Marin Weekend Family Fun for July 22, 23 & 24

July 22, 2016

Sonoma County Fair
The 2016 Sonoma County Fair opens this Friday, July 22 in Santa Rosa

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

Friday, July 22

  • Sonoma County Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 am–11 pm

    The Sonoma County Fair offers both a classic full-scale carnival with plenty of excitement for thrill-seekers and a separate kiddie carnival area for the little ones, with scaled down thrills and lots of excitement. Fair admission is free every day for children 6 and under; Friday is Kids' Days, with free admission for all children 12 and under. Carnival rides are an additional charge. Admission is $12 for ages 13 and up, $6 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. For more info, visit
  • Children's Garden Series: Unique Derique
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. A beloved Bay Area institution, the Unique Derique is a prince among clowns, an internationally esteemed performer who has honed a singular blend of physical comedy and hambone body percussion. For more info, visit their website.
  • Anime Your Way
    San Rafael Public Library
    Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm

    Learn how to draw in the style of Japanese cartoons known as anime with artist Carlos Nieto. He will teach you how to create your own character step by step, including facial expressions and poses. Visiting from SoCal, Carlos has worked as a layout artist on The Simpsons, as well as visual consultant at Disney. For middle school aged youth (grades 6–8). Space is limited. Please register at the Children’s Reference Desk. Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info and to register, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. This Friday: MEX-I-AM. For more info, visit their website.
  • Music in the Park
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music, delicious food by Marinwood Market, wine, and beer. This Friday: Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This week: Revolver. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday: Lost Dog Found. For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.

Saturday, July 23

  • Ranger Led Dog Walk
    Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve
    Saturday, 8–10 am

    Join a ranger on this fun and informative walk in beautiful Baltimore Canyon. Take a relaxed walk along the fire road and discuss local plants, birds, and trail etiquette. This event is ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks. Dogs must be leashed. Meet at gate at the end of Crown Road in Kent Woodlands. For more info, 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, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from 11 am–12:30 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Junior Chef Classes: Tools & Techniques
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Hey, kids! Learn how to use some cool kitchen tools, from a garlic press to a grater, as we cook some amazing recipes! You’ll be well equipped to prepare tasty meals for your family and friends. Cost: $30; includes Williams-Sonom gadget set. Suitable for ages 8–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Puppet Show: Chanticleer the Rooster
    Fairfax Library
    Saturday, 11 am

    Magical Moonshine Theatre presents Chaucer's Canterbury tale about the beloved rooster who is caught by a flattering fox … but foxes can be fooled as well! Assisting Chanticleer is a wise ant, a pig, sheep, goat, dog, hen and farmer. Medieval costumes and live, ancient music (including a 1710 version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm") make for a delightful, interactive family program! First come, first seated. Location: 2097 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax. For more info, visit their website.

Awesome Ice Cream Shops in Marin & Beyond

July 21, 2016

Lala's Creamery Petaluma

Ice cream is one of those foods that's synonymous with summer, although it's pretty wonderful at any time of year! On a hot day, there's not much better than getting a big scoop of your favorite ice cream on a waffle cone. To help you find that summer joy, we've put together this guide to our favorite ice cream scoop shops in Marin County (and we've thrown in a couple of our Sonoma County favorites that are worth the trip, too).

Free Family Night Out to This Saturday's Summer Nights Concert at the Osher Marin JCC

July 20, 2016

Tea Leaf Green Osher Marin JCC Summer NightsThe Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts at the Osher Marin JCC invites Marin Mommies readers to a free Family Night Out to Summer Nights, their series of family-friendly multi-cultural concerts at their outdoor venue in the hills of San Rafael! This offer is for the Summer Nights concert this Saturday, July 23, where San Francisco's Tea Leaf Green brings their signature indie rock and California Jamgrass sounds to the JCC. Opening the show is San Francisco's own celebrated bicycling beat boxing cellist, Cello Joe.

To secure your free tickets, email by noon on Friday, July 22, 2016 and include your name and the number of adults in your party. Kids 17 and under are admitted free to all Summer Nights concerts, so no tickets are necessary! Please have your entire party with you when you check in at will call the night of the concert.

O’Hanlon Center for the Arts is hosting the KidZone that evening, and will have your kids enthralled in an arts and crafts projects. The Summer Nights venue also offers a safe, fun, and enclosed playground for your kids to enjoy while the concert is taking place. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner from Toast Novato's pop-up restaurant. Cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and dessert also available for purchase.

Explore Nature and Science with Half Acre Woods

July 20, 2016

Half Acre WoodsMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Half Acre Woods, a new outdoor enrichment class for kids ages 2 to 7 in Marin.

