppet show. Happy Hollow is perfect for kids 2 to 5.

Oakland Zoo
Not as nice as the San Francisco Zoo, but still a lot of fun.

Coyote Point Museum
The Coyote Point Museum is located pretty close to SFO. It contains a small zoo, where the sea otters are a big hit. The museum itself is pretty outdated, but my little ones really enjoy some of the exhibits.

Monterey Aquarium
OK, so it’s not exactly in the Bay Area, but this is, after all, the world reknowned Monterey Aquarium and no list of zoos would be complete without it. Kids love it, and the gelly fish exhibit is especially stunning. Highly recommended.

Tilden Park
In the East Bay, this park has a lake, a steam train for young’uns to ride, a merry-go-round and lots of other fun things. My oldest son loves this place.

Lake Merritt Park
Home to large breeding populations of herons, egrets, geese and ducks, Lake Merritt is the oldest wildlife refuge on North America. Countless migratory birds make the lake their home during the winter months. The artificial islands, its close proximity to shore, the isolation of the north arm of the lake from boat traffic, and the nature center have all helped create this miracle. Lake Merritt is a great place for beginning birders to get up-close views of many species, including the incredibly tame black-crowned night herons, snowy egrets and hundreds of scaups! The birds shown below are water-birds that you are virtually guaranteed to see on the lake in the winter.

“Gymboree is a wonderful interactive program. Parents and children will be delighted to spend time together building strong bonds that will last a lifetime.”

Studio Grow
Exciting, EDUCATIONAL PLAY SPACE for children ages 0-6 and their families and caregivers. Drop-in any time or come Monday through Friday for a scheduled program (INCLUDED with admission!)

Super Franks
5341 Owens Ct Pleasanton, CA 94588‎
(925) 271-5880
$8.00 per child Mon-Friday 10am-4pm Sat & Sun check website! I love Super Franks & the kids do too

Award-winning children’s museum. East Bay’s hands-on discovery museum
for young children and their families Award-winning children’s museum
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 9:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday and Wednesday 9:30 AM to 1 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM

Admission: $4 adults, $6 children seven and younger, $3 additional children
Habitot is a hands-on discovery museum that offers infants, toddlers and young children a chance to participate in creative learning. Kids enjoy the exciting ambiance and fun interactive displays that include a grocery store, café, farm, art studio and water play center. Special programs and birthday parties are also offer.

My Gym Walnut Creek
2256 Oak Grove Rd.
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
(925) 952-9791
My Gym Kids grow by leaps and bounds. Physical benefits include increased strength, balance, fitness, coordination, and motor skills. The children develop socially as they interact with their teachers and others their own age. Body awareness, teamwork concepts, and valuable sports skills are gained naturally.

Children’s Fairyland USA-

Ages: All ages
Admission: $5 general admission, free for infants under one
Classic puppet shows performed by well-crafted hand and stick puppets or marionettes will entertain children of all ages. Fairyland also offers musical and theatrical shows performed by children. Puppet shows are performed daily at 11 AM, 2 PM and 4 PM.

Oakland Ice Center-

Antioch Water Park-

The Jungle Fun & Adventure-

Pixieland Amusement Park-

Waterworld USA-

Contra Loma- www.ebparksorg/parks/conloma.htm.

Tumble & Tea Cafe-

African- American Shakespeare Company-


Sarah Lindsay Cakes Of Bay Area/San Francisco

The Gardens at Heather Farm
The Gardens at Heather Farm encompass a six-acre hillside adjoining Heather Farm Park. Twenty-three demonstration gardens serve as a living classroom for children and adult programs, while showcasing landscape styles and plants adapted to our Mediterranean climate. The building and grounds can be rented for events. 1540 March banks Drive. Call 925-947-1678 or visit

Ruth Bancroft Garden
Hundreds of varieties of cacti and succulents are displayed in the garden planted by Ruth Bancroft, whose late husband’s family had established a fruit farm in the Ygnacio Valley over 100 years ago. Tours must be scheduled in advance. Phone: 925-944-9352. Website:


