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.
  • Healthy Parks, Healthy People Family Hike
    Presidio of San Francisco
    Saturday, 2–4 pm
    Through hiking, beginner exercises and family games, you’ll get to know your various National Park sites while getting those hearts and waistlines happy. Don’t forget your water bottles. All ages and fitness levels welcome. Meet in from of the Presidio Visitor, 105 Montgomery at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard. For more information and to RSVP, call (415) 561-4323. For more info, visit their website.
  • Maker Saturdays: Confetti Suncatchers
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 2–4:30 pm
    Encourage the do-it-yourself mindset and come build, invent, design and create something! Projects are designed for 4-7 year olds, younger children with adult assistance. Supports STEM learning. Admission applies. Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco Zoo Lights
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 5–8 pm

    Come get a feeling for the San Francisco Zoo at night under magical holiday lights! Make your way from Entry Village to the Elinor Friend Playground for some magical playtime under the stars. Stop by to see Santa Claus to put in some last-minute requests. Grab some hot apple cider or cocoa and head over to the Playfield Lawn pay a visit to Santa's special reindeer Belle, Holly, Peppermint, and Velvet. And there will be light snow flurries at Zoo Lights, so bundle up! $7 adults, $5 kids 4–14, free 3 and under. For more information, visit their website.

Sunday, January 3

  • 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.
  • Sundays at the J!
    Marin JCC, San Rafael
    Sunday, 10 am–4 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 N San Pedro Road in San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Target First Free Sundays
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
    Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Target First Free Sundays at the Asian Art Museum offer free general admission on the first Sunday of every month, with special family programs. Admission is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to capacity restrictions, admission is not guaranteed. Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Clinic: Learn to Skate
    McInnis Park, San Rafael
    Sunday, 11 am–1 pm

    Rangers will offer tips and techniques for beginners as well as ways to attack features that build confidence and skill. This event is geared towards the newbie skateboarder and those looking to cross over from other board sports, but aren’t quite sure how to start. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring your board, helmet, and pads. Park entrance is free. Location: 310 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Drop-in Art Making: Robot Art
    Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
    Sunday, 11 am–3 pm
    We love Robots! Make your own creative robots with cardboard, tape, stamps, and imagination. Free after 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.
  • Muir Woods After Hours
    Muir Woods, Mill Valley
    Sunday, 4–6 pm
    This is an easy, two-mile walk on paved trails. Bring your flashlight and discover Muir Woods when the sun goes down. Children under 8 years not advised. Reservations required; call (415) 388-2596. For more info, visit their website.
  • Museums on Us (see Saturday for details)
  • Whale watching in Point Reyes (see Saturday for details)
  • Experience Elephant Seals (see Saturday for details)
  • Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal (see Saturday for details)