San Rafael

Gymnastics Birthday Parties at GymWorld in San Rafael

January 19, 2015

GymWorld Birthday Parties San RafaelBirthday parties where everyone can burn off some energy through active play and exercise are always a lot of fun, and the Gymagic gymnastics parties offered by GymWorld, a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility in San Rafael, are a great choice for Marin County families.

GymWorld's facilities include a ton of fun activities for birthday partygoers, including a big foam pit that kids can jump and flip into off the two large trampolines that lead into it. Kids can also have fun on GymWorld's climbing wall, trampolines, tire swing, a trapeze, and cargo net.

New Storytelling Series at Marin Waldorf School

November 11, 2014

Marin Waldorf School Storytelling SeriesDo you and your kids love a great story? Come to Marin Waldorf School on Tuesday afternoons for their new Storytelling Series!

Stories are presented by Marin Waldorf's preschool and kindergarten faculty, and take place in the school's warm and welcoming classrooms. Stories are appropriate for children ages 3 to 6. Best of all, this program is open to the public and free of charge!

Storytelling Series programs take place from 3:30 to 4 pm on the following Tuesdays: November 11 and December 16, 2014 and January 16, February 3, and March 24, 2015. Please arrive early, as stories begin promptly at 3:30 pm. The first story, on November 11, is A Caterpillar's Voice.

Marin Waldorf School is located at 755 Idylberry Road in the Lucas Valley–Marinwood area of San Rafael. To get there, take Highway 101 to the Lucas Valley Road exit and head west on Lucas Valley Road. Turn right onto Miller Creek Road, then left onto Idylberry Road. Marin Waldorf School will be on your left.

November Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

November 1, 2014

Parents PlaceParents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. This fall, they offer a wide variety of programs, from childbirth education to classes for parents and children. Here are a few of the programs they offer in November, including classes for both infant-and-child and adult-and-teen CPR and an toddler sleep class with Angelique Millette.

JAMaROO Music Time, plus bonus free play! (9 months–4 years)

JAMaROO Music Time is a fun-packed, 40-minute class that combines music, creative movement, and storytelling. Children will sing, play simple instruments, read stories, balance bean bags, and dance with streamers to a variety of music from around the world. Class themes are related to nature and the outside world.Tuesdays, November 4–18, 10–10:40 am. $39 per child; $22.50 for each additional sibling, for three-week series. Parental supervision is required. As a bonus, the playroom will be available for free play from 10:40 am until noon after each session Register here.

Adult and Teen CPR

This class teaches rescuer skills in CPR and relief of choking (foreign-body airway obstruction) for adults and teens. It presents information about the American Heart Association's adult Chain of Survival and signs of heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke, and choking in adults. This class is suitable for all laypersons, especially family members of patients at risk for sudden cardiac death and those who want to learn rescue skills for loved ones. With Shanda Manion, CPR instructor certified by the American Heart Association in basic life support. $50. Thursday, November 6, 6:30–8:30 pm. Register here.

September Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

September 5, 2014

Parents PlaceParents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. This fall, they offer a wide variety of programs, from childbirth education to classes for parents and children. Here are a few of the programs they offer in September, including a webinar on positive discipline and an effective fathering workshop with author and parent coach Tom Limbert.

JAMaROO Music Time, plus bonus free play! (9 months–4 years)

JAMaROO Music Time is a fun-packed, 40-minute class that combines music, creative movement, and storytelling. Children will sing, play simple instruments, read stories, balance bean bags, and dance with streamers to a variety of music from around the world. Class themes are related to nature and the outside world.Tuesdays, September 9–23, 10–10:40 am. $39 per child; $22.50 for each additional sibling, for three-week series. Parental supervision is required. As a bonus, the playroom will be available for free play from 10:40 am until noon after each session Register here.

Terrific Toddlers and Twos (1–3 years)

Acquire a developmental understanding of how best to support your little ones and preserve your sanity! We will talk about setting limits, guiding behavior, developing social skills, understanding tantrums, and more. With Bonnie Romanow, BA, childhood development specialist. Wednesday, September 10, 6:30–8:30 pm. $40. Register here.

