not being a parent myself, it took me a little while to research the best activities to do with my nieces when they came to visit. it was a whole different world to me. but after doing a few google searches and talking with my friends who do have kids, i found some pretty great options and wanted to share my finds with you!
1. children’s creativity museum in san jose – this option is geared more towards older kids but your littlest ones will love it just the same. so much to see, experience and learn!
2. slide ranch (just past san francisco) – great outdoor ranch for picnicking, hiking, exploring and interacting with animals. “slide ranch connects children with nature.” and what kid doesn’t love nature? i think my nieces would live outside if we let them.
3. berry / apple picking at gizdich ranch in watsonville – this is a great activity for any age. b and i went apple picking just the two of us and thoroughly enjoyed it but going with a little one can make it extra special. our little niece was so excited by every strawberry she picked. she would cheer and talk about how yummy they are. see those jazz hands below? she did that every time. she kills me.
this could technically count for two activities because eating the berries is a heavenly experience in and of itself. never have i ever tasted such amazing strawberries in my life (and for very reasonable prices — $1.75/pound).
oh and don’t forget to let your kids enjoy the play area behind the cafe while you enjoy a piece of the best pie on earth. heck, buy a whole pie and bring the experience home. that is what i did. $11 for a whole pie? yes please. i can vouch for two berry and olalliberry.
4. san francisco or oakland zoo – i think i go to the zoo every time i visit my nieces and nephews. kids dig the zoo. so why not add these two to your list?
5. vasona park in los gatos – definitely one of my new favorite parks! this park has it all. steam engine train to tour the property? check. boating in the lake? check. fishing in said lake? check. bbq grills? check. large open meadows to frolick? check. walking path to get your cardio on? check.
6. san jose municipal rose garden – the roses are in bloom now so walking the garden is simply breathtaking. i am not sure how long their blooming season lasts but it is def worth a trip to see it. i loved all the different colors of roses as well as the fountain and rose archway. beautiful beautiful garden in wonderful neighborhood of san jose (the homes surrounding the garden are eye candy as well). great big lawn behind the rose garden is good for frisbee, croquet, picnicking or letting your little ones run free. another bonus — no entrance fee!
7. shoreline park in mountain view - another great and active park to check out. shoreline offers boat rentals to take out on the lake as well as bike rentals to explore the land. don’t forget your kite — this place always seems to be a little windy and they have a designated kite flying area. who knew such a thing existed?
8. happy hollow park & zoo – zoo + park in one! are you sensing a theme here? i have learned kids really like being outside and animals.
9. deer hollow farm – hike + petting zoo. this is a quick one mile hike to a historic 10 acre farm. sounds pretty cool, right? farm tours are only open the third saturday of each month so plan ahead!
what are your favorite kid friendly activities in the bay area? do tell!