Marin Summer Survival Guide 2017

June 12, 2017

Summer's here, the kids are out of school, and you're be looking for things to do. Don't worry... check out our hot list of things to do this summer in Marin and the Bay Area. Our list includes free outdoor concerts, community pools, swim lessons, beaches, camping, summer hikes, playgrounds, local fairs and festivals, family getaways, and the best places to go biking with the kiddos in Marin.

Check back soon for the scoop on 4th of July fireworks and more. Find out more here.

Summer Challenge for Kids and Teens at the Marin County Library!

June 10, 2017

Kids Summer Challenge Marin Library 

It's hard to believe that it's already the end of the school years. You can keep the learning—and fun—alive this summer by participating in the Marin County Free Library's 2017 summer learning program. To participate in the Kids Summer Learning Challenge, all you have to do is visit your local branch of the Marin County Free Library, pick up a summer reading folder, and start reading.

Young readers will earn a Book Buck for each 100 minutes that they read or are read to. Book Bucks can then be redeemed for a variety of prizes, and kids who complete the Learning Challenge will get a Gold Medal Reader button. Participants can also donate their Book Bucks to the library's Giving Program; this year the Friends of the Library will donate a dollar to Marin Foster Care Association for every Book Buck donated.

Teens can participate in the 2017 Teen Summer Challenge, where they can earn scratcher tickets by checking out books, writing book reviews, and attending teen events a the library. More visits to the library mean more chances to win!

Marin Family Weekend Fun for June 9, 10 & 11

June 8, 2017

Spring Lake
The water park at Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa is now open!

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.

Check out our Marin Summer Survival Guide for family events and activites throughout the summmer.

Friday, June 9

  • Children's Garden Series: Chelle! & Friends
    Children's Garden at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free family event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Chelle! & Friends bring a family friendly taste of New Orleans, the city where jazz was born. Join the party, move your feet, sing-along, and join a Mardi Gras parade. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mom & Baby Yoga
    Pomegranate, San Anselmo
    Friday, 11 am

    Enjoy your baby, reconnect with your body, and meet other new moms in our postnatal mama and baby yoga class. Class is most successful with pre-crawling babies but all are welcome to try out a class and discuss exceptions with the instructor. We want mamas to be able to get out of the house, meet other moms, and enjoy the support and exercise of a yoga class. Cost: $23 for drop-in class. Sign-up online here. Location: 25 Tamalpais Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Moana Sing Along
    Castro Theater, San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 1 pm

    The epic journey continues for Moana fans as Walt Disney Animation Studios introduces an all-new sing-along version of the hit, critically lauded comedy-adventure. With all the lyrics on-screen, experience the joy of singing along to the songs you already love in the company of many other delighted, enthusiastic fans. And don’t forget the goodie bags and costume contest! Tickets: $16 general, $11 youth 12 and under and seniors 62+. 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.
  • Friday Night Jazz: Mads Tolling
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Enjoy live music on Fridays in the Marin Country Mart courtyard! This Friday: Mads Tolling. 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. This Friday: The Speakeasies (jazz). Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.
  • Family Night Nature Hike
    Vallejo Home parking lot, Sonoma
    Friday, 7 pm

    Come out and explore the trail at dusk. See how nature transforms in the early evening with interpretation focusing on nocturnal animals. This is a one-mile, slow-paced hike with minor elevation change. Sturdy shoes and water recommended. Meet at the Vallejo Home parking lot. All ages, free of charge. Location: 363 3rd St W Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movie in the Park: Zootopia
    Contratti Park Baseball Field, Fairfax
    Friday, 8 pm

    Kick off the Fairfax Festival with a free outdoor screening of Disney's Zootopia, as well as special short features, in Fairfax's Contratti Field. Show time is 8 pm (or as soon as it's dark enough to show), but arrive an hour early to stake out a good spot. Bring your picnic, blankets, and low-backed lawn chairs. Free. For more information, visit their website.

Saturday, June 10

  • 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.

Talking Whole Body and Sunscreen with Stephanie Pope from Whole Foods

June 7, 2017

Stephanie Pope

In this sponsored article from Whole Foods Market, we meet Stephanie Pope, who runs the Whole Body team at the Whole Foods Market store in Novato. We asked Stephanie to tell us about herself and her background, and to fill us in on her picks for the best kinds of sunscreen to use this summer. Stephanie is also the mom of 10-month-old Justine Bel!

