Events and Outings

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 24, 25 & 26

January 24, 2014
Civil War Days Fort Point
Step back in time at Fort Point's Civil War Living History Day on Saturday from 10 am–5 pm

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 24

  • Sing and Dance with Miss Kitty
    San Rafael Public Library
    Friday, 10:30–11:15 am

    Join Marin County favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required! Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 485-3322 or visit their website.
  • San Francisco Boat Show
    McCovey Cove & Pier 48 (Adjacent to AT&T Park)
    Friday, noon-7 pm, Saturday, 10 am-7 pm & Sunday 10 am-6 pm

    The Progressive Insurance San Francisco Boat Show offers a festive seaside atmosphere and is the “go to” place to see and experience everything that boating has to offer in the Bay Area, with entertainment for all ages including on-water activities such as hands-on skill building workshops, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding test rides and demos. Gourmet food and berverages will also be available to purchase. Admission Adults: $12, Children age 15 & younger—Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Night Jazz Concerts
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Friday, 5:30–8:30 pm
    Enjoy live music Fridays in the Marin Country Mart courtyard! This Friday, Installation, with Ben Goldberg. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 25

  • Muir Woods Earth Day Celebration
    Mill Valley
    Saturday, 8:30 am–1 pm

    Enjoy the majestic redwoods while helping to restore and preserve this spectacular national park. Projects include deck flossing, weed removal, mulching, planting, tending the forest floor, and trail maintenance. All participants are invited to lunch at Muir Woods after the event. Advance registration is requested. For more info call (415) 561-3077 or visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9 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. The cost is $5 per person. Children under 16 are free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays. For more info, visit their website.
  • Civil War Living History Day
    Fort Point, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Join reenactors from the American Civil War Association as they bring this 150-year-old fort to life with period uniforms, military music, talks, and demonstrations. We attended this event last year—read our article here. Free admission. For information, call (415) 556-1693 or visit their website.
  • The Scoop on Poop! Opening Weekend
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Come take this fun, scientific look at a fascinating topic we all have in common. The Scoop on Poop! is the zoo's latest special exhibition on view in the Pachyderm Building. Based on a popular children’s book by the same name by Dr. Wayne Lynch, The Scoop on Poop! leads visitors on an investigation of what poop is and how animals and humans use it. Location: 1 Zoo Road In the Pachyderm Building, San Francisco. General admission applies. For more info, call (415) 753-7080 or visit their website.
  • Open House at Cascade Canyon School
    Fairfax
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Cascade Canyon School (CCS) opens its doors to the whole family, with a K–8 open house event. The open house includes a student-led tour, demonstration lessons, a teacher-led question and answer session, and an opportunity to meet the Head of School. Location: 2626 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax. For more info, call (415) 459-3464 or visit their website.
  • Junior Rangers: The Uses of Native Plants
    Roy's Redwood Preserve, San Geronimo
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    The Junior Ranger program was created to teach youth about outdoor skills, natural history and environmental stewardship. The program is intended for 7–12 year olds, though explorers of all ages are welcome to attend. Cover some basic outdoor safety then explore the preserve and talk about our native plants and their traditional uses. This is a great hike to learn the basics for surviving a night lost in the woods. For more info, call (415) 473-2816 or visit their website.
  • Great Sausalito Playdate
    Sausalito Library
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    Join us the first Great Sausalito Playdate. We will begin the morning with stories, songs, and finger plays, and then set the children loose on "stations" of lushly tactile materials—sticky, soft, crinkly, over, under, squish, jump, play! Location: 420 Litho Street Edgewater Room, Sausalito. For more info, call (415) 289-4121 or visit their website.
  • Waterbird Festival!
    Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
    Saturday, 10:30 am–5 pm

    This fun community and familiy friendly event is free and will include naturalist led bird walks and beach explorations, bird scope stations to gain a closer look at the waterbirds visiting our Bay, and interactive educational activities. Pre-registration required here. Location: 376 Greenwood Beach Road, Tiburon. For more info, visit their website.

Hands-on Fun for Spring at Slide Ranch

January 20, 2014

Slide Ranch, located off of Shoreline Highway in Muir Beach, is a fun place for the entire family. When we tried out one of their family farm days, my kids had a great time petting the sheep, planting a seed, milking a goat, and creating nature crafts. They offer guided tours and lots of hands-on activities, including collecting eggs from the ranch's chickens, planting seeds, sampling from their organic garden, learning to make crafts and food just like the early farmers, and exploring the nearby tide pools.

