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The Berkeley Kite Wranglers' trademark Octopile fly along with other giant kites above Cesar Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina during the Berkeley Kite Festival in Berkeley, Calif., on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
The free event included kite competitions, a Candy Drop, Kite Battles and more. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) • Kids and parents play mini golf on May 27, 2018 at Subpar Miniature Golf in Alameda, California. The mini golf course's plans to relocate to South Shore Center were put to an end by Ross Dress for Less who would not sign off on the move, but they will remain open in their current location until November 19, 2018.
Their new location is slated to open in Ghirardelli Square before summer begins, according to the owner, Mike Taft. (Photo by Haley Nelson) • Clara Fleischer, 3, from Berkeley, gives her golf ball a boost over the ramp on May 27, 2018 at Subpar Miniature Golf in Alameda, California. The mini golf course's plans to relocate to South Shore Center were put to an end by Ross Dress for Less who would not sign off on the move, but they will remain open in their current location until November 19, 2018.
Their new location is slated to open in Ghirardelli Square before summer begins, according to the owner, Mike Taft. (Photo by Haley Nelson) if you are having a problem viewing these photos on a mobile device It’s summer.
It’s beautiful. And the living’s easy here in the Bay Area. But it sure ain’t cheap, especially if you have your sights set on romance. Even dinner and a summer blockbuster can cost you major coin, and that’s before the popcorn and Milk Duds.
So, like a superhero swooping in to save the universe from annihilation, we are here to help with 10 pocketbook-preserving summertime date ideas — fun, light-hearted and free (or nearly free) summery things to do with a sweetheart, from romantic spots with glorious views to midsummer dreams with Shakespeare.
(Psst, you’ll find that pair with these here.) 1 Let there be light (house) Head north of the Golden Gate Bridge and motor through the Marin Headlands to the historic Point Bonita Lighthouse, where you’ll swoon for your sweetie, as well as the stunning coastal views.
You’ll swoon even more when you see the final approach: A walk across a wind-whipped (but totally safe) suspension footbridge that spans a craggy chasm, as waves crash below. Think of it as a good excuse to hold each other tight! Then picnic at the nearby Battery Wallace, where there are benches, grills and restrooms.
Details: The lighthouse is open for free self-guided or docent tours from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. The historic building is closed the rest of the week, but those glorious views are always available. For more travel coverage from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond 2 Oh, go fly a kite! Large kites fly high in the sky during the annual Berkeley Kite Festival.
(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) The steady breeze off the bay is just right for a day of kite flying and frolicking at the Berkeley Marina’s Cesar Chavez Park, at the end of University Avenue. The park hosts the free Berkeley Kite Festival each year — July 28-29 this time around — filling the sky with giant undulating octopi, teddy bears and alligators.
But you can fly your own kite any old time and soak up spectacular bay scenery, too. And if kites aren’t your thing, go sail a boat!
Once a month, the nearby Cal Sailing Club holds an open house with free sailboat rides. The next one will be July 15. Details: Find kite festival information at , and the Cal Sailing Club at . 3 Cut a rug Something seriously swanky happens from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday behind the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It’s Lindy in the Park, with free swing-dance classes where couples and singles can kick up their heels, old-school.
Then, well, , so wander the patchwork of pastures and trees, have a romantic picnic in the Shakespeare Garden, or visit the Hamon Observation Tower at the de Young Museum. The museum has entry fees, of course, but you can take the elevator to the tower for free and enjoy beautiful views of the park and city.
Details: Get the Lindy scoop at . Find Golden Gate Park information and maps at . 4 Get sand in your toes The Giant Dipper woos frolickers on the boardwalk. (Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk) For summertime romance, nothing beats a balmy evening beachside at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, lights sparkling from the 1911 Looff Carousel, cotton candy crystalizing in the moist ocean air.
All-access day passes for rides are not cheap ($40), but you can pick and choose individual rides. So the Giant Dipper (a must-ride) is only $7 a pop. And on Friday nights during the summer months there are — two shows, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. – with bands like Los Lobos and Smash Mouth. Details: Find concert listings, free movie nights and more at 5 Party downtown Oakland’s First Fridays event is free and totally cool, with hip stuff to see and do, all manner of art, music, food, dancing and more.
What began more than a decade ago as a cool gallery walk has swelled into the city’s biggest monthly public block party, a massive street festival drawing about 20,000 people, shutting down Telegraph Avenue between West Grand Avenue and 27th Street in Oakland’s Uptown and KONO (Koreatown Northgate) districts.
