Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FREE Museum Admission August 2014 - A Bay Area Staycation at your local museums . . .

First Full Weekend of the Month is upon us!

Heat waves in the Bay Area find us indoors at a cool museum! Often, there is a FREE MUSEUM DAY in August 2014, located in a town near you. (Nationwide.) San Francisco, Oakland, Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Portland, Boston and beyond.

First Weekend of the month has the most FREE Admission opportunities. Have fun. Be inspired.

CLICK HERE to find other FREE MUSEUM DAYS in a city near you.

San Francisco Bay Area Museums & Gardens:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Oakland Museum is Free FIRST Sunday to the general public.
Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014 and Sunday, August 3, 2014
Saturday, August 2, 2014 and Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014 and Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014 and Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014 and Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014 and Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lawrence Hall of Science - FREE Printable Coupon for Child Admission with Adult Admission Purchase. Good thru 2014.

Napa Valley Museum - FREE Family Fun Days, 2nd Saturday of the Month.
Saturday, August 9, 2014 - Extreme Cupcake Decorating 2-4pm (Free Activity)

Saturdays Without Reservations.
Access to the site is by National Park Shuttle only.

The park is closed to visitors Monday through Thursday. Guided tours are only available on Fridays and Sundays at 10 AM & 2 PM. Reservations are required for guided tours of the site. Self-guided tours are offered on "Saturdays Without Reservations" at 10:15 AM, 12:15 PM and 2:15 PM.

As an added bonus, there are special FREE days at gardens, Regional Parks, Swimming Pools, Museums not normally advertised:

San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum (located at Golden Gate Park) - FREE Admission SECOND Tuesday of the month, general public
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

San Francisco Zoo Coupon - One FREE Child Admission, With One Paid Adult Admission. Expires 12/31/2014. CLICK HERE for printable coupon.
Friday, August 15, 2014

John Muir National Historic Site - FREE Admission Wednesdays thru Sundays. Tour the historic fruit orchards and former home of Naturalist, John Muir.
Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 7pm

Amazing Selection of DAILY FREE Passes through your local Library

CLICK HERE: DISCOVER and GO - Find your County. Entire list of Participating Counties.

CLICK HERE: Contra Costa County Library Discover & Go Partners and Offers.

CLICK HERE: Alameda County Library Discover & Go Partners and Offers.

California State Parks Passes: Reduced admission to State Parks and Beaches. Parks Sampler equates to: Buy 3 days - get a day FREE! . . .

Raising a family in the Bay Area provides many opportunities for day visits to California State Parks. With regular parking at $10.00+ per day, it was a better value to purchase a California State Parks Annual Pass in advance. Six weekends, and it pays for itself. (You can even split the cost with a friend or family member.)

Or, if you only visit a State Park or State Beach a few times a year, you can save a bit on admission fees by becoming a "Parks Sampler" member of the California State Parks Foundation. For only $25.00 basic membership fee, first-time members receive 4 - Single Day Use Passes for FREE and a subscription to Sunset Magazine. Not bad! Seniors 62+ can pay less than that. These prices simply can't be matched any other way. It's like getting a free day+ and a free magazine subscription for joining.

If you live locally and have never visited Mt. Diablo State Park's Rock City, you're missing out! Most Santa Cruz, San Mateo County and Half Moon Bay beaches charge a $10.00 fee. I hear Southern California beaches even charge $15.00 per day. $25.00 for four days of parking and exploring is worth every penny.

For an index by Region of State Parks, CLICK HERE.

A few of the California State Parks our family has visited:

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Seacliff State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Mt. Diablo State Park

Half Moon Bay State Beach

Pescadero State Beach

Carmel River State Beach

Join the California State Parks Foundation to help protect, enhance and support California’s 280 state parks. Plus, you'll receive exclusive member benefits to help you visit and enjoy state parks. All membership levels include a one-year subscription (12 issues) to Sunset magazine. View a complete list of membership benefits and park passes. Benefits subject to change.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Public Swimming Pools, Aquatic Parks, Water Slides Contra Costa and Alameda County...

Spring and Summer 2014 Recreational Swim Hours
Where children can simply splash, swim, slide and have fun!
Public Swimming Pools, Aquatic Parks, Water Slides,
Thursday and Friday Night Swim Events.
Contra Costa County and Alameda County

Many city operated public pools are open year-round for lap or exercise swim for adults. Until late Spring, recreational swim opportunities for children and families are rare. TIP: Clarke Memorial Swim Center / Heather Farm in Walnut Creek offers year-round weekend recreational swimming for children and families.

