Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 17–19

November 17, 2017

Get in the holiday spirit with a visit to the Christmas House at San Rafael’s West End Nursery.

There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, as well as opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers.

Friday, November 17

  • Christmas House at West End Nursery
    San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 am–5 pm, Sunday 9 am–4 pm

    Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery. This magical setting includes lights, decorated trees, and more. It's a holiday must-visit in Marin. Free admission; ornaments and decor are for sale. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Warehouse Fall Sale
    Bel Marin Keys, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    On Friday and Saturday, many of the warehouses in the Bel Marin Keys will open their doors for direct-to-seller deals waiting for you. This semi-annual sale is one of the hidden shopping gems in Marin County and has been in existence for over 20 years! Shop for a wide variety of goods from food and wine to decor and fine art. For more info, visit their website.
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $18 for adults (includes skates), $13 for children 8 and under. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
  • Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco
    Friday–Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm, Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm

    Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Admission: $12, $7 children 7 and under, skate rental $5. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday, 2
    –10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
    Marin on Ice is open for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
  • Santa Photos
    Northgate Mall in San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–9 pm and Sunday, 11 am–6 pm

    Northgate in San Rafael invites children to visit Santa and have their picture taken with Santa Claus at his winter wonderland house in the Macy's wing. Breaks on Friday and Saturday 1–1:45pm & 3:45–4:30 pm) and Sunday 2–3 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • Building Lighting Ceremony & Carnival
    Embarcadero Center, San Francisco
    Friday, 4–7 pm
    Four iconic buildings lit with 17,000 holiday lights, fireworks bursting in the sky and a magical show presented by Disney on Ice. The Building Lighting Ceremony begins at 5:30 pm and live performances from Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart! The Building Lighting Ceremony at Embarcadero Center is a San Francisco tradition and the official start of the holiday season in the City. For more info, visit their website.
  • Teen Craft: Slime
    Civic Center Library, San Rafael
    Friday, 3–4:30 pm

    We’re making fluffy slime! Materials provided. Please arrive on time to hear the instructions. For students in the 6th-12th grades only. No registration necessary. Call (415) 473-6058 for more information. This event will be held in Room 410B, down the hall from the library. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley Craft Fair
    Tam Valley Community Center, Mill Valley
    Friday, 5–9 pm & Saturday, 10 am–3 pm
    Shop for unique holiday gifts at this year's Tam Valley Craft Fair. Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Night Fairy
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    When tiny but feisty Flory loses her fairy wings in an attack by a bat, she has to muster all her courage and ingenuity to survive in a garden full of threatening creatures, including a voracious spider. Directed by Hannah Dworkin and Nina Meehan. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets: $26 adults, $24 seniors 65+, $20 children 2–14. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Berkeley Playhouse: Annie
    The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Leapin’ lizards! One of the most popular musicals of all time returns to Berkeley Playhouse in an all new production that’s going to “shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!” Perfect for the entire family.  Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $20–$45. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mark Day School Presents Zanies
    Showcase Theater, San Rafael
    Saturday, 7 pm

    Mark Day School 4th–8th graders leap into slapstick comedy with three madcap sketches inspired by the 500-year tradition of Commedia d’elle Arte. Based on old improvised scenarios, the screwball stories feature a bumbling servant Arlecchino, miserly old Pantalone, braggart soldier Capitano, clever housemaid Columbina, recycling-obsessed witches, best-in-show doggies, and more stock characters all caught up in plot lines of mistaken identity, blunders, and blows. Join us for delightful lowbrow humor in “Love Potion,”  “Puppy Pandemonium” and “Gone Fishing”  where everything and everyone can inspire a laugh. Tickets: $13 general, $30 Skylion. For more info, visit their website.
  • Throckmorton Youth Performers: Annie The Musical!
    Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 2 pm

    Don't miss this classic American musical that takes a stand for what matters most:  love and family! The talented Throckmorton Youth Performers bring the iconic characters to life, including the lovable Daddy Warbucks, the wicked Miss Hannigan and the adorable orphan herself. Perfect for the entire family. Location: 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • 23 Elephants Theatre Company: Legally Blonde
    The Playhouse, San Anselmo
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7:30 pm, Sunday, 1 pm

    Harvard's beloved Blonde takes the stage by pink storm in this fun upbeat story of self discovery. Legally Blonde The Musical will take you from the sorority house to the halls of justice with Elle Woods (and, of course, her dog, Bruiser). Tickets: $15 general, $23 reserved. Location: 27 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach: The Musical
    Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma
    Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm
    Based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach is a brand new take on this “masterpeach” of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the Tony Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, Dogfight and  A Christmas Story the Musical) and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, November 18

