How to keep the kids busy this summer
SUMMER VACATION is heaven on earth for kids, a chance to shuck all the haste and toil of the school year. But for parents, hey, it's time to get to work. Sure, you could just let the kiddies settle back into a regimen of sleeping in late, playing video games, and chatting on the phone with their friends. Or you could direct their activities with much-needed outdoor recreation and mental stimulation through field trips, classes, and workshops. But make it fun. Here are a few regional resources that can help:
Amateur Boxing Ongoing classes for kids 8 and over, developing basic skills to compete in Golden and Silver Gloves. Sonoma County Martial Arts and Community Boxing Center, 5675 Redwood Drive, Rohnert Park. $25 yearly insurance. 707/584-3812.
Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve Wildlands cover 5,000 acres, including 1,000-year-old redwoods. Hiking, picnicking, camping. North of Guerneville on Armstrong Woods Road off Hwy. 116. 707/869-2015.
Crane Creek Regional Park Horseback riding, picnicking, and hiking for toddlers and young children. Pressley Road near end of Roberts Road, 2 miles east of Petaluma Hill Road near Rohnert Park. 707/527-2041.
Creation Conservatory Studio Be Theater offers a full schedule of spring and summer classes for youth in vocal improv, tumbling, modern dance, playwriting, solo performance, story theater, and other forms of creative expression. Studio Be Theater, 206 W Fifth St., Santa Rosa. Fees and course dates vary; call for schedule of classes. 707/569-8206.
Pacific Coast Air Museum Planes from various periods in U.S. history. Weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sonoma County Airport, 6 miles northwest of Santa Rosa. $3 donation. 707/575-7900.
Pizza, Pop, & Paperbacks Teen book discussion groups for grades 7-12. Sonoma County Library, Third and E streets, Santa Rosa. Free. 707/545-0831.
Sonoma Depot Museum Historic site transports you back to early days of Northern California with Bear Flag revolt exhibit, historic library, and tours. Wednesdays-Sundays, 1 to 4:30 p.m. 270 First St. W., Sonoma. Free. 707/938-1762.
Summer Arts for Youth Intensive performing arts training in acting, dancing, and singing for ages 14-17. Through July 29, Mondays-Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Call for prices. 707/664-2474.
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park Camping, horse trails, and 20 miles of trails along headwaters of Sonoma Creek. Public viewing at Ferguson Observatory. 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood. 707/833-5712.
Train Town Scenic miniature railroad runs through 10 acres of trees, animals, bridges, waterfalls, and historic replicas. Trips take 20 minutes. Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 20264 Broadway, Sonoma (Hwy. 12, 1 mile south of plaza). $3.50 for adults; $2.50 for children and seniors. 707/939-3912.
Bay Area Discovery Museum Events and activities intended to delight curious kids. Through Sept. 2, Summer of Oz commemorates 100th anniversay of children's book The Wizard of Oz; kids will be able to reconstuct Emerald City, create rainbows, make lion, tiger, and bear masks, and blow Glinda's magic bubbles. July 21, at noon and 1 p.m., Symphonic Musical World of Oz. Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. $13/person includes museum admission and Summer of Oz events. 415/487-4398.
Point Reyes National Seashore State park offers lectures by nature experts. Pt. Reyes Station. 415/663-1155.
Shakespeare Classes Marin Shakespeare Company offers affordable fun summer classes for students of all ages who want to perform and study Shakespearean theater. Through August. Call for complete schedule, locations, and prices. 415/499-4487.
Petrified Forest Giant trees turned to stone. Museum, gift shop, and picnic area. Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4100 Petrified Forest Road, Calistoga. 707/942-6667.
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From the July 19-25, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.