With a Bow on the Go--11 Summer Time Favorites in the Bay Area and Beyond!

Our preschoolers head back to school on Monday and we are extremely excited and sad at the same time! We have had a great summer exploring our surroundings, but welcome the routine and community the school year will bring.

This summer we aimed for one "field trip" a week, not breaking the bank, and building lasting memories! Check out 11 of our summer favorites to inspire your Bay Area adventuring with kids in tow.

11. Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve & Deer Hollow Farm, Los Altos

 This trip is not only great as a fun outing for you and your kids, but it is also great exercise!  With 24 miles of trails for walking, biking or horseback riding it is a great adventure for all and extremely stroller friendly allowing you to get out into the "wilderness" without ever leaving the city. Located about 1.5 mile in from the parking lot is Deer Hollow Farm, the highlight of the trek for the little ones. Complete with chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, and cows you are sure in for entertainment. The last couple times we visited we were even able to watch the cow get milked!

This trip is not only great as a fun outing for you and your kids, but it is also great exercise!  With 24 miles of trails for walking, biking or horseback riding it is a great adventure for all and extremely stroller friendly allowing you to get out into the "wilderness" without ever leaving the city. Located about 1.5 mile in from the parking lot is Deer Hollow Farm, the highlight of the trek for the little ones. Complete with chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, and cows you are sure in for entertainment. The last couple times we visited we were even able to watch the cow get milked!

 Centered in the beautiful Golden Gate Park, this field trip allows for as many hours of entertainment as you can stand. Wander the beautiful paths at the park and then spend a few hours looking at sea creatures, butterflies, amphibians, constellations and other natural exhibits. You can even meet Claude, the white American Alligator or some friendly humans amongst the fish, they were pretty exciting to see too!

Centered in the beautiful Golden Gate Park, this field trip allows for as many hours of entertainment as you can stand. Wander the beautiful paths at the park and then spend a few hours looking at sea creatures, butterflies, amphibians, constellations and other natural exhibits. You can even meet Claude, the white American Alligator or some friendly humans amongst the fish, they were pretty exciting to see too!

 Tucked away at Coyote Point is this awesome playground! With gated in areas designated for various ages and many unique structures this playground is perfect for the whole crew. This area is generally much windier than surrounding cities, so remember your sweater and maybe even a kite! There are great trails, lawns, and a small beach to play on if a full afternoon of fun is what you are looking for. (Side note: Entrance to Coyote Point is $6 cash)

Tucked away at Coyote Point is this awesome playground! With gated in areas designated for various ages and many unique structures this playground is perfect for the whole crew. This area is generally much windier than surrounding cities, so remember your sweater and maybe even a kite! There are great trails, lawns, and a small beach to play on if a full afternoon of fun is what you are looking for. (Side note: Entrance to Coyote Point is $6 cash)

 If you're looking to get out of the Bay Area for the day, driving to Oakdale, CA is the perfect day trip! It's about an hour and a half drive and there are loads of quaint things to do in the Valley. One of our favorite places is the Oakdale Cheese Factory. Watch gouda cheese being made, feed the goats, eat delicious gouda grilled cheese sandwiches next to the duck pond and run around on the shady lush green grass. Our girls had a blast and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon.

If you're looking to get out of the Bay Area for the day, driving to Oakdale, CA is the perfect day trip! It's about an hour and a half drive and there are loads of quaint things to do in the Valley. One of our favorite places is the Oakdale Cheese Factory. Watch gouda cheese being made, feed the goats, eat delicious gouda grilled cheese sandwiches next to the duck pond and run around on the shady lush green grass. Our girls had a blast and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon.

 The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great stop with kids of any age.  Although it is generally a challenge to keep their attention, especially my sons, the Aquarium had lots interactive exhibits that allowed for hours of entertainment (which really makes the cost of getting in worth while).

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great stop with kids of any age.  Although it is generally a challenge to keep their attention, especially my sons, the Aquarium had lots interactive exhibits that allowed for hours of entertainment (which really makes the cost of getting in worth while).