Below is a list of their upcoming spring events. Spring family program registration opens Wednesday, January 22, 2014. All registration for Slide Ranch programs now takes place online. Their programs do fill up quickly, so sign up soon if you are interested in participating.

Family Farm Days

During the family programs, your family can milk a goat, collect eggs from the chickens, and explore the organic gardens and coastal wildlands. Come learn about native plants and ecology on the trails, make nature crafts and recycled-material art, cook or bake from fresh produce from their gardens, card and spin wool from the sheep, explore the tide pools and more! Enjoy a day of family fun. All Family Farm Days take place from 10 am–2 pm.

  • Ocean Exploration Family Farm Days
    Saturday, March 8 and Saturday, April 5
  • Sheep to Shawl Family Farm Day
    Saturday, March 22

Win Tickets to the January 28 Speak to Me Event, Featuring Dr. Robert Lustig

January 12, 2014

Dr. Robert LustigSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents the next event in its 2013/2014 season, "Fat Chance" with Dr. Robert Lustig, on Tuesday, January 28, at 6:30 pm.

Dr. Robert Lustig is a professor of pediatrics in the division of endocrinology at UCSF, and the author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease. Dr. Lustig is a leading thinker on the science and politics that have led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last 30 years. He will present tactics for readjusting the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward and stress, and will share strategies to improve the health of the next generation.

We're giving away one set of two tickets to this event to a lucky Marin Mommies reader! Simply send an email to contests@marinmommies.com with "Speak to Me January" in the subject line by 11:59 pm PST on Friday, January 17, 2013. We'll choose a random winner on Saturday. Many thanks to Speak to Me for sponsoring this giveaway. Read our giveaway rules and conditions here.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 3, 4 & 5

January 2, 2014
Elephant Seal at Point Reyes
Experience Elephant Seals this weekend at Point Reyes National Seashore's Chimney Rock.

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 3

  • Sing and Dance with Miss Kitty
    San Rafael Public Library
    Friday, 10:30–11:15 am

    Join Marin County's favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required! Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 485-3322 or visit their website.
  • Game & Puzzle Day!
    Mill Valley Library
    Friday, 2:30–4 pm

    Roll the dice, spin the spinner, or work a giant floor puzzle. Fun for the whole family! For all ages; no sign-up needed. Free. Location: 375 Throckmorton Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, call 415-389-4292 x4741 or visit their website.
  • Music in the Courtyard with Falso Biano
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Friday, 5:30–8:30 pm

    Enjoy live music on Fridays in the Marin Country Mart courtyard! This Friday: Falso Biano. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Mac Barnett
    Diesel Bookstore, Marin Country Mart
    Friday, 6–7 pm

    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author Mac Barnett will be here to read you a bedtime story. Get cozy in front of the fireplace, listen to a story, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed. Mac Barnett is the author of Battle Bunny and the Brixton Brothers series, as well as several picture books, including Count the Monkeys and the New York Times bestseller Extra Yarn. Location: 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, in the Marin Country Mart, Larkspur. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 4

  • Museums on Us
    Saturday & Sunday
    Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders get free general admission on the first full weekend of every month. Present your card and a photo ID for admission (one free general admission per cardholder). Get full details here. Participating museums include the de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. For more info, visit their website.
  • Icebreaker Stand Up Paddle Races
    McNears Beach Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 9 am
    noon
    Celebrate the New Year by joining us for a fun and exciting morning of paddle board races on the bay. This is a family-friendly event; there will be courses for all ages and the location is spectator friendly. Day-of-race registration starts at 9 am; races start at 10 am. Course duration and direction will be weather dependent. United States Coast Guard approved flotation devices and leashes are required. Don’t have a board? Don’t sweat it! Local rental shops are happy to help. This event is for stand up paddleboards only (no canoes or kayaks). For more info, call Jim Slack at (415) 446-4424 or visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy the best local and organic produce, flowers, pastured meats, seafood, organic cheeses, yogurt and milk, breads, baked goods, pasta, confections, olive oil, and brunch and lunch offerings! Kids can take a pony ride and visit the petting zoo (10 am–2 pm), try out some arts and crafts (9 am–2 pm) and listen to music (9:30–10:30 am). For more info, visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9 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. The cost is $5 per person. Children under 16 are free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays. For more info, visit their website.
  • Junior Rangers: People and Natural Habitats
    Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve, San Geronimo
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    The MCOSD's Junior Ranger program was created to teach youth about outdoor skills, natural history, and environmental stewardship and is intended for 7–12 year olds, though explorers of all ages are welcome to attend. Go over some basic pre-hike preparation and outdoor safety, then walk in the Willis Evans Canyon and learn about creek restoration and the diverse habitats found here. This will be an easy one-mile walk with one moderate hill. Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring water and snacks. For more information, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for December 20, 21 & 22

