Sonoma County is undeniably beautiful. We have a little bit of everything and some of the best weather in the world. While it is often regarded as a great place for adults to live or visit, we also love it for its excellent family atmosphere. There are so many options for activities the whole family can appreciate! Here is a list of a few of our favorites…
Howarth Park is a unique park that outshines most. It’s almost a mini central park that packs a lot of punch right in the heart of Santa Rosa! There are train rides, a Carousel, Pony Rides, Paddle Boats, Fishing, Hiking/Walking Trails, Two Playgrounds, a Snack Bar, Tennis Courts, a Baseball Field, and multiple “event” spaces for picnics, birthdays, family reunions, BBQs, etc. In summer you will also see children attending day camps and in the evenings sometimes Movies in the Park! There is NO PARKING FEE and it is definitely worth the trip. Howarth Park is truly a gem!
Children’s Museum of Sonoma County:
The Children’s Museum is an excellent way to spend the afternoon with your kids! Offering memberships, day passes, camps, and more there is always something going on that will keep your child interested every time you visit. This month’s events include a garden party and an art event. Explore the different exhibits with your kids and watch the joy on their faces as they watch objects wiz by in the air maze, put on a hard hat and learn some constructions skills, whip up a meal at the kid café, learn about the food chain and lifecycles at the insect exhibits, “drive” a tractor or hunt for fairies in the fairy gardens! Especially at a time when many families are still participating in distance learning this is a great escape to burn some energy and discover new things!
Snoopy’s Ice Arena and Charles M Schultz Museum:
Snoopy’s Home Ice has been enjoyed by Sonoma County families for generations. Great for a date night or a family outing they offer a wide array of activities and events year-round. In summer it’s a great place to escape the heat and spend some time during Public Skate as a family on the rink. If your child needs a little direction, there are lessons available weekly. For those looking for a bit more action you can catch a hockey game, I’ve been told the home team is great! During the holidays they often have ice shows which you can purchase tickets for on their website which create a memorable family tradition. Lastly don’t forget to stop and grab some hot chocolate in the café before walking over to the gift shop or Charles M Schultz Museum where you can learn about how Snoopy and the gang was dreamt up right here in Sonoma County. You can even save yourself some hassle and host your child’s birthday party in one of their event rooms. The kids can skate, eat cake, open presents, and have a great time, all while you get to enjoy the party instead of running around the house making sure everything is perfect.
Like Snoopy’s, Cal Skate has been offering a way to get active for decades! Roller rinks have always been fun and let’s be honest, this one is no different. Grab your family or get a group together and go skate under the lights! There is public skate time available and even private skate for groups of 15+. Book a party or just go play in the arcade. Just like Snoopy’s you can also take classes to help develop your skills. If you love it enough, stop into the pro shop and buy your very own pair of skates!
Epicenter is a great option for the family that caters to adults a bit more than the rest of the options on this list. With a large sports bar on site it’s easy to make sure the whole family has some fun. In addition to the sport bar there is a fresh and modern bowling alley, an arcade, soccer fields, basketball courts, a trampoline park, laser tag and even a 3D ride! Visit their website to book a party or to just reserve a table so you don’t have to worry when you get there.
If traditional bowling is more your taste check out Double Decker Bowling in Rohnert Park or Windsor Bowl in Windsor. Both offer a great family experience with snacks and a full bar. Maybe even sneak off without the kids for Karaoke night and a few drinks!
All kinds of fun. That pretty much sums it up! From amusement park rides, a large arcade, batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats, and one of our favorite mini golf courses you can easily spend a whole day here. Another great party location that offers themed rooms for your favorite party animal.
Did you know the Santa Rosa Junior College has a planetarium show that is open to the public?? If you haven’t gone, we definitely suggest you check it out. Learn about the cosmos and feel what its like to see the night sky clearly in an immersive experience. While this experience is still closed due to COVID precautions, we think it’s worth keeping on your radar and buying a ticket asap!
Sonoma Botanical Gardens:
Maybe you don’t want to be in a busy park or stuck in a building. Maybe your little one is TOO LITTLE to enjoy some of the activities here. Take them on a short drive out to Glen Ellen on Sonoma Hwy to the botanical gardens. Relax in the quiet gardens as you let the little ones burn energy and discover new plant life including lily ponds, seasonal flowers, and the ecosystem that surrounds it all.
There are always events around the county including weekly Farmer’s Markets, Fairs, Public Movie Nights, Winery Events, Sporting Events, Concerts, and so much more. There are so many reasons to appreciate this little spot on Earth we call home.
**Not all photos are of actual location. Some are representations.