While everyone else heads up to Tahoe, you can be smart and stay home. There are some great things to do with the kids this week, and you’ll probably find parking in a snap.  Don’t miss the grand Chinese New Year Parade, or if it’s raining, take in a play, or a musical show, there are many listed below. If you find yourself near Pier 39 in the next few weeks, take a stroll down the pier and admire the 39,000 tulips they planted . There’s a free guided tour and free coffee as well.  Or get outside in Tilden park or Hayward to hunt for newts; they’re out all winter in the rain.

San Francisco

Chinese New Year Parade and Treasure Hunt
Nowhere in the world will you see a lunar new year parade with more gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions, exploding firecrackers , and of course the newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. and her court. Before heading to the parade, consider joining the annual Treasure Hunt – a unique urban sleuthing adventure that leads you through Chinatown, North Beach, and Telegraph Hill. Treasure Hunt– Sat. 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm. $10-40. Event Details. Parade – Sat., 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Free. Event Details.

Old time bluegrass at the Randall Museum.
Put on your dancin’ boots it’s time for the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival kids’ show! Gayle Schmitt and the Toodala Ramblers are back again this year as part of the festival, offering up a barn dance for the whole family right in the middle of the city. Sat., shows at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm $6-$9. All ages. Event Details.

East Bay

Octopretzle and the Alphabet Rockers at Freight and Salvage.
A new Saturday afternoon kids’ series at the Freight! Featuring some of the Bay Area’s most beloved performers, the Patchwork Series is curated and MC’d by the fabulous Sarita Pockell and Melita Doostan, of Octopretzel fame. Today’s debut edition guarantees a super fun sing-along, dance-along time for one and all (especially kids aged 0-7 and their families), with the spotlight on Octopretzel, the Bubble Lady, and Alphabet Rockers.Sat., 10:30 am. $8-$9. All Ages. Event Details.

The tale of Peter Rabbit at Fairyland.
A puppet show based on the classic tale by Beatrix Potter, this is the story of what Peter learned when he didn’t listen those around him. Almost caught by Farmer McGregor for playing in his garden, Peter has to think quick and figure out a way to return home to safety. Will he make it? Sat. and Sun., shows at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Free with admission.  All Ages. Event Details.


Officer Buckle and Gloria
Officer Buckle gets a new partner, Gloria the dog. At first he’s not sure whether they’ll be a good team, but his safety lectures soon become wildly popular with her help. When he finds out what she’s been doing behind his back, he feels betrayed.  Can they get their act back together? This short play is one of a series designed to breathe life into great kids books and get kids interested in reading.  Fri., 9:30 am and 11:00 am, Sat., 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. $10. All Ages. Event Details.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Alexander is having a bad day.  A terrible day.  A terrible, horrible day.  But then, everybody has those kinds of days sometimes. Right? This is an entertaining play, and a great conversation starter, just keep your ears open in the car on the way home. Sat., 7:00 pm. $12. All Ages. Event Details.


Kids cooking class with The Culinary Dude.
The Culinary Dude, also known as Scott Davis, created a series of kids cooking classes for Whole Foods, which were wildly successful, and now he is offering one  every Sunday. Classes are hands-on, and teach healthy habits, and great cooking techniques. This class will focus on the foods of France and include such delicacies as French Garlic Sausage, Croque Monsieur and Lemon Raspberry Flan. Sun., 10:00 am. $40. Ages 4-14. Event Website.

Family Knitting at Doodlebug
On the third Sunday of each month learn to knit, get help with a pattern or just hang out with some great folks. Great opportunity for multi-generational fun and learning. Sun., 3:30 pm -5:30 pm. $20/person. Event Details.

-Lianna McSwain