Make a Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake for Mom

May 5, 2016

Pineapple upside down cakeThis Mother's Day, why not make an old school dessert for Mom—pineapple upside down cake. Pineapple upside down cake is really old school, dating back to the 1920s when canned pineapple from was introduced to the US market by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which would eventually become Dole Foods.

Featuring moist and light cake topped with sweet pineapple and a caramelized brown sugar topping, it's no wonder this dessert has been popular for nearly a century. In our recipe, we use fresh pineapple, but you can substitute canned if you don't want to mess around with cutting up and trimming a fresh one. It's equally good with both.


For the topping:

The Downtown Novato Farmers Market Opens Tonight

May 3, 2016

The Downtown Novato Community Farmers Market opens for its 2016 season this evening, Tuesday, May 3. The market takes place from 4 to 8 pm on Grant Avenue between 1st and 4th Streets. Come check out an abundance of fresh produce from local farms, pony rides, bounce houses, live music, fresh prepared foods from local vendors, crafts, and more.

Bring the family for an evening of fun on Grant Avenue. Each year the Novato Farmers Market grows and improves, and boasts an impressive array of some of the Bay Area’s finest food purveyors, producers, farmers, and ranchers.

The Downtown Novato Community Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday evening from 4 to 8 pm from May 4 through September 27, 2016. Customer parking for the Farmers’ Market will be offered at the old Pini’s lot located at 1107 Grant Avenue. For more info, visit, call (415) 999-5635, or email

Day Out in Point Reyes Station

May 3, 2016

Point Reyes Station

Point Reyes Station is the social and cultural hub of West Marin, and a fantastic destination for a day out with the family. While the railroad that gave this small town its name is long gone, Point Reyes Station has become something of a tourist mecca in recent years, with a focus on sustainable agriculture, locally produced artisanal and organic foods, outdoor activities, and art. On weekends, the main street of this quaint and charming gateway to Point Reyes National Seashore bustles with West Marin locals, Bay Area day trippers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, hikers, and visitors from around the world.

Summer Swim Lessons in Marin

May 2, 2016

Summer's almost here, 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 they're 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. As always, if you have a favorite swim class or teacher that you think should be added to the list, let us know by leaving a comment or contacting us.



Win Tickets to the May 3 Speak to Me Event: Empowering Change

May 1, 2016

Jennifer DulskySpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents the fourth and final event in its 2015/2016 evening series, "Empowering Change: Using Your Talents for Good" with Jennifer Dulsky, president and COO of, on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the Mill Valley Community Center. She'll discuss the importance of pursuing work aligned with your natural talents, and why doing so will give everyone, everywhere the power and opportunity to change the world around them. is the world’s largest social change platform with more than 100 million users in 196 countries. Dulski, hailed as an "instigator of change" by Forbes, is a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman who was integral to the growth of both Yahoo! and Google, and was the first female entrepreneur to sell a company to Google.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for April 29, 30 & May 1

April 30, 2016
Terra Linda-Sleepy Hollow Divide
Take a family hike at the Terra Linda–Sleepy Hollow Divide this weekend.

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, April 29

  • Bel Marin Keys Spring Warehouse Sale
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Come to the Bel Marin Keys Warehouse Sale where you can experience direct selling to the public—there will be no middle man and the savings will be passed directly on to you!  This is one of the hidden shopping gems in Marin County and has been in existence for over 20 years! Vendors are continually signing up to participate so visit their website at for the most up-to-date information (such as who is open which days) as well as a downloadable map!
  • SF Opera Guild Sing A Story Presents Cinderella
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm

    A teaching artist from the San Francisco Opera will introduce a classic opera story, complete with singing and opera insights. Musical storytelling, a choral coaching and singing session, and props and costumes make this a truly immersive creative experience! Ages 4–10. No registration required. Location: Council Chambers, 110 Tunstead Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids Night Out: Batter Up
    Rolling Hills Club, Novato
    Friday, 6:30–9 pm

    Take me out to the ball game! Kids (ages 5–10) will have a fun evening with a baseball card scavenger hunt and a game of marshmallow baseball. Mix up some homemade root beer and make (peanut free) cracker jacks. We will watch the classic movie Sandlot. Pizza will be provided. Cost: $22 per child (members ) and $32 per child ( Guests ). Location: 351 San Andreas Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Corte Madera Town Band 20th Birthday Concert
    Corte Madera Community Center
    Friday, 7:30–10 pm

    Celebrate CMTB's 20th birthday at this year's 20th Annual Spring Concert. CMTB is pulling out all the stops for this wonderful celebration. Expect delightful beverages, delicious treats, and extraordinary raffle prizes at this year's concert. Free. Location: 498 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, April 30

