Creeping into October, can you stand it? Time, she flies! Here are some events to keep your fam moving at a brisk pace, including our first pumpkin patches of the season. Princesses are gathering in Marin this weekend for the Princess Grace benefit Concert to watch ballerinas perform and enjoy a ballerina beauty salon. Down south, a couple of the local mansions-cum-parks invite you in for some community/family bonding. Catch a few last summer festivals and an artsy family day, or take a day trip out to Full Belly Farms for their Hoes Down Harvest Festival. If you’ve got a spare sec, hustle over to the annual sandcastle contest on Ocean Beach, or Randy Kaplan’s concert at Recess Urban Recreation. But you better double-time, people; it’s like sands through the hourglass around here.
Gamble Garden Community Day
What a great way to stroll beautiful grounds while teaching the kids about plants and the environment. Kids can dig for worms and check out beekeeping displays while bopping along to live music and snacking on local eats. Fun for you, fun for them, fun for the worms! Sun., 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Palo Alto, free. Event details.
Filoli Autumn Festival
Usher in Autumn at Filoli–a stunning backdrop for any season. Get your nibbles on with heirloom apples, pears, and grapes from the Filoli orchards. Visit the pumpkin patch and dust off your Halloween craft-making skills. Sign up in advance to partake of the barbecue lunch. It’s a Fall field day at Filoli! Sat., 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Woodside, $5 – 20 (not including lunch). Event details.
Timothy Murphy School starts off your Halloween season with its pumpkin patch festivities. Join them for bouncy houses, hay piles, and, oh yeah, pumpkins! All proceeds benefit the Timothy Murphy School. Oct. 2 – 29, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Marinwood, free. Event details.
This daytime carnival benefitting San Rafael schools features bouncy houses, pony rides, and petting zoo—all your kids’ favorite carnival activities. The nighttime concert features all your favorite activities—live music, local restaurants, wine, and beautiful sunsets. With a long list of benefits, who can say no? Sat., 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., San Rafael, free (concert begins 6 p.m., $50 general admission). Event details.
The city of Pinole’s Kidfest Expo has everything needed to keep your littles active and healthy. Organic eats and active games abound, along with face painting, balloons, and some storytelling. This sounds like the perfect kid-ordered festival. Sat., 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fernandez park and Pinole Youth Center, Pinole, free (festival for kids 0 – 5 only). Event details.
Berkeley Lawrence Lab Open House
Once a year the Berkeley Lawrence Lab throws open its doors to the public to drop some knowledge on the citizens, and this is your chance to soak it up. Come talk to the scientists and check out the exhibits based on this year’s theme of energy. The Family Adventure Zone has activities for kids 5 and up. This event is edutainment at its finest. Sat., 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (afternoon session is full), Berkeley, free. Event details.
Chinatown Night Market
Catch the last two weeks of the Chinatown Night Market, revived this summer after a three-year hiatus. The Night Market is full of Chinese culture, from lion dancers to karaoke to Chinese opera—not to mention the deals, deals, deals. Stop, look, and listen at this wondrous San Francisco event. Sat., 6 – 11 p.m., San Francisco, free. Event details.
Family Day at Galería de la Raza
This premier San Francisco gallery’s Family Day offers your kids a chance to mingle it up with local artists and experiment with creating their own great works. There will be live music on-hand to lend inspiration and fun. Kids of all ages will this celebration of all crafts and arts. Sat., 2 p.m., San Francisco, free. Event details.