1-2-3 Things — Historic Courthouse, Boats, and Skating in Redwood City

Hello Adventurers!

Did you get out to the San Jose History Park last weekend? So sorry about missing the fact that they were closed Saturday for a benefit concert. I found out after arriving around 11AM (their opening time), and I shot off a quick e-mail update as fast as I could manage. Oh well, these things happen, I hope no one was inconvenienced. 

We were meeting my sister and her kids there, so after a quick discussion we opted to go spend some time next door at the Japanese garden and had a picnic lunch there. It was quite a nice plan B and a beautiful day out too. 

This week’s adventure is down the peninsula in Redwood City. There are a lot of things going on this month all over the Bay Area, and so many great options to choose from. This Saturday is the Redwood City Port Festival, and next weekend starts one of our favorite events of the year: the Zoppé Circus is coming to town. Along with all that there is also the San Mateo History Museum at Courthouse Square and the Redwood City Roller Rink. There are a surprising number of options down here. 

Also let us know if you go, we would love to hear about your trip. Simply reply to this e-mail. And please feel free to forward this to a friend. 

Chief Happiness Officer at kiddiewalks.com

1-2-3 Things — Historic Courthouse, Boats, and Skating in Redwood City

Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area

From kiddiewalks.com 

  1. Visit the Redwood City Port Festival

  2. Check out the San Mateo History Museum

  3. Skate a few laps with the kids around the Roller Rink

  4. Bonus: The Zoppé Circus (October 9-25)

Redwood City Port Festival

This is an easy going celebration down at the Port of Redwood City. You might be surprised that there is a deepwater port this far down the bay, but some rather large ships come in here at times. There will be a good number of booths with kids activities and local businesses and organizations. In past years we have seen sharks in a portable aquarium trailer, cut logs with the woodside store, spent some time in bouncy houses, toured both sea scout boats stationed here, and took a free family sail with Spinnaker Sailing up and down the Redwood creek. There is also music playing here, the fire and police departments visiting and giving out kids “badges”. The Marine Science Institute is also giving boat rides for $5 per person, but it looks like they are all sold out. You can also take a half hour “trolley” tour of the waterfront to see all the industrial workings here. Food trucks will be available if you didn’t bring lunch. 

San Mateo History Museum

Housed in the old Courthouse building, this museum is a collection of San Mateo County history. There are trolley’s and stage coaches to pretend in, a real courtroom to explore and act out your own trials in, and a number of hands on exhibits to play with. Mrs. Doubtfire filmed their courthouse scene here too. 

Sandra Day O’Connor started her legal career here and you can see her old desk. I enjoy taking my girls to see the San Mateo Women’s Hall of Fame kiosk to talk a bit about famous women that came from the county and what they did. 

The museum is open from 10AM - 4PM, Tuesday - Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for kids & seniors, and 5 and under are free. Great spot to spend a couple hours with the kids. 

Redwood Roller Rink

The rink has been around for more than 60 years, and not a whole lot has changed. It can get a little crowded on the weekends with birthday parties, but it can be quite fun to strap on a pair of skates and take a few laps to the music. There is a variable admission price depending on the session you are in, check here for details. http://www.redwoodrollerrink.com/schedule-pricing-2/ (everyone pays admission going in) 

If ice skating is more your thing the Nazareth Ice Oasis isn’t far away either: http://www.iceoasis.com/

Bonus: The Zoppé Circus (October 9-25)

Zoppé is a small one ring family run circus that’s been running in one form or another since 1842. They travel the country performing for a few weeks in each location. There are a number of vaudevillian style acts along with a narrative of a friendly clown, some cute dog tricks, various acrobatics, and some trick riding on horses. It’s a truly intimate experience in a very homey environment. The seats can be a little uncomfortable, but you will be close to the action. 


  • The Century 20 is located downtown on Theater Way, nice enough spot to catch a movie. 
  • Cafe La Tartine (across from the theater) has some tasty options and a decent kids menu. The weather is typically pretty nice here and the outdoor seating is a great spot to pass some time. Also they provide wifi. 
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory is also a popular spot, and they have great kids meals that include a scoop of spumoni ice cream for dessert. http://www.osf.com/location/redwood-city-ca/
  • Courthouse square often has events going on. Up until 2005 this spot was occupied by a government building which was damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake. The building was torn down and the courthouse facade was restored leaving this wonderful spot to stretch your legs. 
  • The two best nearby playgrounds are Stafford Park and Red Morton Park, both on the west side of El Camino. 

Feeling Adventurous

Upcoming adventures 

Curious as to what we are planning next, here are a few we’ve been thinking about

  • Ardenwood Farm
  • Pescadero and Harley Farms
  • Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (and tidepools)
  • Chabot Space and Science Center

Know about one you’d like to share, let us know!