Events and Outings

Marin Weekend Family Events for September 5, 6 & 7

September 6, 2014
Feeding the sheep at Chileno Valley Ranch
Visit Chileno Valley Ranch this Sunday for u-pick apples and fun on the farm.

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, September 5

  • Infant and Child CPR Class and Vendor Fair
    Whole Foods Mill Valley
    Friday, 9:30–11 am

    Whole Foods in Mill Valley offers a child CPR class followed by a vendor fair for new parents featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, Mill Valley Recreation, and more. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes. One-year CPR certification is included with the course. CPR certificate fee $30. Space is limited; register here. The event takes place at the Whole Foods at 414 Miller Avenue.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    San Anselmo Town Hall Lawn
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Picnics feature music and family fun. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: The Fifth Element
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    This Friday's movie is The Fifth Element (PG-13). Arrive by 8 pm—films begin at dusk. Popcorn, candy, and sodas will be sold. Bring blankets, pillows, backrests, and low chairs. Film Night suggests leaving pets at home. Donations are appreciated. Creek Park is located in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 6

  • Fall Fishing Derby
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    Join rangers for the fall fishing contest at Paradise Beach Park! Prizes will be awarded for the first fish and the biggest fish! A limited number of fishing poles and bait will be provided first-come, first-served to beginners, thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A valid California fishing license is required when fishing from the shore; not from the pier. Paradise Beach Park is at 3450 Paradise Drive in Tiburon. Meet at the fishing pier. Park entrance is free. For more information, visit their website.
  • Infant and Child CPR Class and Vendor Fair
    Whole Foods San Rafael
    Saturday, 9:30–11 am

    Whole Foods in San Rafael offers a child CPR class followed by a vendor fair for new parents featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, and more. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes. One-year CPR certification is included with the course. CPR certificate fee $30. Location: 340 Third Street. Space is limited; register here. Find out more about his event here.

A Visit to Wildcare in San Rafael

September 2, 2014

WildCare San RafaelOne of Marin's most amazing resources is WildCare. This amazing urban wildlife rehabilitation center helps out thousands of ill, injured, or orphaned wild animals from around the Bay Area. They also undertake wildlife and nature education and operate a 24-hour Living with Wildlife Hotline.

We love to visit the courtyard and small natural history museum at their headquarters in San Rafael's Albert Park. The WildCare courtyard is home to the its Wildlife Ambassadors—animals who are unable to be released back in to the wild and whose permanent home is now in San Rafael. These animals serve as ambassadors to the community, appearing in educational programs at schools and other programs throughout the bay area. We've been coming here to visit since the kids were really little, and some of the animals here seem like old friends.

Marin Family-Friendly Events for Labor Day Weekend

August 29, 2014

Sausalito Art Festival

The 62nd Sausalito Art Festival takes place this weekend at Marinship Park.

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

Friday, August 29

  • Picnics on the Plaza
    San Anselmo Town Hall Lawn
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Picnics feature music and family fun. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main: Main Street USA
    Tiburon

    Friday, 6–9 pm
    Bring the family to some outdoor dining, live music and dancing on Main Street in downtown Tiburon. This Friday: a salute to Disney, with some of your favorite characters in attendance and the music of the Kyle Martin Band performing contemporary and classic rock favorites. For more info, visit their website.
  • 18th Annual Nostalgia Days Rod and Kustom Car Show
    Downtown Novato
    Friday, 4–8 pm & Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Novato's annual celebration of all things automotive features a salute to American Graffiti with a special appearance by actress Candy Clark ("Debbie" in the movie). Friday night cruise takes place on a loop through Novato, and Saturday features a car show, live music, raffle, and vendors. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Movie Night: Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Stafford Lake, Novato
    Friday, 7:30–10 pm

    The lawn at pastoral Stafford Lake Park sets the perfect stage for this classic outdoor summer event, featuring a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Marin Parks will host the show and provide the popcorn; bring your family, a blanket, chairs, and a picnic dinner or snacks (portable BBQs are allowed). The show will begin 15 minutes after sunset. For more info, call (415) 897-0618 or visit their website.

