The goal of Saturday Smiles is to meet an unmet need, not to reinvent the wheel. To that end, here are some links to existing sources of information on things to do in the Bay Area:
- Bay Area Parent, a free monthly magazine, has an ongoing events calendar on their website. They also have a list of unusual kid-friendly museums here and of beautiful parks/gardens if you want to see wildflowers.
- Events at Oakridge Mall in San Jose
- If you have a San Jose Public Library card, you can access free or low-cost passes to many local attractions through the Discover’n’Go program.
- TripAdvisor has a nice variety of “things to do” listed for San Jose.
- The Visit San Jose website lists things to do in general as well as special events.
- You can subscribe by email to Goldstar, who offers discount or comp (free) tickets to upcoming Bay Area events and performances.
- You can check Groupon for discount tickets to local events and venues. They can also be a great source of ideas for things to do, such as Paint Nite or other one-time classes you might not have heard of otherwise.
- Many museums in the Bay Area have free days at least once a month
- TravelZoo is another fun site with deals on tickets to various places, both local finds and worldwide trips.
- You can visit the Association of Science-Technology Centers‘s website to search for science and technology centers or museums in your area.
- Likewise, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has a search tool based on location.
- Wikipedia has an attempt at a comprehensive list of all the museums in the Bay Area.
- There’s an incredibly detailed list of events by month at Events12.com. It says San Francisco, but it includes events from the North Bay through Silicon Valley and down to Monterey.
- If you’re a Bank of America customer, their Museums on Us program gives you free admission to certain places on certain days.
- If you’re a AAA member, many attractions offer a discount at the door for showing your AAA membership card, but you can often get bigger discounts by ordering tickets online through the AAA website.
- If, like us, you’re a fan of library used book sales, check out BookSaleBuddy or BookSaleFinder to see your upcoming local sales. There’s also a list of book sales and special events in the San Jose Public Library system here.
More specific events calendars:
- De Anza Fujitsu Planetarium
- Family Art Making Days at the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland
- Public events at the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City
- See what’s coming up at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on their calendar.
Remember also that if you have a membership at one park or zoo or museum, you are often eligible for free or discounted admission to others through their “reciprocal agreements.” The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has a list of these reciprocal agreements, but others exist too, so be sure to check on all the extra perks of any memberships you have or are considering.
Likewise, there’s a reciprocal membership list for many museums that honor each other’s memberships, either with free or discounted admission. It’s called the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Association.
Outside of the Bay Area
- In case you’re heading to Walt Disney World in Orlando, the Rolling with the Magic blog is a fantastic resource for families with mobility needs. Check it out!