Explore Family Friendly Limantour Beach in Point Reyes

August 13, 2015

Limantour BeachDuring the summer, one surefire way to cool off in Marin is to head out to the beach. One family favorite in Marin is Limantour Beach at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Limantour boasts gentle surf, stunning views, and miles of sandy beach and is a great place to visit at any time of year.

Named after a French merchant shipwrecked here in the 1840s, Limantour Beach is located along Drake's Bay, and is close to Point Reyes Station and the Point Reyes National Seashore park headquarters on Bear Valley Road. As you drive over Inverness Ridge, you'll see evidence of the devastating 1995 Mt. Vision fire that swept through this area in the form of the young fir and pine trees that line the roadway.

Speak to Me: Intelligent, Inspiring Events for Women

August 11, 2015

Speak to Me 2015Where can you go to hear inspiring talks by fabulous speakers from around the Bay Area and beyond, taste delicious food and wine, and connect with other women like you? The 2015–2016 Speak to Me Series offers all this over four evenings from October 27, 2015 through May 3, 2016.

Designed for women by women, this inspiring and fun series takes place at the Mill Valley Community Center and draws women from all over the Bay Area. Come listen to dynamic and influential speakers like Christin Powell, chief product innovator at EVER Skincare and co-founder of Juice Beauty; world renowned thought leader and educational expert Yong Zhao, Ph.D; and Jennifer Dulski, president and COO of Change.org.

Haircuts for Kids in Marin

August 11, 2015

Purple Monkey Hair in TiburonIt's back-to-school time, so get your kids looking their best with a great haircut! Getting a good kids' haircut can be a real challenge, though. Finding a great stylist and, above all, getting the kids to sit still and get their hair cut are often more difficult than they should be. Fortunately, here in Marin we have some great kids' salons that making getting those haircuts a much easier for both parents and kids, and even—dare we say it—fun!

Here they are, listed from north to south. If we've missed your favorite kids' hair salon, please let us know! We'd love to hear about it and add it to the list.

132 Vintage Way, Suite F3
(415) 858-2982

SNIPZ kids' hair salon in Novato offers haircuts for $24, as well as a variety of additonal services including special occasion styles, feather application, and shampooing and conditioning. A child's first haircut with photo keepsake and certificate and lock of hair is $29. They even offer kids' birthday parties! Make an appointment at (415) 858-2982 or visit www.snipzsalons.com for more info.

Explore the Giants at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

August 10, 2015

Armstrong RedwoodsWhen people say coast redwoods, Marin's Muir Woods usually comes to mind, but the Bay Area boasts plenty of other great places to go see these towering trees, but without the tourist crowds and parking hassles at Marin's popular redwood hotspot. Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, located just outside of the Russian River town of Guerneville, has plenty of majestic old-growth redwoods, as well as easy hiking trails, picnic areas, and a small nature center. It's definitely worth taking a mini road trip through Sebastopol up to the river!

Armstrong Redwoods was set aside as a nature preserve in the 1870s by logging baron Colonel James Armstrong. Several miles of trails wind through the park, offering opportunities for a wide range of hikes. The Pioneer and Discovery trails are short trails that are ideal for hikes with kids, and they're both navigable with a sturdy stroller.

Park in the parking lot at the entrance to the park—it's free to park here and walk or bike into the park, but if you are so inclined you can drive into the park and park the car further up for an entry fee of $8 per vehicle.

No Campfire? Make S'mores Cookies!

August 10, 2015

s'mores cookiesToday, August 10, is National S'mores Day! In case you don't know what a s'more is, it's a treat consisting of a graham cracker topped with square of milk chocolate (Hershey's is traditional), then topped with a warm toasted marshmallow and then another graham cracker. "S'more" is a contraction of "some more," which is what everyone says after they finish their first one.

If you don't have a campfire or fire pit handy today, try making these amazingly delicious s'mores cookies. They incorporate all the ingredients of a s'more in an easy to make and eat cookie form, so you can enjoy the deliciousness of s'mores anytime without having to wait to go on a camping trip. My son said these were the best cookies he ever tasted, and I'm inclined to agree with him.


  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs

New Parent-Toddler Classes at Curious Minds in Corte Madera

August 10, 2015

Curious Minds Parent-Toddler ProgramCorte Madera preschool Curious Minds Learning Center is now enrolling for parent-toddler classes for children aged 16 to 24 months and their caregiver. Current classes are held once a week for an hour and a quarter, from 4 to 5:15 pm.

Research shows that toddlers actively take part in making meaning of their surroundings as they openly explore the world around them. This class is designed to meet this need and create a safe, warm, supportive, and stimulating environment for you and your toddler.

Experiences include a wide range of expressive media: clay, watercolor, light and shadow, collage, and rhythm, and movement, as well as a period of outdoor play and a short circle time. The environment encourages exploration and experimentation, while building relationships with other children and families through shared experiences and negotiated play.

Chef Daddy Makes Pizza al Taglio

August 9, 2015

pizza al taglioThe other day I was craving really good homemade pizza, but I was also feeling kind of lazy and didn't want to deal with making dough, trying to get the pizza onto the pizza stone intact, and the rest of the work that comes with my other homemade pizza recipe. In a moment of inspiration, I thought about pizza al taglio, the thicker pizza that's cooked on a baking sheet and popular as a street food in Rome. What if I tried to make it with Trader Joe's fresh pizza dough?

I ran over to our local TJ's and picked up two packages of their very good and inexpensive refrigerated pizza dough, as well as some fresh mozzarella and of course a bunch of other stuff that I probably didn't really need. At home, I picked some plum tomatoes from the garden and grabbed some fresh oregano and basil, too, and decided that I had everything I needed.

