Holiday

Hit the Ice! Holiday Ice Skating in the Bay Area

November 21, 2017

Ice skating at Marin on Ice

Even though it's an activity that you can do year-round, ice skating seems to be something that's especially appealing around the holidays. Marin on Ice is back at Northgate in San Rafael for another season of outdoor ice skating, so you don't have to leave Marin County to go skate! It's the only rink in the county, but you'll find more opportunities to skate in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and the East Bay. Here's our list of places to hit the ice in the Bay Area this holiday season.

The Spectacular Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery

November 16, 2017

West End Nursery Christmas House

Traditionally, our first holiday outing in Marin is always to the famous Christmas House at West End Nursery in San Rafael. We checked out this season's edition yesterday during its opening weekend and, once again, it's a spectacular as ever. As a matter of fact, I think it might be the best version to date—it just keeps getting better every year.

Photos Ops with Santa Claus in Marin and Beyond

November 14, 2017

Santa Claus photos MarinPhoto Courtesy Town Center Corte Madera

It goes without saying that every Holiday season Santa Claus is an extremely popular guy. He and his small army of little helpers will be making the rounds for photos and other holiday fun at various shopping centers and other locations in Marin County and beyond. (And of course you'll need to tell him what you want for Christmas, too!)

Breakfast with Santa in Marin and the Bay Area

November 13, 2017

Santa and KidsPhoto Courtesy Town Center Corte Madera

Even if you're on the Naughty List this year, Santa and his friends will be happy to have breakfast with you and your family this holiday season! Here's our guide to family-friendly "Breakfast with Santa" events in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area for 2017. We make every effort to assure that all listings and hours are as accurate as possible, but make sure to call or check the venue's website before visiting (if you don't have to make reservations, of course).

Festive Holiday Teas for the Family in Marin and San Francisco

November 4, 2017

Holiday Tea Falkirk

Holiday teas are a fun seasonal treat for children and their parents. There are several in Marin this season. Holiday teas are popular and space is often limited, so reserve your spot as soon as possible if you plan to go. Here are a few of our favorites in Marin, San Francisco, and the Wine Country.

Marin

A Holiday Magic Toy Box Tea at Falkirk

Saturday and Sunday, December 9 & 10, seatings at noon & 3 pm
1408 Mission Avenue at "E" Street, San Rafael
The tea is an old-fashioned tour de force in the elegant Queen Anne Victorian Falkirk Mansion. Homemade tea sandwiches and sweets are served, along with tea, hot chocolate, and other beverages. Features include life-sized toys, a raffle, and plenty of photo opportunities. Make sure you bring your teddy bear or other favorite toy! The Magic Toy Box Tea is hosted by the Cultural Affairs Service League. This extremely popular event is by reservation only and always sells our early! Reserve your spot by calling (800) 838-3006 or online here. The cost is $28 for adults and $24 for children or $50 for an adult-and-child combination ticket. For more info, visit www.falkirkculturalcenter.org.

Horse-Drawn Tours of Novato's Holiday Lights with Indian Valley Carriage

November 3, 2017

Indian Valley CarriageWant to tour Novato's spectacular holiday lights the old fashioned way this winter? Book a trip via horse-drawn carriage or wagon from Gary Sello and Indian Valley Carriage. Novato residents have probably seen Gary and his team cruising the streets at Christmas time, especially near the famous Rombeiro Christmas House on Devonshire Drive.

Family Holiday Performances at Marin Center

November 2, 2017

Stapleton Ballet Nutcracker at Marin Center in San RafaelSee Stapleton Ballet's Nutcracker at Marin Center on December 2 and 3.

You can always count on finding a variety of wonderful holiday performances for the whole family at Marin Center in San Rafael, and the 2017 season is no exception. There’s definitely something for everyone, so bring the family to one of these Marin holiday classics. Many of these productions sell out early, so order your tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

Marin Center is located off Civic Center Drive at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael, adjacent to the Marin County Civic Center. It comprises two of Marin County's premier performance venues: the 1,960-seat Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium, which hosts major concerts, performances, and events, and the smaller, more intimate 315-seat Showcase Theater.

Family Fondue Party for New Year's Eve

December 29, 2016

fondue

Nearly everyone I know (us included) received a fondue pot as a wedding gift. If you don't have one, then your parents most certainly do, since fondue was a huge deal in the 1960s and '70s. Fondue is easy to make, if you follow the directions closely, and makes for a fun social meal—the perfect thing for a family New Year's Eve party.

On New Year's Eves past we've made the traditional Swiss style fondue using Gruyère and Emmenthaler cheeses and white wine. With its blend of wine and strong-tasting Swiss cheeses, It's never been a big hit with the kids, so last year we crafted a new, more kid-friendly version using cheddar cheese and apple cider. Needless to say, it was a big hit, and ended up being a lot less expensive to make than the authentic version, too.

Fondue is definitely a kid-friendly kind of dish, and they love being able to choose their foods and dip them into the molten cheese. Just make sure to keep little hands clear of the fondue pot, since flames are involved and metal parts can get hot.

ODC/Dance's The Velveteen Rabbit is a Holiday Family Favorite. Win Tickets!

November 24, 2015

ODC/Dance Velveteen RabbitODC/Dance's adaptation of the classic children's story The Velveteen Rabbit has been a holiday tradition in the Bay Area for 29 years. With music, dance, and powerful narrative, ODC/Dance tells this classic tale of a well-worn stuffed rabbit who become real, and the little boy who loves him.

This popular production brims with wit, festive costumes, colorful characters—including the 10-foot-tall Nana, a skin-horse, toy soldiers, a crocodile, dolls, and a pack of "real" rabbits, and, of course, plenty of holiday cheer. The Velveteen Rabbit features ODC's renowned company of dancers, 10 young dancers from the ODC school, a score by Benjamin Britten. This production is suitable for children ages 3 and up. Running time is 90 minutes, including one intermission.

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