  • Fishing in the City
    Scottsdale Pond, Novato
    Saturday, 8 am–noon

    Novato's annual Fishing in the City program is co-sponsored by the City of Novato, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Novato Sunrise Rotary. Bait, tackle and rods are provided for this fun-filled family outing. Anyone 16+ must have a California Fishing License. Pre-registration is advised to ensure a space, but drop-ins are welcome if there's space. Clinics last 30 minutes, and run from 8 to 10:30 am. Free. Location: Redwood and Rowland Boulevards, Novato. For more info, call  (415) 899-8279 or visit their website.
  • Pleasant Valley School Rummage Sale
    Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Novato
    Saturday, 9 am–4 pm

    Some of the great items offered will include gently used children's clothing, sporting goods, toys and games, bikes, strollers, baby and toddler equipment and gear, housewares, electronics, furniture, and more. Doors open at 9 am sharp. Early birds can enjoy treats from the bake sale while they wait for the doors to open. The sale closes from 1 to 1:30 pm in preparation for the half-price sale, which starts at 1:30. The doors close at 3 pm. Address: 755 Sutro Avenue, Novato. Visit their website here.
  • Touch a Truck
    Oak View Nursery School, San Rafael
    Saturday, 9:30 am–noon
    Kids (and grownups, too) will get a chance to get behind the wheel of some amazing vehicles and rub elbows with their hometown heroes. Admission is $5 per person, and kids under 1 are free. Baked goods and beverages will be available for sale (cash only please). All proceeds from this event will fund special programing for Oak View Nursery School students. Location: 70 Skyview Terrace, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinovators Student STEAM Exhibition
    College of Marin, Kentfield
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    Come celebrate with the curious open-minded youth of Marin who design, make, create, and code. See how the future is being imagined, programmed, invented, manufactured, and 3D printed by Marin County students. You can see robots in action, state-of-the-art technology, flying quadracopters, and hands-on demonstrations. Free. Location: College of Marin Academic Center. Get free tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies
    Various farms in Sonoma County
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Sonoma County farms are abundant with seedlings and barnyard babies. Pack up the family and head out to the farm to celebrate Spring and see what's flowering! Tour your way through Sonoma County and visit farms of your choice. Activities include farm tours, demonstrations, animal petting, 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. Most locations are free. Register here for a complete list of participating farms.
  • American Girl Pizza Party
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Enjoy your time with your child at another awesome class with American Girl—a pizza party! We’ll make our own dough and then you can top your pizza just as you please. Suitable for ages 8–13. Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. Cost: $40 per child. For more info, visit their website.
  • Amazing Science
    Fairfax Library
    Saturday, 11 am
    Enjoy an exciting STEAM demonstration followed by hands-on displays and projects for elementary school-age children. Location: 2097 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Day
    Belvedere Community Park
    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm

    Play games, listen to live music, eat and drink, win prizes, and have the best Saturday ever at this free community event! Location: 450 San Rafael Avenue, Belvedere. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Japanese Carp Kites
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! This weekend: During World War II, Japanese-American soldiers worked as interpreters. Celebrate Japanese culture and Children’s Day by making traditional carp kites! Registration not required, but preferred. Location: Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day in Marin!

April 29, 2016

Saturday, April 30, is Independent Bookstore Day! These bookstores will be celebrating with special events throughout the day. While the bookselling world has definitely felt the impact of online book sales, Marin County's independent bookstores are still going strong, providing the community with a wonderful literary resource. Many of these local independent bookstores offer more than just a cozy place to shop for your favorite books; many of them have full calendars of events ranging from booksignings to story time. Some even have fantastic cafes where you can relax with an cappuccino and your new favorite novel.

Here's our guide to independent bookstores in Marin County, all of which offer books for the whole family. We've included used bookstores, too, and many of these independent stores sell used books as well. Make sure you check out the new Copperfields Books in Downtown Novato.

Book Passage

51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, CA 94925

(415) 927-0960

Awesome Spots For a Mother's Day Picnic

April 28, 2016

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8. Pack a picnic and celebrate Mom's day outdoors at one of the many great picnic spots in and around Marin and Sonoma County. Here are some of our favorite places to bring our lunch (or brunch) and dine al fresco. If you want some more ideas for fantastic Mother's Day activities and outings, read our article here.

  • Bear Valley in the Point Reyes National Seashore is home to the park's visitor center as well as a large picnic area complete with tables, restrooms, charcoal grills,  and drinking water. Have a leisurely lunch outdoors, and then take a hike—there are a number of different hikes and walks you can do here that are suitable for everyone in the family, including the Earthquake Trail, the Bear Valley Trail, and the trail leading to the Morgan horse ranch. Read more about Bear Valley in our article here.

Marinovators Showcases STEAM this Saturday at College of Marin

April 28, 2016

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education and technology are showcased in the third annual Marinovators this Saturday, April 30, 2016 at College of Marin Academic Center  in Kentfield from 10 am to 3 pm. 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.

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