If you want to go ice skating, you have to head to Santa Rosa or San Francisco, right? Wrong! This fall and winter, Marin on Ice comes to San Rafael's Northgate Mall. Open November 10, 2012 through January 13, 2013, Marin County's only holiday ice skating rink features 5,000 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating.
Special sessions at Marin on Ice include Wednesday "Mommy and Me" skating time geared toward young children and their parents, "Family Night" on Tuesday, and "Rock the Rink" on Friday evenings. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental, and "Skate Buddies" will be on hand to assist beginnners.
Marin on Ice will also offer birthday parties during public skating hours. The cost is $300 for up to 10 skaters, and two-hour parties include a private ice cabana, skate rental for everyone, chairs, a special birthday announcment on Rink Radio, and a ride for the birthday boy or girl on the rink's mini zamboni. The rink's three ice cabanas can be combined so parties can be for 10, 20, or 30 people. Private rink rentals are also available for your group, organization, or business.
Did you know last week was National Nanny Recognition week? How can you show your nanny your love and thanks? Diana Chiarabano, owner of Rent-a-Parent Personnel Services offers seven ideas for showing your nanny how much you care. Diana has been helping Marin families and nannies for 25 years. You can reach her at Diana@rentaparent.net.
We all do it… we get so busy with our daily lives that we often forget to reward and acknowledge those who mean the most to us. If you have a truly loving, dependable, and wonderful nanny, then consider yourself very fortunate. You can go to work, fulfill obligations, take care of personal and family needs; all the while knowing that your child benefits from being in your nanny’s care. Nannies are like anyone else-they like to feel appreciated. This is a good time of year to dust off the “things I’m thankful for” list and put your thoughts into action. How about showing your nanny how much she means to you.
Create a colorful hand made card thanking your nanny for some special thing she did (for you or your child). Your child gets the added benefit of seeing how important it is to acknowledge those we care about.
Come home early and give her the rest of the afternoon off… maybe adding some tickets for a movie or dinner.
Who could resist a spa treat? If you can afford it, this is a big hit with any female. If you have a male nanny, then he needs pampering too.
Does you nanny have a child herself? How about some kind of gift for her family? Toys, equipment that you no longer need, time off for some engagement that her family wants to attend.
If your nanny has been with you for a while you probably know what little surprise would make her smile. Starbucks card? Gift Card for her favorite store or service? Little extra $ for gas allowance or car wash?
Have flowers sent to her when she least expects it. Thank her for the times she’s stayed late so you could finish at the office. Or the umpteenth time she came early to work. Or doing the laundry when nowhere in the job description did you mention laundry.
Remember, what’s good for your nanny is ultimately good for you and your family. Make her glad for being a nanny and grateful she’s working for you!
Get ready to believe! Tickets for the California State Railroad Museum's annual holiday Polar Express train rides go on sale to the public on Monday, October 1, 2012. Climb on board a train pulled by a streamlined diesel locomotive from the museum's collection and read along with Chris Van Allsburg's classic holiday story as you and your family make your round-trip journey to the North Pole. Meet Santa Claus himself, sing Christmas carols, and drink hot chocolate—served by dancing waiters, of course.
Each child attending receives a special gift, and children are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Tickets to this wildly popular holiday event sell out very quickly, so if you want to go, order yours as soon as you can. Tickets are available online only starting October 1. Ride in the coach cars ($30 per person), first-class El Dorado Observation Car ($45 per person), or reserve a table for four in the first class Audubon Dining Car ($180). All tickets are subject to a service fee of $3.50 per ticket ($12 for dining car table reservation). Children under 2 years of age are free and must be seated on an adult's lap.
Come mark the beginning of Kwanzaa,the African-American celebration of family and community, at Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum on Monday, December 26 from 10 am–4 pm, with art projects inspired by the African continent, live performances, and a Kwanzaa altar in the museum’s Entry Pavilion.