What’s your background? Please tell us a little about you.

I began working for Whole Foods Market as a cashier in college back in 1999. I moved to New York City in 2001 after graduating college and continued to work for Whole Foods Market at the Chelsea store in Manhattan. That is where I found my home in Whole Body. I got a position as an Assistant Buyer and quickly advanced to Associate Team Leader for the Whole Body department. I opened the Columbus Circle store in Manhattan and in 2005 I moved back to Northern California to be the whole Body Team Leader at the Sebastopol store. In 2007 I joined the NorCal regional team as Associate Coordinator for Whole Body  From 2009–2012 I joined the Store Leadership team and worked at the Franklin, SOMA, and San Rafael locations. In 2012, I decided to follow my heart and step down from Store Leadership to go back to Whole Body. That is when I started working at the Novato store and running the Whole Body team here.

Water Parks in the San Francisco Bay Area

June 6, 2017

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.

Grand Slam Birthday Parties with the San Rafael Pacifics

June 5, 2017

San Rafael Pacifics Birthday Parties

In the last five years, many in Marin have become accustomed to the San Rafael Pacifics calling Albert Park home from June through August. With their sixth season right around the corner, they're back for 2017, and this year young sports fans can hold their birthday parties with the Pacifics at Kirby’s Kid Zone presented by Marin County Credit Union at Albert Park!

Kirby’s Kid Zone is the perfect spot for children's birthdays, and can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 75 guests. Party guests will enjoy activities like wiffle ball games, classic party games, a basketball hop, and more! Pacifics players and team mascot Sir Francis the Drake will drop in and visit parties to say hello and sign autographs, too! Birthday parties are not complete without cake, and party guests will enjoy a slice to celebrate the occasion, courtesy of Nothing Bundt Cakes. To commemorate the fun experience, party bags are also available to complete the birthday package.

Seven Sensational Summer Hikes for Families in Marin

June 4, 2017

Samuel P. Taylor

When it's summer and school's out, there's no better time to experience the outdoors in Marin County. Gather up the kids, lace up those hiking boots, fill your water bottles (very important in the summer heat!), slather on the sunscreen, and hit the trail.

All of these hikes are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, and many are manageable with a sturdy jogging-style stroller. We've included our favorite summer hikes from all parts of Marin.

Follow the links in the titles to read more about each hike. You can also visit our Outdoors page for more ideas for family hikes and outdoor adventures this summer.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Shaded by redwoods and nestled alongside a peaceful creek, this state park in West Marin is an ideal place for a hike and picnic when the weather's hot. It's also one of Marin's premiere camping spots, and has something to offer for everyone.

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

June 4, 2017

Grilled Mediterranean chicken

Summer means it's time to fire up the grill and cook something delicious for dinner. One of the hardest things to cook on the grill is whole chicken. It's too easy to end up with a birds that's charred on the outside and underdone on the inside, but I think this technique is almost foolproof and results in a perfectly cooked chicken every time. It also speeds up the cooking time.

I like to marinate the chicken for a few hours—or overnight, if I'm thinking ahead—in a citrusy, herb-laded mixture that's full of great Mediterranean flavors. I can't say that it's purely Greek or Italian, but it uses flavors common in each cuisine. It helps to have an herb garden just steps from the kitchen door, too!

Feel free to vary this recipe to suit your taste. For example, I sometimes replace the oregano with fresh chopped rosemary for something equally delicious. Whatever variation I decide on, this is one of my go-to dishes for a summer cookout.

Father's Day Fun and Events in Marin and Beyond

June 4, 2017

Father's Day

Sunday, June 18 is Father's Day, so start planning something special for Dad! There are many fun and exciting events, outings, and activities available for families in Marin and the Bay Area, and here are our favorite picks for a memorable Father's Day outing. Please keep in mind that many of these events require advance reservations, and may change at the last minute, so make sure you contact the organizer before you go.

  • Super Father Son BBQ
    Corte Madera Community Center

    Friday, June 16, 7-–9 pm
    Have fun at the superhero themed BBQ at the Corte Madera Community Center, Rooms: Main Hall. The event is for all ages and will feature games, activities, and a BBQ.
  • Learn to Pier Fish on Father’s Day Weekend
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon

    Saturday, June 17, 10 am–12 pm
    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! Find more info here.
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