Events and Outings

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 29, 30 & 31

January 30, 2016
Fort Point Civil War Days
Civil War Living History Day takes place his Saturday at Fort Point in San Francisco.

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 29

  • 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: $7 per person; siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • Once Upon A Mattress
    Showcase Theatre, San Rafael
    Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm

    Good Shepherd Lutheran Middle School’s young actors do a fantastic job performing this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance. Chances are, you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again. Tickets: $25 adults, $15 student 8th grade and under. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 30

  • STEM Superhero Series
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–5 pm
    Get ready for some serious fun! Kicking off on January 30, our new STEM Superhero Series invites young visitors to use their STEM superpowers to solve real world challenges. All STEM Superheroes will receive capes to adorn with badges earned at each event; attend all four to complete the mission! Events include special facilitated programs for all ages and performances, all free with admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 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. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. 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.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Who doesn’t love an apple! In this class we’ll transform apples into awesome snacks and treats that you and your family will love. Suitable for ages 5–13. Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Chinese New Year Flower Fair
    Chinatown, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–8 pm & Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    The Chinese New Year Flower Fair is set in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown and provides a festive atmosphere in which the community can purchase their annual lunar new year flowers and produce while enjoying traditional Chinese dance, music, art and cultural displays. The Children's Area features a petting zoo, photo area, and other fun activities. Free. Location: Grant Avenue from Clay to Broadway and Pacific Avenue from Kearny to Stockton. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio: A Family Musical
    Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10:30 am and 1 pm

    Come join this magical musical of Gepetto, the master puppet maker and his puppet Pinocchio, who embark on a journey to pursue their dream of turning Pinocchio into a real boy so he can become the son Gepetto dreams of having. They meet many amazing characters along the way, including a Blue Fairy, the Land of the Toys and even escape from a giant whale. Dreams can come true! Admission: $13 plus $2 processing fee. To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Super Bowl City
    Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–10 pm & Sunday, 11 am–9 pm
    Centered in Justin Herman Plaza, on the Embarcadero at the foot of San Francisco’s famed Market Street, Super Bowl City will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages. It will offer a fun—and free—way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the extravaganza that is the sporting world’s biggest annual event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Learn to Freshwater Fish
    McInnis Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, noon–2 pm

    Join us at McInnis Park where rangers will teach the tips and tricks of the trade of freshwater fishing. This event requires a short walk uphill and downhill to reach the park's pond. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring a fishing pole. We will provide bait and a limited amount of fishing poles, thanks to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A fishing license is required for participants 16 and over. Friendly dogs are welcome, but must be leashed. Rain will cancel. Park entrance is free. Location: 310 Smith Ranch Rd., San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Scaly Sidekicks
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
    February 1 is National Serpent Day! The Presidio is home to slithering snakes and lovely lizards. Learn about some of our reptile friends by making your own finger puppet. Drop-in anytime between 11 am–4 pm. Free. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents Bad Kitty On Stage!
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    Straight from the pages of the wildly popular Bad Kitty comic book series, here she sprawls, in solitary splendor, until one day … (loud hissing) PUPPY! Uh oh.  And then … (hair on back standing on end) MOUSE! And then … well, let’s just say life gets complicated.  A world premiere. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $22 adults, $18 children, $20 seniors, $13 groups (10 or more). Location: 2020 Addison Street Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 524-2941 or visit their website.
  • Year of the Monkey: Chinese New Year Celebration
    San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch
    Saturday, 1–3 pm
    Join us to celebrate the Year of the Monkey. Performances include lion dance, folk dance, singing, traditional Chinese dress show, and more. Location: Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 22, 23 & 24

January 22, 2016
Bad Kitty BADM
Bad Kitty premieres at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley this weekend. Photo: Bay Area Children's Theatre.

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 22

  • 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: $7 per person; siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • Katia & Company presents: Please Be Seated
    The Playhouse San Anselmo
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Featuring a cast of talented local kids, follows the misadventures of a group of 5th through 8th graders who try to put on their own production of Cinderella. Featuring diva actors, a stressed-out director, and incompetent stagehands—everything that can go wrong, does! Tickets: $15 for adults and $10 for students 12 and under. (Make sure you mention Marin Mommies at the door for your free ticket! One free ticket per family.) Doors open 20 minutes before the show. No children under 3 years old, please. Location: 27 Kensington Road in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 23

  • Family Bird Walk at Olompali
    Olompoli State Historic Park, Novato
    Saturday, 8:30 am–noon

