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When weekends hit, does your family struggle to answer "What could we possibly all do together that would be at least a little fun for each family member?"  Fabulously, we've discovered several Sonoma County hotspots that are fun and funky enough to satisfy our whole family.

Fun?  Funky?  Sebastopol!  Ride your bike down the lovely Joe Rodota Trail and find Sebastopol tucked between Highway 12 and the 116!  Look for the hand-painted signs on 116 and Bloomfield road pointing you to Hardcore Cafe.  Start your day with high octane in a cup.  As you order your coffee, your kids can explore the gated outdoor patio area with kid-sized kitchen, cars and eye catching art work.  Nestle down in one of the brightly painted booths.  Who knows? You might even get to finish your cup before the kids tire of bumper cars!

Now that you are fueled up, continue on your way (the bike trail has several legs from downtown Santa Rosa, through Sebastopol, and over to Occidental) to catch live music or have lunch at Ace in the Hole.    Ace features a fenced, outdoor courtyard complete with outdoor grill and putting green.  Your kids can roam a bit while you order up grilled oysters or a burger.  Food and fare at Ace is good and simple- think sausages and popcorn as staple menu items.

Come indoors to snuggle up in one of the comfy, cushion filled window seats.  Experience the "family friendly vibe", while you listen to some groovin local music.  I put the word out to my mommy friends to bring their kids to an Old Jawbone show at Ace, and was surprised to run into another group of mommies and kids rockin' on the dance floor!

Bryles and I stopped by Ace for Mark McDonald's recent show.  We arrived in time to see the end of Conception Vessel One's afternoon act.  Singer and cellist, Artemis, tossed me a free CD and suggested that we check out the family friendly music shows at Sebastopol's Infusions Teahouse.  We danced to Mark McDonald's band and chatted with drummer, Gary Benson, owner of Music for Kids in Cotati.  Gary sends his support to Sono-Mas by offering a chance to win a free drum through his store. 

Talk about family friendly!

If you've still got it in you, pedal over to Singing Frogs Farm and rest next to a shady pond.   Our family decided to support water conservation by not planting a veggie plot this year, instead opting for purchasing a share of Singing Frogs farm's bounty.  This "Community Supported Agriculture" farm gives us a bushel of fresh, delectable produce every week for just $20 - at least a 25% savings over local grocery store costs. 

We're encouraged to call Singing Frogs "our farm", and visit every week.  We even opted to spend a few weekend days clearing the pond, harvesting blueberries, and soon to harvest pumpkins!  We watch the seasons change through the discovery of baby birds, Charlie the llama's shearing, growing sunflowers, fading strawberries, the explosion of colors in the pepper beds.  Experiencing twilight over Singing Frogs in its pristine valley is just the way we love to end our day together.

Discover your own favorite coffee or tea shops, musicians, and farms in laid back, arty Sebastopol.  Sebastopol is so... perfect for families.


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