195 Griffith Lane, Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5430

Open Thru September 28, 2014
Weekend Recreational Swimming
12pm - 6pm

Water slides - Sure are fun! 

YELP Reviews - Water slide photos on yelp.

Located in Heather Farm Park
1750 Heather Drive, Walnut Creek, CA
(925) 943-5856
Open Year Round - Big +++
Public Recreational Swim
Fall thru Spring Weekends 12pm - 4pm
Summer Weekends 12pm - 5pm

Summer hours begin June 16, 2014
Rec Swim Monday thru Thursday opens at 12:30pm

Our family favorite for a quick afternoon dip, close to home!

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

Located by the Lindsay Museum 
2771 Buena Vista Ave, Walnut Creek, CA
(925) 943-5861
Recreational Swim Opens June 16, 2014 to Mid-August
Monday thru Thursday pool opens at 12:30pm
Friday opens at 1pm, Saturday and Sundays open at 12pm

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

3501 Cowell Road
Concord, CA 94518
(925) 671-3480

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

1700 Castle Rock Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
(510) 544-3085 or (510) 544-3086
Cool, woodsy, shady area of mature trees around the pool.
Pool Open until 6pm
Weekends and Holidays Only
May 24 – Sept. 21
Thursdays and Fridays: 
Jun. 16 - Aug. 22
Lifeguard Hours: 
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

3131 Stone Valley Road, Danville, CA
(925) 314-3400
Monday, June 21 – Friday, August 15
(closed for the July 4 holiday)
Open until 6pm Fridays.
Oak Hill Park and Community Center is a Beautiful woodsy setting, paved trails, ponds, ducks, creeks, play structures.

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp

147 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, CA
(925) 682-7830
Public Recreational Swim Hours begin Saturday May 24, 2014
Friday Night Family Swimming in 2014:
June 20, July 18, Aug. 22, 6:00–9:00 pm

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

Rankin Aquatic Center Martinez
100 Buckley Street
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 370-6451
Hot Summer Nights Pool Open Evenings Selected dates.

CLICK HERE: City of Martinez WEBSITE for Public Recreational Swim hours.
A family favorite, close to home for water splash fun!

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

4701 Lone Tree Way
Antioch, CA 94531
(925) 776-3070
Opening Day May 24, 2014

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

Silliman Activity and Family Aquatic Center
6800 Mowry Ave., Newark, CA 94560
Station Rd
Get Directions
(510) 578-4620
Aquatic Center opens in April 2014 - INDOOR Facility!
Friday NIGHTS INDOOR swimming available April thru August 2014.

CLICK HERE for Operating Hours and info.

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

9900 Broadmoor Drive, San Ramon, CA
(925) 973-3240
Season Opening May 10, 2014

CLICK HERE for San Ramon Aquatic Center(s) Operating Hours.

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

40500 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 494-4426
Open May 2014
SNEAK Peek $5.00:
Open Saturday May 17, 2014 from 2-5pm
Fun looking Twisty Water Slides! +++
CLICK HERE: 2014 Operating Schedule.

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

Robert Livermore Community Center Pools
4444 East Ave., Livermore, CA
(925) 373-5700
For Pool Hours, call (925) 373-5702 (then press 4)
Public Recreation swim hours began May 3, 2014
Saturday and Sundays 12pm-6pm.
Zero entry pool with water feature and fantastic water slide.

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

1765 Adams Lane
Brentwood, CA 94513
Parks & Recreation
(925) 516-5444
City of Brentwood website indicates there are three parks with water features.

**Special Note: As of August 1, 2014 - City of Brentwood, CA website indicates this water spray ground has been closed. CLICK HERE for that information: http://www.brentwoodca.gov/gov/parks/default.asp

May be best to telephone City of Brentwood directly to confirm operating hours. Many of the "free" water park features operated by this and other California cities can be unexpectedly closed due to drought and water restrictions. Something to consider.

YELP Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

Meadow Homes Spray Park Concord
1351 Detroit AvenueConcord, CA
(925) 671-3366
Admission is Free to everyone.

May be best to telephone City of Concord directly to confirm operating hours. Many of the "free" water park features operated by this and other California cities can be unexpectedly closed due to drought and water restrictions. Something to consider.

Solano County
181 East J Street, Benicia, CA 94510
(707) 746 - 4286 

Yelp Reviews - Photos on Yelp.

Napa County
100 California Drive., Yountville, CA
(On the Veterans Home Property)
(707) 944-4908
June 7 - August 12
Recreation Swim  (all ages)
12:00pm - 4:00pm 

Friday, July 25, 2014

John Muir National Historic Site. Saturday, July 26, 2014, FREE Camp Fire Programs For Families. Free Admission always...

