Marin's Five Favorite Playgrounds for Family Fun

April 24, 2017

Pioneer Park Novato

One of the questions we often get asked is "What's the best playground in Marin?" Rather than give our opinion, again, we decided to put that question to our readers via social media, and to let you choose the top five playgrounds in Marin County. So, without further ado, here are the five best playgrounds in Marin, as chosen by Marin Mommies readers, along with the five runners-up. Thanks to all our readers and followers for your input!

Tacos al Pastor with Homemade Corn Tortillas

April 23, 2017

tacos al pastorThere's something about authentic style tacos that's so delicious, and one of our favorite variations is tacos al pastor, which consist of pork marinated in a red chile sauce with grilled pineapple. In taquerias the pork is usually cooked on one of those vertical spits (like the ones used to cook shawarma or gyros), but we make a simplified version that we cook on the grill and I think it's a great approximation of the real deal. The enzymes in the pineapple help tenderize the pork, and the sweetness plays off the flavor of the red chile and spices.

Summer Swim Lessons in Marin

April 23, 2017

Summer swim lessons

Summer will be here before we know it, 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 knowing how to swim is 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.



Marin Family Weekend Events for April 21–23

April 22, 2017

Earth Day celebration at Stinson Beach. Photo: Marco Sanchez.

Here are our picks for a variety of Earth Day events and other 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 21

  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mom & Baby Yoga
    Pomegranate, San Anselmo
    Friday, 11 am

    Enjoy your baby, reconnect with your body, and meet other new moms in our postnatal mama & baby yoga class. Class is most successful with pre-crawling babies but all are welcome to try out a class and discuss exceptions with the instructor. We want mamas to be able to get out of the house, meet other moms, and enjoy the support and exercise of a yoga class. Cost: $23 for drop-in class. Sign-up online here. Location: 25 Tamalpais Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Fun Day!
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! For all ages. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Night
    Children's Museum of Sonoma County
    Friday, 4–7 pm
    Have a family date night and play late at the Children's Museum! Explore interactive exhibits after hours. Or just have fun playing as the sun sets. Bring your appetite to enjoy pizza slices from Mary's Pizza Shack for $2 slice. Museum admission applies. Location: 1835 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids Night Out: The Good Dinosaur
    Rolling HIlls Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm

    Dino-Mite! Join us as we bake fossil cookies, sculpt a dinosaur out of play dough, and hatch fizzing dinosaur eggs. We will watch The Good Dinosaur. This movie is PG and is not appropriate for all audiences. Pizza will be provided.This is a PG movie, and may not be appropriate for all audiences. Ages: 5–10. Cost: $24 members and $34 guests. Register here. Location: 351 San Andreas Drive, Novato. For more info, call (415) 897-2185 or visit their website.
  • Father Daughter Dance
    Corte Madera Community Center
    Friday, 7–9:30 pm

    Treat your daughter for a Very Special Knight Father Daughter Dance. It's a night of food, dancing, and fun. Purchase tickets by calling (415) 927-5072. Location: 498 Tamalpais Avenue, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Middle School presents, Disney’s The Lion King Jr.
    Showcase Theater, San Rafael
    Friday, 7:30 pm & Saturday, 5 pm

    Good Shepherd Lutheran School’s middle school musical theater department is happy to present, Disney’s The Lion King Jr. The Lion King Jr. tells the epic story of a curious cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destiny as king. For all ages. Tickets: $25 adults; $15 students. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, Marin Center, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, April 22

  • My Earth Day Marin
    Various locations throughout Marin Count
    Saturday & Sunday, various times

    The My Earth Day Marin Coalition will host a wide variety of service projects and activities throughout Marin County in honor of Earth Day. Most events are for all ages and abilities. Visit My Earth Day Marin for more info and a complete list of opportunities.
  • Pancake Breakfast & Music with Tim Cain
    San Geronimo Preschool
    Saturday, 8 am–11 am

    Come enjoy breakfast in the beautiful San Geronimo Valley, while supporting preschool scholarships for low income families. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, strawberries, pancakes with maple syrup, orange juice and coffee. Cost: $11 adults and $6 children under 9 years. Toddler room and preschool is having an open house during the breakfast. Children's musician Tim Cain will be performing from 10–11 am. Location: 6001 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Geronimo. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • Cal Day 2017
    UC Berkeley
    Saturday, 9 am–5 pm

