Marin Memorial Day Weekend Family Events 2015

May 22, 2015
American Crown Circus comes to Marin on Memorial Day Weekend
American Crown Circus brings its big top to Marinwood this Memorial Day weekend.

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

Friday, May 22

  • Meet Kids' Author Kelly Jones
    San Anselmo LIbrary
    Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm

    Create your own superpet with Kelly Jones, author of the new book Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer. You'll use your five senses (and a few secret questions) to think about how to describe your pet to someone special. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue in the Council Chambers. For more info, call (415) 258-4656 or visit their website.
  • American Crown Circus
    St. Vincent's, Marinwood
    Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, various times

    This family run bilingual circus, presented by Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise, is centered around acrobats, performers, and clowns, with no exotic animals. Performances are on Friday, May 22 at 6:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24 at 1:30, 4, and 6:30 pm; and Monday, May 25 at 1:30 and 4 pm. Advance tickets are $12 and are good for any performance; two children under 12 admitted free per paid advance adult ticket. Tickets at the gate $18. For more info or to order tickets, vist their website.
  • Kiddo Family Carnival
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, 4–10 pm, Saturday & Sunday, noon–10 pm & Monday, noon–5 pm

    Bring the family for a four-day real old-fashioned carnival. There will be rides for all ages, plus food and games. The littlest ones in your family will love the Berry-Go-Round and the Tune Train, while your teenagers will be thrilled with the Sizzler, Zipper, Century Wheel, and the Typhoon. Advance discounted ticket books will be available in the Kiddo! office and Mill Valley Community Center while they last. Books are $20 advance, $30 once the carnival begins. Books may be turned in for a one-day wrist band for unlimited rides. Food and games extra. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, May 23

  • 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 listen to music (9:30–10:30 am). For more info, visit their website.
  • The 37th Annual San Francisco Carnaval
    Harrison Street, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Come celebrate at the 37th annual Carnaval San Francisco, a free two–day family festival in San Francisco’s Mission District over Memorial Day weekend on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets and experience global cuisine, international music, dance, arts and crafts, and other fun activities and entertainment on every street corner for the entire family to enjoy. For more info, visit their website.
  • 52 New Foods presents: Ice Cream Shop
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Scream for ice cream! Discover how easy it is to create unique ice cream flavors with just a few ingredients and easy techniques. Use your imagination and come up with your own tasty blends. Suitable for ages 5 –13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Greek Festival
    Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, Novato
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–10 pm
    Come celebrate the culture of Greece with fabulous authentic Greek cuisine, live Greek music and dance, children's activities, cooking demonstrations, and more. Adults $5, seniors 55+ $4, children 16 and under free. The Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church is at 1110 Dickson Drive in Novato. For more info, call (415) 883-1998 or visit their website.
  • Komodo Karnival
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Komodo Karnival will feature good ol' fashioned fun with a nod to Big Daddy Bahasa, the zoo's charismatic Komodo dragon. After you stop by and see him at Komodo Alley, try your luck at fun games like Crazy Ball, Ring the Bottle, Hoop Shot, Milk Can, Fat Cats, and Fish Are Jumping; you may even win a prize. After some cotton candy and a hot dog and soda, show your strength on the Komodo Klimbing Wall. There's no better way to welcome summer than the Komodo Karnival! Free after zoo admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Memorial Day Paper Poppies
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Bring the kids to make Memorial Day paper poppies. Best for kids aged 5 to 12. Drop in anytime between 11 am and 4 pm. Free. Read about our visit to the Officers' Club here. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kiddo Family Carnival
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Saturday & Sunday, noon–10 pm & Monday, noon–5 pm

    Bring the family for a four-day real old-fashioned carnival. There will be rides for all ages, plus food and games. The littlest ones in your family will love the Berry-Go-Round and the Tune Train, while your teenagers will be thrilled with the Sizzler, Zipper, Century Wheel, and the Typhoon. Advance discounted ticket books will be available in the Kiddo! office and Mill Valley Community Center while they last. Books are $20 advance, $30 once the carnival begins. Books may be turned in for a one-day wrist band for unlimited rides. Food and games extra. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Find the Most Effective Sunscreens with EWG's 2015 Sunscreen Guide

May 21, 2015

Fun in the sun at the beachSummer is almost here, and that means you and your family will spend a lot of time outside—at the beach, by the pool, playing sports, or enjoying the outdoors. It goes without saying that your family needs adequate sun protection. While the only sure-fire way for you and your family to avoid all the sun's damaging UV rays is by covering up with shirts and hats and hanging out in the shade, that may not always be an option, so we need to resort to using sunscreen. What would summer be, after all, without the ritual of slathering up the children with gobs of UV-blocking goo?

While many sunscreens promise a lot to the consumer (especially those with sky-high SPF 50+ ratings), do they really deliver the protection the advertise? Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group's 2015 Sunscreen Guide is available to help sort the good sunscreens from those that won't help much.

