Ten Ways You Will Love Santa Rosa This Summer
By Chelsea Kurnick
Sonoma County is abuzz this summer with ten top things to do and places to visit. In a nutshell...
1. California Welcome Center. To kick off any Santa Rosa vacation, stop at the Visit California Welcome Center in Historic Railroad Square to pick up flyers, coupons, and deals on local family attractions. Enjoy the center’s train exhibition, which offersa great interactive introduction to what Santa Rosa was like more than 100 years ago and features a working train set.
2.Wednesday Night Market (weekly through August 16) - Downtown Santa Rosa’s newly-renovated Courthouse Square breathes new life into the city’s long-running Wednesday Night Market. The city’s biggest street fair features high quality artisans, farmers, and craftsmen, along with live music and a kids area.
3. Free Movies on the Green (July 22, August 26) - Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center gives family movie nights an upgrade with two nights of free double features! On July 22, showings include Moana and The Little Mermaid. On August 26, it’s Beauty and The Beast night, featuring both the animated classic and the 2017 live action film. Movie showings begin at 5:00 p.m.
4. Sonoma County Fair (August 3 - August 13) - One of the state’s most popular fairs returns for 11 days of family fun! Now in its 81st year, all ages will be entertained by educational agricultural exhibits, livestock shows, carnival rides, NorCal Brewfest, and horse races.
5.You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown! at 6th Street Playhouse (August 18 - September 17) - To honor the 50th anniversary of the Broadway musical based on the Peanuts, the 6th Street Playhouse and Charles Schulz Museum are teaming up for a hometown revival. This show kicks off the playhouse’s 2017-2018 season.
6. 23rd Annual Seafood Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival (August 26 - 27) - This beloved food and wine festival on the coast returns with more kid-focused activities than ever. Adults will enjoy live entertainment, fine art, local craft beverages and the freshest seafood. The Entertainment Stage will feature performances by Captain Jack Spareribs, Merry Mary and gymnasts. Stewards of the Coast & Redwoods will bring out their new Interactive Environmental Exhibit Van to educate and entertain. The Painting Garden welcomes children to paint their own ceramics. Kid-friendly food options will also be available.
7. Concerts Under the Stars at Montgomery Village (June 1- October 5) - Parents, pups, and kids can rock out to tribute and cover bands at Montgomery Village every Thursday, starting at 5:30 pm. Food available from Lucky’s outdoor grill.
8. Spring Lake Water Bark (September 9-10, 17, 23-24, 30-October 1) - Through Labor Day, Spring Lake Regional Park’s swimming lagoon features a floating playground during summer for kids ages 6+, but throughout September, it becomes a leash-free water wonderland for dogs. Beyond dog-paddling, tennis balls and dog discs will be on hand. Entry fee raises money for the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.
9. Find Snoopy and his friends around town - Fido can’t come inside the Charles M. Schulz Museum to meet Snoopy, but he can join the family to sniff out more than 70 Peanuts statues in and around Santa Rosa, decorated by local artists to pay tribute to the famed comic. Families can follow this guide to find Snoopy and his friends. See www.sonomacounty.com/sites/default/master/files/pdf/PeanutsStatuesAroundTown-LowRes_2-27-15.pdf
10. Picnic and Tour at a Family and Pet-Friendly Winery - Adult visitors are welcome to bring children and leashed dogs to several of Santa Rosa’s family-friendly wineries. Top experiences including the culinary and flower gardens at Martin Ray Winery, the lavender fields at Matanzas Creek Winery, or take the self-guided sustainability-focused Vineyard Adventures walks offered at St. Francis Winery, among others.