High Octane Adventures For Extreme Families

If a stroll through the park isn’t action-packed enough for your adventurous brood, it may be time to try out some extreme family fun. From jumping out of a perfectly good airplane to climbing to great new heights, you’ll find a fix for your crew of adrenaline junkies right here.

Photo Credit: iFly SF Bay

Families With a Need For Speed

From sock races to laps in the pool, some families just like to do things a little faster than others. The Bay Area offers some fun ways to race with friends and family to satisfy your need for speed without compromising safety.

Photo Credit: GoKart Race

GoKart Racer
For the family who loves racing but wants just a bit more, GoKart Racer is the place to visit. Here, you can enjoy snacks from the cafe, pool tables, a lazer maze, arcade games, and choose from one of three racing tracks and sessions for kart racing! Ages 8 and up will have a blast playing the day away at either of the two GoKart Racer locations.

1541 Adrian Rd.
Burlingame, Ca
Online: gokartracer.com

1430 Enterprise Blvd.
West Sacramento, Ca
Online: gokartracer.com

K1 Speed Racing
With three fabulously centered locations in the greater Bay Area, K1 Speed Racing is the European style, zero-emission go-kart racing center of your dreams. Go up to 45 mph on tight turns co-designed by pro race car driver Boris Said to fit the standard of real racing. Whether it’s parent’s night out, a birthday party for your little adrenaline junkie or a family outing, K1 Speed Racing has you covered. Choose from a party package or buy races as you go.

2925 Mead Ave.
Santa Clara, Ca
Online: k1speed.com/santa-clara-location.html

S. San Francisco
160 Beacon St.
South San Francisco, Ca
Online: k1speed.com/san-francisco-location.html

K1 Speed Sacramento
3130 Bradshaw Rd.
Sacramento, Ca
Online: k1speed.com/sacramento-location.html

Families Who Can’t Keep Their Feet On the Ground

If “I Believe I can Fly” is your family motto and own personal jam, then some off-the-ground adventures may be more your family’s taste. Try a high-powered freefall with grandma, or watch your 16-year-old fly solo in his own plane!

Photo Credit: iFly SF Bay

iFly SF Bay
Ages 3 to 103 enjoy the exhilaration of free fall flight within the safety of a 1000 horse power vertical wind tunnel with experienced instructors at iFly SF Bay. Each flight is just 2 minutes, but equal to the free fall of two jumps out of the airplane, so even the pros visit iFly to practice their technique. Families can fly alone or get a group package with pictures and video clips, and schools have the option of teaching science class in-flight!

31310 Alvarado-Niles Rd.
Union City, Ca
Online: sfbay.iflyworld.com

Oakland Flyers Club
It’s never too early to earn your wings, but you do have to be 16 to go out on your own solo flight. Get the family together for some up close and dazzling flying lessons.

8135 Earhart Rd.
Oakland, Ca
Online: oaklandflyers.com

California Airways
Whether your family wants to learn how to fly, or just have a pretty cool airplane birthday party, this local hot spot is ready to help you soar.

22693 Hesperian Blvd., Ste. 220
Hayward, Ca
Online: california-airways.com

Bay Area Glider Rides
Do you know what it feels like to soar through the air using the momentum created from an airplane? Try gliding. Taking a trip to Hollister for an afternoon of gliding (they offer rides and lessons) is a can’t-miss trip (and they have a Groupon right now).

90 Skylane Dr., suite 101
Hollister, Ca
Online: bayareagliderrides.com

East Bay Hang Gliding
Have you ever wanted to fly like a bird? Now you can. Hang gliding is said to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that hooks you in and makes you feel like a kid again. East Bay Hang Gliding prides itself in teaching educated gliders who use proper technique their entire careers. Choose from a single flight or entire lesson package. Family members ages 5 and up can fly together or alone throughout the East Bay!

Milpitas, Ca
Online: eastbayhanggliding.com

Families Who Like to Get Their Feet Wet

If hearing the calming sound of water, or feeling the cool rush that comes from brushing with rapids is your idea of adventure, a white water rafting trip or kayak tour may be the right activity for you. San Francisco has several options available for novice and expert water faring families alike.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Pete Bellis

Action Whitewater Adventures
Whether you prefer constant rapids, or the excitement of calm waters with class three rapids, the whole family is guaranteed to have a blast traveling the American River followed by a tasty barbecue with Action Whitewater Adventures.

Lotus, Ca
Online: actionwhitewater.com

City Kayak
Taking a ride in a kayak is fun on a lake, but it’s even better with magnificent views! Ages 8 and up can Kayak under the Golden Gate Bridge, tour the city from the water, enjoy a twilight trip, or paddle over to Alcatraz and Treasure Island. Want to try out paddle boarding? City Kayak rents the gear and teaches classes for stand up paddle boarding too!

