Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 28, 29 & 30

November 27, 2014

Garlock Tree Farm

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this holiday weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, as well as opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers. Also, check out our guide to North Bay Christmas tree farms and Lots.

Friday, November 28

  • Gingerbread Builders Workshop
    Bon Air Center, Greenbrae
    Friday-Sunday, 9 am-9 pm

    Bring the kiddos out to build a sweet home of their dreams. Gingerbread kits include house, candy and bag of royal Icing. Choose from 3 different sizes that range in price from $31-$52. Location: Bon Aire Shopping Center Suite #302. Reserve your gingerbread kit here. For questions, (415) 720-2193 or visit their website.
  • The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
    Cow Palace, San Francisco
    Friday-Sunday, 10 am–7 pm

    The Dickens Fair runs on weekends through December 21 from 10 am–7 pm. Experience Victorian London with hundreds of costumed players, shops offering one-of-a-kind gifts and Christmas treasures, dining, and pubs. Meet Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim, Jules Verne, David Copperfield, Charles Darwin, and 700 costumed characters. Of course, Father Christmas himself will be on hand to join in the fun. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • 35th Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland
    Downtown San Rafael
    Friday, noon–8 pm & Saturday, 9 am–noon
    Downtown San Rafael will once again commence the holiday season with its Winter Wonderland, Parade of Lights, and Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts that starts the Friday after Thanksgiving. On Friday: free snow sledding, kids activities (noon–4:30 pm & 6–8 pm), Holiday Marketplace (noon–8 pm) and the Parade of Lights (5:30 pm) with Santa and Mrs. Claus's arrival and a tree-lighting immediately after. On Saturday, kids activities and snow sledding continues (9 am–noon). Location: Fourth Street from B Street to Lootens Place in downtown San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ghirardelli Square Annual Tree Lighting
    San Francisco
    Friday,  4–9 pm

    Enjoy free live entertainment for the entire family throughout the day culminating with the lighting of the Ghirardelli Square tree at 5:30 pm. This year’s festivities will include live music, children’s entertainment and a visit from Santa. Location: Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street (at Beach and Larkin), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Macy's 25th Annual Union Square Tree Lighting
    Union Square Park, San Francisco
    Friday, 6 pm

    Macy's gift to the city and San Francisco's most recognized Christmas tree will be officially lit in Union Square at 6:40 pm. Macy's 25th Annual Tree Lighting will take place in Union Square Park between Sutter and Post and Geary and Stockton Streets, right across from the front of Macy's. For more info, visit their website.
  • Cinnabar Theater Young Repertory Presents The Wizard of OZ
    Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma
    Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm

    Follow the yellow brick road with Cinnabar's Young Rep as they present the classic musical live on stage. This production of The Wizard of Oz is performed entirely by talented young artists aged 7–18. More than 65 kids take the stage to bring this beloved story to life. Admission: $15 adults, $10 your 21 and under. Location: 3333 Petaluma Boulevard North. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, November 29

  • Fitness Hike: Hoo Koo E Koo to Huckleberry Trail
    Kent Woodlands
    Saturday, 9 am-noon

    Families can explore Baltimore Canyon and the Blithedale and Corte Madera ridges on a fast-paced hike with Ranger Ian McLorg. We will take the Hoo Koo E Koo Trail up to the ridge, come down the Huckleberry Trail and then head back to Crown Rd (approximately 5 miles total). Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water and high energy snacks. We request that no pets (except service animals) attend. This is a rain or shine event but high winds will cancel.  Meet at the gate at the end of Crown Rd in Kent Woodlands. For more info call Ranger Ian McLorg at (415) 473-2816 or visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm adjacent to the farmer's market and live music from Scott the Storyteller from 9:30–10:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Gingerbread Architecture Extravaganza
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 2 and 3 pm

    Kick off your holiday season with Gingerbread Architecture. Come to the Museum and we'll provide a kit for you and your family with everything you need to construct a creative holiday home, including gingerbread house pieces, icing and festive holiday candies. Cost per kit is $20 (Museum admission for non-members is not included). To register, visit their website.
  • Family Science Open House
    Buck Institute, Novato

    Saturday, 10 am–2 pm
    Make plans now to take a break from holiday shopping and Thanksgiving leftovers. Bring friends, family and visiting relatives to a world-class research Institute and get first-hand experience with science aimed at extending healthspan—the healthy years of life. Every half hour we will have a science experiment in our Learning Center for children of all ages. Free and open to the public; free parking. For more info, visit their website.
  • Reindeer Romp at SF Zoo
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Reindeer Romp returns with Santa's favorite reindeer friends Belle, Holly, Peppermint, and Velvet. These four majestic animals mark the return of the holidays at the Zoo and will be on exhibit through New Year’s Day. Stop by the reindeer area on the Playfield Lawn near the Elinor Friend Playground and check out the real story behind these majestic creatures. Free with Zoo admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Let it Snow! at Treasure Island
    San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am-5 pm

