Ice cream, camp-outs, sunscreen, art, s'mores, swimming, outdoor movies, hiking, a few places with air conditioning, a little bit of everything — sounds like a summer vacation! Thanks to Piedmont Recreation Department for sponsoring this year's guide to an epic summer.
Never run out of family fun ideas with our 99 destinations for summer fun! We have selected one fun Bay Area outing for each day between Memorial Day through Labor Day. Whether you like to add them to your calendar right now (go on, we fact-checked*), print it, bookmark this page for inspiration, we hope you'll find plenty of things to do in the East Bay — and beyond! — this summer.
Week Beginning Monday, May 29
5/29 Zip-line, hamster ball, or funnel cake around Concord's KidFest (all long weekend!).
5/30 FREE: Hike along the beautiful trails and grounds of Mills College in Oakland.
5/31 CHEAP: Bowl for free but pay for shoes & air hockey with Kids Bowl Free program (register first).
6/1 FREE: Visit the library and sign up for games and prizes.
6/2 CHEAP: $5 First Fridays at Chabot Space & Science Center.
6/3 Celebrate the dinosaurs among us at Raptor Power Day.
6/4 FREE: Bay Area Book Festival (6/3-4).
Week Beginning Monday, June 5
6/5 Bounce and flip at the trampoline park of your choice.
6/6 DEAL: $10 for 2 games of laser tag at Q-Zar.
6/7 CHEAP: Join the Ukulele sing- and play-along.
6/8 Play day-glo mini golf, indoor arcade games, and explore the jungle gym at Lost Worlds.
6/9 FREE: See Sing under the stars in Piedmont.
6/10 FREE: Dig at the annual Sandcastle + Sculpture Contest in Alameda.
6/11 Meander around Temescal Street Fair in the kid-centric zones of fun.
Week Beginning Monday, June 12
6/12 CHEAP THRILL: Go fishing at Lake Temescal.
6/13 BART to Orinda for a day out in a new place.
6/14 CHEAP DATE: See LEGO Batman for only a $1 a ticket.
6/15 FREE: BAMPFA visits are free for one child & accompanying adult.
6/16 FREE: Outdoor movie Pete's Dragon is playing at Redwood Heights.
6/17 Batten down the hatches at the annual Pirate Festival in Vallejo (6/17-18)
6/18 Do something special for Dad on Father's Day.
Week Beginning Monday, June 19
6/19 Bounce out your ennui at Pump It Up Open Jump.
6/20 Surprise your family with an overnight trip to Sacramento (trains, capitol, water parks!)
6/21 FREE: Ride the dirt obstacles at the Pleasanton BMX Park.
6/22 CHEAP DATE: Claim your $5 A's Game tickets before they're gone.
6/23 FREE: See Secret Life of Pets under the stars in Alameda
6/24 CHEAP: Take a guided Scorpion Hike on Mount Diablo
6/25 Eat a bunch of special treats on the Rockridge Ice Cream Tour (now most weekends!)
Week Beginning Monday, June 26
6/26 CHEAP THRILL: Take the ferry to explore San Francisco’s Ferry Building.
6/27 Drop in to Taro's for origami folding (11 to 6).
6/28 Tour a fun factory with your kiddo and learn something new.
6/29 Play all day at the Marin County Fair.
6/30 Visit Jumpity Bumpity's clean indoor play space for kids of all sizes.
7/1 Play water games and eat BBQ at the King Pool Carnival.
7/2 FREE: Visit Oakland Museum of California.
Week Beginning Monday, July 3
7/3 Visit the Monterey Aquarium by day and go glamping by night.
7/4 Go to the Piedmont Parade (starts at 11am) or choose another Independence Day event.
7/5 SAVE a bundle at the Alameda County Fair.
7/6 FREE: Climb the hill & pick blackberries at the top of the Wildcat Canyon Regional Park’s Beligum trailhead.
7/7 Imagine yourself in the clouds at the Oakland Aviation Museum (Wed-Sun).
7/8 CHEAP: Cereal Cinema at the New Parkway: cartoons and cereal bar on a Saturday morning!
7/9 CHEAP THRILL: Hike to West Point Inn for pancakes and 360-degree views of the Bay! (cash only)
Week Beginning Monday, July 10
7/10 FREE: Grab a walking stick to hike the UC Berkeley fire trails.
7/11 CHEAP: Choose a $1 or $2 kids movie.
7/12 Play at the epic Heather Farms playground and swimming pool with inflatable structures. OMG.
7/13 CHEAP: Run around Live Oak Park before hitting the farmers market for an easy dinner.
7/14 See Circus Bella at Bites off Broadway for acrobatics and street food.
7/15 Cheer on the SF Flamethrowers vs The Seattle Cascades.
7/16 Swing over to see Tarzan at Berkeley Playhouse (lots of summer dates). (Discounted tickets here >)
Week Beginning Monday, July 17
7/17 Enjoy the scene at Cornerstone Sonoma or Larson Family for wine without whining.
7/18 CHEAP: Take the ferry to Angel Island for a hike and more.