Pier 40
San Francisco, Ca
Online: citykayak.com

San Francisco Kayak
Join the fun on a small group adventure with a sit-in kayak as you observe the beautiful sea life of San Francisco. If you’re a fan of hiking San Francisco Kayak leads hiking adventures, too — walk among the giant redwoods of Muir Woods or follow a cliff-side trail to Alamere Falls!

350 Townsend
San Francisco, Ca
Online: sfkayak.com

Adventurous Sports Studio
Ever wondered how you could perfect your surfing technique out of the water? Adventurous Sports Studio has just the set up for you and yours to learn all the techniques you need to know before you head out on open waters. Let the skilled team at Adventurous Sports Studio asses your technique, give you guidance, and then direct you in the real thing! Check out the studio’s snowboard and ski prep center, and kids’ spy camp, too!

650 Florida St., Ste. L
San Francisco, Ca
Online: adventurous.com

Families Who Reach For the Top

Whether you prefer climbing an indoor wall or the side of Mother Nature, your family can always make time for a good climb with the Bay Area’s selection of climbing structures.

Photo Credit: Mission Cliffs

Bridges Rock Gym
Similar to Planet Granite, Bridges Rock Gym offers both rock climbing and several other fitness options, camps and after school activities. Birthday parties are a blast here, and climbing without a rope on low walls is a specialty. Ages 5 and up will enjoy learning all about slacking, safety tips, climbing knots, and anchors. It’s a great place for events and family outings, or to spend some time alone and hone in on your skills in a private lesson.

5635 San Diego St.
El Cerrito, Ca
Online: bridgesrockgym.com/Kids

Touchstone Climbing
Since 1995 Touchstone climbing has been amazing Bay Area residents with their 50-foot high lead wall with 23,000 square feet of climbing area and 2,000 square feet of bouldering (low wall climbing). While Touchstone offers climbing clubs for kids with the opportunity for competitive climbing, they also offer events, birthday parties, yoga classes, top-notch safety, and climbing classes.

Mission Cliffs
2295 Harrison St.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: touchstoneclimbing.com/mission-cliffs

Dogpatch Boulders
2573 3rd St.
San Francisco, Ca
Online: touchstoneclimbing.com/dogpatch-boulders

Berkely Ironworks
800 Potter St.
Berkeley, Ca
Online: touchstoneclimbing.com/ironworks

Great Western Power Co.
520 20th St.
Oakland, Ca
Online: touchstoneclimbing.com/gwpower-co

Diablo Rock Gym
1220 Diamond Way, Ste. 140
Concord, Ca
Online: touchstoneclimbing.com/diablorock

Studio Climbing
396 S. First St.
San Jose, Ca
Online: touchstoneclimbing.com/the-studio

Planet Granite
Ages 8 and up will adore the after school activities, Summer camps and birthday parties available at Planet Granite. If family time is your goal, then Friday Night Climb N’ Dine is a must-try. Have a family member who isn’t quite as into climbing as the rest? Planet Granite is also home to Crossfit and yoga classes.

924 (Old) Mason Street in The Presidio
San Francisco, Ca
Online: planetgranite.com

100 El Camino Real
Belmont, Ca
Online: planetgranite.com

815 Stewart Dr.
Sunnyvale, Ca
Online: planetgranite.com

Families Who Like to Get Dirty

Some kids just love to play in the dirt . . . even after bath time. Make local races benefiting real causes a family affair and your kids will have a blast getting dirty while you have fun acting like a kid again. These events are one of few places where it would be weird if you left without mud or paint covering your clothes. Dive in and have fun!

Photo Credit: Flickr user Chill Will

Muckfest is a family friendly event with post-event reception that benefits the National MS Society. Make it through hilarious (and muddy!) courses while supporting a great cause with the family.

Oct. 10, 2015
Solano County Fairgrounds
900 Fairgrounds Dr.
Vallejo, Ca
Online: main.nationalmssociety.org

Color Vibe 5K
Start the race with plain clothes, run through color clouds then come out covered in vibrant colors! This is a fun 5K for all ages benefiting a different local charity at each stop.

Online: thecolorvibe.com

Mud Factor Kidz
A seriously fun muddy obstacle run just for kids. Parents can have a blast at the main event or just walk alongside their kiddo as they attempt the same obstacles during the kid run! Kiddos get the same swag as adults for their big accomplishment, too.

Granite Regional Park
8181 Cucamonga Ave.
Sacramento, Ca
Online: mudfactor.com/mf-kidz/

Are you part of a high-adventure family? Where do you go to get your family fix of adrenaline? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Shari Stamps


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