One of the beautiful things about the San Francisco Bay Area is the temperate climate, but this time of year, we’re looking for ways to beat the heat! There’s something about these hot days that makes summer activities hard on kids and parents. But we’ve got a solution for you! With our handy guide, you’ll have fun (and frugal) new ways to connect as a family, shake off the high temps, and find some joy this summer. Whether you have preschoolers, K-6 kids, or teens, you’ll find something for everyone.
Summer Activities to Cool Down at Home
You’ve tried all the basics, like playing in the sprinklers or in a kiddie pool. Try leveling up your at-home play with these inspired ideas!
For sprinkler play: Pick up a few pool noodles for a noodle battle in the sprinklers! Maybe everyone needs their own unique color, or maybe you double up for teams.
For kiddie pools: Add an obstacle course that includes the pool. Set out some hula hoops and cones on the grass, and let your kids help create the challenges. They’ll splash in and out of the pool, move their bodies, and end up extra tired at the end of the day.
For bathtime: At the end of a hot day at a park or playground, try a cool water bubble bath. To make it fun (instead of a regular bedtime routine), turn off the lights, turn on some kid-approved music, and add glow sticks or glow necklaces! Your kids will love playing with the glow sticks in the bubbles, and the cool water will help calm hot bodies (or hot tempers).
Summer Activities Around the East Bay
You’re ready to go out, but, OUCH, even the slides are too hot to play! If you’re looking for a fun place to go (for FREE!), check out these awesome water parks and splash pads around the East Bay:
Aqua Adventure Water Park, Fremont: Pools, slides, a lazy river, and more! While smaller than some of the water parks in the South Bay, Aqua Adventure has something for everyone. Click here to view their website for more information.
Rancho San Ramon Community Park, San Ramon: This site, like many on this list, has a playground and splash pad side by side. Click here to check the fountain schedule.
Emerald Glen Park, Dublin: This great park has a playground, splash pad, gardens, and more. Click here to check facility hours.
Cannery Park Splash Pad, Hayward: This splash pad is next to a playground and park, with lots of room to run! Click here to check splash pad hours.
Brentwood Splash Pads: For information on splash pad hours and locations in Brentwood, click here.
Castro Valley Park, Hayward: Click here for hours and photos.
Meadow Homes Spray Park, Concord: Click here for hours and photos.
Seven Seas Park, Sunnyvale Parks: This great park is ocean and pirate-themed! But there are a lot more parks in Sunnyvale with water play areas– Click here for the complete list.
Shady Summer Hikes and Walks in the East Bay
If you want to keep it cool without water play, the East Bay Times published their top list of shaded hikes in the East Bay area. Check it out here!
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