It’s the first weekend of 2016 and we’ve found a ton of ways to kickstart your year with some seriously awesome family time. You can take in a kid’s play, hike in a marsh, hunt for mushrooms, read to a pooch or do something divinely Disney. Happy New Year!

kid reading to a dog photo: Susan Ujka’s Collection via flickr 

San Francisco

Lemony Snicket’s The Lump of Coal 
Take the kiddos out to a hilarious and heartburning, uh, heartwarming holiday adventure of a lump of coal who wants to be an artist. A world premiere inspired by Lemony Snicket at his tongue-in-cheek, story weaving best, this stage adaptation by Austin Zumbro (The Day the Crayons Quit, the Musical) will delight young and old theatre goers alike. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. SOMA. $$22/adult, $18/child. 5 and up. Event details

Go Bowling at the Presidio Bowl
Burn off some of that holiday energy at the Presidio Bowl. Open on New Years Day! The location can’t be beat (heart of the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco) and the menu will please your little ones: hot dogs, hamburgers, and PB&J, and parents will appreciate the wine and beer selection! Fri., noon-2 a.m. Presidio.$6/adults; $4.75/child (per game, per hour, not including shoe rental). All ages. Event details

Zoo Lights
Head to the zoo at night and experience the magical holiday lights, romp in the playground, and drink hot cocoa while you visit with Santa and his reindeer. Hop onboard the Little Puffer Steam Train ($5/person) and see the dazzling display and roam the grounds with live entertainment, games and costumed characters. And don’t forget your winter coat because there will be snow! Fri., Sat. & Sun., 5-8 p.m. Outer Sunset. $8/adult; $6/child 4-14; free for children 3 and under and members; $5 parking. All ages. Event details

Free Day at the Asian Art Museum
The museum is open, totally free, and totally awesome. In addition to touring the regular galleries and exhibits there will be storytelling sessions throughout the day, architecture tours, and even a family friendly yoga class! Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Civic Center. Free. All ages. Event details

East Bay

Nature Detectives: Tracking
Find evidence of the animals that live along the shoreline. Join Nature Detectives and search for clues like nibbled leaves and tracks in the mud, to discover what lives near by. Sat., 11 a.m.-noon. Hayward. $7/child. 3-5. Event details

Science Revealed at the Chabot
This other-worldly, hands-on whodunit has participants solving a celestial caper using crime scene forensics and scientific methods to sleuth out the culprit. Could the guilty party be your own parents? Recommended for kids 5 and up, all kids 10 and under need to be with an adult. Sat., 1 p.m. Berkeley. $7/person (does not include admission). 5 and up. Event details

Make a Confetti Suncatcher at Habitot
Looking for ideas about what to do with all that leftover New Year’s Eve confetti? Habitot Children’s Museum will show the kids how to use confetti to make a confetti suncatcher. For ages 4-7, children under 4 can participate with adult assist. Sat., 2-4:30 p.m. Berkeley. Free with admission ($10). All ages. Event details

Alameda Point Antiques Fair
Join hundreds of other treasure seekers to the island to browse over 800 antique dealer booths. See what baubles or collectibles your kids will find. Children under 15 are admitted free. There are food vendors there, too, so you won’t leave hungry. Sun., 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Alameda. $5/adult after 9 a.m., children 15 and under are free. All ages. Event details


The Museum of American Heritage is showing off their LEGOs for the 12th year in a row with the “Living LEGO-cy” exhibit, featuring a variety of LEGO creations and trains. Bonus! It’s super close to Caltrain Palo Alto stop. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. -3:30 p.m. Palo Alto. $2/person (cash only). All ages. Event details.

Secrets of the Pescadero Marsh
Discover the secrets of the Pescadero Marsh, a 243-acre reserve, with guided walks led by State Park docents. The marsh is home to more than 200 species of birds, as well as plants and other animals like foxes, raccoons, and deer. The walk is two-hours, so wear good walking shoes, pack snacks and water, and don’t forget your binoculars! Meet at the Pescadero State Beach Parking Lot. Sun., 10 a.m. Pescadero. Free. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales
What do you get when you mix Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy with Cinderella, Belle and Snow White? Awesome sauce, that’s what. Join the Disney gang for Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales and prove to the kids that dreams really do come true. Fri., 3 p.m. and Sat., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. San Jose. $25-$73. All ages. Event details.

Marin County

Fungal Foray in Pt. Reyes
Join expert mycologists to learn about fungi in the many Point Reyes habitats. See the remarkable colors and shapes of the wide variety of mushrooms collected in the park. Learn what makes fungi unique while exploring the beauty of Point Reyes National Seashore. Children’s activities begin at 9:30 a.m., walks begin at 10 a.m. Sat., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pt. Reyes. Free. All ages. Event details.

Learn to Skate at McInnis Park
Got a newbie skateboarder in your household but don’t quite know how to show them the tricks? Bring them to McInnis Skate Park where rangers will offer tips and techniques for newbie skateboarders and those looking to cross over from other board sports, but aren’t quite sure how to start. Bring your board, helmet, and pads. Rain will cancel. Sun., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. San Rafael. Free. All ages. Event details

Read to a Dog 
Your young pups can read to a gentle, volunteer canine. Kids get to practice their reading skills and dogs get socialization. And you get to take cute photos. Win, win, win! Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Novato. Free. All ages. Event details

Visit us on Facebook and Instagram and show us how you and your crew #rockedtheweekend to kick of 2016! 

—Amber Guetebier