Events and Outings

Summer Festivals in Marin and the Bay Area

May 30, 2017

Italian Street Painting Marin

Summertime is festival time! When the weather heats up, so do the fun local family-friendly festivals in Marin County and the San Francisco Bay Area. Offering music, performances, shopping, games, hands-on activities and more, there's usually something at these festivals for the entire family.

Here's our 2017 list of events taking place throughout Marin and the Bay Area this summer and into the fall. Many of these festivals are free, but some do charge admission. Check their websites for any fees, as well as times and details.

June

Picnics, Nature and Play at Stafford Lake Park

May 30, 2017

Stafford Lake

Stafford Lake, the reservoir that provides the town of Novato with much of its drinking water, is also the site of one of Marin's favorite outdoor recreation spots: Stafford Lake County Park. There are so many activities to do at this 139-acre park, and I'm surprised my family and I don't come here more often, especially since it's literally just around the corner from our house. If you haven't been there, you've certainly passed it on Novato Boulevard on your way out to the Cheese Factory or Point Reyes. With an upgraded play area, picnic spots, fishing, and an awesome bike park for all ages, you owe it to yourself to stop by and see what Stafford Lake has to offer!

Marin Memorial Day Weekend Family Events 2017

May 28, 2017

Mountain Play Beauty and the BeastExperience Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the Mountain Play this Memorial Day Weekend.

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this Memorial Day Weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, May 26

  • American Crown Circus
    St. Vincent's, Marinwood
    Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, various times

    This family run, bilingual circus, presented by Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise, is centered around acrobats, performers, and clowns, with no exotic animals. Performances are on Friday, May 26 at 6:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28 at 1:30, 4, and 6:30 pm; and Monday, May 29 at 1:30 and 4 pm. Advance tickets are $15 and are good for any performance; two children under 12 admitted free per paid advance adult ticket. Tickets at the gate $20. Parking is $5. For more info or to order tickets, visit their website.
  • Kiddo Family Carnival
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, 4–10 pm, Saturday & Sunday, noon–10 pm & Monday, noon–5 pm

    Bring the family for a four-day real old-fashioned carnival. There will be rides for all ages, plus food and games. The littlest ones in your family will love the Berry-Go-Round and the Tune Train, while your teenagers will be thrilled with the Sizzler, Zipper, Century Wheel, and the Typhoon. Advance discounted ticket books will be available in the Kiddo! office and Mill Valley Community Center while they last. Books are $25 advance, $35 once the carnival begins. Books may be turned in for a one-day wrist band for unlimited rides. Food and games extra. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for May 19, 20 & 21

May 19, 2017

Beatuy and the Beast premieres at the Mountain Play on Sunday, May 21.

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, May 19

  • Endangered Species Weekend
    San Francisco Zoo
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Did you know SF Zoo has dozens of threatened and endangered animals? We’re celebrating all of them and raising awareness about Endangered Species Day (Friday, May 19) from Friday-Sunday. Conservation is at the heart of the Zoo's mission and you're invited to learn the importance of protecting endangered species as well as everyday actions you can take to help protect them.  Location: 1 Zoo Road, Sloat Blvd., at The Great Highway, San Francisco. For more information, visit their website.
  • Mom & Baby Yoga
    Pomegranate, San Anselmo
    Friday, 11 am

    Enjoy your baby, reconnect with your body, and meet other new moms in our postnatal mama and baby yoga class. Class is most successful with pre-crawling babies but all are welcome to try out a class and discuss exceptions with the instructor. We want mamas to be able to get out of the house, meet other moms, and enjoy the support and exercise of a yoga class. Cost: $23 for drop-in class. Sign-up online here. Location: 25 Tamalpais Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Contra Costa County Fair
    Contra Costa County Fairgrounds
    Friday, noon–10 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–10 pm

    The 2017 Contra Costa County Fair features an Extreme Sports Zone, Ag Venture Land, Midway of Fun Carnival live entertainment, animal shows for the entire family. Location: 1201 West 10th Street, Antioch. For more info, visit their website. 
  • Maker Faire Bay Area
    San Mateo Event Center
    Friday, 1–5 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival that's part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new! It's an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, engineers, tinkerers, hobbyists, artists, and more sharing what they've made and learned. Tickets: $25 and up. Location: 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Night
    Children's Museum of Sonoma County
    Friday, 4–7 pm
    Have a family date night and play late at the Children's Museum! Explore interactive exhibits after hours. Or just have fun playing as the sun sets. Bring your appetite to enjoy pizza slices from Mary's Pizza Shack for $2 slice. Museum admission applies. Location: 1835 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Movie Night: Moana
    Presidio Community YMCA
    Friday, 5:30–9:30 pm

