Color Your Easter Eggs with Homemade Natural Dyes

March 26, 2017

Easter eggs with natural dyes

Coloring Easter eggs is a fun spring tradition, but do you really know what's in those commercial dye kits that you pick up at the supermarket? Dying your Easter eggs with your own homemade natural dyes is easier than you think, and the results can be really beautiful. You'll find plenty of recipes and formulas out there, some of which work better than others.

Over the years, we've experimented with various mixtures and figured out a few that really work well. You can make these plant- and food-based dyes with many of the things that you have on hand in the pantry or refrigerator, or can pick up at the farmer's market, so why not give it a try?

Marin Weekend Family Fun for March 24, 25 & 26

March 25, 2017

See the cherry trees in bloom at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

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 throughout the Bay Area in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, March 24

  • Breakfast with Enzo
    Sports Basement, San Francisco Presidio
    Friday, 10 & 11 am

    Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, Jew's harp, enzotar, appalachian dulcimer, slide flute, percussion and more. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $15 for one child & $10 per each additional child siblings under 7 months free For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website
  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Fun Day!
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! For All Ages. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Crazy Awesome Science!
    Children's Museum of Sonoma County

    Friday, 2 pm
    Bring the kiddos for a scientific demonstration followed by hands-on science. Past topics include: SPF, Elephant Toothpaste, Dry Ice Bubbles, Fizzy Rockets, Sheep Eye Dissection and many more! Museum admission applies. Location: 1835 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • MC Spring Musical 2017: Little Women the Musical
    Marin Catholic Performing Arts Center
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm & Sunday, 1 pm
    Little Women the Musical has amazing music and is full of adventure, romance, hilarity, and hope. For the entire family. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets online here. Location: 675 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Kentfield. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Domenico Middle School Presents Fiddler on the Roof
    San Anselmo
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Winner of nine Tony Awards when it debuted in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has touched audiences worldwide with its humor, warmth and honesty. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets online here. Location: San Domenico School, Carol Franc Buck Hall of the Arts,1500 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, March 25

  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy the best local and organic produce, flowers, pastured meats, seafood, organic cheeses, yogurt and milk, breads, baked goods, pasta, confections, olive oil, and brunch and lunch offerings! Kids can take a pony ride and visit the petting zoo (10 am–2 pm), try out some arts and crafts (9 am–2 pm) and listen to music (9:30–10:30 am). For more info, visit their website.
  • Special Exhibit Opening: Rainforest Adventure
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    Rainforest Adventure
     is a multisensory expedition that introduces children to tropical rainforests around the world, highlights the challenges facing these unique ecological wonders, and suggests ways that people can make a difference. Learn more here. Cost: museum admission applies. Location: 557 McReynold Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Easter Market
    Treasure Island, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Come out for a special Easter market this weekend. Enjoy over 25 food trucks, shop 400+ local artists, hunt for golden eggs throughout the market, photos with the Fleaster bunny and more... $3 Entry; Kids 12 & Under Free, free parking and pett friendly. For more info, visit their website.
  • Rally Healthfest San Francisco
    Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–2 pm

    Join Rally Health and Rally Health Ambassadors actor/comedian Kevin Hart for this fun outdoor festival celebrating healthy living and featuring fun activities for the entire family. Activities include: free fitness bootcamps, yoga, football drills, a kids zone and more. Register for this free event here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Retro Recycled Racecars
    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.
    Start Your Engines! In May we are celebrating the many ways people travelled to and from the Presidio. Whether it was on Lincoln, Arguello, or Lombard, many people arrived at the Presidio by car. Come create your own car to drive through the Presidio. Registration preferred but not required. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Art Smart Showcase
    North Bay Artworks, Novato
    Saturday & Sunday, noon–4 pm

    This is a fabulous display of student creative works hosted in a professional studio setting, the North Bay ArtWorks. Free. Location: 7049 Redwood Boulevard, suite 208
    Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Performing Arts Academy of Marin Presents: Legally Blonde The Musical
    Showcase Theater, San Rafael
    Saturday, 1 & 6:30 pm
    Follow Elle Woods on this fabulously fun journey of self-empowerment, as she tackles stereotypes, snobs and scandal! With the help of her Harvard classmate, Emmett, and quirky hairdresser, Paulette, she learns that books and looks aren’t mutually exclusive. This musical production features performers ages 9 and up. Tickets $24. Purchase tickets online here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Stars, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Fairfax Brewfest 2017
    Fairfax Pavilon, Downtown Fairfax
    Saturday, 1–5 pm
    Get your friends together for a fun day of sampling over 70 brews from more than 20 of the West Coast's finest craft breweries, live music. Includes souvenir tasting glass, unlimited tastings, and terrific live music! Kids are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Tickets: $40. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Amazing Bubble Man
    Napa Valley Colllege Performing Arts Center
    Saturday, 1 pm

    Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences around the world for nearly 30 years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles. Perfect for all ages. Tickets: $25–$35. Puchase tickets here. Location: 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Maker Saturdays! Ocean in a Bottle: "Does it float?"
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley

    Saturday, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm
    Encourage hands on science explorations with activities that build a foundation for understanding physical properties, mathematics, and engineering principles. Come experiment, build, and create. All ages welcome.  For more info, visit their website.

