Marin Theatre Company's 2016-2017 Family Series Kicks off with "Father Goose's Tales"

August 30, 2016

Father Goose's Tales Marin Theatre CompanyThis fall, Marin Theatre Company (MTC) kicks off its 2016–2017 Family Series with Father Goose's Tales. In this production, Mother Goose has taken the day off and Father Goose must take over her duties, including storytelling! Father Goose's Tales is written and performed by Jim Napolitano, who brings the nursery rhymes, stories, and songs to life through innovative shadow puppetry, and is ideal for children ages 4 to 8.

Father Goose's Tales is only the first offering in MTC's fantastic 2016–2017 Family Series. In October, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book will come to life on stage (best for ages 6 and up), and in November you can experience an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Snow Queen (ages 9 and up). Finally, in February, the classic fable Hare and Tortoise will recount the greatest race on earth (ages 4 and up). MTC will even offer a sensory friendly performance of Hare and Tortoise for young people in the autism spectrum on March 4.

All Aboard! Tickets for The Polar Express Train Ride on Sale Soon

August 29, 2016

The Polar Express

Get ready to believe! Tickets for the California State Railroad Museum's annual holiday Polar Express train rides go on sale to members only on September 27–29, 2016 and to the general public on Thursday, October 1, 2016. (No tickets sales on September 30.) The Railroad Museum's sister organization, Railtown 1897 in Jamestown will also be holding Polar Express train rides again this holiday season. Members of the Californa State Railroad Museum and Railroad 1897 are eligible to participate in member advance ticket sales.

In order to reserve member tickets, your membership must be active or renewed by Monday, September 5, 2016. So if you're not a member, you can still consider becoming one (it's a great deal, actually). Tickets to this event always sell out right away, so being a member means you have a better chance of getting your preferred date and time.

How to Never Be Bored with Your Workouts Again

August 29, 2016

KaiaFIT Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Kirsta Martino, owner of KaiaFIT San Rafael.

Sometimes in the midst of your workout routines, they get a little too routine. Having a schedule makes it  easy to manage all the pieces that make up your week. But within each of your scheduled workouts, your workouts of choice can easily get…comfy. We like to know what to expect. It’s reliable, we don’t have to think about it, and we sometimes even think it’s still doing as much as it did when we first began. But while you may be “comfortable,” your body has likely not been sufficiently challenged in a long time.

The second you and your body get accustomed with certain workouts or exercises,  it’s time to add progressions and learn how to mix it up on a regular basis.  Here are some ways to liven up your workouts:

12 Terrific Family Outings for Labor Day Weekend

August 27, 2016

McNears Beach San Rafael

Labor day weekend is summer vacation's last hurrah (even if most kids are in school already). Make the most of this last long weekend of summer with a fun family outing or activity in Marin or elsewhere in the Bay Area. Many of the destinations and activities here close up shop after Labor Day, so this is your last chance to visit until next summer!

Amazing Family Sleepovers in the Bay Area and Beyond

August 27, 2016

Monterey Bay Aquarium Overnight
Photo courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium

If you're looking for a fun and unique overnight experience for the family, try camping out at a museum, aquarium zoo, or wildlife center! Popular family destinations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California like the California Academy of Sciences, the Marine Mammal Center, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the San Francisco Zoo, the USS Hornet Museum, and Safari West all offer exciting programs where families can spend the night. It's be kind of like the movie Night at the Museum, except that the dinosaurs and dioramas won't come alive after hours (we hope)!

Needless to say, all of these events require advance reservations and have limited space, so register for your awesome overnight adventure soon! Many of these venues also offer overnight programs for scouts, schools, and other youth groups. All information is correct at time of posting; check each location’s website for complete information, pricing updates, and a schedule of events.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 26, 27 & 28

August 26, 2016

Enjoy a day on the farm and pick your own organic apples at Chileno Valley Ranch this Sunday.

The National Park Service turns 100 years old on August 25, 2015. Here is a list of free entrance days in the National Parks this weekend.

Friday, August 26

  • Children's Series: Chelle! & Friends
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11 am & 12:15 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Led by New Orleans-native Michelle Jacques, a soul-steeped vocalist with a big, bold voice, Chelle! & Friends bring to the Gardens a family-friendly taste of the Crescent City, the cradle of so much essential American music. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Come on downtown to San Anselmo for Picnics on the Plaza on six Friday evenings this summer: Grab dinner-to-go at a local restaurant, purchase food at the event, or pack a picnic and dine with old and new friends at the plaza tables on Tunstead or on Town Hall lawn. Enjoy live entertainment and activities, too. Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. This Friday: California Brazil Camp, Part 2. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main
    Friday, 6–9 pm
    Bring the family to some outdoor dining, live music and dancing on Main Street in downtown Tiburon. This Friday: Neon Velvet, the ultimate modern rock dance band. Blending new wave and modern rock hits, this world class band packs the dance floor and delivers an unforgettable time! For more info, visit their website.
  • Marvel Movie Marathon
    Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

    Friday, 6 pm & Saturday 3 pm
    The biggest heroes of the Marvel Universe hit the big screen outside beautiful Weill Hall! Get ready for this action packed movie marathon event, featuring five installments of one of the most venerable movie franchises in history! See the complete schedule here. Location: 1801 E. Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park. Weill Hall and Lawn. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8:30 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday, Eugene Huggins and Friends, sponsored by the Golden Gate Tall Ships Society. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movies in the Park: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Old Mill Park, Redwood Grove
    Friday, 7–10 pm
    Movie screenings are free with general admission seating. Please bring your own blanket or low beach chair. Snacks will be available for sale. Free. Location: Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma Evening Nature Hike
    General Vallejo Home, Sonoma Valley
    Friday, 7 pm

