Marin Ballet Spring Showcase Tickets for Marin Mommies Readers!

May 19, 2016

Marin Ballet Spring ShowcaseJoin Marin Ballet for its 2016 Spring Showcase performances this weekend! Come support and applaud dancers from level 1 through 9 (ages 7 to 18). Performances showcase students from levels 1 to 4 (ages 7 to 10) and include a student choreography piece from a level 9 student, a piece from our beginning boys class, as well as solo excerpts from two graduating seniors.

Performances are recommended for families and children ages 3 to 8 years old and are approximately 30 minutes long, with no intermission. Information about summer classes will also be available at the performances.

Marin Ballet has reserved 20 complimentary tickets for Marin Mommies readers for their Spring Showcase performances Saturday, May 21 at 1 pm and 20 tickets for the Sunday, May 22 performance at 1 pm. We'll give away the tickets on a first-come, first-served basis until they run out! To claim your tickets, send an email to contests@marinmommies.com with "Marin Ballet" as the subject along with your name, the number of tickets you'd like (maximum 4 per person), and which performance you'd like to attend in the body. Ticket winners will be notified via email by Friday, May 20.

Summer Family Fun at San Rafael's McInnis Park

May 17, 2016

 McInnis Park mini golf san rafael

If you've never ventured out to McInnis Park, in northern San Rafael, you owe it to yourself to check it out this summer. McInnis Park, formally known as John F. McInnis Park, is 450-acre regional park, and a one-stop destination for all kinds of active family fun, from golf and baseball to hiking and skateboarding.

If you haven't been you really should pay it a visit. And if you have, you should resolve to go there more often! Here are some of the things that keep us coming back multiple times every summer (and at other times of the year, too).

Great Summer Reads for Kids from Diesel Bookstore in Larkspur

May 17, 2016

Explorers of the WildMarin Mommies presents a guest article highlighting some fantastic summer reading selections from Clare Doornbos, the children's book expert at DIESEL bookstore in Larkspur. Diesel is located in Marin Country Mart at 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle. Visit their website at www.dieselbookstore.com or call them at (415) 785-8177.

School's almost out and summer is almost here! Your kids are booked into camp, the trip to Grandma's house is all planned out, and the beach is calling. Now you just need to get some books together. There are so many great books to choose from for toddlers to independent readers. You already know many of the classics, so Clare from Diesel bookstore in Larkspur has picked out some new books that will keep your kids reading all summer long.

Picture Books for ages 2–4

Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz
You all know that Old MacDonald has a farm, did you also know that he loves monster trucks? This super fun re-imagining of Old MacDonald has dynamic artwork and a range of construction vehicles, all working to transform the farm while the animals help out too.

Cool Off at Marin Community Pools 2016

May 17, 2016

Hamilton Pool Novato Marin County

Looking for a pool in Marin to keep cool on a warm spring or summer day? Here's our list of swimming pools throughout the county that are open to the public and offer drop-in recreational swim hours for families. In addition to daily drop-in fees, many of these pools offer season passes as well.

All schedules and drop-in fees are accurate at the time of publishing, but are subject to change and cancellation without notice. It always helps to give them a call to confirm hours and prices before you go. If you know of another local drop-in swim facility that you don't see in our roster here, please let us know and we'll add it to the list.

Hit the Trail at Indian Valley Open Space Preserve

May 16, 2016

Indian Valley Open Space PreserveOne of the great things about living in Marin is the amount of easily accessible open space. Almost everyone has at least one trailhead right around the corner, so there's no excuse not to take the family on an outdoor excursion whenever possible. One of the most popular areas for hiking, horseback riding, cycling, and more in northern Marin is Indian Valley Open Space Preserve in Novato.

Located adjacent to the College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus, this 885-acre preserve is criss-crossed by a wide variety of trails, most shaded by oaks and California bay laurels, making it a pleasant place to go for a hike on a hot day. During various times of the year you can find a waterfall, wildflowers, and peaceful Pacheco pond, which is often teeming with wildlife like toads, frogs, fish, and newts. It's a popular destination for school groups studying our ecosystem.

