Marin Family Weekend Fun for June 24, 25 & 26

June 24, 2016

 Italian Street Painting Marin
Take a trip to Rome, the Eternal City this weekend at the 2016 Italian Street Painting Marin in downtown San Rafael.

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

Friday, June 24

  • Sonoma-Marin Fair
    Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, noon–11 pm

    Petaluma's Sonoma-Marin Fair offers fun for the whole family, with farm animals and demonstrations, concerts, food and drink, carnival rides, and of course the famous World's Ugliest Dog Contest. Admission at the gate is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 4–12 and seniors 65+. Admission includes all entertainment, concerts, and carnival rides. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sterling the Bubblesmith
    Stinson Beach Library
    Friday, noon–1 pm

    Sterling Johnson has been astounding people of all ages with his remarkable hand-blown bubbles for over 45 years. Come watch him fill the library with bubbles! If you’re lucky, he might even put you inside a giant bubble! Location: 3521 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach. For more info, visit their website
  • Pasados Del Presidio: Afternoon Fun for Kids
    Presidio Officers’ Club, San Francisco
    Friday, noon–3 pm

    Ever wonder what Early California was like? Come see history come to life! Enjoy hands-on activities, storytelling, a tortilla-making demo, and more. Afternoon music and dance by Ballet Folklórico Mexicano. Free, but registration required. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Children's Garden Series: Circus Bella
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday &
    Saturday, noon–1 pm
    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Back by popular demand! Circus Bella is top-notch circus acrobatics, aerial artistry, and daring feats of balance and strength, set to original live music of Rob Reich and the Circus Bella All-Star Band. Meet the artists after each show! This show will take place on the Esplanade. 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, Dance-Off: Street Dance Theater. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pasados Del Presidio: 1776 Campfire with Captain Anza
    Presidio Officers’ Club, San Francisco
    Friday, 6 pm

    Enjoy stories and s’mores by the fire at Rob Hill Campground. Free, but registration required. Location: Rob Hill Campground (off Washington Boulevard), Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Join us this summer for live music, food, and fun for the entire family at Marinwood Park! Each of these free concerts will feature high quality music from some of the Bay Area's top rock, bluegrass, and folk artists. Enjoy delicious BBQ by Marinwood Market and a bar for the adults. Bring your picnic blanket and your appetite and kick off the weekend Marinwood-style. This Friday: The Humidors "Straight up funk!". Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main: A Whale of a Time
    Downtown Tibruon
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Bring the entire family for a night of fun. Dance to the Cole Tate Band's mix of country, blues, rock and Americana. Great activities for kids, including a whale scavenger hunt, will be offered. For more info, visit their website.
  • Summer Music Series
    Pacheco Plaza, Novato

    Friday, 6–9 pm
    Bring your chairs and enjoy a picnic from Paradise Foods or sit outside the local restaurants including Boca Pizzeria, Taki Japanese restaurant, and La Coppa coffee and Tea. Enjoy the music of The Lucky Losers, a blues americana at its best. Location: 366 Ignacio Boulevard, Novato. For more information, 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: Duchess Jazz. For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday, The Van Animals a tribute to Van Morrison and Eric Burdon and the Animals. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.

Saturday, June 25

  • 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 family music (9:30–10:30 am). For more info, visit their website.
  • Opening Day: Point Reyes Farmer's Market
    Toby's Feed Barn on Main Street
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Opening day festivities include live music from the Tim Weed and Common Voice Choir, chef’s booth demonstration with Ed Vigil, a welcoming ceremony, and Kids' Zone Reading Time. For more info, visit their website.
  • Italian Street Painting Marin
    Downtown San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–8 pm & Sunday 10 am–6 pm

