Home › Parks and Playgrounds, Sports Activities, Outdoor Activities, Rainy Day Activities, Events and Outings, Summer Camps, Spring Break Camps, Arts and Crafts, 4th of July, Beaches, Hiking, Picnics, Summer Activities, Zoos and Wildlife Centers, Enrichment, Parent-and-Child Classes, Gardening, Drop-in Activities, Snow Sports, Bicycling
Parks and Playgrounds, Sports Activities, Outdoor Activities, Rainy Day Activities, Events and Outings, Summer Camps, Spring Break Camps, Arts and Crafts, 4th of July, Beaches, Hiking, Picnics, Summer Activities, Zoos and Wildlife Centers, Enrichment, Parent-and-Child Classes, Gardening, Drop-in Activities, Snow Sports, Bicycling
My family loves to go to the beach, and there are plenty of places to do this in and around Marin. While many of the beaches along the Pacific Ocean are unsuitable for swimming, there are also many beaches that are ideal spots for swimming, wading, and splashing in the water, especially on warm summer (and also spring and fall) days. Here are some of our favorites. Click on the links for more info.
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, April 28
Celebrate Arbor Day
Marin Center, San Rafael
Friday, 9 am–noon
Join Marin County Parks at the launch of our new tree planting ceremony and celebrate Arbor Day! All Ages Welcome! Celebrate Arbor Day by joining at the Dedication Tree Ceremony. Start the morning with a variety of activities for all ages and abilities, including a seedling giveaway, leaf printing, the library bookmobile, virtual reality redwoods, and One Tam Roving Ranger. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
Special Exhibit: Rainforest Adventure
Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
Friday–Sunday, 9 am–5 pm
Rainforest Adventure is a multisensory expedition that introduces children to tropical rainforests around the world, highlights the challenges facing these unique ecological wonders, and suggests ways that people can make a difference. Learn more here. Cost: museum admission applies. Location: 557 McReynold Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
Breakfast with Enzo
Sports Basement, San Francisco Presidio
Friday, 10 & 11 am
Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, Jew's harp, enzotar, appalachian dulcimer, slide flute, percussion and more. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $15 for one child & $10 per each additional child siblings under 7 months free For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
SF Opera Guild Sing a Story: Cinderella San Anselmo Library
Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm A teaching artist from the San Francisco Opera will introduce a classic opera story, complete with singing and opera insights. Musical storytelling, a choral coaching and singing session and props and costumes make this a truly immersive creative experience! Ages 4–10. No registration required. Location: Council Chambers, 110 Tunstead Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
Friday Night Jazz Concerts: Josh Smith Trio
Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Come on down to hear Josh Smith Trio at Friday Night Jazz, featuring guest bass player from Chicago, Anton Hatwich and local jazz celebrity Scott Amendola! This one is a not-to-miss. Free. For more info, visit their website.
Del Mar Middle School presents: Seussical Jr. the Musical
Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm Come see the family friendly production Seussical Jr, The Musical at Del Mar School ! There will be two casts, “Green Eggs” and “Ham” performing this delightful show full of fun and fantastical Seussical characters.The shows will be performed at the Del Mar Middle School gym, and all tickets are general admission/open seating. The Box Office & Concession Booth are located outside the Del Mar Gym and will open nightly at 5:30 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm. Location: 105 Avenida Miraflores, Tiburon. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Middle School: Disney’s The Lion King Jr.
Showcase Theater, San Rafael
Friday, 7:30 pm & Saturday, 5 pm The Lion King Jr. tells the epic story of a curious cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destiny as king. The Lion King Jr. features classic songs from the 1994 film such as, “Hakuna Matata”, and the Acadamy Award winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. Come and join us as you see 23 amazing middle school actors bring this encouraging story of love and self-discovery to life. Tickets: $25 adults; $15 students. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, Civic Center in San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
San Domenico Upper School: Two Gentlemen of Verona
San Domenico, San Anselmo
Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm
Our spring production is William Shakespeare's fast-paced comedy of love and friendship, Two Gentlemen of Verona. Packed with great characters—the two Gents themselves, resourceful and witty women, comical and saucy servants, tyrannical fathers, ridiculous fops, outlaws, and Launce's famous dog, Crab. The play takes its characters on a roller-coaster of emotions, transformation, and even sword fights! Tickets: $12 general, $8 students. Purchase tickets here. Location: 1500 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
Outdoor Movie Night: Big Hero 6
PIER 39, San Francisco
Friday, 8:15–10 pm
Grab your blankets and head to the Bay end of the PIER for free Outdoor Movie Night. This month's movie is local favorite: Big Hero 6. For more info and to download coupons for PIER 39 restaurants and merchants, visit their website.