Saturday, August 30

  • Sausalito Art Festival
    Marinship Park, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–7 pm and Monday, 10 am–5 pm
    The country’s best art and most exciting artists, a top-name music line-up, gourmet food, and fine wines and premium beers all bring more than 30,000 art lovers together in an electrifying atmosphere of creativity, fun, discovery, and magic every Labor Day Weekend. A children and families area features hands-on activities and entertainment for all ages. Featuring local children’s music with local Tim Cain and performers including Benny and Bebe's Magic Circus. Tickets to the Sausalito Art Festival are $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors 62+, and $5 for juniors ages 6–12, and free for children under 6. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Baby food cooking and nutrition demonstration with Baby Bites and NewboRN Solutions from 10:30 am–noon. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from 11 am–12:30 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Muir Woods Family Walk
    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9:30 am–12:30 pm
    Can't stand to see vacation end but too tired to travel? Spend quality time with the family in an ancient redwood forest just 25 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. Before letting the long, lazy days of summer slip away, take a leisurely walk through an ancient redwood forest. Wear sturdy shoes, dress in layers and bring lunch, snacks and water. Entrance fees apply. All ages welcome. Strollers not advised; backpack baby carriers OK. Reservations required; call (415) 388-2596. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Reptile Expo
    Petaluma Community Center
    Saturday, 10 am-5 pm

    Open to the public. All ages welcome. Join us as we welcome a variety of vendors and exhibitors offering hundreds of snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles, tortoises, tarantulas, scorpions, supplies, jewelry, and more at this year's Petaluma Reptile Expo presented by North Bay Herpetological Society. Cost: $5.00 for Adults, Kids 12 and under $2. Location: 320 McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Theater for Young Audiences: Five Little Monkeys
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm & 3 pm and Sunday, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm & 5 pm

    Those five little monkeys will get into as much mischief on stage as they do in their namesake picture books. Take cover when they make that birthday cake for Mama, meet up with a crocodile, and disappear in the store! The play’s all in rhyme, so you’ll have a great time! Recommended for ages 2–7, 45 minutes. Tickets are $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Komodo Karnival
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 11 am–3 pm

    Komodo Karnival will feature good ol' fashioned fun with a nod to the Big Daddy Bahasa, the Zoo's resident Komodo dragon. After you stop by and see him at Komodo Alley, try your luck at games like Crazy Ball, Ring the Bottle, Hoop Shot, Milk Can, Fat Cats and Fish Are Jumping; you may even win a prize! After some cotton candy and a hot dog and soda, show off your strength on the Komodo High Striker then make like a dragon and head up our Komodo Klimbing Wall. Free after zoo admission. For more info, visit their website.

Ten Terrific Family Outings for Labor Day Weekend

August 28, 2014

Hamilton Community Pool NovatoLabor day weekend is summer vacation's last hurrah (even if most kids are in school already). Make the most of this last long weekend of summer with a fun family outing or activity in Marin or elsewhere in the Bay Area.

For more fun family events for this weekend, check out the special Labor Day Weekend edition of our weekly event guide.

There's Something for the Entire Family at the Sausalito Art Festival

August 24, 2014

Sausalito Art FestivalA Marin County tradition for half a century, the Sausalito Art Festival returns to Marinship Park this Labor Day Weekend for its 62nd season. The Festival showcases the works of the finest local, national and international artists, with thousands of original works of art by 260 artists, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media, and photography.

Of course there are plenty of other things to see and do at the Sausalito Art Festival, including music by legendary headliners and local favorites on two stages. Performers include Taj Mahal, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tommy Castro, Pride and Joy, and Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Fantastic food, beer, and wine will be available, too.