Details: Plan your evening with a little help from and . Psst, there’s a First Fridays bash in San Jose, too, in that city’s SoFA district; 6 Stroll Santana There’s more to San Jose’s Santana Row than shopping at Gucci and Tesla. On Wednesday evenings, the tree-lined outdoor mall morphs into a colorful from 4 to 8 p.m. with organic produce, local cheeses and flowers filling the walkways. Stroll through and score some free samples, feed each other grapes and Gruyere.
And on Tuesday nights in July, the mall offers its from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring a blanket or chairs and enjoy the tunes. Details: Check out the concert lineup at 7 Hail a floating cab Hop aboard the adorable San Francisco Water Taxi. (Jackie Burrell/Bay Area News Group) Getting around San Francisco has become a huge pain.
So maybe it’s better to “get around” the city by boarding the San Francisco Water Taxi. For $10, you can get an all-day hop-on/hop-off pass and float around the fray. Take this adorable ride from Pier 1.5 at the Ferry Building all the way to the Hyde Street stop, then walk up to Ghirardelli Square’s historic soda fountain to share a butterscotch hot fudge sundae. Details: Find out where to board the water taxi at Get the scoop on Ghirardelli sundaes at 8 Get down downtown San Jose’s Music in the Park summer concert series has begun, rocking the downtown plaza and park area like a community happy hour, with bands like Malo and Third World with Jordan T.
Concerts are held at Plaza de Cesar Chavez and start at 5:30 p.m. on July 12 and Aug. 3 and 24. They’re not free, but with tickets priced at $15-$20, it’s not too spendy. Besides, it’s outdoors. In a park. So you can hear the music all around the area, too. Wander into the Fairmont Hotel for a swanky cocktail in the Lobby Lounge.
Or trek over to the Tech Museum of Innovation. Details: Check out concert details at , the cocktail menu at and the exhibits at .
9 Channel young love Feel like giggling, squealing kids again on Alameda’s Park Street. Play a round of Bay Area-centric indoor mini golf at SubPar, where the course includes Alcatraz, Lombard Street and a Golden Gate Bridge loop-di-loop.
They also have a slot-car track, arcade games and nighttime glow-in-the-dark golf on Fridays and Saturdays. Then head across the street to the High Scores Arcade and time travel to the ’80s, playing Donkey Kong and Asteroids.
Finally, cool off with a scoop of “super creamed” ice cream at Tucker’s. May we suggest a Red-White-and-Blueberry or the new Maple Bacon? Related Articles • • • • Details: Subpar is in Alameda (now through Nov.
19) and Ghirardelli Square; . Get the lowdown on High Scores at and sweet treats at 10 Shake it up Fan the moonbeams from your sleeping eyes and get thee to Pleasanton’s Amador Valley Community Park for the 2018 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which follows the misadventures of four young lovers, a group of aspiring actors and a team of mischievous fairies.
The ensuing hilarity and chaos run through July 15 in Pleasanton, then move on to Cupertino, Redwood City and San Francisco. Cozy up on a blanket, bring a picnic and savor “this bud of love by summer’s ripening breath.” Details: Find program information, dates and locations at For more travel coverage from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond
best date ideas bay area - LA Date Ideas
Having lived in the bay area my entire life, I have had a lot of time to discover many hidden gems that are great for dates or just fun days out with friends. Listed here, are my top 10 favorite places to explore around the SF bay area. Take advantage of these awesome locations and activities, as they are the perfect way to spend quality time with that special someone in order to take friendships further!
1. Filoli Gardens: Located in the heart of the bay area, Filoli Gardens is the perfect place for a nice afternoon stroll or a simple picnic. Here you can explore miles and miles of floral beauty as well as the inside of a historic mansion.
Not to mention, admission is only $5 for students – perfect date idea of a couple on a budget! 2. Hunter’s Point: Hunter’s Point is the perfect hike, especially if you are looking for a challenge but are not trying to hike for hours.
The trail itself is only 1.2 miles, but the hike is moderately challenging, making the panoramic view of Silicon Valley even more rewarding. The aerial view of Cupertino, West San Jose, Mountain View, and Saratoga is even more stunning at night!
3. Mission Peak: If you are looking for more of a challenge than Hunter’s Point, Mission Peak is your destination. The way up to the peak is entirely uphill – because it is so steep and strenuous, make sure to bring a lot of water and comfortable shoes (trust me, you will need it!).
Although the hike is extremely long and challenging, once you reach the top, the view is amazing and well worth it. 4. Shoreline Park & Lake: There is so much to do at Shoreline whether it is paddle boating, kayaking, hiking, or even biking!
