For families with young children, the ritual of watching4th of July fireworks can be a little inconvenient. Babies and toddlers are often scared of the noise (if you're close enough to hear), the summer sunset at around 9 pm means most kids are up way past their bedtime. It's even worse if you decide to wake them out of a deep sleep in time to see the fireworks (trust me, I've been there). Nothing's quite as crabby and grumpy as an overtired child, no matter how great the fireworks are.
With this in mind, we've sought out places to watch the fantastic fireworks display at the Marin County Fair that don't involve leaving the car, so the little ones can doze in peace. Obviously you can just pay your $17 and go to the fair, but again, if you've got two sleeping children in the car, this isn't going to work. Neither is driving over near the fair—it's hard to see anything from the area along Civic Center Drive, and the resulting post-fireworks gridlock around the fairgrounds is pretty miserable.
On a friend's suggestion, we checked out a fireworks viewing spot up at the Unitarian Universalist Church parking lot, which is on Channing Way off Professional Center Parkway in Terra Linda. It's potetentially ideal, situated on a hill that overlooks the Marin County Fairgrounds. This wasn't bad, but the number of places where you could actually see anything was pretty limited and it became obvious that we weren't the only people there to see the fireworks—it's a pretty popular spot. Those people who could find a spot where they could see through the trees were treated to a spectacular view, though.
Celebrate Independence Day the Marin County way! Communities across the Marin observe the 4th of July in their own unique ways. Here’s what’s going on in your community on Monday, July 4. We will be updating the list as we learn of new events, so please check back. Please keep in mind that event details can change without notice, so please check the event links or call before attending.
The Corte Madera-Larkspur festivities celebrate start off with at the 64th Annual Independence Day Pancake Breakfast—with pancakes, sausages, fruit, coffee, orange juice, and milk—at Larkspur's American Legion Twin Cities Post 313 at 500 Magnolia Avenue. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, with famous 1928 recipe gin fizzes and the Post 313 Renowned Mimosa for $5 each. Breakfast is from 8–11 am; flag raising ceremony at 7:45 am. Info: call (415) 924-6283 or www.americanlegion313.org
Who's ready for the fair?! The 75th annual Marin County Fair opens on Thursday, June 30, at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael, near the Marin Civic Center. This year's Marin County Fair theme is "What a Ride!"
This year, the Fair celebrates Marin County and all of its colorful traditions and innovations and highlights what residents love most about their local fair, like thrilling rides, popular concerts, farm animals, family activities, amazing exhibis, and a spectacular nightly fireworks display. This year's theme also echoes Hunter S. Thompson's quote “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming Wow! What a Ride!”
Your kids can show off their patriotic pride this 4th of July with one of these baker's clay jewelry pieces that they made themselves (with an adult's supervision, of course). They're easy to make, and the basic baker's clay recipe can be used for all sorts of crafts throughout the year.
Who doesn't love a sweet, refreshing, frozen treat during the summertime? Make it a little more healthy with sweet fresh strawberries and tangy Greek yogurt. You don't even need an ice cream maker to make this dessert.
It's fantastic scooped into a cone or frozen into ice pop molds—whatever tickles your fancy this summer. My kids and I made this sorbet with fresh strawberries that we picked up at the farmers market.
While our recipe calls for strawberries, you can use whatever fresh berries you happen to have. Frozen berries work perfectly well, too, so you can make this at any time of year. You can also feel free to substitute low-fat yogurt, but do try to use extra thick Greek yogurt; it makes a difference.
During late spring and early summer, I'm always on the lookout for recipes that use fresh local strawberries, which my whole family loves, but then who doesn't? I came across this recipe in Family Fun magazine and it sounded fantastic, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's really easy to make, and it's light and delicious.
With its red berries and powdered sugar, it looks amazing, too, and has a certain patriotic flair. I think I'll even make it to take to the annual 4th of July party we go to.
Note that I changed the cooking time from the original recipe to 30 to 35 minutes as the cake was done well before the indicated 45 to 50 minute baking time.
Marin Mommies is happy to present another great guest article by Marin mom and financial planner Katy Song, CFP®.
Independence Day brings all things red, white and blue, parades, barbeques and most importantly… a day off from work! While I love the work I do, it is always nice to have an extra day off and enjoy the energy of July 4th. As most of us learned in grade school, Independence Day commemorates the day we declared our independence from Great Britain with the goal of creating the “land of the free”. This got me thinking about the meaning of financial freedom and how to achieve it.
Whether you have a huge investment portfolio or are in debt, most people claim to want “financial freedom” in their lives. I certainly do!
My definition of financial freedom has two parts. First, it means knowing my overall financial position and the impact of all my financial decisions on reaching my goals. These goals range from having a sufficient emergency fund and saving for a month in France next summer to having money for my children’s education and affording a comfortable retirement. Second, it is the ability to work for myself (not being tied to a 9-5 job), and thus spending lots of quality time with my family.
It’s time again for the Marin County Fair at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael. This theme for this 64th fair is "Cool Green Fun." Highlights include a solar powered carousel and stage, the Big Green Magic Show by Steve Trash, science fun and education with Wizard's Challenge, recycled arts and crafts, an electric car display, and more!
Of course there are also the more traditional fair offerings like farm animals and Hambone Express pig racing in the barnyard, 28 free (with fair admission) carnival rides, the 20th annual Creatures and Models exhibit, concerts, fine arts, and of course the nightly fireworks display.
This year's Marin County Fair runs from Wednesday, July 1 through Sunday, July 5, 11 am to 11 pm daily.
Happy 4th of July! Here's a another great kid-friendly recipe from What's Cooking's Michelle Stern, perfect for your Independence Day barbecue or any other day, for that matter. What's Cooking offers cooking classes, parties, and gifts for children and families. Visit What's Cooking at www.whatscooking.info.
BBQ Drumsticks with Brown-Sugar Sauce
My husband is my best critic in the kitchen - he loves bold flavors and raved about this sauce. We used Trader Joe's organic ketchup which doesn't include any high fructose corn syrup--I think it made all the difference.
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs cider vinegar
3 pounds chicken legs
salt and pepper to taste