1. Cherry Blossom Festival, San Francisco

Enjoy a wonderful day filled with cultural activities in the historic Japantown to celebrate Spring! The festival will be held within the borders of Laguna and Fillmore Streets and Geary and Bush Streets. Activities include Bonsai Tree art displays, origami paper crafting lessons, Ikebana flower arrangements, Kyoto Arts and Crafts, and an Anime costume contest and talent show.

A spectacle not to be missed, the parade is a fun experience for the whole family. The Grand Parade will be held on Sunday, April 16, beginning at 1 pm starting from City Hall and concluding in Japantown. Japanese classical and folk dance groups representing the Bay Area will perform throughout the parade route like a myriad of floating butterflies.

Location: Japantown – Parade: Post and Buchanan Streets

Price: Free to attend. Vendors will be charging for food goods and some retail products. Some specialized events require a fee.

Day: Saturday April 15 and Sunday April 16, 10 am – 5 pm, Parade: Sunday April 16 @ 1 pm

Website: https://sfcherryblossom.org

Festival Map: https://sfcherryblossom.org/festival-map/


  1. Family Art & Animal Adventure @ the Junior Art Center, Oakland

Join in the fun at the Junior Art Center for drop-in art lessons on Saturdays that are fun for the whole family. Incorporating wildlife into this creative craft, this is an interactive and educational experience that kids will love. Every week has a different theme, this week is Printmaking Gone Wild. Get ready to learn printmaking techniques and make prints inspired by your favorite jungle animals!

Adjacent to the Junior Art Center is the Wildlife Sanctuary inside Lakeside Park, where birds nest. The sanctuary is abundant with egrets, herons, Canada geese, and many other species of birds. Bird watching is a fun activity for children and it’s a great opportunity to teach them a how to identify different species. Nearby you’ll also find the Gardens at Lake Merritt (just across the street!). Check out the beautiful bonsais, Japanese garden, and more botanicals (there are seven acres to explore). Pack a picnic and stay a while, it’s a lovely spot to explore on a sunny afternoon.

Location: Junior Art Center, Lakeside Park @ Lake Merritt

Price: $8 per child

Day: Saturday April 15 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Website: http://juniorcenter.org

Wildlife Sanctuary: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/opr/s/Parks/OAK032395

Gardens at Lake Merritt: http://gardensatlakemerritt.org, Free Admission


  1. Family Fun Day @ Orinda Theatre Square, Orinda

The Orinda Theatre Square has a variety of activities: dining, films, and retail shops to explore. This weekend, the Square gets even more fun, with an afternoon of free live entertainment, a petting zoo, face painting, pony rides, a rock climbing wall, and more! Make a full day of it by swinging by for lunch at one of the many restaurants in the square. Want to stay a bit longer? Finish off the day with a family flick at the Orinda Theatre.

Location: Orinda Theatre Square

Date + Time: Saturday April 15 1pm – 4 pm

Price: Free to attend, plus free parking all day!

Ages: Children 10 years and younger

Website: http://orindatheatresquare.com/index.php/events


4. Presidio Stargazing Party, San Francisco

Marin families, a quick hop over the Golden Gate Bridge takes to you the presidio for an evening of free fun. Expand your mind under the guidance of amateur astronomers who will unveil universe’s most interesting beauties. Through the lens of a telescope, you’ll experience the moon, planets, nebulae, constellations, and galaxies like never before. Don’t miss this wonderful way to bond together as a fam under the expansive night sky.

Location: Presidio-Main Parade Ground, San Francisco

Day: Friday April 14, 7-9:30pm

Price: Free

Note: Bad weather cancels. Check www.sfaa-astronomy.org for updates.

Website: http://www.presidio.gov/events/presidio-stargazing-party-2017-04-14?utm_source=Presidio+e-News&utm_campaign=fe607d5b0b-Events_2017_04_04&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_85ae94ba97-fe607d5b0b-52492853&mc_cid=fe607d5b0b&mc_eid=54468ccb7b

Reserve Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/presidio-stargazing-party-tickets-31462625560?ref=elink


  1.  Open Labs @ Sticky Arts Lab, Berkeley

Sticky Art Lab offers crafting and creativity for children and parents to do together. The space provides facilitators, materials, and projects in their bright studio space. Many of the materials are reused and donated by the community. Tinker with bottle caps, corks, fabric, design samples, wood scraps to create anything imaginable to play with: a doll house, toy cars, and googly-eyed monsters. Open Labs is fun a treat as an after-school playdate or a sensory exploration for your toddler. You’ll love connecting with your creative side and sharing crafts with your little one.

Event: Weekday Open Labs

Location: Sticky Arts Lab

Day + Time: Friday April 14 10 am – 5 pm

Ages: Children Ages 2 and up

Price: $10 per person / $25 for three ($5 each additional person, up to 5)

Website: http://www.stickyartlab.com/families