When’s the last time you took your kids to the cemetery for a party? Or let them climb at will on construction vehicles? This weekend offers a showcase of diverse, totally Bay Area events that will make your little ones as happy as can be. Here’s our top picks for a weekend jam-packed with fun.


Photo credit: Open Gate Nursery School

San Francisco

Native Plants and Peoples at SF Botanical Garden
Enjoy the blazing colors of wildflowers in the Garden of California Native Plants and check out examples of native crafts, baskets, and tule toys. Kids can grind acorn flour and make tule twine and elderberry rattles. Enjoy a mini tour of the the garden. And then head over to the Children’s Garden to make a cattail bracelet, decorate a redwood windsock, help plant natives, and enjoy demos of native plant uses. Sat., 1 – 4 p.m. San Francisco. Free for all SF residents; $7/adults; $5/child 12-17; $2/child 5-11; children 4 and under are free. 3 and up. Event details.

San Francisco Bagpipe Festival
Expose your kids to the magic of bagpipe music from around the world at this one-of-a-kind festival. Drone Magic features pipers performing songs from Ireland, Spain, Bulgaria, Northumberland, Scotland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Hungary. Nosh on Ethnic Bulgarian food for sale by Hristo Kolev and any would-be pipers, bring your instruments. You get in free if you play a song at the door! Sun., 2 – 6 p.m. San Francisco. $15/adults. Children are free. All Ages. Event details.

Drop-In Art Making at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
The CJM is offering two workshops for kids today. From 1-3 p.m., inspired by the exhibition Arthur Szyk and the Art of the Haggadah, kids can transform English, Hebrew, and other letters into their own illuminated story page using calligraphy tools and colorful inks. And from 2:30-4:30, there will be a DIY Haggadah workshop for to help you create a one-of-a-kind Haggadah for your Passover Seder. Participants can also receive a copy of My Haggadah: Made it Myself, by Francine Hermelin Levite at a special price. Sun., 1 – 4:30 p.m. San Francisco. $5/adults; 18 and under are free. 4 and up. Event details.

East Bay

Circo Comedia
It’s wild and wacky showtime! With signature style and a delightfully funny flair, Circo Comedia treats audiences to unpredictable thrills, side-splitting comedy and daredevil stunts. Get ready for dazzling feats of juggling, cycling, roller skating, acrobatics and magic all rolled into one! Sun., 2 – 4 p.m. Livermore. $30/adults; $15/child. All Ages. Event details.

The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company Presents Impact
Featuring a cast of 42 talented youth ages 9 to 18 this dynamic show is a combo of hip-hop, modern and aerial dance, theater, spoken word, rap and song, accompanied by powerful video backdrop art. This year’s production takes you on a journey into the lives and issues of today’s generation, with humor and wit. Kids will love the high energy moves, and parents will be moved by the energy and message. Fri. & Sat., 7 p.m. Oakland. $13-$30/adults (sliding scale) $7/children 18 and under. All Ages. Event details.

Albany Preschool Spring Fair
Hop over to Albany for the Albany Preschool Spring Fair for an egg hunt, games, a huge cardboard maze, face-painting, arts and crafts, amazing food, storytelling, dancing, live music, and yummy bakesale goodies!  And be sure and get there early to watch the Bunny arrive via firetruck! Sat., 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Albany. .50 cents per ticket, packages available. All Ages. Event details.

South Bay/Peninsula

The Wizard of Oz
Bring your little ones of all ages to this cheerful, musical production of the classic adventures of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, and, of course, little Toto too. Kids will love watching kids on stage: kids ages 8 and up make up the colorful cast of characters from Oz. And parents will love that the two early performances for the tots mean you can still go to Oz and back and make it home in time for nap! Fri., Sat., & Sun., multiple performances. San Jose. $12/ages 12 and up; $8/children 2-11; children 2 and under (on lap) are free. All Ages. Event details.

Ching Ming Celebration
The Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park is celebrating Ching Ming, the Chinese festival of ancestor worship, somewhat akin to Day of the Dead. Observe traditional Chinese lion dancers scare away “bad” spirits, a traditional blessing from Buddhist and Taoist monks, the Wall of Honor, and the ancient Chinese “grave-sweeping” tradition. This 2,500 year old custom will take place at the Skylawn cemetery, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Anyone can join the festivities, and learn about this ancient cultural practice, and enjoy a free lunch! Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. San Mateo. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Touch-a-Truck Fundraiser
Bring your little ones out to the Open Gate Nursery School’s Third Annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser! Touch-a-Truck is a hands-on family event designed to give children an opportunity to see and touch their favorite things on wheels, and to meet the men and women who operate these vehicles. Children are encouraged to touch, climb on and ask questions about their favorite trucks. Firetrucks, police cars, construction vehicles and more, plus kid’s crafts, a race track and food vendors. Sat., 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Redwood City. $5/person or $20/family. All Ages. Event details.

Marin County

Pajama Party at Diesel, A Bookstore
Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Award winning author and illustrator of Zero and One, Kathryn Otoshi will read you a bedtime story. Get cozy in front of the fireplace, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies, get your books signed, and then head home for bed. Fri., 6 – 7 p.m. Larkspur. Free. 4-8. Event details.

Magic Show at the Mill Valley Library
Who doesn’t love magic? Magician Brian Scott encourages children to learn good reading habits and use of the library through his fun-filled, interactive show Biblio Spectacular. Brian’s blend of sleight of hand, misdirection, and comedy will thrill and amuse audiences of all ages. Sun., 11 – 11:45 a.m. Mill Valley. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir
Bring the kids to a night of music they’ll never forget. Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir is a Grammy nominated, percussion driven, vocal ensemble, African-American roots music that totally rocks! Diverse instruments, lots of toe-tapping rhythm, and beautiful harmonies equal a night of uplifting music for the whole family. Sat., 8 – 10 p.m. San Rafael. $25. All Ages. Event details.

What’s on your family calendar this weekend?

— Amber Guetebier