    Take a trip to Rome, the Eternal City at the 2016 Italian Street Painting Marin event! See the artwork of over 100 madonnari, listen to great live music, participate in fun children's activities, and experience tastes and sips of Italiy. Admission: $10, $15 for a two-day pass; kids 12 and under free. Location: 5th Avenue and A Street, downtown San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Anselmo Art & Wine Festival
    San Anselmo Avenue
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    The San Anselmo Art & Wine Festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26, on San Anselmo Avenue. The Festival features over 200+ artists, outstanding food and drinks, and great music. The Chamber of Commerce is proud to showcase San Anselmo’s shops and restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco Bay Area Birth & Baby Fair
    San Mateo Event Center
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Don’t miss this amazing shopping event for new and expecting parents in the Bay Area. The Birth & Baby Fair showcases local businesses and resources as well as independent designers with the aim to educate and expose new and expecting parents and young families to unique and beneficial products and services. General admission is $10 at the door. Children 18 and under are free. Location: 2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Puppet Company: Perez and Mondinga
    South Novato Library
    Saturday, 10 am

    The Puppet Company will share a special performance of the story "Perez and Mondinga". For  all ages. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bug Family Band
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 10:45 and 11:45 am

    The Bug Family Band plays adult-friendly music that gets kids dancing and singing along. Museum admission applies. Location:  557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • SF Pride Celebration and Parade
    Saturday, noon–6 pm & Sunday, 11 am–6:30 pm
    San Francisco Civic Center
    San Francisco's 44th annual Pride Celebration is the largest LGBT gathering in the nation, and features over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and 20 stages and venues—featuring both up-and-coming and headline acts—at the foot of the city's historic City Hall. The parade kicks off on Sunday at 10:30 am at Market and Beale Streets and ends at Market and 8th Streets. $5 suggested donation. For more information, visit their website.
  • Pasados Del Presidio: San Francisco’s “Birthday”
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    Saturday, 11 am–noon

    Descendants of the original founding families of the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition (1775–76) return to the Presidio to recognize the journey of their forefathers and the founding of El Presidio de San Francisco. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square (across from the Presidio Officers' Club), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Wick-ed Hand Dipped Candles
    Presidio Officer's Club, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! Join us in front of the Presidio Officers’ Club and hand-dip your own wax candle just as the Spanish living at El Presidio de San Francisco would have done 200 years ago. Free. Registration preferred but not required. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Make Your Own Summer Sun Tea

June 23, 2016

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:

  • A two-quart sealable glass jar.
  • Four to six black tea bags
  • Sprigs of fresh mint (optional)
  • Water

Place tea bags and mint (if using) in a clean glass jar. Fill the jar with water and seal.

Water Parks in the San Francisco Bay Area

June 23, 2016

Water World in Concord

It seems like one of the summer rites of passage is piling into the car and heading to a water park, preferably one with thrilling water slides, for a day of fun in the sun. If you grew up in Marin or the North Bay, surely you spent a summer afternoon or two at the long-gone Windsor Water Works north of Santa Rosa.

These days, you'll have to venture event further away, to the East Bay or South Bay, for a taste of this summertime tradition. Here's the rundown on water parks in the San Francisco Bay Area. All of these parks offer thrilling water slides and gentler aquatic adventures like lazy rivers, wave pools, and kids' activity areas. (Don't forget the amusement park junk food, too!) They're fun for all ages. Note that opening days are approximate; check parks' websites for detailed schedules.

Take a Family Summer Staycation at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco

June 22, 2016

Palace Hotel San Francisco

When we make our summer vacation plans, sometime we forget that we live in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world—the San Francisco Bay Area! We recently got a chance to play tourist and spend a fun and luxurious summer "staycation" weekend right in our own back yard at the famous Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco. This recently renovated historic hotel in the heart of the city has been a favorite place to stay since its founding 1875, hosting presidents, royalty, and of course families! 

We had a blast at the Palace. With welcoming and helpful service, fantastic amenities, and plenty of things to do, it makes for a fun and memorable getaway. Here's why the Palace Hotel is perfect for a fun getaway with the kids this summer:

Petaluma's Sonoma-Marin Fair Starts June 22

June 21, 2016

Sonoma-Marin Fair 2016 Summertime is fair time, and the first fair of the season is Petaluma's Sonoma-Marin Fair, which takes place at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds from Wednesday June 22 through Sunday, June 26. The Sonoma-Marin Fair is not quite but almost a county fair, and offers a wide range of fun and exciting attractions, competitions, events, and activities for the entire family.

