Don't Miss the Third Annual Pleasant Valley Rummage Sale!

April 24, 2014

Pleasant Valley Rummage SaleIf you go to one rummage sale this year, this is the one you do not want to miss! The third annual Pleasant Valley Elementary School Rummage Sale takes place this Saturday, April 26 from 9 am–3 pm. This is the third major rummage sale for the school, and the PV's families have dug through closets, kids' rooms, and garages and contributed their treasures to this fundraiser. Rummage sale volunteers have weeded through the donations so only quality items will be available for sale—but at rummage sale prices, of course.

Some of the great items offered will include gently used children's clothing, sporting goods, toys and games, baby and toddler equipment and gear, housewares, electronics, furniture, and more. You never know what other amazing treasures will be donated.

Doors open at 9 am sharp. Early birds can enjoy treats from the bake sale while they wait for the doors to open. The half-price sale from 1:30, and the doors close at 3 pm.

Marin Family Weekend Events for April 25, 26 & 27

April 23, 2014
Spring Fling at Slide Ranch
Family fun on the farm at Slide Ranch's Spring Fling this Saturday. Photo courtesy Slide Ranch.

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, April 25

  • Movin' With Rosie at Jack and Jill's
    San Rafael
    Friday, 1 pm

    Rosie (of Jumping Jacks in the mornings at the San Rafael Community Center) will lead and engage your little ones in freestyle fun with dance, singing, story time, arts, acting on stage and much more! Each day is a different theme. Rosie will be at Jack and Jill's every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. Cost is included in the regular drop-in play admisson fee of $10 per child. $8 per sibling. Location: 125 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 472-1120 or visit their website.
  • Seals & Slippers: Sleep under the Stars
    The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito
    Friday, 6 pm to Saturday 10 am

    The sleepover is aimed at children ages 6–12. The overnight stay includes eating feeding season with the seals, guided hike around Rodeo Lagoon, dinner, dessert, and continental breakfast. Cost: $85 per person. Register by contacting Kristin Ku at or (415) 289-7330. For more info about the sleepover, visit their website.
  • Broadway Bound Kids: Seussical the Musical
    Showcase Theater, San Rafael
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 2 & 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 & 5 pm
    Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, and a little child with a big imagination—Jojo. Seussical the Musical incorporates stories and scenes from 11 Seussical books. It is a wonderful family musical that will entertain all ages! Tickets: $17 adults, $15 children and seniors. For more information, visit their website.

Saturday, April 26

  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy the best local and organic produce, flowers, pastured meats, seafood, organic cheeses, yogurt and milk, breads, baked goods, pasta, confections, olive oil, and brunch and lunch offerings! Kids can take a pony ride and visit the petting zoo (10 am–2 pm), try out some arts and crafts (9 am–2 pm) and kid's storytelling, 9:30–10:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mrs. T's Mill Valley Beautification Day
    Multiple locations throughout Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9 am–noon
    All ages and ability levels are welcome to come and help with the beautification projects all over Mill Valley. You can help make Mill Valley both clean and green by participating in litter brigades and beautification projects at area parks, schools, and designated locations around town. Find out more here.
  • Novato Clean & Green Day 2014
    City of Novato Civic Green
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Bring the family and celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up our beautiful town. Help remove litter from streets, bike path, parks, creek banks and more. Some supplies will be provided. Location: Meet at Novato Civic Green near City Hall at 901 Sherman Street. Find out more here.
  • My Earth Day Marin
    Various locations throughout Marin County
    Saturday, 9 am–noon
    Marin County Parks and the My Earth Day Marin Coalition will host a wide variety of service projects and activities throughout Marin County in honor of Earth Day. This event is for all ages and abilities. Visit My Earth Day for a complete list of opportunities. For questions, contact Volunteer Coordinator Greg Reza at (415) 473-3778 or
  • Touch a Truck
    Oak View Nursery School, San Rafael
    Saturday, 9:30 am–noon
    At this special FUNdraiser, kids (and adults) can explore their favorite vehicles alongside hometown heroes! This is the chance to get behind the wheel of a fire truck, dump truck, police car, school bus, tow truck, U.S. Coast Guard rig and more! Baked goods and beverages for sale. Cost: $5 per person, kids under 1 year old free. Cash only. All proceeds will fund special programming for Oak View Nursery School students. Location: 70 Skyview Terrace, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Seven Spectacular Stroller Hikes in Marin

April 22, 2014

Stroller hike in MarinJust because your kids are too small to go on a hike doesn't mean you can't! Fortunately for outdoor-minded parents of babies and toddlers there are plenty of outdoor destinations in Marin County that are perfectly suitable for a hike with your stroller.