Summer Swim Lessons in Marin

May 19, 2015

Summer's almost here, and one of the season's time honored traditions for children is swimming lessons. Not only are swimming lessons a fun way to get some exercise and cool off on a hot summer day, but they're essential from a safety standpoint.

Below is our list of local Marin County providers of swimming lessons for children. Although many of the facilities listed are private clubs, unless otherwise indicated, all locations offer public lessons open to all. Most programs require pre-registration; follow the links or call to sign up or for more information. As always, if you have a favorite swim class or teacher that you think should be added to the list, let us know by leaving a comment or contacting us.

Kentfield:

Larkspur:

Swimming, Play and More at McNears Beach Park in San Rafael

May 19, 2015

McNear's BeachMcNears Beach Park is one of those special places that I hold close to my heart. I grew up literally around the corner from it, and spent a lot of time there as a child. It's still one of my favorite places to spend the day in Marin, especially now that I have kids of my own. McNear's Beach is a 55-acre county park located on the shores of San Pablo Bay. It's the a perfect place to go on a warm day to wade in the bay, swim in the pool, picnic, fish, take in spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay Area, and more.

McNears Beach has been popular with Bay Area residents since the 19th century, when the McNear family owned most of the property in what eventually would become San Rafael's Peacock Gap neighborhood. The McNears operated a beach resort at the present location of the park, as well as a nearby quarry and brickyard.

A Family That Eats Together: Sesame Noodles

May 18, 2015

Sesame NoodlesMarin Mommies presents a guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike.

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Marin's Batter World Makes Pancakes Easy!

May 18, 2015

batter world pancakesFor breakfast, nothing beats delicious pancakes hot off the griddle. We love to make pancakes for breakfast, and it seems like we make them every weekend. We always make our pancakes from scratch, and keep a carton of buttermilk in the refrigerator at all times in case the need arises. While it's not hard to make pancake batter from scratch, it does take some time, and it usually makes a mess, so it's not something that's suited to quick weekday breakfasts before school.

That's where local startup Batter World comes in. Created by Leigh Judson and Nicole Palmer, two Mill Valley moms, Batter World offers a line of frozen all natural pancake mixes that you just defrost, shake, and pour. We had a chance to sample all three flavors offered by Batter World—original, multigrain, and gluten-free—and they were all light, fluffy, and delicious. I hate to say it, but they all tasted just as good as our homemade from-scratch pancakes, but were much easier to make… and clean up, of course.

Rebuild Your Strength with Postpartum Exercise

May 17, 2015

pregnant mom exercisingMarin Mommies presents a guest article by prenatal and postpartum physical therapist Alicia Willoughby.

Being a mom is really hard physical work and it requires strength and endurance to do the job. Most mothers will say that having a baby was when their physical condition started to decline, whether it be chronic pain and discomforts, the inability to run without peeing or the aesthetic issue of still looking pregnant four years later. Pregnancy and birth cause huge changes to a woman’s anatomy, but with proper guidance and dedication, a mother’s body can be strong and discomfort free.

During pregnancy and birth, the muscles that are responsible for stabilizing the spine and pelvis become stretched out and even torn or cut. This causes the brain’s connection to those muscles to become impaired or even lost completely, which means the brain cannot voluntarily activate these core muscles. Without these muscles performing optimally, the risk of pain and injury increases dramatically because the spine and pelvis are no longer being stabilized. Regaining control of these muscles is crucial for a healthy and happy postpartum mommy body.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for May 15, 16 & 17

May 15, 2015
Pixie Park
Family fun awaits at Pixie Park's Spring Fair this Sunday at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross.

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, May 15

  • Hamilton Community Pool
    Novato
    Friday, 11 am–6 pm

    Today is opening day at Hamilton Pool in Novato. This community pool offers a kiddie pool with slide and play equipment, as well as a BBQ and picnic area. Daily drop in admission is $4 for Novato resident children ages 1–15 and $5 for Novato resident adults 16+ with photo ID; non-residents $7 for children and $9 for adults. Location: 203 El Bonito Road. For more info, call (415) 883-7126 or visit their website.
  • Tour the Novato Fire District Fire Engine!
    Novato Library Parking Lot
    Friday, 10–11 am

    Meet on the lawn in front of the Novato Library for this special tour of the Big Engine. Everyone is welcome (suitable for ages 0–8). This is an outdoor only event in the library parking lot (library is closed on Friday), bring a picnic and meet up with other families. Please park across the bridge as the main parking lot will be reserved for the Novato Fire District engine. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard. For more info, visit their website.
  • Del Mar Middle School presents: Peter Pan
    Tiburon
    Friday & Saturday, 6:30 pm

