Museums for Kids, Children's Theater

Get Ready for the Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

September 19, 2017

Goblin Jamboree

Come get a jump on Halloween at the 31st annual Goblin Jamboree fundraiser at the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Bring your little goblins to this year’s spooky family event on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 from 10 am to 4 pm. This year’s theme is "Witches and Wizards" and they have put together a cauldron of spooky themed programs and activities to entertain your entire family.

Ride a train or real ponies, create your own wand and potions, make your way through a broom obstacle course and some hay mazes, play with glow-in-the-dark trains in the Bay Hall, explore the spooky sticker room, and and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment. This year's event will feature live musical performances from the JimBo Trout, Juice and Jelly, and Beau Mathews. This event is the perfect Halloween party for kids ages 6 months to 10 years.

The Clover Family Fun Series Returns to Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa

September 18, 2017

This fall the Clover Sonoma Family Fun Series returns to Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa with six fantastic shows for young audiences and their families. Beginning in October, the series will delight audiences of all ages with a brand-new fairy tale, awe-inspiring acrobats, a world premiere musical, and more.

This season, Family Fun Series subscribers will be invited to exclusive post-show meet-and-greet and autograph sessions with the performers, as well as an opportunity to attend a backstage tour and docent-guided Sculpture Garden Art Talk. Each event in the series will also feature pre-show activities, including Free Fun with Art, custom-designed arts and crafts projects for the whole family, and pizza and drinks at the concession stand.

Visit a Museum for Free in September

August 31, 2017

The Exploratorium in San Francisco is free on September 23.

Did you know you can visit most of the Bay Area's major museums and cultural attractions for free every month? Just about all museums have one day a month set aside as a free day. They all aren't on the same day, too, so if you plan it right you can take in several museum outings without having to pay a thing.

Note that most museums charge for admission to special exhibitions and usually only the special exhibition fee is charged on free days; see details with each museum listing in our ultimate guide to San Francisco Bay Area museum free days below.

Where to Watch the Solar Eclipse in Marin and the Bay Area

August 19, 2017

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

In case you haven't noticed, there's going to be a total solar eclipse on Monday morning! On August 21 at approximately 9:05 am, the moon will start to pass in front of the sun, with maximum coverage occurring at around 10:15 am. This is the first eclipse visible across the entire continental US since 1979 and the last until 2024.

Unfortunately, in the Bay Area we won't get to see the sun completely blocked—you'll have to go to parts of Oregon, Idaho, Georgia or somewhere else for that, but 78% of it will be hidden from view, so the effects should still be dramatic! Here's our guide to places for solar eclipse viewing in Marin and the Bay Area on Monday, many of which will offer free eclipse-viewing glasses, usually on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dive into the Reef at California Academy of Science's Teen Science Night

August 7, 2017

#TeenScienceNight at the California Academy of Sciences

Calling all Bay Area teens! The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park is hosting its fifth annual #TeenScienceNight this Friday, August 11, 2017, from 6:30–9 pm. This event—the world's largest teen-only science event—features fun sciences programs, experiments, and talks, as well as food, music, and dancing. And, best of all, no adults are allowed, only teens ages 13 to 18. Admission is free.

Visit a Museum for Free in August

July 31, 2017

Bay Area Discovery MuseumThe Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito is free on the first Wednesday of the month.

Did you know you can visit most of the Bay Area's major museums and cultural attractions for free every month? Just about all museums have one day a month set aside as a free day. They all aren't on the same day, too, so if you plan it right you can take in several museum outings without having to pay a thing.

Note that most museums charge for admission to special exhibitions and usually only the special exhibition fee is charged on free days; see details with each museum listing in our ultimate guide to San Francisco Bay Area museum free days below.

Amazing Family Sleepovers in the Bay Area and Beyond

July 31, 2017

Monterey Bay Aquarium Overnight
Photo courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium

If you're looking for a fun and unique overnight experience for the family, try camping out at a museum, aquarium zoo, or wildlife center! Popular family destinations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California like the California Academy of Sciences, the Marine Mammal Center, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the San Francisco Zoo, the USS Hornet Museum, and Safari West all offer exciting programs where families can spend the night. It's be kind of like the movie Night at the Museum, except that the dinosaurs and dioramas won't come alive after hours (we hope)!

Needless to say, all of these events require advance reservations and have limited space, so register for your awesome overnight adventure soon! Many of these venues also offer overnight programs for scouts, schools, and other youth groups. All information is correct at time of posting; check each location’s website for complete information, pricing updates, and a schedule of events.

A New Take on "The Music Man" at 142 Throckmorton Theatre

July 18, 2017

The Music ManThere’s trouble in River City when 142 Throckmorton's production of Meredith Willson’s six-time, Tony Award-winning musical The Music Man comes to Mill Valley! The Music Man tells the story of fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash, howerver are thwarted when he falls for Marian, the local librarian!

A partnership with La Familia, Oakland School for the Arts, and 142 Throckmorton, this production of The Music Man is inspired by Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, featuring a diverse cast of actors and a mission to unite communities, build bridges, and create innovative art.

Planes, Air Museums, and Aviation Fun in the San Francisco Bay Area

July 7, 2017

Wings Over Wine Country Air Show

If your kids are obsessed with planes and flying machines, then take a family outing to one of these San Francisco Bay Area air museums, airshows, and other aviation destinations. Some of these places even include the opportunity to climb aboard and sit behind the controls of real historic aircraft, while others offer the chance to watch planes and helicopters in action in the air. There's something for all ages! Please keep in mind that hours and admission details can change, so check museum websites or call before you go.

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