Look out for the changing of the leaves, Fall’s slipping in around us. But don’t get too distracted; we’ve got some family-friendly events that will look mighty pretty in the autumn light. At Zeum’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars Weekend, in partnership with Lucasfim, kids can train with Jedi masters in how to wield a light saber, make stop-motion films of their favorite Star Wars characters, and get their pictures taken with some very special guests from a galaxy far, far away. The Ghiradelli Square Chocolate Festival always draws a sweet crowd; make sure you practice up for the sundae-eating contest.  Opera in the Park is not only free, it gives us parents a chance to get a little non-animated culture. Tip: the opera plays right next to Koret playground so you can take a listen while the littles hit the slides. San Mateo County History Museum celebrates Victorian Days with crafts and games all day long. Make rag dolls, model boats, and stained glass “windows” to take the celebration home with you. Catch the last of  Redwood City’s Target Family Days with a Hawaiian-themed luau in the streets. Expect Polynesian food and music, as well as games and crafts. Fairyland’s 60th Birthday Celebration is finally here with puppet shows, crafts, and a sock hop. Alameda’s Webster Street Jam takes block party to a whole new level with music, food, and treats for the whole family. Crunchy leaves, a nip in the air, and football on TV—let’s gear up for some fun in the fall.


Oh, Mr. Moon Celebrate Fall at the Autumn Moon Festival in the Outer Sunset. With a Kids Corner full of pony rides, petting zoos, and bouncy houses, this festival is sure to entertain. Even “edutain”—learn the legend behind the Autumn Moon and how the holiday is celebrated in China. Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., San Francisco, free. Read more.

Art for Everyone If you’ve been meaning to take an art class at the Children’s Art Center but it never seems to work in your schedule, drop by their annual open house to take in some activities for free! Showcasing the best art activities offered by CAC, this open house is a great opportunity for your littles to try the classes before you figure out how to wedge them into your day. Sun., 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., San Francisco, free. Read more.


A Whine-Free Festival The Kids’ Park at the  Mountain View Art and Wine Festival has got it all—sand sculpting, carnival rides, face painting, climbing walls, and arts and crafts. Combined with live music, good eats, and wine-tasting (for you), this festival screams, “Family!” Sat. and Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mountain View, free.  Read more.

Dance Around the World Get your culture on at the World Culture Fair at the Palo Alto YMCA. Featuring dance performances from Indian, Irish, and Russian troupes (among others), the culture fair is a great way for your kids to learn about places around the world. Sat., 3:30 – 6:00 p.m., Palo Alto, free. Read more.


Come to the “Kabaret” Introduce your kids to theatre at the Kabaret for Kids afternoon of kid-focused entertainment ranging from magicians to dancers. Featuring original music on piano and a teen recording artist, this will be an afternoon your kids remember for a long time. Sun., 2:15 p.m., Walnut Creek, $14.50/person. Read more.

A Singular Sojourn Take your annual stroll down Solano Avenue and take in the community and fun of Solano Stroll. After the parade kicks things off, check out some of the entertainment like stilt walkers, face painters, and magicians. The special area set aside for kids includes carnival games, giant slides, clowns, and jugglers. This is one walk you don’t want to miss. Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Albany, free. Read more.


Hike the Hills Bring the family for an evening hike and campfire at the Headlands Institute. Enjoy the Headlands as you hike a trail in the sunset. Then head back to the Institute for ‘smores and songs. What a great way to end a late summer’s eve. Sat., 6:00 – 8:30 p.m., Marin, $10/person. Read more.

Music for Minors Join Miss Kitty as she romps through her ragtime-ish set list of kid-friendly tunes. Bring a blanket and a picnic and take a seat for this concert for kids in Sausalito’s Sweeny Park. It will have your littles all a-shimmy. Sat., 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., Sausalito, free. Read more.

—Nicole Cooksey-Voytenko