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25 Free Things to Do for Families in December

Mill Valley Winterfest

Enjoy the free holiday fun at Mill Valley Winterfest, Sunday, December 8. Photo: Gary Ferber

This December, you don't have to break the bank to have a great time with the kiddos! Here are 25 great ideas for activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area in December, all of which are free. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. Explore one of the many Christmas tree farms in Petaluma or Sebastopol for some old-fashioned fun.
  2. Visit the West End Nursery Christmas House in San Rafael.
  3. Explore and shop at Holidays Along the Farm Trails in Sonoma County.
  4. Experience Peter and the Wolf with the Fratello Marionettes at the Larkspur Library. Thursday, December 5, 4–5 pm
  5. Put your PJs on and listen to the story of the Polar Express at Barnes & Noble in Corte Madera. Friday, December 6, 7 pm
  6. See the spectacular lighted boats in the San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade. Saturday, December 7, 5:30–8:30 pm
  7. Be dazzled by the holiday display at the Rombeiro Christmas House. Daily starting December 7, 6–10 pm
  8. Share the magic of the holiday season at Tam Valley's Jolly Jingles. Saturday, December 7, 7 pm
  9. Celebrate the season at Mill Valley Winterfest. Sunday, December 8, 11 am–5 pm
  10. Enjoy holiday family fun at Lycée Français' French Winter Fair in Sausalito. Sunday, December 8, 11 am–3 pm
  11. Take part in a Musical Storytime for Future Bugologists at the Novato Library. Thursday, December 12, 3:30–5:30 pm
  12. Decorate holiday cookies at the Belvedere-Tiburon Library. Thursday, December 12, 5 pm
  13. Take a family-friendly waterfall hike in Marin.
  14. Make a wreath at McNears Beach in San Rafael. Saturday, December 14, 10 am–noon
  15. Gather 'round for a musical storytime with Miss Melissa at Copperfield's Books in Novato. Saturday, December 14, 10:30 am
  16. Celebrate Christmas in on the Northern Frontier at Sonoma State Historic Park. Saturday, December 14, 4 pm
  17. Craft a picture at the Civic Center Library. Saturday, December 14, 11 am–noon
  18. See a holiday double feature with a magic show and The Grinch at the Novato Downtown Recreation Center. Saturday, December 14, 5–8 pm
  19. Kick off Hanukkah at the Osher Marin JCC's Festival of Lights. Sunday, December 15, 11:30–2:30 pm
  20. Hear a story and decorate a cookie at the Mill Valley Library's Gingerbread Person Party. Wednesday, December 18, 3:30–4:30 pm
  21. Come to the Belvedere-Tiburon Library for a Nutcracker puppet show. Thursday, December 19, 4–5 pm
  22. Sing and dance with Miss Kitty at the San Rafael Library. Friday, December 20, 10:30 am
  23. See The Grinch at the Mill Valley Library … with free popcorn! Monday, December 23, 2:30–4 pm
  24. Crafte and create at a family workshop at Marin Makerspace. Saturday, December 28, 10 am–noon
  25. Celebrate New Year's Eve a little early with a bouncy ball drop in downtown Novato. Tuesday, December 31, 11:45–1:30 pm

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