Slip-Slidin' Away 

Dunk the back-to-school blues at Antioch Water Park


It is one of the cruelties of childhood that Bay Area summer weather always hits its peak right at back-to-school time. But before the homework ball-and-chain starts to drag your family down, stretch out summer a little longer with a trip to the Antioch Water Park. Open for two more weekends in September, this city-owned ten-acre park includes five water slides (one just for kids under four feet tall) and four pools, as well as a skate park and sand volleyball courts. Depending on the ages and independence of the kids, parents could spend a restful afternoon relaxing with a book on the lawn while the kids try out all the wet and commercial-free attractions. On Rattlers Run, kids and parents alike ride inner tubes down the slide, while littler kids and babies try out the Otter Slide and the Tad Pool. The Lily Pad game provides nonstop action in the Sport Pool, and a lap pool for general swimming is also the home of the city's year-round aquatics program. All pools and slides have lifeguards, and smaller kids must wear life vests (provided) on the larger slides. When it's time to break for lunch, either head out to the parking lot for a car picnic (no outside food or drinks are allowed inside the park) or belly up to one of the snack bars (hot dog $3.50; pizza slice $4.75; salad $5). Admission $8; $4 after 4 p.m.; kids under 2 free with paying adult. or 925-776-3070. -- Annika Dukes

SUN 9/7

Doggy Do

Oodles of Tunes

Weird Al Yankovic is now playing children's shows at theme parks. What's next -- balloon-tying at birthday parties? But don't worry about Al. He claims his latest CD entered the charts at #17, and the veteran musical humorist has plenty of Eminem, Nelly, and Avril Lavigne songs to parody from his CD Poodle Hat. Hear him sing "eBay," "Wanna B Ur Lovr," "Genius in France," "Angry White Boy Polka," and other silly tunes while he models goofy headgear Sunday (7:30 p.m.) at Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara. For more information, call 408-998-8497 or visit -- Kelly Vance


Knees in the Trees

On their first visit to Bonfante Gardens Family Theme Park , parents and kids may exclaim, "Where has this place been all my life?" Down on Hecker Pass Highway in Gilroy, that's where, with 19 rides, 21 attractions, the usual snack stands, and a magnificent garden, including some very striking trees. The kids are all saying, "Forget the trees, let's hit the rides." So let 'em. This weekend's special shows feature Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse and Timothy Raccoon, aka the Bookworm Bunch, and their interactive song, "Knees Up, Mother Brown." Then in October, it's Mona the Vampire's Halloween. General admission is $29.95, kids three to six $21.95, kids two and younger free. 408-840-7100 or -- Kelly Vance


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