Sweet Charity Comes to the Throckmorton Theatre

May 16, 2016

Sweet Charity at 142 Throckmorton This week, Throckmorton Theatre and a cast of some of the Bay Area's most talented youth performers premiere their production of the Broadway classic musical Sweet Charity. Featuring memorable musical numbers like "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This," and "Big Spender," Sweet Charity is a bright and sophisticed show that tells the story of the eponymous heroine who wants to be loved so much she has lost sight of who she is.

Mill Valley resident Cate Hayman stars in the title role. She's a 2016 YoungArts winner for theater and has been accepted into prestigious threater programs at University of Michigan, Penn State, and Carnegie Mellon. Sweet Charity is directed and choreographed by Donna Cerio, with musical direction by Daniel Savio.

Performances of Sweet Charity take place on Friday, May 20 and 27 at 7:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22 at 1 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29 at 2 pm. General admission tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students; reserved seating tickets are $35. Order tickets online at tickets.throckmortontheatre.org or by calling (415) 383-9600. The box office is also open Tuesday through Sunday, from 2 to 6 pm for in-person sales. Sweet Charity does include some mature themes, so parental guidance is suggested.

The 2016 Bay Area Homeschool Fair Takes Place Thursday, May 19

May 16, 2016

Bay Area Homeschool Fair Come see why homeschooling is a popular option for many Marin families at this year's Bay Area Homeschool Fair. It takes place this Thursday, May 19, 2016, at Golden Gate Learning Center in San Anselmo.

The fair starts at 4 pm with a choice of two workshops: "The Cycles of the Kitchen", with Lindy Woodard, MD of Pediatric Alternatives and "Maker Club", with Daniel Ezell, director at Golden Gate Learning Center. Fair tables, with a wide variety of local vendors and homeschooling organizations, open at 5 pm. At 6:30 pm, keynote speaker Blake Boles—author, adventurer, entrepreneur, and founder of Unschool Adventures—takes the stage. The event wraps up with a homeschooling roundtable at 8 pm, followed by a Q&A session.

In addition, there will be games, refreshments, a bookstore, and more. The Bay Area Homeschool Fair is open to the public and admission is free! The event is sponsored by Pediatric Alternatives and Marin Homeschoolers.

Homemade Pizza Night with Chef Daddy

May 16, 2016

homemade pizzaI know some people who say that pizza is one of those dishes that's always better when you dine out. I respectfully disagree! While that might be true for topping-laden old-school American pizza, we've been successfully making some pretty wonderful Italian-style pizzas right here at home. Unfortunately, we lack a wood-burning pizza oven in the backyard (someday…), but we get some good results in a regular home oven with a little preparation and a few tricks.

As for tomatoes, I often use good quality canned plum tomatoes pureed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a clove of garlic. If I have really good fresh tomatoes, I'll often just slice them thinly or puree them on their own. We're really looking forward to later on this summer when we can go and grab some fresh tomatoes straight out of the garden!

Pizza Dough

The refigerated pizza dough sold by Trader Joe's is actually very good, and we use it all the time, especially if we want to make pizza on the spur of the moment. Making your own pizza crust isn't all that challenging, though, so if you have the time, go for it! The results are usually quite good, and you can even freeze extra dough to use later.

To make pizza dough you'll need:

Free Summer Outdoor Concerts in Marin 2016

May 15, 2016

One of my favorite things about summer are the free outdoor concerts that take place throughout Marin. There's something about the warm weather and the long days that make events like these really special. From Novato to Sausalito, there's something for every family!

Pack a picnic and your folding chairs and check out a free summer concert near you. Here's our list of events taking place this summer. If we've missed your favorite, please let us know.

Belvedere

  • Belvedere Concerts in the Park Summer Series
    Belvedere Community Park
    Sundays, 4 pm

    June 19, July 17, August 14 & September 4
    The Concerts-in-the-Park Committee presents four fabulous and free Sunday afternoon concerts for your enjoyment this summer. Bring a blanket, a picnic, your family and friends, and have a great time. For complete list of entertainment, visit their website.
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