Ready for an adventure? Great, then we’re off to a good start because that’s what weekends are all about. Whether you meticulously plan an apple picking adventure or make an impromptu split for a riverside blues festival there’s always a new way to make each weekend like no other.

Thomas J. Story/Sunset Magzine

Photo: Thomas J. Story/Sunset Magazine

San Francisco

Venture out on an Urban Treasure Hunt
The Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt is a unique urban adventure game, an exercise in urban sleuthing played on the colorful streets of Chinatown, the Financial District, Union Square and surrounding areas amid the colorful backdrop of the Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival. Think of it as a scavenger hunt for information, in which teams collaboratively solve clues leading to off-the-beaten-track locations connected with local history, art and culture. Grab your tix and join the adventure! Sat. Event details.

Rock the Streets in the Western Addition
There are few times when your folks give the OK to run the streets so now is the time to partake in San Francisco’s epic Sunday Street happenings. The next neighborhood up is the Western Addition, where you’re free to explore on foot or by bike. The intersections include Baker Street between Fell and McAllister Streets, Fulton Street between Baker and Fillmore Streets, and Fillmore Street between Fulton Street and Geary Boulevard. Sun. Event details.

East Bay

Learn Mad Camping Skills with Sunset Magazine
You’re invited to a family camp night with Sunset Magazine at the Oakland Museum of California! Make a s’mores trail mix and nature-inspired craft from the new Camp Sunset book, learn the best way to build a campfire and pack a cooler, and check out camping gear (plus, get expert advice) from the REI Outdoor School. While you’re there, pick up dinner from the Off the Grid food trucks and visit the Museum at half-price admission for adults (free for ages 18 and under). Fri. Event details.

Take Five for Nature
Calling all budding naturalists! Learn to identify some key California native plants and create a field guide journal. This engaging walk and hands-on workshop is perfect for children ages six and up and a parent. After class, families can put their newfound skills to work on a hike or outdoor adventure.  Children must be accompanied by a paid adult chaperone. Wear clothes for dirt paths and sitting on the ground. Sat. Event details.


It’s the 45th Annual Mountain View Art and Wine Festival
Head to Silicon Valley for a world class art and music festival with a vibrant, multicultural celebration of more than 600 professional artists and craftmakers. Enjoy handcrafted wares, live music, and a Kids’ Park with bungee jumping, wild and wacky waterballerz, face painting and hula hooping fun. For the grown-ups, there’s even a wine tasting tent! Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Discover this 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). Walks times vary from morning to afternoon, either 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sun. Event details.

South Bay

U-Pick the Best Apples
Located in the beautiful Santa Cruz Basin, Clearview Orchards offers a huge variety of certified organic apples, specializing in Gala and Fuji, Honey Crisp, Mitsu and Pink Lady during their early September through end of October season. Pick some apples and enjoy their beautiful terraced grounds with a view of the Watsonville valley. They also sell delicious local honey and fresh-pressed apple cider. Kiddos can even pick out their own pumpkins, just in time for fall. Open Saturday and Sundays only, 10 a.m.–4 p.m, Sept. 3 – Oct. 30. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Get Good Vibrations at this Concert
You’ll have Fun, Fun, Fun at this show when the Beach Boys take the stage at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Celebrating more than 50 years of hits such as “God Only Knows” and “Surfin’ USA” these throwbacks will become your kiddo’s new favorites. Sun. Event details.


Check this Road Trip Worthy Festival
Feeling a little blues-y? Hop in the car and head on over to the Russian River where for the last 39 years, music jazz and blues festivals have rocking this community. Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville offers festival goers and beautiful view of the Russian River. Just 75 miles from San Francisco it’s been a favorite for decades and has included acts from the Doobie Brothers to Etta James. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Say Bonjure to this Outdoor Antiques Market
Summer is back and so is Marin’s Outdoor Antique Market. Inspired by the best flea markets of Paris this popular antique market brings together shoppers, treasure hunters, collectors, decorators, and dozens of quality vendors with booths filled to the brim with great bargains and unique collectibles. The market mixes repurposed vintage furnishings, up-cycled architectural salvage, exquisite estate and vintage jewelry, retro décor, cottage chic, textured linens, historical maps, tempting ephemera and vintage toys, of course. Sun. Event details.

What’s your ideal adventure? Share it with us in the comments below!

— Chantal Lamers