Of all the places available in the Bay Area for young ones to express themselves fully, out-of-the-house still ranks No. 1 with parents. With the dangers of Covid-19 lurking in the air, it may be difficult to find safe and fun places for little legs to run amok, little hands to explore and little minds to expand. Fortunately, the season is getting warm, and the opportunities for exploration and respite have begun to bloom in full.
Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland re-opens on March 19th. Founded in 1948, the favorite playground for tots and toddlers for over 70 years remains a great destination for parents on sunny days. The newly reopened park promises family fun while following the current safety guidelines. www.fairyland.org
San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Art and Culture presents the Fort Mason Flix movie drive-in. Family-oriented fare, like James and The Giant Peach and Disney’s Cars, are projected on a large screen, giving even the busiest parent the option of running their ward through the vast grounds of Fort Mason, or sneaking in a nap to the soothing tunes of Finding Dory or The Princess and The Frog. www.fortmason.org
Oakland Zoo has reopened. Located at the lower entrance of the zoo, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo encourages children to learn through exploration and play, with animal attractions like lemurs, rabbits, alligators and a petting yard of the most fascinating animals our ecosystem has to offer. Be sure to show up around the “chow times” so your kids can learn about conservation and sustainability, or become an Earth Agent member for more outdoor fun all year round. www.oaklandzoo.org
For a more serene but no less physically taxing experience, the University of California Botanical Garden is open for business (https://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu). Requiring a reservation for attendance does not take away from the spontaneous experience of taking in exotic flora with a new set of eyes by your side. The same is true for San Francisco Botanical Garden as well, where garden crafts, bug hunts in the Children’s Garden and story time will keep your little ones entertained. www.sfbg.org