The Past Comes Alive This Saturday at Fort Point Civil War Living History Day

January 28, 2016

Fort Point Civil War Living History Day

This Saturday, the 155-year-old walls of Fort Point will again echo with the sounds of fifes and drums and tramp of boots as this San Francisco landmark celebrates Civil War Living History Day. Come watch and interact with dozens of reenactors from the American Civil War Association portraying Union soldiers and civilians from the time of the War Between the States at the only Civil War-era brick fort west of the Mississippi.

Fort Point's Civil War Living History Day takes place Saturday, January 30, 2016, from 10 am to 5 pm. Activities include infantry and artillery demonstrations, flag raising and lowering ceremonies, performances by period military musicians, and more. Reenactors are happy to answer questions about history and various aspects of life during the Civil War.

Slide Ranch Summer Day Camp 2016

January 26, 2016

Slide Ranch Summer Day CampRegistration is now open for Marin's popular Slide Ranch Summer Day Camp, with sessions taking place from June 13 through August 19, 2016 at their spectacular seaside location in Muir Beach. Camps at Slide Ranch give kids a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience on a working farm and also explore the natural world surrounding the ranch.

Slide Ranch offers 10 nature-based camps geared for all different age groups including Ranch Rangers (ages 5 to 13), Slide Explorers (ages 5 to 8), and Junior Farmers (ages 8 to 13). Slide Ranch also offers three Junior Camp Counselor weeks for teens ages 14–18, where they attend and help teach at the camp.

Slide Ranch Day Camp emphasizes hands-on experience and exploration of the farm and the surrounding countryside. Programs encourage campers to touch, taste, smell, hear, observe, and ask questions. Camp at Slide Ranch focuses on teaching respect for animals, plants, the earth, and each other. Slide Ranch campers milk goats, collect eggs from chickens and ducks, card and spin wool, create nature-based crafts, learn to compost, plant seeds, harvest and cook from the ranch's organic garden, and explore the tide pools and trails of the surrounding coastal wild lands.

12 Family Fun Chinese New Year Events

January 26, 2016

Lion dance at Bay Area Discovery Museum Chinese New Year MarinNext month, the Year of the Ram comes to an end and the Year of the Monkey begins! Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year takes starts on Monday, February 8.

As with many major holidays, there's plenty of family fun to be found in Marin County and all over the San Francisco Bay Area, ranging from a Chinese New Year Festival at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Monday, February 15 to the big blowout Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco on Saturday, February 20.

Here are a dozen fun family Chinese New Year events not to miss in the Bay Area:

Year of the Monkey: Chinese New Year Celebration

San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch
Children's Storytelling Room
Saturday, January 30, 1–3 pm

Chinese New Year Family Celebration

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Sunday, January 31, 10:30 am–4 pm

Make Your Own Pink and Red Playdough for Valentine's Day Fun

January 26, 2016

Play doughSculpting with Play-Doh is always a favorite activity for kids, and it can be even more fun to make your own quick and easy Play-Doh style modeling clay (AKA "playdough"), especially on a rainy day. You probably have all of the ingredients sitting in your pantry right now!

We colored our latest batch pink and red for Valentine's Day projects. You can, of course, use any color you like. If you want multiple colors, it's best to make more than one batch, as you add the food coloring during the mixing stage to make sure the color is distributed evenly.

Chef Daddy Cooks Food Your Kids Will Eat: Beef Bourguignon

January 25, 2016

Beef BourguignonOn cool winter nights, it just seems right to make some stick-to-your-ribs comfort food classics. One of my family's favorites is beef bourguignon.

This timeless dish of beef braised with red wine and vegetables is easy to make and I have yet to find anyone who doesn't love it. It's one of my dinner party staples, since you can throw it all together in the early afternoon and just let it go on the stove so you can socialize instead of slave away in the kitchen.

One of the other great things about beef bourguignon is that you can make it from an inexpensive cut of meat like chuck, which the long braising time renders tender and delicious. I like to buy locally raised grass-fed beef from Marin County producers like Stemple Creek Ranch and Marin Sun Farms when I can, and this is a great way to prepare a quality ingredient without breaking the bank.

Family Road Trip to Pacific Grove

January 25, 2016

Pacific Grove Asilomar Beach

One of our favorite places for a fun family getaway is the picturesque seaside town of Pacific Grove. Not as famous or flashy as Monterey, Carmel, and its other neighbors in the Monterey Bay Area, Pacific Grove makes up for this in charm, billing itself as "America's Last Hometown" and "Butterfly Town USA".

With a close proximity to the Bay Area, plenty of things to see and do, and an amazing coastal location, Pacific Grove is an ideal place for a family getaway this winter or spring (or any other time of year, for that matter).

Marin County Swim Team Signups 2016

January 23, 2016

Marin Swim LeagueOne of our favorite sports activities is swimming, and there's no better way to get involved and have a blast than to compete with your local swim team. It's fun, and really builds swimming skills and great sportsmanship.

Now's the time to sign up for swim teams for this spring and summer. Listed below are the 10 Marin Swim League swim teams located throughout the county and their registration dates. Click on the team name to go to their website. The swim team season begins with practices in March and wraps up in mid-July with the Championship meet, usually held at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus pool in Novato.

For more information on the Marin Swim League, including a full schedule of 2015 spring and summer swim meets, visit www.marinswimleague.org.

