Create a Cute Pumpkin Turkey Centerpiece for Thanksgiving

November 10, 2016

Pumpkin turkey centerpiece craftEvery fall, my daughter is obsessed with pumpkins. She loves all the different shapes and sizes of pumpkins and winter squash, so we end up buying more than we can really use (there's only so much butternut squash soup and pumpkin pie you can eat).

A couple years ago we worked together to create this cute pumpkin turkey centerpiece for Thanksgiving. We've made it a tradition to make one every year! We created it using a small “sugar pie” pumpkin (available at most grocery stores—we got ours at Trader Joe's for $1.99) and craft supplies that we happened to have on hand.

Your Guide to Tahoe - Best time to Visit for Family Fun!

November 8, 2016

Your Guide to Tahoe - Best time to Visit for Family Fun!

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Tahoe Luxury Properties.

Tahoe offers so much more than winter sports. Sure, it’s a winter wonderland of skiing and snowboarding, snow tubing, sledding, ice skating, and snow-filled fun. But there’s also a packed calendar with unique events to make your Tahoe memories for a lifetime. As long time locals, we put together a list of our favorite kid-centric events.

Yummy Fall Minestrone Soup

November 7, 2016

winter minestrone soupI love to make a big pot of soup on Sunday evenings, since it's a great weekend meal and makes for leftovers all week long. This version of the classic Italian minestrone soup uses vegetables that are available locally during the fall months. It's hearty and filling and good for you, too.

Leave out the pancetta to make it vegetarian/vegan. I also like to make this soup using just water instead of chicken broth—the flavor of the fresh vegetables really comes through. I cook the pasta separately and add it to the bowls when serving. That way when there are leftovers it doesn't absorb all the liquid in the soup when it sits.

Ingredients

Marin on Ice Returns to Northgate this Holiday Season!

November 7, 2016

Marin on Ice

Marin on Ice, Marin County's only holiday ice skating rink, returns to Northgate in San Rafael for a fourth season of open-air skating, opening Wednesday, November 9, 2016 and running through January 11, 2017. The rink will be open daily, including holidays. Opening times vary, but the rink is generally open from 2 to 9 pm during the week, noon to 10 pm on Saturdays, and noon to 9 pm on Sundays, with extended hours during Thanksgiving week and around the holidays. Check Marin on Ice's calendar for exact hours.

Prepare Your Child for the Future: 5 Reasons Your Child Should Learn to Code

November 7, 2016

MV Code Club

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from MV Code Club, who offer five reasons why kids should learn to code.

  1. There are now more computing devices than people
    By learning to code, they will be able to master technology, instead of being controlled by it.
  2. Coding teaches problem solving
    Programmers use several logical techniques to solve problems. These techniques are universal and don’t change, even though technology that we use changes all the time.  

The Spectacular Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery

November 6, 2016

West End Nursery Christmas House San Rafael

Traditionally, our first holiday outing in Marin is always to the famous Christmas House at West End Nursery in San Rafael. We checked out this season's edition yesterday during its opening weekend and, once again, it's a spectacular as ever. As a matter of fact, I think it might be the best version to date—it just keeps getting better every year.

Try Cross Country Skiing With the Family This Winter

November 5, 2016

cross country skiing

With more snow moving into the Sierras, it's time to start thinking about winter sports family fun in the mountains. While downhill skiing and snowboarding are synonymous with snow sports to many people, cross country skiing is a fun and low-key alternative to the lift lines. Cross country skiing is fun, easy to learn, and requires a minimum of equipment. Dress in warm active clothing, put on your boots and skis, grab your poles, and you're good to go!

We tried out cross country last winter, and had a great time. My kids picked it up right away—after 20 minutes on the practice loop they were off and hitting the trails. The whole family can join in, too—you can even get a jogging stroller on skis and pull your little one along, and many cross country trails allow dogs, too. An added bonus: cross country skiing is one of the best aerobic exercise activities you can do. It's a great way to get active and enjoy the beauty of the mountains in winter.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 4, 5 & 6

November 4, 2016

The Bay Area Science Festival 6th Annual Discovery Day is this Saturday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

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, November 4

  • Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm

    Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Admission: $11, $6 children 7 and under, skate rental $5. 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 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.
  • Family Camp at the Point Bonita Y!
    Point Bonita YMCA, Sausalito
    Friday, 4 pm–Sunday, 1 pm

    Join the Point Bonita Y for our Family Camp Weekends, focused on getting outdoors and playing, learning, serving and working in our National Park. The weekend will offer activities for families to do together, kid-specific activities while parents get some time to themselves, and service projects to give back to and preserve our parks. All meals and accommodations provided. $275 per family. 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.
  • Free Family Movie Night: Zootopia
    Presidio Community YMCA, San Francisco
    Friday, 5:30–8:30 pm

    Bring the family for an evening of fun. There will be food trucks, popcorn, It's-It ice cream and more. Movie shorts start at 6:30 pm; feature film at 7 pm. Location: 1151 Gorgas Ave, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movie Night: Zootopia
    Mathnasium of Mill Valley
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Stop by Mathnasium on the first Friday of the month for movie night. Free pizza and soda will be served. Students, parents, and friends welecome. Location: 247 Shoreline Highway, Suite A3. For more info, visit their website.
  • Spaghetti Bingo
    Tam Valley Community Center
    Friday, 6:15 pm

    Bring the family for a night of fun-bingo and dinner. Doors open at 6:15 pm and bingo starts at 6:45 pm. Dinner includes a 3-course spaghetti dinner and dessert. Cost:
    $8/person includes dinner & bingo. Arrive early because event does sell out. Location: 203 Marin Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Disney's High School Musical
    142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday, 7:30 pm (doors open at 7 pm)

    Throckmorton Youth Performers opens their new season with Disney’s High School Musical!  Perfect for the entire family. Tickets: general $20, students $15 and reserved $35. Purchase tickets here. Location: 142 Throckmorton Ave., Downtonw Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, November 5

  • 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.
  • Free Yoga at Old Mill Park
    Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    The Mill Valley Recreation Department is offering a free Hatha flow yoga class the first Saturday of the month at Old Mill Amphitheater. Prepare to sweat, breathe, align and stretch in this fun, unique environment. Designed for students of all levels, this class will be held in all weather conditions except severe rain. Bring a mat, water bottle and comfortable clothing. Meet at the Old Mill Amphitheater 10 minutes prior to class. Location: Throckmorton Ave and Old Mill Street. For more info, call 415-383-1370 or visit their website.

Create Colorful Leaf Prints for Fall

November 3, 2016

Leaf PrintsCreating colorful leaf prints is one of my children's favorite simple fall craft projects. We love to take advantage of Marin's great fall weather and go on family hikes and walks at this time of year. Along the way, the kids collect interesting autumn leaves, which we bring home to use as decorations and to make leaf prints.

Making leaf prints is an easy project that kids of all ages can do, and the results can be really beautiful. To make them you’ll need:

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