Marin Playground Profile: Hal Brown Park at Creekside

July 24, 2017

Both my kids were born at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae and subsequently had many checkups at the nearby pediatrician's offices, so we've been fans of Creekside Park, located right across from the hospital on Bon Air Road, for a long time. This large community park (26 acres) reopened in February, 2011 following extensive renovations. This is one of our all-time favorite playgrounds in Marin. If you haven't been, this is definitely worth a visit.

Celebrate the "Holidaze" at the 2017 Sonoma County Fair

July 24, 2017

Sonoma County Fair carnival

In case you missed or just didn't get enough of the Marin County Fair, you'll be happy to know that the 2017 Sonoma County Fair starts Thursday, August 3 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, and runs through Sunday, August 13. This year's theme is "Holidaze", and the fair will celebrate a whole year's worth of holidays in its 11-day run, with a different holiday theme each day, including Easter (August 3), New Year's (August 4), the winter holidays (August 5 and 6), and even International Talk Like  Pirate Day (August 9). Check their website for a complete schedule.

Easy Chinese Cashew Chicken

July 23, 2017

Cashew chicken

Whenever we get Chinese take-out, my kids love to order cashew chicken. Like many Chinese-American restaurant staples, cashew chicken is actually easy to make at home, and requires only a couple special ingredients, which you should be able to find in the Asian foods aisle of your local supermarket. Accompany this with stir-fried green beans and steamed brown rice for a healthy weeknight meal.

There's Still Time to Learn to Code with MV Code Club This Summer

July 23, 2017

MV Code Club Summer Camp

There's still time to learn to code this summer! MV Code Club has space available in many of its fun summer camps for the month of August. Kids in 1st through 10th grade can create video games, experiment with robotics, learn STEM and STEAM skills, improve math, science, and problem-solving abilities, and more! Campers don't just sit in front of a computer monitor for a week—they also participate in fun outdoor games and team-building activities. Check out their website for a full list of available camps.

Free Family Fun at Novato's Sundays on Sherman

July 22, 2017

Sundays on Sherman Downtown Novato

Sundays on Sherman takes place this Sunday, July 23 from 11 am to 3 pm on Sherman Avenue and the Civic Green in downtown Novato. This free family event will feature fun activities for all ages, including train rides, inflatables, sidewalk art, jump rope challenges, water balloon archery, scooters, sensory bins, adult coloring groups, live music, bubbles, toddler sports, fitness challenges by Novato Police Department, children’s percussion station provided by Music Together, giveaways provided by Whole Foods, and much more!

Marin Weekend Family Fun for July 21, 22 & 23

July 21, 2017

Explore the Marin Headlands with your family this weekend. Find out more here.

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, July 21

  • Flower Piano
    San Francisco Botanical Garden
    Friday–Sunday, 7:30 am–6 pm

    Visitors are encouraged to seek out the 12 pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within the Garden's 55 acres and play what they like, from chopsticks to Tchaikovsky. On weekend days, professional pianists and a whole host of other musicians will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch and listen. Free after admission. Location: 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Garden Series: PI Clowns
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Silliness is very serious business for the Pi Clowns. A company dedicated to knock-about physical comedy, these performers don’t tell jokes. They embody them with robust and timeless antics. Blending mime, theater, acrobatics, juggling and improvisation, the Pi Clowns deliver delightful and original clown vignettes. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Game Day!
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Did you know the Library has games? Join us every Friday for Friday Game Day! We have Jenga, Battleship, Operation, and MORE! It's fun for the whole family! Free. Location: 931 C Street, Hamiliton, 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.
  • 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 special menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Movie Night: Sing
    Presidio Community YMCA, San Francisco
    Friday, 5:30 pm

    B
    ring a blanket and enjoy a movie night in the Presidio! Sponsored by Supervisor Mark Farrell, in partnership with the Presidio Trust and the Presidio Y. Visit the website for the film selections.? Food trucks, bubbles, face painting 5:30 pm; movie shorts 6:30 pm; feature film: Sing? 7 pm. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents: The Rainbow Fish Musical
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Friday, 6 pm, Saturday, 10:30 am & 2 pm and Sunday, 10:30 am & 4 pm

    Come with us under the sea for The Rainbow Fish Musical, a world premiere based on the award-winning book by Marcus Pfister about the joy of finding friendship through sharing. Book, music and lyrics by Austin Zumbro. Playing in Oakland and San Francisco. Tickets: $20 per person. Location: 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday: Andre Thierry – Accordion Soul Music (blues). For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.

Easy-to-Make Peach Crumble is the Taste of Summer

July 21, 2017

Few things signify that summer is finally here as much as the easy availability of fresh and juicy stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Now that we're seeing delicious peaches at the farmers' market and in the produce section of the supermarket, why not make a fantastic dessert like peach crumble? This recipe is a summertime staple in our house, especially when my mom brings over a load of peaches fresh off the tree in her front yard. Greenstring Farm in Petaluma is another great place to get fresh organic peaches for $2 lb this weekend only!

Make Your Own Summer Sun Tea

July 21, 2017

Sun TeaNow that summer is here and the weather is warm, it's the perfect time to not only enjoy a cold glass of iced tea, but to make your own sun tea, too. I've found myself drinking a lot of iced tea over the past few years (it probably has something to do with parental sleep deprivation). I usually buy bottles of Tejava tea, which I love because it's unsweeted and has a good strong tea flavor.

I decided to try making my own and maybe save a little money in the process. I remember my mom making sun tea way back when, and thought I'd give it a try. The results were really fantastic, so I thought I'd share them here. It's really easy to do, really inexpensive, and the kids actually had fun helping make it.

You'll need:

7 Sensational Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer

July 20, 2017

Cool off at Spring Lake Water Park

When the summer temperatures start to heat up, then it's time to find a place to cool off with the kiddos. Here are our favorite ways to beat the heat with the family on hot day in Marin and the Bay Area.

Take a ferry ride to Angel Island

Hop on the ferry in Tiburon and take a refreshing ferry ride over the Bay to Angel Island State Park. Explore historic sites, splash on the beach in Ayala Cove, have a picnic, or just relax.

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