Fall is calling with cups of steamy cider, piles of crunchy leaves and plenty to do. Hit up a campfire, head to a campout or kick up your heels at a barn dance. Need more to get you moving? We’ve rounded-up the best.

 Miss Jamie from the Farm

San Francisco

Craft a Critter from Cardboard
Did you know that October 4th is World Animal Day? Come celebrate the weekend leading up, where you can learn about some of the animals who live in the Presidio by making your own cardboard critter. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Cruise to the Excelsior for Sunday Streets
Are you ready to hit the streets? Sunday Streets is happening in the Excelsior and there’s a cherry atop this one. That’s because it once again coincides with the Excelsior Arts and Music Festival at the Persia Triangle. Expect food, music, arts and crafts and fun all via your favorite wheels. Sun. Event details.

East Bay

Howl Out Loud for this Moon Festival
It’s time to celebrate the Asian-inspired Moon Festival at Oakland Zoo. The day’s festivities include live music and a DJ, a Lion Dance parade and martial arts demo, face painting, temp tattoos and an enrichment-making station where kids can make snacks for the sun bears. After you’ve built up that appetite then taste some delicious, traditional moon cakes. Sat. Event details.

Light Your Fire at John Muir National Historic Site
Campfires aren’t just for summer, not in California. And who would know better than John Muir, the famous naturalist, preservationist, writer, farmer and father who lived and raised his family in Martinez for some 24 years. Head on over to his former home, the John Muir National Historic Site for a fun evening of campfires, songs, stories and more. Little campers can also see the very land that Muir lived on, including his residence, an 1882 Victorian home. Sat. Event details.

South Bay

Haul it Over to this Harvest and Steam Fest
Chug your little engines on over to Roaring Camp Railroads for the Harvest Faire and Steam Festival. This is where old steam trains rides mix with the best of fall, scarecrow making, blacksmith demos, pumpkin patch picking, candle making and gold panning. Each child who purchases a steam train ticket can pick out a free pumpkin. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Dance to Emma Prusch Farm Mountain Music Festival
The Emma Prusch Farm Mountain Music Festival is going to be a real hoot. This one day fall harvest shindig includes live mountain music, dancing with professional callers, a pumpkin patch, hay rides, apple cider tastings, plant sales, park tours and as well as dozens of environmental and educational vendors. Little animal lovers will love the 4H display.  Admission and parking are free. Pack a lunch or enjoy food from Texas Snoballs, Carmen’s Taqueria or several other local vendors. Sun. Event details.


Pack Up the Fam for Nature Day at Huddart Park
Do you have plans to sleep in on Saturday? Well, you might want to cancel them and instead join Peninsula Open Space Trust, San Mateo County Parks, and Friends of Huddart and Wunderlich Parks for a fun morning surrounded by trees and nature at Huddart Park. Staff and volunteers will lead activities tailored for kids ages 2-10 and they will also lead a longer nature walk for older kids and adults of all ages. Sat. Event details.

Ramble to Gamble Garden for Community Day
Head to Gamble Garden for a fall day filled with fun children’s activities, a gorgeous plant sale, horticultural resources, displays, garden demonstrations, food, entertainment, and learning all about bees.  Kids can make flower arrangements with The Garden Club of Palo Alto to take home. There are arts, crafts and cupcake surprises, too. Adults stroll through the formal and demonstration gardens, shop at the plant sale. Grab lunch there or pack a picnic. Sun. Event details.

North Bay

Share the Stars at the Slide Ranch Campout
Spend the night on the coast immersed in crafts, food, nature and family at Slide Ranch’s coastal farm. At night, gather for a family potluck dinner and a campfire under the stars. In the morning help with chores and spend the rest of the morning preparing a farm tasting of homemade cheese, bread, butter and other treats harvested from the organic garden. Participants must bring own camping equipment and a dish to share for Saturday night’s potluck dinner. Sunday continental breakfast is provided. Fri. Event details.

Take Your Pick at McClelland’s Dairy Pumpkin Patch
McClelland’s Dairy is opening their pumpkin patch this fall and there’s plenty of fun to go along side those pumpkins. Visits to the patch are free as is the adjacent funland, where visitors can tour the farm and partake in additional paid activities. Don’t forget to make a pitstop at the Organic Valley tent to sample delicious products and discover the people behind the food. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

What do you love best about fall? Tell us in the comments below!

–Chantal Lamers