Novato

Four Easy Waterfall Hikes for Families in Marin

February 20, 2017

Fairway waterfall Novato

One of the things I love most about winter in Marin is being able to hike to a beautiful waterfall, and when it rains families have many to choose from. The waterfalls in our list here all involve hikes of varying length, and all are perfect destinations for a family outdoor outing. There's something for hikers of every ability here.

All of these waterfalls are at their most spectacular after the big rainstorms we've been having this winter. This also means the trails will be pretty muddy, so make sure you put on the rain boots and dress the kiddos in something that you don't mind getting dirty. Here are four of our favorite Marin waterfall hikes, in order of difficulty (although all of them are family friendly). All but one of these hikes (Cataract Falls on Mt. Tamalpais) are on lands administered by Marin County Parks; visit their website for more info and to download printable trail maps for each preserve.

Take a Family Hike to the Fairway Waterfall in Novato

February 6, 2017

Fairway Waterfall Novato

When it rains, we love to head outdoors and take a waterfall hike! Hikes with the family are especially fun when there's something exciting to see at the end of the trail, like a rushing waterfall. Marin's waterfalls are some of the county's hidden treasures, and are best appreciated when they're running full force in winter and spring. The Fairway Waterfall, also known as Arroyo de San Jose Waterfall, is a seasonal waterfall that can be found on a trail at the end of Fairway Drive, in Novato's Country Club neighborhood.

The trail to the Fairway waterfall is short and easy and the trailhead is conveniently located, so it's a perfect hike for kids. So bundle up, put on those puddle stompers and raincoats, and head outdoors for a waterfall hike! After our recent winter storms, the waterfall is flowing in full force, so you will not be disappointed.

Hiking, History, and Nature at Olompali State Historic Park in Novato

January 31, 2017

Olompali State Historic Park

Just north of Novato, on the eastern slopes of Mount Burdell, lies Olompali State Historic Park. This gem of a local resource is often overlooked by families as they drive by on Highway 101, but it's well worth a visit. With miles of hiking trails, historic sites spanning 8,000 years of human habitation, and sweeping views of the Petaluma River Valley, Olompali has much to offer for visitors of all ages.

The story of Olompali starts with the Coast Miwoks, who lived on the site for thousands of years. Olompali was one of the primary Miwok settlements in Northern California until the 1850s. At the park, you'll find evidence of their presence here in the form of a "Kitchen Rock", a large stone used as a mortar by the Miwok people to grind acorns and seeds, and a reconstructed village with redwood bark and tule reed kotchas—traditional Coast Miwok dwellings. There's also a native plant garden with educational panels describing how the Miwok used each plant for food or medicinal purposes.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: The Waterfall Trail at Indian Valley Open Space Preserve

January 24, 2017

Indian Valley Waterfall Novato

When the rains comes down like it has recently, it's time to gather up the kids, put on the rain boots, and hike to a waterfall in Marin. One of our favorite local waterfall hikes is the Waterfall Trail at Indian Valley Open Space Preserve in Novato, a short and easy hike that almost anyone can manage. We've even seen sturdy offroad strollers on the trail.

To get there, take the Indian Valley Fire Road from either of College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus or the Indian Valley Road trailhead to where it meets the aptly named Waterfall Trail. On they way you'll be accompanied by a rushing stream that runs along the trail. Cross over a little wooden bridge into the woods and follow the trail—you'll hear the waterfall before you can see it.

Swim With the Rolling Hills Tritons USA Swimming Team!

August 7, 2016

Tritons Swim Team Rolling Hills ClubKeep your kids' swimming going this fall on the Tritons USA Swimming team at the Rolling Hills Club! The season has just started, so now is a great time to join and see what the USA Swimming experience is all about. With a passionate and experienced coaching staff led by new Head Coach Richard Nicholls, it's a great way for kids ages 5 to 18 to take their swimming skills to the next level, learn advanced techniques, and compete.

Coach Richard brings nearly 30 years of international swim coaching experience to the Tritons, who practice at the beautiful Rolling Hills Club in Novato. With a focus on smaller groups and individualized coaching and instruction, the team utilizes new techniques and training methods to help swimmers achieve their goals. It's ideal for swimmers of all ages and levels. Swimmers can compete in USA Swimming meets that take place throughout Northern California, at every level from rookie to Junior Olympics.

Boutique Camps for Girls at the Rolling Hills Club

June 13, 2016

American Girl Doll Camp at the Rolling Hills ClubCalling all girls—come join in the boutique camps this summer at Novato's Rolling Hills Club!

Back by popular demand is the club's most popular camp, Spa Camp. With two sessions offered this summer, this camp is for girls ages 7 to 12. Your favorite girl can end the summer with some well deserved pampering. Learn how to do one of the newest nail trends, moon manicures! Come create a bath bomb and custom perfume, make snow cone sugar scrub, and fashion a inspired galaxy T-shirt. This year will have even more fun, with glitter tattoos, faux feather extensions, and the opportunity to try henna designs. Each day, campers will create spa favored foods for snack, swim, and more! This camp always fills up fast, register today!

Get Creative at CEC Makerspace at South Novato Library

May 6, 2016

CEC Makerspace South Novato Library

It goes without saying that STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Art, and Math) education is a hot topic with families today. Getting kids to become "makers" working with hands-on projects is not only fun, but an important part of learning how our world today works and getting prepared for future careers. Working on STEAM activities often involves lots of expensive equipment like computers, laser cutters, soldering stations, power tools, and 3D printers, and of course a space in which to work—and that's where local maker spaces like the CEC Maker Space and Media Studio at South Novato Library come into play.

Treasures Await at the Bel Marin Keys Spring Warehouse Sale, April 28-30

April 25, 2016

Bel Marin Keys Spring Sale Marin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from the Bel Marin Keys Spring Warehouse Sale, which takes place April 28–30.

Spring is in the air and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Are you ready for some shopping deals? Starting Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30, many of the businesses in the Bel Marin Keys Warehouse district (just off 101 in South Novato), will be opening for you. This sale has a wide array of items for your delight; including brightly colored kitchen gadgets (Kuhn Rikon), nutrient rich seaweed spa products (SeaBenefit), stunning and unique jewelry pieces (Alexis Jewelry), funky boots and sunscreen products (Mike Childs USA), gorgeous Italian décor (Via Graceffo) and fine wine (Starry Night Winery) to name just a few. There is something for everyone!

Healthy Ingredients a Mom Can Trust

April 4, 2016

Whole Foods Market Marin

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Whole Foods Market.

Aspartame? Vanillin? Ammonium chloride? Shopping for groceries shouldn’t feel like reading a chemistry textbook. And once children enter the picture, the stakes are even higher.

At Whole Foods Market, we stock our shelves with products we buy for our own kids. We carry the widest selection of organic foods of any retailer, but it doesn’t stop there. What goes on your little one’s body is just as important as what goes in it. Looking for diapers? Ours don’t contain synthetic fragrances, inks, or chlorine. We offer lotions, soaps, sunscreen, and baby powder that don’t contain irritating preservatives, artificial colors, or scents.

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