I know most people post weekend ideas on Friday, but that drives me crazy because it gives me no time to prepare! So my weekend fun will be on Thursdays.
This time, my weekend fun suggestions are more location specific.
Sunol, CA—Niles Canyon Railway. I just learned about this one. This is a donation-only railway excursion train that departs from Sunol for a round trip to Niles, CA. The rail line is restored from a line used for 80 years, and many of the trains are restored vintage engines. A Round trip is approximately 90 minutes, and they only run on Sundays. Many Sundays use a “Steamie” as any Thomas the Tank Engine fan would know is a steam engine. Ticket holders may depart the train in Niles for a walk or a picnic around Niles, and return on a later train. Suggested donations are $5 for children, $10 for adults. You can donate more or less depending on your budget. Dads riding on June 19th will receive a free Root Beer or Beer.
Santa Monica has some of the cheapest and most available parking for beach access in Southern California. When we lived there, we either went to Venice beach (which has a tiny lot) or up the coast to Santa Monica. Real time parking availability helped us as we used our iphones to find a lot with open spaces. For the cost of parking and picnic lunch, you can entertain your whole family for the day. For those of you in other areas, I highly suggest you check out the beaches near you for cheap family fun. I grew up going to lakes and rivers, so you don’t need to live near the coast to find this. Sacramento’s Discovery Park and Oroville’s Loafer Creek Park are two central Northern California beach alternatives.
San Francisco, CA—Lots to do
There is a wealth of things to do in San Francisco. Explore the Sutro Bath ruins , picnic in Golden Gate Park, visit Ocean Beach, or go to the Exploratorium. While admission is $15 for adults, and $10 for children 4-12), if you choose to become an annual family member, for $90 annually, you get free admission. For a family like is which would cost us $60 to go for one day, $90 is a bargain, and the Exploratorium is a place your children will want to go to more than once. With limited time exhibits and many hands-on learning activities, you’ll need to go more than once to do it all.
The Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma is super cool to most kids. / we took our one year old there, and she couldn’t get enough of it. Dinosaurs, mammoths, Native American culture, and the Discovery Room, there was plenty to entertain a toddler and older kids. The Discovery Room allows kids hands on experience digging for dinosaur bones, seeing how large a Mammoth tusk is compared to themselves, and touching live reptiles. Admission is also inexpensive at $5 per adult, $3 for children 6-17 and free for children under 6.
What do you do in your area for inexpensive fun?