When my kids were little, my husband and I must have racked up thousands of miles on our Kelty jogging stroller, which we used on sidewalks, paths, and unpaved trails.

Many of these hikes are over paved trails, so they're suitable for just about any kind of stroller. Just because they are on more civilized paved surfaces doesn't mean they aren't in some of the most spectacular outdoors areas of Marin, so make sure you check them out.

  • Muir Woods National Monument near Mill Valley features majestic old-growth redwoods and has been one of Marin's top tourist attractions for over a century. Stop by during the week to avoid the crowds and take in the wonder of it all in relative peace and quiet. Take your stroller on the main trail loop through Cathedral Grove, it's paved or on a wooden boardwalk the entire way.
  • On the hills above Kentfield, you'll find Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve, a fantastic place for a hike at any time of year. The flat, wide Southern Marin Line Fire Road is popular with hikers, dog walkers, and mountain bikers, and is perfect for sturdy strollers, too.

Touch a Truck at Oak View Nursery School in San Rafael this Saturday

April 22, 2014

Touch a TruckThis Saturday, April 26, put your imagination in gear and come to Oak View Nursery School for their second annual Touch a Truck event! At Touch a Truck, kids (and grownups, too) will get a chance to get behind the wheel of some amazing vehicles and rub elbows with their hometown heroes.
Come and explore and get behind the wheel of your favorite vehicles including a fire truck, dump truck, police car, school bus, tow truck, and even a U.S. Coast Guard rig. This year, they plan on having even more trucks than before! It will definitely be a day to remember.

Touch a Truck takes place from 9:30 am to noon. Admission is $5 per person, and kids under 1 are free. Baked goods and beverages will be available for sale. All proceeds from this event will fund special programing for Oak View Nursery School students.

Light and Delicious Chinese Chicken Salad

April 21, 2014

Chinese chicken saladAfter any holiday that involves a lot of eating (like Easter), I'm always on the lookout for recipes that are on the lighter side, but still tasty and family friendly. One of my all-time favorite dishes is Chinese chicken salad, a ubiquitous restaurant menu item that's actually really easy to make at home.

I've experimented with a variety of recipes for this main-dish salad, some involving ingredients like crumbled Top Ramen noodles, but my new favorite version is this one, inspired by a recipe from chef Curtis Stone. It doesn't have any crunchy noodles (but you can add them if you want), but it does have plenty of grilled chicken, crunchy napa cappage, and a sweet/spicy Asian inspired dressing, which does double-duty as a marinade for the chicken.

The dressing ingredients sound exotic but you should be able to find most of them at the grocery store. Feel free to omit the sriracha sauce if you think you need to, but my kids didn't mind the spicy notes it added. In fact, both had multiple servings of this the last time I made it, so I decided it was a success!

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes, plus at least 15 minutes cooling time


for the marinade and dressing

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium if possible)
  • 3 T finely chopped fresh ginger

Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at Falkirk

April 21, 2014

Mad hatter's tea partyGet your tickets for the Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center for this Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, 2014. There will be two tea party sittings, at noon and 3 pm each day.

Join Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse for this Wonderland tea party, complete with tea sandwiches, beverages, and dessert. The company of characters in original costumes, from the Stark Ravens Historical Players, will entertain and make the little ones giggle and dream as they sip their “tea”. Falkirk’s beautiful and elegant Victorian setting is the perfect place for this spring tea party.

The cost is $27.50 for adults and $22.50 for children, which includes all the food you can eat and a goodie bag for each child. Bring your camera for great photos! Reservations are required; call (800) 838-3006 or visit

Sailing into San Rafael’s Community: A Mother Daughter Story!

April 21, 2014

Sailing Education AdventuresMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin mom Barbara McVeigh

After 30 years, Sailing Education Adventures, one of Marin’s best kept secrets, sails into new territory. Just over a year ago, the nonprofit moved its adult program from Sausalito to San Rafael’s Loch Lomond Marina, just down the Canal from its hallmark Summer Youth Camp at Marin Yacht Club. The organization has positioned itself well to serve the North Bay sailing community. New programs are building to support family, adult and teen sailing year round. Last year the community came together to support youth sailing for kids of the Canal District, a program that will continue because of a generous grant from the State of California.

