Kids' Rummage Sales & Clothing Swaps

February 20, 2016

There are lots of rummage sales and clothing swaps in Marin and the Bay Area. Here is our list of upcoming sales where you can find some fantastic bargains on new-to-you kids' clothes, toys, books, and more! All sale events offer free admisson unless otherwise noted.

Novato Mother's Club Rummage Sale

Location: Downtown Novato Recreation Center
Date: Saturday, March 5, 2016
Times: 9 am–3 pm (doors close at 1:30–2 pm)

This huge rummage sale is a must. You can literally get everything you need for your family: cribs, strollers, children’s clothing, maternity wear, toys, books, shoes, nursing items, and more. There will also be a bake sale for goodies to munch while you shop. After 2 pm everything is 50% off! Address: 950 Seventh Street, off Grant Avenue, Novato (adjacent to the Novato Gymnastics Center). Cash only. Visit their website here.

Hands-on Nature Camps for Kids in Marin 2016

February 19, 2016

Coastal Camp Marin HeadlandsLiving in Marin, you don't have to look far for a summer camp that takes advantage of some of the amazing natural resources we have right in our own backyard. Parents have several outstanding nature and outdoors oriented summer camps to choose from. Here is a selection of some of our favorite day camps in Marin that have an emphasis on the outdoors and the natural world around us for ages 4 to 18. To find more fantastic summer camps, visit our 2016 Marin Summer Camp Guide.

  • Audubon Summer Adventures Camp
    Location: Richardson Bay Audubon Center, Tiburon
    Ages: 4
    –17
    Dates: June 6
    –August 12
    Cost: $200
    –$385 per week
    Camp themes include Water Detectives, Mighty Bay, Survivor, Shark Week, and Mud Warriors. They also offer Expedition Camp and On the Fly Camp for children in grades 4–6, where campers deliver a little deeper into the varied habitats of Marin County and visit environments like the bay, ocean, redwood forest, and more. They also offer Youth Leaders for ages 11–17. Monday-Friday, 9 am–2 pm or 9 am–3 pm; extended hours untiil 5 pm are available for an additional cost. Register here.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for February 19, 20 & 21

February 19, 2016

Golden Gate view from Marin HeadlandsHere 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, February 19

  • Kid-O-Rama
    Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows, Lake Tahoe
    Friday & Saturday, all day
    Kid-O-Rama offers non-stop fun for kids of all ages, including the Big Truck Event—featuring fire trucks, snowplows, and grooming machines—as well as street parties and kids’ concerts, an all-kid game and craft room, crazy helmet day, and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • Hunger Games: The Exhibition
    Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–9 pm, Sunday, 10 am–7 pm
    Follow Katniss Everdeen's journey from her beginnings in District 12 to her emergence as the Mockingjay and explore the real-world themes underpinning the stories and the technological wizardry and amazing artistry that carried them to the screen. This exhibition features immersive themed environments and interactive digital and hands-on experiences related to the Hunger Games movie franchise. Tickets: $27.50 adults, $25 seniors 65+, $22 children 3–11. Location: 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco. For more info and to reserve tickets, visit their website.
  • Make a FlipBox Night Light
    The MakerSpace, South Novato Library
    Friday, 11 am–1 pm

    Teens in 6th–12th grade can assemble a cube and wire it to light up when you flip it over. Space is limited, registration required; to sign up, call (415) 506-3165. Location: 931 C Street, Novato (Hamilton area). For more info, visit their website.
  • Discover the Dinosaurs
    San Jose Convention Center
    Friday, 1–8 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–7 pm

    Experience moving animatronic dinosaurs showcased in the period of time in which they lived. Other activities inlcude a scavenger hunt, dinosaur rides, movies, a dino dig, inflatables, and more. Tickets: $28 children 2–12, $24 adults, $21 seniors 65+, free for children under 2. Location: 150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose. For more info, visit their website.
  • Lego Play Day!
    Mill Valley Library
    Friday, 2:30–4 pm
    Did you know that the skills used to build with Legos support problem solving, reading, and creativity? Join us for Lego Play Day. Grades K and up, no advance sign-up required. Location: 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Chinese Zodiac Storytelling
    Inverness Library
    Friday, 4–5 pm

    Kids and adults will enjoy an interactive storytelling experience celebrating the Year of the Monkey and the Chinese zodiac. Free. Locaiton: 15 Park Avenue, Inverness. For more info, call (415) 669-1288 or visit their website.

