What’s better than you and your kiddos cozying up to a stack of new books? Using the pages as your blueprints to some awesome real-life adventures! We’ve paired up a collection of new children’s titles by local authors and illustrators with nearby activities for you and your family, ripped right from the stories.

This month, we went straight to the good stuff: fun and games. We’ve matched each book, which features kids playing, creating, imagining, and building, with a parallel outing. From taking in a flick at an old-timey movie house to digging a hole to China, these adventures speak to the child in all of us.

Catch a Flick!

Read this:  Ivy and Bean Take the Case, by Annie Barrows. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. In the tenth installment of this popular chapter book series, the dynamic duo is inspired by watching a classic film noir to hang out a private detective shingle of their own. Although simple sentence structure and frequent illustrations make this a good choice for beginning readers, kids will also enjoy having it read aloud.

Then do this:  Are you an old film buff? Bring your kids into the fold with a Saturday morning viewing at the classic Balboa Theater in San Francisco. Bucking the trend of neighborhood theaters closing, the Balboa has managed to stay in business by offering creative programs, such as its kid-friendly matinee Popcorn Palace. $10 buys you a ticket, popcorn, and drink. Movie choices tend toward '80s classics like E.T. and The Princess Bride.

3630 Balboa St.
San Francisco, CA
415-221-8184
Online: cinemasf.com/balboa/pocorn-palace/

Do you have any other suggestions pairing great books with real-world fun? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Emma Bland Smith