  • Holidays Along Farm Trails
    Sonoma County
    Saturday & Sunday, various times
    'Tis the season to celebrate with our community. Join Sonoma County farmers and producers as they open their gates and barn doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm. Shop their unique farmstands for your holiday meals, cut your own Christmas tree, make a gift at DIY workshops, greet farm animals, and so much more. Free. Register online for a complete list of participants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Saturday Morning Zumba
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    Join the dance party! We take the "work" out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party on the lawn. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you'll see why Zumba Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise. Location: Community Center on the lawn triangle behind the Center at 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley Craft Fair
    Tam Valley Community Center, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm
    Shop for unique holiday gifts at this year's Tam Valley Craft Fair. Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Open Cockpit Weekend: Acemaker Weekend
    Pacific Coast Air Museum, Santa Rosa
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Open Cockpit weekends at the Pacific Coast Air Museum are your chance to get up close to selected aircraft and look inside. We raise the canopies and open the doors to give you an unobstructed view so you can see what a genuine fighter plane, attack plane, transport, helicopter, or other type is like from the inside! This weekend, climb aboard training aircraft. Admission: $10 adults, $7 seniors 65+, $5 youth 6–17, free for children under 6 and active or retired military with ID. Location: One Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Reindeer Romp
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Santa is sending his favorite reindeer, "Belle", "Holly" and "Peppermint" to spread holiday cheer at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!  Until January 1, majestic reindeer will be romping at SF Zoo's Playfield Lawn, near the spectacular Elinor Friend Playground. Zoo admission applies. Location: Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
    Cow Palace, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–7 pm

    Experience Victorian London with hundreds of costumed players, shops offering one-of-a-kind gifts and Christmas treasures, dining, and pubs. Meet Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim, Jules Verne, David Copperfield, Charles Darwin, and 700 costumed characters. Of course, Father Christmas himself will be on hand to join in the fun. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco International Auto Show
    Moscone Center
    Saturday, 10 am–10 pm & Sunday, 10 am–9 pm
    The International Auto Show features the world’s major manufacturers displaying their 2018 model cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans. There will also be classic cars, race cars, car simulators, hot rods, and more. Admission $10, children 12 and younger free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets at the door only. Location: Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Patchwork Series Children's Show: Alphabet Rockers
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday, 11 am

    Alphabet Rockers make music that makes change. Known as the preeminent children's hip hop artists to focus on social change and racial justice, we are consciousness in motion. Each performance, song, video and exchange is an energetic, authentic hip hop experience. Get moving to music that moves you! Engage in the conversation with Alphabet Rockers through community, connection, and hip hop. Admission: $10 advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 10:45 am. Location: 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 644-2020 or visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Creative Columns
    Presidio Officers’ Club, San Francisco
    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! Get creative with Classical columns! Sculpt a column based on the Presidio’s Palace of Fine Arts, or design your own. Best for kids aged 5–12. Free. Registration preferred but not required. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio Main Post, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 561-4400 or visit their website.
  • Family Matinee
    SF Jazz, Miner Auditorium
    Saturday, 11 am
    Bring the entire family to experience a taste of jazz wiht Bay Area treasure Linda Tillery leads us on a journey through the songs of our ancestors, and reminds us to stay hip while we get down. Cost: adults $15 and youth $5. Location: 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Thanksgiving Feast with Snoopy
    Charles Shultz Museum, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 1–4 pm

    Enjoy and help prepare a re-creation of Snoopy’s Thanksgiving meal of toast, popcorn, and jelly beans from the classic television holiday special, along with hands-on crafts, an ice cream dessert provided by Cold Stone Creamery of Sonoma County, eggnog from Clover Sonoma, and other fun family activities! For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Nature Walks
    Spring Lake Regional Park, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 1–4 pm

    Get the kids outside and let them explore Spring Lake Regional Park with a naturalist from the park’s Environmental Discovery Center. One-hour hikes start at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Discovery Center. Families can return to the Center after each hike for nature-themed crafts and to explore the touchable tide pool and other exhibits. The Discovery Center is at the park’s Violetti Road entrance. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and bing a bottle of water. Heavy rain cancels. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Maker Saturdays: Bubble Experiments!
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley

    Saturday, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm
    Bubbles, laughter and joy! We'll be exploring how you make the BEST bubble, and what simple tools can help us build and shape different kinds of bubbles. Encourage hands on science explorations with activities that build a foundation for understanding physical properties, mathematics, and engineering principles. Come experiment, build, and create. All ages welcome. Museum admission applies. For more info, visit their website.
  • Honey B and the Pollinators in Concert
    Corte Madera Library
    Saturday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy a lively blend of swing, jump/jive, and jazz standards from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Good humor and great music! For all ages. This free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Corte Madera Library. Location: 707 Meadowsweet, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Napa Valley Wine Train Santa Train
    Napa
    Saturday & Sunday, 5 pm

    The Santa Train returns to the Napa Valley Wine Train for another season of Christmas fun for the whole family. Embark on an all new interactive musical journey to Santa's workshop, accompanied by some of Santa's best friends. Santa Train passengers will enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, and other holiday treats. Have your photo taken with Santa at the station before your train departs, too.Santa Train fares start at $55, with special discount pricing for Napa Valley residents. Call (800) 427-4124 or visit their website to book tickets.
  • Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza
    Downtown Sonoma
    Saturday,  5–8 pm

    Experience Sonoma Valley and celebrate the fourth annual Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza. Enjoy 8-acres of 100,000+ sparkling lights plus music and holiday treats! Free to the public and family friendly. Bring a picnic, including wine and beer! For more info, visit their website.
  • Sing the Beatles with the Quarry Persons
    Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael
    Saturday, 7:30 pm

    Bring the family & friends to “Pub J” for a fun evening singing along to Beatles songs accompanied by live performance by the Quarry Persons. Come and sing along to your favorite Beatles songs with all those memorable lyrics projected on the Hoytt Theater screen, sing, and get up and dance! Fun for all ages. The Hoytt will be set up pub style with concessions inside, cabaret table seating and cozy couches in the back. Tickets: $20 advance, $23 at the door; $5 17 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Christmas House at West End Nursery (see Friday for details).
  • Marin on Ice (see Friday for details).
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square (see Friday for details).

Sunday, November 19

  • 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.
  • Alternative Christmas Fair
    Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tiburon
    Sunday, 9:15 am–noon

    Westminster Presbyterian Church's Alternative Christmas Fair gives you the opportunity to give gifts benefitting charities and nonprofits locally and internationally. Location: 240 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon. For more info, visit their website.
  • Thanksgiving Cookie Decorating
    teeny cake, Novato
    Sunday, noon– 2 pm

    Holiday cookie decorating for all ages. Cost: $10 in advance, $15 day of (while they last). Pricing includes 2 cookies, decorations, and icing. Location: 7400 Redwood Boulevard #101, Novato.  For more info and reservations, visit their Facebook page.
  • PIER 39 Tree Lighting Celebration
    PIER 39, San Francisco
    Sunday, 12–6 pm
    PIER 39 invites you to spread holiday cheer at their annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Sing songs, meet friends from Disneyland Resort, and welcome the holiday season with a day of merriment for the whole family. The fun culminates with the lighting of PIER 39’s majestic 60-foot tree. For more info, visit their website.
  • Nutcracker Storytime with the Marin Ballet
    DIESEL, A Bookstore, Larkspur
    Sunday, 2 pm

    This unique telling of the holiday classic will feature a costumed visit by some of the characters from the ballet’s cast. The dancers will be available to take photos and sign autographs after the reading.  This is the perfect opportunity to introduce The Nutcracker tradition to little ones!  Follow it up by seeing Clara’s whimsical adventure come to life at the Marin Center on December 9th and 10th. Free. Location: Marin Country Mart, 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle. For more info, visit their website.
  • Just Dance Academy Winter Performance
    Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium
    Sunday,  2 pm

    Audiences will enjoy an abbreviated version of the classical ballet The Nutcracker. This ballet is complete with beautiful costumes, classical ballet choreography, and all the characters and places audiences have come to love such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Clara, and the Land of the Sweets! Tickets: $27 adults, $22 seniors 65+ and children 12 and under. More information.
  • San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
    Davies Symphony Hall
    Sunday, 2 pm

    Hear this “splendidly ferocious” (San Francisco Chronicle) ensemble of young instrumentalists perform Rachmaninoff’s hypnotically beautiful Piano Concerto No. 2 and Edward Elgar’s enchanting Enigma Variations. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets. For more info, visit their website.
  • Christmas House at West End Nursery (see Friday for details).
  • Marin on Ice (see Friday for details).
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square (see Friday for details).
  • Reindeer Romp at the San Francisco Zoo (see Saturday for details).
  • The Great Dickens Christmas Fair (see Saturday for details).
  • Holidays Along Farm Trails