These days, a trip to the movie theater for a family of four costs an average of $60. We’d like to suggest you swap out a night at the cinema for some extra-special outdoor fun—and at a fraction of the cost, to boot. We’ve rounded up 6 activities that won’t break the bank, but promise a memorable day for the whole family, from berry picking to a kid-friendly walking tour to a day of exploring with Curious George. But just like opening night at Harry Potter, these hot tickets will go quickly, so get yours today—Andrew Jackson would be happy to be traded for one of these totally awesome events.
Photo: Michael Bently via Flickr
Go Berry Picking on an Organic Farm
Don’t let your kiddos think that berries are born inside those little clear plastic containers. Join Red Tricycle at Webb Ranch, an organic berry farm in the South Bay, for an exclusive day of berry picking before the farm officially opens for the season. Add to the day a lively kids band and sunshine and you’re guaranteed to have a berry, berry good time. This all-ages family outing features an exclusive day of berry picking before Webb Ranch opens to the public, not to mention a bounce house, live music and plenty of kiddie lawn games. $10 gets you a 3-pack or containers to fill up with blackberries, olallieberries, raspberries and boysenberries!
Saturday, June 6, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
2720 Alpine Rd.
Portola Valley, Ca
Cost: $10/person; children 3 and under are free.
Adam Sharron via Flickr
Go for a Guided Hike in the Presidio
Escape to the woods without ever leaving the city: This kid-friendly (and stroller friendly) guided hike will start at Fort Scott and end at Crissy Field’s Warming Hut Cafe. The Red Tricycle team has arranged this day out exploring the forests, complete with a scavenger hunt, snacks and a nature-inspired craft activity. Enjoy soaring vistas, search the skies for hawks, discover native blossoms and immerse yourself in nature without ever leaving the city.
Sat., May 16, 10 a.m.-noon
The Presidio of SF
Fort Winfield Scott to Crissy Field
Cost: $10/hiker; children ages 2 and under are free.
Photo: Matt Farrugio
Bring the kids to a Bubble Show
Hanging in the park with the kids and a jar of bubbles always guarantees an afternoon of giggles. Turn up the fun factor by letting a pro handle the wand, and spend a Sunday afternoon with the Amazing Bubble Man in Alameda. You’re guaranteed to see something unbelieva-bubble: from trumpets to centipedes, spaceships to volcanos, this show will have the kids (and you) gasping, laughing, and clapping for more. There will also be live music by accordion band Jet Black Pearl.
Sunday, May 17, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Rhythmix Cultural Works
2513 Blanding Ave.
Cost: $15/adult; $10/child
Pan for Gold at OMCA
We live in the Golden State but how often have you ever panned for the shiny stuff? On May 17, the Gold Panning Hoedown takes over the museum gardens at OMCA. Pan for gold (and keep what you find!) and indulge in local lemonade, beer, wine and whisky. Join in a square dancing lesson, make your own bandanna and enjoy live music from Evie Ladin and the Stairwell Sisters. And of course, don’t forget to go inside and check out the exhibitions! $20 ($10 for kids) gets you all this—a steal considering you may walk out with your own gold nugget! Tickets for this event are limited, so pocket yours before they are gone.
Sunday, May 17, 2015, noon–3 p.m.
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St.
Cost: $20/adults; $10/children 4 and up.Children 3 and under are free.
Photo: David McSpadden via Flickr Creative Commons
Take a Family-Friendly Walking Tour of the Mission
With a toddler-in-tow and a stroller to push, going on a guided walk in the Mission might seem more like Mission Impossible. But with Wild SF Walking Tours your whole crew can take in the beauty and history of one of SF’s sunniest and most colorful ‘hoods alongside other urban-adventuring families, and be home by lunch (or nap time). Bonus: the tour starts and ends at two of SF’s finest playgrounds, so it’s really a win-win for the family.
Sunday, June 14, 10-11 a.m.
Meet at the Golden Fire Hydrant on 20th and Dolores St.
(Top of Dolores Park)
San Francisco, Ca
Cost: $15/person. Anyone 3 and up must have a ticket; children 2 and under are free. Strollers and baby carriers welcome.
Spend the Day with Curious George at the BADM
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a treat any day of the week, but this special event ups the ante—Curious George will be on hand to hang out with the kiddies, and there will be extra cool activities all day and well into the evening (the museum will be open until 7:30 on this special night). Enjoy interactive performances, storytimes, dancing, live music, art classes and more. Join the kids as they dance, explore, create, make a mess, and laugh out loud, all day long.
Friday, August 21, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
557 McReynolds Rd.
Cost: $12/person 1 yr. and older. $11/babies 6 mos.-1 year. Babies under 6 mos. are free.
Are you and the family planning on attending one of these events? Let us know in the comments below!