Have Your Next Party at Laser Tag of Santa Rosa

February 13, 2017

Laser Tag of Santa Rosa

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Laser Tag of Santa Rosa.

Laser Tag of Santa Rosa is the Bay Area’s only stand-alone laser tag fun center North of the Golden Gate Bridge. The sparkling clean family entertainment destination is located at 3011 Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa CA 95407 (707) 755-3503 and offers a great time for people of all ages.

The state-of-the-art laser equipment is non-militaristic and offers features that have never before been available the region. The sophisticated laser packs each have a super advanced computer, speakers that prompt individual players during the laser play, versatile game formats and incredible tagging accuracy to create a thrilling game experience. It’s like playing in a real-life video game!  The facility provides good, clean entertainment set to a theme of a futuristic cyber-world, similar to the classic film Tron. The private party rooms are the perfect environment for birthdays, corporate events, sports teams, church groups, scouting troops, office parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, date night, student groups, or any groups looking to laugh, bond, and share a lot of smiles!

Hands-on Nature Camps for Kids in Marin 2017

February 13, 2017

Coastal Camp in the Marin HeadlandsPhoto: Coastal Camp in the Marin Headlands, courtesy NatureBridge

Living in Marin, you don't have to look far for a summer camp that takes advantage of some of the amazing natural resources we have right in our own backyard. Parents have several outstanding nature and outdoors oriented summer camps to choose from. Here is a selection of some of our favorite day camps in Marin that have an emphasis on the outdoors and the natural world around us for ages 4 to 18. To find more fantastic summer camps, visit our 2017 Marin Summer Camp Guide.

Audubon Youth Programs

Location: Richardson Bay Audubon Center, Tiburon
Ages: 4
–17
Dates: June 5
–August 11
Cost: $320
–$400 per week
Audubon Adventures Camp for kids in pre-K–3rd grade includes themes like Water Detectives, Living on the Bay, Shoreline Survivors, and Shark Week. Expedition Camp and On the Fly Camp are for children in grades 4–6, where campers deliver a little deeper into the varied habitats of Marin County and visit environments like the bay, ocean, redwood forest, and more. They also offer Youth Leaders for ages 11–17. Monday-Friday, 9 am–2 pm or 9 am–3 pm; extended hours untiil 5 pm are available for an additional cost. Register here.

Weeknight Recipe: Easy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

February 12, 2017

Mexican chicken and rice soup

At this time of year, my family and I love making a warm pot of comforting soup for dinner. The kids love chicken soup in all its forms, so I created this Mexican-inspired version of chicken and rice soup to mix things up a bit.

This definitely isn't your run-of-the-mill bowl of chicken soup—it's simple but delicious and everyone loved it. Filled with chicken, rice, and vegetables, you can also mix in garnishes to personalize your bowl.

While the "right" way to make this is probably to simmer a whole chicken for a long time, this weeknight one-pot-meal is easy and quick to put together with boneless skinless chicken breasts and good quality chicken broth.

2017 Humane Summer Camps at the Marin Humane Society

February 10, 2017

Marin Humane Society Summer CampsPhoto: Marin Humane Society.

Pet-loving kids can get hands-on experience with a variety of animals with the Marin Humane Society's 2017 Humane Summer Camps. These popular camps at the MHS campus in Novato teach children important skills in animal handling, care, and welfare. Children entering grades 1 through 6 can attend Junior Humane Camp, Humane Camp, and Senior Humane Camp, where activities include animal-themed arts and crafts, games and activities, an introduction to careers involving animals, and daily visits from the MHS's Animal Ambassadors.

Older children entering grades 7 through 12 can attend Teen Animal Care Camp where they will experience the daily work of an animal shelter. They will learn about animal related careers, animal care and behavior, and animal welfare, and get daily hands-on experience with shelter and volunteer animals. Teens can also participate as Teen Counselor Assistants, where they'll assist for one week-long camp session and earn community service credit.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for February 10–12

February 10, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! Check out all the fun Valentine's Day festivals, teas,  crafts and more this weekend.

Put on your rainboots and take avantage of one of the many family waterfall hikes this weekend.

Friday, February 10

  • Special Exhibit: Rainforest Adventure
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Friday–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.
  • 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 Days
    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! Location: 931 C St., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Homebrew Happy Hour!
    Mariwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Don't forget this Friday evening is Homebrew Happy Hour! Featuring local homebrew tastings and live music. Join neighbors and friends for a fun night out! Cost: $10 at the door (includes tastings). Free childcare (ages 2–10). Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Shaolin Warriors: The Legend Continues
    Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium
    Friday, 8 pm

    Bring the entire family for an evening of rip-roaring, dazzling, spectacular family entertainment with Shaolin Warriors, the masters of Kung Fu. Shaolin Warriors brings the remarkable skill, stunning movement and death-defying martial-arts prowess to the stage, perfecting the art of hand-to-hand and weapons combat, performing live feats thought only possible in the movies. Tickets: $25–$45. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, February 11