Larkspur

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 22, 23 & 24

January 22, 2016
Bad Kitty BADM
Bad Kitty premieres at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley this weekend. Photo: Bay Area Children's Theatre.

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, January 22

  • Breakfast with Enzo
    Sports Basement, San Francisco Presidio
    Friday, 10 & 11 am

    Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, Jew's harp, enzotar, appalachian dulcimer, slide flute, percussion and more. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $7 per person; siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • Katia & Company presents: Please Be Seated
    The Playhouse San Anselmo
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Featuring a cast of talented local kids, follows the misadventures of a group of 5th through 8th graders who try to put on their own production of Cinderella. Featuring diva actors, a stressed-out director, and incompetent stagehands—everything that can go wrong, does! Tickets: $15 for adults and $10 for students 12 and under. (Make sure you mention Marin Mommies at the door for your free ticket! One free ticket per family.) Doors open 20 minutes before the show. No children under 3 years old, please. Location: 27 Kensington Road in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 23

  • Family Bird Walk at Olompali
    Olompoli State Historic Park, Novato
    Saturday, 8:30 am–noon

    Celebrate the season with the birds of Olompali. Beginning and experienced birders are invited to join leaders Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle of Yellowbilled Tours to view Olompali's diverse avian residents as we walk the ranch road past the park's reservoir. Perfect for the family. Cost: $8 per car; event is free. Location: new park entrance from Atherton Avenue/Redwood Boulevard in Novato. For more info, call (707) 762-9715 or visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Waffles aren’t just for breakfast—you can eat them from morning ’til night! Join us as we prepare waffles for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND dessert. Suitable for ages 5-13. Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Montessori de Terra Linda Open House
    San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am

    Tour the campus, get an overview of our program, and hear passionate presentations from faculty about the Montessori curriculum. Please call to RSVP at (415) 479-7373 x112.  Adults only, please. More information
  • The Mountain School Open HOuse
    Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Bring the whole family to visit the preschool classrooms, meet the teachers, and chat with Mountain School parents. Refreshments will be served! RSVP to info@marinmountainschool.org or call (415) 924-4661
  • Cascade Canyon School Open House
    Fairfax
    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Meet the teachers and learn more about Cascade Canyon School this January. RSVP at (415) 448-5125 or cascade@cascadecanyon.org. More information
  • "Your Favorites" Special Storytime Activity
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Join us for a special storytime to celebrate the top picture books picked by Novato families! Come experience these stories and listen, read and play with the books you love. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, call (415) 473-2050 or visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Ice Age Mammal Masks
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
    Before humans came to the Presidio, large mammals lived here! These ice age ani?mals included Sabertooth Cats, Columbian Mammoths, and Dire Wolves. With your own masks, these ancient creatures can once more been seen in the Presidio. Drop-in anytime between 11 am–4 pm. Free. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents Bad Kitty On Stage!
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    Straight from the pages of the wildly popular Bad Kitty comic book series, here she sprawls, in solitary splendor, until one day … (loud hissing) PUPPY! Uh oh.  And then … (hair on back standing on end) MOUSE! And then … well, let’s just say life gets complicated.  A world premiere. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $22 adults, $18 children, $20 seniors, $13 groups (10 or more). Location: 2020 Addison Street Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 524-2941 or visit their website.
  • Creek Walk to See Spawning Coho Salmon
    Samuel P Taylor Park, San Geronimo
    Saturday, 11 am–1 pm
    With the first hard rains in the watershed comes the beginning of spawning season for Coho salmon. SPAWN-trained naturalists lead creek walks to explore the majesty of the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Tour will meet at the front Kiosk of Camp Taylor and embark on a journey to multiple creek sites in search of some of these critically endangered salmon. Tours are open to all ages and abilities. Cost: $10 per person donation requested. Register here.
  • Octopalooza!
    Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11:30 am–2:30 pm

    At Aquarium of the Bay, we celebrate cephalopods of the world through an entire week of fun activities, crafts, and presentations! Join us as we bring some of these engaging activities to the Bay Model for this octo-tastic event. We’ll experiment with market squid dissections using squids from the sustainable seafood we feed our animals at Aquarium of the Bay. Plus, we’ll have an “octopus course” with fun challenges to find the inner cephalopod in all of us! Location: 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Imagination Players present: Narnia
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm

    Berkeley Playhouse presents Narnia. Performed by students in Berkeley Playhouse’s educational program, the Imagination Players. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2640 College Avenue Berkeley. Find more info here.
  • Moms Matinee: Gem of the Ocean
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 2 pm

    Moms Matinees at Marin Theatre Company feature onsite childcare at no additional cost, in partnership with UrbanSitter. Babysitters will be onsite beginning at 1 pm. Let the box office know if you'll need a babysitter when you book your tickets. This Saturday: August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. Location: 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Montessori de Terra Linda Open House, Saturday, January 23

January 21, 2016

Montessori de Terra LindaMarin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from Montessori de Terra Linda.

OPEN HOUSE 10 am-noon this Saturday, January 23, 2016. RSVP to admissions@mdtl.org or call 415.479.7373 x 112.

Montessori de Terra Linda is an AMI recognized independent school in Marin County serving children from preschool through elementary. Explore our brand new classroom building and natural playscape. Join our teachers and learn how the Montessori curriculum meets a child’s developmental needs at each program level, and how they foster the excitement of discovery in the classroom.

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