I love taking little ones to the Museum. They love it, they learn and it’s MUCH better than hanging out in front of the TV…
USS Hornet
The Hornet is a WWII era aircraft carrier, turned museum and permenantly docked in Alameda. You can spend hours exploring this amazing museum: roam the hanger deck where various aircraft are stored; walk the flight deck from which you can see the great vista of the Bay and San-Francisco; take a tour into the command deck, navigation posts and wheel house. Your kids will love it! Guarenteed.
The Exploratorium
More fun than a barrel of monkies, the Exploratorium is a science museum where kids can play, touch and experience while learning science. The artificial tornado is a personal favorite.
Chabot Space & Science Center
A really fun museum where kids can experiment and learn about space, the solar system and the stars. The planetarium show, in a state of the art 360 degree projection dome, is a real treat. Highly recommended.
Children’s Discovery Museum
A fun, hands-on learning experience for kids. My family’s favorites include the water interactive exhibit (think waterfalls with flying balls); and the bubbles exhibit. A word of advice: do not try to visit the museum on rainy weekends – parking is a nightmare & the museum is extremely crowded on those days.
Hiller Aviation Museum
This fun museum, located in Redwood City, is filled with planes, planes and more planes. Once a year the museum holds its helicopter show. This is a big event and is highly recommended.
Zeum is a multimedia arts and technology museum, geared towards kids. Kids can make their own animation movies, appear in a movie, make a movie sound-track and more. My 4 year old enjoyed it, but older kids would probably enjoy it even more. The historic carousel just outside the museum was a major hit with my little one.

Also, pretty close to the carousel is a special statue of a man that will sit down if you sit down in front of it. Kids think its a hoot.
California Academy of Sciences Natural History Museum
currently located on Howard & 4th in San Francisco, the museum features a nice aquarium, with Pinguins, Piranahs and a petting area. Exhibits other than the aquarium are less than impressive, and the price is a bit steep for what is given ($10 for adults), but my little ones really enjoyed themselves.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Definitely skewed towards the younger crowd, kids between 2 and 4 will love this interactive museum. Admission is a bit on the pricy side, at $8.5 for adult and $7.5 per child, however the museum offers a AAA discount. A word of advice – the cafeteria is horrible. Plan on eating elsewhere.
Shadelands Ranch Historical Musem
Built by early Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman, this 1903 redwood-framed house at 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road is a showcase for numerous historical artifacts, many of which belonged to the Pennimans. It also houses a rich archive of Contra Costa and Walnut Creek history in its collections of old newspapers, photographs and government records. The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and belongs to the City, but is operated by the Walnut Creek Historical Society. Call 925-935-7871.

A Stop at the Local Fire Station – Every kid on the planet gets excited at the sight of a fire truck. Most fire stations have times when they are open to the public and many will let you visit even when there is no special event if you ask nicely.

Public Libraries- Various locations throughout the city
Admission: Free
The web site lists special events at all libraries in the city. On a weekly basis, nearly all of the branches hold story hour, an infant and toddler lap sit story time, children’s films and family reading and songs.

Lindsy Wildlife Museum-

Hours: Tuesday through Friday 12 noon to 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Admission: Adults $5, children three to 17 $3, children under three free
This wildlife museum features more than 50 species of live wild animals, including a fox, bald eagle, bobcat and coyote. Youngsters enjoy the special animal feeding and storytelling programs that are offered throughout the day. Also find a unique pet library service, special workshops, hands-on activities and fun birthday parties.

Amusement Parks

Here are some of the Bay Area amusement parks that have activities geared towards young kids
Six Flags Marine World
Six Flags are famous for their coasters, but Six Flags Marine World is perfect for young kids as well. Our three year old loved the kiddie coaster, the aminal shows and the trains. In the park you can also feed giraffes, ride an elephant and pet the dolphins. The price is pretty steep, but we thought it was well worth it. By the way, kids under 3 get in for free…
Paramount’s Great America
Great America also has quite a few rides for young kids, plus it features the Nickelodeon characters and shows. We liked it less than Six Flags, but it was also fun.
Bonfante Gardens
Geared specifically towards the younger crowd, this place has rides, gardens and exhibits. They also have a funky radio commercial which you are sure to have heard if you live around here… By the way, you can easily find a discount coupon to the park online. What they don’t tell you is that if you use a coupon, your ticket will be for a single day. If you buy at full price, you ticket is good for the whole season.
Lemos Farm
Appropriate for really young kids, Lemos Farm offers pony rides, train rides and a petting zoo. Before Holloween the Farm also offers a haunted house and a large pumpkin patch. The lines can be very long and the drive from the Peninsula can be very slow on weekends with good weather. $15 will buy you unlimited rides for the full day.
Malibu Grand Prix
This mini-golf / arcade / go cart facility is conveniently located in the mid-peninsula. Don’t expect fancy facilities or superb food, but my 5 year old truly enjoyed an afternoon of mini-golf. Costs are reasonable at $8 per game and kids under 5 play for free.