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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
Bring the kids (ages 2–5) to Fantastic Fridays: Tree Frog Fun Time, this Friday from 10:00 am to noon. This program is all about toads and frogs. Toddlers will get to meet and interact with Zoe II, a Pacific Tree Frog, and Clark, a Western Toad. Parents and tots will get the chance to make their own jumping frog. Drop-ins accepted on a space-available basis. To register call (415) 561-7752 or download the form at www.parksconservancy.org. The cost is $10 per child, accompanied by a parent or caregiver (stay as long as you like!)
One of our favorite relatively short road trips is to head down to the Monterey Peninsula. It's about a 2-1/2- to 3-hour drive from Marin, making it perfect for a day trip, overnight, or weekend. (What makes this easier for us is that we have good friends in Pacific Grove who are willing to put up with us every so often for a few days.) A favorite place to visit, especially with small children, is the Monterey Bay Aquarium
We paid a visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its Wild About Otters special exhibition last week. The aquarium is widely considered one of the best in the world, and I'm willing to bet that it is. The displays reflect the Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission to research the biodiversity of Monterey Bay and the California coast, and they're fascinating. Our favorites include the 28-foot-high Kelp Forest exhibit, with its leopard sharks, anchovies, and other fish; the sea otters; and the spectacular Outer Bay exhibit with its amazing 1.2 million-gallon tank, and featuring denizens of the deeper waters of outer Monterey Bay, including giant bluefin tuna, humongous ocean sunfish, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, and the world's only great white shark in captivity!
Bring in the kids for Confetti Arts Week at the Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley. Enjoy storytelling about ringing in the new year on Friday and Saturday, and scoop up the leftover confetti from New Year's Eve celebrations to create polka-dot collages in the Art Studio. Play with streamers in the Wind Tunnel and watch confetti fly around you. They are located at 2065 Kittredge Street in Berkeley. For more info go to www.habitot.org.
If you're looking for an inexpensive but fun outing for the family, especially during Christmas break, the Golden Gate Ferry can be a lot of fun. Best of all, children 5 and under with an adult are free (maximum 2 children per adult). Most people think of the Larkspur ferry in terms of its commute role, but they run at all times of day and are usually pretty empty in the late morning and early afternoon, when kids can pretty much have the run of the boat. Enjoy spectacular views of the bay, Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Marin, as well as closer views of ships and boats on the bay and marine wildlife--we've seen all sorts of birds from brown pelicans to cormorants and even a harbor seal or two. The ferry ride is also a great way to entertain out-of-town guests.
Movies at the Bay Model is back with American Graffiti & Cars starting at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Bring the family, eat some popcorn and have the kids wear their pjs. Refreshments will be sold at the concession stand. The adult movie will be showing American Graffiti and kid’s movie will be showing Cars (chaperones are present in the Kids’ theatre). The Bay Model Visitor Center is located at 2100 Bridgeway in Sausalito. This event is free. For more info, call 415-332-3871.
Now that the rain is upon us, I’ve been looking for fun things for the kids to do inside, especially something that helps with their cognitive and fine motor skills. Both of my kids love the challenge of a puzzle, so I bought them each a Djeco puzzle from Oompa Toys, an online retailer of high quality European and natural toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
For the second in our ongoing series of North Bay pumpkin patch reviews, we checked out the Godmothers of Timothy Murphy School Pumpkin Field, AKA the St. Vincent's Pumpkin Patch. This popular and long-established seasonal fixture is located in St. Vincent's field near St. Vincent's School for Boys just south of Novato. To get there, take the Marinwood/St. Vincent's exit off Highway 101. Head east toward St. Vincent's and you can't miss it. In the interests of full disclosure, we live pretty much right across the freeway from St. Vincent's and always visit this pumpkin patch several times during the Halloween season.
The Adventures with Clifford the Big RedDog exhibition opens at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito this Saturday, October 6, so come and board the Birdwell Island Ferry and discover Clifford’s world. The exhibition features numerous hands-on adventures that introduce children to “Clifford’s Big Ideas”—life lessons such as playing fair, being kind, being truthful, and being respectful of others. Also on hand will be Emily Elizabeth and other fun and loving residents of Birdwell Island.
Sonoma County Farm Trails is celebrating their 35th anniversary, so gather the family and check out some of the wonderful farms in our backyard! This weekend, September 29 and 30, a variety of farms will open their doors for a special weekend of fun activities and informative tours to start celebrating the fall harvest. Participating farms will be featuring pumpkin patches, special farm tours, farm animals, freshly picked fruits and vegetables, restaurants, wineries, and activities for the kids.