Spring

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.

Celebrate Springtime at Slide Ranch's Spring Fling

April 19, 2016

Slide Ranch Spring FlingIf you haven't been to check out the beautiful and picturesque Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, now is your chance! Come to this non-profit teaching farm overlooking the ocean this Saturday to celebrate food, family, and fun at this year's Spring Fling. It all takes place on April 23, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm.

This year's Spring Fling features live kid-friendly music, local organic cuisine, hikes and tours, 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.

Come reconnect with the land on a guided coastal hike, watch a sheep shearing, meet baby animals, listen to the music of Marin's favorite kids' musician Tim Cain, watch a show by Dusty's Puppets, or simply relax on a picnic blanket while eating delicious local organic food.

Strawberry Shortcake Is a True Taste of Springtime

April 12, 2016

Strawberry ShortcakeOne of the best things about spring is knowing that you can get fresh, sweet, locally grown organic strawberries at the farmer's market or grocery store. To celebrate, we love to make this easy and delicious strawberry shortcake dessert. This simple combination of lightly sweet shortcake, fresh strawberries, and vanilla flavored whipped cream is a hit with just about everyone, and is suitable for every occasion, from a fancy Easter dinner to a kids' tea party.

These shortcakes are kind of like sweet (but not too sweet) buttermilk drop biscuits, and don't take very long to put together. If you're really in a hurry, you can use whipped cream from a can, but it doesn't take too much time or effort to make some fresh whipped cream with your electric mixer, and it tastes so much better, too.

You can make the shortcakes and whipped cream in advance and let diners assemble their own strawberry shortcake creations at the table, if you like. It's fun for both children and adults. Whipped cream keeps fine in the refrigerator for a few hours, and you can make it extra-thick and rich by putting it in a strainer over a bowl and letting some of the water drain out.

Create a Marin Family Tradition at Pixie Park's Spring Fair

April 10, 2016

Pixie Park

Spring has sprung at the Marin Art and Garden Center and Pixie Park’s Spring Fair is about to bloom! In fact the Fair has blossomed at MAGC each year for the last 58 years making its occurrence almost a rite of spring. While many generations of Marinites have enjoyed the Spring Fair, you don’t have to be from Marin to soak in its nostalgia. Kids of all ages are welcome to step back in time and explore the Fair’s Candy Land, Autopia, and Tot Town. The fair also offers families rides on an old-time train, storytelling performances, and a petting farm. Admission is free so there is really no reason not to make Pixie Park’s Spring Fair a new family tradition.

Celebrate Spring with these Fun Family Outings

March 26, 2016

Japanese Tea GardenSpring officially begins this Friday, March 20 (although it seems like it's been here for a few weeks already). Daylight saving time is here, the weather is getting warmer, wildflowers are in bloom, and there are plenty of fun things for families to do. Here are some of our favorite springtime family events and outings in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area. What's your family's favorite spring event?

Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at Falkirk

March 24, 2016

Mad hatter's tea partyGet your tickets for the Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24, 2016. There will be two sittings for this one-of-a-kind tea party, at noon and 3 pm, each day.

Join Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse for this whimsical Wonderland tea party, complete with tea sandwiches, beverages, and dessert. The company of characters in original costumes, from the Stark Ravens Historical Players, will entertain and make the little ones giggle and dream as they sip their hot chocolate. Falkirk’s beautiful and elegant Victorian setting is the perfect place for this fanciful spring tea party.

The cost is $27.50 for adults, $22.50 for children, or $48 for an adult and child. Admission includes all the food you can eat and a goodie bag for each child. Bring your camera for photos opportunities! Reservations are required; call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

Spectacular Views and Spring Wildflowers Await at Ring Mountain

March 22, 2016

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve

Springtime is a perfect time to take a family hike at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve near Tiburon. The preserve's renowned wildflower display will soon be in full swing (it's simply stunning), and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, and the entire Bay Area. It's one of our all-time favorite family hikes.

Right now, you'll see California poppies, yellow lupines, buttercups, white and purple Douglas iris, and other colorful flowers coming into bloom. If you haven't been to Ring Mountain, it's definitely worth a visit. It's especially lush this spring after all the rain we've been having lately. Make sure you bring a camera—it's a great place for a family photo.

Spring is in Bloom at the Japanese Tea Garden

March 15, 2016

Japanese Tea Garden

San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden is a favorite spot for tourists in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, but it's also a great spot for local families. I've been visiting since I was a small child, and I've made sure that I introduced it to my children, too. Before I took them there, I had forgotten how magical this place is.

It's especially worth a visit at this time of year when the sakura, or flowering cherry trees, and azaleas are in full bloom. It's a magnificent and colorful spring sight that's really worth the effort to see. The kids love to explore the grounds and get some tea and a Japanese snack at the tea room.

Six Spectacular Spring Wildflower Hikes for Families in Marin

March 14, 2016

Ring Mountain Wildflowers

Spring in California is spectacular, with an abundance of wildflowers, seasonal waterfalls, and wildlife. Before the summer heat bakes the green hillsides brown, get the family out on the trail at one of these great Marin hiking spots with wonderful spring wildflower displays.

These hikes are perfect for a family outing at almost any time of year, but of course are especially nice during the spring. All the trails mentioned here are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, too.

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve

This preserve near Tiburon is home to spring wildflowers and spectacular views of San Francisco Bay and Mt. Tam. The trails here are great for kids of all ages and even offroad strollers. Best of all, it's located right near Tiburon and Corte Madera.

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