Programs for Young Gymnasts at Gymworld in San Rafael

September 23, 2016

Gymworld

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from GymWorld Gymnastics in San Rafael.

GymWorld offers fantastic Birthday Parties for little gymnasts and their friends! We also offer great programs for our youngest gymnasts ages 18 months to 4 years during the week. We have Open Gyms for Toddlers on a drop in basis three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:30 am–12:30 pm. Come run, jump, bounce, swing, use the foam pit and trampoline!

GymWorld also has great instructors teaching classes for ages 2–4 years. Classes are on Tuesday and Friday mornings and at 2:45pm Mon,Tues,Thurs.

Get Your Tickets Now for Pumpkins on Pikes at Tara Firma Farms

September 22, 2016

Pumpkins on Pikes at Tara Firma Farms In addition to producing healthy and sustainable local food, Petaluma's Tara Firma Farms also puts on fantastic family-friendly events throughout the year. This fall, their annual Pumpkins on Pikes event continutes this tradition. Come on out to the farm for Halloween fun with pumpkin carving, live music, dancing, a corn maze, BBQ and more.

Pumpkins on Pikes takes place on Saturday, October 29, from 2 to 10 pm. Bring your pumpkin carving tools, blankets and coats to stay warm after dark, a sheet to cover hay bales for seating, and favorite treat for the dessert potluck. Free pumpkins for carving will be provided with admission. The carved pumpkins are placed on pikes out in the cornfield, and when the sun goes down, the pumpkins are lit. It's an amazing spectacle! A BBQ dinner will be available for purchase at the event, too.

Fall Family Festivals & Fairs in Marin and Beyond

September 20, 2016

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin PatchFall is one of our favorite times of year, and there's so much family fun to be found in Marin and beyond. Find a fall festival or fair 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.

September

  • Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
    Historic Sonoma Plaza
    Friday–Sunday, September 23–25

    Since 1897 the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival has been celebrating the Sonoma Valley’s bounty, community, and local culture. California’s oldest festival, this Sonoma tradition takes place the last full weekend of September in downtown Sonoma’s historic Plaza. Festivities include a Friday night gala, a grape stomp, live music, a lighted parade on Saturday evening, an art show, and more. Event website.
  • Blackie's Hay Day
    Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon
    Saturday, September 24, 10 am–4 pm

    Come out with your family to enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, toy tractor rides, carnival games, jumpies and a climbing wall as well as wonderful entertainment and food. Blackie's Hay Day is a family event with something for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy! Admission: $15 per person; activity tickets available in packs of 25, or as a $50 all-day bracelet. Supports Belvedere-Tiburon Library's kids and teen programs. Event website.

Our Favorite Halloween Books for Kids

September 20, 2016

Halloween NightFall is here, and what is a better way to celebrate its arrival than with a good book? My kids and I love to go to the library and pick out some great Halloween children's books to read together, and fall is definitely one of our favorite times of year.

Here are some of our favorites that we've enjoyed over the years. All of these books should be available at public libraries throughot Marin. You can look to see if your local library has these titles available at marinlibrary.org.

Babies & Toddlers

Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino: This Halloween version of the traditional counting rhyme features bold and colorful illustrations that little ones will love.

Hike, Bike, and Ride at Novato's O'Hair Park

September 20, 2016

O'Hair Park Novato

At the west end of Novato is one of Marin's outdoor gems—O'Hair Park. Sharing space with the Dogbone Meadow dog park and Morning Star Farm equestrian center, the 100-acre O'Hair Park is a great place for a family bike ride, hike or off-road stroller.

Head into the park on the Reuben Kaehler Memorial Trail, which forms an easy loop of approximately two miles. Novato Creek parellels much of the trail, and it's fun to clamber down to the creekside to look for little fish and water bugs while you're on your hike. The trail climbs gently uphill into a bay laurel forest, down into a grassy meadow, and then again into a forest. 

Our Top 10 Spooky Halloween Movies for Families

September 19, 2016

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were RabbitHalloween is a few weeks away, and there's nothing much better than watching a spooky (but not too scary) movie with the family and sharing a big bowl of popcorn. I polled everyone in our family to find out what their favorite Halloween movies were, and we came up with this list of ten that we think are must-sees.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (G)

Wallace and Gromit, the ever-charming cheese-loving claymation duo, star in this clever sendup of monster movies, where something horrible ravages gardens and threatens a village's veggie-growing competition. Cute and clever with plenty of jokes (including a few that only grown-ups will get). Ages 3 and up.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (G)

This Halloween classic has been family favorite since 1966, so you probably watched it when you were a kid. Charlie Brown still gets nothing but rocks while trick-or-treating, Linus is always positive that the Great Pumpkin will pay a visit to the pumpkin patch, and it's still funny and touching. For all ages.

Weekend Along the Farm Trails Takes Place September 24 & 25

September 19, 2016

Weekend Along the Farm Trails Peter Pumpkin PatchNorth Bay farms are now abundant with the fall harvest. Sonoma County Farm Trails, the folks who produce the world-famous Gravenstein Apple Fair, invites families to head out to the farms for Weekend Along the Farm Trails on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25. The free, self-guided tour provides fun for the whole family.

From 10 am to 4 pm both days, visitors can tour their way through Sonoma County and stop in at the participating farms of their choice. Guests can take part in demonstrations, petting friendly farm animals, hayrides, corn mazes, games and crafts for kids, tastings, cooking demos, flower arranging, and more. Some locations charge modest fees for special tours and activities, but entry to all farms and most activities are free of charge.

Many stops will offer snacks, lunches and epic picnic sites. Farm stands will be open for fresh-from-the-source purchases. Guests are encouraged to pack a cooler for toting home farm-fresh treasures.

Homemade Hummus is Easy to Make, Delicious, and Healthy

September 18, 2016

hummus and pita wedgesOnce something found mainly in health food stores and Middle Eastern restaurants, hummus is now a mainstream snacktime staple available in every local supermarket. I've found most of the grocery store versions of this garlicky, lemony garbanzo bean purée to be uninspired and not all that authentic, but fortunately it's really easy to make your own hummus at home, and we make sure to have the ingredients on hand for whenever a hummus craving hits!

My kids love hummus (my daughter's been a certified hummus fanatic since she was a toddler), which is fantastic, since it's both tasty and healthy. I like to serve it with homemade whole wheat pita chips, but it's also great with carrot sticks and other dippable veggies. I even pack it into my kids' school lunches. This recipe involves no cooking, and the kids can help out with it, too.

Southern Marin Mothers' Club Private School Fair

September 18, 2016

SMMC Marin Private School FairIf you're a Marin County parent looking into private schools for your children, make sure you plan on visiting the third annual Southern Marin Mothers' Club Private School Fair, which takes place at Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera on Thursday, September 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Most private schools in southern Marin, as well as many other schools throughout the county, will be represented at this event.

This fair is designed for parents looking for private school kindergarten options for their children in Marin as well as parents wanting to switch schools or who are new to the area. This year's speaker, Dana Nelson-Isaacs, will discuss admission, financial aid, and affordability. The parents will then circulate around the school tables and learn about the differences between the programs.

The fair begins at 6:30 pm Brandeis Marin school in San Rafael. Children, with the exception of infants in arms, should not attend this event. Light snacks and drinks wil be provided.

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