Oh Saturday, sweet Saturday, you’re close but still so far away. What to do on a Thursday with this house full of little people, begging for fun? Fortunately, several museums offer drop-in art programs.

There’s also open play and playgroups, storytime at a library near you, and farmers markets, to name a few. Peruse our list of ongoing Thursday activities for more ideas.

Music & Storytimes

San Francisco

CA Academy of Sciences: Animal Tales at the Early Explorer’s Cove
11:00 am Thursday and Friday
Free with admission (Children ages 4-11 $19.95, children 4 and under Free). Stories about nature and science for children 2-5 and their caregivers.

Paxton’s Gate Curiosity for Kids: Thursday, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sprout: Let’s All Sing Along Music Class 10:15 am
Drop-in $20

SF Public Library Branches:

Chinatown Library: Lapsit, 11:00 am – 11:30 am

North Beach Library: Baby Rhyme Time, 10:15 am – 10:45 am, Preschool Storytime, 11:00 am – 11:30 am, and Toddler Tales, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm. All storytimes take place at the Joe DiMaggio Playground Clubhouse at 661 Lombard.

Excelsior
Baby Rhyme and Playtime: 11:00 am – 11:30 am
Reading Buddies: Ages 5 and up. 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Mission
Toddler Tales and Playtime (Spanish/English) 10:15 am – 11:00 am

Potrero
10:30 am – 11:00 am

East Bay

Montclair public library: Toddler Storytime, 10:15 am – 10:45 am, and Preschool Storytime, 11:15 am – 11:45 am

El Cerrito: Lapsit, 10:15 am – 10:45 am, and Baby/Toddler Time, 11:00 am – 11:30 am

Kensington: Baby Bounce, 10:15 am, and Toddler Time, 11:15 am

Peninsula

San Bruno: Toddler Storytime, 10:30 am, and Itsy-Bitsy Storytime, (18 mos.-3), 11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Belmont: Toddler Storytime, 10:30 am

San Carlos: Toddler Storytime, 10:30 am

Marin

Bay Area Discovery Museum: Music with Ms. Kitty
Sausalito; 10:00 am and 11:00 am
Members $5, General $6; Adults free with child
In this 30 minute program, kids can clap, jump, wiggle and sing along to the delightful music of Miss Kitty.

Larkspur: Preschool Storytime 9:30 am – 10:00 am

Novato: Baby and Me, 6-18 mos., 10:00 am

Mill Valley: Toddler Storytime 10:15 am – 10:45 am and 11:15 am – 11:45 am

San Rafael: Toddler Storytime, 10:15 am – 10:45 am

Sausalito: Family Storytime, 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm (City Council Chambers)

In addition to these listings, be sure to check out our Roundup of storytimes in the Bay Area.

Art Museums and Hands-on Art

San Francisco

San Francisco Children’s Museum Side by Side class
9:30 am – 10:30 am; drop-in $22
Parents/caregivers observe their children and gain insight into the benefits of artmaking in early childhood development.

ARTifact: Thursday Drop-in Parent Date Nights
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Drop-off childcare on Thursday nights. Includes arts and crafts, a movie, and snacks; $30 per child.

ARTifact: Art Exploration Class
Art exploration class for children 3-6 years old (2 sessions, Monday-Friday).

East Bay

Museum of Children’s Art: Weekday Drop-in Art (Tuesday-Friday)
Oakland; $8 per child, adults and members free; 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Drop-in art for children 18 months and up.

Berkeley Art Museums and Pacific Film Archive
Free admission to galleries, public programs, and 5:30 pm PFA screenings on the first Thursday of the month. Remember: children 12 and under are free every day!
Free every first Thursday of the month.

Playtime and Fitness

San Francisco

The Bar Method classes with childcare
Marina; 8:30 am – 11:30 am
Take a class and get a workout while taking advantage of The Bar Method’s childcare offerings. Reservations strongly recommended!

San Francisco Gymnastics Tumblebug Program
Monday-Saturday classes tailored toward Preschool ages (Little Bugs class), ages 3.5-4 (Busy Bees class), ages 4.5-5 (Grasshoppers class) and other age groups.

Seesaw: Papa Meet Up
10:00 am
Chill with fellow fathers while your kids build a Lego tower or play dress up.

ARTifact: Playgroup
9:00 am – 10:30 am, Tuesday & Thursday
Playgroup focuses on children under the age of 3 and encourages active participation from parent/caregiver. $180 for parent and up to 2 children from the same family.

Randall Museum: Tree House Toddler Exploration Zone
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

East Bay

Junior Center of Art and Science: Jake’s Discovery Garden
Oakland; 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
A drop-in, interactive exhibit designed for 2-5 year-olds. Activities encourage “learning through play.” $2 per child, adults free.

SadieDey’s Cafe: Mother’s Helper Events
10:00 am – 2:00 pm every weekday
Paulette (straight from Fairyland) keeps an eye on safety and entertains children while you get a moment to relax. Parents are still responsible for their children but Paulette is there to help with interactive storytelling, singalongs, and dance parties.

Farmers Markets

San Francisco

Crocker Galleria Farmers Market (year-round)
11:00 am – 3:00 pm

East Bay

North Berkeley Farmers Market (year-round)
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Shattuck Avenue & Rose Street

Marin

Downtown San Rafael Farmers Market (April-September)
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Marin Civic Center Thursday Farmers Market (year-round)
8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Nature and Science

San Francisco

Conservatory of Flowers
Free Admission for children 4 and under every day.
10:00 am – 4:30 pm

California Academy of Sciences: Daily Animal Encounters
Penguin Feedings: 10:30 am and 3:30 pm
Sharks and Rays: 1:30 pm
Live Birds of Prey: 2:00 pm on the living roof, as conditions permit

Parent Resources

San Francisco

Recess Urban Recreation: New Mothers Support Group
10:30 am – 11:20 am
Free for Recess members, $10 drop-in. Targeted for babies 0-6 months and their parents.

East Bay

Little Leapers Hands-on Workshop for Preschoolers and Caregivers
Oakland; 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This is a free program presented by the Junior Center for Art and Science and designed to help young participants prepare to successfully enter school.

Do you have a Thursday event that should be on this list? Email us at sfcalendar@redtri.com