Gravenstein Apple Fair

August 2019 Outdoor Events Roundup

Suzie Rodriguez
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It’s now the height of summer, a time when there are dozens of fun outdoor things to do each day of the week. What’s your desire? Whether it’s taking a redwood hike, cycling a steep incline, kayaking the Russian River, catching a fish, telling stories over a campfire, taking in an outdoor concert, or running a marathon, you can find it right here in Sonoma County.

Here are just a few ideas that might catch your fancy:

Swim Safely at Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach

All Month Long

Image of Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach.

Each summer, Sonoma County Regional Parks installs a temporary dam just below Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach, creating a safe, calm, deep swim zone watched over by lifeguards each day. The beach is well-located, slightly south of the historic and eye-catching Memorial Bridge. It’s one of the safest spots to swim on the Russian River, and a good place to head for fun in the sun. Amenities here include picnic areas, a par course, restrooms, and all-terrain wheelchairs (available on a first-come/first-served basis). Free entry; $7 parking applies (free for Regional Parks members). To learn more, visit this page.

Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach, 13839 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg 95448

Bring the Kids to Family Farm Chores

August 7 (Wednesday)

 Image of Tolay Lake Regional Park.

If your kids love animals and wonder what it would be like to live on a farm, they’ll be talking about their day at Tolay Lake Regional Park’s Family Farm Chores for weeks. The fantastic things kids can do at this event include feeding goats, chickens and a miniature horse named Pete; collecting eggs; and cleaning out pens. Bring gloves and water bottles, as well as farm-appropriate shoes. All ages are welcome. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, phone 707-789-9699.

Tolay Lake Regional Park, 5869 Cannon Ln., Petaluma 94954

Get Thrilled at the Cycle Gear Championship of Sonoma

August 10-11 (Saturday & Sunday)

Image of promo ad for Sonoma Raceway event.

Held at Sonoma Raceway, here’s a thrill-packed event for the family. The 7th round of this year’s MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Championship is two days of high-speed road racing with motorcycles sporting the latest technology, motorcycle stunt shows, Kids’ Zone carnival games, bounce houses, a Learn to Ride program with kid-friendly machines, and more. Admission: $10-$500 (kids 16 and under go free with paying adult). 8 a.m.-6 p.m. both days. More info.

Sonoma Raceway, 29355 Arnold Dr., Sonoma 95476

Go Creative at Art in the Redwoods

August 17-18 (Saturday/Sunday)

Image of Gualala Arts Center.

The Gualala region is home to many excellent painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, dancers, musicians, craft artisans, and other artists. Come and enjoy their work at the 58th annual Art in the Redwoods Festival, which features art exhibits, free entertainment on multiple stages, lots of food and drink options, and a whole lot more. Begins at 10 a.m. both days. $6 admission, youth ages 17 and under go free. For more info, email [email protected] or phone 707-884-1138.

Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Gualala Rd., Gualala, CA 95445

Find Old-Fashioned Fun at the Gravenstein Apple Fair

August 17-18 (Saturday/Sunday)

Image of poster for Gravenstein Apple Fair.

One of Sonoma County’s don’t-miss annual events, the Gravenstein Apple Fair is a big, old-fashioned, something-for-everybody celebration. Held in beautiful, oak-laden Ragle Ranch County Park, it offers live music on two stages; contests for kids and adults alike; local food, wine, cider, and craft beer; arts & crafts vendors; farm animals; Do-it-Yourself workshops; and bushels of world-famous Gravenstein apples. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days. Adults, $15/Children 6-12, $10; kids under 5 are free. More info: 707-837-8896 or write [email protected].

Gravenstein Apple Fair, 500 Ragle Ranch Park, 500 Ragle Rd., Sebastopol 95472

Study the Night Stars at Robert Ferguson Observatory

August 24 (Saturday)

Image of exterior of Robert Ferguson Observatory.

Travel to the stars on a summer night when you attend one of Robert Ferguson Observatory’s Star Parties. Observe the night sky through one of the three main telescopes, which include a 40-incher. The fun starts at 8 p.m. Robert Ferguson Observatory is located in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park; it’s far removed from the glare of city lights, so the opticals here are excellent. For more information, visit the website. $5 admission, and kids under 18 are free.

Robert Ferguson Observatory, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood 95452

Santa Rosa Marathon

August 24-25 (Saturday & Sunday)

Image of logo for Santa Rosa Marathon.

The always-popular Santa Rosa Marathon offers competition for all levels of runners, with 5K, 10K, half and full marathon events – run amidst classic wine country vineyard scenery. Not a runner? Join the celebration at the finish line on Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square, with its vendor booths, music, wine, and more. Saturday is for 5K and 10K runs; half and full marathon take place on Sunday. Races start at 6:30 a.m. Race fees: $20-$155. For more info, visit this page or email [email protected]

Old Courthouse Square, 25 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa 95404