Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 9, 10 & 11

January 9, 2015
Mochi pounding at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco
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.

Note that the Golden Gate Bridge will be closed to traffic this Saturday and Sunday, January 10 and 11, in order to install a new moveable median barrier. If you're planning on going into San Francisco from Marin consider taking Golden Gate Transit bus, which will be driving across the bridge, or the Golden Gate Ferry. Find out more about the bridge closure here.

Friday, January 9

  • 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.  or call (707) 738-8496. Northgate Mall is located off Highway 101 in San Rafael's Terra Linda area, between Northgate Drive and Las Gallinas Avenue. For more info, call (707) 738-8496 or visit
  • Crazy, Awesome Science! Fun with Liquid Nitrogen
    Children's Museum of Sonoma

    Friday, 2 pm
    This program often includes a scientific demonstration followed by hands-on science for everyone. Free after museum admission. Location: 1835 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • de Youngsters Family Art Party 2015
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Join other Bay Area families in putting the "art" in "party" at the de Youngsters second 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, a modern treasure hunt in Celebrating the Spectrum: Highlights from the Anderson Collection, teen-oriented activities based on the lively works on view in Keith Haring: The Political Line, plus more surprises! To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Mac Barnett
    DIESEL, a bookstore Larkspur
    Friday, 6–7 pm

    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author Mac Barnett will be here to read you a bedtime story. Get cozy in front of the fireplace, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies, get your books signed, and then head home for bed. Location: Marin County Mart, Larkspur. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 10

  • Family Fun Run/Health & Wellness Fair
    Mill Valley Recreation Center
    Saturday, 8–11 am

    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, air brush tattoos, face painting, and food tasting. Free admission. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family and Youth Winter Bird Count
    Albert J. Boro Community Center at Pickleweed Park
    Saturday, 9 am–12:30 pm
    Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary and WildCare are co-hosting their fourth Youth Winter Bird Count (YWBC). This event will give aspiring young birders, their families, and outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to contribute to conservation while they learn in both Spanish and English, aided by WildCare's bilingual naturalists and volunteer birders. Students of all ages and their families are invited to participate in this fun and educational event. For more information and registration, 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 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 through mid-April. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Event: McNears Beach Park in Maps
    McNears Beach Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Join Ranger Josh Rosenfeld for an insightful look at the history of McNears Beach Park and the Point San Pedro Peninsula through the layers of time captured on maps. View old maps and browse modern digital imagery of this beautiful park located on the shores of San Pablo Bay. Park entrance is waived for participants. Meet at the snack bar in McNears Beach Park. Location: 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Montessori Open House
    Marin Montessori School, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Get to know Marin Montessori this Saturday at an Open House at their Corte Madera Campus, 5200 Paradise Drive. RSVP required; call (415) 924-5388 ext. 0. For more information, visit their website.
  • The Venus Fly Trap and Other Amazing Carnivorous Plants
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    John Bartram was the first to introduce the Venus Fly Trap into cultivation. Family members of all ages are invited to discover some of the fascinating and beautiful plants that can eat insects. Get up close with the amazing leaf adaptations as you learn more about them. Registration required: $15 general, $10 members. Location: 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Your Child's Education—How to Choose?
    San Rafael Community Center
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    With so many types of schools available, how do I choose a school that works for my family? Learn to compare educational approaches and school models. Learn about the latest neuroscience and brain research with a deep understanding of how children learn and grow; balancing current research with collective wisdom. Cost: $10. Purchase tickets and learn more here. Location: 618 B Street, San Rafael.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Cook up family fun by joining us for a series of classes at Williams-Sonoma in Corte Madera. Want to become a better baker and help out mom and dad in the kitchen? We’ll teach you some basic baking techniques and then prepare a yummy breakfast and a baked snack together. Suitable for ages 9–13. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun!
    Novato Library
    Satuday, 10–10:30 am

    Join us every Saturday for 30 minutes of Family Fun! Each week we will explore something new together. Whether it’s story, music, art, or science—it promises to be packed with fun and creativity. Come explore with us! A whole family program recommended for all ages. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Open House: Marin Waldorf School
    755 Idylberry Road, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–12:30 pm
    Marin Waldorf School will host their annual alumni panel at the January 10 Open House event. Come experience Waldorf education and meet this wonderful community of faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. Free childcare will be provided for children 2 years 9 months and older. RSVP and get more info at
  • Around the World in 80 Days
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10:30 am, Sunday, 10:30 am, 12:30 & 3 pm

    On the very day that the Bank of England is robbed, Mr. Phileas Fogg and his faithful servant Passepartout hurriedly leave London in the middle of the night to circumnavigate the globe in a mere 80 days! Little do they know that detective Fix of the Yard is on the case and in hot pursuit… Recommended for ages 7 and up. Tickets: $18–$22. To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Edwardo Madril, Sewam American Indian Dance
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11 am

    For the 10th year in a row, the Bay Area Discovery Museum is teaming up with World Arts West to present World on Stage. This ethnic performance series takes you around the world through dance, music and folklore, featuring some of the Bay Area’s most talented youth and adult artists. Native American music and dance is a beautiful expression of Native American heritage. Free after museum admission. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Luminous Lighthouses
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm

    This month the Creative Family Fun events celebrate the amazing maritime history of the Presidio. Luminous Lighthouses once helped ships sail safely at night on the San Francisco coast. Kiddos can make a lighthouse to take home. Drop-in anytime between 11 am-4 pm. Free. Read about our visit here. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. 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–April. 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 moore info, call (415) 669-1534 or visit their website.
  • Mochitsuki! Mochi Pounding Ceremony
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday, noon–1 pm
    Celebrate the Japanese New Year with Kagami Kai, an acclaimed mochi group, as it presents the colorful and exciting New Year tradition of mochi pounding to make delectably sweet rice cakes, with music, dance, and costumes. Free with museum admission (kids 12 and under always admitted free). For more info, call (415) 581-3500 or visit their website.
  • Pirates of Penzance: A Rockin’ and Rollin’ Adventure
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm

    Berkeley Playhouse presents an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular work, The Pirates of Penzance, transformed into a late '50sm early 60s rock musical! Performed by students in Berkeley Playhouse’s educational program, The Imagination Players. Tickets: $10. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2640 College Ave. Berkeley. Find more info here.
  • Love2Dance Razzle, Dazzle, Broadway
    Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael
    Saturday, 4 pm

    Love2Dance presents your favorite hits from the sounds of Broadway. The Love2Dance cast will perform a variety of dance styles including jazz, hip hop, tap, musical theater, contemporary, acrobatics, ballet, and lyrical to songs from musicals such as Chicago, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Grease, Cabaret, and Jersey Boys. The national award-winning competitive dance team, the Love2Dance All-Stars, will also perform their award winning routines. Tickets: $18 or $25. Purchase tickets and learn more here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.

Sunday, January 11

  • 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.
  • Open House: Osher Marin JCC Preschools
    San Rafael
    and Tiburon
    Sunday, 9–11 am

    Come check out the Marin JCC Preschools at this weekend's open house. The San Rafael location, at 200 North San Pedro Road, and the Tiburon location, at 215 Blackfield Drive. For more information, visit their website.
  • Beginning Birding
    Rodeo Lagoon, Marin Headlands
    Sunday, 9:30–11:30 am

    Experience winter bird watching in the Marin Headlands. Join volunteer Jane Haley on an easy walk along Rodeo Lagoon to discover our winter birds. Bring binoculars and field guides. Meet at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center. Bring field guides and binoculars. For ages 8 and up. Reservations required; call (415) 331-1540. For more info visit their website.
  • Sundays at the J!
    Marin JCC, San Rafael
    Sunday, 10 am–5:45 pm

    Bring the family for a day of fun. Playtime in the gym, bounce house, and tumbling for families with children 6 and under, art time, library time in the Lefferts Jewish Community Library, and sports and recreation for families with children 7+. Family-friendly fare is available at the café. Adult supervision is required for kids 9 and under. Drop-in charge per person. Location: 200 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Preschool Super Fun Sundays: Hullabaloo Hoedown with Mr. Lunch
    Contemporary Jewish Museum
    Sunday, 10–11:30 am

    On second Sundays, the museum opens early just for preschoolers and their families. The fun includes creative creatures in the art studio, story time with Mr. Lunch, and the upbeat, down home folk sounds of Hullabaloo. Doors open at 9:45 am. Free with museum admission; youth 18 and under always free. Location: 736 Mission Street, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 655-7800 or visit their website.
  • Marine Science Sunday: Animals of the Arctic
    Marin Mammal Center, Sausalito
    Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Join the Marine Mammal Center's monthly free educational series, Marine Science Sundays, on the second Sunday of each month. This month we talk about the amazing animals of the cold, like walruses, narwhals, seals, and whales! Location: 2000 Bunker Road Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito. For more info, call (650) 255-4985 or visit their website.
  • Sunday Special: Clowning Around with Coventry & Kaluza
    Mill Valley Public Library
    Sunday, 11–11:45 am

    Back by popular demand, this clown duo has performed with the New Pickle Circus and twice won Best Comedy/Clown Act in the American Circus Festival. Witness extraordinary skills and thrills, including extreme acrobatics and high numbers hula-hooping! All ages. No sign-up needed. Location: Main Reading Room, 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Buddy Club Presents Illusionist Timothy James
    The Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael
    Sunday, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
    Tim's hilarious routines and impressive magic skills earn him rave reviews from young, and not-so-young audiences everywhere he performs! Each show is a visual and highly interactive experience, featuring friendly audience participation and award winning sleight of hand. Bring your little ones and share a special hour of family fun, silliness and giggles. Tickets: $7 members, $8 general (under 2 years old free). Location: 200 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael. Tickets are available at the door or call (510) 236-7469. For more info, visit their website.
  • Love2Dance Broadway Bound
    Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael
    Sunday, 1 & 3 pm
    Step right up to the best show in town. Love2Dance will showcase its youngest dancers (ages 2–6) as well as the studio’s nationally-ranked competitive dance team, the Love2Dance All-Stars, when they perform to songs from popular Broadway musicals such as The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Wicked, Aladdin, and The Lion King. This fun and entertaining performance will feature ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop. The studio’s Little Feet dancers will warm your hearts and make you smile. Tickets: $20. Purchase tickets online and learn more here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse (see Saturday for details).
  • Experience Elephant Seals at Point Reyes National Seashore (see Saturday for details).