This year, new program director Meghan Hartnett takes the helm. She just moved back to Marin after living in New York for nine years. Her mother, Jane Piereth, founded the organization and Meghan grew up sailing, as well as leading the summer camp 13 years ago. “It’s like coming home,” she says.

Strawberry Shortcake Is a True Taste of Springtime

April 20, 2014

Strawberry ShortcakeOne of the best things about spring is knowing that you can get fresh, sweet, locally grown organic strawberries at the farmer's market or grocery store. To celebrate, we love to make this easy and delicious strawberry shortcake dessert. This simple combination of lightly sweet shortcake, fresh strawberries, and vanilla flavored whipped cream is a hit with just about everyone, and is suitable for every occasion, from a fancy Easter dinner to a kids' tea party.

These shortcakes are kind of like sweet (but not too sweet) buttermilk drop biscuits, and don't take very long to put together. If you're really in a hurry, you can use whipped cream from a can, but it doesn't take too much time or effort to make some fresh whipped cream with your electric mixer, and it tastes so much better, too.

You can make the shortcakes and whipped cream in advance and let diners assemble their own strawberry shortcake creations at the table, if you like. It's fun for both children and adults. Whipped cream keeps fine in the refrigerator for a few hours, and you can make it extra-thick and rich by putting it in a strainer over a bowl and letting some of the water drain out.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for April 18, 19 & 20

April 18, 2014

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend, including Earth Day celebrations and activities around the Bay Area. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, April 18

  • Easter Stroller Strides Workout & Egg Hunt
    Miwok Park, Novato
    Friday, 9:30 am–noon

    Join Fit4Mom Marin for an "egg"-ceptional Stroller Strides workout. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the kiddos immediately following class. Please bring Easter baskets for them to collect their eggs. Just bring yourself, your child, stroller, water and a snack. Your first class is free! Classes start on time, so for your first class please come 10 minutes early to load up your little one. To get your first class free, register at Location: 2200 Novato Blvd, Novato.
  • Miss Kitty Sing and Dance
    San Rafael Public Libary
    Friday, 10:30 am

    Join Marin County favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required! Location: 1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue), San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 485-3323 or visit their website.
  • Annual Flashlight Egg Hunt
    Memorial Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8:15 pm sharp!
    Back by popular demand, the annual Flashlight Egg Hunt returns this Friday. Bring your basket and a good flashlight. For youth ages 8 and up only. Egg hunt lasts for about 5 minutes, so don't be late. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, April 19

  • Free Entrance Days: Muir Woods National Park
    Mill Valley
    Saturday & Sunday, 8 am–5 pm

    America's Best Idea—the national parks—is even better when it's free! Get into Muir Woods National Monument for free over this weekend. For more info, visit their website.
  • Easter Celebration & Easter Egg Hunt!
    Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Children will dye eggs in bright colors, and creatively decorate them with reusable materials provided by SCRAP. Baby chicks and a small animal petting zoo will be on display at Victoria's Fashion Stable, where children can also enjoy a pony ride. There’s children's musical entertainment from 9:30–10:30 am, with an Easter egg hunt with the Easter Bunny to follow. The Easter egg hunt begins at 10:30 am at Poppy Store, located just steps away from the Farmers' Market in the Marin Country Mart. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day Celebration
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–5 pm

    Come to the museum on Earth Day to celebrate the natural beauty of our environment. Every day, the museum seeks to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards by encouraging children to immerse themselves in our unique place by the Bay. All activities included with museum admission unless noted otherwise. See schedule here.
  • Learn to Saltwater Fish
    Paradise Beach, Tibruon
    Saturday, 9–11 am

    Come spend the morning learning the basics of saltwater fishing. A limited number of fishing poles and bait will be provided first-come, first-served to beginners, thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fishing license is not required when fishing from the pier. Meet at the fishing pier in Paradise Beach Park in Tiburon (3450 Paradise Drive). Parking entrance fee is free. For more info, contact ranger Mike Maraccini at (415) 435-9212 or visit their website.
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