Museums for Kids, Children's Theater

The Little Prince Visits Marin Theatre Company

December 8, 2015

The Little Prince Marin Theatre Company's Family Series continues this December with The Little Prince, a musical adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Expupéry's classic fable. When a pilot crashes his plane in the desert and is stranded with hardly enough food and water rations to keep him alive, he is surprised by the appearance of a young man: the Little Prince.

As the days stretch on, the Little Prince reappears to the pilot every evening at sunset and unfolds a little bit more of his story with every visit. He explains how he came to be on earth, and the planets and creatures he left behind in the stars above.

The Little Prince’s fantastic journey to Earth and the resonant life lessons he shares will delight and warm the hearts of families of all ages this holiday season.

Performances of The Little Prince take place on December 12, 13, 19, and 20 at 10:30 am and 11 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm on Saturdays, and 11 am and 1 pm on Sundays. Tickets cost $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Get $5 off tickets to any performance with code LPFRIENDS! Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. Some shows are already sold out, so order your tickets now!

Comics, Cartoons, and Family Fun at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa

November 17, 2015

Charles M. Schulz Museum Santa Rosa

Fans of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and all the other characters from the Peanuts comic strip know that Santa Rosa was home to the late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. You've probably spent some time skating at Snoopy's Home Ice at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, which was founded by Schulz in 1969, but the Charles M. Schulz Museum, located right across the street on Hardies Lane, is a must-visit destination for families, too!

I suspect most parents have more fond memories of Peanuts than their children; we all grew up with the ubiquitous Peanuts comic strips, TV specials, books, toys, and more. For myself, a highlight of just about every holiday was watching the appropriate Peanuts special—whether A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, or even It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown on TV. Of course the recently released Peanuts Movie may change all that, so it's a great time to take the kids to check things out! It's not an especially large place, but there's plenty for both kids and parents to see and do, so plan on spending a few hours there.

Don't Miss "Cinderella" This Weekend at Marin Theatre Company

October 6, 2015

Cinderella at Marin Theatre CompanyThis Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, Marin Theatre Company presents Cinderella as you've never seen it before in a production by the award-winning Great Arizona Puppet Theater. Don't miss this enchanting story of pumpkin coaches, glass slippers, and handsome princes told by puppets! This production is recommended for families with children ages 4 and up, and runs for 45 minutes.

Performances of Cinderella take place at 10:30 am and 12:30 and 2:30 pm. Tickets cost $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley.

As an added bonus, Marin Theatre Company is partnering with Amazing Fairytale Parties to offer young theatergoers a chance to meet and have their photos taken with a real life Cinderella.

Fantastic Shrek the Musical at Throckmorton Theatre

August 15, 2015

Steven Hess and Lauren Brody-Clark in Shrek the MusicalLast night my family and I had a chance to experience wonderful production of Shrek the Musical at Mill Valley's beautiful Throckmorton Theatre. There are two more performances left this weekend of this fantastic family-friendly musical and tickets are still available, so don't miss out!

Shrek the Musical features an amazingly talented cast of both children and adults, and brings to life the familiar story of Shrek the ogre, Princess Fiona, Donkey, the villanous Lord Farquaad, and almost every fairy tale creature and character you can imagine. The singing, dancing, and acting were all first rate, and the production was enlivened with puppetry (including an impressive giant dragon puppet), creative sets and props, and of course hilarious songs and dialogue.

Throckmorton Youth Programs director Steven Hess and Lauren Brody-Clarke were outstanding in the roles of Shrek and Fiona, and father and daughter Marty and Meghan Dunn were delightful as an energetic Donkey and a scheming Farquaad. Honestly there were so many outstanding actors, both kids and adults, in the cast that it's impossible to call out every amazing performance!

"Charlotte's Web" Kicks off Marin Theatre Company's 2015-2016 Family Series

August 4, 2015

Charlotte's Web at MTC This August, Marin Theatre Company (MTC) kicks off its 2015–2016 Family Series with a production of Charlotte's Web, based on the classic children's book by E.B. White. Running from August 8 through 16, MTC's Charlotte's Web is the heartwarming tale of friendship between the adorable piglet Wilbur and his wise friend Charlotte the spider. Charlotte's Web runs for 95 minutes and is recommended for kids from kindergarten through 8th grade.