The 2014 Sausalito Art Festival also offers a full weekend of entertainment and hands-on activities for children and families. At the special children's area adjacent to the Bay Model look for the Magic Circus Family Show with Benny Bendini the Magician and Bebe the Clown, local children's music legend Tim Cain, and comedy chaos with Mark and Dre Show. Check out their complete list of entertainment here.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 22, 23 & 24

August 22, 2014
China Camp State Park San Rafael
Celebrate China Camp State Park as its annual Heritage 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 beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, August 22

  • Infant Sleep Solutions
    Parents Place, San Rafael
    Friday, 10 am–noon

    Learn some great techniques to help your little one (birth to 12 months)—and you!—sleep. We will discuss baby sleep needs and the best ways to help young ones learn good sleep habits. Pre-crawling babies welcome. With infant sleep expert Sarah Middelton, MA, CD, PCD. Cost: $40. Preregistraion required. Location: 600 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael. To register, visit their website.
  • Children's Room End-of-Summer Party
    Amphitheater & Peter Dreyfuss Garden, Mill Valley Public Library
    Friday, 2:30–4 pm

    Celebrate the end of summer with your friends and library staff under the redwood trees. Hula hoops, crafts, bubbles, face painting, Mika Scott Drumming Circle, and free ice cream will be available for your enjoyment. All Ages, no sign-up needed. Free. Location: 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, call (415) 389-4292 x4741 or visit their website.
  • End of Summer Bash
    Bay Area Discovery Museum
    Friday, 5–7:30 pm

    Say goodbye to summer with us as we go out with a bang! Grab a drum and groove with Rhythm Child, participate in a bilingual storytime and bring a picnic blanket to reflect on the fun days of summer. Bean Sprouts Cafe will be open until 7:30 p.m. to purchase snacks, drinks and dinners. General $12, baby ages 6–11 months $11, and Infants under 6 months free. Performances and activities free with admission. Food available for purchase. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    In its fifth year, the popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Marinwood’s most popular event is back! Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music with Shelby Earl, delicious food by Marinwood Market, wine and beer. Free; food, wine, and beer may be purchased. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8:30 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday, Eugene Huggins and Friends, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Saualito. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 23

  • Learn How to Pier Fish at Paradise Park
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Join rangers, and a few of our experienced local anglers, to learn the secrets and tricks of the trade when fishing from a pier. A limited number of fishing poles and bait will be provided first-come, first-served to beginners, thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A valid California fishing license is required when fishing from the shore, not from the pier. Location: Paradise Beach Park, 3450 Paradise Drive, Tiburon For more info, call Ranger Mike Maraccini at (415) 435-9212 or 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 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, Baby Food Cooking & Nutrition Demonstration, 10:30-12:00, and Rythm Child from 10:30 am-noon, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants.  For more info, visit their website.
  • 20th Annual Bodega Seafood, Art and Wine Festival
    16855 Bodega Highway, Bodega
    Saturday,10 am–6 pm & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Live music, dance floor, and a kids' entertainment and games. $15 adults, $13 seniors 60+, $11 ages 12–18, kids under 12 free. Tickets available at the gate (or discounted tickets online). Food and drink not included in admission price. No dogs allowed. Free parking. Event takes place at Watt's Ranch. For more info, visit their website.
  • WildCare Family Adventures at Indian Tree
    Indian Tree Open Space Preserve, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–12:30 pm

    Enjoy a day out in nature with the entire family! WildCare naturalists will lead fun family programs full of discovery. We’ll look for butterflies, flowers, birds, and much more. This is one of the best preserves to visit during a summer heat wave as the trails up the north facing slopes are cloaked in forests of oak, bay, and madrone. Location: Vineyard Road, Novato; check website for directions. For more info, call Marco (415) 453-1000 ext. 17 for details and to reserve space. Visit their website for more info.
  • China Camp Heritage Day
    China Camp State Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm

    This all-day event brings the community together to celebrate Chinese-American heritage, seafaring culture, and the natural history of our beautiful park. Heritage Day features musical and dance performances, including Lion Dancers and Chinese folk dancers. There are arts and crafts for sale, with 20% of the proceeds going to help Friends of China Camp. Location: 100 China Camp Village, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • The 9th Annual Taste of Petaluma
    Downtown Petaluma
    Saturday, 11:30 am–4 pm