Also, enjoy a performance by renowned jazz drummer E. W. Wainwright and his ensemble: The African Roots of Jazz, takes you on a musical journey that traces African-American musical forms, such as jazz, gospel, and spirituals, from their earliest beginnings in African cultures to today at 11 am and 1 pm in the Discovery Theatre. The program features instrumental music, songs, theater, and audience participation. Seating for The African Roots of Jazz is limited; pick up free tickets at the front desk when you arrive at the museum.
Got your own top ten list, or additions to ours (who says it has to be only ten)? Let us know by posting a comment!Don't forget to check out our event calendar for other great ideas for Winter Break fun.
Sears recently gave us a $200 gift card to buy something from one of their in-house brands, like Kenmore, Craftsman, or Land's End. Sears also offered to give away a $100 gift card to one of fabulous readers—read on to find out how to win!
One of my favorite Christmas cookies from my childhood is the thumbprint cookie—a rich butter cookie that's rolled in chopped walnuts and topped with a dollop of raspberry preserves. As a kid, I always loved to help my mom make them. My special job would be to make an indentation in each unbaked cookie with my thumb. We decided to thumbprint cookies this year, and we got to inaugurate our new Kenmore Elite stand mixer that we got from Sears.
A stand mixer is one of the things I've really wanted for quite some time, so I'm pretty excited about it. The Kenmore Elite mixer looks kind of like an Art Deco version of the comparable Kitchenaid Artisan mixer, and has pretty much all the same features, but with a more powerful 400-watt motor. It also mounts all the Kitchenaid mixer accessories, like a meat grinder and pasta roller, too. The kids love the neat little LED on the underside of the mixing arm that illuminates the contents of your mixing bowl. Really cool!
If you haven't had a chance to visit Novato's Rolling Hills Club lately, you might want to this holiday season. This month, this family-oriented fitness club in Novato's San Marin neighborhood offers fun events and programs for the entire family.
This Saturday from 11 am to 12:30 pm, Santa Claus arrives at the club by sleigh, and little ones can climb aboard and tell him their Christmas wishes. Cookies and hot cocoa will be provided and the San Marin High School Choir will entertain with Christmas carols. This festive community event is free to everyone, and all ages are welcome.
Rolling Hills is also offering a holiday Polar Bear Camp for children ages 5–10 during the weeks of December 19–22 (Monday–Thursday) and 27–30 (Tuesday–Friday). Kids can spend their winter break with fun, active, and exciting activities, including tennis, racquetball, swimming, basketball, and arts and crafts. Make some new friends and have a great time before heading back to school.
Congratulations to Colleen P. for winning the Nutcracker tickets for Tuesday's performance.
How would you like to go see the San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker this Tuesday night? We're excited to give away two (2) tickets for this special family performance, which begins at 7 pm (but you'll want to get there early to meet some costumed Nutcracker characters and get a free child's gift).
To enter to win, send an email to email@example.com with "Nutcracker" in the subject line by noon (Pacific time) on Sunday, December 11. We'll select a random winner that afternoon. Our thanks go out to San Francisco Ballet for generously sponsoring this exciting giveaway. Read our giveaway rules and terms here.
Please note that this giveway is for the December 13, 7 pm performance only. The winner's tickets will be held at the War Memorial Opera House will call for pickup the evening of the performance.
Let your children's’ imaginations run wild as they create the ultimate gingerbread house, complete with candy canes, gumdrops, frosting, and other treats at the Bay Area Discovery Museum this holiday season. The museum's 14th Annual Gingerbread Architecture Extravaganza runs through December 23, 2011.
The cost is $30 per gingerbread kit for Bay Area Discovery Museum members and $40 per kit for non-members, which includes museum admission for one adult and one child per kit purchased. Pre-registration is required, so register online at the Bay Area Discovery Museum's website.
Make sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible, because this extremely popular event often does sell out.
Gingerbread house sessions are on the following dates:
Weekdays: 9:30, 10:30 & 11:30 am
December 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23