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Special coverage: Sonoma County Regional Parks

Details available on the activities calendar at sonomacountyparks.org throughout the year. All activities are free unless otherwise noted.

Parking is $7; free for Regional Parks members.

2017

Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22

Tolay Fall Festival: Take a hayride to a pumpkin patch where the perfect Halloween pumpkin awaits you. Explore the Creatures Barn full of snakes, spiders, bats and birds of prey. Try your hand at wool carding, candle dipping, pumpkin-seed spitting, gunnysack races and navigating a straw bale maze. Bring a picnic lunch or try food and desserts from local vendors. Admission is $5, $3 for children 12 and under. Parks members get free admission for two adults, two children, and free parking. Tolay Lake Regional Park, 5869 Lakeville Highway at the end of Cannon Lane.

Oct. 15 and Nov. 5

Fall Flyway Forays: Join a local birding guide on 3-mile hikes to observe migrating raptors on the Pacific Flyway. Learn about migration patterns and local monitoring efforts. Bring binoculars. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 15 at Helen Putnam Regional Park and Nov. 5 at Sonoma Valley Regional Park.

Oct. 25 and Nov. 29

Winging it Wednesdays: Two-hour easy pace walk along wheelchair accessible routes the last Wednesday of the month at various parks. 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. or return to the starting place at your convenience. All ages welcome. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair from Regional Parks. Oct. 25 at Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail at Highway 12 entrance and Nov. 29 at Riverfront Regional Park.

Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and Nov. 18

Autumn Color Ambles: Learn about local plants by their leaves on easy 2-to-3-mile hikes. Build a plant ID with leaf rubbings. Three locations: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Shiloh Regional Park in Windsor on Oct. 28; North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park near Santa Rosa on Nov. 4; Steelhead Beach Regional Park in Forestville on Nov. 18.

First Saturday of the month

Nuestros Parques: A bilingual naturalist leads Spanish-language walks at Regional Parks 10 a.m. to noon followed by a potluck lunch. Bring water, a plate, utensils and a healthy lunch dish to share. Various parks. Call 707-565-7888 for dates or visit SonomaCountyParks.org.

First Saturday of the month

Science Saturdays: Free presentations and interactive experiments on different topics begin at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. All ages welcome. Environmental Discovery Center at Spring Lake Regional Park, 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa.

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2018

March to May

Wildflower Walk: Guided wildflower walks led by naturalists who bring the ecology of flowers and properties to life. Various parks. Visit SonomaCountyParks.org.

April 14-15

Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival: Hosted by the community, this two-day gathering includes craft booths, live music, local beer and wine tasting and seafood of all sorts to accompany the annual Blessing of the Fleet, celebrating the traditional start of salmon season and maritime heritage on the Sonoma Coast. Westside Regional Park, 2400 Westshore Road. bbfishfest.org

April 28

Dia del Niño: Spring Lake Regional Park’s Environmental Discovery Center and other locations in Sonoma County celebrate children with bilingual craft-making, hikes and other outdoor activities. Spring Lake Regional Park, 5585 Newanga Ave., Santa Rosa.

May 5

Castles and Kites: Build sand castles and fly kites at Doran Beach Regional Park. Watch kite-flying and sand-sculpting experts or pilot your own kite and create your own sand castle. Kites for sale by local vendors. Free sand tools available. Doran Regional Park, 201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay.

Special coverage: Sonoma County Regional Parks

Memorial Day through Labor Day

Swimming: Includes an inflatable floating playground with slides, and a play zone with climbing walls, bridges, balance beams, jumps, trampolines and boat rentals from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Spring Lake Regional Park, 5585 Newanga Ave., Santa Rosa.

Late June/early July through labor day

Swimming: Tube rentals and inflatable water slide. Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach, 13839 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg.

All summer

Funky Fridays: Summer series of concerts 7 to 9 p.m. on the grounds of Hood House at the base of Hood Mountain Regional Park, 1450 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa. Ticket prices and bands to be announced. Parking $10 per vehicle.

July 14

Healdsburg Water Carnival: Classic summer fun on the Russian River features Sonoma County’s only floating wine barrel races, the “Zoom Floom” river slide, rides on Sally the Swan float, children’s games, live music, local food trucks, community booths and a rubber duck dash. Activity wristbands are $10. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach, 13839 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg.

Aug. 11-12

Gravenstein Apple Fair: Hosted by Sonoma County Farm Trails, the Gravenstein Apple Fair includes live music, food vendors, a pie-baking contest, local beer, wine, cider, guest chefs, a children’s corner with arts and crafts and workshops ranging from cheese-making to worm composting, all under the shade of majestic oaks. Admission: $10-$15, with discounts available. Ragle Ranch Regional Park, Ragle Ranch Road, Sebastopol. GravensteinAppleFair.com

Sept. 8-9, 16, Sept. 22-23 and Sept. 29-30

Water bark: Dogs swim and romp unleashed for four weekends at the swimming lagoon at Spring Lake Regional Park. Sponsored by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. Admission $7 per dog or $5 per dog for parks members. Spring Lake Regional Park, 5585 Newanga Ave., Santa Rosa.

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