The smell of pencil shavings may be overtaking the smell of suntan lotion, but summer isn't over yet, and by golly, we're determined to enjoy every moment of it while we still can. Here are five summer activities to add to your Must-Do List before packing up the white sundresses and getting started on the apples and pumpkins.
Catch a concert in a park
Take advantage of the long days and warm evenings and take the family out to one of the many outdoor concerts around the Bay Area. Love latin rhythms? The Pete Escovedo Orchestra plays at the Downtown San Jose Music in the Park this weekend. Want to rock out with the kids? Catch the family friendly tunes of Octopretzel at the JAMBand Family Festival in Golden Gate Park on September 11. Prefer the silver screen? Watch an outdoor movie in Redwood City, Los Gatos or Burlingame. Want to introduce the little ones to The Bard? Free Shakespeare in the Park, now on its 29th season, continues its production of Cymbeline through September, at Cupertino's Memorial Park Ampitheater and The Presidio in San Francisco. The possibilities for evening entertainment are endless, so grab that picnic dinner and get ready to see the summer off with a bang!
Enjoy a fair or festival
Thanks to the Bay Area's great weather, fair and festival season is still going strong. This weekend alone, there's the Italian Family Festa in San Jose, the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts or East Palo Alto's annual Children's Day. Over Labor Day Weekend, you can enjoy the good life at the Millbrae Art & Wine Festival, at Pleansanton's Scottish Games, yell "Opa!" at the Belmont Greek Festival or frolic with the family at the Walnut Creek Familyfest. Later in the month, groove to some great music at the Monterey Jazz Festival or the San Jose Mariachi Festival.
Shop at a farmer's market
There are farmer's markets year-round all over the Bay Area, but if you could only pick one time to go, make it a sunny summer day. That's when stalls are bursting with the freshest, sweetest, ripest fruits and vegetables on the planet: colorful heirloom tomatoes, rainbow chard, sweet peaches, plump blueberries and more. Farmer's markets are fun for the whole family: grownups love the healthy, locally-grown, farm-fresh produce and gourmet food while kids love the festive music and sweet fruit samples. Don't forget to try to get there early and be sure to bring plenty of cash and a reusable bag or two to haul home your goodies!
Watch a baseball game
Regular baseball season runs through September, so there's still time to take your family out to the ballpark for some all-American fun. The Bay Area's two major league teams, the Oakland A's and last season's World Champions, the San Francisco Giants, still have over a dozen home games left, while the minor league's San Jose Giants have seven. So buy yourselves some peanuts and Cracker Jacks and get ready to cheer the Boys of Summer as they crack one over the fence.
Go to the beach
Summer isn't complete without a trip to the beach, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has everything you need for the perfect summer day. Get there before noon, before the crowds arrive, and spend a couple of hours enjoying classic boardwalk games and rides like the world-famous wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster and vintage 1911 carousel. Your little one will love tossing rings into the giant clown's mouth as they spin round on the gorgeous wooden horses by master carousel carver Charles Looff. After lunch (go on, treat yourselves to some candy floss or funnel cake!), head out to the warm sand and relax while your little ones play in the sand and splash in the surf.
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