Did you get out to the Berkeley Marina last week? The weather was a bit overcast, but we had a nice time. Stopping at 4th street and getting some goodies from the Pasta Shop was a great way to end our road trip. After a short drive over to the marina, we went over to César Chávez park for a little walk around and stumbled upon this wonderful solstice sundial thing on the edge of the dog area. Walking back a bit we found a nice hilltop to throw a picnic blanked down, had a little picnic and launched our kite. It’s so much fun to see the kids with that, bouncing around with the string. Once we wrapped that up, we drove back around to the Adventure Playground and it was amazing! It is so unlike any play area you see today, so home grown and organic, activities for the kids to build or paint, climb on interesting unique structures and ropes. My kids totally want to go back even though we did get some bumps and bruises.
This week’s adventure is on Treasure Island. It’s funny, growing up here I almost never went out there, although for most of my childhood it was just basically Army housing. Usually there isn’t a whole lot to do here, although it can be a fun stop on the way back from the East Bay with some wonderful picture opportunities. The last weekend of every month you can find the Treasure Island Flea Market going on, stop off for a quick bite from one of the food trucks and maybe find an actual treasure.
This weekend is the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival on Treasure Island, making this a great opportunity to visit. Not only do you have the opportunity to watch some fun races in giant colorful boats, but there is a kids pavilion set up with entertainment and some wonderful activities. Not to mention a picturesque walk along Avenue of the Palms.
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 — A Day On Treasure Island
Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area
- Visit the International Dragon Boat Festival, check out the boats, watch a race
- Visit the kids Dragonland Pavilion associated with the festival
- Take a photo opportunity and a nice stroll along the Avenue of the Palms.
Treasure Island - a quick background
This is an artificial island built for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, a Worlds Fair celebration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_International_Exposition). It was pretty incredible. Later it became a small airport facility for China Clipper also known as the flying boat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Clipper) until 1944. There were plans to make the entire island into an airport for San Francisco. In 1941 the Navy leased the island after the exposition was over, then ended up seizing it from San Francisco in 1942 and gave them Mills Field down the peninsula in return, which you would know better now as San Francisco International Airport. The Naval station officially closed in 1997.
From the late 1980’s the aircraft hangers here were used as sound stages for shows and movies such as The Matrix, The Pursuit of Happiness, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Bicentennial Man. There is currently a large redevelopment project in the planning stages for the island.
International Dragon Boat Festival
This is a 2 day admission free festival (with shuttles from San Francisco) that has grown quite a lot over the past 20 years. It runs from 10AM to 5PM and includes a colossal offering of cultural activities, games, creative arts, crafts, exhibits, entertainment, live dance and music, performance and immersive experiences for both kids and adults in a family-friendly space. This will be our first year, but I’ve had friends who’ve participated and said it’s a wonderful opportunity for a nice day out.
If you plan on driving, I’d suggest getting there early. There is free festival parking, but you might end up walking a mile to get to the venue, so plan ahead. For more information: http://www.sfdragonboat.com/how-to-get-here. Kaiser is sponsoring a sunscreen bar, and you can also get an airbrush dragon tattoo here also.
There are apparently a number of amusements and crafts to do here. Flax is sponsoring a Creative Arts Center, you can take a picture in a dragon boat, some other scattered amusements, and a whole day of entertainment.
Stroll along the Avenue of Palms (photo-op)
This is the avenue along the eastern edge of Treasure Island facing San Francisco. Given the amount of fog we get here typically, usually you can find a great photo opportunity here to get a shot with the family and have the San Francisco Skyline in the background. You have a wide vista from the Bay Bridge, to the skyline of downtown San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and up to Marin. You can also catch some epic sunsets here (weather permitting).
- The last weekend of every month is the Treasure Island Flea Market, if you can’t make it this weekend you might consider this some other time. http://www.treasureislandflea.com/
- The Bliss Dance Sculpture was recently removed due to corrosion damage, no word yet on a return date
- The Bridge light show on the Bay Bridge is being updated and is currently not operational, but will return soon.
- A good spot for flying a kite - go find a bit of green!
- Leave the kids home and go on a little wine tasting hike http://urbanhikersf.blogspot.com/2014/01/urban-hiking-and-wine-tasting-on-yerba.html