Parrots and pirates anyone? Arrr! Channel that inner Long John Silver and dive right into some San Francisco Bay Area buccaneer adventures. Aye, any day can be a pirate day in the Bay Area. Just check out these mean pirate hangouts for aspiring scallywags of all ages.
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Pirates Unite: The Norcal Pirate Fest
Spend Father’s Day weekend in the biggest pirate playground around and yo ho ho it over to Vallejo for the 9th Annual Northern California Pirate Festival. Don your patches and explore pirate encampments, cannon battles, nautical handicrafts, and maritime music. The kids can enjoy a entire area of their own including the 30 ft. Kraken slide that’s devouring a ship, a School of Piracy where they will learn to scallywag with the best of them, and tons of entertainment and crafts. Plus you just gave Dad carte blanche to swordfight and eat an entire smoked turkey leg while gazing at mermaids. It’s a Father’s Day win, pirate style.
Date: Sat. June 20 and Sun. June 21, 10 a.m–6 p.m.
289 Mare Island Way
Get your tickets HERE: events.tinybeans.go-vip.net
Enjoy Pizza with a Side of Buried Treasure
Further afield in Benicia, Pizza Pirate decorates tables with treasure chests and a full-on pirate theme. This pizza place is a local’s favorite for kids’ birthday parties, a in addition to ever-popular pizza, the kids love appetizers like Captain Hook (sourdough garlic bread topped with gooey mozzerella and provelone) and pasta dishes like the Captain Jack Sparrow (penne with marinara). Don’t skip the Ship Wreck Sundaes for dessert. Good to know: bathrooms feature not just changing tables but extra diapers as well!
72 Solano Sq.
Fly to Neverland on Mt. Tam
Turns out, the second star to the right leads right to the top of Mt. Tamalpais, at least this year, where you take a trip to the Mountain Play’s production of Peter Pan. Enjoy this lively play in an epic outdoor amphitheater carved at the top of the mountain. Want to make the experience extra special? Go for the VIP (Very Important Pirate) experience offered for the Father’s Day show and you will get four tickets, luxury transport to and from the play and a gourmet cooler bag packed with lunch for 4, snacks for the kids and even a bottle of vino for mom and dad.
Date: Sunday June 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m
MV Middle School
425 Sycamore Ave.
Mill Valley, Ca
Reserve your spot HERE: events.tinybeans.go-vip.net
Board a Ship at the SF Maritime Museum
Standing on the stern of the Balclutha, an 1886 square-rigged ship, kids can imagine sailing the seven seas on a backdrop of San Francisco’s cityline from Hyde Street Pier. This historic ship at the San Francisco Maritime Museum offers daily guided tours and fun special events such as sing alongs and sea creature meet-and-greets. Check their calendar for upcoming events.
2905 Hyde St./Visitor Center: 499 Jefferson St.
San Francisco, Ca
Buy Mermaid Bait at 826 Valencia/Pirate Supply Store
This is guaranteed to be the only spot in the world where you can take a writing or bookmaking workshop AND buy a jar of leeches. With shelves stocked with Black Beard Dye, Mermaid Bait (or Repellant), Belly of the Whale Escape Kits, eye–patches, scurvy awareness posters that declare A Lemon a Day, plus t-shirts, compasses, high-end-hooks and even authentic peg-legs created by a professional prosthetic craftsman, this shop is like stepping on board a ship from 1699. The ultimate rebel with a cause, the store acts as a front for the nonprofit 826 Valencia, an organization founded by author Dave Eggers and educator Ninive Calegari dedicated to helping students ages 6-18 with their writing skills. So get you can feel good knowing your doubloons are going to a worthy cause.
826 Valencia St.
San Francisco, Ca
Storm the Library with the Family
On June 12, sail over to the treetop room at the Children’s Library in Palo Alto for a (free!) family date night filled with pirate-themed fun. Swashbuckling stories, music and more will be on the program for this special pirate’s night out. Advance registration is required!
Date: Friday, June 12 from 6:15-7:45 pm
Treetop Room, Children’s Library
1276 Harriet St.
Palo Alto, Ca
Play Like a Pirate
Two marine-themed playgrounds stand out for imaginary swashbuckling scenes. Located at Palo Alto’s Shoreline Lake, the play structure features a kid-sized boat on a sea of sand inspired by the Sailing Scows of San Francisco Bay.
At Moss Beach on the coast, at the corner of Virginia and Etheldore, Moss Beach playground includes a pirate ship, lighthouse and forts, all ADA-accessible. Go scour the beach for buried treasure afterwards!
3160 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, Ca
Moss Beach Playground
Virginia Ave. at Etheldore St.
Moss Beach, Ca
Just for fun: Brush up on your pirate-speak before your big event.
—Erin Feher and Laure Latham