    Celebrate the season with the birds of Olompali. Beginning and experienced birders are invited to join leaders Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle of Yellowbilled Tours to view Olompali's diverse avian residents as we walk the ranch road past the park's reservoir. Perfect for the family. Cost: $8 per car; event is free. Location: new park entrance from Atherton Avenue/Redwood Boulevard in Novato. For more info, call (707) 762-9715 or visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 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. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Waffles aren’t just for breakfast—you can eat them from morning ’til night! Join us as we prepare waffles for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND dessert. Suitable for ages 5-13. Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Montessori de Terra Linda Open House
    San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am

    Tour the campus, get an overview of our program, and hear passionate presentations from faculty about the Montessori curriculum. Please call to RSVP at (415) 479-7373 x112.  Adults only, please. More information
  • The Mountain School Open HOuse
    Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Bring the whole family to visit the preschool classrooms, meet the teachers, and chat with Mountain School parents. Refreshments will be served! RSVP to info@marinmountainschool.org or call (415) 924-4661
  • Cascade Canyon School Open House
    Fairfax
    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Meet the teachers and learn more about Cascade Canyon School this January. RSVP at (415) 448-5125 or cascade@cascadecanyon.org. More information
  • "Your Favorites" Special Storytime Activity
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Join us for a special storytime to celebrate the top picture books picked by Novato families! Come experience these stories and listen, read and play with the books you love. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, call (415) 473-2050 or visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Ice Age Mammal Masks
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
    Before humans came to the Presidio, large mammals lived here! These ice age ani?mals included Sabertooth Cats, Columbian Mammoths, and Dire Wolves. With your own masks, these ancient creatures can once more been seen in the Presidio. Drop-in anytime between 11 am–4 pm. Free. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents Bad Kitty On Stage!
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    Straight from the pages of the wildly popular Bad Kitty comic book series, here she sprawls, in solitary splendor, until one day … (loud hissing) PUPPY! Uh oh.  And then … (hair on back standing on end) MOUSE! And then … well, let’s just say life gets complicated.  A world premiere. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $22 adults, $18 children, $20 seniors, $13 groups (10 or more). Location: 2020 Addison Street Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 524-2941 or visit their website.
  • Creek Walk to See Spawning Coho Salmon
    Samuel P Taylor Park, San Geronimo
    Saturday, 11 am–1 pm
    With the first hard rains in the watershed comes the beginning of spawning season for Coho salmon. SPAWN-trained naturalists lead creek walks to explore the majesty of the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Tour will meet at the front Kiosk of Camp Taylor and embark on a journey to multiple creek sites in search of some of these critically endangered salmon. Tours are open to all ages and abilities. Cost: $10 per person donation requested. Register here.
  • Octopalooza!
    Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11:30 am–2:30 pm

    At Aquarium of the Bay, we celebrate cephalopods of the world through an entire week of fun activities, crafts, and presentations! Join us as we bring some of these engaging activities to the Bay Model for this octo-tastic event. We’ll experiment with market squid dissections using squids from the sustainable seafood we feed our animals at Aquarium of the Bay. Plus, we’ll have an “octopus course” with fun challenges to find the inner cephalopod in all of us! Location: 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Imagination Players present: Narnia
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm

    Berkeley Playhouse presents Narnia. Performed by students in Berkeley Playhouse’s educational program, the Imagination Players. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2640 College Avenue Berkeley. Find more info here.
  • Moms Matinee: Gem of the Ocean
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 2 pm

    Moms Matinees at Marin Theatre Company feature onsite childcare at no additional cost, in partnership with UrbanSitter. Babysitters will be onsite beginning at 1 pm. Let the box office know if you'll need a babysitter when you book your tickets. This Saturday: August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. Location: 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun: January 15, 16, 17 & 18

January 15, 2016
Learn all about the famous Sea Lions at PIER 39 in San Francisco this weekend. Photo: PIER 39.

