Bay Area families eager to get out can enjoy these newly reopened attractions

With the start of the weekend, more options exist for Bay Area residents to get out and enjoy. There’s a mixed bag of business reopenings, after suffering through closures to do COVID restrictions.

For parents with young kids chomping at the bit to get out and be active, Fairyland’s reopening is more than magical.

"Just having our son come over here and just run around and take a look at all of the different attractions, that’s good for him," said Castro Valley resident Peter Dating.

The seven-decade-old Oakland institution endured a coronavirus-fueled shutdown that lasted four months. But on Mar. 19 the doors to Fairyland were once again open, with masks and sanitizing stations conspicuous in the interior.

"It has been tough. But we persevered through it through the help and support of our patrons," said Kimberly Miller, executive director of Fairyland.

Wednesday on the Peninsula, the owner of Bel Mateo Bowl was greeted with a line out the door.

"The community is coming out to support us. And it feels like you’re being reborn again," said owner Mike Leong.

Regulars can now chase strikes, but only on half the available lanes due to COVID precautions.

In the North Bay, the buttered popcorn awaits at the Reading Cinemas in Rohnert Park. COVID forced the theatre to close for a year. But that ended Friday with its reopening.

"A lot of theatres need time to get the logistics in place to reopen. And we’ve been working on that literally since the day we closed. So we were ready at the snap of a finger," said theatre general manager Taylor Greene.

Many economists have said the flurry of openings, coupled with increasing vaccination rates, bodes well for the region and nation.

"The vaccine is allowing people to become a little more comfortable to venture out. And as businesses are opening, that will be good for the economy," said Dr. Brian Marks, a senior lecturer at the University of New Haven’s Department of Economics and Analytics.

Marks and others fear inflation could set in, due to pent-up demand from COVID restrictions being eased, coupled with stimulus checks that sent to millions of Americans.