CLICK HERE for 2014 Camp Fire Programs Flyer.

CLICK HERE for John Muir National Historic Site Home Page.

We've always enjoyed a quick educational self-guided ranch tour whenever we feel like taking a step back in time...a stone's throw from the local Wal-Mart, yet many families rarely stop to meander through the tranquil grounds of the John Muir Historic House Property.

Families can explore the historic fruit and nut tree orchards year round. Ava reports the grapes are soooo good. John Muir House in Martinez, California is a fantastic place to have a picnic under beautiful shade trees, collect a few bay leaves, too. Free Admission every day! There are Family Days, Full Moon Walks, Kids Programs and Camps.

Saturday evenings in Summer 2014 bring Camp Fire Programs: July 26th, August 30th, September 27th, October 25th, 2014. We often forget the local gems in our own back yard. Seize the day! Have fun making memories.

4202 Alhambra Avenue
Martinez, CA  94553
(925) 228-8860

Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, CA...Memories of our past: A child's dream for pony rides and farm-filled fun!

CLICK HERE to visit Lemos Farm Website

Ava - trying to take the sweet baby goat home with us.
Afterall, they're twins, so there's two of them.
That's her 3 1/2 year old reasoning with her Mommy. :)
Lemos Farm, Half Moon Bay, California

This is the most darling little farm!
 Ava is only 3 1/2 years old and we have visited at least five times since June. She absolutely loves the pony rides, the dig zone dump truck, the goats, the hay ride, especially the ghost town train ride, and just hanging out eating ice-cream and popcorn.

During our visit, I chatted with Mr. Lemos and he says they have 20 baby goats a year on the farm. The cute little goats in these photos are only five weeks old. They're so soft, gentle and adorable. We wish we could take them home with us! How did we live all this time without knowing such a wonderful, quaint family farm is only an hour from home? We sure look forward to visiting in time for Harvest Season and Pumpkin Patches. The sunflowers are beautiful and corn is growing tall. If you stay till closing, you'll even see cotton tailed bunnies hopping along the trails.

CLICK HERE to visit Lemos Farm website.

Lemos Farm
12320 San Mateo Road (Hwy 92)

Half Moon Bay CA 94019

Lemos Farm appears to be open only on weekends.
Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm
Always best to Call to confirm.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

CuriOdyssey Museum at Coyote Point, San Mateo, CA FREE Admission . . .

Last weekend, we escaped the inland heat wave with a visit to Coyote Point in San Mateo.

At Coyote Point, there is fun, entertaining museum called CuriOdyssey, definitely worth visiting if you have preschool and young children.  Ava will be entering 2nd grade and she never gets bored here. The museum combines fascinating science exhibits in an expanded hall with bright Bay views, a meandering garden path, outdoor mini-zoo, otters, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, snakes, reptiles, atrium with birds and ponds, better than most local wildlife museums in the Bay Area. The bay and harbor views are impressive to little children, too.

CLICK HERE: CHECK CuriOdyssey website for Daily Animal Shows.

CLICK HERE: CuriOdyssey Facebook page for photos to inspire you. 

CuriOdyssey offers FREE Admission with the Discovery and Go Program through our local libraries.  If you plan in advance, it really is easy to get FREE tickets.  FREE tickets for today and every day thru the next few months are offered on my Discover and Go account. We actually have a different museum membership and CuriOdyssey is a participating reciprocal museum, so our entire family is always admitted for free.

CLICK HERE for Discover and Go Program FREE Ticket information. Search your city, here.

CLICK HERE for CuriOdyssey upcoming FREE Admission Community Days.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014

CuriOdyssey Museum
1651 Coyote Point Dr, San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 342-7755

Photo courtesy of CuriOdyssey.org website.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FREE Admission Days: Friday, July 18th and Saturday, July 19th, 2014. Habitot Children's Museum in Berkeley, CA . . .

FREE Admission Days: Friday, July 18th and Saturday, July 19th, 2014. 10:00am-12:00pm at Habitot Children's Museum in Berkeley.

**Best to telephone the museum first to confirm event dates, times, details.
2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 647-1111

2014 Early Childhood Safety Fair
10:00 am–12:00 pm 
Join us for our annual two-day Safety Fair to help prevent early childhood accidents and injuries. Community experts from the Red Cross, Berkeley Public Health, and others will be at Habitot to demonstrate ways to keep young kids safe including poison control, earthquake safety, non-toxic homes, toddler helmet fittings and sales, stranger safety ID cards and more. Free admission from 10:00am-12:30pm. Sponsored by State Farm.
More Information >>
State Farm Insurance EarlyChildhood Safety Campaign Sponsor

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

California's Great America in Santa Clara, CA - $19.85 Admission after 4pm July 17, 2014 and $28.00 tickets on August 16, 2014...

