Events and Outings

Marin Weekend Family Fun for October 6, 7 & 8

October 6, 2017

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.

Halloween pumpkin patches in Marin and Sonoma counties are now open—see our list here.

Friday, October 7

  • Fleet Week 2017
    Marina Green, San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, various times

    Fleet week returns to San Francisco, along with the Blue Angels, who will perform over San Francisco Bay on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 pm. Fleet Week also includes a parade of ships (Friday, noon–1 pm), ship tours, band concerts, and more. Free admission; airshow bleacher seat tickets at Marina Green $55–$75. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
    Various Locations
    Friday–Sunday, various times

    The 40th annual Mill Valley Film Festival features a variety of fantastic family films from around the world. Location: various theaters within Marin. For a complete listing of films, visit their website here.
  • Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch
    Santa Rosa
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am

    Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch offers eight acres of pumpkins, a huge seven-acre corn maze, kiddy corn mazes, hay and sunflower mazes, jack-o-lantern tether ball, tire swings, a 10-bale-high hay pyramid, a huge jumpy pillow, pedal trike races, a corn play box, a petting zoo, face painting, and more. Location: 5157 Stony Point Road (at Rohnert Park Expressway). For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also offers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Activities are free and so is the parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Nicasio
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a wide variety of certified organic pumpkins spread out in an expansive meadow on the farm. Kids activities: jumpy houses, inflatable slide, hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, farm animals to visit, a climbing wall, and face painting. Some of these attractions have an admission fee, and some are available only on weekends and select days. Shaded seating area with picnic tables, so you can relax and take in the scenery, listen to some great live music, and even eat lunch. If you arrive hungry, Big Jim's BBQ is on hand on weekends. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Location: 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio. Read our review here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. Some of these attractions have an admission fee. For more info, visit their website.
  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
    Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
    Friday noon–7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–7 pm

    This free annual music festival of bluegrass, old time, country, and more, founded by the late Warren Hellman, takes place in Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow and Marx and Lindley Meadows. This year's headliners include Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Buddy Miller's Cavalcade of Stars and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Petaluma
    Friday 1–9 pm, Saturday, 10 am–9 pm, Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, and u-pick squash, and the new Haunted Forest, as well as a farm store and a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. Read our review here.
  • Special Children's Event: Author Patricia Polacco
    Book Passage, Corte Madera
    Friday, 6–7:30 pm
    Remembering Vera begins in 1962 when a stray dog was found under a pile of boxes in a Coast Guard warehouse in what used to be called Government Island. Patricia Polacco is the creator of many beloved children’s books. Location: 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • College of Marin Drama Department presents: The Little Prince
    James Dunn Theatre, Kentfield
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 2 & 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm
    Perfect for all ages! Bring the family to see The College of Marin Drama Department's, The Little Prince. Young and old alike will love this heartwarming, classic tale by Antoine de St. Exupéry.  Journey alongside the Little Prince through the desert and outer space, while he encounters marvelous celestial beings!  Don’t miss this delightful story that encourages audiences of all ages to rediscover their dreams and the wonders that are all around them! Pay-What-You-Will Preview performance is on Friday, October 6, 2017. Tickets: $20 General; $15 Seniors; $10 COM Students, Employees, Alumni, Retirees, and Youth. Purchase tickets here.
  • Movies in the Park: Disney's Moana
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Friday, at dusk

    Bring the entire family to see Disney's Moana. Please bring your blankets, low beach chairs, flashlights and picnics.For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, October 8

  • Free Access to All Parks
    Marin County Parks
    Saturday, All Day

    Marin County Parks is offering free access to all parks on the first Saturday of the month all year long! Includes Black Point Boat Launch, McInnis Park, McNears Beach Park, Miller Boat Launch, Paradise Beach Park, and Stafford Lake Park. For more info, visit their website.
  • Fall Toddler Day
    Slide Ranch, Muir Beach
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    A popular day at the farm for families with toddlers and babies! Enjoy milking a goat, holding a warm, freshly-laid chicken egg, and hearing the baa of our sheep, as we use all of our senses to explore the farm during this family-friendly farm day. $25 per person; children 23 months and under are free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Fall City Wide Yard Sale
    MLK Parking Lot in Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm
    The Fall City Wide Yard Sale is free to the public, and with over 90 booths to check out this is a great event for all bargain hunters and window shoppers alike! Held at MLK Parking Lot and Basketball Courts. Location: 610 Coloma Street, Sausalito. Free.  For more info, visit their website.
  • Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch
    Santa Rosa
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am

    Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch offers eight acres of pumpkins, a huge seven-acre corn maze, kiddy corn mazes, hay and sunflower mazes, jack-o-lantern tether ball, tire swings, a 10-bale-high hay pyramid, a huge jumpy pillow, pedal trike races, a corn play box, a petting zoo, face painting, and more. Location: 5157 Stony Point Road (at Rohnert Park Expressway). For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also offers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Activities are free and so is the parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Nicasio
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a wide variety of certified organic pumpkins spread out in an expansive meadow on the farm. Kids activities: jumpy houses, inflatable slide, hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, farm animals to visit, a climbing wall, and face painting. Some of these attractions have an admission fee, and some are available only on weekends and select days. Shaded seating area with picnic tables, so you can relax and take in the scenery, listen to some great live music, and even eat lunch. If you arrive hungry, Big Jim's BBQ is on hand on weekends. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Location: 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio. Read our review here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. Some of these attractions have an admission fee. For more info, visit their website.
  • Yoga in the Park
    McNears Beach Park, San Rafael

    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    This fun-filled, dynamic event offers a great way to get active while giving to a wonderful park, and giving to yourself! We’ll begin with service projects that will focus on beach clean-up, landscape maintenance, and habitat restoration. At noon we’ll switch gears and enjoy a 45 minute yoga class on a flat, grassy area beside the bay. The class will be led by professional yoga teacher Daniel Rauck and will be suitable for all ages and ability levels. A free, healthy lunch will be provided by Mi Familia at 1pm. All ages are welcome; anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Location: 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Haunted House Decorating
    Williams Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Bring the kids to make a haunted house. In this class you’ll assemble a spooky gingerbread mansion and decorate it as you please. Then you can take your bewitching creation home and show it off for Halloween. Cost: $30 per child, includes haunted house kit. Suitable for ages 8-13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • ZOOtoberFest
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Fun for the entire family. Enjoy “Harvest Hallow”, San Francisco’s largest hay maze, a bounce house, challenge your friends to a friendly game of ring toss and use our festive Harvest Hallow setting for photo ops – all free with paid admission to San Francisco Zoo & Gardens! Enjoy “Zoo Brew Haus” for a great selection of brews, and cooking a full smorgasbord of German-inspired dishes. Don't miss the sounds of a live band playing traditional European polka music. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Teddy Bears' Picnic
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Saturday, 10 am and Sunday, 10 am & 11:15 am
    Bring your own Bear, if you'd like, and join our Teddy Bear as she packs a picnic and scampers off for an adventure in the forest. We will explore the foods that every bear loves, learn what grows in the forest, and play some wonderful games. For children 6 months to 3 years. Tickets $15; free for under 6 months. Location: 699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland. For more info, visit their website.

The Novato Fire District Open House this Sunday

October 3, 2017

Novato Fire District Open HouseWhat child doesn't love fire trucks and firefighters? Get your fire station fix when the Novato Fire District holds its yearly open house at all Novato Fire Stations this Sunday, October 8, 2017, from 10 am to 1 pm. Bring the kids to meet the firefighters and personnel and to learn about fire safety and what they do to support the community.

Make sure you bring your camera for photos with the firefighters. My kids have always had a blast sitting in the fire trucks and going on a tour of the fire stations. The Novato fire stations can be found at the following locations:

  • Station 61: 7025 Redwood Boulevard
  • Station 62: 450 Atherton Avenue
  • Station 63: 65 San Ramon Way
  • Station 64: 319 Enfrente Drive
  • Station 65: 5 Bolling Drive

For more info, go to www.novatofire.org.

25 Inexpensive (or Free) Things to Do for Families in October

October 2, 2017

Pumpkin Patch FunVisit a pumpkin patch for farm fun with the kiddos this October.

It's already October, and you don't have to break the bank to have a great time this fall with the kiddos! Here are 25 great ideas for great affordable activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area in October, all of which are free or really inexpensive. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. Visit a local pumpkin patch for fall family fun.
  2. Visit the Legion of Honor in San Francisco for free on the first Tuesday of the month, October 3, 9:30 am–5:15 pm

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 29–October 1

October 1, 2017

Pumpkin Patch Party Nicasio Valley Farms

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.

Most Halloween pumpkin patches in Marin and Sonoma counties open this weekend—see our complete list here.

