Museums for Kids, Children's Theater

Amazing Family Sleepovers in the Bay Area and Beyond

February 20, 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.

On Your Marks, Get Set, GO! "The Hare and the Tortoise" Comes to Marin Theatre Company

February 14, 2017

Hare & TortoisePhoto: Jeff Berlin/Marin Theatre Company

On your marks, get set, GO! As part of it ongoing Family Series, Marin Theatre Company brings the spirit of sportsmanship, friendship, and living in the moment to its magical production of Brendan Murray’s Hare & Tortoise. The third production in MTC's Family Series, Hare & Tortoise features slow and steady Tortoise versus speedy and impatient Hare, who race to understand that determination and will for success truly matter in life.

Visit a Museum for Free in February

January 29, 2017

Visit a Bay Area Museum for freeDid 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 below.

Also, groups are generally not admitted on free days; check with each museum for their free day group policy.

First Wednesday of the Month—February 1

First Thursday of the Month—February 2

Bank of America Museums on Us—February 4 & 5

Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders get free general admission on the first full weekend of every month. Present your card and a photo ID for admission (one free general admission per cardholder). Get full details here. Participating museums include:

Family Fun at the de Youngsters Art Party this Friday

January 5, 2017

de Youngsters Art Party Photo courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Come help put the "art" in "party" at the fourth annual de Youngsters Art Party, taking place this Friday, January 6, 2017, from 6 to 9 pm at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. This one-of-a-kind, after-hours festive family outing raises $50,000 annually for the museum's education department, helping to support educational initiatives like free youth programs and summer camp scholarships for children in low-income families.

This year's Art Party theme is inspired by the special exhibition Frank Stella: A Retrospective. Partygoers can explore the exhibition, experience live performances by Velocity Circus, experience an "activation station" created by Adobe, enjoy mocktails in the Tween Glow Lounge, make flipbooks, and much more. We attended the de Youngsters Art Party last year, and had a blast!

Hands-on Museums for Kids and Families in Marin and the Bay Area

January 3, 2017

Exploratorium hands-on fun museumMuseum visitors are often told not to touch anything, but not at the museums listed here! These seven local Marin County and San Francisco Bay Area museums offer lots of fun hands-on activities for kids and families. They're perfect for rainy-day outings or any time, really.

Bay Area Discovery Museum

Families with kids up to age 8 love Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum for its combination of hands-on fun, exciting programs and performances, rotating special exhibitions (currently it's Curious George: Let's Get Curious), and a great play area overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. It's a fantastic place to play away the day and take in the amazing views. Location: Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, 94965. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 9 am–5 pm. More info: www.baykidsmuseum.org or (415) 339-3900.

Holiday Family Fun at Bay Area Museums

December 13, 2016

Exploratorium hands-on fun museumHave fun at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s iceless skating rink this holiday season. Photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum

The holidays are a perfect time for a family visit to a museum, where you can both have fun and learn something indoors. Many local San Francisco Bay Area museums offer fun holiday-themed programs, including hands-on activities, special exhibits, and more. You'll even find ice skating and real live reindeer! Here are six of our favorite local museums worth visiting with the kiddos this holiday season.

Bay Area Discovery Museum

During the holiday season, family favorite the Bay Area Discovery Museum offers a synthetic "iceless" skating rink for all the fun of ice skating without the cold and icy falls. They'll also hold a Noon Year's Eve party from 9 am–2 pm on December 31 with a noontime ball drop, music by DJ ManCub, and more. Location: Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, 94965. www.bayareadiscoverymuseum.org

Visit a Museum for Free in November

November 1, 2016

Visit a Bay Area Museum for freeDid 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 below.

Also, groups are generally not admitted on free days; check with each museum for their free day group policy.

First Tuesday of the Month—November 1

"The Jungle Book" Opens at Marin Theatre Company Next Weekend - Win Tickets!

October 22, 2016

The Jungle Book at MTC

Marin Theatre Company's Family Series continues this fall with their original production of The Jungle Book, opening next Saturday, October 29 for 10 performances only! Adapted by Greg Banks from the beloved stories by Rudyard Kipling and directed by Logan Ellis, this production is special in that MTC will be featuring the protagonist Mowgli as a girl! Here's what MTC Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis says about this artistic choice:

"We, led by director Logan Ellis and our cast and crew, feel it is imperative to give our girls the opportunity to see themselves portrayed onstage in a classic adventure story normally reserved for boys. We doubly believe it is important for young boys to see girls in powerful hero roles this year as our national conversation is rife with bullying, sexism and gender discussion."

Marin Theatre Company's 2016-2017 Family Series Kicks off with "Father Goose's Tales"

September 13, 2016

Father Goose's Tales Marin Theatre CompanyThis fall, Marin Theatre Company (MTC) kicks off its 2016–2017 Family Series with Father Goose's Tales. In this production, Mother Goose has taken the day off and Father Goose must take over her duties, including storytelling! Father Goose's Tales is written and performed by Jim Napolitano, who brings the nursery rhymes, stories, and songs to life through innovative shadow puppetry, and is ideal for children ages 4 to 8.

Father Goose's Tales is only the first offering in MTC's fantastic 2016–2017 Family Series. In October, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book will come to life on stage (best for ages 6 and up), and in November you can experience an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Snow Queen (ages 9 and up). Finally, in February, the classic fable Hare and Tortoise will recount the greatest race on earth (ages 4 and up). MTC will even offer a sensory friendly performance of Hare and Tortoise for young people in the autism spectrum on March 4.

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