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10 Fun Family Activities for Mid-Winter Break

February 14, 2017

Snow play for mid-winter break

Whether you're getting in the car and heading up to Lake Tahoe for skiing or snow play or just hanging around the house for "Ski Week", you'll find plenty of fun things to do with the kids during their time off this month! Here's our list of 10 fun family activities and outings in Marin and beyond for mid-winter break.

Winter Break Camps in Marin and Beyond

February 9, 2017

studio 4 artLooking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming winter break? Check out some of the great winter day camps here in Marin and the Bay Area. All the camps listed below offer day camp or drop-in camps.

  • Andrew's Day Camp
    400 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera
    Ages: kindergarten and up
    Andrew's Camp offers games, crafts, sports and more. Camps take place from 9 am–5 pm with extended care from 8–9 am and 5–6 pm. Bring lunch and snack. For more info,call (415) 446-8946 or  visit their website.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum
    557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito

    Ages: 4–8
    The BADM is offering a Winter Discovery Camp that focuses on learning through project-based, hands-on activities designed to intentionally boost creativity, STEM skills, and critical thinking. Camps hours:  9 am–2 pm; extended care from 2–4 pm (extended care $50/per day). For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit www.baykidsmuseum.org.
  • N.Y. Broadway Training Programs
    625 Arthur St., Novato High School
    Ages: 7–15

    Broadway Camp includes classes in ballet, jazz, tap, theatre dance, hip hop, acting, voice, musical theatre, arts & crafts, fun & games, special events and workshops. Mini performance on the last hour on Friday. Pizza party. Daily snack. Register here. For more info, visit www.marissajoyganz.com.

Make a Beautiful Valentine's Day Tissue Paper Wreath

February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Tissue Paper WreathLooking for a cool kids' craft for Valentine's Day? This tissue paper wreath looks beautiful and is easy to make for all ages, with a parent's or caregiver's help. To make the tissue paper puffs clustered on the wreath, we wrapped tissue squares around our fingers, but you can also just crumple them up, too. It makes for a fun craft for a rainy day or group activity for playgroups, classes, or scouts.

To make this craft you'll need:

Take a Family Hike to the Fairway Waterfall in Novato

February 6, 2017

Fairway Waterfall Novato

When it rains, we love to head outdoors and take a waterfall hike! Hikes with the family are especially fun when there's something exciting to see at the end of the trail, like a rushing waterfall. Marin's waterfalls are some of the county's hidden treasures, and are best appreciated when they're running full force in winter and spring. The Fairway Waterfall, also known as Arroyo de San Jose Waterfall, is a seasonal waterfall that can be found on a trail at the end of Fairway Drive, in Novato's Country Club neighborhood.

The trail to the Fairway waterfall is short and easy and the trailhead is conveniently located, so it's a perfect hike for kids. So bundle up, put on those puddle stompers and raincoats, and head outdoors for a waterfall hike! After our recent winter storms, the waterfall is flowing in full force, so you will not be disappointed.

Valentine's Day Fun for Families in the Bay Area

February 4, 2017

Valentine's Day is coming up, and so are many fun activities for kids of all ages! Here's our guide to family Valentine's Day events in Marin and the Bay Area. Make Valentine's Day cards, have a tea party with your favorite bear, visit animal couples at the zoo, and more.

  • Teddy Bear Tea
    San Anselmo Library
    Saturday, February 4
    10:30–11:30 am
    We are “bruin” some tea so be sure to bring your best teddy bear friend to the library for our first ever Teddy Bear Tea Party! Tea, games, and crafts await you and your furry friend. Advance registration required by calling (415) 258-4656 to sign up. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Craft Activity: Valentine's Day Cards
    Point Reyes Library
    Tuesday, February 7
    3:30–4:30 pm

    All are welcome to join us in the afternoon for a fun hour of making Valentines! Tea and cookies will be provided. Location: 11431 State Route 1, Point Reyes. For more info, call (415) 663-8375 or visit their website.

Four Fun and Easy Homemade Valentine's Day Cards

February 2, 2017

Butterfly valentine's day card

My kids always love to make their own unique Valentine's Day cards to give to friends and classmates every February. Here are four fun and easy card projects to make at home with common craft supplies that you probably have on hand already. We think these really beat the store-bought Valentines, since they're handmade, beautiful, and "from the heart."

Children of all ages can do most of the steps in these crafts, but grown-ups may want to help with cutting and gluing, depending on children's ages and skill levels.

Butterfly Valentines

This butterfly-shaped card that we made is designed to hold either a candy stick or a pencil, and is easy to make and decorate. We cut out the butterfly shape with scissors and decorated the card with stickers. You can embellish yours with whatever you like, such as crayons, markers, glitter, or paint. You'll need:

Make Some Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

February 2, 2017

Valentine's Day cookiesMy kids love to make these basic sugar cookies and decorate them for Valentine's Day. They are easy to make and are a fun project for a rainy day. Decorate your cookies with pink and red Valentine's sprinkles or, better yet, an artistically applied drizzle of rich dark chocolate. They look festive and taste good too.

Give as a gift wrapped in cellophane bags tied with raffia or ribbon or in a heart-shaped box. Who wouldn't be happy to get these delicious and pretty sweet treats on Valentines Day?

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (you’ll need a little more for dusting your work surface, too)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Groundhog Day Results: 6 More Weeks of Winter

February 2, 2017

Ground HogThis just in: Famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, meaning that winter will be here for another 6 weeks or so. All the alternate, less noteworthy groundhogs, such as Atlanta's General Beauregard Lee did not see his shadow, which means an early Southern spring.

Groundhog Day has always been America's most underappreciated holiday, but not in our house! Our kids saw it on the calendar and have been eagerly anticipating the great day for weeks. We're extra lucky this year in that Groundhog Day coincides with that other unofficial American holiday—the Super Bowl.

10 Wonderful Valentine's Books for Children

January 30, 2017

My kids have always loved to go to the library and check out a big stack of books that relate to the current holiday or season. Valentine's Day of course is no exception, so here are some of our choices for great kids' books to read this week. Find them at your local library or bookstore. The links on each title take you to that book's listing on the Marin County Free Library website.

Llama Llama I Love You by Anne Dewdney
In this board book, little llama shows his friends and family how much he loves them with heart-shaped cards and lots of hugs. It's a perfect introduction to Llama Llama for babies and toddlers.

Groggle's Monster Valentine by Diana Murray
Groggle has been up all night making a Valentine’s Day card. This isn’t just any Valentine, though, and it has to be perfect—it’s for Snarlina, his beast friend in the whole wide world. Will Groggle's monster impulses foil his plans? (The library doesn't have this book yet, but you can suggest it to them.)

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