    A culinary walking journey of Petaluma's finest restaurants, galleries, shops, winers, breweries and food purveyors. Buy tickets and receive your map and menu showing over 50 different participants to choose from. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Best Lil' Porkhouse Hayday
    Corte Madera
    Saturday, noon–3:30 pm

    Corte Madera's Best Little Porkhouse BBQ holds its annual Hayday event on Saturday. This free, family-friendly festival features live music, pony rides, a dunk tank, bounce house, and (of course) BBQ. Location: 60 Madera Boulevard. For more info, visit their website.
  • Hatch Chile Roasting Event
    Mollie Stone's, Greenbrae
    Saturday, noon–4 pm

    Chefs and foodies everywhere eagerly await the Hatch chile harvest season that lasts only a few short weeks in August and September. This summer Mollie Stone's will offer this unique pepper from Hatch, New Mexico, "the Chile Capital of the World". Free roasting on-site with purchase on Saturday during the event. Location, 270 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Theater Summer Festival
    Novato Civic Green
    Saturday, 3–7 pm

    Bring the family and come downtown to enjoy good music, food, fun, and dancing on the green. There will be a kids' corner with lots of fun activities. Tickets are $10, children 12 and under are free. Online early bird special is $8. Location: 901 Sherman Avenue, Novato. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 15, 16 & 17

August 15, 2014
Civil War Days at Fort Point
Step back in time and experience Civil War Days at San Francisco's Fort Point 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 beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, August 15

  • Children's Garden Series: The Unique Derique
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. This Friday: The Unique Derique delights all ages by clowning, dancing, and turning his agile limbs into a drum set or a harpsichord keyboard. His interactive performance is percussive, syncopated and dynamic. For more info, visit their website.
  • Benefit Family Concert: Uncle Gerry
    Knights of Columbus Hall, San Anselmo
    Friday, 4 pm
    On Friday, August 15 and Sunday, August 17, Sing-Dance-Play and Music Together of Marin will host concerts for young children and their families featuring recording artist "Uncle" Gerry Dignan, whose music is featured on the CDs given to children who take Music Together classes. Friday's show takes place at 4 pm at San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, and Sunday's performance takes place at 4 pm at the Homestead Valley Community Center, 315 Montford Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Family Date Nights: Enzo
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Friday, 5–7:30 pm

    Bring your family to enjoy later hours, live entertainment, special outdoor activities, and more. All activities and performances included with all-day museum admission. Free admission for members. This Friday: Enzo is a one man band, playing cool instruments like the 5-string banjo, accordion, harmonica, and musical saw. For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    In its fifth year, the popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pacheco Plaza Summer Music Series
    Pacheco Plaza, Novato
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Enjoy the tunes of Creation—"Caribbean groove" best describes this Bay Area top reggae band—and an al fresco dinner from Boca Pizzeria, Taki Japanese Restaurant, or Paradise Foods under the stars! Free shows start at 6 pm and are free of charge. Arrive early for best parking. Location: 366 Ignacio Boulevard, Novato. For more information, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8:30 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available, first-come first-served. This Friday: Dennis Johnson and the Mississippi Ramblers, sponsored by Sausalito Youth Sailing Foundation. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parents' Night Out!
    Marinwood Community Center
    Friday, 5–10 pm
    Drop off the kids and enjoy a 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: $20; $18 each additional sibling. Register here. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    This Friday's movie is Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (UR). Arrive by 8 pm—films begin at dusk. Popcorn, candy, and sodas will be sold. Bring blankets, pillows, backrests, and low chairs. Film Night suggests leaving pets at home. Donations are appreciated. Creek Park is located at the 400 block of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 16