Saturday, February 20

  • 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 music (9:30–10:30 am). For more info, visit their website.
  • NVCM Classical Kids: Just So Stories
    Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco
    Saturday, 9:30 & 11 am

    NVCM’s Classical Kids presents the Trinity Alps Chamber Players at Noe Valley Ministry performing Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, set to music by composer Danny Clay. Two 45 minute shows repeat at 9:30 and 11 am. Doors open at 9 am. Suitable for all ages. Tickets: $10 per person; $25 for family pass for up to 4 people. Location: 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Climb Aboard at the Pacific Coast Air Museum
    Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rosa
    Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Sit in the cockpits of our vintage aircraft, and learn about the history of where and how they were used from the crews who have lovingly restored them. The museum features one or two historic aircraft each Climb Aboard Weekend. Ordinary museum admission fee applies. Location: 1 Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Aquarium of the Bay at the Bay Model
    Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11:30 am–2:30 pm

    Aquarium of the Bay has teamed up with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bay Model Visitor Center to create the Bay Model Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that benefits the Bay Model and its educational programs by bringing the Bay, its animals, and their habitats to you! Join us at the Bay Model for these special conservation programs that are fun for the whole family! Free. Location: 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Nike Missile Site Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Saturday, 12:30–3:30 pm

    Unique in the National Park Service, this restored Cold War anti-aircraft missile site has intriguing stories to tell. Take a ranger-guided tour of this restored facility, and learn about its history from volunteers, many of whom served at sites like. Free. Read about our visit here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Nature Walks
    Spring Lake Regional Park, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 1–4 pm

    Get the kids outside and let them explore Spring Lake Regional Park with a naturalist from the park’s Environmental Discovery Center. One-hour hikes start at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Discovery Center. Families can return to the Center after each hike for nature-themed crafts and to explore the touchable tide pool and other exhibits. The Discovery Center is at the park’s Violetti Road entrance. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and bring a bottle of water. Heavy rain cancels. For more info, visit their website.
  • Weaving Workshop for Grades K–5
    Fairfax Library
    Saturday, 3–4:15 pm

    Come learn about the art and history of weaving from San Anselmo's Gabriella Drake of Art Abloom. Create your own mini tapestry! Space limited, pre-registration required; call (415) 457-5629 to sign up. For kids ages 6–11. Location: 2097 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax. For more info, visit their website.
  • Year of the Monkey Chinese New Year Celebration
    Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building
    Saturday, 5–9 pm
    Bring the family to the Year of the Monkey Chinese New Year Celebration. Activities include: music, dance, martial arts, dragons and lions and buffet dinner at 6 pm. Cost: $25 adults, $10 children ages 3–13. Location: 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade
    Downtown San Francisco
    Saturday, 5:15–8 pm

    Started in the 1860s, San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade has grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. Highlights include elaborate floats, lion dancers, folk dancers, costumed elementary school groups, marching bands, stilt walkers, Chinese acrobats, and a 268 foot long Golden Dragon (“Gum Lung”). Free; bleacher seats $30. Route: Market and Second Street to Kearny and Jackson. You can also watch is on KTVU 2 or KTSF 26. For more info, visit their website.

Learn to Bike! This Summer in Mill Valley.

February 19, 2016

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Avid4 Adventure which offers summer camps for kids K-12th grades in Mill Valley, Oakland, Palo Alto and Saratoga. Learn more at avid4.com.

At Avid4 Adventure, we think it's never too early to introduce kids to the joys of being active outdoors. That's why our Learn to Bike! day camp helps kids age 3.5 and up embrace the fun of self-sufficient cycling.

Designed for first-time riders (or kids using training wheels or balance bikes), our half-day camp groups kids by ability and leads them through a progression of skills—walking their bikes, scooting downhill, coasting with their feet up, touching the pedals and finally pedaling—giving them the skills they need to get comfortable on two wheels. We also make time for games, art and yoga, offering campers opportunities for fun and confidence building both off and on their bikes.