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

Friday, January 15

  • 26th Anniversary of the Sea Lions’ Arrival
    PIER 39's Entrance Plaza, San Francisco
    Friday–Monday, 11 am–4 pm

    Learn everything you ever wanted to know about California sea lions during the celebration of the return of these gregarious pinnipeds to PIER 39's famous K-docks! Free educational walking tours provided by naturalists from the Aquarium of the Bay. Tours begin at the top of the hour between noon and 4 pm each day. Enjoy complementary refreshments. For more info, visit their website.
  • Spaghetti Bingo
    Corte Madera Recreation Center
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Embrace the season as we bring the beauty of a white winter inside at "Frosted Spaghetti Bingo" this Friday at the Corte Madera Community Center. Fun for the whole family! The night will include a delicious buffet-style spaghetti dinner from 6–7 pm and bingo from 7–9 pm. Cost: $20 per person, includes 3 bingo cards. Additional cards may be purchased for $1. Purchase tickets online or call (415) 927-5072. Location: 489 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Film Night: McFarland, USA
    Presidio Community YMCA
    Friday, 6:30 pm

    Bring your sleeping bags and camp out on the gym floor while you enjoy a fun, free movie on a big screen. Free popcorn and It's It ice creams. Sponsored by San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell. The event is indoors at the Presidio Community Y Gymnasium, 63 Funston Ave at Lincoln Blvd in the Presidio. Stay warm and cozy with BYO blankets and cushions. For more info, 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.

Saturday, January 16

  • 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.
  • Children's China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday–Monday, 9 am–5 pm

    The new exhibiton Children's China opens on January 16. Take a trip to China—no passport required! Participate in a traditional tea ceremony, learn Chinese character writing, care for pandas, partake in dragon parades and more! Admisson to musuem applies. They will be open on Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Location: 557 McReyonlds Road, Sausalito. For more info, call (415) 339-3300 or visit their website here.
  • Family Hike: Muir Woods
    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley
    Satuday, 9:30 am–noon

    Suddenly it’s January; did El Niño arrive in Muir Woods? Coho salmon, fetid adder’s tongue, mushrooms, and spiders, follow Ranger Lou on this woodsy expedition to find clues of the season in the forest. People of all ages and abilities welcome. Baby backpack carriers preferred over strollers. Dress in layers. Bring snack, lunch, and water. Heavy rain cancels. In case of heavy rain, call Muir Woods before leaving your house. Reservations required by calling (415) 388-2596. For more info, visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 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. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Join us for a crepe party! In this hands-on class, you can make crepes just the way you like them, with your favorite fillings and delicious toppings. Suitable for ages 5–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free E-waste Recycling Event
    Marin Civic Center Parking Lot, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    Conservation Corps North Bay is hosting a FREE E-waste Recycling event at the Marin Civic Center parking lot. Bring in your e-waste to be responsibly recycled! Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visiti their website.
  • Lego Robotics Lab
    Mill Valley Public Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon

    Learn to program a Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robot to perform various challenges. Registration required. Participants must be in Grades 5–8. Click here to register. Location: 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Creekside Room, Mill Valley Public Library. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 8, 9 & 10

January 8, 2016
Mochi pounding at the Asian Art Museum in San Francsico
Celebrate the New Year, Japanese-style, with traditional mochi pounding at the Asian Art Museum.

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 8

  • 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.
  • Last Weekend for Ice Skating: Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday-Sunday, noon–10 pm

    This is the last weekend for Marin on Ice, an outdoor skating rink in San Rafael's Northgate Mall. Bring the kiddos out to for a day of ice skating. Skating costs $15 per person, which includes skate rental, and "Skate Buddies" (the blue plastic chair-like supports) are available for beginnners. For more info, call (707) 738-8496 or visit onicemarin.com
  • de Youngsters Family Art Party 2016
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Join other Bay Area families in putting the "art" in "party" at the de Youngsters third annual benefit bash for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Guests both young and "young at art" will enjoy a fun-filled evening at the de Young exploring color and line fun-filled evening at the de Young exploring art and innovation in the true spirit of San Francisco. Creative thinkers will be inspired by Jewel City: Art from San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Activities will include hands-on art making, live performances, cutting edge technology, and more surprises! For info and tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, January 9

  • Family Fun Run/Health & Wellness Fair
    Mill Valley Recreation Center
    Saturday, 8–2 pm

    Jump start your New Years resolution with a fun and exciting way to experience health, wellness and community in Mill Valley. Family fun run/walk (around the large lawn area behind community center), bounce house, airbrush tattoos, face painting, and food tasting. Health & Wellness Fair takes place from 10 am-2 pm. Preregister for fun run here. Free admission to fair. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, 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, 9:30 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. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    A spiralizer turns fruits and vegetables into all kinds of shapes, from noodles to spiral cuts. We’ll teach you how to make fun foods with this cool tool. Suitable for ages 8–13. Suitable for ages 8–13. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Montessori Open House
    Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Get to know Marin Montessori at an open house at their Corte Madera Campus, 5200 Paradise Drive. RSVP required; call (415) 924-5388 ext. 0. More information
  • Marin Waldorf School Open House
    San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–12:30 pm
    Marin Waldorf School, which offers eduction for children from early childhood to 8th grade, holds its open house at its San Rafael campus, 755 Idylberry Road, from 10 am–12:30 pm. RSVP required at (415) 479-8190 or on their website. More information

