With April’s arrival we have tons of spring festivals, parades and celebrations coming to a neighborhood near you. Celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossoms, try out your next two-wheeled ride and see some brand-new farm babies at these April and May events. Scroll down to find your weekend plans!
photo: Sea Otter Classic
Touch-a-Truck Day—San Francisco
If your tot is truck-obsessed then this is the place for you. They will be able to climb aboard trucks and cars of all shapes and sizes including a fire truck and a bobcat. Everyone will enjoy noshing on the food truck snacks and spending some time at the crafts station.
Date: April 6, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (9 a.m. VIP access available)
Cost: $18 adults, $16/kids
Location: The Presidio Civil War Lawn, San Francisco, CA
Sea Otter Classic—Salinas
This celebration of cycling includes a whole area devoted to kids, daily egg hunts and a bike demo zone to try out that new ride. A food court and BMX stunt shows will keep the kids busy while you see what’s new in the world of cycling.
Dates: April 11-14
Cost: $20/day, kids 12 and under are free
Location: Laguna Seca Raceway, 1021 Monterey Salinas Highway , Salinas, CA
photo: Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
2019 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival—San Francisco
Now celebrating its 52nd year, this festival welcomes over 200,000 people to see the dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture. The festival will be held on the borders of Laguna and Fillmore Streets and Bush and Geary Streets. There will be food booths, Japanese and Japanese American cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program and more. The Grand Parade will be held on Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m., beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown.
Dates: April 13-21
Location: San Francisco Japantown, 1610 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA
Spring Festival—San Jose
Celebrate the spring planting season and our shared connection to Santa Clara Valley’s agricultural past, present and future. Enjoy kids’ farm activities, shop for plants, take a gardening workshop or go on a farm tour.
Date: April 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose, CA
photo: Kate Loweth
Coastal Wildflowers and Earth Day Festival—Half Moon Bay
Celebrate the return of spring wildflowers and the start of California Native Plant Week. Learn about native plants, how you can grow them in your garden and take part in projects to restore the coast. The event includes games and crafts for kids.
Dates: April 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free, $10 parking
Location: Francis State Beach, 95 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay, CA
Build, create and innovate with the whole family at the Chabot Space & Science Center’s Tinkerfest. The event showcases the work of makers, artists and tinkerers of all ages. Visitors can challenge each other in a giant game of Pac-Man, play with their food at the Tinker Kitchen, create a large-scale collaborative chain reaction machine and even dismantle an entire car and plane with the help of trained mechanics. The possibilities for DIY fun are endless.
Dates: April 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission
Location: Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd. Oakland, CA
Sunol Wildflower Festival—Sunol
The hills are bursting with colors, as we celebrate the season. Hikes throughout the park get people into the blooms, while games, crafts, and activities offer something for everyone on the valley floor.
Dates: April 14, 11 a.m.
Cost: Free, $5 parking
Location: Sunol Regional Wilderness, 1895 Geary Road Sunol, CA
photo: Butter & Egg Days, Steven Restivo Event Services
Butter & Egg Days—Petaluma
Petaluma’s annual Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival has become a beloved community tradition that draws tens of thousands of people. This year’s theme, “It’s always punny in Petaluma,” promises to bring humor to this event. Petaluma’s charming Historic Downtown District will be transformed into an open-air marketplace, with arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, kids’ activities and more. Don’t miss the Cutest Chick contest featuring dozens of tots bedecked in fluffy yellow feathers. The kids’ parade starts at 11:30 a.m. and the main parade starts at noon.
Date: April 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Historic Downtown, Petaluma, CA
photo: Miramar Events
Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show—Half Moon Bay
A car show, air show, motorcycle show, tractor show, maker fair, music festival, food festival and living history festival all rolled into one. The kids will be enthralled by the skydiving performances and monster truck rides.
Date: April 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $25/adults, $15/kids 11-17, kids 10 and under are free
Location: Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 N. Cabrillo Highway , Half Moon Bay, CA
Parents Place Family Fun Day—Palo Alto
Bounce around in the toddler fun zone, rock out to live music and sample delicious treats from food vendors. Meet the Parents Place team of parenting experts, engage in games and activities provided by community partners and drop in to one of the mini-workshops on everything from mindfulness to tantrums while the kids enjoy the playroom.
