Things to do in Northern California with Kids

With summer literally right around the corner, I thought it would be good for me to remind myself of all the fun things we have to do in our area. Some things are near by and may only take up a couple hours and others are day trips. But all are good things to do with kids.


Great Valley Museum
Fruit picking at Ott Farms or Jessop Farms
Hilmar Cheese - tour and ice cream
Modesto Nuts game
MB2 Raceway (indoor go karts)
Miniture golf at Boomers or Funworks

Central Valley

Railtown 1897 (Jamestown) - bring a picnic, ride the train
Knights Ferry - go on a hike, play in the river, grab ice cream in town
Columbia - pan for gold, grab some lunch and take a stage coach ride
Children's Museum of Stockton
World of Wonders Science Museum (Lodi) - it's like a miniature Exploratorium
Kiddieland (Merced) - located in Applegate park. It's run by the Kiwanis club. It has a few vintage rides at really cheap prices.
Micke Grove Zoo (Lodi)
Castle Air Museum (Atwater)


Beach day
Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Dennis the Menace Park (Monterey)

Bay Area

Exploratorium (San Francisco)
San Francisco Zoo - one of my favorite zoos…and it's right across from the beach!
Golden Gate Park (San Francisco) - so much to do here, museums, play areas, and more
Bay Area Discovery Museum (San Francisco)
Fairyland (Oakland)
Lawrence Hall of Science (Berkeley)
Oakland Zoo
Jelly Belly Factory (Fairfield)

Sacramento Area

California State Railroad Museum (in Old Town Sacramento)
Old Town Sacramento
Fairytale Town (Sacramento)
Sacramento Zoo

Believe it or not, we have done virtually all of these things over the last few years of having kids. Some of these places we have visited many, many times. But, it's always a good reminder of what there is to do in our area.

And, if you are really desperate, there is always Ikea…free childcare for an hour (or an hour and a half if you are a member) and my kids always love playing in the childcare center ;)

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