Friday, September 29

  • Opening Day: Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch
    Santa Rosa
    Friday & Saturday, 9 am–10 pm and Sunday, 9 am–8 pm

    Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch offers eight acres of pumpkins, a huge seven-acre corn maze, kiddy corn mazes, hay and sunflower mazes, jack-o-lantern tether ball, tire swings, a 10-bale-high hay pyramid, a huge jumpy pillow, pedal trike races, a corn play box, a petting zoo, face painting, children's entertainers, pony rides (weekends only), hay rides, yummy treats and food, birthday parties and more. Location: 5157 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • New Exhibit: Measurement Rules
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Friday, 9 am–4 pm, Saturday, 10 am–5 pm and Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    Going beyond traditional measuring tapes and vessels, Measurement Rules is an interactive exhibit that uses new units such as apples and pennies to measure height and brings measurement to life with balancing scales, odometers, 3-D imaging, foot rulers, and more.
    Museum admission applies. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Teddy Bears' Picnic
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Friday, 10 am, Saturday & Sunday, 10 & 11:15 am
    Bring your own Bear, if you'd like, and join our Teddy Bear as she packs a picnic and scampers off for an adventure in the forest. We will explore the foods that every bear loves, learn what grows in the forest, and play some wonderful games. For children 6 months to 3 years. Tickets $15; free for under 6 months. Location: 699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland. For more info, visit their website.
  • Opening Day: Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sausalito Story Time with Carson
    Book Passage, Sausalito
    Friday, 11 am

    Please join us Fridays at 11 am for our new weekly Book Passage Sausalito story time. Carson, our bookseller, will read new and classic picture books sure to engage and delight. Storytime is perfect for five-and-unders and their parents. Location: 100 Bay Street, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Petaluma
    Friday 1–9 pm, Saturday, 10 am–9 pm, Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, and u-pick squash, and the new haunted forest, as well as a farm store and a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. Read our review here.
  • Design Paper Circuits
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 4–5 pm

    Paper Circuitry Friday in the Council Chambers Grades 5 and up—Sign up recommended Explore design and learn how to run electric current through a piece of paper. Call 415-258-4656 to sign up.  Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main: Firefighter's Diamond Jubilee
    Downtown Tibruon
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Bring the entire family for a night of fun. The Tiburon Fire Protection District celebrates its Diamond Jubilee year with a dance party extravaganza! Wonder Bread 5 will have us laughing, singing and dancing in the street as the fire district celebrates 75 years of exceptional service. Great activities for kids, including a whale scavenger hunt, will be offered. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 30

  • Vintage Car Races
    Sonoma Raceway

    Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 am–5:30 am
    Vintage race cars from the '50s through the '70s compete at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. Visit the paddock to look at cars and talk to the drivers. It's like a museum on wheels! Adults $12 advance $25 day-of, children free. Sonoma Raceway is located at Highway 37 and 121 between Sonoma and Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Day 2017
    Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito
    Saturday, 10 am–2 pm

    Celebrate the Bay at the Bay Model, where partners will be hosting various family-friendly activities to help everyone appreciate the Bay and learn how to protect this vital local resource. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • ZOOtoberfest 2017
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Every weekend in October, go on an adventure in “Harvest Hallow” for access to new and exciting attractions. Navigate through San Francisco’s largest hay maze, a 5,000-square-foot structure made from 600 bales of straw and incorporates play areas within the design. Live Music Performances from 11:00 pm to 3:00 pm Free with paid admission to San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!  Location: For more info, visit their website.
  • Moon Festival
    Oakland Zoo
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    Come celebrate the Moon Festival at Oakland Zoo. This special day will be one your family is sure to enjoy with Asian-inspired festivities, live music, special animal encounters, and plenty of activities for the kids including face painting, arts, crafts and enrichment-making stations for the Asian Sun Bears. The Adventure Landing rides area will feature Lion Dances and martial arts demonstrations too! Free after zoo admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Little Folkies Family Band
    Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    The Little Folkies Family Band is back in concert at Sweetwater Music Hall! Led by Little Folkies creator Irena Eide, this concert will feature stand-up Bass player Danny Vitali and mandolin/fiddle extraordinaire Andrew Fahlander. They will perform Little Folkies original songs and a sweet collection of old traditional folk songs for children. Tickets: $17 adults, $12 kids 13 and under advance, $22/$17 day of. For more info, visit their website.
  • Youth Pie Baking Contest
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    Meet us at the Farmer's Market for a pie-filled Saturday! First up at 10:30, a pie making demo, followed by the 7th annual Pie Baking Contest! Bring your best pie to the big tent Farmer's Market tent by 10am the morning of September 30. Separate category for kids under 14. Location: At farmers market, Larkspur Landing. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am and 1:30 pm

