Aw, it’s that time of year again! The leaves may still be green, but there’s a hint of autumn in the wind. Suddenly everyone is up and out of the house by 8:00 am. Now is the perfect time to enjoy this exciting and bustling back to school time before your family inevitably settles back into a groove again. We’ve compiled 20 super fun and very easy ideas for easing back into the academic grind. Embrace the end of summer, and make the most out of back-to-school time!

School Essentials
1. So many plastic baggies, paper bags, aluminum foil, and cellophane go into wrapping up the kid’s healthy and yummy lunches. Check out these cool “green” lunchbox and packable ideas.

2. Here’s a great round-up of chic, goofy, and tot approved planet-friendly school essentials.

3. Move over Crayola! Check out these sweet, eco-conscious art supplies, for your budding Pollack.

4. Are you tired of snatching “non toxic” crayons and pencils out of unsuspecting mouths? Check out Glob Natural Blends goods. They are safe to create with and slobber on.

5. Looking to get all of your back-to-school shopping done in one place? Consider a quick trip to Concord to the Sunvalley Shopping Center.

6. If you’re feeling totally stuck on what to make for dinner, try whipping up Better-than-McDonald’s Chicken NuggetsSuper Sloppy Joes, or Easy Carne Asada tacos on a night when you’re feeling less than inspired.

7. Or, check out which restaurants in the Bay Area lets Kids Eat for Free.

8. It’s still the season for Farmer’s Markets. Make the most of area markets before all of the delicious summer produce ends. Perfect for lunches to go!

9. Off the Grid, offers a different kind of dinner idea. It’s a collection of SF street carts and vendors selling delicious foodstuffs from all over the world. Strap the little ones into backpacks or slings, and throw on some comfy walkin’ shoes, and forgo the oven for a night.

10. Looking for easy-to-pack lunches? Try one of the inspired lunchbox ideas in Beyond the Boring Sandwich or Five Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas.

11. Don’t forget the most important meal off the day, get breakfast off to a great start with an easy crockpot breakfast, yummy egg nests or quick & easy breakfast recipes.

Get out there and celebrate the last drops of summer.

12. The Giants are world champs. What other excuse do you need to pack up the family, and hit up a ball game before the season ends?

13. Get the kids out of the house and romping around outside! Wander around Chinatown’s Streetfest or go on a discovery walk in the Presidio. If you’re across the Bay, check out Last Sundays Fest on Telegraph, or there’s always the Sausalito Art Festival.
Check out our calendar for a full list of tot-friendly happenings.

14. Sundays are Family Days at the MoMA. Admission is FREE for kiddos under 12!

15. Summer is coming to an end, and that is the perfect excuse for an San Francisco staycation.

16. Or, if you’re looking for a last minute escape from the concrete jungle, check out these great weekend camping ideas.

17. One of the last festivals of the summer is a doozy and so worth the trip, the Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival.

18. Find a new favorite indoor cafe where the kids can do homework while you read the paper.

19. Can you say ‘road trip’? Check out one one of these 15 Easy Day Trips from San Francisco.

20. Just because summer is winding down, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy 78 Things to Do with Kids in the Bay Area. Have far have you made it through the list?

Let us know what your family is doing to kick off this year!

– Simone Yingst