Museums for Kids, Children's Theater

Jack and the Beanstalk at Marin Center This Saturday

March 1, 2016

Jack and the Beanstalk Masque UnitThe classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk comes to life in Masque Unit Junior Theatre’s annual live theater production for young children at Marin Center this Saturday, March 5, 2016. Masque Unit’s production, titled Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Giant, and the Goose, and the Really Truly-Uly Rotten Day, is a contemporary take on a timeless fairy tale featuring Broadway-style songs, dancing, comedy, magic, and surprises.

Characters include the adventurous Jack, an overworked and underpaid Golden Goose, and a diminutive Giant with a huge Napoleon complex. Each performance is followed by a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with Jack and the Beanstalk characters. This performance is an ideal introduction to live theater for children ages 3 and up.

Dive into Marin Theatre Company's "The Little Mermaid"

February 25, 2016

The Little Mermaid Marin Theatre Company's Family Series continues this month with The Little Mermaid, an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fable. When a sea witch offers a beautiful mermaid princess the chance to make her dreams come true, it comes at a heavy price. The Little Mermaid sacrifices the best parts of herself—her tail and her voice—for legs, in the hope of winning the heart of the prince she adores. But the sea witch isn’t finished with her yet. Will love conquer all? A cast of two storytellers, Flotsam and Jetsam, bring fresh energy to this timeless fairy tale.

Performances of The Little Mermaid take place on Saturday, February 27 and March 5 at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm and Sunday, February 28 and March 5 at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm. Run time is 35 minutes, and the show is recommended for children ages 5 to 8.

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey at the Bay Area Discovery Museum Today!

February 15, 2016

Dragon for chinese new year at bay area discovery museumGung hay fat choy! Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum opens on a Monday (something that happens rarely) today for its annual Chinese New Year Festival. The festivities take place today (February 15, Presidents' Day) from 9 am to 5 pm. At the this celebration of the Year of the Monkey, the whole family can find something to do. Try your hand at traditional Chinese calligraphy, construct a paper lantern, see a vibrant performance by the Chinese Performing Arts of America Youth Group, hear performances of Chinese music, watch martial arts demonstrations, play traditional Chinese games, and dine on delicious Chinese food.

You can also learn about the Chinese zodiac and enjoy an exciting performance by the lion dancers of the Marin Chinese Cultural Group at 10 am and 2 pm. Lion dance performances take place in the museum's Festival Plaza.

All programs are free with museum admission. While you're there, you can also enjoy the museum's current special exhibition, Children's China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius.

Get a Free Ticket to Katia and Company's "Please Be Seated" at the San Anselmo Playhouse

January 16, 2016

Please be SeatedKatia and Company is one of our favorite Marin resources for drama camps and kids' theater productions, and their shows are always a treat! This month, Katia presents Please Be Seated at the Playhouse in San Anselmo from January 20 to 24. Katia is offering Marin Mommies readers a free ticket—one per family—if you mention "Marin Mommies" at the door.

This play-within-a-play, written and directed by Katia McHaney and featuring a cast of talented local kids, follows the misadventures of a group of 5th through 8th graders who try to put on their own production of Cinderella. Featuring diva actors, a stressed-out director, and incompetent stagehands—everything that can go wrong, does!

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.

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