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Just Zoo It

There are tons of family activities available at the Oakland Zoo. Zoovie Nights are animal-themed outdoor movie screenings ($7 per ticket). This summer offers Kung Fu Panda 3 on July 22 and Ratatouille on August 26. For Teddy Bear Tea with Friends, kids come with an adult and stuffed animal for a tea party complete with morning snacks, activities and a chance to learn and interact with one of the zoo's animals — that's Sun Bears on July 16 and Macaws on August 14 ($26 for kids, $15 for adults). And if you really want to please your kid, sign up for a Family Sundown Safari (July 8 and August 6) for which families are invited to camp out for an overnight adventure including a twilight tour, special show, and campfire session complete with s'mores ($85 per person). 9777 Golf Links Road, OaklandZoo.org. (SB)

Let Your Kid Use a Real Handsaw

If your child has exhausted his or her enthusiasm for the humdrum swings and slides of a conventional playground, it may be time to pay a visit to Adventure Playground, an only-in-Berkeley wonderland of makeshift forts, abandoned rowboats, scrap wood and stray nails. Here, kids are encouraged to use real hammers and handsaws, and the only governing rule — aside from the ones having to do with basic safety — is to let one's creativity and sense of adventure roam free. Older kids won't want to miss the zipline. 160 University Avenue, Berkeley, 510- 981-6720, www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/adventureplayground. (LT)

Dance at a Museum

Combine half-price Oakland Museum of California admission for adults (ages 18 and under are free) with the diverse food truck offerings from Off the Grid — plus a pop-up cash bar, live music, and a dance floor — and you've got yourself Friday Nights @ OMCA. This local and visitor favorite takes place every week from 5-10 p.m., but come on the first or last Friday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. for tastings and demos from local breweries, coffee roasters and organic farmers. Also, every week the event features a free art workshop, along with what many folks come for: live music and groovin' dance lessons. 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, MuseumCA.org. (SJ)

Show Your Pet You Love Them

Gourmet chicken liver bites. Barbecue strips made with 100 percent natural beef. A plush porcupine with a super loud squeaker. My dog straight adores all his goodies from George, the upscale pet shop in Berkeley. George is to pets as the jewelry store is to engagements: It's where you go to remind your dog or cat that you're committed. That you're all in. And the best part is that, unlike a ring, you don't have to spend three paychecks. Sure, George has a lot of swankier treats and toys. But people throw down on big-ticket purchases for themselves all the time; why not splurge on the four-legged ones for once? 1824 Fourth Street, Berkeley, 510-644-1033, GeorgeSF.com. (NM)

Uplifting Day Party Vibes

It's always a celebration when Soulovely, now in its fifth year, returns to the New Parish in late spring. The seasonal day party is the brainchild of rapper Aima the Dreamer and DJs Emancipacion and Lady Ryan, who envisioned it as a place where queer and straight folks alike could dance to uplifting party music free of misogynistic lyrics. Taking place in the afternoon every second Sunday, and usually from May to October, the event turns The New Parish's patio into a dance floor, with eclectic sets and rotating monthly guest DJs and live performers. While Lady Ryan typically likes to play a mixture of R&B and hip-hop throwbacks, plus newer tracks, Emancipacion prefers to bring in house beats and occasional nods to her Egyptian heritage. And, like Aima the Dreamer said in a previous interview with the Express, there's no Top 40 — unless the Soulovely crew is reclaiming it in the name of the goddess. Second Sundays of the month from 3-8 p.m., 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland; $5, $10; TheNewParish.com. (NV)

Dig Some Jerry

Screw Dead & Co. (OK, so maybe don't screw them, but do you really want to fork over all that cheddar to Bob Weir?) Anyway, if seeing the Dead Lite isn't your bag, consider the fourteenth annual Jerry Day, later this summer on August 14. The name says it all: Bands, costumes, vibes, all directed at the former Grateful Dead frontman. Jerry Day's become a classic Bay Area gathering; if you haven't checked it out, make a point to do so this summer. And, oh yeah, you can donate to help the cause on their website. Sunday, August 14, at 11 a.m., at McLaren Park/Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre, 45 John F. Shelley Drive in San Francisco; JerryDay.org. (NM)

Festival Without Fear of Missing out

In its 79th year, Stern Grove Festival is a music gathering in San Francisco that's rolled out in weekly installments from June 19 through August 21. There's a certain advantage to having the festival spread out throughout the summer, as opposed to being packed into a single weekend. This way, concert-goers can choose who to see without worrying about wasting their time on those they'd rather skip — without the guilt or FOMO of bailing on a chunk of an all-day festival. This year's Stern Grove lineup is stellar, and all the shows are free. The festival debuts with a concert by avant-pop and neo-soul songstress Janelle Monae on June 19, followed by a performance from George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. On July 3, legendary Oakland hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics performs alongside the all-female Oakland dance crew Mix'd Ingrdnts. Other notable acts include the San Francisco Symphony and Oakland indie rock act Astronauts, etc. — basically, something for everyone. Every Sunday, June 19 through August 21, at 2 p.m.; 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco, free; SternGrove.org. (NV)

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