    Bring a blanket and enjoy a movie night in the Presidio! Food Trucks 5:30 pm; Movie Shorts 7:30 pm; Feature Film: Moana, 8 pm. Movie is free. Location:
    63 Funston Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Night Jazz Concerts
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Friday, 6:00–9:00 pm

    Come on down to hear CROW-tet (Zev Shearn Nance) at Friday Night Jazz. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Campfire Program
    Sonoma State Historic Park
    Friday, 6:30–7:30 pm

    Bring the family for a talk with a park interpretive specialist, songs, stories and a marshmallow roast. Fun for all ages. Free. Heavy rain cancels. Location: Barracks Courtyard, Sonoma State Historic Park. For more info, visit their website.

The Annual Festival of Fun Returns to San Anselmo This Weekend!

May 15, 2017

Saint Anselm Festival of Fun

The annual Saint Anselm Festival of Fun returns on Saturday, May 20, from 10 am to 8 pm. This fun-filled day delights over 1,500 Marin and Ross Valley families with over 25 attractions, including vintage carnival rides, prize games (cake wheel, pick-a-pop, salami toss and more), jumpy houses and slides, the Panther Café, strolling entertainers, face painting, and more. Admission is free, and tickets are purchased for the rides and games.

Marin Mother's Day Weekend Events, May 12–14

May 12, 2017

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 14. Find something special to do with Mom with our round-ups of Mother's Day Brunches, spring hikes, picnic spots and beaches in Marin and Sonoma County.

Friday, May 12

  • 2017 National Public Garden Day
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Friday, 9 am–5 pm

    In honor of National Public Garden Day, enjoy one complimentary admission! Follow this link to get your coupon: COUPON.  Valid for one admission on May 12th. Location: 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Opening Weekend: Hamilton Community Pool
    Hamilton, Novato
    Friday, 11 am–6 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am–6 pm

    Celebrate the opening day at Hamilton Pool in Novato. This community pool offers a kiddie pool with slide and play equipment, as well as a BBQ and picnic area. Daily drop in admission is $4 for Novato resident children ages 1–15 and $5 for Novato resident adults 16+ with photo ID; non-residents $7 for children and $9 for adults. Location: 203 El Bonito Road. For more info, call (415) 883-7126 or visit their website.
  • Parents Night Out
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, 5–10 pm

    Drop off the kids and enjoy a day or night out! While you relax, the kids will be having fun with the Marinwood Camp staff. Games, park time, arts and crafts, snacks, and more! Cost: $25 per child; $20 each additional sibling. For ages 2–10. For more info and registration call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party
    DIESEL, A Bookstore in Larkspur
    Friday, 6–7 pm

    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author Gianna Marino will be here to read you a bedtime story from Splotch. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed, then head home for bed.
    Location: Marin Country Mart, 2419 Larskspur Landing Circle. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Night Jazz Concerts
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    6:00–9:00 pm

    Come on down to hear Octobop at Friday Night Jazz. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Stapleton Theatre Company presents The Music Man
    The Playhouse, San Anselmo

    Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm, Sunday, 2 pm
    The Stapleton Theatre Company is celebrating 10 years with resident director Bruce Vieira by reprising his first show, Meredith Willson's The Music Man. Tickets: $22 adults, $16 students. Purchase tickets here. For more information, visit their website.
  • San Marin High School presents: The Music Man
    Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm and Saturday, 2 pm

    Bring the entire family to the San Marin Spring Musical, “The Music Man” opens on Friday, May 12th for a run of 6 performances. Tickets: $10 for adults and $5 for child. Purchase tickets here. Location: Emily Gates Student Center, San Marin High School, 15 San Marin Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • BOOM! Unique Circus Spectacle
    Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday & Saturday, 8 pm
    BOOM! breathes new life into the ancient tradition of masked theater, full of spontaneous improvisations with the audience, heart-touching drama, impossible skills and hilarious moments of sheer humanity. Peter Sweet and David Poznanter portray a cast of 6 characters who put on an entire circus, complete with slackrope, Cyr Wheel, juggling and live music. It’s an explosion of exhilarating entertainment for the entire family! Tickets: $21–$36. Location: 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, May 13

  • Bay Area Human Race
    Marin Fairgrounds, San Rafael
    Saturday, 7 am–11 am

    From supporting those with disabilities, people advocating for animals, to those seeking to increase access to education, and more — the Bay Area Human Race™ is open to nonprofits, schools, and community groups across Marin, Napa, San Francisco, and the East Bay. Race day features a fun and flat 5K run/walk at the historic Marin County Civic Center Lagoon Park and fairgrounds, including music, Kids Races and activities, a dog walk, the Community Village Fair and a pancake breakfast. The event is open to everyone. Cost: $10–$50. See cost here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunches in Marin

May 11, 2017

Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 14. Brunch is always a popular outing in honor of mom, and here are some of our favorite family-friendly spots for a Mother's Day brunch in Marin.

