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Monday, March 14, 2011

Some new things to try out in the Bay Area

I was catching up on my Sunset and Food and Wine magazines and found some inspiration - things to go out and do and try. Here they are:

The Richmond Plunge - now open for aquatic programs. In the retro Municipal Natatorium building, this swimming pool doesn't have the fancy play structures, but it's awesome to look at and swim in! You have to really watch your kids here - kids under 60 inches tall or under age 7 have to be at arms' length - of you. Read its history here.
Where: 1 East Richmond Avenue, Richmond, CA

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
We eat a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches at home, and I love adding different things to it. Here's a restaurant doing a much better job at it!
Where: 1 South Park Avenue (415-243-0107)

Ag Venture Tours
Okay, so this would be a pricey day trip with the kids (maybe have your parents babysit and go alone). Ag Venture Tours offers wine and agriculture tours. I'd be interested in trying the Salinas Valley Agricultural Tour, where you'll learn about 40 different crops, organic farming, irrigation, harvesting and more. Half day tours are $60-70/person (2-12 people). Full day is $85+.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Wine tasting with the kids was never this much fun! The scenic pool is open for business April 1st, for weekend use. Pool pass (and cabine rental) prices coming soon. The winery has several bars and a huge assortment of movie memorabilia. And free bocce courts and game tables (backgammon, chess, checkers).

Bike Basket Pies
Little pies (the size of cupcakes) delivered to your SF door via bicycle for $5 each (or if you find her on the street, you pay $1 less). Get a whole pie for $25. Sweet or savory. The menu is seasonal and changes weekly. Owned and operated by Natalie.

Zero Zero Soft Serve Ice Cream
This SF restaurant serves soft serve, where you choose the base (like warm chocolate cake, marscapone cheese cake, date toffee cake or ricotta doughnuts). Add toppings (peppermint patty, cocoa nibs, pumpkin seed brittle, saba, olive oil & sea salt, pomegranate seeds with saffron, citrus compote with orange oil...) and enjoy!

The Cheese School of San Francisco
Take a cheese-making or cheese pairing class for $65. The owner has been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine (in addition to the Sunset mention).

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