Saturday, April 29
Fishing in the City
Scottsdale Pond, Novato
Saturday, 8 am–noon
Novato's annual Fishing in the City program is co-sponsored by the City of Novato, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Novato Sunrise Rotary. Bait, tackle and rods are provided for this fun-filled family outing. Anyone 16+ must have a California Fishing License. Pre-registration is advised to ensure a space, but drop-ins are welcome if there's space. Clinics last 30 minutes, and run from 8 to 10:30 am. Free. Location: Redwood and Rowland Boulevards, Novato. For more info, call (415) 899-8279 or visit their website.
Presidio Trails Run
Sunday, 8:30–11 am
The Presidio Y is hosting the 3rd annual Presidio Trail 10k/5k/1.5 mile run. With spectacular views of the Bay and the Pacific Ocean, this unique and challenging trail run winds its way through the Presidio of San Francisco, past Inspiration Point, the Presidio Golf Course, Rob Hill Campground and more. Registration: $13–$45. For more information, visit their website.
Pleasant Valley School Rummage Sale
Saturday, 9 am– 3 pm
Some of the great items offered will include gently used children's clothing, sporting goods, toys and games, bikes, strollers, baby and toddler equipment and gear, housewares, electronics, furniture, and more. Doors open at 9 am sharp. Early birds can enjoy treats from the bake sale while they wait for the doors to open. The sale closes from 1 to 1:30 pm in preparation for the half-price sale, which starts at 1:30. The doors close at 3 pm. Location: 755 Sutro Avenue, Novato.
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.
Touch a Truck Oak View Nursery School, San Rafael Saturday, 9:30 am–noon
Kids (and grownups, too) will get a chance to get behind the wheel of some amazing vehicles and rub elbows with their hometown heroes. Admission is $5 per person, and kids under 1 are free. Baked goods and beverages will be available for sale (cash only please). All proceeds from this event will fund special programing for Oak View Nursery School students. Location: 70 Skyview Terrace, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
Free Admission Day: Habitot's 19th Birthday
Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
Saturday, 9:30 am–4:30 pm
Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley is celebrating nineteen years with a newly refurbished firehouse and fire truck exhibit due to debut on Saturday, April 29th from 9:30-4:30pm with a Free Admission Day sponsored by Mechanics Bank. The fire truck is equipped with a hose, flashing lights, and an alarm for little ones to pretend to put out a fire in firefighter costumes. Adjacent to the truck is a pretend burning house, with flames and lights in windows, a rescue crawl space, and floor instructions to “stop, drop and roll”. In the art studio visitors can paint a giant Habitot Anniversary cake with sparklers and glitter, or play with fire engine red sparkly playdough. Free. Space is limited-need to register to attend. Register here. Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
Butter & Egg Days Parade and Festival
Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
Petaluma’s Butter & Egg Days Parade celebrates all things Petaluma, the history and the stories we love to tell. The 2017 theme, “Petaluma – City of Makers!” recognizes the importance of the innovative spirit that fuels the community to create and craft products and ideas. The Festival opens at 10am and the main historic parade begins at noon. There will be a kids parade at 11:30 am. Location: Downtown Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies
Various farms in Sonoma County
Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm
Sonoma County farms are abundant with seedlings and barnyard babies. Pack up the family and head out to the farm to celebrate Spring and see what's flowering! Tour your way through Sonoma County and visit farms of your choice. Activities include farm tours, demonstrations, animal petting, games and crafts for kids, tastings, cooking demos, flower arranging, and more. Many stops will offer snacks, lunches and epic picnic sites. Farm stands will be open for fresh-from-the-source purchases. Most locations are free. Register here for a complete list of participating farms.
Family Performance: How Andy Found His Voice
San Francisco Opera
Saturday, 10 am
A comic, yet poignant, operatic performance for kids of all ages that explores issues of bullying and personal identity while introducing the elements of opera. Four singers and one pianist present a 50-minute participatory musical play that follows Andy in his journey to discover his metaphorical and physical voice. Tickets: $10 per person. Purchase tickets here. Location:
Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave - See more at: https://sfopera.com/discover-opera/education-programs/for-schools/48-programs/how-andy-found-his-voice/#sthash.RMVUDT37.dpuf
Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Veterans Bldg., 401 Van Ness Avenue. San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
Open House: Cascade Canyon School
Saturday, 10 am–noon
Cascade Canyon School's full day, developmental Kindergarten program includes an exciting, hands-on approach to specialist and core academic learning, across a wide range of subjects. An added benefit is Cascade Canyon’s unique learning community: students in grades K–8 travel, perform, play, and celebrate learning together throughout the year. For more info, visit their website.
