Marin Family Weekend Fun for September 30, October 1 & 2

September 28, 2016

Pumpkin Patch Party Nicasio Valley Farms

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.

Most Halloween pumpkin patches in Marin and Sonoma counties are now open—see our complete list here.

Friday, September 30

  • Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
    Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
    Friday 10:30 am–7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–7 pm
    This free annual music festival of bluegrass, old time, country, and more, founded by the late Warren Hellman, takes place in Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow and Marx and Lindley Meadows. This year's headliners include Dry Branch Fire Squad, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, and Cyndi Lauper. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Fun Days
    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! Location: 931 C St., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Design Paper Circuits
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 4–5 pm

    Paper Circuitry Friday, for grades 5 and up. Explore design and learn how to run electric current through a piece of paper. Call (415) 258-4656 to sign-up. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main: Firefighter's Diamond Jubilee
    Downtown Tibruon
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Bring the entire family for a night of fun. The Tiburon Fire Protection District celebrates its Diamond Jubilee year with a dance party extravaganza!Wonder Bread 5 will have us laughing, singing and dancing in the street as the fire district celebrates 75 years of exceptional service. Great activities for kids, including a whale scavenger hunt, will be offered. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, October 1

  • Museums on Us Free Day
    Various Museums
    Saturday & Sunday

    Bank of America cardholders can visit the following Bay Area museums for free! Enjoy the Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor, and the Chabot Space and Science Center. Photo ID and a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card must be presented. For more information, visit their website.
  • Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also ofers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Free parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • Free Saturday Morning Yoga
    Old Mill Park Amphitheater, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    Practice a modification of alignment-based anusara-inspired Hatha yoga with a combination of breathing, standing, and seated postures in front of the beautiful redwood trees. Prepare to sweat, breathe, align, and stretch. Enjoy a fun unique environment of mindfulness and acceptance while strengthening your core, balance and long muscles. All levels welcome. Bring a mat and water bottle. Location: Throckmorton and Cascade Drive. For more info, visit their website.
  • Vintage Car Races
    Sonoma Raceway

    Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 am–5:30 am
    Vintage race cars from the '50s through the '70s compete at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. Visit the paddock to look at cars and talk to the drivers. It's like a museum on wheels! Adults $12 advance $25 day-of, children free. Sonoma Raceway is located at Highway 37 and 121 between Sonoma and Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Color 5K
    Indian Valley College, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am

    A 5K walk, run, hop, skip, leap, mosey on a designated route. Along the way, participants go through stations where they are sprayed with colored powder. After the 5K, everyone will gather for a fun festival.  Rotary Club of Ignacio event to benefit the Rotary Club of Ignacio Foundation and other charitable organizations. Open to all ages; ages 6 & up must be registered. The 5K starts at 10 am. Packet pickup begins at 8 am. Register here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Re:Make 2016
    Fort Mason Festival Pavillion, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
    Bring your family and friends to the Re:Make festival. Thousands will come out to try their hand at tons of FREE DIY projects and will stay to shop awesome handmade goods from over 100 makers. Grab a bite to eat at the food trucks, or dance the day away to top tracks mixed by our in-house DJ. All ages welcome. Come to learn, make, play and explore! Free, but an RSVP is required. Location: Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Yoga in the Park
    McNear's Beach, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–2 pm
    Begin with service projects that will focus on beach clean-up, landscape maintenance, and habitat restoration, then switch gears at noon and enjoy a 45-minute yoga class on a flat grassy area beside the bay. The class will be led by professional yoga teacher Daniel Rauck and will be suitable for all ages and ability levels. A free, healthy lunch will be provided at 1 pm. All skill levels are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. All ages are welcome; anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Park entrance fee is waived. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pumpkin Patch Harvest Faire
    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Opening weekend at the Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch will feature the first-ever Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival, featuring a variety of local artists and artisans with hand made arts and cradfts, wearables, homemade preserves, candles, and soaps, and of course all the usual pumpkin patch fun and festivities. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Event website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Petaluma
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, and u-pick squash, as well as a farm store and a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. Read our review here.

An Overnight Wildlife Adventure at Safari West

September 28, 2016

Safari West

Wouldn't it be great if you could take your family on an amazing African Safari adventure, but still have the convenience of being in the Bay Area? Safari West, a wildlife preserve and private zoo located near Santa Rosa offers just that!