All information is correct at time of publishing, but please check with the restaurant to confirm. You should also make your reservations soon, as Mother's Day brunches fill up pretty quickly.

  • Belcampo Meat Co
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Sunday, 9 am

    Treat mom to a special brunch featuring Belcampo specialties: Bacon & Brioche French Toast, Ham Benedict, or the infamous Belcampo Breakfast Burger. Reserve now! Location: 2504 Larkspur Landing. For more info, call (415) 448-5810 or visit their website.
  • The Caprice
    Tiburon
    Sunday, 11 am–2 pm
    Enjoy three course prix fixe brunch includes prosecco. $49/ adults; kids under 12 $19. Shrimp cocktail, brioche french toast, filet mignon, blueberry and more. Location: 2000 Paradise Drive, Tiburon. Reservations are required by calling (415) 435-3400. For more info, visit their website.

The Circus is Coming to Town Memorial Day Weekend

May 11, 2017

American Crown Circus as St. Vincent's

It's not every day that the circus comes to town, but it'll be here in Marin this Memorial Day weekend! American Crown Circus sets up its big top on the grounds of St. Vincent's School for Boys in Marinwood, just south of Novato, May 25–29. American Crown Circus is a family run, bilingual circus that features acrobats, high wire acts, and clowns (but no exotic animals). Read about our visit to the circus here.

The circus is the major fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise, which has brought a professional traveling tent circus to Marin every year since 1997. Profits from the circus support local community projects.

Marin Family Weekend Events for May 5, 6 & 7

May 6, 2017

Check out one of the many easy mountain biking trails in Marin

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, May 5

  • 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: $15 for one child, $10 per each additional child, siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • SF Opera Sing A Story: The Magic Flute
    San Anselmo Libary, Council Chambers
    Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm

    A teaching artist from the San Francisco Opera will introduce The Magic Flute by Mozart, complete with singing and opera insights. Musical storytelling, a choral coaching and singing session, props and costumes make this a truly immersive creative experience! Ages 4-10. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Ave, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Night Out: Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Rolling Hills Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm

    Are you ready for adventure? Rolling Hills Club is excited to offer an evening of scavenger hunts, "poison dart" battles, and mummy relays! The movie Raiders of the Lost Ark will be watched. This is a PG movie and may not be appropriate for all children. Pizza will be provided. Ages: 5–12. Cost: $24 member and $34 guest. Register here. Location: 351 San Andreas Drive, Novato. For more info, call (415) 897-2185 or visit their website.
  • Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover
    California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
    Friday, 6 pm–Saturday, 8 am

    Experience your own night at the museum! Explore the exhibits after-hours and discover the deepest depths of the oceans, travel to the tops of rainforests, blast off into outer space at your own private planetarium show, and then settle in for story time after snacking on milk and cookies. When the lights go out, roll out your sleeping bag next to the California Coast tank or the Swamp window face-to-face with Claude the albino alligator. In the morning head over to the Academy Café for breakfast. Cost: $109 per person. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Night Jazz Concerts
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    6:00–9:00 pm

    Come on down to hear Bill Belasco and Aguabella at Friday Night Jazz. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Stapleton Theatre Company presents The Music Man
    The Playhouse, San Anselmo

    Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm, Sunday, 2 pm
    The Stapleton Theatre Company is celebrating 10 years with resident director Bruce Vieira by reprising his first show, Meredith Willson's The Music Man. Tickets: $22 adults, $16 students. Purchase tickets here. For more information, visit their website.
  • BOOM! Unique Circus Spectacle
    Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday & Saturday, 8 pm, Sunday, 2 pm
    BOOM! breathes new life into the ancient tradition of masked theater, full of spontaneous improvisations with the audience, heart-touching drama, impossible skills and hilarious moments of sheer humanity. Peter Sweet and David Poznanter portray a cast of 6 characters who put on an entire circus, complete with slackrope, Cyr Wheel, juggling and live music. It’s an explosion of exhilarating entertainment for the entire family! Tickets: $21–$36. Location: 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, May 6

  • 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.
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