Explore San Francisco

Rohnert Park: A Day Trip of Family Fun

Drive an hour outside of San Francisco for new and exciting ways to entertain the whole family.

Living in the beautiful Bay Area has more than just its fair share of perks. Not only does the San Francisco itself host many spectacular attractions, the surrounding communities know how to have fun too. Take Rohnert Park for example. Nicknamed the "Friendly City," it's located an hour north of San Francisco, just past Petaluma. This city of 42,000 is full of family-friendly activities from theme parks to music halls. Here are our favorite things to see and do to get the most out of your Rohnert Park experience.

Concert venue interior
The inside of Weill Hall with the rear wall opened. (©Brennan Spark Photography)

Green Music Center - Sonoma State University

The crown jewel of Rohnert Park would have to be the Sonoma State University's Green Music Center. The list of upcoming performances at the incredible venues, Weill Hall and Schroeder Hall, include pop, country, jazz, bluegrass, R&B and more, so there's sure to be something for just about every musical taste. What makes the Weill Hall so spectacular? During summer months, the rear wall of the 1,400-seat venue is fully opened to reveal the beautifully landscaped and terraced Weill Lawn. Seating is available both inside and outdoors in table and lawn seating, taking full advantage of unparalleled views of the Sonoma Mountains. Lawn patrons are encouraged to bring blankets and low-back folding chairs and to pack a picnic or enjoy on-site concessions during the concert. For all summer performances, lawn tickets are $25 to the general public, and $12.50 for children ages 2-12. Between the exciting summer lineup and state-of-the-art facility, the Green Music Center is a must experience.

Teenagers enjoying bumper cars
Teenagers enjoying bumper cars at Scandia Family Fun Center. (©Shutterstock)

Scandia Family Fun Center

Scandia is the local fun spot where kids can entertain themselves in a myriad of ways. If your kids enjoy an adrenaline rush, the Vertical Boom drop tower is sure to leave them screaming for joy, and the Lil' Indy Race Track will satisfy their need for speed. Other options include bumper cars, batting cages, mini-golf, an arcade with more than 120 games and much more. Bring the whole family and create memories with an exciting afternoon where even adults can feel like a kid again.

Game the Room

If you like solving puzzles and working together as a team, then Game the Room escape games should be on your radar. Here, you work as a team for an immersive experience completing challenging puzzles, decoding cryptic locks and solving the riddles before the time runs out. You can currently choose between The Skeleton Key and the Key to the Throne escape rooms as your challenges. The Skeleton Key can host two to six players and your objective is to find the renowned author, H.G. Wells, who has mysteriously disappeared in the late 1800s. Key to the Throne is recommended for a four to ten player team that needs to infiltrate a castle and fulfill the prophecy of winning the war for your kingdom by stealing a dragon egg. You and your team are given a 60-minute time limit per room, so be sure to bring your thinking cap as less than 50% of guests conquer the challenges within. The escape rooms are intended for ages 14 and up and you'll want to read their dress code and guidelines before arriving.

Spreckels Performing Arts Center

The Spreckels Performing Arts Center is a city-owned and operated facility that is a great place to experience the local culture. It continually presents award-winning theatre, music and dance that entertains the North Bay, serving nearly half a million people from Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Mendocino counties. Their most recent performance was Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella," a version that builds on the classic play with new songs and characters. The center also hosts many art and civic organizations that present local work. Be sure to check out their upcoming performances and plan accordingly for an unforgettable theater event.

trees in a field
Trees along the hiking trail at Crane Creek Regional Park. (©Shutterstock)

Crane Creek Regional Park

If your family prefers to bond with nature, Crane Creek Regional Park on the east side of Rohnert Park offers 128 acres of grasslands with hiking & biking trails, picnic areas and an 18-hole disc golf course. The meadows bloom with wildflowers every spring and the open space is framed by trees that include California buckeye, white alder, black oak, and maple. The hills offer gorgeous views of Rohnert Park and are high enough to enjoy the sights of Santa Rosa to the north. Bring your best hiking boots and take advantage of the 3.5 miles of trail to get your cardio on.