Do you hear that? It’s the sound of summer calling (and also the sound of fog horns). This weekend kicks June off like never before with public concerts, a salsa festival, animal action and a play with a million-dollar view. Read on to find 11 reasons being a Bay Area parent rules.

San Francisco

Practice Your ABCs with the Alphabet Rockers
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival offers the delightful Yerba Buena Gardens Children’s Garden Series, interactive performances specially designed for kids and families. Over the past decade, the Alphabet Rockers have honed a supremely engaging hip-hop act designed for children and families. With singer/songwriter Kaitlin McGaw and beatboxer/b-boy/rapper Tommy Shepherd, this powerhouse group makes the world come alive through beats, rhymes, songs, and dances. Fri. Event details.

Learn to Build an Orchestra
Did you know that it takes over a hundred people working together to make a symphony orchestra sound great? In this concert, the SFS guides the audience on a musical tour through the four main instrument groups (woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion) to show how a lot of hard teamwork makes for a great show! Before, during, and after the performance, families are invited to participate in a variety of musical activities, including multiple Instrument Petting Zoos, a photo station, musical piano mats, coloring stations, chances to meet and mingle with the SF Symphony musicians and more. Sat. Event details. 

East Bay

Hop Here on First Fridays
Want to cuddle with some cute bunnies? On the first Friday of each month children’s toy and clothing store Ruby’s Garden hosts a super-duper cuddly get together. That’s because Ruby, the 13-year-old girl for whom the store is named after, brings in her own gaggle of bunnies for a warm and fuzzy visit. Get ready to oh and ah. Light snacks and refreshments are served. Fri. Event details. 

This Festival Is Cherry-Licious
There’s no better time to sink your teeth into a handful of spring cherries than San Leandro’s Annual Cherry Festival. The one-day downtown event combines dozens of cherry vendors with a pie contest, food trucks as well as crafts, games and bounce houses for kids. Head to the main stage for major jams and all the dancing you’d like. Sat. Event details. 

Hook It Up at this Fire Fighter Run
The Annual Hook and Ladder run benefits the Livermore-Pleasanton Firefighters Foundation which is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 that supports injured and fallen firefighters and their families, the Burn Foundation and local charities in the Tri-Valley. The run includes a 5K run/walk, a 10K run and a Kids 1 mile fun run. Sun. Event details.


Roar for Raptor Day
Raptor Power Day at CuriOdyssey is a celebration of the dinosaurs that survived. Kids can see raptors in action, learn the science behind their remarkable survival and watch them take flight. Sat. Event details. 

Land Here for this Lifting Festival
Helicopters are totally the jam. That’s why we know you won’t want to miss out on Helifest, which showcases all kinds of military, rescue, private and commercial helicopters. These aircraft are used for everything from traffic reports and power line maintenance to cliff rescues and national defense. Participating aircraft scheduled to appear include the CH-47 Boeing “Chinook,”Bell UH-1 Iroguois “Huey,” EC-145, Bell 47, Robinson R-22, R-44, and more. Over and out, little buddies. We’ll see you when you land here. Sat. Event details.

South Bay

Grab Your Dancing Shoes for a Salsa Festival
Get ready to dance, the Annual Nation American Salsa Festival is happening in San Jose. Held at Discovery Meadow, there will be living music and dancing, food and activities for kiddos, of course. It’s going to be hot, hot, hot! Sat. Event details. 

This Mountain Musical Fest Is a Real Roar
Local artists and musicians will fill the forest with sweet tunes at the Redwood Mountain Faire in the Santa Cruz Mountains at Roaring Camp. At this weekend-long woodsie festival visitors are treated to non-stop music on two stages as well as a children’s activities nook, face painting, bounce houses, locally made arts and crafts as well as food and Santa Cruz-made beer and wines. Top off the weekend with a train ride, which can be purchased for an additional fee. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

North Bay

Take Off for the STEM Superhero Series
Get ready for some serious fun! The STEM Superhero Series invites young visitors to use their STEM superpowers to solve real world challenges. All STEM Superheroes will receive capes to adorn with badges earned at each event; attend all four to complete the mission! Events include special facilitated programs for all ages and performances, all free with admission.This weekend, children can explore space and astronomy through various STEM activities, including designing food for space and building tools for the Mars Rover. Sat. Event details. 

Be Our Guest for this Beast of a Musical
As if the Mountain Play weren’t magical enough, on Sundays through June 18th you can be a very special guest for the musical Beauty and the Beast. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version combines the beloved story with all of the wonderful songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman and new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Each day has a special theme with preshow entertainment. Sun. Event details.

What’s on your family’s weekend to-do list? Tell us in a comment below! 

—Chantal Lamers