Best Summer Vacation Activities In The Bay Area

July 17, 2013 9:31 AM

It’s summer and the kids are out of school. Your family is fortunate to be in the Bay Area where there is no shortage of perfect summer activities for kids to have fun with and master a few skills at the same time. Here are five summer vacation activities to fill the days and get the kids out of the house and into the California sunshine.

Camp Doodles
French American International School
150 Oak St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 388-4386

With several locations in Marin and San Francisco, Camp Doodles is on a mission to create a safe, caring and extremely fun camp summer experience that will be remembered forever. Days are filled with arts and crafts, sports, games, songs, skits, trips and definitely making new friends. Older campers enjoy archery, cooking, book clubs and sports, and leave camp with some valuable life skills in addition to having the time of their lives. The camp promises “Qualified counselors, clean and secure facilities, age-appropriate activities – that’s the Camp Doodles difference.” It has locations in Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael and San Francisco. Visit the website for more details.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum
1931 First Ave.
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(925) 935-1978

Walnut Creek has a lot going on for kids and young teens. Having fun while learning in the arts, sports and nature activities is what it’s all about in this sunny and warm East Bay community. Kids of all ages will definitely not be bored with the array of kids’ classes and camps at Lindsay Wildlife Museum as they discover wildlife in new ways at engaging exhibits, and in parks and gardens nearby. There are kids’ camps and workshops throughout the summer for a full range of ages. Science, music, animals and water adventure are all here to explore and learn more about. Check out the website for detailed information on summertime options at the museum.

Related:  Kids’ Summer Art Activities And Camps Around The Bay

Shorebird Park Nature Center
160 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 981-6720

The Berkeley Marina offers Shorebird Park Nature Center for marine biology and boating programs and Adventure Playground Summer Programs for summertime activities for kids and teens. The Shoreline Park Nature Center offers marine biology classes run by a naturalist staff. With indoor prep and outdoor hands-on exploration of the rocky shore, dock and pier habitat, plus learning to use microscopes and marine sampling equipment, this it a fantastic class for young explorers eager to learn more about the sea world. Visit the Berkeley Marina website for details.

The Adventure Playground is one of the Marina Experience programs and has been voted the Best Creative Playspace in local media, plus its fans give it excellent reviews. National Geographic magazine has written about it as one of the top 10 playgrounds. Designed for children seven years and up, the playground is a terrific unique outdoor facility where the staff helps children play and build creatively. Visit the Adventure Playground website to learn more.

Kids Adventure Camps
Outback Adventures
14 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 461-2222

Outback Adventures is a comprehensive outdoor guide service and specialty outdoor retailer. Since its beginning in 1999, the company has become known as the Bay Area’s leader in outdoor education. Outback Adventures offers several Kids Adventure Camps that are uniquely different from traditional camps in that they focus on the outdoors for fitness and learning through exploration and cooperation. There are multi-sport adventure, kayaking and rock climbing camps. Each camp is tailored to kids, with leadership and instruction by top-notch instructors and guides. The camps are from two to five days and continue throughout the summer. Cost is from $200 to $395. See the website for full details and camp schedules.

City of Berkeley Activities
1947 Center St.
Berkeley CA, 94704
(510) 981-2489

The city of Berkeley offers many options for summer activities that include more than camps, though these are here too, including family camp. Swimming lessons, tennis courts and sports field rentals, skateboarding fun and park celebrations invite everyone to enjoy summer at free or low-cost events. There are many ways for kids to spend the summertime engaged in fun, learning activities. Visit the website to download the 2013 Berkeley Summer Activity Guide.

Related: Best Sleep Away Summer Camps For Bay Area Kids

best of san francisco screen shot4 Best Summer Vacation Activities In The Bay AreaHead to CBS San Francisco’s Best Of page for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at

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