Marin Family Weekend Fun for October 28, 29 & 30

October 26, 2016

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

Looking for a neighborhood to trick-or-treat in? Check out our list of places in Marin here.

Friday, October 28

  • The Amazing Maze
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Friday, 9 am–4 pm and Saturday–Sunday, 9 am– 5 pm

    Children experience the joys and surprises of black light in this glow-in-the-dark hay maze. In this special exhibit, children are challenged to navigate a 150-bale hay maze—complete with tunnels, netting, and a slide—all under black light! In addition to the winding maze, there is a glow-in-the-dark dress-up station with white clothes and accessories for kids to try on, as well as a fluorescent Shoot-A-Hoop game. Admisson applies. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also offers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Activities are free and so is the parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a wide variety of certified organic pumpkins spread out in an expansive meadow on the farm. Kids activities: jumpy houses, inflatable slide, hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, farm animals to visit, a climbing wall, and face painting. Some of these attractions have an admission fee, and some are available only on weekends and select days. Shaded seating area with picnic tables, so you can relax and take in the scenery, listen to some great live music, and even eat lunch. If you arrive hungry, Big Jim's BBQ is on hand on weekends. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Location: 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio. Read our review here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Godmothers Pumpkin Patch
    St. Vincents, Marinwood
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    This long-time favorite pumpkin patch at St. Vincent's near Marinwood offers a variety of pumpkins as well as attractions and activities like bounce houses, a hay pile, face painting, snack shack, and a picnic area. Groups welcome. Read our review of St. Vincent's Pumpkin Patch. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. Some of these attractions have an admission fee. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween Music and Magic Show
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, 4–5 pm

    Thrills and chills await us a s Timothy James amazes us with his Halloween magic show. Our magician combines comedy, audience participation and amazing magic to create a spooktacular 45 minutes show for goblins ages 3 to 103. Cost: $9 general, free for kids 3 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Trunk or Treat at the Center
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, 4:30–6:30 pm

    Bring your children to the Community Center Parking Lot for a fun, safe and community Halloween event! Enjoy face painting, food truck, games, and more! Free admission. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website
  • Chess Night
    Mathnasium of Mill Valley
    Friday, 6–7 pm

    Stop by Mathnasium on Friday night for an hour of free supervised play for K–8th graders. All skill levels are welcome. Free pizza! Location: 247 Shoreline Highway, Suite A3. For more info, visit their website.
  • It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
    Snoopy's Home Ice, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 6–8:30 pm

    Bring your blanket and pick a spot on the ball field for a night of ghoulish fun and Halloween festivities. Movie starts at dusk on the inflatable big screen. Meet Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, enjoy Halloween crafts and trivia games, and follow the trick-or-treat trail. Free popcorn and "witches brew". Costumes encouraged. At Schulz Complex Ball Field on Hardies Lane across from Snoopy's Home Ice. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Horsemen Haunted House
    600 Bugeia Lane, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 7–10 pm

    Bring the kids out for a night of scare and fun at the Novato Horseman Haunted House in Novato. Admission: $5 per person. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, October 29

  • The Jungle Book & Costume Contest
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am, 12:30 & 3 pm and Sunday, 10 am & 12:30 pm

    Bring the family too see The Jungle Book at the Marin Theatre Company. Dress up as their favorite jungle creature for the Halloween Costume Contest. Tickets: adults $22 and children $18. Purchase tickets here. Location: 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • North Bay Science Discovery Day
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    This event is designed to inspire children and raise awareness of the importance of STEM in everyday life. This free event features local organizations like Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Aquarium of the Bay, California State Parks, the Marin County Free Library, Kaiser Permanente, Marinovators, the Pacific Coast Air Museum, Play-Well TEKnologies, and many many more. Plan on staying all day to experience all the fun! Free admission and parking. Location: 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, and u-pick squash, as well as a farm store and a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. Some of these attractions have an admission fee. Read our review here. For more info, visit their website. 
  • Scream on the Green
    Downtown Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Bring the entire family for the Scream on the Green Halloween spectacular in Downtown Novato. Activities include safe trick-or-treating downtown on from 11 am–2 pm, a haunted house, games, and more. Location: Sherman Avenue and the Civic Green and Novato City Hall complex. For more info, visit their website.
  • Annual Pumpkin Patch & Train Festival
    Western Railway Museum, Suisun City
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Get your Halloween pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns, test your strength with the pumpkin launcher, explore our huge hay bale fortress, and enjoy a train ride too. Gather the family and begin at the Western Railway Museum. Doors open at 9:30 -- The first electric express train leaves at 10:00 AM with departures every half-hour until 4pm. Cost: adults $14, children (2–14 yrs) $10 and seniors $12. For more info, visit their website.
  • Boo at the Zoo
    Oakland Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–3 pm

    Stroll the Oakland zoo in costume and collect yummy treats. Ride the spooky boo train and join the dance party. Plus, get your face painted, make treats for the animals, and see how the animals at Oakland Zoo celebrate Halloween. Kids in costumes receive a free ride ticket. Event included with regular zoo admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jack O’Lantern Jamboree at Children’s Fairyland
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland

