Clear your calendars! The spring is full of family-friendly festivals from Sunol to San Francisco to Salinas. Cherry blossoms, bicycles, winged animals, kites and more—even a festival that’s devoted entirely to kids—there’s a celebration for everything this spring and we’ve gathered them all up to make your job just a bit easier.

Photo: Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

April

2017 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival – San Francisco
Now celebrating its 50th year, this festival welcomes over 200,000 people to see the dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture. The festival will be held on the borders of Laguna and Fillmore Streets and Bush and Geary Streets. There will be food booths, Japanese & Japanese American cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. The Grand Parade will be held on Sunday, April 16 at 1 p.m., beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown.

Dates: April 8-9, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 15, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; April 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: San Francisco Japantown, 1610 Geary Blvd , San Francisco, Ca
Online: sfcherryblossom.org

Fantasy Faire – San Jose
Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, fairy godmothers, ogres, pirates, trolls and dragons descend on Downtown San Jose for a weekend of fantasy magic. Kids will love the educational shows, performances and demonstrations throughout the day as well as costume contests and games.

Dates: April 8-9. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $15 adults, $12 ages 13-17, $8 ages 6-12, under 6 free.
Location: Discovery Meadow Park, 180 Woz Way , San Jose, Ca
Online: sjfantasy.com

Sunol Spring Wildflower Festival – Sunol
Celebrate the season of birds, bees, flowers and trees with crafts, music and nature activities! Pack a lunch and explore this colorful wilderness on hikes planned for different ages, distances and topics.

Date: April 9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free, $5 parking
Location: Sunol Regional Wilderness, 1895 Geary Road , Sunol, Ca
Online: ebparks.org

Photo courtesy of Sea Otter Classic

Sea Otter Classic – Salinas
This celebration of cycling includes bounce houses, kids races, daily egg hunts and an inaugural race on the famed Laguna Seca Racetrack. A food court and BMX stunt shows will keep the kids busy while you see what’s new in the world of cycling.

Dates: April 20-23, Thu.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $20/day, kids 12 and under are free
Location: Laguna Seca Raceway, 1021 Monterey Salinas Highway , Salinas, Ca
Online: seaotterclassic.com

Parents Place Family Fun Day – Palo Alto
Bounce around in the toddler fun zone, rock out to live music and sample delicious treats from food vendors. Meet the Parents Place team of parenting experts, engage in games and activities provided by community partners and drop in to one of the mini-workshops on everything from mindfulness to tantrums while the kids enjoy the playroom.

Date: April 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: Koret Family Resource Center, 200 Channing Ave , Palo Alto. Online:
Onlineeventbrite.com

Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show – Half Moon Bay
A car show, air show, motorcycle show, tractor show, maker fair, music festival, food festival and living history festival all rolled into one. The kids will be enthralled by the skydiving performances and monster truck rides.

Date: April 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $25, kids 10 and under are free
Location: Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 N. Cabrillo Highway , Half Moon Bay, Ca
Onlinedreammachines.miramarevents.com

 

Photo of Wingding Family Festival by Jack Gescheidt

May

Children’s Day Festival – San Francisco
This year marks the 25th annual Children’s Day Festival, so bring out the whole family for a fun day in Japantown! Participate in cultural arts and crafts activities, bounce houses, games and prizes for the kids.

Date: May 6, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: Japantown’s Peace Plaza, 1610 Geary St. , San Francisco, Ca
Onlinejcccnc.org

Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival and Bicycle Show – San Jose
Join in this day celebrating cycling and its history. Festival includes food trucks, craft beer for the parents, a Kids’ Space, thrilling BMX stunt riding shows, music, historical exhibitions, free valet bicycle parking and a spectacular bicycle show that attracts custom, vintage, cruiser and lowrider builders and collectors.

Date: May 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $5, kids 5 and under free
Location: History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose, Ca
Online: siliconvalleybikesfestival.org

Touch-a-Truck Day – Sunnyvale
If your tot is truck-obsessed then this is the place for you. They will be able to climb aboard trucks and cars of all shapes and sizes including a fire truck and a bobcat. Everyone will enjoy noshing on the food truck snacks and spending some time at the crafts station.

Date: May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $20 per family
Location: Fremont Union School District Parking Lot, 589 W. Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale, Ca

Photo courtesy of Maker Faire

Maker Faire – San Mateo
This 12th annual event showcases creative and resourceful people in the areas of science and technology, engineering, food and arts and crafts. Mini makers will enjoy performances, hands-on activity stations and inspiration from tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and more!

Dates: May 19-21
Cost: $35 adults, $25 kids, 3 and under free
Location: San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive , San Mateo, Ca
Online: makerfaire.com

Wingding Family Fest – Los Altos
Come for a day of adventure, science, birding, hiking and discovery. Learn about all sorts of local winged creatures like birds, insects and bats. Kids will love learning to geocache and searching nearby trails for bird-themed treasures. Also, meet animal ambassadors up close and learn how to protect them in the wild.

Date: May 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: Skyline Ridge Preserve, Los Altos, Ca
Online: openspace.org

Maifest – Mill Valley
Celebrate this German/Austrian cultural fest with a Maypole, authentic foods and beer, music, folk dancing and children’s games.

Date: May 21, 12-6 p.m.
Cost: $20 adults, kids free
Location: San Francisco Tourist Club, 30 Ridge Ave., Mill Valley
Online: touristclubsf.org

Photo courtesy of KidFest

Bay Area KidFest – Concord
Looking for a fun way to spend Memorial Day weekend? Head over to Concord where it’s Kid Fest time! Puppets, singers, martial artists and even your favorite TV characters will be there to entertain all weekend. Carnival rides will get you spinning.

Dates: May 27-29, Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $7 per person ages 2 and over ($1 off with donation of canned good)
Location: Mount Diablo High School, 2450 Grant St., Concord
Online: kidfestconcord.com

Carnaval – San Francisco
Join in with the more than 400,000 people who are expected to attend this event that includes dancing, drumming, live music, brilliant costumes, delicious food and artistry. The grand parade is Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and begins at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets, then proceeds west to Mission Street, heads north on Mission to 17th Street, turns east on 17th Street and concludes at South Van Ness Avenue. Watch a brilliant procession of contingents, most of which will feature beautifully adorned floats depicting rich multicultural themes and featuring performers who engage and entertain the crowds.

Dates: May 27-28
Cost: Free
Location: Harrison Street between 16th and 24th streets, San Francisco.
Onlinecarnavalsanfrancisco.org

San Ramon Art & Wind Festival – San Ramon
Kites are the main attraction of this event along with artists’ booths and hands-on activities for all ages. See talented musicians and dancers on multiple stages, grab a bite to eat and check out the kids zone with rides and other fun.

Dates: May 28-29, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd. , San Ramon, Ca
Online: artandwind.com

Where will you spend your spring? Let us know your favorite spring festival below!

–Kate Loweth