Win Tickets to the February 23 Speak to Me Event: 21st Century Education

February 18, 2016

Dr. Yong Zhao Speak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents the third event in its 2015/2016 evening series, "21st Century Education: Cultivating Creative & Entrepreneurial Talents" with Yong Zhao, Ph.D.—thought leader and scholar, educational expert, and award-winning author of 20 books—on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the Mill Valley Community Center. Named one of the 10 most influential people in educational technology, Dr. Zhao will share his fascinating research and insight on how the world has fundamentally changed, how the American education system stacks up, and what talents are required to succeed in the future.

We're giving away one set of two tickets to this event to a lucky Marin Mommies reader! The first reader to send an email to contests@marinmommies.com with "Speak to Me February" in the subject line will receive the two tickets. Many thanks to Speak to Me for sponsoring this giveaway. Read our complete giveaway rules here.

Take a Free Little Bears Music Class for Toddlers on February 18!

February 17, 2016

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from Blue Bear School of Music.

Did you know you can now take Little Bears music classes in Mill Valley? Starting March 3, Blue Bear School of Music is offering two Little Bears classes at Sweetwater Music Hall every Thursday for six weeks: Bouncy Bears for tots ages 1 to 3 years old and Mixed Bears, a class designed for families with kids of mixed ages (6 months to 5 years).

Help us kick off these new classes with a free Mixed Bear class on Blue Bear School February 18 from 11 am to noon!!!

Enjoy coffee, tea, and tasty treats on us from the Sweetwater Café, plus some kid-friendly treats for the kiddos from Flourish Foods!

Underwater Adventure at Pier 39's Aquarium of the Bay

February 16, 2016

Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay, located on San Francisco's waterfront at Pier 39, offers visitors a unique underwater experience. With an emphasis on education and conservation, it's a worthwhile destination for nature-loving Marin and Bay Area families.

Compared to other nearby aquariums, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences, the Aquarium of the Bay is a pretty compact affair. But it packs a lot into its relatively small space, and there's a lot for families to see and do. Get oriented in the Discover the Bay exhibit, where you'll learn about the creatures that live under and around the waters of San Francisco Bay. We especially liked the swirling school of anchovies and the moray eel. There's also a small but interesting exhibit called "Sharks of Alcatraz" that explores the different kinds of aquatic predators living in San Francisco Bay.

Baby and Infant Swim Lessons in Marin

February 16, 2016

infant and toddler swimming lessonsBeing safe and comfortable around water is extremely important, and it's never too early to introduce little ones to the basics of water skills. Many infants actually take naturally to the water! Infant swim classes in Marin County start as early as six months old, and are usually parent/child sessions where you or a caregiver can enjoy the water with your child. While most of these classes don't teach infants to swim per se, they do introduce parents and children to the water and important safety skills.

Below is our list of infant and toddler swim classes in Marin. 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.

Mill Valley

  • Infant Swim Marin
    Mill Valley
    (415) 578-0966

    Survival swimming lessons for children ages 6 months - 6 years. Lessons for a 6-12 month old focus on teaching the child to roll onto their back to float, rest and breathe, and to be able to maintain this life-saving position until help arrives. Lessons for children 1-6 years old focus on teaching the swim- float-swim survival sequence. Children learn to swim with their head down; roll onto their back to float, rest, and breathe; and roll back over to resume swimming until they reach the side of the pool, where they can either crawl out or until they can be rescued.
  • Mill Valley Community Center Pool
    180 Camino Alto
    (415) 383-1370

    The Mill Valley Swim School offers classes for ages 6–36 months. They offer private and group lessons. Both classes introduce little ones to the water with parent participation. They offer group private lessons. Check out their swim schedule here.

Family Adventure in the Marin Headlands

February 15, 2016

Marin Headlands

Located at the very south end of Marin County, the Marin Headlands has much to offer for families and is one of our favorite destinations for a day of outdoor adventure. Wildlife, beaches, history, natural beauty, sweeping vistas of the Pacific and San Francisco—the Headlands has all that and more.

Now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marin Headlands was at one time home to a Spanish and Mexican rancho, military fortifications, and Cold-war Nike missile sites. It also narrowly escaped becoming a massive housing development called Marincello back in the 1960s. Thankfully that never came to pass, and we're left with a superlative national park enjoyed by countless Bay Area residents and visitors.

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