Hands-on Fun for Spring at Slide Ranch

January 5, 2016

slide ranch spring flingSlide Ranch is a great place for family members of all ages. We tried out one of their family farm days in the past and my kids had a great time petting the sheep planting seeds, milking a goat, and making nature crafts. They offer guided tours and lots of hands-on activities, including collecting eggs from 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.

Slide Ranch is located off of Shoreline Highway in Muir Beach. Below is a list of their upcoming spring events. Their programs often sell out quickly, so you need to plan ahead if you are interested in participating. Register for programs online at www.slideranch.org.

Spring Family Farm Days

Family Farm Days at Slide Ranch are relaxed four-hour programs that feature a wide range of activities related to the day's theme. Cost: $25 per person; age 2 and under free.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 1, 2 & 3

December 30, 2015
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.

You can also hit the ice at Marin on Ice or another Bay Area seasonal skating rink; check out our guide to local ice skating here.

Friday, January 1 - New Year's Day

  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday & Sunday, noon–9 pm; Saturday, noon–10 pm

    Hit the ice at Marin's only outdoor ice skating rink (open New Year's Day). This season's rink features 6,400 square feet of real ice. Cost: $15 per person all-day; skate rental included. Location: Oak Tree Plaza, Northgate Mall, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 2

  • Museums on Us
    Various locations
    Saturday & Sunday
    Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders get free general admission to select location museums 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, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Chabot Space and Science Center. For more info, 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, 9:30 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 $7 per person. Children under 16 are free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays December 26, 2015 through late March 2016. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes: Vitamix for Kids
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Discover all of the amazing things that the Vitamix blender can do! Use it to whip up tasty smoothies and a whole lot more. Suitable for ages 8–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Experience Elephant Seals
    Elephant Seal Overlook, Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 11 am–4 pm
    View an elephant seal colony through binoculars and scopes. A special 30-minute slide program about elephant seals may be available at the Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock, depending on staffing availability. Check at one of the Visitor Centers for whether the slide program is being offered. Visitors will need to take the winter shuttle bus from Drake's Beach. For more info, call (415) 669-1534 or visit their website.
  • Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal
    Children's Creativity Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am, 2 & 5 pm

    The hilarious and heartburning, uh, heartwarming holiday adventure of a lump of coal who wants to be an artist. A world premiere inspired by Lemony Snicket at his tongue-in-cheek, story weaving best, this stage adaptation will delight young and old theatregoers alike. For those itching to be a part of the action, this play also includes some uniquely interactive moments, and encourages children to explore their own creative sides! Recommended for age 4 and up. 60 minutes; no intermission. Tickets: $22 adults, $20 seniors 65+, $18 children 14 and under. Location: 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Saturday Cinema: Holiday Animation Festival
    Exploratorium, San Francisco
    Saturday, 1, 2 & 3 pm

    Ring in the New Year with exuberant and unaffected animations. Making use of stop-motion, pixelation, and handcrafted techniques, these short works rely on visual prowess to tell simple, jubilant stories of quiet heroism, emotional reactions, and internal conflicts. For all ages. Free with museum admission. Location: Pier 15, San Francisco (on the Embarcadero). For more information, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for December 25, 26 & 27

December 23, 2015
Whale watching point reyes lighthouse
Visit Point Reyes Lighthouse this weekend for the start of whale watching season.

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.

You can also hit the ice at Marin on Ice or another Bay Area seasonal skating rink, which will be open during the holidays. Check out our guide to local ice skating here.