    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
    Come in costume and enjoy a spooktacular extravaganza with unlimited rides, a parade, goody bags for kids, arts and crafts, pirate school, clowns and magicians, and much more. Cost: $10 ($5 members). For more info, visit their website.
  • Samurai Pumpkin Patch
    142 Redwood Avenue Parking Lot, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Warm up with the pumpkin obstacle course and come test your sword skills. Split, slice, dice and have a mighty good time. All ages welcome. Kids get priority. The event will continue until pumpkins run out. For more info, call (415) 264-0157.
  • Happy Creepy Hall-oween
    Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Start your Halloween early and celebrate all weekend long during Happy Creepy Hall-oween. From pumpkin lifts in the Ingenuity Lab to giant trebuchet demonstrations with UC Berkeley’s Pioneers in Engineering program, you’re sure to find the perfect way to celebrate with science. Free with paid admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween Boos, Bones and Walking with the Dead
    Safari West, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 10 am

    Join us in celebrating Halloween at Safari West and trick-or-treat through our new skeletal exhibit designed by Safari West's osteology team! With tricks and treats, pumpkins and skulls, bats and bones, the Safari West Halloween Spectacular is an event the whole family can enjoy together! Includes all the Spirited Halloween fun plus a hauntingly tasty taco bar! Cost: $50 adults; $25 children 4–12. Reservations: (707) 566-3667 or You can also book online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Día de los Muertos Celebration
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Saturday, 10:30 am–1 pm

    Mill Valley Recreation joins the joyful celebration of dearly departed family, friends, and pets during the Mexican festival Day of the Dead. Join in the celebration by participating in several free activities, decorating sugar skulls, getting your face painted, and creating memory boxes. All ages are welcome! Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Seussical TYA
    Saturday, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

    The whimsical world of Dr. Seuss springs to life in this imagination-infused musical! Horton the Elephant discovers a dust speck is actually an entire planet, Gertrude McFuzz wishes she had a flashier feathered tail, and Jojo the Who's elaborate thinks keep getting him into trouble! The Cat in the Hat is your magical master of ceremonies in this sensational smorgasbord of Seuss stories. Recommended for age 3 and up. Tickets: $25 adults, $20 children, $23 seniors. Location: 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Safe Trick-or-Treat Downtown Novato
    Grant Avenue, Novato
    Saturday, 11 am–2 pm

    The Downtown Novato Business Association will host its annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event along Grant Avenue in downtown Novato. Every year this Halloween event is popular with kids and their parents. Businesses along Grant Avenue will give out candy and there will be a variety of other fun activities at various locations downtown. This is a fun event for the entire family. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bon Air's Halloween Bash
    Bon Air Center, Greenbrae
    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm

    Bon Air’s Halloween Bash will offer center wide trick-or-treating at shops and restaurants, pumpkin decorating, face painting, balloon twisting, live music, sidewalk specials and more. Four-legged friends can get in on the fun as well by entering the pet parade and pet contest sponsored by Woodland Pets. A pet caricature artist will also be on hand to do sketches of pets. Families are encouraged to trick-or-treat so others can eat—bring non-perishable food donations to the Center in exchange for a trick-or-treat bag and help feed those less fortunate this holiday season. Bins will be set up around the center to collect the donations, which will be distributed through the Marin Food Bank. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jeepers Jack-O-Lanterns
    McNears Beach Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 11 am–1 pm

    Join rangers at McNears Beach Park in carving your own spooky jack-o-lantern for Halloween! A limited amount of pumpkins will be available (or you’re welcome to bring your own). This event is ideal for all ages. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. We will provide supplies, smocks, and healthy snacks. Park entrance is waived for participants. Meet at the snack bar. For more info, visit their website.
  • Boo at the Zoo 2016
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Come to the San Francisco Zoo for a not-too-spooky Halloween family festival where you can trick-or-treat around the zoo and see the animals enjoy pumpkin treats. Take a trip through the Haunted Nature Trail, trick-or-treat, and enjoy Halloween crafts. All activities are free with admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Dia de los Muertos Masks
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend!
    Come get creative during Dia de Los Muertos mask-making and learn all about the Presidio’s connection to Mexico. Registration not required, but preferred. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pirate Halloween Party
    Falkirk Mansion, San Rafael
    Saturday, noon & 3 pm

    Thar "Fancy Scallywag!" be pirates in th' house. Put on your best pirate gear, br'n your crew an' come th' Falkirk. Event includes a "pirate feast" with real pirates, treasure hunt, individual treasures, and Halloween tricks and treats! Tickets: Tickets are $20 per child and $22.50 per adult. Make reservations by calling (800) 838-3006 or visiting Brown Paper Tickets. Location: 1408 Mission Avenue at E Street, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Unleash Your Inner Scientist at the 6th Annual Bay Area Science Festival

October 25, 2016

Bay Area Science Festival

The Bay Area Science Festival returns October 27 through November 5, 2016, providing a wide range of science and technology activities, including exhibitions, hands-on activities, concerts, plays, workshops, and more, at locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including many in Marin and the North Bay. Programs include Discovery Days for families, held in conjunction with local science outreach groups, Signature Performances, which feature high-profile science acts from around the country, and Explorer Days, tours that highlight the scientific wonders of the Bay Area.