Take a Family Hike at Santa Margarita Island Open Space Preserve

September 4, 2014

Santa Margarita Island Open Space Preserve in San RafaelFamilies looking for a short, easy hike with interesting things to see along the way should check out Santa Margarita Island Open Space Preserve in northern San Rafael. Located in the Santa Venetia neighborhood just east of the Marin Civic Center, this small preserve really is a little island surrounded by tidal wetlands. It's home to numerous birds and other wildlife, so make sure you bring your binoculars!

Open the gate and walk across the little bridge onto the four-and-a-half-acre island. You'll see pilings and concrete walls, which are the remains of a failed development from the early 1900s that sought to transform the area into a Venice-like town, complete with canals and gondolas (and hence the name Santa Venetia). The bridge is a great place to look for shorebirds that live in the wetlands, including egrets, black-necked stilts, and the endangered California clapper rail.

Once over the bridge, you'll be on the trailhead. Go right or left—it doesn't matter, because the whole trail is a flat, .3-mile loop. It's easy for hikers of any age, and can probably be managed with an off-road capable stroller, too. No bikes are allowed here—just hikers and equestrians.

Infant CPR Class Events at Whole Foods San Rafael and Mill Valley

September 1, 2014

Mill Valley Whole Foods EventAttention new parents! This week, Whole Foods Markets in San Rafael and Mill Valley will offer events for new moms and dads with an infant and child CPR class followed by a vendor fair featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, and Mill Valley Recreation, among others. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes.

One-year CPR certification is included with the course. For both classes, the fee for the certificate has been reduced to $30 (regularly $45) for this special community event. Space for both events is limited, so register to reserve your spot now (reservation links below).

The Mill Valley event takes place at the original Whole Foods Market at 414 Miller Avenue on Friday, September 5, with the class from 9:30–11 am and the vendor fair from 11 am–1 pm. Register for the Mill Valley event here.

August Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

July 28, 2014

Parents Place MarinParents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. This summer, they offer a wide variety of programs, from childbirth education to classes for parents and children. Here are a few of the programs they offer in August, including a webinar on managing aggressive behaviors in young children.

Positive and Effective Discipline: A Crash Course (3–5 years)

Starting with a basic understanding of developmental norms for 3- to 5-year-olds, we will break down the components of discipline—communication, listening, modeling, consequences, and more--to learn about improving limit-setting, encouraging responsibility, and fostering communication. With Bonnie Romanow, childhood development specialist. Monday, August 4, 6:30–8:30 pm. $40. Register here.

Panchito's Serves Up Family Friendly Mexican Fare in Terra Linda

July 12, 2014

Panchito's Terra LindaVisiting Terra Linda in northern San Rafael is a bit like stepping back in time, with plenty of mid-century Eichler ranch houses and a small shopping center that's home to some classic Marin restaurants that haven't changed for as long as I can remember. One of these that my family and I keep going back to is Panchito's, a family-run Mexican restaurant that's been serving up classic combo platters and more for over three decades.

I started going here for lunch with co-workers back when I worked in the area, and I've been coming back ever since. Panchito's opened in Terra Linda in 1979. It was taken over by current owners Leo and Jeff in 1999, who've been running it ever since. I've never been there when both of them are not there overseeing the dining rooms and making sure everything runs smoothly. They seem to know many of the customers on a first-name basis, too.

The food at Panchito's is classic Mexican-American fare, with all the usual suspects like enchiladas, burritos, tacos, fajitas, tamales, and chile rellenos. We love their extensive kids' menu (starting at $4.95), which features a variety of offerings to appeal to picky eaters and adventurous kids alike. Kids's meals all come with a small milk, juice, or soda.

The San Rafael Pacifics Go to Bat Against Breast Cancer This Weekend!

June 26, 2014

San Rafael Pacifics pink uniformMarin's own boys of summer, the San Rafael Pacifics, have started another fantastic season of professional minor league baseball in San Rafael's Albert Park. This weekend, the team will be promoting breast cancer awareness with some unique activities and giveaways!

At their June 27 game against the Sonoma Stompers, Pacific players will be donning specially designed pink dresses in the style of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League immortalized in the 1992 movie, A League of Their Own. The Pacifics will be the first men’s professional baseball team in history to wear dresses!

Two dress/uniforms will be autographed by Academy Award winner and A League of Their Own star Tom Hanks, and auctioned off with the proceeds going to the To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation. Other uniforms autographed by members of the Pacifics will be auctioned off as well.

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