Tour this 400-acre preserve in Sonoma County's rolling hills and get up-close-and-personal with giraffes, rhinos, zebras, monkeys, cheetahs, and a huge variety of birds and African antelopes. Not only can you tour Safari West, but you can stay overnight in one of their luxury "glamping" tent cabins. We had a chance to stay over at Safari West and take one of their Classic Safari tours, and it was an unforgettable experience.

Music Classes and Birthday Parties with Little Folkies

September 27, 2016

Little Folkies Looking for a unique music class in Marin for your little one? Little Folkies, a folk music class for children ages 0 to 5 and their grown-ups, offers classes for mixed ages with babies, toddlers preschoolers, parents, grandparents and caregivers all getting together every week and singing together like one big family!

Little Folkies helps nurture the love for music that we all have and inspires young families to sing and play. Discover both new and old songs along with rhythmic dance and movement, silliness, musical games and fun activities that promote musical confidence in both little ones and adults. Classes in Marin are offered at Sprout, located at 12 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. 12-week Little Folkies Family classes take place on Tuesdays at 10:30 and 11:30 am, Thursdays at 10:30 and 11:30 am, and Fridays at 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.

Family Halloween Events in Marin & the Bay Area

September 26, 2016

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
The first Pumpkin Patch Harvest Faire takes place October 1 and 2 at Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch  

Fall is one of our favorite times of year, and there's so much family fun to be found in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area. Find family Halloween event that's right for you! We'll keep updating our list of events for Marin and beyond as we find more this fall. If you have an event you'd like to see added to the list, please contact us.

Marin and Sonoma Events

  • Pumpkin Patch Harvest Faire
    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 10 am–6 pm

    Opening weekend at the Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch will feature the first-ever Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival, featuring a variety of local artists and artisans with hand made arts and cradfts, wearables, homemade preserves, candles, and soaps, and of course all the usual pumpkin patch fun and festivities. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Event website.
  • Halloween Harvest Festival
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, October 14, 5–7 pm

    Come to Marinwood Community Center for its annual Halloween Harvest Festival for children 12 and under. Activities include carnival games, pumpkin carving and decorating, face painting, trick-or-treat bag decorating, caramel apples, and a bounce house. Tickets: $10 advance or $15 at the door for kids ages 2 to 12; adults free. Food available for purchase. Event website.

The Blue Angels Return to San Francisco for Fleet Week 2016!

September 26, 2016

Blue Angels perform in San Francisco for Fleet Week

Come and celebrate the men and women who serve in our country’s Navy and Marine Corps at San Francisco Fleet Week 2016. Fleet Week features a variety of events, including a parade of ships, an air show, live music, ship tours, and of course exciting performances by the Navy’s popular Blue Angels precision flying team.

Events take place in a variety of locations on the San Francisco waterfront from October 3–10. The Blue Angels practice on Thursday, October 6, from 1 to 5 pm, and they'll perform over San Francisco Bay on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 7, 8, and 9, at 3 pm. They can be seen from a variety of locations on the Bay, including Angel Island and Fort Baker in Sausalito. The Blue Angels' performance is part of a Fleet Week airshow that also includes the US Navy Leap Frogs parachute team, a Coast Guard rescue demonstration, the Patriots jet team, the Red Star Pilots formation team, and more.

Infant & Child CPR Classes for Marin Parents

September 26, 2016

infant CPR trainingLearning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important part of any first-aid training, and knowing how to properly administer this technique can save a life! Parents and caregivers in Marin County can learn how to administer CPR to infants and children through many different resources. Here are a few places to learn pediatric CPR in Marin. Most of these classes also cover other first-aid skills like automated external defibrillator (AED) basics and the Heimlich maneuver. If you know of a class that's not on the list below, please let us know and we'll add it!

The Novato Fire District provides CPR classes on the third Thursday of each month. Classes cost $15, and cover adult, child, and infant CPR, AED familiarization, and the Heimlich maneuver. Certificate is valid for two years. For more information, visit their website or call (415) 878-2690.

Pumpkins and More at the Tolay Fall Festival

September 25, 2016

Tolay Fall FestivalMany families in Marin and the North Bay have fond memories of visiting the popular pumpkin patch at Cardoza Ranch outside Petaluma. In 2005, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District and the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department acquired Cardoza Ranch, also known as Tolay Lake Ranch, turning its 1,737 acres of farmland into a county park.

