It’s a wild and wonderful weekend in the Bay Area, with signature events like Bay to Breakers you can recycle those Halloween costumes (again).  From a play on the top of a mountain to a marsh to get muddy in, here’s our list of top picks for getting your fun on with the whole gang.

bay to breakers runners via Flickr KevedPhoto credit: Kevin Edwards via Flickr Creative Commons

San Francisco

The Fifth String: Ziryab’s Passage to Cordoba
This family-friendly production full of live music and tells the tale of ninth century Iraqi musical genius Ziryab. Kids will love the vibrant costumes and beautiful music. Fri., Sat., & Sun., 8 – 9:30 p.m. San Francisco. $20/advance; $22/at door; children 12 and under are free. 5 and up. Event details.

Re-Opening of the Creativity Carousel
After extensive restoration and repairs the beautiful carousel hand carved in 1906 by Charles Looff, will be ready for rides. Come join the menagerie with free rides for all ages. Then be sure and head into the museum for a day of absolute fun! Sat., 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. San Francisco. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Walk to Cure Arthritis
The 2014 Walk to Cure Arthritis raises funds and awareness to fight the nation’s leading cause of disability.  This family-friendly walk is perfect for toddlers as well as teens, and you can even bring your dog. Two courses are offered, a 3-mile and a 1-mile. The event is free, but please register in advance here. Sat., 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. San Francisco. Free. All Ages. Event details.

102nd Annual Bay to Breakers
This outrageously costumed affair is a San Francisco tradition, and kids will love the bright colored costumes and centipedes: groups of registered racers in a themed, connected costume. Parents with kids should aim to start on the earlier side, as the crowd can get more raucous as day wears on. And be in the know: this is San Francisco so there is a 99% chance there will be at least one nude runner. If being in the race feels too hectic for your little ones, find a spot along the route and watch for bunnies, unicorns, life-sized crayons, and lots of balloons.  Costumes encouraged. Sun., 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. San Francisco. Race registration is $59/adult; 29.50/child; children 2 and under are free. All Ages. Event details.

East Bay

May Messiness at the Hayward Shoreline
Head to the Hayward Shoreline to let your toddler play with mud! Squish and explore our muddy marsh, along with some other messy play. Parents, please pack an extra set of clothes and rain boots! Fri., 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. Hayward. $5. 1-3. Event details.

ADVERTISEMENT

4C’s Children’s Faire
Join the Community Child Care Council (4C’s) of Alameda County for the 12th Annual Children’s Faire. Health, nutrition, child care assistance, library services, and more community services plus lots of entertainment including music, dancing, puppet shows, and even a special appearance by Elmo. A free book for every child in attendance. Sat., 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Hayward. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Step One School’s Family Fun Day
Bring your little ones to a day full of giant bubbles, a prize walk, painting pots, nature weaving zone, and a Gak exploration zone, plus lots more games, projects and live music. Sun., 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Berkeley. Free. 2-5. Event details. 

Orange Sherbet Family Jam
Join Orange Sherbet for some tasty tunes and bring your instruments for a family jam! Fun for all ages, and a benefit for Monkey Business Camp. Sun., 3 – 4:30 p.m. Berkeley. $6/adult; $4/child. All Ages. Event details.

South Bay/Peninsula

The Peninsula Youth Theatre presents The Stinky Cheese Man
Take the family out for a hilarious performance of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Stories, including Chicken Little, The Princess and the Bowling Ball, and The Really Ugly Duckling, starring kid members of the Peninsula Youth Theatre. Fri., 9:30 & 11:30 a.m., and Sat., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Mountain View. $10. All Ages. Event details.

Kidical Mass
Not quite San Francisco’s famed Critical Mass, this much mellower version is designed for families to go on a fun, festive, public ride. This three mile ride’s theme is Bike to Shop, and takes you on a ride from the Mountain View Public Library where bike-loving librarians will have a tent full of surprise giveaways, then on to Diddams, a local shop that features lots of little things for kids to love. Each kid will get free stickers, and you can bring $2/child to buy something special. And then finally end the ride getting ice cream ($3) at Ava’s Downtown Market and Deli. Ride on! Sat., 10 a.m. Mountain View. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Race for Literacy
Enjoy the beautiful late spring weather and the beauty of Vasona Park with your family, get some exercise, and support the India Literacy Project. You can do a 5k/10k run, or just a leisurely 5k walk along the bay. All participants will receive a hearty Indian breakfast, and a complimentary t-shirt. There will also be a kids entertainment, a painting station, and separate races for the tots! Diehards can do the half marathon (individuals only). Sun., 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Los Gatos. $25/adult; $55/family of 3; $60/family of 4. All Ages. Event details.

Folk Concert with the Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra
This local orchestra presents The Concert of Folk Tunes, including Snow Goose Flying South and the Herdsmen’s Song, all performed by some of the most talented kids in the South Bay. Sat., 2:30 p.m. San Jose. $25-$100. All Ages. Event details.

Marin County

Night Hike on Mount Burdell
Join rangers for an evening of fun around the campfire. A short hike, stories, sing-a-longs, and a talk about the area’s history. And of course, s’mores! Please bring warm clothes and a flashlight. Sat., 7 – 9 p.m. Novato. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Mountain Play presents South Pacific
Mountain Play Association’s 101st season begins this weekend with Kids and Family day. Hike, bike, bus, or drive up the mountain with your pick-a-nick basket in tow for a lively performance of South Pacific. Spread out your blanket and enjoy the show, with a pre-show before each performance as well as puppet shows at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to entertain the kiddos. Yummy food and drink for sale. Parking is limited on the Mountain but you can park at one of two designated lots and take the bus with all the other fun-lovers. And this weekend the performance is free for kids 0-13! Sun., 2 p.m. Mount Tam/Mill Valley. $20-$60; free for children 0-13 (this weekend only, all other shows are free for kids 3 and under). All Ages. Event details.

McInnis Skate Jam
The annual McInnis Park Skateboard Competition is on again for ages and abilities! Enjoy some old-skool moves, food, music, and lots of tricks! Registration for the competition begins at 11 a.m. Sun., 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. San Rafael. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Young Artists Concert
Join The Marin Music Chest and the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society for their Young Artists Concert which features five talented young Marin County musicians performing classical pieces. Sun., 5 p.m. Mill Valley. Free. All Ages. Event details.

What’s on your family calendar this weekend? A concert? A run? Let us know in the comments below!

— Amber Guetebier