The forecast for this year’s Fourth is sunny. Could it be? Don’t count those firework chickens until they hatch into loud, rocketing blooms high above your ooh-ahhing heads. Regardless of weather, the Fourth is always a party and we’ve got some Fourth and non-Fourth related good times in store for you. Visit Rengstorff House for a Victorian Fourth with costumes, marionettes, picnic food, and storytime, and pick a spot along the waterfront to view the fireworks from the Amphitheatre. Circus Bella brings their outstanding acrobatics and creative clowning to Yerba Buena Gardens for your free viewing pleasure. And in Union City, their second farmers’ market/summer concert takes off with Mucho Axe. Fun and fresh veggies—two great tastes that taste great together.

East Bay



The Fourth, and Then Some El Cerrito says “more is more” with their Fourth of July celebration. Why stop at fireworks when you can have rides, carnival games, live music, and tons of food? So much fun you might forget what you’re celebrating. Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., El Cerrito, free. Read more.

A Fire-less Fourth Oakland says “less is more” with their no-firework Fourth of July. Instead of big bangs in the sky, expect big bangs on the ground with lots of kid activities like a petting zoo, jumpy house, and a magician. There’s also live music, food, and a deejay. Sun., 12:00 – 7:00 p.m., Oakland, free. Read more.

South Bay

A Taste of Summer Bring your taste buds to Palo Alto’s 29th Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cookoff. Give the kids free reign in the children’s area while you take a nibble of this, a smidge of that. A little something for everyone is the dish du jour at this South Bay summer tradition. Sat., 12:00 – 5:00 p.m., Palo Alto, free. Read more.

Early Bird Catches the Wiggles The Stanford Jazz Festival bee bops along all summer and your children can be part of the jam. Early Bird Jazz for Kids introduces kids to jazz and its musical instruments. This session meet Jim Nadel and friends as they riff and razz their way into your child’s heart. Sat., kids under 5, 10:00 a.m., kids over 6, 11:00 a.m., Stanford, $10 at door, kids under 12 free. Read more.

San Francisco

Bee Bop Big Time The Fillmore Jazz Festival is one of the biggest festivals in the city. With three stages of music and blocks of vendors and food, you’ll be bopping and boogying for miles. Take in some of the earlier acts to avoid the crush later in the day. Look out for Tango Gelato for a sweet treat. Sat. and Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., San Francisco, free. Read more.

A Gruesome Twosome Get together and introduce your kids to Disney’s original “Parent Trap.” Not that Lindsay didn’t do a fabulous job in the remake, but can anything replace “I shan’t tell my aunt about ants nor the debutantes, shall I?” Not to mention the on-screen chemistry of Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara. Fun for everyone. July 1 -31, 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., San Francisco, see website for tickets. Read more.

North Bay

A Fair to Remember Go global with the Marin County Fair. In a whirlwind five days, this county fair hosts performers from various countries and cultures, while including classic fair fare like carnival rides and funnel cakes. Check daily schedule for special events for children and hands-on interactions with bands and dancers. Kids 12 and under are free on Thurs.! Thurs. – Mon., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., San Rafael, see website for tickets. Read more.

Pancakes on Parade Sausalito’s annual Fourth of July Parade winds it way through downtown with balloons and floats and music. Look out for games, food, and dancing in Dunphy Park. Start your day off with a pancake breakfast from Sparrow Creek’s 16th Annual Pancake Breakfast, benefiting Sparrow Creek Montessori. This day is sure to fun out your family to the fullest. Sun., parade and picnic 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., pancake breakfast, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Sausalito, call for pricing on breakfast. Read more.

-Nicole Cooksey-Voytenko