    Straight from a hit run in New York, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show will delight you with a magical stage rendition of Eric Carle’s beloved stories about sea horses, fireflies, and, of course, that lovable lepidoptera himself, brought to life in vibrant color with puppets galore! Recommended for age 3 and up, this performance runs 65 minutes with no intermission. Tickets: adults $26, child (2–14) $20 and senior $24. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • SF-Marin Food Bank Benefit: Children's Author, Todd Parr
    Book Passage, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 11 am

    Come celebrate the release of Todd Parr’s latest book, Love the World, and help feed your neighbors in need at the same time.  Todd has decided to turn his launch party at Book Passage in Mill Valley into a fundraiser for his new friends at the SF-Marin Food Bank. Location: 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Cardboard Critters
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend!
     October 4 is World Animal Day! Come celebrate and learn about some animals who live in the Presidio by making your own cardboard critter! Registration not required, but preferred. For more info, visit their website.
  • Young Performers Theatre: Sleeping Beauty
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 2 & 4:30 pm & Sunday, 11 am & 2:30 pm
    This is a play telling the age-old story of the lovely princess who was cursed on the day of her celebration by an uninvited wicked fairy. The fairy prophesied that on her 16th birthday the princess should prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep.This classic fairytale is performed by kids for kids and is suitable for all ages! . Tickets: $12. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family STEM Saturdays: Kinetic Sand!
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 2:30–4:30 pm
    Kinetic sand is fun to play with but is also great for developing fine motor skills, creative thinking and pre-writing skills. It can also promote calm! Encourage hands on science explorations with activities that build a foundation for understanding physical properties, mathematics, and engineering principles. Come experiment, build, and create. All ages welcome. All ages welcome. Admission applies. Location: 2065 Kittredge St, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film in the Fog: The Iron Giant
    Presidio Main Post, San Francisco
    Saturday, 5:30–9 pm

    Grab the kiddos, a blanket and enjoy a fun, free outdoor movie under the stars. Free activities will be available and food trucks will be on hand. For more info, visit their website.

The Blue Angels Return to San Francisco for Fleet Week 2017!

September 26, 2017

Blue Angels perform in San Francisco for Fleet WeekU.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jen Blake.

Come and celebrate the men and women who serve in our country’s Navy and Marine Corps at San Francisco Fleet Week 2017. Fleet Week features a variety of events, including a parade of ships, an air show, live music, ship tours, and of course exciting performances by the Navy’s popular Blue Angels precision flying team.

Free Family Fun at Novato's Sundays on Sherman

September 23, 2017

Sundays on Sherman Downtown Novato

Sundays on Sherman takes place again this Sunday, September 24, from 11 am to 3 pm on Sherman Avenue and the Civic Green in downtown Novato. This free family event will feature fun activities for all ages, including train rides, inflatables, sidewalk art, jump rope challenges, water balloon archery, scooters, sensory bins, adult coloring groups, live music, bubbles, toddler sports, fitness challenges by Novato Police Department, children’s percussion station provided by Music Together, giveaways provided by Whole Foods, and much more!

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 22–24

September 22, 2017


Celebrate fall at Blackie's Hay Day, on Saturday at Blackie's Pasture in Tiburon

Try one of our 5 fantastic fall Marin hikes with your family this weekend!

Friday, September 22

  • 53rd Annual Fall Big Book Sale
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Friday and Saturday, 10 am–6 pm

    The annual Friends of the San Francisco Public Libary Big Book Sale features over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories. Everything is $3 or less. All items remaining on Sunday are $1. Location: Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Teddy Bears' Picnic
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Friday, 10 am, Saturday & Sunday, 10 & 11:15 am
    Bring your own Bear, if you'd like, and join our Teddy Bear as she packs a picnic and scampers off for an adventure in the forest. We will explore the foods that every bear loves, learn what grows in the forest, and play some wonderful games. For children 6 months to 3 years. Tickets $15; free for under 6 months. Location: 699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland. 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.
  • Sausalito Story Time with Carson
    Book Passage, Sausalito
    Friday, 11 am

    Please join us Fridays at 11 am for our new weekly Book Passage Sausalito story time. Carson, our bookseller, will read new and classic picture books sure to engage and delight. Storytime is perfect for five-and-unders and their parents. Location: 100 Bay Street, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Big Bounce House America
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 1:30–7:30 pm and Saturday & Sunday, 8 am–7:30 pm