    Come out and explore the trail at dusk with the Sonoma Petaluma Parks Association. Interpretation will focus on local wildlife and nocturnal animals.  This is a one mile, slow-paced hike with minor elevation change.  Sturdy shoes and water recommended. Meet at the Vallejo Home parking lot. All ages, free of charge. Location: 363 3rd Street West, Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 27

  • Nature Walk at King Mountain
    King Mountain Open Space Preserve, Kentfield
    Saturday, 9–11 am
    Take a walk through your local forest and connect with its natural wonders. Join Ranger Ian McLorg to explore the King Mountain Loop Trail and learn about the area’s unique natural resources. Ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks. Meet at the gate at the end of Ridgecrest Road. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. The will also be a children's book Launch Party for the picture book "Leo the Ghost Story" at 10:30 am under the tent at the farmers market. For more info, visit their website.
  • End of Summer Snow Party
    Strawberry Village Shopping Center, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Grab your boots and gloves and come play in the Snow Zone with real snow! Plus, enjoy other cool activities including live music, a photo booth, caricatures, airbrush tattoos, balloon twisting, arts and crafts, and face painting. Event benefits Kiddo!, the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation. Tickets: $10. Location: Strawberry Village Main Piazza, 800 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • 22nd Annual Bodega Seafood, Art and Wine Festival
    Saturday, 10 am–6 pm & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Live music, dance floor, and a kids' entertainment and games. $15 adults, $10 seniors 60+, $5 ages 12–18, kids under 12 free. Tickets available at the gate. See kids activities here. Food and drink not included in admission price. No dogs allowed. Free parking. Event takes place at Watt's Ranch, 16855 Bodega Highway. For more info, visit their website.
  • Back to School Ballet Party
    Tutu School, Larkspur
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    Celebrate Back to School with two super secret royal guests! All are welcome. Free admission. Location: 2201 Larkspur Landing Circle. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Aquatic Adventures
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! The Presidio features lakes, streams, and marshes. Come make your own mini habitat and explore the different types of aquatic creatures that live in these areas. Registration not required, but preferred. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square (across from the Presidio Officers' Club), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bean Sprouts Family Day
    San Francisco Botanical Gardens

    Saturday, noon–3 pm
    A great afternoon outing with the kids! Bring a picnic and ramble on out to the west end of the Botanical Garden for craft and nature activities, volunteer work in the native beds and California nature trail, and exploration of this hidden treasure in the city. Kids and their families can help water the garden, dig in a sand dune, go on a bug hunt, play pine cone basketball, create an herb bundle, and much more! Families with children of all ages are welcome. Free with regular admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Cornerstone Sonoma Weekend Music Series
    Saturday & Sunday, 1–4 pm
    Come stroll the gardens, listen to live music by local musicians while enjoying some delicious ice cream from Sweet Scoops Homemade Ice Cream Cart! Musicians will usually be located in the middle of the marketplace outside Chateau Sonoma and Eurasian Interiors. Music is from 1-4 pm and Ice cream from 11 am–3 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Location: 23570 Arnold Drive in Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Maker Saturdays! Homemade Kleidoscopes
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 2–4:30 pm
    Encourage the do-it-yourself mindset and come build, invent, design and create something! Projects are designed for 4-7 year olds, younger children with adult assistance. Supports STEM learning. General admission applies. Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.

Make Your Own Easy and Delicious Applesauce!

August 25, 2016

ApplesauceAfter apple picking, and having a surplus of apples, I love to make this easy and delicous applesauce. My daughter loves to pack this in her lunch box. Homemade applesauce is very easy to make, and really beats that stuff you get in a jar at the supermarket.

Serve it to the kids as a snack, or as a side dish with potato pancakes, pork roast, and more. You can also use it as an ingredient to make other tasty treats like applesauce muffins.


Win Tickets to the Little Folkies Family Band Concert at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley

August 25, 2016

Little Folkies Family Band at Sweetwater Mill ValleyCome down to the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley for an all-ages concert of folk music for grown-ups and kids alike! The Little Folkies Family Band performs at "Date Night with the Tots" at the Sweetwater on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 4 pm. Read on to learn how to win tickets to the show.

The band plays a mix of Little Folkies originals and old traditional folk songs for children. Inspired by the children's music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Ella Jenkins, Jean Ritchie, Ruth Crawford Seeger's American Folk Songs For Children, David Grisman and Jerry Garcia's Not For Kids Only, Doc Watson's Songs for Little Pickers and more. You might even hear a little Bob Dylan or Grateful Dead cover songs as well if you're lucky. The four-piece band features Irena Eide (founder and composter of Little Folkies) on vocals and guitar, Matt Porter on banjo, Julay Brooks on mandolin and harmonies, and Grammy-nominated bassist Paul Knight.

Great Five-and-Under Family Hikes in Marin

August 23, 2016

Toddler preschooler hiking Marin

Taking the kiddos along for a hike on one of Marin's many fantastic trails is fun and rewarding. It can be a bit of a challenge though when they want to tackle the trail on their own but can't really go that far. Then there's the fact that toddlers and preschoolers don't always have the greatest of attention spans, which means that it's great to have something to see and do along the way.

We've put together a list of our favorite hiking spots in Marin County for families with kids in preschool or younger. They're all relatively short and easy to hike—and you can take along the off-road stroller for backup, just in case. (If you're looking for hikes that are perfect for strollers but maybe a little longer than these, check out our guide to stroller hikes in Marin County.)

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