10 Fun Weekend Activities That Also Promote Learning

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As much as we’d love to take our kids to that new donut shop we’ve been eyeing or let them tire themselves out at our neighborhood playground, sometimes we wonder if we’re actually providing out kids with enough fun, but educational experiences. In an effort to imbue our weekend with a bit of learning without taking away the fun factor, we’ve come up with 10 weekend activities that also promote learning. Take a look and then let us know what your choice weekend activity is!

KinderCare is dedicated to promoting an educational learning environment filled with fun and creativity. You can rest easy knowing that your kiddos are in a great place where they’re cultivating social and academic skills that will aid them now and for many years to come as they become doctors, lawyers, teachers and parents.

1. You may have seen them at Pier 39 — And, no, we’re not talking about the hoards of tourists. We’re talking about sea lions. Take your kids to get up close and personal with these wild creatures at the Marine Mammal Center. The educational tour features a coloring station, examination of sea lion skeletons and pelts, all with an emphasis on teaching little animal lovers what they can do to help protect these awesome creatures.

2. With the weather getting nicer (goodbye rainy weekends!), we can’t help but head outside to enjoy all of the Bay Area’s fun outdoor activities. Make your next hike a scavenger hunt for wild flowers. From California Poppies to Shooting Stars, we’ve got 12 Bay Area wild flowers to discover on your next outdoor adventure. 

3. If you’re looking for a museum experience that is educational, but won’t put your kids to sleep, we think you should head to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Every Sunday, the museum hosts drop-in art making classes, as well as Family Gallery Tours (ideal for the older kids ages 6-9) on the first and second Sundays of the month. Besides the special weekend activities, the museum features fun exhibits and a cool location near Yerba Buena Gardens.

4. Ditch the iPad and tablet for a day and go to one of our favorite independent book stores and browse their bevy of titles for kids and families. Many of these book stores boast story times and activities so check out our list to get your kids reading and out of the house.

5. Living so close to the coast has many advantages (hello, beach day!) but arguably, none so awesome as the many tide pools in the Bay Area that are just waiting for exploration and adventure. We think the weekend is a great time to really spend a few hours at one of the Bay Area’s tide pools where you’ll find creatures from tiny crabs to large seals and fish. 

6. Tired of the daily grind of city life? Take a quick weekend day trip down to Pescadero and learn what life on a real farm is like. Harley Goat Farm (reservations are required) boasts a two hour tour where your kids will learn to love well, kids. The farm features dozens of goats, a historic barn where cheese is made, milking stations, and a store where you can buy and sample goat goods.

7. Gardening is a really fun and interactive way to teach your kids about the earth, how to prepare their own food, and how to be responsible and care for something that is actually alive and growing. We’ve got some great tips on how to create a garden with your kids and build a lifelong love of gardening.

8. City kids may think of bird watching as observing the pigeons as they flock the sidewalks, but for most of us, bird watching means breaking out the binoculars and watching birds in their native environment. Learn where bald eagles, herons, and sparrows call home at these great Bay Area bird watching spots. 

9. Travel back in time and learn about the simple lifestyle at an authentic re-creation of a Miwok Village in Point Reyes. Discover the area’s wildlife, a half mile hike where you’ll learn about the Miwok’s clothing, diet, and way of life, and a garden that boasts native plants.

10. Drop into a pint-sized museum on Saturdays for a day of learning and play. The Junior Center for Art and Science features big ideas, but for a pint-sized crowd (and fee! the drop in cost is merely $2 per child).

What educational and fun activities does your family enjoy on the weekends?