Winter break is coming to an end! And I'd love to share three adventures we loved with the kids during the holidays! My kids are 2.5, 4.9, and 9 for reference!
1. Jelly Belly Factory tour at Fairfield!
Fairfield is a great place to have a 1/2 day adventure with kids in East Bay. One of the reasons for this is the Jelly Belly Factory, which is a very kid-friendly place. They offer factory tours every day, regardless of whether production is happening. You need to check their calendar to see if they have production on the day you plan to visit. (Please bring the headphones if your kid is sensitive to noises and you're going on a production day). The factory has a store where you can buy Jelly Belly products and a restaurant where you can get fries, burgers, and drinks. Additionally, they have a mini train that takes you from the factory to the museum, which is a pleasant experience. I highly recommend it.
If you're looking for lunch options besides Jelly Belly restaurant, there are plenty of nearby restaurants. We went to Amar Indian Cuisine. The portions are significant, and the food is delicious.
And if you still have energy to burn, you can go to Scandia and try mini golf or go-karting. They also have boats, laser tag, and arcades.
Jelly Belly: https://www.jellybelly.com/california-factory-tours
2. Buck Gulch Falls Trail and Stafford Lake playground
We started with the morning hike at Buck Gulch Fall trail in Novato. Parking is easy as you can park close to the trailhead. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get to the falls, or a little longer if you're with younger kids. After that, you can spend some time playing in the creek. Bring along rain pants, clothes, and shoes that you don't mind getting wet.
Then we went to Stafford Lake playground! You can also bring a snack or lunch and have it at the playground, which is suitable for kids of all ages. Stafford Lake Park has a playground, with a kids' zip line and a bike park, but the latter one is currently closed due to the rainy weather. Check their website for updates on the bike park. This is one of my favorite playgrounds!
Stafford Lake: https://maps.app.goo.gl/3tisFfGNnGxohzDVA
3. SMART train adventure!
We took SMART from Larkspur to Santa Rosa North. It's a good one-hour drive one way.
From the station, it's a 10-13 minute walk to the Children's Museum of Sonoma County.
All my kids (ages 2.5, 4.9, and 9) loved the museum. There's a snack counter, picnic tables, and a good amount of indoor and outdoor exhibits.
There's also a skating rink in walking distance, but we didn't make it there this time:))
Museum website: https://www.cmosc.org/
Skating Rink: https://www.snoopyshomeice.com/
p.s. If Santa Rosa sounds too far, Novato downtown is an excellent place for lunch. Blue Barn has an awesome backyard where kids can play! If you're coming from Novato, then Larkspur landing is a great idea also:))
I hope you will have a good time exploring!
Happy to hear back from you!
p.p.s. Links are not affiliated; I really like all those places:)