  • Run for the Seals 2014
    Marine Mammal Center
    Saturday, 7 am–5 pm
    Enjoy breathtaking views of the Marin Headlands and the California coastline with your family as you take part in the 30th Anniversary Run for the Seals on Saturday, August 16. There are two routes to choose from: a 4-mile fun run on roads/dirt tracks and a 2-mile hill walk on a fire road. The event is open to all ages. Dogs on leashes are welcome too! And costumed people and dogs are especially encouraged. Your registration fee includes Run for the Seals and Fun Day, so after your run or walk, come to the Center and enjoy free food and drinks, take educational tours, listen to stories and learn about the important work of the Center. 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 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, Children's Entertainment, 9:30-10:30 am, and live music from 12-2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants.  For more info, visit their website.
  • Fort Point Civil War Days
    Fort Point, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    This event is for the entire family. Join the American Civil War Association as part of commemorations of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War 2011–2015. Stop by and watch Fort Point come to life with music, marching, and the colorful uniforms of Civil War soldiers. See infantry and artillery drills and demonstrations, and learn about civilian life during the Civil War. For more info, call (415) 556-1693 or visit their website.
  • Climb Aboard Weekend
    Pacific Coast Air Museum, Santa Rosa
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Climb aboard the museum's vintage aircraft and learn about the history of where and how they were used from the crew who has lovingly restored them. This is a rare opportunity to get a close-up look and sit in the cockpits of these historic aircraft. Admission: $10 adults, $7 seniors 65+, $5 children 6–17, free for kids 5 and under and active and retired military with ID; $30 maximum for a family group. For more info, call (707) 575-7900 or visit their website.
  • Back to School Weekend
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
    It's time to go back to school! On August 16 and 17, the first 500 people to donate a new or gently used school backpack will receive a limited-edition set of Zoo folders, featuring Jillian the Sumatran tiger, Kabibe the western lowland gorilla, Tenzing the red panda, and Erin the reticulated giraffe calf. And to get those young minds back in shape for the classroom, the Zoo will be filled with fun educational opportunities. The collected backpacks will be donated to a Bay Area school community in need. For more information, visit their website.
  • Ranch Tour: Stemple Creek Ranch
    Tomales
    Saturday, 11 am–2 pm

    Bring the kids, friends, and neighbors for a tour of Stemple Creek Ranch, where you'll learn about the ranch's history and how they do things, and take in the beautiful scenery of West Marin. They'll even BBQ some tasters. Bring your own picnic lunch if you like. RSVP required. For more info, call (415) 883-8253 or visit their website.
  • Bat Night
    Olompali State Historic Park, Novato
    Saturday, 6–9 pm

    Meet live bats, view bat houses, create a bat mask, and make bat-style s’mores. Just after dusk, Corky Quirk of NorCal Bats will present a slide show about the wonderful diversity and benefits of bats worldwide. At dark, see some of the park’s residents swoop and dive while they catch insects on the wing. All ages are welcome. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on while we watch the bats. Parking is $8 per car; event is free. Olompali is located just north of Novato at 8901 Redwood Highway. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 8, 9 & 10

August 8, 2014
The Gravenstein Apple Fair takes place this weekend in Sebastopol. Photo: Gravenstein Apple Fair.

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, August 8

  • Sonoma County Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 am–11 pm

    It's the final weekend for the Sonoma County Fair, which offers both a classic full-scale carnival with plenty of excitement for thrill-seekers and a separate kiddie carnival area for the little ones, with scaled down thrills and lots of excitement. Fair admission is free every day for children 6 and under; Friday is Kids' Days, with free admission for all children 12 and under. Carnival rides are an additional charge. Admission is $11 for ages 13 and up, $5 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. For more info, visit www.sonomacountyfair.com.
  • Children's Garden Series: Pi Clowns
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Nobody takes being silly as seriously as the Pi Clowns. Blending mime, theater, acrobatics, juggling, and improvisation, the Pi Clowns deliver amazing and original clown vignettes. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Family Date Nights: Blues Whale
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Friday, 5–7:30 pm