7/19 CHEAP: Chuck your smart phone and be a pioneer at Ardenwood Farms.
7/20 Splash, slide, and spray at your favorite Bay Area water park.
7/21 CHEAP: Dive-in movie is Moana in Emeryville – hope it's warm!
7/22 FREE: Come down your family to take out a boat on Lake Merritt for free.
7/23 Spin on the best indoor bumper cars with all you can eat pizza.
Week Beginning Monday, July 24
7/24 FREE: Stay up late for an outdoor movie.
7/25 Climb around the wind-hollowed caves and giant rocks at Rock City on Mt. Diablo.
7/26 Ping and pong at iTable Tennis Club with a stop at Casper’s for hot dogs after.
7/27 Day trip to Gilroy Gardens for summer fun.
7/28 Go full tilt on pinball and old-school arcade games at the Pacific Pinball Museum.
7/29 Let's go fly a kite! Berkeley Kite Festival is all weekend.
7/30 FREE: Try your luck at lawn bowling in Berkeley (lessons weekend mornings)
Week Beginning Monday, July 31
7/31 DAY TRIP: Point Reyes Station with stops at Bovine Bakery and Point Reyes Books.
8/1 DEAL: Visit the madness and magic of Plank at Jack London Square on a weekday to save.
8/2 FREE: Wander the UC Botanical Garden today!
8/3 Follow secret stairs to an abandoned clubhouse at this gem of a park.
8/4 FREE: Ride bikes across the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island.
8/5 Find something creepy-crawly at the East Bay Vivarium before ice cream at 3 Twins.
8/6 CHEAP: See Shakespeare or Space Wars, the play. What?
Week Beginning Monday, August 7
8/7 FREE: Skateboard & scooter around the East Bay skate parks.
8/8 Hit a bucket of balls at the Wheelhouse batting cages.
8/9 FREE: Roller skate for free Antioch’s Paradise Skate (register first).
8/10 FREE: Go plane-spotting at Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, across from the Oakland Airport!
8/11 CHEAP FUN: Piedmont's Summer Pool Party starts at noon with games & snacks. Find out about pool passes.
8/12 Marvel Universe LIVE! is in Oakland.
8/13 DAY TRIP: Gravenstein Apple Fair for pie, live music, and room to run.
Week Beginning Monday, August 14
8/14 FREE: Add mystery to your neighborhood walks with geocaching.
8/15 Splash around pedal boats at Lake Merritt with popcorn afterward.
8/16 CHEAP THRILL: Head to the top of the Campanile before a treat at Menchie's.
8/17 Get silly at Scandia with mini golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and laser tag!
8/18 See unexpected animals while riding in a rugged open-air jeep at Safari West.
8/19 Take BART to the kid’s zone of the Oakland Art + Soul Fest (8/19-20).
8/20 CHEAP DATE: Become a Jedi master in a class that’s part swordplay and part yoga.
Week Beginning Monday, August 21
8/21 Head to the Cal campus for Caltopia (Sunday and Monday)
8/22 Go wild at Mel's Play Place.
8/23 Hunt for bison and run around Golden Gate Park’s fab playground afterward.
8/24 Swim at the Contra Loma Lagoon.
8/25 Complete in the NorCal Kids triathlon in Orinda (ages 6 to 14).
8/26 Make time for one last camping trip before school starts.
8/27 FREE: Sailing out on the Bay with Cal Sailing.
Come to the ULTIMATE PLAYDATE! Join the party at Piedmont Schoolmates for some summertime fun in the sun! Enjoy arts & crafts, outdoor sports, schoolyard games, cooking, environmental enrichment, swimming, and much more. Drop in for as many hours as you need.
Week Beginning Monday, August 28
8/28 Try indoor skydiving with the kids at iFly (ages 3 to 103).
8/29 CHEAP: Brrr. Glide around the rink at Tuesday Night Cheap Skate at Oakland Ice.
8/30 FREE: Explore the old dynamite factory ruins, rocky beach, and watch for trains at Point Pinole Regional Park.
8/31 Catch Beauty & the Beast at Woodminster Theater (check our Deals page for discounts on tickets)
9/1 Put on a costume and go to SF Comic Con. Kids under 12 are FREE! (9/1-3)
9/2 BYO shade to Lake Anza for swimming.
9/3 Canoe away the long weekend with Burke's Canoes.
Labor Day Monday, September 4
9/4 CHEAP: Say goodbye to Summer at a favorite Bay Area beach. (Sniff, see you next summer!)
Love our list? Print it! Share it! Tell your friends!
* We fact-checked and cross-checked all of these listings but always encourage you to check again before packing up a carload of children and snacks for Summer Fun because stuff happens, especially when you've driven an hour to get there!
All recommendations were made by Heather and Whitney with help from our friends.
Sponsored by Piedmont Recreation Department, where there's always a camp, a playdate, or a pool party!
[Photos: Piedmont swim photos by Piedmont Recreation Department; Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, SF Ferry Building, and Berkeley Kite Festival by Anna Azimi; Canoes at Burke's, Alameda County Fair, and swim inflatables by Whitney Moss; mini golf at Scandia by Heather Flett]