We heard the news, kiddos. School bells are ringing again and you’re back to alarm clocks and lunchboxes. The good news is, there is always the weekend. That’s when you can explore a garden of curious plants, pick dahlias near the coast, catch a fish or even craft a snow ball in the middle of August. Pull any of these off and you’re sure to get a A+ in fun this weekend.

The Pescadero Flowery. Dahlia u-pick.

The Pescadero Flowery

San Francisco

Things are Weird at The Conservatory of Flowers
Things are getting weird at the Conservatory of Flowers! That’s because this plants and flowers epicenter is celebrating The Wild Bunch: Succulents, Cacti & Fat Plants. The exhibition celebrates ornery, weird and unexpected gangs of the plant world set amongst the rusty remnants of an old ghost town. You’ll encounter water hoarding plants, bristling with living examples of cacti, fat plants (also known as caudiciforms) and other succulents. The exhibit is open Tuesdays through Sundays through Oct. 16th. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Make a Summer Spark with these Lanterns
Light up the summer night with colorful, Matisse paper-cut-inspired lanterns, perfect for indoor or outdoor use. Presented by Museum of Craft and Design, kids will use paper, not paint, during this kids friendly craft. Sat. Event details.

East Bay

Party with these Puppets at Fairyland
Hooray! Fairyland is celebrating 60 Years of Storybook Puppet Theater, the oldest continuously operating puppet theater in the U.S. That means throughout the weekend families will be treated to a special line-up of amazing shows by The Puppet Company, the San Francisco Puppet Guild, the Fratello Marionettes, and other outstanding puppeteers, including Fairyland’s own resident company. In addition to performances, the San Francisco Puppet Guild will host Make A Puppet, an arts and crafts project. See a complete lineup of the weekend’s events right here. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Make a Furry Friend a Family Member
The East Bay SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Pet Adopt-a-thon is partnering with Jack London Square to find forever homes for furry friends. The Oakland waterfront will welcome friendly dogs, adorable kittens, bunnies, guinea pigs, rats, birds and reptiles available for adoption from several East Bay pet adoption agencies. Potential pet owners are invited to meet these shelter animals and possibly leave with a new friend. The annual event will also host free, fun activities for children to enjoy, as well as pet vendors, canine training demonstrations and $10 micro-chipping for dogs. Sat. Event details.


Dahlia U-Pick is in Full Bloom
Aching to eek out all you can of summer? Then take a trip to the The Pescadero Flowery where u-pick Dahlias last through October. Among fields popping with 75 varieties of these bright and charming blooms is an awesome DIY succulent bar as well as gardening supplies, vases, jars and more. Wear sturdy shoes and your SPF! Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Shakespeare Festival Lands in Redwood City
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Sure, because one of the things that makes summer so memorable in the Bay Area is the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Produced every year in cities across the Bay Area through October, free Shakespeare in the Park provides an opportunity for over 30,000 people to see high quality, professional theater free of charge. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

South Bay

Say E-I-E-E-O in San Jose
Ready, set, let’s have some fun on the farm! At this preschool-aged program at Emma Prusch Farm Regional Park in San Jose kids can experience a real farmyard. Through hands on interaction, songs, and rhymes the children will learn about the farm animals, improve skills, expand vocabulary words, and reinforce the importance of caring, sharing, patience, and taking turns.Just when you think it can’t get better than that, the class ends with a pony ride! Sat. Event details.

Ciao! It’s the Italian Family Festival
The weekend-long Italian Family Festival at History San Jose is a long time tradition full of fun for the entire family. In addition to live entertainment including marionettes, there’s a wine tasting garden, bocce ball and bambini bocce, grape stomps, Italian sweet and savory specialty foods, an Italian Cultural Village and more. Sat.-Sun. Event details.


There’s Snow Way You’d Want to Miss This
The forecast calls for two feet of fresh snow in Mill Valley when Strawberry Village hosts one last summer hurrah for kids as they start the new school year. The event features a 20 by 60 foot snow zone, photo booth, caricature artist, airbrush tattoo artist, balloon twisting, arts and crafts and more. Kid’s band The Hipwaders will be on hand for those that want to rock. Sat. Event details.

Hang in a Magical, Time-Traveling Tree House
Based on the best-selling children’s book series written by Mary Pope Osborne, the Magic Tree House traveling exhibit now at the Bay Area Discovery Museum allows children to branch out through history via a magical, time-traveling tree house. Join Jack and Annie, two ordinary siblings from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, as they are whisked away in time to experience three important periods in American history: the first Thanksgiving, the Civil War, and life on the prairie circa 1870. Children explore history through immersive environments, period costumes, props, and more than 30 hands-on learning experiences. Exhibit runs through Sept. 4th. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Get Angling for this Morning at the Lake
Ready to reel in the biggest catch of the day? It’s always a possibility and now kids can spend the morning casting out at Stafford Lake Park. There’s no minimum skill required and a limited amount of poles and bait will be provided. A fishing license is required for participants 16 and over, park entrance fee is waived for participants. Have questions? Call Ranger Josh Gilmore at 415-897-0618. Sun. Event details.

— Chantal Lamers

Do you have the end-of-summer blues? Share your favorite summer memory in the comments below.