Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 16, 17 & 18

September 16, 2016

Blue Fairy at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
Family fun awaits this weekend at Mill Valley's 60th annual Fall Arts Festival in Old Mill Park.

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 16

  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Fun Days
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! Location: 931 C St., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Circus Vargas: The Big One is Back!
    Village at Corte Madera
    Friday, 4:30 & 7:30 pm, Saturday, 1, 4 & 7:30 pm, Sunday, 1, 4 & 7 pm

    See the world premiere of Circus Vargas presents iLUMINOUS, an all-new, high-energy extravaganza. Be wowed by death-defying stunts, flying aerialists, exhilarating acrobats, and uproarious clowns under a music filled, blue and yellow Big Top. Kids can learn circus skills at the free, interactive pre-show 45 minutes before each performance. After the show meet and take pictures with our performers. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Full Moon Hike at White Hill
    Friday, 7–9 pm

    Come see nature's fireworks—clear skies, bright stars, and a magnificent full moon. Join rangers for a nature walk to experience this unique preserve after dark. We’ll discuss nocturnal animals and things that go bump in the night! This event is ideal for all ages. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Shakespeare by the River: As You Like It
    Foundry Wharf, Downtown Petaluma
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 2 pm & Sunday, 4 pm
    Bring the family out to experience Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It by the Petaluma River. Free. Location: 2nd and H Streets, Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: Pan
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    Film Night in the Park presents a large-screen outdoor presentation of Pan at Creek Park in San Anselmo. Bring blankets, pillows, backrest and low chairs. Free; donations greatly appreciated. Location: 451 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 17

  • Farmers Market & Pie Baking Competition
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Show off your baking skills and bring your best pie to the Marin Country Mart Farmers Market on Saturday at 10 am at the Big Tent. New this year is a special category for bakers 14 and under. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, children's crafts 10:30 am–1:30 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • California Coastal Cleanup Day
    Various Marin locations
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    On the third Saturday of every September volunteers all over the world converge on beaches, shorelines, and inland waterways to pick up trash and remove dangerous debris. Considered the largest marine-related volunteer event in the world, Coastal Cleanup Day is a wonderful opportunity to lend a hand and make a significant difference. There are over 35 sites in Marin to choose from. Check the list here.
  • NatureBridge Coastal Cleanup Day
    Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito

    Saturday, 9 am–noon
    Celebrate the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day with stewardship at Rodeo Lagoon. Coastal Cleanup Day is the highlight of the California Coastal Commission's year-round  Adopt-a-Beach program. This is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together to take care of our fragile marine environment. Free. For all ages. Register here. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Marin Garage Sale
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Shop 'til you drop at the big multi-family garage sale in Novato's San Marin neighborhood. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The 60th Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival will showcase over 140 fine artists from all across the country and offer live music and children’s entertainment under the redwoods. The juried works include prints, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, photography, and sculpture. See full schedule here. Cost: $10 general admission, $5 students and seniors, free for kids under 12. Location: Old Mill Park, Throckmorton Ave and Old Mill Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • Father Goose's Tales
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am, 12:30 & 3 pm and Sunday, 10 am & 12:30 pm

    Marin Theatre Company (MTC) kicks off its 2016–2017 Family Series with Father Goose's Tales. In this production, Mother Goose has taken the day off and Father Goose must take over her duties, including storytelling! Father Goose's Tales is written and performed by Jim Napolitano, who brings the nursery rhymes, stories, and songs to life through innovative shadow puppetry, and is ideal for children ages 4 to 8. Tickets are $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office at 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • 2016 Korean Day Cultural Festival
    Union Square, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    We invite you to come celebrate with us with live Korean performances, food and cultural experiences on September 17th at Union Square in San Francisco! Free but RSVP is required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden Plant Sale
    College of Marin Indian Valley Campus, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Shop for plants and produce this weekend at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden. On Sunday, there will be family activities from 1 to 3 pm including a scavenger hunt, face painting, fall farm crafts, and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • International Dragon Boat Festival
    Lake Merritt, Oakland
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The California Dragon Boat Association presents the 21st Annual Kaiser Permanente Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Merritt, Oakland! Cheer on the fleet of colorful 40-foot dragon boats as they race to the beat of Chinese drums. This two-day, admission-free festival brings a weekend of world-class dragon boat racing, spectacular cultural performances, delicious food, a variety of clothes and crafts vendors, and kid-friendly activities in Dragon Land where games and arts and crafts await. For more info, visit their website.
  • Junior Chef Classes: American Girl Pancake Party
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Support a great cause—and have fun while you’re doing so! In this hands-on class with American Girl™, we’ll make pancakes together and, of course, eat our delicious creations! For ages 8+. Cost: $40 per child includes an American Girl™ for Williams-Sonoma Pancake Kit (30% of the proceeds will be donated to No Kid Hungry!) Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Circus Vargas is in town!
    Corte Madera Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Performers from the Circus will entertain families at the Corte Madera Library. It’s a high-energy extravaganza which is currently touring California. Look for the bigtop near Nordstrom, then head to the Library for a chance to meet and greet stars from the show. For more information, call (415) 924-6382. Location: 707 Meadowsweet, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • A Year With Frog & Toad
    The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Downtown Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm
    The Tony Award-nominated musical, based on Arnold Lobel's beloved stories, is back in Berkeley at a new venue! Come celebrate friendship in glorious song, as our heroes, Frog and Toad, hop through a season of comic adventures with their animal friends. Recommended for age 3 and up. This performance runs 65 minutes with no intermission. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2025 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Mexican Metal Art
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend. Repujado is a traditional Mexican art form where metal is raised and decorated to create beautiful designs. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square (across from the Presidio Officers' Club), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Freight & Salvage's Family Open House
    Saturday, 11 am
    This family-friendly edition features free performances and activities for folks, kids, and folks with kids. In addition to two concert sets (Asheba at 11:15 am and Rudy Trubitt & Hiram Bell at 1 pm) there will be a musical instrument petting zoo and a children’s song cirle upstairs. Free.  Location: 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Young Performers Theatre: Pinocchio
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 3:30 pm