Charlotte's Web is of course only the first play in MTC's fantastic 2015–2016 Family Series. In October, the Great Arizona Puppet Theater brings us Cinderella as you've never seen it before. In December, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's beloved The Little Prince comes to the MTC stage for a holiday treat. And in February and March, The Little Mermaid, dive into MTC's adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid.

The Insider's Guide to Visiting Tiburon for Families

July 13, 2015

Tiburon

Tiburon, that "nearly perfect" Marin town on the end of its namesake peninsula, is a fantastic place for families to visit. Tiburon has long been a favorite of locals and tourists, and boasts amazing views of San Francisco, plenty of boutiques, shops, and restaurants, and lots for everyone to see and do. So pack up the kiddos this summer and head out to Tiburon for a day of fun!

You'll probably want to head straight for downtown Tiburon. We love to walk along the path in Shoreline park and watch the sailboats as they glide by on San Francisco Bay. Along the way, you'll find a fun and interesting museum that's perfect for kids, as well as grassy areas that are ideal for a picnic or just relaxing.

Hands-on Science Fun and Education at the Exploratorium in San Francisco

May 26, 2015

Exploratorium hands-on science museum San Francisco

If you grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, you probably spent some time as a kid at the Exploratorium. This innovative and influential hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception has been educating and entertaining families for over 40 years. The Exploratorium is a perfect place for an outing for families with children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Parents, grandparents, and most other grownups will find it a lot of fun, too. I used to love coming here as a kid, and now my children love to visit, too.

For most of its life, the Exploratorium was located at the iconic Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco's Marina District, but in 2013 it moved into an all-new, much larger facility at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero. The new Exploratorium is bigger and better, and features all your old favorite exhibits along with 150 new ones, as well as a Bay Observatory that allows visitors to explore the environment of adjacent San Francisco Bay.

Insider's Guide to the 2015 Mountain Play: Peter Pan!

May 4, 2015

Peter Pan cast 2015 Mountain Play

One of Marin County's most beloved and unique events is the famous Mountain Play—an outdoor theater experience high on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais that's been going strong for over a century! This year's 102nd Mountain Play production is the timeless Broadway musical Peter Pan, based on J.M. Barrie's classic tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up, the villanous Captain Hook, and the Darling children, and Neverland.

Featuring classic songs like, "I Won't Grow Up", "I Gotta Crow", and "I'm Flying", the Mountain Play's production of Peter Pan is directed by Michael Schwartz and features Melissa Wolfklain as Peter Pan, Jeff Wiesen as Captain Hook/Mr. Darline, Susan Zelinsky as Mrs. Darling, and Davide Yen as Smee. Musical direction is, as usual,  Debra Chambliss.

Performances take place at 2 pm at Mt. Tam's Cushing Memorial Amphitheater on May 24 and 31, and June 7, 13, 14, and 21. General seating ticket prices range from $25–$40, and children 3 and under are free. Reserved seats start at $60. Order tickets online here or by phone at (415) 383-1100.

Masque Unit Junior Theatre's Production of Charlotte's Web Comes to Marin Center This Weekend

March 3, 2015

charlotte's webE.B. White's classic story Charlotte's Web comes to life in Masque Unit Junior Theatre’s annual live theater production for young children at Marin Center this weekend. Masque Unit’s production of Joseph Robinette and Charles Strouse's musical adaptation of Charlotte's Web introduces children to the timeless story of Wilbur the pig, a little girl named Fern, and a spider called Charlotte, and offers an afternoon of delightful entertainment.

This classic story of friendship and community will warm your heart. Come along as Wilbur moves to a farm, finds a new unexpected family, and goes from being the runt of the little to "Some Pig".

Charlotte's Web takes place at the Showcase Theater at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael on March 7 and 8, 2015 at 1 and 3 pm. Tickets are $8 per person, available through the Marin Civic Center box office at (415) 499-6800.

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