Friday, December 25 - Christmas Day

  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Free Day
    Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
    Friday, 7:30 am–4 pm

    The Botanical Garden is a living museum within Golden Gate Park and is one of the most diverse gardens in the world, offering 55 acres of both landscaped gardens and open spaces, showcasing over 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world. Admission is free for all on Christmas Day. For more info, visit their website.
  • Community Day
    Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 11 am–4 pm
    The Contemporary Jewish Museum's Community Day is an admission-free, fun-for-all extravaganza that has become an annual tradition for Bay Area families. Explore the galleries, create art, and move and groove to live music! Bring your family and friends and enjoy an exciting day at the museum. Make shadow puppets, play with light theaters, and create a Wikki Stix art in the Art Studio, rock out to Alison Faith Levy and her Big Time Tot Rock Band at 1 and 2:30 pm, and enjoy a delicious menu from Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen from 11 am–3 pm. Location: 736 Mission Street San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday & Sunday, noon–9 pm; Saturday, noon–10 pm

    Hit the ice at Marin's only outdoor ice skating rink (open Christmas Day). This season's rink features 6,400 square feet of real ice. Cost: $15 per person all-day; skate rental included. Location: Oak Tree Plaza, Northgate Mall, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Rombeiro Christmas House
    Novato
    Friday–Sunday, 6–10 pm

    Visit the famous Rombeiro Christmas House in Novato, featuring over 140,000 lights as well as animated figures, dioramas, and more. You can tour the inside, and they're open Christmas Day, too. Free admission (donations to offset their December PG&E bill welcome). Location: 34 Devonshire Drive, Novato.

Saturday, December 26

  • 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 $7 per person. Children under 16 are free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays December 26, 2015 through late March 2016. For more info, visit their website.
  • Boswick the Clown's Variety Show
    Shelton Theatre, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am

    Former Ringling Brothers Clown Boswick is famous for his antics, his playfulness and being able to make children laugh with hysterics. Join Boswick at the beautiful Shelton Theatre, just two blocks from Union Square. Boswick the Clown presents clown sketches, juggling, and story telling in an intimate setting. Your children will laugh till they're red in the face! Tickets: $15. Location: 533 Sutter Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • Experience Elephant Seals
    Elephant Seal Overlook, Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 11 am–4 pm
    Weekends and holidays, late December–March. View an elephant seal colony through binoculars and scopes. A special 30-minute slide program about elephant seals may be available at the Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock, depending on staffing availability. Check at one of the Visitor Centers for whether the slide program is being offered. Visitors will need to take the winter shuttle bus from Drake's Beach. For more info, call (415) 669-1534 or visit their website.
  • Creek Walk to See Spawning Coho Salmon
    Samuel P Taylor Park, San Geronimo
    Saturday, 11 am–1 pm
    With the first hard rains in the watershed comes the beginning of spawning season for Coho salmon. SPAWN-trained naturalists lead creek walks to explore the majesty of the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Tour will meet at the front Kiosk of Camp Taylor and embark on a journey to multiple creek sites in search of some of these critically endangered salmon. Tours are open to all ages and abilities. Cost: $10 per person donation requested. Register here.
  • Family Matinee: A Christmas Carol
    American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 1 pm

    Featuring a lively cast of dozens, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts, the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition returns with a sparkling, music-infused production of A Christmas Carol. Bring your family, bring your friends, and check your "humbugs" at the door! Tickets: $50–$115. Location: 405 Geary Street, San Francisco. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for December 18, 19 & 20

December 18, 2015
The Mickey Mouse Christmas House
Visit the Mickey Mouse House in Marinwood this weekend. It's open nightly 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 18

  • San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
    War Memorial Opera House

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 & 7 pm
    San Francisco Ballet’s awe-inspiring production is like no other, with 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. Ticket prices start at $26. For more info, call (415) 865-2000 or visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday, 2
    –10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
    This Saturday, Marin on Ice opens for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Concert: A Charlie Brown Christmas—Live!
    San Francisco Symphony, Davies Hall
    Friday, 4 pm, Saturday, 2 pm & Sunday, 2 and 7:30 pm

    Your favorite Peanuts pals—Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and their friends—return to Davies Symphony Hall for an unforgettable live-action performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas. As special treat, Jodi Benson (the original voice of Ariel from Disney’s animated film classic The Little Mermaid) joins the gang this year, starting the night off with carols, sing-alongs, and other Christmas classics. Come early and enjoy a family-friendly reception. Tickets $15 and up; 17 and under half-price. For more info, visit their website.
  • Zoo Lights
    Oakland Zoo
    Friday–Sunday, 5:30–9 pm,
    Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland's night sky. Highlights include a candy cane lane themed rides area, a night time adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees and a light show that's sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs. ZooLights is a separate event and is not included in regular Zoo Admission. $8 adults, $7 children 2–14 and seniors 65+, free for children under 2 and adults over 80. For more info, visit their website.
  • Wooden Nickel Circus
    Marin County Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Friday, 6–7:15 pm