    In an Italian village, Geppetto, an old woodcarver, receives a piece of wood which looks perfect for his next project, a puppet. But when he sets to work something magical happens – the piece of wood begins to talk. Tickets: $12. Location: Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 300, San Francisco. Buy tickets here. For more info, call (415) 346-5550 or visit their website.
  • Bow Wow Film Festival 2016
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Saturday, 5–10 pm

    The fund raiser is in the form of the Bow Wow Film Festival. In a nutshell-Bow Wow Film Fest is a collection of short films, looped together for about a 75 min run. This 2nd annual event would replicate a Film Night in the Park event with donation proceeds benefiting the Kern Project, a local dog rescue organization.Location:  Sir Francis Drake Blvd. at Center Blvd., San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Full Moon Walk
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Saturday, 6:15–7:45 pm

    Join park staff and docents for a tour down the Point Bonita Trail, through the hand carved tunnel and out to the Lighthouse. We will walk along a half-mile trail which is steep in places. Arrive early as parking is limited. Meet at the Point Bonita Lighthouse trailhead. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Limited to 50 people; program fills quickly. For all ages. Reservations required; call (415) 331-1540. For more info, visit their website.

Sunday, September 18

  • Clo Cow Half Marathon
    Sunday, September 18
    Downtown Petaluma

    This beautiful half-marathon course takes you through rural Sonoma County farm country, over rolling hills where you'll be cheered on by sheep, horses, and of course cows! The trip out there is a challenging one, but the inclines just make the views even more rewarding! Find event details and registration here.
  • Civic Center Farmers' Market
    Marin Civic Center, San Rafael

    Sunday, 8 am–1 pm
    There's lots of organically grown produce, breads, eggs, and fresh cut flowers, as well as live music, bounce houses, and more. This farmers' market is a great one to take the kids to. It’s located in the main Civic Center parking lot. For more info, visit their website.
  • Learn to Ride
    Stafford Lake Bike Park, Novato
    Sunday, 9–11 am

    Learn to ride pump tracks and rollers with a ranger at the Stafford Lake Bike Park. This event is ideal for all ages. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Wear comfortable athletic clothing and sturdy shoes. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at this park. Park entrance is waived for participants. For more info, contact Ranger Adam Craig at (415) 897-0618 or visit their website.
  • 3rd Annual Hike The Headlands
    Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito
    Sunday, 10 am–2 pm
    Bring your family and friends for a day of discovery and learning while exploring the Marin Headlands. Proceeds from Hike the Headlands will help us open children’s hearts and minds to the wonders of science and nature. Cost: Family of four $42, adults $15, children (5–17) $12 and children under 4 are free. Register here.
  • Exploratorium's Fall Free Day
    San Francisco's Embarc
    Sunday, 10 am-5 pm
    Get hands-on with science on San Francisco's Embarcadero at the Exploratorium's Fall Free Day. Location: Pier 17, Suite 100, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • TTMF: Kidz Kino Family Fun
    142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Sunday, 10 am

    Kidz Kino Family Fun, geared toward children ages 6–12, features a lineup of short family films. Tickets: $18 general, $10 students. Location: 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Learn to Make Friendship Bracelets
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
    Sunday, 11 am–3 pm

    Ranger staff will help instruct participants in bracelet-making techniques; whether simple or complex, there is an approach suitable for any crafting level. This event is ideal for all ages. Degree of difficulty: Easy. We will provide supplies, smocks, and healthy snacks. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at this park.  Park entrance is waived for participants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Fun Fair
    Peace Lutheran Church, Mill Valley
    Sunday, 11 am–2 pm

    Kids will have the opportunity to jump in bouncy houses, pet animals in the petting zoo and have their faces painted in whatever style their heart desires. Location: 205 Tennessee Valley Road, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Day
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

    Sunday, 11 am–4 pm
    Discover and play as a family at the Asian Art Museum. On Family Fun Days, our gallery activities, creative art projects and immersive storytelling make art appreciation into a lively, family-friendly event. Themes and projects change regularly, so visit again and again. Please note: Street parking is free on Sundays, making a visit to the museum both fun and affordable. Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Off the Grid: Picnic at the Presidio
    San Francisco
    Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Bring the family and your blanket to Presidio’s lush Main Parade Ground to experience Bay views, cuisine from San Francisco’s favorite eateries and food trucks, mimosas and bloody Marys, and live jams from a DJ. In addition to complimentary classic picnic amenities including bocce ball, Off the Grid offers yoga classes from the Pad and kids' yoga from It’s Yoga Kids, as well as game rentals and activities from Sports Basement. Blankets and Adirondack chairs are available to rent. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Shakespeare in the Park: The Winter's Tale
    Presidio, San Francisco
    Sunday, 2–4 pm
    Bring a picnic and your family to the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of The Winter's Tale featuring a cast of the Bay Area's best actors, including six of SF Shakes' Resident Artists. Location: Presidio’s Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • JAMBand Family Festival: Celebrate Peace!
    Park Chalet, San Francisco
    Sunday, 3–5 pm

    The JAMBand family festival is a rockin' groovin' concert series for kids and the grown-ups who love them. At each concert, Charity and the JAMband present a magical mix of music, dance, mindfulness and big family love. Come to connect with your kids, relax in the great outdoors, and sing, dance and breathe in community! Location: 1000 Great Highway (across from Ocean Beach), San Francsico. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival (see Saturday for details).