    Bring your family to enjoy later hours, live entertainment, special outdoor activities, and more. All activities and performances included with all-day museum admission. Free admission for members. This Friday: Blues Whale, a funky jam band from the Marin Headlands, plays a variety of classic covers from Muddy Waters to the Beatles, along with originals.For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    In its fifth year, the popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Marinwood’s most popular event is back! Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music with the the Cosmo Alley Cats, delicious food by Marinwood Market, wine and beer. Cost: Entry is free; food, wine, and beer may be purchased. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Closing Night! Creekside Fridays Music Series
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This week: Tam Valley All Stars. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Marin Shakespeare Company: As You Like It
    Forest Meadows Amphitheater, San Rafael
    Friday, 8 pm, Saturday, 9 pm
    & Sunday, 8 pm
    These are "Pay as You Like It" performances—donations of any amount accepted. Sunday's show is the closing performance of As You Like It. Performances take place at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, 1475 Acacia Avenue (at Grand Avenue). For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: I Am Sam
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    Film Night in the Park presents a large-screen outdoor presentation of I Am Sam (PG-13) at Creek Park in San Anselmo. Popcorn, candy and sodas will be sold. Bring blankets, pillows, backrest and low chairs. Film Night suggests leaving pets at home. Free. Donations greatly appreciated. Location: 451 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 9

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

    This Saturday, Kid's Love to Cook! Hands On Cooking Demonstration from 10:30-11:30 am. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, music featuring Miss Kitty from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from 11 am–12:30 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Bird Walk at Olompali
    Olompali State Historic Park, Novato
    Saturday, 9–11 am

    Birdwatching is a wonderful family activity! We will see permanent and seasonal residents, some of whom have flown thousands of miles to raise their families in this lovely corner of the world. With sharp senses and a bit of luck, we will see fledglings and some early migrants. Families with young children are encouraged to attend. $8 per car for parking; event is free. Please note the new park entrance from Atherton Avenue/Redwood Boulevard. For more info, visit their website.
  • Gravenstein Apple Fair
    Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol

    Saturday, 10 am–6 pm and Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
    Come and celebrate a time when neighbors gathered to share home baked food, listen to some of the locals sing a tune, and learn a few farming skills. Brimming with tradition, this country fair showcases the Gravenstein apple and the experience of an old time country get together. Enjoy farming displays, a children's corner with crafts, music, and a magician, and more. Admission $15 general, $10 youth 6–12, free for children under 5. The Gravenstein Apple Fair takes place at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol, at 500 Ragle Road. For more info, visit  www.gravensteinapplefair.com.
  • World Lion Day
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
    Come celebrate the zoo's amazing pride of lions all weekend, and see what you can do to help this species. Enjoy a video about our big cats, face-painters, and an educational bio-fact cart, Safari Lion Bounce House and see a fun puppet performance by Jungle Joe near Lion Fountain. Zoo admission applies. For more information, visit their website.

Gravenstein Apple Fair: An Old-Time Country Festival

August 7, 2014

Girl with pie Gravenstein Apple FairWhere can you spend the day walking under ancient oaks following your nose from food booth to food booth (featuring frying apple fritters or slices of four-inch high apple pie),  taking in terrific acoustic music, and experiencing the sights and sounds of a turn-of-the-century barnyard? At the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair, of course?

Sonoma County's summertime jewel takes place in Sebastopol's Ragle Ranch Park this weekend, August 9 and 10. 2014's event is the 102nd Gravenstein Apple Fair, which showcases the best in arts, crafts, food, wines and beers, games, entertainment, and farm life activities.

The Gravenstein Apple Fair is produced by Sonoma County Farm Trails, and celebrates Sebastopol's iconic sweet and tart apple variety. While the fair in days past was a massive agricultural and food processing showcase, the modern version features family friendly fun like arts and crafts booths, chef demonstrations, live music on two stages, a petting zoo, farm animal displays, a hay maze, artisan booths selling handmade goods, and of course apples!

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