    Bring the family to this weekend's SNOWvember at the Treasure Island Flea Market. Come shop and enjoy more than 20 tons of snow. Enjoy more than 400 local artists, makers, designers and collectors. The snow falls at 11 am each day. Cost: $3 per person and children 12 and under are free. For more info, visit their website.
  • 57th San Francisco International Auto Show
    Moscone Center
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–10 pm
    The International Auto Show features the world’s major manufacturers displaying their 2015 model cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans. There will also be classic cars, race cars, car simulators, hot rods, and more. Admission $10, children 12 and younger free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets at the door only. Location: Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Sing-Along: Your Song My Song!
    La Peña Cultural, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10:30–11:30 am

    ysmsJaime Lee Currier and Eric Hart are Your Song My Song! We sing classic kids’ songs, Beatles, originals, sing-a-longs, finger-plays, chants and rock ‘n roll! For ages. Cost: $5 Kids, $6 Adults. Location: 2113 Rose St., Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Holiday Craferino
    Petaluma Veterans Memorial Hall
    Saturday, 11 am-4 pm

    The Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart presents its sixth annual “Holiday Crafterino” show, Saturday November 29th from 11am to 4pm at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building. The show brings together the best in handmade crafts and gifts and raises funds for several worthy causes. Admission: $1 donation. Location: 1094 Petaluma Blvd South, Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • SFEtsy Indie Holiday Emporium
    Embarcadero, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–5 pm

    Start your holiday shopping at this weekend's Etsy event. The SFEtsy Indie Holiday Emporium is an annual market showcasing the SFEtsy team members and other artisan crafters and makers. See a list of sellers here. Location: Pier 35, 1526 Embarcadero, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Santa's Riverboat Arrival
    Petaluma River Turning Basin
    Saturday, 11:30 am
    Santa and Mrs. Claus sail into the Petaluma River Turning Basin aboard a tugboat at noon and disembark in the Golden Eagle Shopping Center on East Washington St. to greet children and distribute candy. Performers will be on hand at the shopping center starting at 11:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Berkeley Playhouse: Mary Poppins
    The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm, Sunday, noon

    A musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $23–$60. For more info, visit their website.
  • ODC/Dance's The Velveteen Rabbit
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 2 pm

    Bring the family for this beloved Bay Area holiday tradition. ODC/Dance enlivens Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. Told though music, dance and a powerful narrative, The Velveteen Rabbit celebrates the unique relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, and the enduring power of love. Tickets range from $18 to $75. For more info, visit their website.
  • 15th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
    Jelly Belly, Fairfield
    Saturday, 3-8 pm

    Bring the family to the 15th annual tree lighting at Jelly Belly. A winter wonderland begins with a sing-along and comes to life when Santa and friends turn on the lights of the tree at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Santa leads a parade of fun and frolic. Musical holiday performance with The Hipwaders. Take a candy factory tour too. Free. Location: 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Nutcracker 2014
    Spreckels Performing Arts Center, Rohnert Park
    Saturday, 7 pm and Sunday 2 pm

    Petaluma’s North Bay Performing Arts Association and Contessi Ballet present Nutcracker 2014. Staged and choreographed by Marcella Contessi Smith. Come watch the students of Petaluma’s North Bay Performing Arts Center – Contessi Ballet showcase their talents in this holiday favorite.Tickets can be purchased at the Spreckels Box Office. For additional information call (707) 338-1013. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Rafael 35th Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland (9 am–noon; see Friday for details)
  • The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace (see Friday for details).
  • ODC/Dance's The Velveteen Rabbit (see Friday for details)

Sunday, November 30

  • Civic Center Farmers' Market
    Marin Civic Center, San Rafael

    Sunday, 8 am–1 pm
    There's lots of organically grown produce, breads, eggs, and fresh cut flowers, as well as live music, bounce houses, and more. This farmers' market is a great one to take the kids to. It’s located in the main Civic Center parking lot. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sundays at the J!
    Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael
    Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Bring the family every Sunday for some family fun, including play time in the gym from 10 am–1 pm, art time in the art studio from 10 am–2 pm, sports time in the gym from 1–3 pm, and outdoor pool rec time from noon–5:45 pm. Family-friendly fare will be offered at the Plaza J Café featuring Miller's East Coast Deli. Admission applies; adult supervision required for kids 9 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Christkindlmarkt Christmas Faire
    Hermann Sons Hall, Petaluma
    Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Christkindlmarkt's annual holiday craft and gift faire features traditional crafts, food, music, and entertainment from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. There will be a wide variety of handmade products from local artists: needlecrafts, woodcrafts, quilting, baked goods, imported candies, chocolates. Santa will be there for the kids! For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace (see Friday for details)
  • Children's Theatre: A Year with Frog and Toad (see Saturday for details)
  • ODC/Dance's The Velveteen Rabbit (see Friday for details)