    Get your tickets for the biggest bounce house in America. For the entire family. Cost: prices start at $5. Purchase tickets here. Location: 1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids Event: Author Jennifer Mathieu
    Cooperfields, Petaluma
    Friday, 4 pm

    Meet Jennifer Mathieu, author of the book Moxie. Vivian Carter’s mom was a Riot Grrrl in the 1990s, but now she and Viv live a pretty quiet life in a small Texas town. When Viv witnesses a series of sexist incidents at her high school, however, she takes a page from her mom’s past and makes a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. Viv is just blowing off steam, but before she knows it, she’s started a revolution. Location: 140 Kentucky Street, Downtown Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Fairfax Art Walk
    Downtown Fairfax
    Friday, 5–7:30 pm

    Come celebrate Fairfax's unique creative spirit. Artists, makers, musicians, and poets will be showcased by our vital local business community. Plus, join the scavenger hunt for a prize drawing. This event is family friendly and stamped with an "Only in Fairfax" approval rating. Visit our town recreation page to preview some of the artists participating. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
  • Campfire Program at Chicken Ranch Beach
    Inverness
    Friday, 7–9 pm

    Join rangers for an evening of fun with local lore, legends, and campfire tales. This event is ideal for all ages. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Wear comfortable athletic clothing and sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. No pets (except service animals). are allowed at this park.  Location: Meet at the Chicken Ranch Beach pullout. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 23

  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • 5th Annual Candy Palooza
    Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    The annual Candy Palooza is a free festival of all things sweet featuring free tastings, live music and free tours of the factory. Activities include arts and crafts, carnival rides and midway games, chalk art on the patio and tours of the factory. Carnival rides start at 10 am. This event is for kids of all ages. Free. Location: One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. For more info, visit their website.
  • Santa Rosa Toy and Comic Con 2017
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Saturday, 9 am–5 pm

    This year will be even bigger than previous years with more activities and dealers. Come check out everything from 200 plus toy and comic dealers to movie cars, LARPing, a video game room, panels, live wrestling from SPW, a lego free play area and a whole lot more! Tickets: $15–$25. Location: 1350 Bennett Valley Road, San Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • USTA Kids' Play Day
    Tiburon Peninsula Club
    Saturday, 9–11 am

    USTA Kids' Play Day at the Tiburon Challenger, a Pro Circuit men's professional event, is a special opportunity for children 6–12 to see a special exhibition performance, take part in fun activities and games on the court, and enjoy ice cream. USTA NorCal will have gifts for all participants, and kids and their families can stay to see qualifying matches. Participation in Kids' Play Day is free, but registration is required here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Blackie's Hay Day 2017
    Tiburon
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm
    Blackie's Hay Day has become a community tradition that families look forward to every year. Designed for children of all ages, Blackie's Hay Day is reminiscent of an old fashioned country fair with pony rides, relay races, toy tractors, jumpies, a climbing wall, live entertainment and more. General Admission $10. Children under two are free. Event website.
  • Opening Day: McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Petaluma
    Saturdays, 10 am–9:30 pm & Sundays, 10 am–6 pm
    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, pumpkin blaster, and a new haunted forest. You'll also find a farm store selling products like free-range eggs, ice cream, butter, lavender, and vegetables. The food shack serves organic hot dogs, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, snacks, and espresso drinks. School tours are available during the week. Read our review here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
    Sonoma Plaza
    Saturday 10 am–8 pm & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival is Sonoma Valley’s annual tradition of celebrating the harvest of wine grapes and the yearly crush. California’s oldest festival, this Sonoma tradition is held on the historic town square and is fun for all ages. Festivities include blessing of the grapes, reenactment of the Bear Flag Revolt, firefighters' water fight, family grape stomp, parade, kids carnival, tiny tacks race, and 5k run/walk. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Community Day
    Exploratorium, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    This Saturday the Exploratorium opens its doors to the public for free. Entry subject to capacity and not guaranteed. Location: Pier 15 on the Embarcardero, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • International Dragon Boat Festival
    Lake Merritt, Oakland
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The California Dragon Boat Association presents the 21st Annual Kaiser Permanente Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Merritt, Oakland! Cheer on the fleet of colorful 40-foot dragon boats as they race to the beat of Chinese drums. This two-day, admission-free festival brings a weekend of world-class dragon boat racing, spectacular cultural performances, delicious food, a variety of clothes and crafts vendors, and kid-friendly activities in Dragon Land where games and arts and crafts await. For more info, visit their website.
  • ZOOtoberfest 2017
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Every weekend in October, go on an adventure in “Harvest Hallow” for access to new and exciting attractions. Navigate through San Francisco’s largest hay maze, a 5,000-square-foot structure made from 600 bales of straw and incorporates play areas within the design. Live Music Performances from 11:00 pm to 3:00 pm Free with paid admission to San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!  Location: For more info, visit their website.
  • Berkeley Old Time Music Convention: Kids Concert
    Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch
    Saturday, 10:15–11 am
    Bring the kiddos for this free concert featuring Sam and Abby, from Bloomington, Indiana, They combine clogging, hambone, and soulful singing with energetic banjo playing and some unusual instruments, including musical saw and jaw harp, in a participatory show that is fun for the whole family. Location: Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch, Community Room (3rd floor), 2090 Kittredge Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am and 1:30 pm

