Welcome, August! Spend your first weekend of the month meeting all the 4-H animals at the county fair or enjoying free first Friday events from SF to the South Bay. There are loads of family-friendly festivals where you can eat, dance and celebrate summer. Here’s the full scoop!

photo: Santa Clara County Fair

San Francisco

The Commons’ 1st Sundays Block Party
Come for this new family-friendly event featuring recreational activities for all ages, brunch-focused food and beverages from Off the Grid, a DJ and goods from local SF Etsy sellers. The event complements the nearby Heart of the City Farmers’ Market, the Asian Art Museum’s free first Sundays and outdoor Village Artist Corner events. Sun. Event details

Rock Out at Union Square Live
Entice the kids to go shopping and then the whole family can boogie down to salsa, swing and more. The people-watching is at its best here, where tourists (wearing shorts) and locals (wearing sweaters) mix. Top off the day with a huge slice of cheesecake. Sun. Event details

East Bay

$5 First Fridays at Chabot Space & Science Center
Come for hands-on activities and live demonstrations that are fun for the whole family, including DJs, live music, Megadome theater and Planetarium shows, activities for kids and more! Fri. Event details

35th Annual Fremont Festival of the Arts
Art takes over the streets of Fremont with arts and crafts booths, live music on two stages, food trucks, wine, beer and margaritas, gourmet and business marketplace and the always-popular Kid City for the youngest festival-goers. Sat.-Sun. Event details

South Bay

The Santa Clara County Fair
The Santa Clara County Fair is a beloved tradition where the deep agricultural roots of the Santa Clara Valley blend seamlessly with technology showcases of what is now the Silicon Valley! Friends and families of all generations come together to make memories and enjoy the great traditions that only a county fair can provide–like carnival rides, pony rides, petting zoos, lots of delicious fair food and more! Thu.-Sun. Event details


Make a Mini Zoo
Go wild at NUMU! Create a zoo’s worth of animals out of paper rolls and craft shadow box habitats for them to roam in this fun collage activity. Sat. Event details


U-Pick Dahlia Season is in Full Bloom
Aching to eek out all you can of summer? Then take a trip to the The Pescadero Flowery where u-pick dahlias last through October. Among fields popping with more than 75 varieties of these bright and charming blooms is an awesome DIY succulent bar as well as gardening supplies, vases, jars and more. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

First Friday Family Night
Swing into the weekend with music, science, food and fun at CuriOdyssey. Dance to San Francisco soul, funk and jazz of the 60’s and 70’s from Jason Movrich of Big Blu Soul Revue. Purchase dinner from Fletch’s and beer or wine at a cash bar. Come together as a family, meet here, or visit early and stay late to enjoy all the special activities and animal meet-and-greets. Fri. Event details

North Bay

Park it for Free on Measure A Days
Marin County Parks including Blackpoint Boat Launch, McInnis Park, McNears Beach Park, Miller Boat Launch, Paradise Beach Park and Stafford Lake Park are free on the first Saturday of each month thanks to Measure A. These free days will give the whole family a chance to explore each of these beautiful parks all year long. Sat. Event details.

Go Zen with the Kids at the Green Gulch Farm
San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch farm is a beautiful retreat from the hectic city life, and the first Sunday of most months there is a special talk and program just for kids. Crafts, seasonal projects on the farm and garden, yoga and ritual. Please check in before the program at the table near the southwest side of the zendo. Sun. Event details.

—Kate Loweth