    Wooden Nickel Circus performs under the Big Tent at Marin Country Mart. Tickets: $10 children age 18 and under; $20 adults. Tickets required for seating and can be purchased on Brown Paper Tickets. For more info, visit their website.
  • Young Performers Theatre: Cinderella
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Friday, 6:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday,1 & 3:30 pm

    The Young Performers Theatre presents Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother and sisters are very cruel to her. They go off to the Prince’s ball and leave poor Cinderella at home. After they have departed for the prince’s ball, the fairy godmother appears and makes Cinderella’s wishes come true! For all ages. Tickets: $12. Location: Building C, Room 300, Fort Mason. For more info, visit their website.

 Saturday, December 19

  • 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 adjacent to the farmer's market, arts and crafts by SCRAP from 10 am–1:30 pm, and children's entertainment from 9:30–10:30 am. Santa Claus will be at the Poppy Store from 10:30 am–2 pm for complimentary photos. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Walk: A Winter Wonderland 
    Muir Woods, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 2–4:30 pm
    Discover the wonder of an old growth redwood forest in winter on this leisurely walk on the Fern Creek and Alice Eastwood trails. Look for salmon, mushroom displays, winter wildflowers, waterfalls, and more! Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes as the trails are steep and may be muddy. Bring water and a snack. Entry fees apply. Strollers not advised, but baby backpack carriers are welcome. For information and reservations, call (415) 388-2596 or visit their website.
  • 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. Free admission day. For more info, visit their website.
  • Dream Circle Holiday Concert
    Bay Area Discovery Museum
    Saturday, 10:30 am & 11:45 am

    Bring the little ones (ages 6 mos. and up) for a delightful and uplifting seasonal celebration featuring songs for a wide range of winter holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year. Dream Circle is indeed a dream lineup of Marin’s best loved children’s entertainers. Tickets: $5 members, $7 general (does not include museum admission). To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Photos with Santa
    Poppy Store, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 10:30 am-2 pm

    Bring the kiddos for a complementary photo with Santa. Location: The Country Mart, Larkspur Landing. For more info, visit their website.
  • Gingerbread House Decorating Classes
    Cake Art, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon & 2–3:30 pm

    Decorate your holiday gingerbread house at Cake Art Supplies. The class includes a large preassembled, freshly baked gingerbread house, royal icing, assorted candies and decorations, and instruction. This class is a popular adult, child or parent/child class. Call now to sign up as space is limited. Cost: $50. Location: 1512 5th Avenue, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 456-7773 or visit their website.
  • Lights, Camera, Santa!
    Novato Theater
    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm

    Gather the kids and come to the Novato Theater for photos with Santa every Saturday until Christmas. There will also be music, ice princesses, and snacks galore! Location: 922 Grant Avenue, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Holiday Sing-Along
    Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am

    Sing along with your favorite Christmas carols as the toys of St. Nicholas's workshop come to life! Discover the meaning of Christmas on an extraordinary journey, filling children, young and old, with the joys of the season. This program is particularly well-suited to those under age 8. Tickets: $10–$25. Location: 1100 California Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Theatre Company's Family Series: The Little Prince
    Mill Valley
    Saturday, 11 am, 1 & 3:30 pm and Sunday, 11 am & 1 pm
    The Little Prince’s fantastic journey to Earth and the resonant life lessons he shares will delight and warm the hearts of families of all ages this holiday season. Tickets: $18 children under 14, $22 adults. Get $5 off tickets to any performance with code LPFRIENDS! Location: 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Dream Circle Holiday Concert at the Bay Area Discovery Museum this Weekend

December 17, 2015

Dream CircleCome and celebrate the holiday season with four of Marin's best loved kids entertainers: Tim Cain, Miss Kitty, Christopher Smith, and Cindy Cohen, accompanied by Peter Penhallow and the Dream Circle Band, for this year's Dream Circle Holiday Concert at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. The concert takes place this Saturday, December 19, 2015 with two performances at 10:30 and 11:45 am.

Bring the entire family ages 1 and up to sing and dance at this delightful and uplifting seasonal celebration featuring songs for a wide range of winter holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year. Dream Circle is indeed a dream lineup of the superstars of local children’s entertainertainment!

Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for Bay Area Discovery Museum members. For more info and to order tickets, visit www.baykidsmuseum.org. The Bay Area Discovery Museum is located at 557 McReynolds Road in Sausalito.

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