December 19, 2013
Rombeiro Christmas House in Novato
Visit the Rombeiro Christmas House in Novato this weekend. It's open nightly through January 6 from 6–10 pm.

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.

There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers, and amazing decorated holiday houses. Also, check out our North Bay Christmas Tree Farms and Lots article.

Friday, December 20

  • San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
    War Memorial Opera House
    Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 2 & 7 pm

    The first ballet company to bring the Nutcracker tradition to America, San Francisco Ballet’s awe-inspiring production is like no other. Set in San Francisco during the 1915 World’s Fair, Clara’s dreamlike journey is an ode to the City’s historical grandeur—all amidst colorful, larger than life scenery, over 200 dazzling costumed characters, and of course Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score performed live by the world-class San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Tickets range in price from $25 to $325. For more info, call (415) 865-2000 or  visit their website.
  • All is Bright with the San Francisco Symphony
    Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 2 pm

    This Christmas matinee with the San Francisco Symphony features the 1982 animated film The Snowman accompanied by live orchestra and choir, as well as holiday music for the whole family and a carol sing-along. Tickets: adult $48 and child $24. For more info, visit their website.
  • Winter Fest
    Marinwood Community Center
    Friday, 5–7 pm

    Bring the family to Marinwood's annual Winter Fest. There will be photos with Santa, live music, festive arts and crafts, holiday treats, face painting and a bounce house. Cost: $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Food, beer, and wine will be available to purchase. You an purchase your tickets online here. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.

 Saturday, December 21

  • Winter Wonderland: Solstice Day Family Event
    Muir Woods National Monument
    Saturday, 8 am–5 pm

    Bring the family and celebrate the shortest day of the year. The day’s highlights include redwood sumi art with artist and storyteller Ane Carla Rovetta, nature sounds by expert Dan Dugan, co-ho-ho and salmon hats, and hot beverages and a special solstice menu for sale at the Muir Woods Trading Company Cafe. At day’s end, gather by the ceremonial fire in the plaza and hear a solstice tale or two by Ane Carla Rovetta. Children 15 and younger free. Parking $7. For more info, visit their website.
  • Celebrate the Holidays at Marin Country Mart
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Santa will visit the farmers market from 10 am–1 pm! Enjoy holiday music and roasted chestnuts, and visit Santa's Workshop for wreath making and holiday floral arrangements. For more info, visit their website.
  • Gingerbread Architecture Extravaganza
    Bay Area Discovery Museum
    Saturday–Monday, 9:30, 10:30 & 11:30 am, 2 & 3 pm.

    Make your own unique gingerbread house at this year's Gingerbread Architecture Extravaganza. Sessions are mornings at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 11:30 am and afternoons at 2 and 3 pm. Cost is $30 per gingerbread kit for members and $40 for non-members (includes museum admission for one adult and one child). Pre-registration required. Location: 557 McReynolds Road Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info and to register, visit their website.
  • Free Gingerbread House Party
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 9:30 am–4:30 pm

    Decorate a giant gingerbread house with oodles of goodies including candies, cookies and sprinkles. After the event, the completed house will be donated to a local family shelter for the holiday. Bring a bag of decorating candy to share and receive a free guest pass from Habitot. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parent's Day Out
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    Drop off the kids and enjoy a day 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: $20 per child. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Junior Rangers: Focus on Creeks and Fish
    Cascade Drive, Fairfax
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Junior Ranger activities are intended for 7–12 year olds, though explorers of all ages are welcome to attend. Hike along San Anselmo Creek and learn why protecting stream headwaters is important to our wildlife and communities. This will be a moderate two mile hike. Dress warm and bring a snack and water. Meet at the gate at the end of Cascade Drive. Parking is limited. For more info, visit their website.

