Parades, boats, music and more, is there any better way for the whole family to celebrate the veterans of our Armed Forces? These real life superheroes deserve mega props and there are a ton of ways to get the kids involved and cheering on the hardworking men and women who suit up for the United States of America for Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 12, 2012. This Veteran’s Day weekend don’t just wave a flag and salute, get out there and check out some of these super awesome events happening in the San Francisco Bay Area in honor of all of the country’s super troopers.

San Francisco

Dons Battalion Veterans Day Race

Start the celebrating early by lacing up the family’s running shoes and participating in the USF ROTC sponsored “Fun Run” on Saturday, November 10th. It’s a short 4 miles, just perfect for little feet and jogging strollers. The whole household can get its daily sweat on and help support local veterans who are a part of the San Francisco community.  A share of the proceeds will directly benefit the Veteran organization, Swords to Plowshares. Register online here.

Lake Merced

San Francisco, Ca

Date: Nov 10th, 2012

Time: 8:00 am

Cost: $20 registration

93rd Annual San Francisco Veterans Day Parade

What is a holiday without a parade? The 93rd Annual Veterans Day Parade kicks of at Market & Second at 11:00 am this year, and will be full high school bands a-marching and veterans waving.

Market Street

San Francisco, Ca

Date: Nov 11th

Time: 11:00 am

Cost: Free

SF Vets Mural Project

Check out incredibly moving artistic visions from veterans and other volunteers by taking a stroll along Shannon Alley in the Tenderloin district. Known in the neighborhood as Veterans Alley, this super diverse project has amazing paintings including subjects such as the names of soldiers to birds soaring and flags waving, it’s a great way for kids to be immersed in our local culture and learn about the United States Armed Forces in one outing.

Shannon Alley

San Francisco, Ca

Cost: Free

Online: facebook

FYI: There is always more room in the alley for additional murals for more information email the man with the plan, Amos Lee Gregory Jr. at:

East Bay

USS Potomac Bay Cruise

Take a cruise of the Bay in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Floating White House,” a.k.a the USS Potomac. Leaving from the Alameda Naval Station, this over 2 hour cruise will give a little background lesson on the amazing boat while taking in the fantastic views of San Francisco.

Did you know?  The USS Potomac once belong to Elvis Presley

540 Water Street

Oakland, Ca

Date: Nov 11th

Time: 11:00 am and 2:30 pm

Cost: $25 to $40

Phone:  510-627-1215


All Aboard a Bay Area Treasure

Take a trip back in time when Rosie the Riveter was a national image. The SS Red Oak Victory is a WWII era ship that was built here in Richmond at the Kaiser Shipyards and the Richmond Museum of History is running an awesome exhibit on the city of Richmond during World War II.

SS Red Oak Victory

1337 Canal Blvd, Berth 6A

Richmond, Ca

Time: Docent tours are from 10:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Cost: $5 for all

Phone: 510-237-2933


Richmond Museum of History

400 Nevin Ave

Richmond, Ca

Dates: Nov 10th, Nov 12th

Hours: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Cost: $2 for Adults, $1 for seniors/students, Kids 12 and under are Free


North Bay

Marin County Veterans Day Celebration

Start Veterans Day off with music and memorials. The San Rafael Veterans Memorial will honor those who fought in the two world wars and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Music and military exercises will begin in the auditorium and wrap up at the super awesome memorial in the front of the venue.

Insider Tip:  Refreshments will be served after the ceremony in the Redwood Foyer!

10 Avenue of the Flags

San Rafael, Ca

Date: Nov 11th

Time: 9:30 am

Cost: Free


Planes over Petaluma

Do the kids get a kick out of helicopters, planes and parades? Well then head north to Petaluma for the largest Veterans Day Parade north of the Golden Gate. Word on the street is that a local resident will be rolling through the parade route in a T-34 Russian tank! A Huey helicopter, along with several antique warplanes will do a flyover after the parade begins.

Petaluma Veterans Parade & Flyover

Fourth Street to Petaluma Avenue

Petaluma, Ca

Date: Nov 11th

Time: 1:00 pm

Cost: Free


Cool Bonus! U.S. National Parks Service offers FREE admission during Veterans Day weekend, so head to Muir Woods for a hike among the redwoods or make your way downtown to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

South Bay

Veterans Day Books

Although the libraries in San Jose will be closed on Veterans Day, head over the day before to check out their current exhibit for kids. Learn why the holiday used to be called Armistice Day and what it means to fight for our country.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library

150 E. Fernando Street

San Jose, Ca

Phone: 408-808-2000


San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum

This go-to destination for families will be offering discounted admission to veterans and their families throughout the weekend.

180 Woz Way

San Jose, Ca

Phone: 408.298-5437

Cost: $1 off regular admission


Everyone Love a Parade!

This is the largest Veterans Day Parade in Northern California. Don’t miss out on this exciting march of veterans, boy scouts, marching bands and more!

San Jose Veterans Day Parade

Delmas and Santa Clara Street to San Carlos Street

San Jose, Ca

Date: Nov 11th

Time: 12:00 pm

What is your favorite way to celebrate Veterans Day with the family?

–Gabrielle Cullen

Picture #1: Kids Waving Flags Courtesy of MLekas via Flickr
Picture #2: Courtesy of SF Vets Mural Project  Facebook
Picture #3: Little girl at veterans day celebrations courtesy of MDGovpics via Flickr