15 Fun Things to Do This Summer in the Bay Area

15 Fun Things to Do This Summer in the Bay Area with your kiddos or loved ones

Summer can be tough for parents, having to figure out fun things to do with their kids or even themselves. Summer is a great time to stop, slow down and to really enjoy life, your family and the beautiful place that we live here in the Bay Area! So let’s get to the list, I know as a parent you probably don’t have much time for reading lol.

1) Jelly Belly Factory – Vacaville

That’s right my friends! This is a great one for the kids. It’s educational and it’s all about candy. Plus if you’re in the area, drop by Araceli Farms in Dixon. They have a little shop and if you go in June you can see the Lavender Fields…so beautiful!


2) Lost Worlds – Livermore

If you’re a van of Jurassic Park or dinosaurs in general, you will love this place. It’s where Dave and Busters meets Chucky Cheese meets Jurassic Park. From arcades to an indoor jungle gym, this place is an AMAZING fun place to take the kiddos!


3) California State Fair-Sacramento 

The California state fair, isn’t technically in the Bay Area, but it’s a nice drive to Sacramento and definitely worth it! It’s July 14 – 30th Tickets are only $10 for kids 12 and under, and $16 for teens and adults. It’s really an amazing deal for sure and a lot of fun! Don’t forget to drink lots of what though!


4) Alameda County Fair – Pleasanton

On the subject of Fairs, check out one of the most popular fairs in the Bay Area…the Alameda County Fair. I have both worked there and join in on the festivities. It really is so fun and the food is great! The kids tickets are $13 and the adults are $15.


5) Minatare Golf

Miniature golf, truly stands the test of time. It is so much fun even as an adult. I’ve even had dates miniature golfing. Some locations offer a waterpark, arcades, and food. Some of my best memories with my dad were us spending time different miniature golf courses through the South Bay and beyond.


6) Train Ride from Martinez to Old Town Sacramento

It might be odd that I have a train ride in the 15 fun things to do in the Bay Area, but it really can be a fun adventure, especially if your little one loves trains. Your destination is quite fun as well. Old Town Sacramento has an old train station, ferry boat and so much more. Plus it might be perfect if you’re headed to the State Fair!


7) Library Card and Events

Now we’re going real old school, but as a book lover, I can’t tell you how many hours I spent reading during the summer months. Surprisingly it didn’t help my spelling, lol. Libraries often have special reading time and other fun activities for you little ones.


8) Theme parks

When I was 13 years old, my friends and I would go to Great America at least once a week. It was one of my favorite summers ever! Living in the Bay Area we are lucky enough to quite a few options. Aside from Great America, there is 6 Flags Discovery Kingdom, plus don’t forget the water parks. Raging Waters and Hurricane Harbor. These options can be a little more pricey, however season passes are often under $75 and you get unlimited visits, so definitely worth the value!


9) Monterey Bay Aquarium-Monterey

This one is a classic and yes not technically in the Bay Area, but it definitely needs to be included. They offer season passes, and it’s a fun thing to do a few times in the summer. While you’re there don’t forget to stop by cannery row and all the amazing beaches in the area. A trip to Monterey is definitely worth it even without the kiddos. It’s great for a little romantic get away.


10) Presidio Picnic and Kite Flying – San Francisco

San Francisco has gotten a bad wrap, but the Presidio is still amazing and generally safe. People who spend time there are mostly just wanting to relax and have fun. It’s a great way to cool down in the summer plus Ghirardelli Square is right there, so don’t forget to indulge in some ice-cream!


11)Stinson Beach and Bodega Bay – Marin County

The road to these locations can get very curvy, so make sure and back the ginger & Dramamine. The scenery is definitely worth the drive, and the towns are so quaint. If you’re up for a very long hike, you can do a 22mile hike round trip from Stinson Beach to Mt. Tam and back down. HINT: start at about 5pm, and you’ll be done around 8pm.


12)Art with Susan

If you’re local to the Concord and Walnut Creek area, you may know this sweet place. They have some amazing summer classes for kids to express themselves through out. It’s affordable, educational and creative. The perfect trifecta!


13) Academy of Science- Golden Gate Park

This is an amazing place to take the kiddos, it has a planetarium, natural history museum, aquarium and so much more. PLUS it’s in Golden Gate Park, which has Stowe Lake and the Japanese Tea Garden. Bonus you can actually park without paying an arm and leg.


14) Winchester House of Mystery – San Jose

I grew up in the South Bay and I haven’t even been here. Isn’t it amazing how many cool things there are to do in the Bay Area, but so many of us don’t take advantage. This house is pretty cool and the story is epic and a bit haunting. A great educational and fun trip for the whole a family!


15) Hiking

This just in, there are literally 100’s if not thousands of trails in the Bay Area, lol. I always hike with a buddy so I didn’t hike much for a long time. Now my boyfriend and I spend at least a few days a month exploring new hiking trails. It really is such a blast, plus it’s an amazing way to get exercise. My dad took me hiking in Rancho San Antonio down in Palo Alto all the time as a child. TIP: stay on the path, wear a hat (we don’t want ticks) and be careful of 3 leaf plants.


Well that’s 15 Fun Things to Do This Summer in the Bay Area….but I have a few more I just had to add on, if you have a couple more moments.



16) Yountville and Calistoga

This is an AMAZING drive through California’s gorgeous wine country. I suggest starting early in the morning and taking¬† your time. Yountville is a wonderful sweet town to stop in for antique shopping a nice lunch. Once you’ve finished there head over to Calistoga. They have an amazing Geyser and if you go during the week you can drop into their outdoor hot tubs. Calistoga is a wonderful place for a nice dinner or a fun picnic. This one is great for a romantic get away as well as a family outing.


17) Russian River Camping Trip

The Russian River is a wonderful place for a day trip or an overnight camping trip. They even have white water rafting at a few spots. This year the water is high-so definitely be cautious when having your fun.


18) Themed Photo Session with Summer Bear Photography (charity event for Early Alert Canines)

Of course I couldn’t leave without sharing our special themed events that I have scheduled for the month of June, and late July!

Check out all the details at the link above!

We have 3 Themes this month “Magical Fairy Session” “Lavender Field (Arcelia Farms as Appointments are available), Vintage Car session, yes with actual vintage cars, PLUS a Senior Model call for recent grads and incoming seniors.

10% of every package will be donated to Early Alert Canines PLUS there is an opportunity for you to donate $100 to them directly and receive a $150 credit at your viewing and ordering appointment.

Book a Session and Help Save a Life!


I hope this list helps you stay busy with your loved ones this summer!



I am so happy that you're here! My name is Crystal Summer Bear, I am an avid traveler, solopreneur and boutique portrait and wedding photographer. 
I love to share tips, tricks and beautiful stories that connect us all. 
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