Waldorf: The Pioneer of Progressive Education

October 25, 2016

Marin Waldorf

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Marin Waldorf School.

Did you know that Waldorf is the fastest growing educational model in the world, with over 250 schools in the US alone? Come see why at Marin Waldorf’s FLUID Open House on Saturday, November 5. With more and more schools beginning to integrate Waldorf’s experiential learning model into their curriculum, it is clear that the mission to raise happy, healthy children from the inside out is making a huge impact.

For over 40 years Marin Waldorf School has served families with an education that nurtures family life, fosters social and environmental awareness, and delivers academic and artistic excellence.

Family Photo Essays in Maui or Marin - You Choose!

October 24, 2016

Shannon Chiminiello Photography

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article by Shannon Chiminiello Photography. Book a Marin or Maui photo session now by calling (415) 497-6054 or visiting

Family photo essays in Maui or Marin—you choose!

Like a family heirloom, timeless images with Shannon Chiminiello Photography just get more and more valuable over time…. Book your Marin/Bay Area family session or Maui vacation session (November, December, and January) now! Gift certificates are available.

Contact Shannon soon and receive 50% off Maui Thanksgiving sessions with all edited digital images. Limited Availability!

Homemade Pumpkin Soup for a Fall Dinner

October 24, 2016

pumpkin soupMy daughter wanted to make something for dinner with pumpkin in it, it being that time of year and all, and I suggested pumpkin soup. She countered with the idea of serving the soup in little scooped out pumpkins instead of bowls, and we both decided it was a great idea!

The soup turned out better than I imagined, and using the pumpkins as bowls is fun and easy, if a bit labor intensive. This soup is really simple, so make sure you use high-quality ingredients so that all the flavors come through. We found wonderful little locally grown organic sugar pie pumpkins from Full Belly Farm on sale at our local market, and we used yellow potatoes that we dug up ourselves at the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch a couple weeks ago.

Active Indoor Birthday Parties for Fall and Winter in Marin

October 24, 2016

PlayLand MLK Gym Sausalito BirthdayPlayLand Sausalito offers fun active birthday parties in the MLK Gym

After the wet weather starts up, planning a fall or winter birthday party can get a little challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of venues throughout Marin that offer great options for active indoor birthday parties. From dancing and gymnastics to bounce-house fun, there's something for everyone. Here are some of Marin's most popular indoor active birthday party venues, plus a few futher afield that are worth the drive.

PlayLand Sausalito

This indoor bounce house experience at the MLK Gym in Sausalito features bounce houses, a 40-by-20-foot sports arena, a 15-foot slide, and a toddler bounce zone. PlayLand offers birthday parties for up to 14 kids, complete with balloons and a private cake room. We've attended parties here and it's a blast! Other party options, including outdoor parties, are available, too. Find out more here.

Family Halloween Events in Marin & the Bay Area

October 24, 2016

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin PatchHalloween is one of our favorite holidays of year, and there's so much family fun to be found in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area. Find a variety of family-friendly Halloween events that's right for you! We'll keep updating our list of events for Marin and beyond as we find more this fall. If you have an event you'd like to see added to the list, please contact us.

Marin and Sonoma Events

  • The Amazing Maze
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    October 1–30

    Children experience the joys and surprises of black light in this glow-in-the-dark hay maze. In this special exhibit, children are challenged to navigate a 150-bale hay maze—complete with tunnels, netting, and a slide—all under black light! In addition to the winding maze, there is a glow-in-the-dark dress-up station with white clothes and accessories for kids to try on, as well as a fluorescent Shoot-A-Hoop game. (Note: The hay used in our maze is seed-free rice straw.) Admisson applies. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Spooky Sound Stories with Trombonist Andy Strain
    San Anselmo Library, Counsel Chambers
    Wednesday, October 26, 3–3:45 pm
    Get in the Halloween spirit with scary stories presented by two talented musicians. Andy Strain is a professional trombonist and educator and Aaron is a master percussionist. Location: 110 Tunstead Ave, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Tennessee Valley Trail

October 23, 2016

Tennessee Valley

Tennessee Valley near Mill Valley is one of the most popular hiking and outdoor recreation spots in all of Marin County, and for good reason—it has a combination of easy walks, dramatic views, and a spectacular beach at the end of the trail. Tennessee Valley Trail, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is a perfect hike for families, and can be easily managed with an offroad-capable stroller. With few hills, the 3.4-mile round trip hike out to the beach at Tennessee Cove and back is easy for hikers (and mountain bikers, too) of all ages. Fall is the perfect time to tackle this hike, since the weather at the coast is often clear, sunny, and spectacular.

"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."

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