Celebrate Your Child's Birthday with the Princesses of Marin's Once Upon a Song

March 23, 2015

Once upon a songNeed a princess for your child's next birthday party or other special event? Consider Marin's own Once-Upon-a-Song, a group of extraordinary young actors from Terra Linda High School who perform as favorite Disney characters for families all over the San Francisco Bay Area.

Started by San Rafael drama student Eden Ferguson, Once-Upon-a-Song features beloved characters like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, a Handsome Prince, the Little Mermaid, and others. We asked Eden a few questions about her and her business.

For more information on Once-Upon-a-Song and to see a list of characters and available party packages, visit their website at www.once-upon-a-song.com. You can also check out their Facebook page.

Who are you and what's you're background?

My name is Eden Ferguson and I am the owner and a performer at Once-Upon-a-Song. I'm 16 years old and I go to Terra Linda High School.

How did Once Upon a Song come about?

I started Once-Upon-a-Song 2 years ago. My dad was in line at the bank one day and there was a woman in front of him talking on the phone with her little girl who's birthday was that weekend. Her daughter wanted Snow White to come to her birthday party, but her mom told her that since the party was the next day, she didn't think

Delicious Chicken, Preserved Lemon, and Green Olive Tagine

March 23, 2015

Chicken, Preserved Lemon, and Green Olive TagineI love to make different kinds of ethnic foods, and when I saw that Trader Joe's had jars of preserved lemons from North Africa on their shelves, I knew I had to make a Moroccan dish for dinner. Morocco food is full of spices but not "spicy", and combines North African and Middle Eastern flavors with influences from nearby France and Spain.

I settled on a traditional tagine of chicken, preserved lemon, and green olives. Rich with spices like cumin, saffron, and cinnamon, this stew-like dish is named after the earthenware vessel in which it's usually cooked. We don't own one, so I used a cast iron Dutch oven which works just fine for the recipe. There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, although a lot of them are the the spices, which you can combine together in a small bowl and then just add at once, so don't be intimidated.

Serve this tagine with plenty of couscous or flatbread so soak up the delicious sauce. It keeps and reheats well, too. The kids really liked this and cleaned their plates (although my daughter declared that the couscous was the best part).


  • 1 chicken, cut into eight pieces, or four whole bone-in, skin-on, chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced

Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at Falkirk

March 23, 2015

Mad hatter's tea partyGet your tickets for the Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, 2015. There will be two tea party sittings, at noon and 3 pm each day.

Join Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse for this Wonderland tea party, complete with tea sandwiches, beverages, and dessert. The company of characters in original costumes, from the Stark Ravens Historical Players, will entertain and make the little ones giggle and dream as they sip their “tea”. Falkirk’s beautiful and elegant Victorian setting is the perfect place for this spring tea party.

The cost is $27.50 for adults and $22.50 for children, which includes all the food you can eat and a goodie bag for each child. Bring your camera for great photos! Reservations are required; call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

Teaching Children the Value of Money with Wells Fargo and Speak to Me

March 21, 2015

Speak to Me Wells Fargo Event Having a problem convincing your children that money really doesn't grow on trees? Wonder how to instill a sense of value and respect for a dollar well-earned in your youngsters? Join Speak To Me and Wells Fargo for this special co-sponsored presentation about money and your children.

Learn fun tricks and practical tips (that really work!) to teach your children, at every age, the value of a dollar, and why earning and saving is so important (even when you're five!).

This workshop takes place on Thursday, March 26, 2015, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Wells Fargo San Rafael Main Store, 1203 4th Street, 2nd Floor. This event is free and is filling up fast! Email BayAreaRegionMarketing@wellsfargo.com to RSVP. Lunch will be served.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for March 20, 21 & 22

March 21, 2015
Spring Fling family goat feeding at slide ranch
Spend a day at Slide Ranch in Muir Beach during their Family Farm Day this Saturday.

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 throughout the Bay Area in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, March 20

  • SF Flower & Garden Show
    San Mateo Event Center
    Friday and Saturday, 10 am–7 pm & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show is one of the largest of its kind: a world-class flower and garden show for today's gardener. Hands-on children’s activities include designing, planting, and nurturing a small container garden. Tickets starting at $22; kids 16 and under free. For more information, visit their website.
  • Marin Primary & Middle School Presents: Tik-Tok of Oz
    Showcase Theater, Marin Center
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7 pm & Sunday, 1 pm

    Tik Tok of Oz is a musical performed by the talented middle school students of Marin Primary and Middle School and adapted for the stage by the school’s drama director, Charlie Queary. Cost: $18, $12 8th grade and under. For more info and tickets, visit their website.
  • Wizard of Oz
    San Marin High School, Emily Gates Student Center
    Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm

    The San Marin High School Music Department presents The Wizard of Oz, a delightful musical suitable for children and adults. Doors open at 7 pm and 1:30 pm. Tickets: adults $15 and child $10. Purchase tickets online here. Location: 15 San Marin Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mary Poppins: The Musical
    San Rafael Community Center
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 1 pm & 5 and Sunday, 3 pm

    Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones she has a profound effect upon. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it." and all irreverent fun for everyone! Tickets: $20. Location: 618 B Street, San Rafael. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, March 21

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

    Families welcome to join leaders Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle of Yellowbilled Tours to view Olompali's diverse avian residents as we walk the old ranch road past the park's reservoir. Expect to see some migrating species as well as species who thrive in the park's oak savanna and open grasslands: raptors, warblers, nuthatches, thrushes and—of course—many woodpeckers. Meet in the Olompali parking lot at 8:30 am. Wear layered clothing and bring binoculars, lunch, plenty of water, and a birding field guide if you have one. Free; $8 per car parking fee. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family BikeAbout
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday, 8:30–10 am

    Families can bring their bicycles to the Zoo for this informative one- and one-half hour, docent-led cycling tour. It’s great to be in the Zoo ahead of the crowds and watch the animals start their day. Registration includes parking and Zoo admission. Participants must bring a bicycle; the SF Zoo does not provide bicycles to rent. Cost: SFZS Members: $18 per peddler and Non-Members: $23 per peddler. Children piggy-backing on their parents' bikes are free. Pre-register here. Location: 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 753-7080 or visit their website.

Splash, Play, and Learn at the Rolling Hills Club Summer Camps

March 20, 2015

Rolling Hills Club Summer CampStill looking for a fun camp for your kids this summer? Novato's Rolling Hills Club has been a favorite spot for summer fun for many Marin families for decades, and this season the club offers a full program of exciting and active summer camps for kids ranging in age from 3 to 13.

Nestled at the foot of Mt. Burdell, the club's seven-acre campus features two outdoor swimming pools, 12 tennis courts, two racquetball courts, an outdoor sports court, an outdoor playground, grassy fields for outdoor play, and more—making it the ideal place for the perfect summer experience. Summer camps at Rolling Hills Club for 2015 include:

  • Sports & Splash Camp for ages 5–12, features fun weekly themes like "Alice in Wonderland", "Fantastical Beasts", and "Night at the Museum". Campers will be divided by age into Rookies (5), All Stars (ages 6 and 7), and Pros (ages 8 and 9), and will play basketball, tennis, soccer, and wild and wacky games. Of course swimming, in the form of free swim or group lessons, is offered every day, too. Campers receive a T-shirt, as well as healthy snacks and lunch each day. Weekly sessions run from June 15–August 14, Monday–Friday, 9 am–4 pm. $320 members/$370 guests per week, or $70/$80 per day for drop-in.

Celebrate Spring with these Fun Family Outings

March 19, 2015

Japanese Tea GardenSpring officially begins this Friday, March 20 (although it seems like it's been here for a few weeks already). Daylight saving time is here, the weather is getting warmer, wildflowers are in bloom, and there are plenty of fun things for families to do. Here are some of our favorite springtime family events and outings in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area. What's your family's favorite spring event?

Six Spectacular Spring Hikes for Families in Marin

March 17, 2015

Ring Mountain Wildflowers

Spring in California is spectacular, with an abundance of wildflowers, seasonal waterfalls (if it rains, of course), and wildlife. Before the summer heat bakes the new green hillside grass brown, get the family out on the trail at one of these great Marin hiking spots.

These hikes are perfect for a family outing at almost any time of year, but are especially nice during the spring. All the trails mentioned here are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, too.

Join the Southern Marin Mothers' Club at the Community Counts Party

March 17, 2015

SMMC Community Counts PartyIf you ever thought about joining the Southern Marin Mothers' Club, now is the time! The Southern Marin Mothers' Club (SMMC) is a non-profit organization with over 1,500 members from all over Marin. It's a great way to connect with other parents, learn through educational events, and find playgroups for your kids.

Join SMMC for an exciting parents' night out at their second annual Community Counts Partner Party on Tuesday March 24, from 6–8:30 pm at the Mill Valley Community Center. Mingle with friends and enjoy wine from wineries including Artesa and Bix; appetizers and refreshments from Grilly's Tiburon Grill, Pasta Pomodoro, and others; dessert from Nothing Bundt Cakes; prizes; and tons of freebies from over 40 SMMC Community Counts Partners. Complimentary on-site babysitting will even be provided by UrbanSitter!

The event is free and exclusive to SMMC members and their partners, but if you'd like to attend, you can sign up to become a member at the door. You can also join SMMC online at www.southernmarinmoms.com. This event is a great introduction to all SMMC has to offer, so if you were thinking of becoming a member, now is a great time. Come to this event, meet some new friends, and see how much fun membership with SMMC is!

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