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Howarth Park in Santa Rosa--we may be visiting here when we are in the North Bay--most of the cool extras are opening in February, but it's still an awesome park. Maybe next year we can do part of our visit in February.

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SF Bay Area Lego Users Group and Train Club--each year they do a winter exhibit in Palo Alto. We got here too late this year, will have to plan to get here early enough to catch it next year!!

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Cal Academy Museum of Science in SF, with a natural history museum, planetarium, aquarium, rainforest dome, and living roof! Probably for next year.

Efficient Building Design | California Academy of Sciences

The Exploratorium--museum of science, art and human perception in SF. We may have to save this one for next year.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium--not in the Bay Area, but we went last year and it was amazing

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Official Site

Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco--Nisa is hoping we will make it this trip!

San Francisco Bay's Aquarium | Aquarium of the Bay

Coal Mine Ridge Preserve--we had a lovely afternoon hike here!! In Portola Valley, just 10 minutes from the grandparents' house.

Coal Mine Ridge

Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo--very small and inexpensive (free, with $3 suggested donation), with a nice playground and the local Children's library right in the same area! Nice for a mellow day close to home (or Grandma's house, in our case).

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Oakland Zoo--we really enjoyed this!! Lots of great animals with plenty of space, a fun kids' play area "Children's Zoo", and an adjacent rides area with carnival like rides--my favorite was the train ride overlooking the zoo and going through an area with wallaroos and emus, the kids also liked the carousel and airplane rides

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Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose--we loved the WaterWays area and the Wonder Cabinet the most!!

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awesome play space in Berkeley, CA with art studio, dance studio, puzzles, play kitchen, dollhouse, nursing room, run room (with balls, roller coasters, climbing, tumbling), blocks, stage, puppet theater, dress up, magnets, library reading room, light room, eating room, crawlers room, outdoor playground, and outdoor water area (outdoor stuff is seasonal)

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Adventure Playground in Berkeley, CA--awesome space with materials and tools for kids to create and build. Also has an awesome zip line!!

Adventure Playground - City of Berkeley, CA

Model Train and Trolley display at the Conservatory of Flowers! Nisa and Shaiah will love this!

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The Jungle--indoor play structure in San Jose--might be good for a rainy day

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10 of the Best Geeky Places in San Francisco

10 of the Best Geeky Places in San Francisco | GeekDad |

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Howarth Park in Santa Rosa, CA--lots of awesome features, including a small steam engine (I hope we can snag a ride while we are in Cali!)

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Top 10 Destination Playgrounds in the SF Bay Area

Top 10 Destination Playgrounds in San Francisco Bay Area

Tilden Park in Berkeley--beautiful hiking, a carousel, and a scaled down steam train for Shaiah to ride!!

Tilden Regional Park

List of fun places to visit in the Bay Area

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SFGatefrom SFGate

The Bay Area's best outdoor playgrounds

Great bay area playgrounds

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10 best children's museums in the bay area

Bay Area’s 10 Must-See Museums For Kids - CBS San Francisco

Imagination Playground--loose parts! Open ended playground at the Bay Area Discovery Center

Imagination Playground | Bay Area Discovery Museum

City Walks with Kids travel series

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Malibu Redwood City Amusement park

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Castle Rock State Park Waterfalls

Castle Rock State Park Waterfalls | Palo Alto California Waterfall Trails |