The Bay Area’s Best Festivals for Families

While many cities have their own annual festivals with food vendors, arts and crafts and kiddie amusements, these are some of the region’s best festivals for families that are worth a trip. As many festivals were on hiatus due to COVID-19, check websites for additional information.
East Bay
Art & Wind Festival – May 29-30. This annual Memorial Day Weekend event features kite making and flying, arts and crafts vendors, family-friendly performances and more. San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd.
Bay Area KidFest – May 28-30. After two years of cancellations, this three-day festival is planning to return with family entertainment, traveling attractions, arts and sports activities, rides, food and more. Downtown Concord. 
Berkeley Kite Festival – This family-favorite festival, with giant creature kites as big as houses, kite-making and more, typically takes place in July. Cesar Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina. 
Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival – This June event in North Berkeley allows artists of all ages to use the streets as their canvas. There are typically chocolate tastings and live music, too. Gourmet Ghetto on North Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.
Northern California Pirate Festival – Head to Vallejo on Father’s Day weekend to dress like a pirate, talk like a pirate, see mermaids and pirate entertainment, and more. The festival is planning to return in 2022. 
Solano Stroll – Sept. 11. This annual event typically takes place on the second Sunday in September with more than a mile of family fun including vendors, food booths, juried handcrafters, rides and more along Solano Avenue in Albany and Berkeley. 
Walnut Festival – Sept. 22-25. This four-day festival offers family-friendly entertainment, live music, a large carnival, Kid Zone, a showcase of local and regional talent including artists, craftsmen, designers, jewelers, builders, food specialties, a craft beer garden and more. Heather Farm Park, N. San Carlos Drive, Walnut Creek. 
Marin
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival – Arts and crafts vendors, storytellers and puppeteers, face painters, main stage acts and more gather under the redwood in September. Old Mill Park, Mill Valley.
Peninsula
Belmont Greek Festival – Sept. 3-5. This Labor Day Weekend festival of Greek food and culture will celebrate is 50th festival in 2022. Holy Cross Church, 900 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont.
Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival – Oct. 15-16. Giant pumpkins are the star at this annual festival, which typically takes place in October and features a pumpkin weigh-off, expert pumpkin carving, live music, harvest-inspired crafts, contests, food and drink, and more. Main Street, Half Moon Bay.
Oktoberfest Downtown Redwood City – This annual event, held in September this past fall, features live music, dancing, contests, cold beer and other beverages, food and more, with 1,100 square feet of family-style bench seating. Courthouse Square, Redwood City. 
San Francisco
Autumn Moon Festival – Presented by the Chinatown Merchants Association, this September festival includes lion dancing and other entertainment, mooncakes and food vendors, activities for kids and more. Chinatown, Grant Avenue between California and Broadway, San Francisco. 
Carnaval – San Francisco’s Mission District comes alive for this May festival and its colorful parade with dancers and other entertainment. Mission District, San Francisco. 
Chinese New Year Festival & Parade – Feb. 19. Named one of the top 10 parades in the world, this festival plans to come “roaring back” for the Year of the Tiger with its iconic parade, street fair, flower market fair, Miss Chinatown Pageant and more. 
Nihonmachi Street Fair – This August festival celebrates Japanese and Asian American culture with lion dancers, taiko drummers, Japanese arts and crafts, music, food and children’s events. Post Street in Japantown.
North Beach Festival – June 18-19. The festival, the first outdoor street festival in the country, is expected to return to San Francisco’s Little Italy with live entertainment on multiple stages, fine arts and crafts offerings, and gourmet food and beverages. Columbus and Grant avenues, North Beach. 
San Francisco Pride – June 25-26. Celebrate the LQBTQ+ community at this joyous two-day festival. With more than 20 community-run stages and venues and a rainbow-bedecked parade with more than 200 contingents, it’s the nation’s largest gathering of the LGBTQ community and its allies.
Stern Grove Festival – For more than 80 years, this festival presents 10 free summer concerts across genres from classical to rock and roll. Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival – This festival presents six months of free performances including classical, world and jazz music, contemporary and traditional dance, theater, children’s and family programs, and cultural events reflecting the rich cultures and creativity of the region. Its Children’s Gardens Series has interactive half-hour shows aimed at kids 10 and under. Mission between Third and Fourth streets.
Silicon Valley
Gilroy Garlic Festival – A Bay Area summertime tradition with everything from garlic fries to garlic ice cream, cooking competitions and demonstrations, and more. (A drive-through version was held in late July of 2021.) Christmas Hill Park, Gilroy.
Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival – This festival celebrates the sister-city relationship of Cupertino and Toyokawa, Japan, with taiko drumming, dancing, martial arts exhibitions, Japanese food, culture, arts and crafts and more. Typically held the last weekend in April. Memorial Park, 21255 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino.
Mountain View Art & Wine Festival – Sept. 10-11. One of the South Bay’s largest fests, the 50th rendition will feature nonstop live music, 150 professional artists and crafts makers, a Kids’ Park with bungee jumping and face painting, curated food and drink, and more. Castro Street between El Camino Real and Evelyn Avenue.

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