Bugs, birds, seeds, and science make up the wonderful world of Half Acre Woods! We are a new outdoor enrichment class designed to engage kids, from the ages of two through seven, in the skills and practice of science. Exploring the world with our senses we smell bay leaves and mint, listen to the crackling of madrone bark, watch for woodpeckers and fence lizards, and touch anything we can get our hands on! (Except for poison oak that is.) Based on the new Next Generation Science Standards that California adopted in 2013, we strive to provide a strong basis for success with science in the classroom while enjoying all the benefits of outdoor education.

The majority of our day is spent observing natural phenomena, like quail families scurrying along in a line, and discussing our findings as we explore. Our approach focuses on the fundamentals of observation, evidence based argument, and construction of explanations. Our dedication to science practice and skills is steeped in a deep understanding and appreciation for positive social emotional development. As we explore we discover opportunities to practice sharing, volunteering, and considerate communication as well as working to build an understanding of the connections between our feelings, our actions, and the natural world.

Movie Night on Angel Island!

July 18, 2016

Angel Island Movie Night PosterPack a picnic, gather up the kids, and spend a summer weekend night watching a family friendly movie at Angel Island State Park! You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event, which takes place on Saturday, July 23, from 5 to 10:30 pm. Come enjoy the animated movie Madagascar under the stars, have a picnic dinner, and create some fabulous memories with friends and family at this unique experience on Angel Island.

Movie Night is a fundraiser sponsored by Angel Island Conservancy to benefit Angel Island State Park, including a scholarship programs and other park improvements. All proceeds benefit the Angel Island Conservancy. Tickets cost $30 per person for adults and $15 for children 12 and under, and include the ferry ride to Angel Island from Tiburon. VIP tables for up to six guests that include ferry passage, two bottles of wine, and a picnic dinner are available for $500 each. Order your tickets online here.

Wednesday, July 20, Is San Rafael Pacifics Kids Day

July 18, 2016

Kids Day San Rafael Pacifics

Marin's own boys of summer, the San Rafael Pacifics, continue another season of fantastic baseball action at downtown San Rafael's Albert Park. This Wednesday, July 20, is Kids Day: All kids 12 and under are admitted to the game free and all supervisors get in at half price! In addition to enjoying the game, kids can take part in fun activities like an ice cream sundae eating contest, a home run derby, and much more!

Wednesday's game starts at 12:35 pm at Albert Park in downtown San Rafael, and the Pacifics take on their North Bay Rivals, the Sonoma Stompers. Albert Park's intimate setting is the perfect venue for old-fashioned, family-friendly, and affordable local baseball. General admission tickets are just $12, grandstand reserved seats are $25. Find out more about the San Rafael Pacifics and order tickets at

Lights, Camera, Fair! at the 2016 Sonoma County Fair

July 18, 2016

Sonoma County Fair carnival

In case you missed or just didn't get enough of the Marin County Fair, you'll be happy to know that the 2016 Sonoma County Fair starts Friday, July 22 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, and runs through Sunday, August 7. It's worth checking out if you've never been: it's bigger and a lot different than Marin's smaller, more intimate fair, and has more of an agricultural focus, which is natural for a more rural county like Sonoma. The Sonoma County Fair also features the largest themed flower show in the country, which is usually pretty stunning—this year's theme is "Sonoma Cinema".

The fair includes a kids' area with free age-appropriate entertainment and activities with the theme "Let's Put on a Show!" Young fairgoers can take part in a show three times a day, which might feature pirates, clowns, astronauts, or even dinosaurs. There’s plenty of lawn and shade as well as a parents rest station with changing tables and chairs for nursing. The Kids Area is open from 11 am to 8 pm, with activities and entertainment from noon to 6:30 pm.

Quills Creative Writing Camp at San Domenico School

July 17, 2016

Quills Creative Writing Camp Marin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from Quills Creative Writing Camp at San Domenico School in San Anselmo.

Quills Creative Writing Camp started 4 years ago when Elizabeth Stoner, a Marin native, UC Berkeley alum, and educator, decided that summer camp needed to diversify.

After years of running successfully positive volleyball camps that produced happy, improved, and engaged athletes, Elizabeth wanted to provide similar results for an underserved group: the young writer. As a creative writer herself and imaginative child, she found that sometimes school didn't allow the space for unencumbered creativity and wanted to provide the platform for young writers to not only explore their own creativity, but to improve upon it.

Wine Country Family Fun at Cornerstone Sonoma

July 16, 2016

Cornerstone Sonoma

One of our must-visit Wine Country family destinations is Cornerstone Sonoma. It's a fun, family-friendly place where you can explore, play, and take in the beauty of their six acres of gardens and art installations. Of course this being Sonoma you can shop, dine, and wine taste here, too. We always make a point of visiting whenever we head up to the Wine Country. It's constantly changing, and there's always something new to see. Best of all, admission to the gardens is free!

You'll find Cornerstone just outside the town of Sonoma, across from the Gloria Ferrer winery on Highway 121, so it's easy to get to. Look for the long white picket fence and Big Blue Chair on your right as you head towards Sonoma, and you'll know you're there.

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