The end of July is kind of a big deal. For most kids, it marks the end of the last full month of summer. So if you haven’t hit your stride yet, now’s the time to make the most of the season’s festivities. Let’s roll!

Strider Bikes, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of children’s no-pedal balance bikes, is welcoming hundreds of balance bike racing toddlers – some still in diapers – to Pier 35 in San Francisco, July 29-30, for the 6th Annual Strider Cup World Championship presented by FedEx. This is the first time the event has been held in California. Toddlers as young as 18 months old put their Strider Bike skills to the test during these family-friendly races. The event will also feature a free Strider Adventure Zone play area with games and Strider Bikes to test ride (helmets provided). Miss Clo-the-Cow, the celebrity bovine from Clover Stornetta Farms, will also make an appearance.

Photo Courtesy of Strider Bikes

San Francisco

It’s Go Time
Calling all toddlers, Strider Bikes riding toddlers! The manufacturer of children’s no-pedal balance bikes, is welcoming hundreds of balance bike racing toddlers – some still in diapers – to the 6th Annual Strider Cup World Championship presented by FedEx. This is the first time the event has been held in California. Toddlers as young as 18 months old put their Strider Bike skills to the test during these family-friendly races. The event will also feature a free Strider Adventure Zone play area with games and Strider Bikes to test ride (helmets provided). Miss Clo-the-Cow, the celebrity bovine from Clover Stornetta Farms, will also make an appearance. Fri.-Sat. Event details.

Dig this Garden Adventure
Why not start a new tradition with family and friends and get outside and play in the garden. Families with children of all ages can enjoy nature crafts, garden care, outdoor games and exploration in the Children’s Garden – a whole variety of activities to do at your own pace with help from garden staff and teen interns. Water thirsty plants, create a crazy critter, dig in our dune sand pit, or share a book in our Living Room. Bring your lunch and enjoy a picnic in the garden; activities available between 1 to 4pm. Free to all garden visitors. Sat. Event details.

East Bay

A Faire Parents Will Cheers, Too
Don’t worry, we said wine, not whine! That doesn’t mean that the kids won’t love it, too. There’s a little something for everyone at Downtown Alameda’s Annual Art and Wine Faire. Expect some 300 booth with arts and craft vendors as well as food and yes, beer and wine, of course. There’s live music and kids, we didn’t forget about you. There’s a kids area with bounce houses, carnival rides, slot cars, face painting and more. Sat.-Sun. Events details.

See, Make, Go Fly a Kite
You can fly a kite at the Berkeley Kite Festival and that’s not all you can do. Pop into the Kids’ Zone for pony rides, a petting zoo, sumo soccer balls and all kinds of bounce houses. Kite competitions will be underway, too,  and traditional kites from the Sode-cho Kite-Flying Society of Hamamatsu, Japan will soar above. Visitors can try out kites and use that inspiration to make their very own kites, too. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

South Bay

Chug-Chug To Thomas The Train
Peep, peep! Hey kids, Thomas the Tank Engine is roaring into town and choo-choo fans of all sizes won’t want to miss a ride on Sodor’s favorite train. The Ready, Set, Go Tour 2016 kicks off at Roaring Camp July 29-31 and August 5-7 and includes a 25-minute train ride, a meet-up with railway commander Sir Topham Hatt, live music, storytelling and an imagination station packed with activities. All aboard! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Calling all Mini Muggles
Bookshop Santa Cruz is celebrating Harry Potter in a magical way. To coincide with the release of the Cursed Child, Parts I & II the book store is hosting a Potter festival complete with Quidditch matches, lightening-bolt face-painting, the care of cool creatures, Butterbeer, cauldron cakes, wand-making, Potter trivia and more. Ticket packages include two tickets to the Harry Potter Festival, and one copy of Harry Potter & the Cursed Child — Parts I & II. Additional tickets for the Festival (maximum of two additional tickets for an additional child or parent in the same family) are $3 each. Sun. Event details.

Peninsula

Make your Paper Planes really take off
Did you know that there is a top paper plane expert? It’s totally true and his name is John Collins. You can meet him and learn the secrets to making the fastest, furthest flying, tricked out paper airplanes. Collins, a world distance paper airplane record holder and a master paper airplane builder, has written several books on crafting the perfect paper airplane. The lesson and demo last about 45 minutes and the event is free with museum admission. Sun. Event details.

Discover a Secret Garden
Get your daily dose of nature during a guided walk about the Filoi Garden with a nature docent. Perfect for children of all ages, little nature explorers will learn all about the amazing plants that grow as well as some cool secrets about the animals that live in the garden (from their favorite hiding spots and how to find them). Sun. Event details.

Marin

Hot Summer, Cool Jazz
Mellow out on a hot summer Friday night with some cool Jazz at the Marin Country Mart. Throughout the season some of the hottest jazz players will strike up the shows from the Bay Area and beyond including Mads Tolling Trio, the Martin Diller Quartet, and Bill Belasco & Aguabella. Fri. Event details.

These Summer Nights will Sing to you
The Kanbar Center at the Osher Marin JCC is celebrating its 24th Annual Summer Nights Outdoor Music Festival featuring five Saturday nights of multi-cultural live music from African music night to California JamGrass. The event includes live music dinners, cocktails, picnics, dancing, a kid zone and more. Acts include Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Diego’s Umbrella, Tea Leaf Green and Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Sat. Event details.

What kinds of activities do you want to squeeze in before summer ends? Tell us in the comments below!

–Chantal Lamers