Pint-Sized Nightlife in the Bay Area

Ana Picazo - San Francisco Bay Area
April 10, 2012

With April's warmer temperatures and fresh spring air, it's no wonder your little one wants to cram as much into her day as possible. And with the longer daylight hours, it's getting more and more difficult to call it a night and tuck her into bed. So why try? There are dozens of fun evening activities for kids all around the Bay Area, and the extra activity only means she'll fall asleep that much faster. Here are five places where little ones can enjoy their own special kind of nightlife:

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

As one of San Francisco's premier tourist attractions, Alcatraz Island is always swarming with people. Avoid the crowds and book an Alcatraz Island Night Tour. The tour begins when it is still light out, but it's the last tour of the day, so it finishes in darkness—but not before you're treated to a spectacular view of the sun setting in the west. What's more the lack of crowds means you'll have more relaxing, more intimate experience.  Don't miss this chance to show your little one where some of the last century's most notorious gangsters and criminals spent their nights!

Ask Jeeves Planetarium, Oakland

Go on a cosmic adventure and explore the stars at the Chabot Space & Science Center's Ask Jeeves Planetarium. Their live planetarium shows on Friday and Saturday evenings are a sight to behold. With state-of-the-art full-dome digital projection, you and your little one will truly feel as though you're traveling among the stars. And with both early (6:30 p.m.) and late (8:30 p.m.) showings available, you can choose the one that best fits with your little astronaut's return to earth.

Muir Woods, Mill Valley

Older children will enjoy walking at dusk and discovering the nightlife that abounds throughout Muir Woods. About once a month, Muir Woods rangers and volunteers hold a Muir Woods After Hours tour, an easy two-mile walk on a paved trail. Beginning one hour before sunset, visitors will look for owls, bats and other nightlife.

Menlo Park Library, Menlo Park

Tuesday nights are pajama nights at the Menlo Park Library; their family storytime starts at 7:00 p.m. and features fun stories and activities for all ages. These are well-attended, and no wonder—it's a great way for kids to discover new favorite stories, and for parents to get a rest from bedtime story duties for one night.

Capitol Drive-In, San Jose

Even mom and dad can don their pj's for this fun activity. San Jose's Capitol Drive-In boasts double features every night, with at least one of the six screens featuring a family-friendly film. They have great projection screens and Dolby Digital Sound piped right into your car stereo, so you can enjoy the movie in your own private movie theater. Don't forget the blankets and pillows!    

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