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Eight Events to Entertain Your Kids This Summer

Kate Van Brocklin | June 24, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

School is out—and there are only so many French-immersion slash learn to program slash outdoor survival day camps in the Greater Bay Area. So how do you keep the sprouts entertained while they aren't in classes? Here's ten ways to start.

Streat Bazaar: Craft & Artisan Pop-Up Food Market
What: SoMa StrEat Food Park's StrEat Bazaar is a food truck lover's paradise, with craft food vendors and special pop-up restaurants galore. If you're there before 7pm, grab a happy hour $3 Oaktown Brown at the beer garden and soak in the street scene.
Where: SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th Street, San Francisco, CA
When: Thursday, June 26, 5-10pm
Cost: FREE
Why: Come for the food, stay for the quirky street games like skeeball, corn hole, and bubble hockey.

Wine Country Truck & Tractor Pull
What: Nothing says summer like a tractor pull (right?). Sponsored by the Napa County Farm Bureau, watch California's most-qualified tractor drivers compete to pull the heaviest items and to drag them farthest on a 300-foot track.
Where: Napa Expo Fairgrounds
When: Saturday, June 28, 3:30-8pm
Cost: $20/adult, FREE/kids 5 and under
Why: In this era of drought, it's a good time to support your local farmers.

Sonoma Lavender Festival
What: This is sensory overload in full form... in a good way. Traipse through a five-acre lavender farm in full bloom while enjoying 20-60 percent off thousands of lavender products and cutting your own lavender to take home.
Where: Sonoma Lavender Barn, 8537 Sonoma Highway (Hwy 12), Kenwood, CA
When: Saturday & Sunday June 28 & 29, 10am-5pm
Cost: Advance tickets $15/person, $20/day of event, FREE/children under 12
Why: This festival also offers free seminars on growing your own lavender, beekeeping, and a lavender trivia game.

“Off The Grid” Twilight Campfire Party | Presidio
What: Snag one of the lantern-lit cabanas or huddle around the campfire for this special Off the Grid event. Street food vendors offer a variety of tapas-style dishes while you cozy up under the stars in the Presidio.
Where: Main Post Lawn in the Presidio
When: Thursday, June 26, 5-9pm
Cost: FREE
Why: With cocktail service and acoustic music, this is like a sophisticated campfire party, without the hassle of pitching a tent.

Eats, Beats & Brews
What: Kick off your summer with this classic block party. Cruise through the outdoor beer garden hosted by Drake’s Brewing, revel in the international cuisine from nearby restaurants, and dance to live music from local bands such as Mad Noise, Muir Valley Settlers, and Into the Pacific.
Where: Downtown Berkeley, on Center Street between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street
When: Sunday, June 29, 12-6pm
Cost: FREE
Why: While summer may mean winter in San Francisco, it's always warmer in the East Bay.

33rd Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off
What: What is more patriotic than chili? Celebrate Independence Day by tasting an assortment of red-hot chili recipes. This festival is open to the whole family, with live music, dancing, children’s activities, food vendors, and more.
Where: Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow Dr., Palo Alto, CA
When: Friday, July 4th, 12-5pm
Cost: FREE
Why: Awards will be presented for best booth, best spirit, and best chili.

Marine Mammal Center Science Sunday | Sausalito
What: Children and adults will delight in this free ocean-inspired classroom series from the center’s sea life experts. Peruse numerous oceanic exhibits, follow along a docent-led tour and peer through the viewing areas where volunteers and staff care for a menagerie of marine mammals.
Where: 2000 Bunker Road, Sausalito, CA
When: Sunday, July 13, all Day
Cost: FREE
Why: Patients at the center include California sea lions, elephant seals and sea otters. What could be cuter?

Bug Hunts
What: This bug hunt is great for all critter-loving kids. With a magnifying glass, a net, a viewer, and a field journal, children get a chance to examine local species of insects. Teen volunteers and LHS staff will lead you on a search for critters in the butterfly garden or under a log as you take notes in your field journal.
Where: Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Dr. (above the UC Berkeley campus, just below Grizzly Peak Blvd.)
When: Daily, June 14–August 24, on the hour between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $5-$17, free for members
Why: Now that school's out, kids need a place to bug out.

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