If you've got nothing planned for tomorrow, an adventurous spirit, seeking a last-minute amusement park getaway. Thursday night is for you! $19.85 admission on Thursday, July 17, 2014 after 4pm. Rock with the KFOX. Sounds fun! CLICK HERE for info.

Not so spontaneous? More of a planner? California's Great America Tickets $28.00 on Saturday, August 16, 2014 during AAA Member Appreciation Day. (I would imagine you have to be a AAA member.)  CLICK HERE for info.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Buttercup Farms Garden in Clayton, California - super local Community Supported Agriculture - Thank you!...

An overdue THANK YOU to Jorie, staff and volunteers at Buttercup Farms Garden, Clayton, California. Buttercup Farms Garden has been a wonderful supporter of "the lemon lady" mission of helping bring healthy produce to feed those in need who are hungry. They have donated countless beautiful boxes of produce including: kale, chards, cherry tomatoes, starburst squash, patty pan squash, radishes, collard greens and so much more.

Of special note: **Just this past weekend, I received a call from a friend, volunteer, Registered Nurse who visited a Clayton Family and found they were in urgent need of food. I immediately contacted Buttercup Farms Garden to see if they had any vegetables to share in this special situation. I've known how generous Buttercup Farms has been throughout the years. It was a joy to receive their prompt reply that they would deliver fresh food to us "tomorrow." 

Another Clayton family came through with a 70+ canned food donation!

Clayton's Local Farm came through to nourish neighbors in need. Bless your hearts and efforts of all, Buttercup and the "anonymous" Nurse who cared enough to share fresh food with a needy patient via special personal delivery. What better offerings than locally, naturally grown, fresh from Buttercup Farms Garden! How awesome is that?

For those in the Concord, Clayton, Walnut Creek, and surrounding areas, please take a moment to visit Buttercup Farms Garden, a one-acre, all natural garden nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo in Clayton, California. It's summer - a perfect time to join a super local CSA!  Buttercup offers an almost year-round CSA with EASY local pickup of their fantastic vine-ripened produce at sites in Clayton and Walnut Creek.

Buttercup Farms Garden
5181 Morgan Territory Rd, Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 672-1474 or (925) 935-1973

CLICK HERE for info on Buttercup Farms CSA.

CLICK HERE to view the Buttercup Farms slide show of delicious strawberries and colorful summer offerings.

Buttercup Farms Garden, Clayton, California.
Photo Courtesy of Yelp
Buttercup Farms Produce, Clayton, California
Photo courtesy: Yelp

Thursday, July 10, 2014

FREE Movie Nights, Summer Movie Clubs, Moonlight Movies - Clayton, Walnut Creek, Danville, Alamo, Orinda, Martinez, California....

Free Movies in the Park, 2014 Summer Movie Matinees, Summer Movies Under the Stars, Classic Film Screenings, Family Movie Nights, $1.00 Children's Movies are offered weekly in our local Contra Costa County cities.

CLICK HERE  for Alamo, CA Outdoor Movie Dates.
(Despicable Me 2 on Friday, July 18, 2014)

CLICK HERE  for Clayton, CA Outdoor Movie Dates.
(Select Friday Nights Summer 2014 at the parking lot of 6055 Main Street in Clayton, CA. Beginning: 7/11 with “Frozen”, 7/18 “Despicable Me 2”, 7/25 “The Game Plan”, and 8/1 “The Princess Bride”)

CLICK HERE for Danville, CA Outdoor Moonlight Movie Dates.
(Fridays: July 18, 2014 - Independence Day, August 1, 2014 - The Goonies, August 15, 2014 - Rio)

CLICK HERE  for Orinda, CA Orinda Theatre Summer Movie Dates.
(Second Thursdays of each Month at 7pm - FREE Movies)

CLICK HERE  for Walnut Creek, CA Heather Farms Movies Under The Stars Dates
(Friday, July 11, 2014 - Frozen, Friday, August 8th - The Sandlot)

CLICK HERE  for Martinez, CA Contra Costa Cinema $2.00 Summer Movies
(Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Summer 2014)

CLICK HERE  for Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse - $1.00 Summer Movies
(Mostly Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Summer 2014)