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Summer's almost here, 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 they're 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. As always, if you have a favorite swim class or teacher that you think should be added to the list, let us know by leaving a comment or contacting us.
This June, Marin's own boys of summer return to downtown San Rafael's Albert Park for another season of professional minor league baseball! The 2013 San Rafael Pacifics season begins on Tuesday, June 11, and runs through August 25.
Albert Park's intimate setting is the perfect venue for old-fashioned, family-friendly, and affordable local baseball. We're so lucky to have this team here, and maybe they'll repeat their championship-winning 2012 season! General admission tickets are just $10, grandstand reserved and box seats are $20, and dugout seats are $25.
Kids 12 and under can join the Rookie Club, which offers a variety of benefits, including free admission to all Sunday home games and pre- and post-game activities like playing catch with the team during warm ups. Rookie Club membership costs $25 and includes a T-shirt, membership card, and discounts on team merchandise and Silbermann's ice cream (San Rafael's Silbermann's Ice Cream is the Rookie Club sponsor).
While Mother's Day brunch is always a fun outing for the family, sometimes you want to skip the whole fine dining experience and do something a little more original for mom. How about putting together a picnic and heading out to one of the many great picnic spots in and around Marin and Sonoma County (especially since the weather this weekend is supposed to be wonderful)?
Here are some of our favorite places to bring our lunch (or brunch) and dine al fresco:
Bear Valley in the Point Reyes National Seashore is home to the park's visitor center as well as a large picnic area complete with tables, restrooms, charcoal grills, and drinking water. Have a leisurely lunch outdoors, and then take a hike—there are a number of different hikes and walks you can do here that are suitable for everyone in the family, including the Earthquake Trail, the Bear Valley Trail, and the trail leading to the Morgan horse ranch. Read more about Bear Valley in our article here.
China Camp State Park offers a variety of beautiful picnic spots overlooking San Pablo Bay. You'll find most of these picnic spots located along the winding Point San Pedro Road, most of which have nice lawns, picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, and amazing views. You can also have your picnic down in China Camp Village, which also boasts historic exhibits, a pleasant little beach for wading and swimming, and a funky little snack bar that looks like it hasn't changed since the 1930s. Read more about China Camp State Park in our article here.
Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 12. Brunch is always a popular outing in honor of mom, and here our a few 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.
Click on highlighted links for more info.
Brick & Bottle in Corte Madera features a Mother's Day buffet brunch from 11 am to 2 pm. Brunch items include eggs benedict, brioche French toast, smoked salmon, mac and cheese, rotisserie leg of lamb and chicken, and their signature rum cake. $40 for adults and $17 for kids 12 and under. Reservations recommended: (415) 924-3366 or online. Brick & Bottle is located at 55 Tamal Vista Boulevard, in the Marketplace shopping center.
Cavallo Pointin Sausalito offers its Mothers Day brunch buffet from 10 am–6 pm. Stations include a raw bar, omelets, prime rib, and more. $75 adults, $30 kids. Make reservations online or by calling (415) 339-4700.
The Club at McInnis Park hosts a Mother's Day brunch buffet from 10 am to 2 pm. Enjoy brunch right on the golf course and then play a game or some mini golf. The menu includes roasted New York strip st, leg of lamb, grilled salmon, baked honey ham, eggs benedict, eggs florentine with smoked salmon, waffles, French toast, omelette station, carving station, salads, and desserts. The cost is $29.95; children 10 and under are $14.95. They are located at 350 Smith Ranch Road; (415) 491-5959.
If you haven't yet planted your summer vegetable garden, then May is definitely the month to get your plants in the ground! Creating raised beds is really the way to go, and making your planter boxes is really easy if you use the new M Braces from Art of the Garden. Distributed by Marin mom and mompreneur Lisa Marvier (of Farm Girl Nursery fame), these nifty braces make setting up your garden a snap.
M Braces are sturdy brackets welded from recycled steel (right here in California!) that make up the four corners of your raised bed planter box. They're really easy to use: simply get your wood cut into lengths to fit your space (you can get them cut to length at the lumber yard if you don't have a saw) and insert the lumber into the M Braces, and you have a box—no nails or screws required.
Our friend Chef Scott Howard, of Brick & Bottle restaurant in Corte Madera, offered us this fantastic family-friendly recipe for Mother's Day. This special version of French toast is something that kids can help prepare, and would make a great centerpiece to a Mother's Day brunch or breakfast.
If cooking (and cleaning up the kitchen) on Mother's Day is not your style, Brick & Bottle is offering a fantastic Mother's Day brunch buffet on Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm, featuring treats like smoked salmon, beet salad, eggs benedict, rotisserie leg of lamb, honey clove roasted ham, Scott's famous rum cake, and of course this brioche French toast.
Call Brick & Bottle at (415) 924-3366 for information and reservations, or visit www.brickandbottle.com. Brick & Bottle is located at 55 Tamal Vista Boulevard, in the Marketplace shopping center, in Corte Madera.
A leisurely Sunday brunch is a Mothers Day tradition for many, and you can find plenty of family friendly options in Marin here. If your family is the more adventurous type, however, why not check out some of these fun alternatives in Marin and the North Bay. From farms and wineries to hikes and picnics, there's plenty of fun to be had by all! Mothers Day is on Sunday, May 12.
Angel Island is a fantastic Mothers Day destination! This Mothers Day, all moms riding the Angel Island–Tiburon Ferry get a free sunset cruise ticket to use during the 2013 season. All moms purchasing a child tram tour ticket will get a free tram tour (tour times 11:45 am and 2 pm). Pack a picnic and spend the day on the island!
Audubon Canyon Ranchhas offered its Mother's Day BBQ for 50 years! It takes place at Martin Griffin Preserve near Stinson Beach on Sunday from 11 am–3 pm. The menu includes barbecued chicken or vegetarian quiche, green salad, home-style beans, local breads, coffee and tea, and ice cream. Wine, beer, and soft drinks are available. Guided nature hikes are offered to those who would like to explore this amazing area with its spring wildflowers, hiking trails, and egret nesting site. Cost: $25 per adult and $12 per child under 12. You can register online here.
This Mother's Day, why not make an old school dessert for Mom—pineapple upside down cake. Pineapple upside down cake is really old school, dating back to the 1920s when canned pineapple from was introduced to the US market by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which would eventually become Dole Foods.
Featuring moist and light cake topped with sweet pineapple and a caramelized brown sugar topping, it's no wonder this dessert has been popular for nearly a century. In our recipe, we use fresh pineapple, but you can substitute canned if you don't want to mess around with cutting up and trimming a fresh one. It's equally good with both.
For the topping:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into rings (you'll probably end up using about half) or 1 14-ounce can of pineapple rings
If you haven't been to the beautiful and picturesque Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, now is your chance. Come to this non-profit teaching farm overlooking the ocean to celebrate food, family, and fun at this year's Spring Fling this Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
This year's Spring Fling includes live kid-friendly music, local organic cuisine, and hands-on farm and craft activities for all ages. Learn where your food comes from by milking goats, feeding chickens, and touring the garden, or making bread, butter, and cheese. See how a sweater is made through sheep shearing, carding and spinning wool, and other wool crafts. Attend an informative bee keeping workshop with Marin Bee Company Family. Come reconnect with the land on a guided coastal hike, or simply relax on a picnic blanket while eating delicious offerings from local farms.
Live performers at Spring Fling include Sofi Rox, Fire and Oak (Marin Academy acoustic band), Tim Cain, and Helen King and the Star King Stompers.