    Take your family to UC Berkeley to see all that the university has to offer at their annual Cal Day open house. Explore over 400 lectures, demonstrations, and tours taking place across campus, and learn about everything from architecture to zoology. Learn about Cal spirit and traditions; listen to live music by the Cal Band and other performers; tour museums like the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Museum of Paleontology; and learn about science, engineering, technology, and more with hands-on fun. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Friendly Earth Day Walk
    Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve, Sonoma
    Saturday, 9–11 am
    Join Sonoma Ecology Center naturalists on a Family Friendly Earth Day Walk at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve for one of the most spectacular wildflower displays in all of Sonoma County. Experience a pristine spring grassland with numerous species in full bloom. The 162-acre property in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain is protected by a conservation easement made possible by your Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and the California Wildlife Conservation Board. Free. RSVP to save your spot. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Clean & Green Day
    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. Meet at Novato Civic Green, 901 Sherman Avenue. Find out more here.
  • Presidio Earth Day
    Fort Scott Field, San Francisco
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Bring the family of all ages to to volunteer. It will be a morning of stewardship projects with a BBQ Potluck to follow. All ages welcome, and there will be a volunteer project activity geared towards families with children 9 years-old and younger. Registration is required for this Earth Day event! Location: Meet at 1216 Ralston Avenue in the Presidio.
  • Sausalito Spring City Wide Yard Sale
    MLK Parking Lot in Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Come by and see what awesome items you might find. Admission is free. (Rescheduled from last week.) Over 80 different booths! Location: 610 Coloma Street, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mt. Tam Earth Day
    Mt. Tamalpais
    Saturday, 9 am–12:30 pm
    Celebrate Earth Day and provide some TLC to our treasured Mt. Tam!  Projects will include pulling invasive plants that threaten the mountain's rich biodiversity, improving our trails, and working to maintain the historic Mountain Theater. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, adult chaperones requested for young volunteers. Park at the Rock Spring parking lot and walk to the Mountain Theater. After, join in a sing-along at West Peak from 3–5 pm. More information
  • Marinovators
    College of Marin, Kentfield
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm
    Spend Earth Day at Marinovators, where STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education and technology are showcased in the third annual Marinovators at College of Marin Academic Center in Kentfield. This annual exhibition showcases the work of Marin’s innovative and creative student scientists, designers, programmers, engineers, and makers, and features hands-on activities for all ages. Admission is free, but you can reserve free tickets online.
  • Earth Day at Creekside Park
    Saturday, 9:30 am–12:30 pm

    WildCare Family Adventures will join Kirk Schroeder from Marin County Parks for a beautification and habitat restoration project around the Creekside Marsh and Corte Madera Creek, followed by an easy walk along the creek. We’ll be looking for the endangered and elusive Ridgeway Clapper Rail, which has been spotted around the marsh. If we are lucky, we may even spot a River Otter! We will end the day at the Hal Brown playground for lunch and a little play time for the children. Location: Bon Air Road near Marin General Hospital. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day Aquatic Park Cleanup
    Aquatic Park, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–1 pm
    Join Aquarium of the Bay and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park to clean up the beach at Aquatic Park for Earth Day. Gloves and bag provided, but bring your own if you have them to reduce waste. Registration and more info.
  • The Library Rocks for Kids and Teens
    Belvedere Tiburon Library
    Saturday, 10 am & noon
    The children's concert will feature Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band starting at 10 am. The teen concert starts at noon will feature rock and jazz with Redwood High's the Sherpas. Dance, sing along, get a henna tattoo and more. Food provided. Free to all. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day at Safari West
    Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 10 am
    There’s no better place to appreciate the beauty of planet Earth than right here on the Sonoma Serengeti! The Safari West Nairobi bus ventures out to explore herds of Giraffe and antelope, Long-horned Cattle, and our awe inspiring Southern White Rhinos! Trek loops last for 35-40 minutes and so are great for even the youngest members of your herd! the Nariobi bus will depart every 45 minutes. Only 20 seats available for each loop so reserve your spot today! A special lunch is included and will be served from 11:30 am–2:30 pm. Tickets (includes tour and lunch): $50 per adults, $25 per child, toddlers (1-–2) free. Reservations required. Purchase tickets here.
  • Earth Day SF
    Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–7 pm
    San Francisco's Earth Day celebration features informative and interactive learning experiences, including green jobs information, cutting-edge eco-fashion shows, eco artist grove, organic food court, an eco-friendly vehicle showcase, hands-on activities, and kids' zone. Find more info here.
  • Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival
    Ives Park, Sebastopol
    Saurday, 10 am
    The 71st Annual Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival celebration kicks off at 10 am with a parade on Main Street followed by a festival for all ages. Kids activities can viewed here. Admission: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students (11–17) and kids 10 and under are free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Day at the Lawrence Hall of Science
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
    This year we are celebrating how we can improve the quality of life #InThisGen by helping to inspire and activate the next generation of science learners now. Visit us on campus to design a Campanile-inspired tower out of Keva® planks, then take UC Berkeley’s Hill Shuttle Service up to the Hall to enjoy free admission and share your love for science through art. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day at Lake Sonoma
    Sonoma County
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Earth Day Family Fun at Lake Sonoma! Beginning at 10:30 a.m., volunteers will be reading "Earth Day, Birthday" with assistance from 12 animal friends.  There will be arts and crafts projects -- and a level, one-mile hike will depart at 10:45 a.m. from the Lone Rock parking area.  A second hike will depart at the Woodland Ridge trail marker near the Milt Brandt Visitors Center at 1:05 p.m. All activities are free and day use fees will be waived for participants. Location: 3333 Skaggs Springs Road,  Geyserville. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day Celebration
    Quarryhill Botanical Garden, Glen Ellen
    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm

    Bring the entire family (all ages welcome) for a day of fun and celebrate Earth Day at Quarryhill Botanical Garden. Activities include arts and crafts, face painting, wildlif displays, music and dance performances, and more. Free admission; $10 parking fee per car (cash only). Location: 12841 Highway 12 in Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day Celebration
    San Francisco Zoo

    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm
    Spend Earth Day at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens as we throw a Party for the Planet! During your visit to the 100 acre park, living classroom and Zoo, spend some time relaxing near the Patas Lawn. There will be fresh fruits and vegetables to sample from Fresh Point Produce, hot coffee from Peerless Coffee, and beverages from Coca Cola.  Free with zoo admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day Limantour Beach Cleanup
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Saturday, 11 am–2 pm

    Join Point Reyes in service and celebrate Earth Day with a beach cleanup at Limantour Beach. The high tides and inclement weather of the winter has brought a lot of litter to Point Reyes Beaches. Come be a part of the effort to clean Limantour Beach. Find more information here.
  • Creative Family Fun - Feathered Friend
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm
    In the Presidio there are more than 200 species of birds. Hundreds of bird enthusiasts flock to the Presidio every year to catch a glimpse of them in their habitat. Come make your own feathered friend to take home on your finger!Registration not required, but preferred. Location: Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Eath Day Celebration at Ghirardelli Square
    West Plaza, San Francisco
    Saturday, noon–4 pm

    Come celebrate Earth Day at Ghirardelli Square in partnership with Rock the Bike and Soul Graffiti Productions. The whole family can enjoy free activities such as bicycle powered live music by the Justin Ancheta Band, DJ Scratch, and special guests; crafts; games; henna tattoos; a raffle; and more. For more info, visit their website.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve

April 21, 2017

Terra Linda - Sleepy Hollow Divide

Marin's geography can be pretty astounding at times. Who would have thought that the San Anselmo neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow was just a stone's throw from the northern San Rafael enclave of Terra Linda? If you try to drive from one of these locations to another, it will take you a good half hour, minimum, but if you take a walk at the Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve, you can go from one to the other in just a few minutes!

Cavallo Point in Sausalito is Perfect for a Luxury Family Staycation

April 20, 2017

Cavallo Point

Sometimes it's hard to think of going on vacation just down the highway from where you live, but when that place is Cavallo Point at Sausalito's Fort Baker, it's not hard at all! Cavallo Point is right in our backyard but feels a world away, and you can't beat its amazing location right at the Golden Gate. With spectacular views, historic buildings, great dining, and plenty of things to do, it's an outstanding destination for a luxurious family "staycation", even if you're just getting away for a night!

The Marin Center for Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry: State-of-the-Art Dental Care

April 18, 2017

Marin Center for Restorative and Cosmetic DentistryMarin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from the Marin Center for Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Looking for comprehensive dental care for the whole family? The Marin Center for Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help!

Conveniently located in Novato, our office provides patient-friendly, state-of-the-art dental care to keep your family smiling for years to come.

  • Family and pediatric dentistry
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Invisalign
  • Same-day crowns
  • Non-surgical periodontal treatment
  • Dental implant replacement teeth
  • TMJ care
  • Sedation dentistry

Our office utilizes cutting-edge technology—like same-day CEREC crowns and non-surgical laser dentistry—so that you and your child can get the treatments you need quickly and comfortably. The Marin Center for Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry is completely mercury-free, and we use low-radiation digital x-rays for your health and well-being.

Splash, Play, and Learn at the Rolling Hills Club Summer Camps

April 18, 2017

Rolling Hills Club Summer Camps

Looking for a fun camp for your kids this summer? Novato's Rolling Hills Club has been a favorite spot for summer fun for many Marin families for decades, and this season the club offers a full program of exciting and active summer camps for kids ranging in age from 3 to 13. Campers will enjoy plenty of traditional camp activities as well as STEAM based programming. (They'll learn something new every day and not even know it!)

See What UC Berkeley Has to Offer at Cal Day 2017

April 18, 2017

Cal Day

Take your family to UC Berkeley on Saturday, April 22, from 9 am to 5 pm to see all that the university has to offer at their annual Cal Day open house. Explore over 400 lectures, demonstrations, and tours taking place across campus, and learn about everything from architecture to zoology.

Learn about Cal spirit and traditions; listen to live music by the Cal Band and other performers; tour museums like the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Museum of Paleontology; and learn about science, engineering, technology, and more with hands-on fun. Prospective Cal students will also have a chance to learn about admissions, programs and resources at the university, and can even tour residence halls. Kids can pick up a Science@Cal Passport at the Valley Life Sciences building and tale part in fun hands-on science activities around campus.

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