    Del Mar Middle School presents its Spring play Peter Pan. The play runs for four evenings with two different casts. Peter Pan is a family-friendly classic that’s appropriate for all ages. $15 adults and $12 children. Purchase tickets here. Location: 277 A Karen Way, Tiburon. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, May 16

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

    This Saturday, special performance by Sing-Marin from 1-6 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). For more info, visit their website.
  • Paradise Fishing Derby
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Join rangers for our annual fishing contest! Prizes awarded for the first fish, the biggest fish, and the heaviest fish! A limited amount of poles will be available on a first come, first-served basis. A valid California fishing license is required when fishing from the shore, not from the pier. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Location: For more info, visit their website.
  • Bees and Birds Family Campout
    Slide Ranch, Muir Beach
    Saturday, 10 am–Sunday, 1 pm

    Honor your mom with a special weekend that will be fun and memorable for the whole family! Meet the goat and chicken moms at the ranch, explore the garden and trails, cook farm-to-table treats, and make your mom nature crafts like lavender herb pillows and homemade picture frames to take home. A low-tide on Sunday will make tidepool exploration possible too. Fee: $80 per person, age 2 and under free. Location: 2025 Shoreline Hwy, Muir Beach. For more info, visit their website.
  • The 121th Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival
    Downtown Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 10 am

    This is one of Sonoma County's most honored traditions and one of the oldest and largest events of its kind in Northern California. Parade takes place from 10 am–noon. with marching bands, floats, roses, horse-drawn carriages, clowns, roses, roses, and more roses. Following the parade will be music, family activities, and food vendors at Juilliard Park. The awards ceremony for all parade categories will take place at approximately 2 pm. Juillard Park is located on Santa Rosa Avenue just south of Sonoma Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Safe Boating Expo
    Coast Guard Motor Boat Station Golden Gate
    Saturday, 10 am–2 pm

    An exciting, free, fun family event at beautiful U.S. Coast Guard Station Golden Gate, near the north tower of the Golden Gate bridge. Come get a free life jacket (while supplies last), watch friendly Coast Guard dogs as they demonstrate how they detect explosives, witness thrilling helicopter rescue demos, take tours of Coast Guard vessels and the Coast Guard station, learn about boating safety, get a free boater environmental kit, bring your boat for a courtesy vessel safety exam, and take one of three free boating seminars. Free parking. Location: 435 Murray Circle, Saualito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Maker Faire Bay Area
    San Mateo County Events Center, San Mateo
    Saturday, 10 am–8 pm & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    With over 900 maker exhibits, Maker Faire is a family-friendly festival of creativity and innovation in technology, craft, science, fashion, art, food, and more! Featuring how-to workshops, inspiring presentations and outrageous attractions. Tickets: $20 and up. Location: 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. For more information, visit their website.
  • Marinwood Preschool's Open House
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Come visit, meet our teachers and learn about our three preschool classes: parent-toddler, three's together and pre-K morning school. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ben Franklin's Colonial Printing Shop
    California Room, Civic Center
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Join us for a fun family event when the Printing Museum on Wheels makes stops at the Civic Center. Museum curator Mark Barbour will tell engaging stories about how Gutenberg’s printing press changed the world in 1450 and how books and printing shaped young Ben Franklin’s life. During the second hour, participants can print their own keepsakes on antique presses, set their name in type, make a small book and print the front page of an historic Marin County newspaper. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Kids Cooking Class: Top Your Tacos!
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Whether you prefer crunchy tacos or soft ones, the toppings are the best part. We’ll show you how to make fresh salsa, great guacamole and other fun toppings for a taco dinner. You’ll impress your family when you prepare these at home. Suitable for ages 9–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Asian Heritage Celebration for the Family
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–3:30 pm

    Explore the museum for free thanks to Target during this annual program held during the Asian Heritage Street Celebration outside the museum. Indian dance demonstrations, art making, gallery tours, Southeast Asian dance and music performances are some highlights you can enjoy with family and friends. Due to capacity restrictions, admission is not guaranteed. Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Experience Maker Faire Bay Area 2015, the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth!

May 14, 2015

Maker Faire Bay Area 2015Get ready for the greatest show (and tell) on earth as Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 comes to the San Mateo Event Center. Maker Faire describes itself as “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new!”, and it’s a family-friendly expo of invention and creativity featuring everything from technology, science, and engineering to food, art, and education. It’s a celebration of all things “Maker” that will inspire you and your family to become Makers yourselves. Maker Faire Bay Area takes place this Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, 2015, from 10 am to 8 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday.

Our family attended last year’s Maker Faire and had a great time. Some of my favorite attractions at last year’s faire were El Pulpo Mechanico, a giant metal octopus that shot flames from its tentacles and head; Russel the Electric Giraffe, a life-size robotic giraffe who talks when you pet his head; giant Tesla coils; a life-sized Mouse Trap game; and a drone arena. There are also demonstrations, talks, and vendor booths where you can check out technology, toys, crafts, and more.

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