Make San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker a Holiday Tradition

December 14, 2013

SF Ballet Nutcracker

This Thursday we attended a performance of San Francisco Ballet's fantastic production of The Nutcracker. This is the Nutcracker that started it all—the San Francisco Ballet presented the first full-length performance of The Nutcracker in America way back in 1944—and as always it didn't disappoint!

We attended the first of the ballet's family performances. For these special performances, the Opera House opens at 6 pm, one hour prior to the 7 pm curtain time, and the first 500 children in the door received a cute teddy bear dressed in a scarf and Santa hat as a gift. In the lobby, costumed performers from the Nutcracker cast were on hand to greet children and for family photo opportunities. (Tip: make sure you get there early!)

A Holiday Magic Toy Box Tea at Falkirk in San Rafael

December 10, 2013

Magic Toy Box Tea at FalkirkOn Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15, Falkirk Cultural Center in San Rafael welcomes kids ages 3 and up, their favorite teddy bears or other toys, and even a parent or grandparent to a holiday treat to remember! The Magic Toy Box Tea is a magical holiday tour de force in the elegant Queen Anne Victorian Falkirk Mansion. Homemade tea sandwiches and sweets are served, along with tea, hot chocolate, and other beverages.

The Magic Toy Box Tea features life-sized toys, antique tea settings, a raffle, and plenty of photo opportunities for your kids and their bears and friends (so make sure you bring your camera). The Magic Toy Box Tea is hosted by the Cultural Affairs Service League.

This extremely popular event is by reservation only and always sells our early! Make reservations for December 14 or 16 by calling 1(800) 838-3006 or online here. There are two seatings each day, at noon and 3 pm. The cost is $25 for adults and $22 for children, or $45 for an adult-and-child ticket.

Cool Camps for Winter Break in Marin and Beyond

December 3, 2013

Looking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming winter break? Check out some of the great winter day camps here in Marin and San Francisco.

  • Studio 4 Art
    1133 Grant Avenue
    Novato

    (415) 596-5546
    Campers will have the choice of many different projects each day. Popular events such as clay, sewing, cartooning, and painting will be highlighted, all tought by Studio 4 Art's professional artist teachers. The camps are December 25–27, 30, and 31 and January 2 and 3 from 10 am–1 pm ($65 daily; $155 weekly for 3 day camp, $205 for 4 day camp) for ages 4–14, or 10 am–3 pm ($90 daily; $225 weekly for 3-day camp, $300 for 4-day camp) for ages 7–14. A sibling discount is offered. For more info, visit www.studio4art.net.
  • Ark Row Kids Winter Camp
    122 Main Street
    Tiburon
    (415) 435-2200

    The Ark Row Center in Tiburon is offering a winter camp for ages 2–8 from December 23–January 10 from 9 am–noon ($45 per day), 9 am–1 pm ($60 per day), or 9 am–2 pm ($75 per day). There will be lots of fun holiday projects and activities. For more info, visit www.arkrowcenter.com.

Does It Really Snow in Downtown San Rafael?

November 23, 2013

Snow sledding in San RafaelDoes it really snow in Downtown San Rafael? Well, no... not very often. But that doesn't mean that they can't truck a bunch of the frozen white stuff for sledding on the Friday after Thanksgiving!

Snow will arrive in Marin as part of the 34th annual Downtown San Rafael Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland, taking place Friday, November 29. The event happens on Fourth Street from B Street to Lootens Place. Enjoy the Parade of Lights, Winter Wonderland, holiday market, tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment, and more! Free snow sledding and kids' activities take place from noon to 4:30 pm and 6 to 8 pm, and the Holiday Marketplace runs from noon to 8 pm.

Snow sledding takes place on the sledding hill—constructed from over 40 tons of snow—on A Street between Fourth and Fifth. Sledding is for kids only, and admission is free. Sledding will take place on Friday from noon to 4:30 pm, when it pauses for the Parade of Lights. Sledding resumes after the parade at 6 pm.

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