If you’ve got a crush on a summer prepare to fall in love. Right now, u-pick dahlia season is blooming just outside Santa Cruz and the characters at Children’s Fairyland are dusting off their tents for a magical sleepover. You want more? Watch the movie “Moana” from Angel Island or spend all weekend in a piano-playing garden. If you’re feeling the love, see below for this weekend’s top-rated FOMO happenings.

Photo: Children’s Fairyland


San Francisco

Play a Piano in the City’s Biggest Garden
This summer, music, community, and nature join forces once again in the heart of the city during the twelve-day, outdoor extravaganza known as Flower Piano. Now in its third year, Flower Piano once again transforms San Francisco Botanical Garden (SFBG) into the city’s own alfresco concert hall, and everyone is invited to play and listen. Visitors will find twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within SFBG’s 55 acres and are encouraged to play what they like, from chopsticks to Tchaikovsky. Fri-Sun. Event details. 

Help Build the World’s Largest Human Flower
The Asian Art Museum will attempt to earn the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the largest human flower with LOTUS LIVE, and you can help it bloom! In honor of the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s Summer of Love and the museum’s special exhibition Flower Power, LOTUS LIVE brings together 3,000 members of the community to form a beautiful lotus flower that can be seen from the sky. The Asian Art Museum will be offering all participants free admission to the museum’s Flower Power exhibition, a commemorative photo, a souvenir event poster, and a chance to win great prizes. Sat. Event details.

East Bay

Sleepover at Children’s Fairyland
It’s a campout like never before, with a little touch of magic added for extra special fun. Kiddos will make a run for those sleeping bags in order to attend the magical campout at Children’s Fairyland. Pitch a tents, spend the evening riding the Jolly Trolly at dusk, or enjoying a special performance. The next morning chow on a specially prepared continental breakfast. It’s a truly unique outdoor adventure. Sat. Event details.

Bug Out On Carnivorous Plants
You know what birds and bees eat but what about plants? Well you might be surprised to learn that, yikes, some actually eat the bugs that land on them. Head on out to the Botanical Garden at UC Berkeley and learn all about these wonderful plants. The Venus Fly Trap might ring a bell but there is also many more such as the exotic bladderwort and California native “cobra plant” Darlingtonia californica. Each family takes home a pet plant. Sat. Event details. 

South Bay

Make Friday Night Count (and Jam)
What could be better than sunset, surf and song? The Santa Cruz Boardwalk continues its annual classic beach concerts with shows from Blue Oyster Cult, Gin Blossoms, Great White, Los Lobos and so many more. Stretch out your blanket and watch the kiddos rave. Your tiny dancers are guaranteed to sleep during the car ride home. Fri. Event details. 

Say Peep-Peep to Thomas Today
Everyone’s favorite train has rolled into San Jose and guess what? This cool chugger is hanging out all summer long. You can catch Thomas at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose via Thomas & Friends®: Explore the Rails, an interactive exhibit created by Minnesota Children’s Museum. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by the Island of Sodor’s iconic locations: Knapford Station, Sodor Steamworks and more. In the exhibit, children help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from a simple sorting and shape identification activity to more complex engineering obstacles. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Celebrate Community at the Annual Obon Festival
The Mountain View Buddhist Temple is holding its annual Obon Festival and you’re invited.  This cultural, community event will have a variety of Japanese food, cultural displays, entertainment, and activities for the children. It closes with a colorful celebration of traditional Odori dancing at 7 p.m. Sunday. Sat.-Sun. Event details.


It’s Barn Dance and Work Day at Pie Ranch
Give back and live it up at Pie Ranch in Pescadero! Grab your work gloves, gardening tools if you have them, and sturdy shoes and work on the farm tilling soil, pulling weeds, and cutting plants (at 1 p.m.). At 2 p.m. you can join a farm tour ($12-$20/person) to learn about the agriculture of the 27-acre ranch. Visit with cows, goats, chickens, and pigs, too. Then at 6 p.m. trade your work boots for dancing shoes! Bring a dish to share at the potluck dinner and and kick up your heels at the barn dance that follows featuring the Country Line Pickers. Sat. Event details.

North Bay

Weave Your Way to a Nature Connection
Join members of the Weaving Earth team for a day of deep nature connection at the Martin Griffin Preserve. Engaging with the wonders of the wild landscape, the day is designed to build relationship to nature, remember our place in the web of life and practice mentoring techniques to support a nature-connection community. This event will be hands-on and interactive and is family friendly. Guided by the inherent interrelationship of all life, the Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education (WE) fosters diverse leadership to support the holistic health of people, communities and the planet upon which we all depend. Sat. Event details.

Make Way for “Moana” at Angel Island Movie Night
Sail away to Angel Island for “Moana.”  Watch this beloved story of a brave girl who makes her way across the ocean to save the planet.  Bring a picnic and enjoy crafts, dancing and learn about the Coastal Miwok Indians who once inhabited Angel Island. The movie starts at sundown so dress in layers and bring along a blanket or two. Sat. Event details.

What do you love about summer? Tell us in the comments below!

–Chantal Lamers