Three Ideas for Offbeat Group Fun in NorCal


Hosting a group in Northern California and seeking to do something different? Here are three quick suggestions for some group outings that break away from the norm.


Potluck Picnic in Washington Square Park, San Francisco

One of San Francisco’s most vibrant settings is definitely Washington Square Park, and its locale—in North Beach and close to Chinatown makes it a great stop for a ‘potluck picnic.’ Split into three sub-groups by food type—Pizza, Deli and Chinese—and give everyone 30 minutes to track down the tastiest fare to share. For added fun, vote on the best and worst after eating; winning team gets to choose the café or gelato stand you all head to post-lunch, losers have to pick up after the picnic!


The di Rosa, in Napa

Previously known as the di Rosa Preserve, this unique and wonderful enclave of arts and eclectica is one of my favorite attractions anywhere. It’s essentially an attractive estate with unusual art and gardens providing surprises at every turn. Outdoor eye-catchers include an automobile hanging by rope from a tree and the world’s tallest stack of office file cabinets; inside, a simulated stained-glass window ‘chapel’ providing a distilled 24-hour time lapse is one of the favorite works. But this is truly the tip of the iceberg. Make reservations in advance, and tell your group to bring their cameras!


The Trees of Mystery, Klamath

Okay, this is really just a kitschy roadside attraction on steroids, but where else can you take a group shot by a 50-foot-tall Paul Bunyan, or ride a sky gondola through towering redwood trees? A café, gift shop and pretty decent museum add to the enjoyment, but the real highlight is just meandering the mile-long path through the redwood forest. The remote locale might make this a mission impossible for some planners, but anyone organizing an event in the Eureka/Crescent City area should absolutely consider tying it in to their itinerary.

Have your own offbeat escapes that are good for groups? Would love to hear about them!


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