  • Saint Valentine's Festival
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Bring the family to the Saint Valentine's Festival and The Farmers Market for lots of festive fun. Activities: heart art, kids entertainment, sugar cookie decoration, old fashioned photo stand, face painting and pony rides. Shop for some fresh produce too at this weekend's farmers market. For more info, visit their website.
  • American Girl: Valentine's Day Crepe Party
    Williams Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Let’s have a crepe party! Crepes are super-fun to make, and you can finish them with whatever tasty fillings and toppings you’d like, such as chocolate, fresh fruit or jam. Then serve them to your family and friends on Valentine’s Day. Suitable for ages 8–13. Price: $30 (includes crepe pan set). Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. For more info, visit their website.
  • Will Zoo Be Mine?
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Feel the love at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!  Celebrate Valentine’s Day at SF Zoo by taking a “Lovers Stroll” to visit animal couples, mates and families.  Decorate a Valentine for your favorite animal and share the love by purchasing an “Adopt-An-Animal” for yourself or your sweetheart. Zoo admission applies. Location: Sloat Boulevard at the Great Highway, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • SF Giants Fan Fest 2017
    AT&T Park, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    Bring the entire family to Giants Fan Fest and meet some of the players, autographs, and more. Free admission; parking $10. Takes place rain or shine. Location: 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Program: A Botanical Valentine's Day Tea
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am and 1–2:30 pm

    Our annual tradition returns with a lovely botanical tea in honor of Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a celebration of herbs and flowers at this educational walk and tea party. We'll use all of our senses as we explore the nature of these fragrant edibles, with a special opportunity to collect for our make-your-own tea party snacks and garden drinks. Finish the fun by making valentines from pressed botanicals to take home.  $22 Adults, $18 Adult Members,  $17 Child, $15 Member Child. For more info, visit their website.
  • Very First Concert!
    Main Library, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 & 11:15 am

    Experience the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra for an interactive and educational performance of classical music favorites! Designed for our youngest listeners, these delightful 20-minute presentations teach musical concepts, offer hands-on activities, and encourage lots of movement. Location: 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival
    Lake Sonoma, Geyserville
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Fun activities for the family at the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival, held on the grounds of the Milt Brandt Visitors Center!  Rain or shine. Food, wine, beer, silent auction, live music, archery, fishing, tours, demonstrations -- just about anything you can imagine, and it is free! For more info, visit their website.
  • Tulipmania at Pier 39
    San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am

    Pier 39 has planted 39,000 spectacular and colorful tulips throughout the waterfront park. Come for a free guided tour led by Pier 39’s expert landscapers beginning at 10 am daily from the Entrance Plaza. After each tour, enjoy complimentary refreshments. For more info, visit their website.
  • Chinatown Community Street Fair
    Chinatown, San Francisco
    Saturday,10 am–4:30 pm & Sunday, 9 am– 5 pm

    Become immersed in the sights and sounds of Chinatown. The Chinatown Community Street Fair takes place the weekend of the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade and is an opportunity for attendees to experience Chinese cutural arts such as latern and kite making, calligraphy, fine arts demonstrations, folk dance, and puppet shows. For more info, visit their website.
  • Valentine's Day Craft for Kids!
    Fairfax Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon

    Make a paper heart garland to display or give as a gift! Free! All materials provided. Location: 2097 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Fairfax. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Pippi Longstocking
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm

    Annika and Tommy's new neighbor Pippi Longstocking has crazy red pigtails, a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson, and a tendency to get caught up in one outrageous adventure after another! Whether she's fending off burglars, wrestling a circus strongman, or sailing away on a pirate ship, Pippi wins over even the sternest of hearts in this rollicking musical adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's beloved book. Location: 2020 Addison Street Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 524-2941 or visit their website.
  • Pixie Park Open House
    Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon

    Open Houses are a great way to learn about the history of Pixie Park and what it means to belong to this co-op playground. The new member open house is conducted in a casual environment where you can speak to a board member about the benefits and responsibilities of being a Pixie family, as well as ask questions and meet other prospective families. After learning about the park, interested families can sign-up and receive their key. Location: 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Constellation Celebration
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday 11 am–4 pm

    Did you know that the Presidio hosts stargazing parties? On February 11, the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers will bring their telescopes to the Main Parade Ground and help you discover the Presidio’s night sky. Make a craft of your favorite constellation to enjoy day or night! Registration not required, but preferred. For more info, visit their website.
  • History Play Date: Vintage Valentines
    California Historical Society, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am

    Inspired by CHS collections we will be designing our own valentines inspired by our vintage ones. Use decorative paper, stickers, and vintage inspired images to make a crafty card for friends and family. Share what you love about California and its history by adding to our LOVE CA mural! Meet the staff of the the Museum of Craft and Design! They will be on hand to help decorate vases and make paper flowers. Free, but RSVP required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Valentine's Day Storytime
    Barnes and Noble, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 11 am