Tolay Lake Ranch is a unique spot, with a freshwater lake, wetlands, diverse wildlife, and 8,000 years human habitation with extensive archaeological and historical sites. Tolay Lake Regional Park is currently under development and access is restricted, although the public can visit the park through a day-use permit program.

The Sonoma Regional Parks Department keeps the spirit of the old Cardoza pumpkin patch alive by holding the annual Tolay Fall Festival, now in its 10th year. This popular event takes place over two  weekends in October, October 15–16 and October 22–23, from 11 am–5 pm.

In addition to Halloween pumpkins in the huge pumpkin patch, the festival features a plentiful harvest of gourds, squash, multi-colored corn, and other produce, as well as a pumpkin seed-spitting contest, ranger-led hay rides, a giant straw maze, a Native American village with demonstrations, the Night Time Creatures Barn with the Creepy Crawly Critters Room, live animals, nature hikes, old-fashioned crafts , lawn games, and more.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for September 23, 24 & 25

September 23, 2016

Blackie's Hay Day
Celebrate fall at Blackie's Hay Day, on Saturday at Blackie's Pasture in Tiburon

Here are our other 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, September 23

  • 52nd Annual Fall Big Book Sale
    Fort Mason, San Francisco
    Friday and Saturday, 10 am–6 pm

    The annual Friends of the San Francisco Public Libary Big Book Sale features over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories. Everything is $3 or less, with a 3-2-1 scale: $3 hard cover books; $2 paperback books; $1 DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media. All items remaining on Sunday are $1. Location: Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sing and Dance with Miss Kitty
    San Rafael Library Lawn
    Friday, 10:30–11:15 am
    Join Marin County’s favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the San Rafael Public. Location: 1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue). For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • 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. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movies in the Park: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Friday, 7–10 pm

    Join us this Friday for Movies in the Park. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will begin at 8 pm in Old Mill Park. Bring your blankets, low beach chairs, and flashlights for a fabulous time with family, neighbors and friends. Location: Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 24

  • Weekend Along the Farm Trails
    Sonoma County
    Saturday & Sunday
    Sonoma County farms are abundant with fall harvest. Pack up the family and head out to the farm! Tour your way through Sonoma County and visit farms of your choice. Activities include farm tours, demonstrations, animal petting, hay rides & corn mazes, games and crafts for kids, tastings, cooking demos, flower arranging, and more. Many stops will offer snacks, lunches and epic picnic sites. Farm stands will be open for fresh-from-the-source purchases. Free to visit farms. For more info and to register, visit their website.
  • 4th Annual Candy Palooza
    Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    The annual Candy Palooza is a free festival of all things sweet featuring free tastings, live music and free tours of the factory. Activities include arts and crafts, carnival rides and midway games, chalk art on the patio and tours of the factory. This event is for kids of all ages. Free. Location: One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. 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. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween & Vine
    Hermann Sons Hall, Petaluma
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Come see the spectacle that is Halloween & Vine. Enjoy the bewitching artistry of more than 39 eclectic and diverse artists from North America. Celebrate the 21st season of this prestigious show where you can purchase one-of-a-kind works of art, handmade from a number of mediums; such as papier-mâché, leather, felt, spun cotton and everything in between. Location: 860 Western Avenue. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
  • Santa Rosa Toy and Comic Con 2016
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Saturday, 9 am–5 pm

    This year will be even bigger than previous years with more activities and dealers. Come check out everything from 200 plus toy and comic dealers to movie cars, LARPing, a video game room, panels, live wrestling from SPW, a lego free play area and a whole lot more! Tickets: $15–$25. Location: 1350 Bennett Valley Road, San Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Wings Over Wine Country Air Show
    Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rosa
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–4 pm

    The Wings Over Wine Country Air Show is presented by the Pacific Coast Air Museum (PCAM) as a family-friendly community event. Lots of activities for families and children as well as military jet fly-bys, world class civilian aerobatics, and warbirds. Static displays include the museum's collection of over 30 restored aircraft (most of which will be open for climb aboards), civilian and military statics and morning access to the warbirds that will fly later in the show. Gates open both days at 9 am for pre-show activities, including radio controlled model aircraft demonstrations. The main air show events kick off just after 11 am. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • USTA Kids' Play Day
    Tiburon Peninsula Club
    Saturday, 9–11 am

