Best Things to Do With Kids in May - 510 Families

Best Things to Do With Kids in May

Sunny skies, beautiful blooms, and seasonal fruit picking make May an exciting month filled with family-friendly events. Take advantage of the longer days and warm springtime weather to venture to new playgrounds or revisit beloved activities. Here are our favorite family events for the month – let’s go!

This post of May’s best things to do with kids in the East Bay is sponsored by the always magical Bay Area Discovery Museum. Visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum on May 4th and 5th to experience Big Art Weekend.

Hands-on fun at Big Art Weekend at Bay Area Discovery Museum
Child enjoying a mural dance party at Big Art Weekend on May 4+5 | Photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum

Reserve Tickets to Shows & Performances

See a hilarious magician or one of many wonderful children’s movies set to live orchestration. Contra Costa Ballet presents Swan Lake in a captivating performance at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Find more upcoming ticketed performances and events >

Save the Date for These Exciting Community Events

Find lots more Seasonal Fairs & Festivals >>

All Month: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Learn and celebrate cultures with your kids at storytimes, dance performances, and events like Children’s Fairyland’s month-long celebration. The Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival in Tiburon on May 18 looks fun, too.

All Spring: Go on a Color Search in the Garden

Springtime flowers are in full bloom. Spot fruit blossoms, roses, wildflowers, and other cheery flowers in local gardens. Our favorite free destinations include Blake Garden (open on weekdays) and Gardens at Lake Merritt. UC Berkeley Botanical Garden and Filoli are top ticketed picks. Refer to our Parents’ Guide to East Bay Gardens to help you find a local garden to explore.

Filoli blooms in spring
Take in the beauty of spring! | Photo: Filoli

Mother’s Day Celebrations

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12, 2024. There are so many sweet ways to celebrate the mothers in your life all month long: visit the gardens of Filoli, make afternoon tea reservations, or design a craft together. Check out more ways to thank moms for all they do in our East Bay Mother’s Day Guide >

Go Cherry Picking

May is the prime time for picking cherries. U-Pick farms are located throughout the Bay Area, however, you’ll find the bulk of them in Brentwood. Berries should be available for picking until July, and cherries can be plucked off trees through about early June. Fruit picking guide >

Visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum

Venture over the Richmond Bridge to the scenic Bay Area Discovery Museum. Big Art Weekend will be an immersive creative experience to start the month. At BADM, kids can cook up a colorful feast in Rainbow Mud Kitchen, create a tapestry dying fabric with tissue paper, and run their own Tattoo Parlor, Tats by Tots (Parents don’t worry, tattoos are washable!).

The Print Shop (Opening May 25) lets little ones experiment with materials and explore color, texture, and layers with printmaking. With a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities to discover, the Bay Area Discovery Museum is a great day trip for children ages 6 months to 8 years.

young child playing on wobbleland sculpture at bay area discovery museum
Young children will crawl, climb, and play on larger-than-life fruit sculptures in Wobbleland | Photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum

Take Advantage of Parents’ Night Out

Parents’ Night Out, also called PNO, is evening childcare that’s essentially a drop-off play date. It’s super convenient for parents who want a date night, and really fun for kids! Children usually eat pizza, have dessert (gasp!), watch movies, make art, and play with other kids of a similar age. Reserve a space for your child in advance; see all the providers >

Reserve Space In Summer Camp

It’s not too late to plan an amazing summer for your children by reserving a spot in a terrific summer camp. Use our comprehensive Summer Camp Guide to search by city, week, age, and special interests – such as STEM, dance, theater, adventure, or cooking. Don’t miss the Northern California Overnight Camp Guide too!

toddler on beach at low tide
Crab Cove Beach in Alameda | Photo: Julie Herson

Root for the Home Team

Take the kids to a local sporting event this spring. If you prefer baseball, catch an Oakland Athletics game (kids are free on Sundays!). Soccer fans will enjoy cheering for Oakland’s soccer club teams – Roots (men’s) and Soul (women’s) — or our Bay Area professional team, Bay FC. The Oakland Spiders Ultimate Disc team hosts games that are also very family-friendly.

Free & Cheap Family Picks for May

We’ve gathered our favorite free and inexpensive activities in the East Bay to serve as a go-to itinerary when you’re in a pinch. Find more free & cheap events this month >

Plan an outing to one of the world-class museums in the Bay Area. Several offer free admission on select days. Learn more about ways to get into museums for free >

  • May 1: Bay Area Discovery Museum and GLBT Historical Society Museum in San Francisco
  • May 2: BAMPFA in Berkeley and SFMOMA in San Francisco
  • May 3: CuriOdyssey in San Mateo and Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco
  • May 4: Asian Art Museum in San Francisco
  • May 5: Oakland Museum of California
  • May 7: Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco and San Francisco Botanical Garden
  • May 11: Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco
Children molding and creating sculptures with play dough
Children molding and creating sculptures with play dough | Photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum

s p o n s o r

Thanks again to the Bay Area Discovery Museum for sponsoring this May events post. Membership to BADM has its privileges; members get extra discounts and perks throughout May.

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