We love to build, test, and refine our Bay Area Staycation Guide. If your favorite place didn’t make the list, please share it in the comments.
My family loves to “staycation”. Sleep in our own beds and enjoy the stuff that makes the Bay Area magic? Yes, please! We like to build our day around mini adventures when school is out. Are you sticking around for closer to home this year? How many of these day trips and adventures for grade school-age children can you squeeze into your Bay Area staycation?
Ropes course challenges. Quarry Park is worth the drive for children over the age of ten, capable of climbing, swinging, and hanging around.
Hike among the redwoods. Some of the country’s tallest trees live right here in the Bay Area. Whether you venture up to Muir Woods or get lost in Redwood Regional Park, hug a tree for all of us.
Ride horses in Point Reyes. Ride horses on the ranch half a mile north of Point Reyes Station looking over Tomales Bay and Point Reyes National Seashore. $70 per hour per person or $95 for 90 minutes (includes a beginner’s lesson). For ages 6+ More info on Trip Advisor >>
See the Bay from Angel Island. Hop on a ferry, cruise around on bikes or feet, ride a tram when you’re getting weary. Angel Island has a ton to offer.
Wander outside & explore inside. Wander Woods at Cal Academy offers engaging activities—including water play with Riveropolis, art projects, plus beehive and insect investigation, puppet shows, and nature storytime.
Brunch and more. A daytrip to Mission Ranch in Carmel for Sunday brunch so the kids can enjoy sheep-watching. Fresh air, yummy food, and sheep grazing in the pasture — what could be better?!
Hit Alcatraz. Go where the tourists go. My kids rated this adventure as “better than expected” because it included a cool ferry trip, running on an island, and exploring real-life prison cells. Take your kids to Alcatraz. (Book now!)
Afternoon baseball game: Check the A’s or Giants’ schedules to see who’s got a game before bedtime. Opening Day is early April this year.
Venture out to Safari West for a special look at wild animals. Pretend you’re in Africa. (Call today for a reservation.)
Go on a miniature exploration. Did you know that there are adorable gnomes hiding out in Oakland? Or a fairy village at Little Point Richmond? And rustic trolls in an Oakland woodland? You and your children will adore these special urban hikes.
Go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Playing in the water makes it a vacation! Check out some of the lakes, shores, and beaches that cater to water sports in the Bay Area. We like these local places for SUP.
Stomp in the creeks. Stick closer to home with a morning romp in an East Bay creek and ice cream treats for dessert. Here are five creeks we love for little kids.
Stay up late for stargazing. You don’t need a telescope to see the Milky Way. Summer is a great time to seek it out, mostly because it’s warm at night. Stargazing can also be very exciting when your kids get to stay up past bedtimes and drive a bit to escape the nearby light pollution. Our Guide to Stargazing With Kids & Seeking Out the Elusive Milky Way >>