Now that the summer is in full swing, it’s a great time to check out a new city or another side of the Bay. Travel up to SF for some musical entertainment or down to San Jose where it’s all about nature. Let the good times roll!

photo: San Francisco Symphony

San Francisco

Go Under the Sea with the SF Symphony
A rebellious mermaid wishes for life on land to win the heart of a human prince in Disney’s enchanting The Little Mermaid. Boasting an Oscar-winning score by Alan Menken, beautiful animation and a bevy of unforgettable songs, don’t miss the beloved music of this underwater world performed live to film by the SF Symphony. Best of all, kids’ tickets are half price! Fri.-Sun. Event details

Play the Piano in the City’s Biggest Garden
Music, community and nature join forces once again this summer in the heart of the city during the outdoor extravaganza known as Flower Piano. Now in its fourth year, Flower Piano once again transforms San Francisco Botanical Garden into the city’s own alfresco concert hall and everyone is invited to play and listen. Visitors will find twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens and are encouraged to play what they like, from chopsticks to Tchaikovsky. On weekend days, event partner Sunset Piano has invited professional pianists and a whole host of other musicians to perform throughout the Garden as well and the public is welcome to watch and listen. Fri.-Sun. Event details

East Bay

Get Your Shakespeare On
A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows the misadventures of four young lovers, a group of aspiring actors and a team of mischievous fairies as they all enter the woods outside Athens on a summer night. The ensuing hilarity and chaos create an evening filled with love and laughter. Bring your family and friends, a blanket and a picnic to enjoy professional theater at no charge in a beautiful park setting near you. Sat.-Sun. Event details

Last Weekend of the Alameda County Fair
It’s your last chance to try out the new Sky Ride and enjoy all the usual favorites at this year’s Alameda County Fair. Take BART to the fair and the shuttle will get you there. Check the website for special pricing, concerts and events. Fri.-Sun. Event details


First Friday Family Night
Swing into the weekend with music, science, food and fun! On the first Friday of every month, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., parents and kids celebrate together at CuriOdyssey. Dance to San Francisco soul, funk and jazz of the 60’s and 70’s from Jason Movrich of Big Blu Soul Revue. Purchase dinner from Fletch’s and beer or wine at a cash bar. Come together as a family, meet here, or visit early and stay late. Fri. Event details

Music is Magic at the Magical Bridge
This playground that welcomes kids of all abilities just got even cooler by hosting a slew of family-friendly music performances on Fridays this summer. Enjoy the sounds of Andy Z, Tim Cain, Noise Lab and more at the community theater in the park. Then swing over the playground for some fun in the sun. Fri. Event details

South Bay

Garden with VeggieLution
Enjoy gardening, crafting and learning together in the Youth Garden. Spend time with your children while exploring the garden, learning about healthy lifestyle choices and discovering the exciting processes of the natural world—not to mention making new friends. This is a unique opportunity to get your hands dirty and become better stewards of the environment as a family. Sat. Event details

Nature Walk by the Bay
Take a gentle walk around the Marina’s flat dirt trails to enjoy the local weather and bayside wildlife. The pace will be slow for all ages and abilities. Meet at the picnic tables near the restroom. Sat. Event details

North Bay

For Folks Sake, This Fest Rocks
Join some of Marin Country Mart’s favorite pickers for a performance of folk, America, Appalachian and bluegrass music every Sunday afternoon at the mart. Bring a picnic or grab meals, snacks and sweets to go at the local mart faves from spots like Rustic Bakery, Belcampo Meat Co., Farmshop and Three Twins Ice Cream. Sun. Event details.

Sundays Are for Marine Science
Make Sundays all about marine mammal science. These free, engaging 45-minutes sessions bring the ocean into the classroom via multimedia presentations led by the center’s sea mammal savvy education team. Topics change monthly and range from endangered species to predators, sea otters and to the unusual sea creatures that live in the super depths of the ocean. After class (and for a small fee) join a docent led tour to learn more about the animals and watch a rescue demo. Sun. Event details

—Kate Loweth