    USTA Kids' Play Day at the Tiburon Challenger, a Pro Circuit men's professional event, is a special opportunity for children 6–12 to see a special exhibition performance, take part in fun activities and games on the court, and enjoy ice cream. USTA NorCal will have gifts for all participants, and kids and their families can stay to see qualifying matches. Participation in Kids' Play Day is free, but registration is required here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Blackie's Hay Day 
    Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Blackie's Hay Day has become a community tradition that children look forward to every year. Designed for children of all ages, Blackie's Hay Day is reminiscent of an old fashioned country fair with pony rides, relay races, toy tractors, jumpies, a climbing wall, live entertainment, food trucks, and more. General admission $15 and children under 2 free.. Activity tickets in packets of 25 ($25) and unlimited bracelets ($50) are available. Order advance tickets online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Toy and Clothing Sale
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Marinwood Kids' Toy and Clothing Sale is coming this Saturday (closed 2:30–3 pm to prepare for half-priced sale at 3 pm). Many families bringing quality used toys, books, clothing, equipment, bedding and some furniture to sell at very low prices. Outfit your kids from ages birth through the teen aged years! Cash only, no checks. Location: Marinwood Community Center, 775 Miller Creek Road, (off Lucas valley Road). For more info visit their website.
  • Berkeley Old Time Music Convention: Kids Concert
    Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch
    Saturday, 10:15–11 am
    Bring the kiddos for this free concert featuring Sam and Abby, from Bloomington, Indiana, They combine clogging, hambone, and soulful singing with energetic banjo playing and some unusual instruments, including musical saw and jaw harp, in a participatory show that is fun for the whole family. Location: Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch, Community Room (3rd floor), 2090 Kittredge Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • Father Goose's Tales
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am, 12:30 & 3 pm and Sunday, 10 am & 12:30 pm

    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. Tickets are $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office at 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch Opening Weekend
    Petaluma
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Pick your pumpkins straight from the vine. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals, and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, tire swing, pumpkin blaster, and u-pick squash, as well as a farm store. There will also be a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. For more info, visit their website.
  • Much Ado About Sebastopol
    Ives Park, Sebastopol

    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Step back in time for Sebastopol’s annual Renaissance Faire taking place in Ives Park in Sebastopol this weekend. Ives Park will be transformed into the English countryside of Fenford. Kids will receive a Student Passport which leads students of all ages throughout the grounds seeking clues from townspeople and vendors. Enjoy an afternoon of acting, handcrafted wares, ice cold lemonade and tradional foods and brews. Tickets: Adults $14 & Children (11–17) $8.00. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
    Sonoma Plaza
    Saturday 10 am–8 pm & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival is Sonoma Valley’s annual tradition of celebrating the harvest of wine grapes and the yearly crush. California’s oldest festival, this Sonoma tradition is held on the historic town square and is fun for all ages. Festivities include blessing of the grapes, reenactment of the Bear Flag Revolt, firefighters' water fight, family grape stomp, parade, kids carnival, tiny tacks race, and 5k run/walk. For more info, visit their website.
  • HeadsUp Summerfest Carnival
    San Rafael High School
    Saturday, 10:30 am–4:30 pm

    Come have fun and help save critical school programs for San Rafael City Schools at the HeadsUp Summerfest Carnival on Saturday. Admission is free! Game booths, giant slide, jumpy jumps, petting zoo, face painting, henna, wheel of fortune, kiss a pig, dunk tank, high school art display, kid’s stage with school music groups, yummy BBQ, and delicious pupusas. Location: at 185 Mission Avenue, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Programs for Young Gymnasts at Gymworld in San Rafael

September 23, 2016

Gymworld

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from GymWorld Gymnastics in San Rafael.

GymWorld offers fantastic Birthday Parties for little gymnasts and their friends! We also offer great programs for our youngest gymnasts ages 18 months to 4 years during the week. We have Open Gyms for Toddlers on a drop in basis three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:30 am–12:30 pm. Come run, jump, bounce, swing, use the foam pit and trampoline!

GymWorld also has great instructors teaching classes for ages 2–4 years. Classes are on Tuesday and Friday mornings and at 2:45pm Mon,Tues,Thurs.

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