Family Farm Tours in Marin and Sonoma County

March 25, 2017

Tara Firma FarmsLearn where your food comes from at the free farm tour at Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma

Spring is nearly here, and it's time to enjoy a day on the farm! We're lucky to live in an area that's surrounded by some of the country's top agricultural producers, and some of them offer farm tours for the whole family. On a tour, you can meet animals, learn where your food comes from, and find out about the efforts that local farmers take to provide us with high quality food. My kids love to visit farms, especially at this time of year when there are plenty of baby animals to see.

Here are some of the farms in Marin and Sonoma County that offer public tours. Some are free, and some require advance reservations. Please keep in mind that these are all real working farms, some of which raise animals for human consumption. All these tours are suitable for families.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2017, Sonoma County Farm Trails offers its annual Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies event, where farm hosts will offer tours, activiites, demonstrations, animal petting, crafts for kids, and more. Some farms will offer snacks, lunches, and picnic sites. Admission is free. Learn more and register here.

Slide Ranch

2025 Shoreline Highway, Muir Beach 94965
(415) 381-6155
slideranch.org
Overlooking the Pacific in Muir Beach, Slide Ranch is a real working farm located on the lands of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Families can visit and explore the grounds, hike the trails, and have a picnic daily from dusk to dawn. The ranch also offers family programs, including their annual Spring Fling (April 29, 2017), Family Farm Days, campouts, and Toddler Days at various times throughout the year.

The 2017 Marin County Fair Wants Your Entries!

March 24, 2017

Marin County FairAlthough the Marin County Fair doesn't take place until this summer, now is the time to start thinking about your entries for the fair's many competitions. The deadline for entry to all competitions is on or before Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 5 pm.

Children ages 5–18 can enter any number of Junior Division competitions, including arts and crafts, hobbies, cartoon art, performing arts, photography, and creative writing, not to mention traditional preserved food, horticulture, and floral categories. Do you have a prize-winning cow, goat, or chicken in the backyard? Kids can enter all sorts of livestock in the fair. Don't have a farm animal? Don't worry—kids can also enter their furry friends in the Guinea Pig, Rabbit, or Pocket Pet (mice, rats, hamsters, turtles, and other critters) competitions.

Special theme categories for 2017 include floral headbands, tie dye, selfies, macrame, Play Doh creations, and more. There's bound to be something for everyone in the family to enter. My kids always love entering something in the fair, and it's thrilling to see what kind of ribbon you've won when you finally find your exhibit on display.

This year the Marin County Fair theme is "Let the Funshine In", a tribute the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and it takes place June 30 to July 4 at the Marin County Fairgrounds near the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael.

Cyber Garage Girls Win Big at Google Hackathon!

March 22, 2017

Congratulations to the Girls App Team at Cyber Garage, who just won the top awards for Best Design and Best New Developer at the Google Hackathon in San Francisco!

The Cyber Garage Girls are now hard at work preparing for the Technovation Challenge — an international competition to create apps that solve community problems. Way to go girls!

Eight Spectacular Stroller Hikes in Marin

March 21, 2017

Just because your kids are too small to go on a hike doesn't mean you can't! Fortunately for outdoor-minded parents of babies and toddlers Marin County has many outdoor destinations that are perfectly suitable for a hike with your stroller.

When my kids were little, my husband and I must have racked up thousands of miles on our trusty Kelty jogging stroller, which we used on sidewalks, paths, and unpaved trails.

Many of these hikes are over paved trails, so they're suitable for just about any kind of stroller. Just because they are on more civilized paved surfaces doesn't mean they aren't in some of the most spectacular outdoors areas of Marin, so make sure you check them out.

  • Muir Woods National Monument

    Muir Woods National Monument near Mill Valley features majestic old-growth redwoods and has been one of Marin's top tourist attractions for over a century. Stop by during the week to avoid the crowds and take in the wonder of it all in relative peace and quiet. Take your stroller on the main trail loop through Cathedral Grove, it's paved or on a wooden boardwalk the entire way. Find out more here.

Indoor Fun and Birthday Parties at PlayLand in Sausalito

March 21, 2017

PlayLand MLK Gym Sausalito Birthday

The PlayLand indoor bounce house experience in the MLK Gym in Sausalito is always a blast to visit. Everyone always has a fantastic time, whether it's for drop-in play or an active birthday party—it's definitely a place to consider when planning your next party!

PlayLand is a full-sized gymnasium full of inflatable bounce houses, including a 40-by-20-foot sports arena, a 15-foot slide, a bounce house with basketball hoop, and a toddler bounce zone, as well as air hockey, kiddie cars, balls, train tables, and more. It's open for drop-in play Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 am to noon. They also offer free classes (after admisson) at 10:30 am, including art classes (Mondays), a reptile show (Tuesdays and Thursdays), and a music class (Fridays).

Theater Summer Camps for Kids in Marin

March 20, 2017

Marin Shakespeare CampPhoto: Michael V. Dyett/ Marin Theatre Company

If you have a young Shakespearean or budding Broadway musical star at home, why not hone their talents at one of the theater camps being offered this summer in Marin. Here's a list of 2017 camps that have a focus on acting and musical theater in Marin County.

Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans

March 19, 2017

Spaghetti squash

Marin Mommies presents a delicious and healthy sponsored recipe from Whole Foods Market, with Marin locations in Mill Valley, Novato, and San Rafael. Don't miss the great coupon at the end of the article!

Serve these stuffed squash halves immediately or fill with the stuffing and refrigerate them, covered, one day in advance. Simply reheat them before serving.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
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