Put away those lunchboxes and backpacks, and get out those swimsuits and towels, because summer has arrived! After a long year of sweating it out in the classroom, your little ones are ready to sweat it out in the sun. Celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer with these must-do activities:
Pick some berries
Summer brings with it the freshest, sweetest berries of the year, and you can pick them at their ripest at Webb Ranch's U-Pick Berry Patch. Located right in the heart of Silicon Valley, beside Stanford University, Webb Ranch is gearing up for a bumper U-pick crop this June. Your little ones will have a blast searching for the ripest berries like they were treasure, plucking them off the vine in just the right way and dropping them in their baskets. There's nothing as tasty as a blackberry picked straight from the vine, and there's nothing as amusing as catching your son with berry stains around his mouth and guilt in his eyes. You'll be torn between reprimanding him for eating more berries than he's picking and reaching over and popping a few into your own mouth!
Catch a concert
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? This year's Yerba Buena Gardens Festival features Latin Jazz & Salsa Programs, running throughout the summer. Prefer the silver screen? Watch an outdoor movie in Redwood City, Los Altos or Burlingame. Want to introduce the little ones to The Bard? Free Shakespeare in the Park, now on its 30th season, will enthrall audiences all summer with their production of King Henry V in Cupertino, Pleasanton, Redwood City, and 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!
Hit 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.
Stroll through a festival
Where can you find the sweet sounds of a summer outdoor concert, the mouth-watering treats of a farmers' market, the kids' entertainment of a theme park and the unique wares of a flea market? At a summer fair or festival, of course! The summer festival season is heating up, and there's no shortage of fairs and festivals in and around the Bay Area. From the big-name festivals—think Monterey Jazz Festival, Gilroy Garlic Festival, Berkeley Kite Festival, San Jose Obon Festival, San Francisco North Beach Festival—to the various food and wine festivals in every city from Mill Valley to Monterey, you're sure to find one to enjoy.
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