This year's theme is "Sonoma-Marin Fair Goes Local", and you'll find plenty of family fun including carnival rides with a kiddie carnival for younger children, pig races, a safari adventure, "Agventure Land" for agricultural fun, strolling clowns, jugglers, and silly characters, and artst and crafts and a petting zoo at Clo's Kids Corner. You'll also find livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, chef demonstrations, a destruction derby, and more. Of course the fair's famous World's Ugliest Dog Contest, will take place, too!

Italian Street Painting Marin Returns to San Rafael with "Ciao Bella Roma"

June 20, 2016

Italian Street Painting Marin

Over 100 madonnari, or street painters, come to downtown San Rafael on June 25 and 26 to show off their talents at the 2016 Italian Street Painting Marin's Ciao Bella Roma. This year's theme, which means "Hello Beautiful Rome!" will transport you to the Enternal City itself and highlight over 3,000 years of art, architecture, and culture. This event features amazing artwork by the participating madonnari, as well as great live music, children's activities, Italian food and drink, and more.

Watching the Fireworks in Marin

June 20, 2016

For families with young children, the ritual of watching 4th of July fireworks can be a little inconvenient. Babies and toddlers are often scared of the noise (if you're close enough to hear), the summer sunset at around 9 pm means most kids are up way past their bedtime. It's even worse if you decide to wake them out of a deep sleep in time to see the fireworks (trust me, I've been there). Nothing's quite as crabby and grumpy as an overtired child, no matter how great the fireworks are.

With this in mind, we've sought out places to watch the fantastic fireworks display at the Marin County Fair that don't involve leaving the car, so the little ones can doze in peace. Obviously you can just pay your $17 and go to the fair, but again, if you've got two sleeping children in the car, this isn't going to work. Neither is driving over near the fair—it's hard to see anything from the area along Civic Center Drive, and the resulting post-fireworks gridlock around the fairgrounds is pretty miserable.

The Family Friendly Summer Nights Outdoor Music Festival Returns to the Osher Marin JCC

June 18, 2016

Diego's Umbrella This summer, the Osher Marin JCC reprises its most popular event series: the Summer Nights Outdoor Music Festival. Bring your picnic, blanket, low-backed lawn chairs, and dancing shoes—there's fun for the whole family! Concerts take place on Saturday evenings from July 9 through August 6 at 7 pm. Dinners from a variety of local pop-up restaurants will be available for purchase, along with beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks.

Best of all, kids 17 and under are admitted free, and the Kid Zone will include fun art projects and activities presented by local organizations like the JCC's Summer Camps program, 10,000 degrees, and Brandeis Marin School. Of course the playground will be open for supervised play, too!

This summer's multicultural outdoor concert lineup features:

  • July 9: African Music Night with Africa's most recognized and inspirational band, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. There will be a pre-concert African dance class. Food by Sol Food and Kid Zone hosted by JCC Summer Camps
  • July 16: Gypsy rock from Diego's Umbrella. Marin youth a capella group 'Til Dawn opens. Dinners from the Plant Café Organic, Kid Zone hosted by 10,000 degrees.