 Magical Bridge Palo Alto, "the nations most inclusive and innovative playground"! I was so highly impressed by all this park had to offer. It is highly sensory diverse, accessible, age appropriate for a WIDE range, and the kids absolutely loved it! This is not a playground you could get bored of. Additionally, the surrounding area of the park is great for riding bikes and playing sports of all kinds.

Magical Bridge Palo Alto, "the nations most inclusive and innovative playground"! I was so highly impressed by all this park had to offer. It is highly sensory diverse, accessible, age appropriate for a WIDE range, and the kids absolutely loved it! This is not a playground you could get bored of. Additionally, the surrounding area of the park is great for riding bikes and playing sports of all kinds.

  Pinecrest is located just 15-20 minutes from our family cabin in Twain Harte.  A couple times this summer we have been able to sneak away to one of our favorite places on earth! We had the luxury of honeymooning at this beautiful lake and it brings us such joy to make special memories with our daughters here. We love simply hanging on the beach, playing in the water, and enjoying a delicious soft-serve ice cream cone. However, often take our the boat, fish, hike, and paddle board around the lake as well.

Pinecrest is located just 15-20 minutes from our family cabin in Twain Harte. A couple times this summer we have been able to sneak away to one of our favorite places on earth! We had the luxury of honeymooning at this beautiful lake and it brings us such joy to make special memories with our daughters here. We love simply hanging on the beach, playing in the water, and enjoying a delicious soft-serve ice cream cone. However, often take our the boat, fish, hike, and paddle board around the lake as well.

 My son learned to ride his bike without training wheels this summer and we simply couldn't get enough! This is such a fun adventure for the whole family.  With the lovely views and weather, you can't go wrong riding or walking the Bay Trail. With little ones, we often stop at one of the many parks along the way to let the kids run and play.

My son learned to ride his bike without training wheels this summer and we simply couldn't get enough! This is such a fun adventure for the whole family.  With the lovely views and weather, you can't go wrong riding or walking the Bay Trail. With little ones, we often stop at one of the many parks along the way to let the kids run and play.

 I don't know who is more wild, the animals or our children! My little one called every animal a puppy and the older two spent the afternoon as our tour guides navigating the map to every animal on location. We had a blast making animal noises and learning about the different creatures. Though I think their favorite part after all was said and done was riding the carousel :).

I don't know who is more wild, the animals or our children! My little one called every animal a puppy and the older two spent the afternoon as our tour guides navigating the map to every animal on location. We had a blast making animal noises and learning about the different creatures. Though I think their favorite part after all was said and done was riding the carousel :).

 Although Mammoth was quite a drive this Summer, we took advantage of some family property and decided that we were going to get out and go for an adventure.  Mammoth is mostly known as a skiing town, but we had a blast playing at the lake and riding the many bike trails available!

Although Mammoth was quite a drive this Summer, we took advantage of some family property and decided that we were going to get out and go for an adventure.  Mammoth is mostly known as a skiing town, but we had a blast playing at the lake and riding the many bike trails available!

 This spring Half Moon Bay became our weekly family tradition. On my husband's day off we would head over the hill, have breakfast and gelato at our favorite   Caffe Mezza Luna  , and head to the beach to put our feet in the sand, search for treasure and rejuvenate our souls. It was also a very welcomed break from the heat many days.

This spring Half Moon Bay became our weekly family tradition. On my husband's day off we would head over the hill, have breakfast and gelato at our favorite Caffe Mezza Luna, and head to the beach to put our feet in the sand, search for treasure and rejuvenate our souls. It was also a very welcomed break from the heat many days.

Side Note: Yes, the Bay Area Museums can get really pricey! We chose to ask for memberships to our favorite places from family for the kids birthdays and Christmas (experiences are always better than adding to the pile of toys that they hate cleaning up and don't need anyway). We share memberships with my parents for the SF Zoo and Monterey Aquarium (my mom is the listed adult on one, I on the other, and we have 1-2 guest passes for other adults to join as well) and all the kids/grandkids are free. It has made it really easy for extended family and friends to join us on fun outings as well! 

For more ideas on Family Friendly Bay Area outings visit www.bayareakidfun.com!