    Straight from a hit run in New York, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show will delight you with a magical stage rendition of Eric Carle’s beloved stories about sea horses, fireflies, and, of course, that lovable lepidoptera himself, brought to life in vibrant color with puppets galore! Recommended for age 3 and up, this performance runs 65 minutes with no intermission. Tickets: adults $26, child (2–14) $20 and senior $24. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Matinee: Teodross Avery & Friends
    SF Jazz Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am

    Both fun and educational, Family Matinees provide a window into the exciting world of live jazz. Each one-hour matinee features live performance, audience participation, Q&A, and amazing music. This weekend: Saxaphonist and composer Teodross Avery. Tickets: $5–$23. Purchase tickets here.  Location: 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Peace in the Park
    Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–6 pm

    Peace in the Park Lets you explore a variety of ways to unplug and unwind while living in a fast-paced urban environment. It's an opportunity to find yourself, feel good and engage with our beautiful community in a fun, inspiring and healthy atmosphere. This free festival will feature world music, dances, tai-chi, hatha yoga, life-enchancing seminars, kids activities, peace exhibits, and meditation experiences in the exquisite Golden Gate Park Bandshell. For more info, visit their website.
  • 39th Annual Chili Cook-Off
    Dunphy Park, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11:30 am–3:30 pm

    The air at Dunphy Park will be thick with the aroma of tomatoes, beans, peppers and spices. Come experience booth after booth of delicious park-made chili. Tasting will begin at high noon. Purchase a $10 unlimited chili tasting wrist band and visit each booth to try unique and original chili. Tasters will help decide the winners by casting their bean vote. Location: 1600 Bridgeway, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Young Performers Theatre: Sleeping Beauty
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 3:30 pm
    This is a play telling the age-old story of the lovely princess who was cursed on the day of her celebration by an uninvited wicked fairy. The fairy prophesied that on her 16th birthday the princess should prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep.This classic fairytale is performed by kids for kids and is suitable for all ages! . Tickets: $12. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley Oktoberfest
    Mill Valley
    Saturday, 3–9 pm
    Enjoy German music, beer, and food, as well as free family rides and games. Tickets: $15, $10 ages 1–10. Event website.
  • Astronomy Viewing Night
    Mount Burdell, Novato
    Saturday, 7:30–9:30 pm

    Bring the whole family out for an evening under the stars on Mount Burdell. Look at the planets and night sky through a telescope, or bring a blanket to sit on and enjoy the view. This event is ideal for all ages. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring binoculars or a telescope, flashlight, blankets, water, snacks, and star charts. Friendly dogs are welcome, but must be leashed. Location: Meet at the gate on San Andreas Drive in Novato. For more info, visit their website.

Celebrate Fall in Tiburon with Blackie's Hay Day

September 21, 2017

Bring your family to come celebrate fall this Saturday, September 23, from 10 am to 4 pm at Blackie's Hay Day. This annual fundraiser and community tradition is reminiscent of an old-fashioned country fair and helps raise money for children's and teen programs at the Belvedere-Tiburon Library.

Pumpkin Patches Further Afield

September 19, 2017

Pumpkin Patch

While there are plenty of awesome pumpkin patches to choose from in Marin and southern Sonoma counties (see our list of those here), you can find other great places to pick up pumpkins and other Halloween and autumn treats throughout the greater Bay Area. Maybe you're headed on a road trip to the south bay, or bound for the grandparents' house in Sacramento this October—there's probably a pumpkin patch on the way. Here are a few out-of-town pumpkin patches, in Solano, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties, that we've visited at one time or another or had recommended to us.

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