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Saturday, 10 am
Bluegrass Association and the Freight and Salvage will continue to bring bluegrass jams for kids and teens to the Freight! These jams are perfect for young musicians ages 6 to 16 who want to hone their ensemble playing skills, practice their rhythm, and work on their solo breaks. Fiddles, mandolins, guitars, banjos, dobros, and basses are welcome. Cost: $10 per family. Reserve your spot now.
Treasure Island Flea: Mother's Day Special!
Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm Join us as we celebrate Spring and an early Mother's Day at the Treasure Island Flea. Shopping, mimosas, food truck brunch, and much, much, more! Cost: $3 entry, kids 12 and under are free. Parking is free too. Pet-friendly. Location: Treasure Island, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
Doing and Viewing Art
de Young Museum, San Francisco
Saturday, 10–11:30 am & 12:30–2 pm
Children ages 4 to 12 are invited on a guided tour of a current exhibition or the permanent collection, followed by a studio workshop led by professional teaching artists. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Free after museum admission and to museum members. Space is limited and on a first-come-first-served basis. Register 15 minutes before the start of class. Location: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
Creative Family Fun: Suncatchers Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm Spring is in full swing with longer days and warm sun rays! Tissue papered native plants will catch the light and make it dance!Registration not required, but preferred. Location: Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
Dutch King's Day San Francisco
Murphy Windmill, Golden Gate Park
Saturday, 11 am–5 pm
Put on your orange and join the Bay Area's Dutch community in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park as they celebrate King's Day. It's a festive celebration for the whole family, featuring food and drink, music, games, a bike ride, and more. Free (donation at the gate appreciated). Location: Martin Luther King Drive and the Great Highway. For more info, visit their website.
Children's Day at the Sonoma Mission
Saturday, 11 am
Bring your family and step back in time to a day at Mission San Francisco Solano. There will be crafts, demonstrations and activites such as: candle making, basket weaving, wool spinning, tortilla and butter making, and leather tooling. The Pomo Youth Dance Group will kick off the day with a presentation at 11:00 am. Adult admission is $3.00. Children aged 17 and under are free on Children's Day. Location: 114 E Spain Street, Downtown Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.
Day of the Child - Día del Niño
Spring Lake Regional Park, Santa Rosa
Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
Celebrate the children in your life during this special family event with fun-filled, bilingual (Spanish/English) nature activities for all ages! Join Regional Parks staff and other local environmental organizations at the Environmental Discovery Center at Spring Lake Regional Park for a day of crafts, hikes, special exhibits, stories, music, and other activities that will connect you to each other and nature in your neighborhoods. In honor of our 50th Anniversary, we will raffle parks memberships. Free. Parking $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Location: Spring Lake Regional Park, Discovery Center, 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
This Saturday, April 29, 2017, put your imagination in gear and come to Oak View Nursery School for their fourth annual Touch a Truck event! At Touch a Truck, kids (and grownups, too) will get a chance to get behind the wheel of some amazing vehicles and rub elbows with their hometown heroes.
Come and explore and get behind the wheel of your favorite vehicles, including a fire truck, dump truck, police car, school bus, tow truck, ambulance, rescue truck, recycle truck, construction vehicles, and more. There promises to be a parking lot full of cool trucks this year! It will definitely be a day to remember.
Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 14. Brunch is always a popular outing in honor of mom, and here are some of our favorite family-friendly spots for a Mother's Day brunch in Marin.
All information is correct at time of publishing, but please check with the restaurant to confirm. You should also make your reservations soon, as Mother's Day brunches fill up pretty quickly.
Sunday, 11 am–2 pm Enjoy three course prix fixe brunch includes prosecco. $49/ adults; kids under 12 $19. Shrimp cocktail, brioche french toast, filet mignon, blueberry and more.Location: 2000 Paradise Drive, Tiburon. Reservations are required by calling (415) 435-3400. For more info, visit their website.
Sunday, 11:30 am–2 pm
Cavallo Point offers a Mothers Day brunch buffet in its Callippe Ballroom with seatings at 11:30 am and 2 pm. Enjoy a wide selection of brunch dishes and live jazz. $115 adults, $55 kids 4–12. Make reservations online or by calling (415) 339-4700. Location: 601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
One of the questions we often get asked is "What's the best playground in Marin?" Rather than give our opinion, again, we decided to put that question to our readers via social media, and to let you choose the top five playgrounds in Marin County. So, without further ado, here are the five best playgrounds in Marin, as chosen by Marin Mommies readers, along with the five runners-up. Thanks to all our readers and followers for your input!
Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Avid4 Adventure which offers summer camps for kids from pre-K to 12th grade in Mill Valley, as well as Oakland, Palo Alto and Saratoga. Learn more at avid4.com.
This summer, even the youngest campers can have an adventurous fun time with the camps offered in Mill Valley for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders by Avid4 Adventure. Choose from Discovery for pre-K, Explorer for kids in kindergarten and first grade, and Learn to Bike, for pre-K through first grade.
Discovery Camp offers three- and four-year olds a wide variety of activities, from a first tast of outdoor adventure to getting creative with outdoor cooking. Campers will learn to bike and get experience to riding on two wheels, learn about nutrition and smart eating choices, and cook delicious and nutritious meals and snacks. They'll also play games, participate in art and yoga, and more. Campers in Discovery Camp must be 3 1/2 years old and toilet trained by the start of camp.
Summer will be here before we know it, and one of the season's time honored traditions for children is swimming lessons. Not only are swimming lessons a fun way to get some exercise and cool off on a hot summer day, but knowing how to swim is essential from a safety standpoint.
Below is our list of local Marin County providers of swimming lessons for children. Although many of the facilities listed are private clubs, unless otherwise indicated, all locations offer public lessons open to all. Most programs require pre-registration; follow the links or call to sign up or for more information.
Earth Day celebration at Stinson Beach. Photo: Marco Sanchez.
Here are our picks for a variety of Earth Day events and other activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.
Friday, April 21
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.
Mom & Baby Yoga
Pomegranate, San Anselmo
Friday, 11 am
Enjoy your baby, reconnect with your body, and meet other new moms in our postnatal mama & baby yoga class. Class is most successful with pre-crawling babies but all are welcome to try out a class and discuss exceptions with the instructor. We want mamas to be able to get out of the house, meet other moms, and enjoy the support and exercise of a yoga class. Cost: $23 for drop-in class. Sign-up online here. Location: 25 Tamalpais Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
Friday Fun Day!
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! For all ages. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
Family Fun Night
Children's Museum of Sonoma County
Friday, 4–7 pm Have a family date night and play late at the Children's Museum! Explore interactive exhibits after hours. Or just have fun playing as the sun sets. Bring your appetite to enjoy pizza slices from Mary's Pizza Shack for $2 slice. Museum admission applies. Location: 1835 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
Kids Night Out: The Good Dinosaur
Rolling HIlls Club, Novato
Friday, 6–9:30 pm
Dino-Mite! Join us as we bake fossil cookies, sculpt a dinosaur out of play dough, and hatch fizzing dinosaur eggs. We will watch The Good Dinosaur. This movie is PG and is not appropriate for all audiences. Pizza will be provided.This is a PG movie, and may not be appropriate for all audiences. Ages: 5–10. Cost: $24 members and $34 guests. Register here. Location: 351 San Andreas Drive, Novato. For more info, call (415) 897-2185 or visit their website.
Father Daughter Dance
Corte Madera Community Center
Friday, 7–9:30 pm
Treat your daughter for a Very Special Knight Father Daughter Dance. It's a night of food, dancing, and fun. Purchase tickets by calling (415) 927-5072. Location: 498 Tamalpais Avenue, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Middle School presents, Disney’s The Lion King Jr. Showcase Theater, San Rafael
Friday, 7:30 pm & Saturday, 5 pm
Good Shepherd Lutheran School’s middle school musical theater department is happy to present, Disney’s The Lion King Jr. The Lion King Jr. tells the epic story of a curious cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destiny as king. For all ages. Tickets: $25 adults; $15 students. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, Marin Center, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
Saturday, April 22
My Earth Day Marin Various locations throughout Marin Count
Saturday & Sunday, various times
The My Earth Day Marin Coalition will host a wide variety of service projects and activities throughout Marin County in honor of Earth Day. Most events are for all ages and abilities. Visit My Earth Day Marin for more info and a complete list of opportunities.
Pancake Breakfast & Music with Tim Cain
San Geronimo Preschool
Saturday, 8 am–11 am
Come enjoy breakfast in the beautiful San Geronimo Valley, while supporting preschool scholarships for low income families. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, strawberries, pancakes with maple syrup, orange juice and coffee. Cost: $11 adults and $6 children under 9 years. Toddler room and preschool is having an open house during the breakfast. Children's musician Tim Cain will be performing from 10–11 am. Location: 6001 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Geronimo. For more info, visit their website.
Marin's geography can be pretty astounding at times. Who would have thought that the San Anselmo neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow was just a stone's throw from the northern San Rafael enclave of Terra Linda? If you try to drive from one of these locations to another, it will take you a good half hour, minimum, but if you take a walk at the Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve, you can go from one to the other in just a few minutes!