The prices very reasonable and with the many options of activities to take on, you will find yourself easily spending the whole afternoon or even day exploring the park. 5. Panther Beach: While many beaches in Santa Cruz are often crowded and polluted with noise, Panther beach (also in Santa Cruz) is located in a secluded area, eliminating these problems.
Not only is the beach quiet and romantic, the view is absolutely breathtaking. Surrounding the beach are massive stone arches that are perfect for pictures and exploring!
6. Downtown: The bay area is filled with a variety of downtowns, each with their own unique personalities. My personal favorites are downtown Palo Alto, downtown Los Gatos, and downtown Mountain View. Each downtown is surrounded by a variety of boutiques, shops, as well as five star restaurants that are definitely worth checking out! 7. California Academy of Sciences: The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is a great place to explore, learn, and have a great time!
The museum is full of a variety of exhibits ranging from Rainforests of the World, Morrison Planetarium, to Steinhart Aquarium. While admission is a little pricey, the Academy is free to everyone on certain Sundays throughout the year! The museum is also located in a gorgeous area – Golden Gate Park – where there are many other attractions to explore such as the de Young Museum and the Japanese Tea Garden.
8. Farmers Markets: Farmers markets can be found all over the bay area including downtown Mountain View, downtown Los Altos, and even Cupertino. Not only do these markets sell fresh fruits and veggies, but also many homemade treats that are great for lunch or a quick snack. Farmers markets are perfect for fun, easy, and cheap dates!
9. Drive-In Movie: Capitol Drive-In located in San Jose is perfect for that cheap yet romantic date. Tickets are $7.25 per person, which includes access to two movies of your choice! The Drive-In also offers discounts on certain days every week. Drive-Ins are much more affordable than going to the movies, while also a lot more fun. Bring your own snacks, sit back, and relax in the comfort of your own car!
10. Santana Row: One of my favorite places to go either on a date or to grab dinner with friends is Santana Row. The romantic European style architecture as well as the lively atmosphere truly makes you feel as though you are shopping or dining out in Rome.
Although the shops and restaurants can be quite pricey, the unique yet fun atmosphere is worth the price! Not to mention, it doesn’t cost anything to simply walk around and enjoy the environment, which is also fun to do!
It doesn’t matter the time or the season, love is always in the air when you’re in East Bay! Whether it is a picturesque picnic for two, an exciting night filled with dancing, or a quiet Sunday brunch, the options are endless! Read on to discover 11 fun and unique ideas for dates in East Bay.
Any place can be romantic when you’re with your sweetheart, but the Bay Area knows romance better than anyone. Below you will find a list of 11 fun date ideas in the East Bay , but if you are looking for more inspiration, .
Our guide is full of recommendations on wineries, restaurants, parks, and fun things to do in the Bay Area! 11 Fun East Bay Date Ideas First Date Ideas If you are planning a first date, you’ll want to do something fun to help break the ice. Here are a few ideas that are perfect for first dates!
• Catch a baseball game with The Oakland A’s at the . • Hold hands and skate the night away at . • Enjoy a night of laughter with a comedy show at . • Make a trip to the . Affordable Dates A fun date shouldn’t mean breaking the bank.
After all, the best things in life are free! Here are four ideas for affordable and special East Bay dates. • Watch a free movie under the stars during the summer at Jack London Square. • Take a hike through the .
• Have a picturesque picnic at in Oakland. • Enjoy a relaxing afternoon surrounded by local flora and fauna at the in Walnut Creek. Unique Dates When it comes to keeping the spark alive, sometimes you just need to try something new. Here are three unique East Bay dates that guarantee to impress! • Tour the chocolate factory and enjoy a tasting at , or perhaps an ice cream factory tour at is more your style!
• Soar with a hot air balloon ride with Soaring Sports . • Take a shot at glassblowing at and bring home your own piece of unique artwork! Plan a Romantic Bay Area Getaway Nestled amongst 21 acres of in Livermore Valley, The Purple Orchid Resort & Spa is perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. Located just an hour outside of East Bay, you won’t need to travel far to experience the best of what the Bay Area offers.
Our resort is less than five miles from the historic downtown Livermore and is only moments away from over 50 in one of California’s oldest wine regions. When you book any of our elegant accommodations, like our , you can always look forward to the best , , and top-notch service. Hot-plated breakfast, access to our luxurious pool, and a complimentary wine hour are always included with your stay!
When you are ready to plan your romantic getaway, check our and book your stay. We can’t wait to welcome you to Livermore Wine Country! Are you looking for more fun date ideas near East Bay? on 15 romantic date ideas near San Francisco!
Best Romantic Date Ideas in Los Angeles, California