    Join us for Storytime and activities in celebration of Valentine's Day. Featured titles are The Secret Life of Squirrels: A Love Story and Valentine's Day Is Cool. Don't miss out!  Location: 313 Corte Mader Town Center, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • One Love: A Celebration of Art and Community
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday, noon–5 pm
    Celebrate love, tolerance, and diversity at the de Young this Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy music, art making, tours, and more while exploring the many voices reflected in our permanent collections and discovering various expressions of love. The de Young café will offer delicious chocolate treats and a special menu. Get your collectible One Love buttons throughout the galleries.Create your own souvenir Snapchat photo from One Love using a specially designed filter just for today. Free admission (special exhibition fees apply). For more info, visit their website.
  • Pop-up Valentines Workshop with Artist Kathy Piscioneri
    Corte Madera Library
    Saturday, 1 pm

    Bring the kids for this Pop-up Valentine's workshop For kids 2nd grade and up. Space is limited. Call (415) 924-6382 to sign up. For more info, visit their website.
  • Hearts on the Hill Valentine's Festival
    Corte Madera Community Center
    Saturday, 3:30–6:30 pm

    Join Corte Madera's Kids on the Hill preschool for their annual Valentines-day-themed Hearts on the Hill Fundraiser this Saturday. This year's Hearts on the Hill features fun for the entire family, including carnival-style games, face painting, arts and crafts, a live DJ and dancing, food and drinks. Tickets are available at the door on the day of the event and cost $5; children 2 and under are admitted free. All proceeds benefit Kids on the Hill Preschool. The Corte Madera Community Center is located at the Corte Madera Town Park at 498 Tamalpais Avenue. For more information, call (415) 924-3033.

Family Road Trip to Pacific Grove

February 9, 2017

Pacific Grove Asilomar BeachOne of our favorite places for a fun family getaway is the picturesque seaside town of Pacific Grove. Not as famous or flashy as Monterey, Carmel, and its other neighbors in the Monterey Bay Area, Pacific Grove makes up for this in charm, billing itself as "America's Last Hometown" and "Butterfly Town USA".

With a close proximity to the Bay Area, plenty of things to see and do, and an amazing coastal location, Pacific Grove is an ideal place for a family getaway this winter or spring (or any other time of year, for that matter).

Things to Do in Pacific Grove

Located on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula between Monterey and Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove (known by locals as "PG") boasts not only natural wonders like Asilomar State Beach, but picturesque Victorian houses and a cute bustling downtown with a wide variety of dining and lodging options as well. The city of Monterey and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium are literally just minutes away, the aquarium actually sited only a few yards from the Monterey-Pacific Grove border.

Winter Break Camps in Marin and Beyond

February 9, 2017

studio 4 artLooking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming winter break? Check out some of the great winter day camps here in Marin and the Bay Area. All the camps listed below offer day camp or drop-in camps.

  • Andrew's Day Camp
    400 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera
    Ages: kindergarten and up
    Andrew's Camp offers games, crafts, sports and more. Camps take place from 9 am–5 pm with extended care from 8–9 am and 5–6 pm. Bring lunch and snack. For more info,call (415) 446-8946 or  visit their website.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum
    557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito

    Ages: 4–8
    The BADM is offering a Winter Discovery Camp that focuses on learning through project-based, hands-on activities designed to intentionally boost creativity, STEM skills, and critical thinking. Camps hours:  9 am–2 pm; extended care from 2–4 pm (extended care $50/per day). For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit www.baykidsmuseum.org.
  • N.Y. Broadway Training Programs
    625 Arthur St., Novato High School
    Ages: 7–15

    Broadway Camp includes classes in ballet, jazz, tap, theatre dance, hip hop, acting, voice, musical theatre, arts & crafts, fun & games, special events and workshops. Mini performance on the last hour on Friday. Pizza party. Daily snack. Register here. For more info, visit www.marissajoyganz.com.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with the Family at Hearts on the Hill, Saturday, February 11

February 8, 2017

Hearts on the Hill Join Corte Madera's Kids on the Hill preschool for their annual Valentines-day-themed Hearts on the Hill Fundraiser this Saturday, February 11 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm at the Corte Madera Community Center. All families are welcome!

This year's Hearts on the Hill features fun for the entire family, including carnival-style games, face painting, arts and crafts, a live DJ and dancing, food and drinks, a raffle for a family getaway to Disneyland, and a fantastic silent auction.

Tickets are available at the door on the day of the event and cost $5; children 2 and under are admitted free. All proceeds benefit Kids on the Hill Preschool. The Corte Madera Community Center is located at the Corte Madera Town Park at 498 Tamalpais Avenue.

For more information about Kids on the Hill Preschool, call (415) 924-3033.

Make a Beautiful Valentine's Day Tissue Paper Wreath

February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Tissue Paper WreathLooking for a cool kids' craft for Valentine's Day? This tissue paper wreath looks beautiful and is easy to make for all ages, with a parent's or caregiver's help. To make the tissue paper puffs clustered on the wreath, we wrapped tissue squares around our fingers, but you can also just crumple them up, too. It makes for a fun craft for a rainy day or group activity for playgroups, classes, or scouts.

To make this craft you'll need:

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