Weekend Family-friendly Fun for June 17, 18 & 19

June 17, 2016

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

Friday, June 17

  • Children's Garden Series: Pi Clowns
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    Silliness is very serious business for the Pi Clowns. A company dedicated to knock-about physical comedy, these performers don’t tell jokes. Blending mime, theater, acrobatics, juggling, and improvisation, the Pi Clowns deliver delightful and original clown vignettes. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Builder's Challenge
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm
    Children of all abilities ages 4–12 are invited to build, play, engineer and destruct together. Registration is not required but space is limited to 30 people on a first-come, first-serve basis. Materials will be provided. For more information, call the South Novato Library at (415) 506-6158. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. 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, Dance Off: Bollywood. For more info, visit their website.
  • A Year With Frog and Toad
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Friday & Saturday, 5 pm and Sunday, 2 pm

    Join us this weekend for some very special performances of A Year With Frog and Toad KIDS by our K-2 production class! Adult Tickets are $8, Children are $5. Location: 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. Purchase tickets here.
  • Father-Son Luau
    Corte Madera Community Center
    Friday,  6:30–9 pm

    Have fun at the Father-Son Luau at the Corte Madera Community Center. This event features games, activities, and a food. Location: 300 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera. 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: Gator Nation Band—Zydeco. Sponsored by the Volunteers in Public Safety. For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.
  • Opening Night: Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday, Jerry Hannan will be performing. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.

Saturday, June 18

  • Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic
    Windsor
    Saturday & Sunday, 5–11 am

    This celebration of Wine Country's most beautiful sites features two days of hot air ballooning, food, crafts, balloon rides (tethered to the ground) and other fun. Cost: $6 advance, $10 at gate, $5 children 6–12. Location: 700 Windsor River Road, Windsor. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Race
    Downtown San Rafael
    Saturday, 8 am

    Classic cars gather in downtown San Rafael for the start of the 2016 Great Race. The official start of this road rally, which ends in Moline, Illinois, begins at 10 am. Free. 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 listen to family music (9:30–10:30 am). Special Father's Day LEGO event at Poppy from 10:30 am–2 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • 12th Annual Flea and Makers Market
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Saturday, 9 am–3 pm

    Find new treasures and collectibles at bargain prices, plus the Mill Valley Seniors' Club will sell a variety of foods, drinks, snacks and delicious homemade take-home goodies! Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Municipal Water District Customer Appreciation Open House
    MMWD Corporation Yard, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 9 am–noon
    Join MMWD for their 2nd Annual Customer Appreciation Open House! This year's event will feature water quality lab tours and testing demonstrations, a musical performance from ZunZun, and kids' arts and crafts activities, as well as a photo opportunity on MMWD's heavy equipment with a safety hat and vest, conservation and drought information, a Mt. Tam Watershed model, refreshments, and much more! Location: 220 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Learn How to Pier Fish on Father’s Day Weekend
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon

    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Join rangers and a few experienced local anglers on Father's Day weekend to learn the secrets and tricks of the trade when fishing from a pier. 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. Don't forget to bring your dad and a fishing pole! For more info, visit their website.
  • Northern California Pirate Festival
    Vallejo Waterfront
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Navigate your way to the waterfront town of Vallejo for the Northern California Pirate Festival, which takes place from 10 am–6 pm on Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19. Enjoy piratical music, swordplay, pirate skills demonstrations, food, and booty! Admission is $10 for adults, free for kids 11 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tiburon Classic Car Show
    Shoreline Park, Tiburon
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
    The Tiburon Classic Car Show is a wonderful community event, held annually in Tiburon near the ferry boat landing, against the beautiful backdrop of the Tiburon Waterfront Park. The show celebrates the beauty of classic automobiles (produced prior to 1971), and men, women and children alike, find great enjoyment in viewing the cars on display. Free. For more info visit their website.
  • Family Performance: Cristalette & Company
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 10:30 am & 12:15 pm

    Dance and sing along to Cristalette & Company, a sophisticated soul band that plays a mix of well-known and obscure oldies. Free after museum admission. Location: 
    557 McReynolds Road Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Mateo County Fair
    San Mateo Event Center
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–10 pm

    San Mateo County's annual fair includes concerts by Night Ranger, Kansas, and Tower of Power, as well as free fair entertainment like STEM activities from the Super Science Company, Captain Jack Spareribs, Life Sized Mousetrap, the Great American Petting Zoo, Balloonacy, and more. Of course there will be carnival rides, farm animals, and exhibits of all types, too. Location:1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo 94403. For more info, visit their website.
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