Date: April 28, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: Koret Family Resource Center, 200 Channing Ave., Palo Alto, CA
photo: May Fete Parade
Children’s Day Festival—San Francisco
Event celebrates Kodomo no Hi, Children’s Day Festival, so bring out the whole family for a fun day in Japantown! Participate in cultural arts and crafts activities, bounce houses, games and prizes for the kids.
Date: May 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Japantown’s Peace Plaza, 1610 Geary St., San Francisco, CA
97th Annual May Fete Parade—Palo Alto
Parade features marching bands, decorated floats, thousands of happy kids with costumes, pets or bicycles marching down University Avenue. The parade ends at Heritage Park for the Annual May Fete Fair.
Date: May 4, 10 a.m.
Location: Downtown Palo Alto, University Avenue and Emerson Street.
photo: Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival and Bicycle Show
72nd Annual Los Altos Kiwanis Pet Parade—Los Altos
Hundreds of kids and their pets—dogs, cats, birds, chickens, turtles and even worms—participate in this annual parade. There are also youth groups, marching bands and dignitaries in vintage cars.
Date: May 18, 10 a.m.
Location: Downtown Los Altos
Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival and Bicycle Show—San Jose
Celebrate National Bike Month at this festival that includes food trucks, craft beer for the parents, a Kids’ Space, thrilling BMX stunt riding shows, music, historical exhibitions, free valet bicycle parking and a spectacular bicycle show that attracts custom, vintage, cruiser and lowrider builders and collectors.
photo: Maker Faire
Maker Faire—San Mateo
Take the whole family to the world’s largest DIY festival, featuring anything and everything that people make themselves. From robots to recycled art to homemade, traditional arts and crafts, you’ll see the finest examples of creativity and innovation. Mini makers will enjoy hands-on activity stations and exhibits that get the gears turning in their heads. Head to the event early, because this popular event fills up quickly.
Dates: May 17-19
Cost: $50/adults, $30/kids, 3 and under free at the door, Early Bird discounts available
Location: San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo, CA
Celebrate this German/Austrian cultural fest with a Maypole, authentic foods and beer, music, folk dancing and children’s games.
Date: May 19, 12-6 p.m.
Cost: $20/adults, kids free
Location: San Francisco Tourist Club, 30 Ridge Ave., Mill Valley, CA
photo: John Morgan via Flickr
Bay Area KidFest—Concord
Looking for a fun way to spend Memorial Day weekend? Head over to Concord where it’s Kid Fest time! Puppets, singers, martial artists and even your favorite TV characters will be there to entertain all weekend. Carnival rides will get you spinning.
Dates: May 25-27, Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $7 per person ages 2 and over ($1 off with donation of canned good)
Location: Mount Diablo High School, 2450 Grant St., Concord, CA
San Francisco’s 41st annual Carnaval celebration is shaping up to be a party like no other. Over 400,000 people are expected to line in the streets to enjoy dancing, drumming, live music, brilliant costumes, delicious food and artistry. Don’t miss the Grand Parade, which kicks off on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. The parade begins at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets, then proceeds west to Mission Street, heads north on Mission to 17th Street, turns east on 17th Street and concludes at South Van Ness Avenue. The spectacular costumes and floats will take your breath away, and the infectious samba rhythms will have your whole family dancing in the streets.
Dates: May 25-26
Location: Harrison Street between 16th and 24th streets, San Francisco, CA
San Ramon Art & Wind Festival—San Ramon
Kites are the main attraction of this event along with artists’ booths and hands-on activities for all ages. See talented musicians and dancers on multiple stages, grab a bite to eat and check out the kids zone with rides and other fun.
Dates: May 26-27, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Location: San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon, CA
Civil War Battles and Encampment—Felton
Travel back in time to the Civil War where encampments of Union and Confederate soldiers re-make history right before your eyes. Ride an 1880s “iron horse” through an ancient redwood forest and witness skirmishes as the steam train ascends Bear Mountain. Then chow down on a Chuck Wagon Barbecue.
Dates: May 25-27, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Train rides are $37/adults, $28/kids. Admission to Civil War event is $5. $10 parking.
Location: Roaring Camp Railroad, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton.
—Kate Loweth & Ana Picazo