Here's the recipe that I came up with for a simple margherita style pizza al taglio:

  • Two bags Trader Joe's refrigerated pizza dough
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded (canned are OK, too)

Run for the Seals on Saturday, August 15 in the Marin Headlands

August 8, 2015

Run for the SealsWant to have fun, get some exercise, and support a great cause? Sign up for the Marine Mammal Center's Run for the Seals! This annual 5K run/walk celebrates the Center's 40th anniversary, and supports the Center's programs and rescue work. It's open to participants of all ages, including casual and serious runners, walkers, and families—strollers and on-leash dogs are welcome, too. All proceeds go directly towards the Marin Mammal Center's mission of helping sick, injured, and orphaned marine mammals.

The 2015 Run for the Seals takes place this Saturday, August 15. Check-in starts at 6:30 am, and the races begin at 8:30. Participants can choose from two different route options: a 5K road and dirt trail route hrough the headlands, or a two-mile walk on a scenic route overlooking the ocean. Both routes feature refreshment stations, and the walk/hike route will also include informative education stations along the way.

After, participants are invited to join in on the Family Fun Day, which takes place at the Marine Mammal Center. Enjoy complimentary food, drinks, fun family activities, and tours.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 7, 8 & 9

August 7, 2015
The Gravenstein Apple Fair takes place this weekend in Sebastopol. Photo: Gravenstein Apple Fair.

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, August 7

  • Children's Garden Series: Crosspulse Ensemble
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Using finger snaps, tight slaps, chest thumps, foot drags, hand rubs, and percussive dance steps, Crosspulse Ensemble performances are designed to entrance children with an international array of rhythms, instruments, and obscure musical practices. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Come on downtown to San Anselmo for Picnics on the Plaza on six Friday evenings this summer: Grab dinner-to-go at a local restaurant, purchase food at the event, or pack a picnic and dine with old and new friends at the plaza tables on Tunstead or on Town Hall lawn. Enjoy live entertainment and activities, and shop for fresh, organic produce at the Farm Stand. Great, music, food and family fun! Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Marinwood’s most popular event is back! Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music with the Oakland-based indie rockers Felsen, delicious food by Marinwood Market, wine and beer. Free admission; food, wine, and beer may be purchased. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Creekside Fridays Music Series
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This week: Revolver. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Shrek the Musical!
    142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm and Sunday, 4 pm
    Bring the entire family to see this family-friendly performance of Shrek the Musical. Part romance, part twisted fairy tale, and irreverent fun for everyone! Tickets: $18 general, $14 students, $35 reserved. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: Men in Black
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    Film Night in the Park presents a large-screen outdoor presentation of Men in Black (PG-13) at Creek Park in San Anselmo. Popcorn, candy, and sodas will be sold. Bring blankets, pillows, backrest and low chairs. Film Night suggests leaving pets at home. Free. Donations greatly appreciated. Location: 451 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 8

  • Gravenstein Apple Fair
    Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol

    Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Come and celebrate a time when neighbors gathered to share home baked food, listen to some of the locals sing a tune, and learn a few farming skills. Brimming with tradition, this country fair showcases the Gravenstein apple and the experience of an old time country get together. Enjoy farming displays, a children's corner with crafts, music, and a magician, and more. Admission $15 general, $10 for adults who bike to the fair,$12 seniors & veterans, $10 youth 6–12, free for children under 5. The Gravenstein Apple Fair takes place at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol, at 500 Ragle Road. For more info, visit  www.gravensteinapplefair.com.
  • Charlotte's Web
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 11 am, 1 pm & 3:30 pm and Sunday, 11 am & 1 pm
    Charlotte's Web, based on the classic children's book by E.B. White, is the heartwarming tale of friendship between the adorable piglet Wilbur and his wise friend Charlotte the spider. Charlotte's Web runs for 95 minutes and is recommended for kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. Tickets: $18 and $22. Location: 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma County Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Saturday, and Sunday 11 am–11 pm

    The Sonoma County Fair offers both a classic full-scale carnival with plenty of excitement for thrill-seekers and a separate kiddie carnival area for the little ones, with scaled down thrills and lots of excitement. Carnival rides are an additional charge. Admission is $11 for ages 13 and up, $5 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. For more info, visit www.sonomacountyfair.com.
  • Wild Cat Weekend
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–3 pm
    Celebrate the zoo's amazing big cats this weekend! From 11 am to 3 pm, near the Lion Fountain, enjoy free activities such as face-painting, crafts, live music and the special “lion” bounce house. Also, don’t miss the renowned Chung Ngai Dance Troupe lion dancers! Hear special keeper talks and learn how you can help these incredible, endangered species. For more information, visit their website.
  • Learn to Freshwater Fish
    McInnis Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 4–6 pm

    Rangers will teach the basics of freshwater fishing at McInnis Parks' pond. This event is ideal for all ages. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Don’t forget to bring a fishing pole. We will provide bait and a limited amount of fishing poles, thanks to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A fishing license is required for participants 16 and over. Friendly dogs are welcome, but must be leashed. Free. Location: 310 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 446-4423 or visit their website.
  • Family Fun Night: Sports Theme!
    Mill Valley Aquatics
    Saturday, 5–7 pm
    Come join in the summer fun and get your swimmin' groove on. Family fun night will include: swimming, games, music, raffle, face painting, costume contest, a kid-friendly movie, and more. Cost: $10 for the entire family. For more info, visit their website.
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