Free Outdoor Family Movies in Marin and the Bay Area

August 12, 2017

Film Night in the Park Marin County Summer

Summer means its time for free outdoor movies in Marin and the Bay Area, so grab your blankets and pillows, pack the picnic basket, and get ready to enjoy some family flicks al fresco. Here's our guide to free outdoor movies this summer and fall in Marin, San Francisco, and Sonoma County.

Most movies begin at dusk or around 8 pm; check the organizer's website for exact time and location. Some feature food trucks and even wine pairings. Popcorn is often offered for free!

In addition, the North Bay Mobile Drive-In screens movies on the side of the Old Hamilton Theater building in Novato; join their Meetup page to get notified about upcoming screenings.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 11, 12 & 13

August 11, 2017

Gravenstein Apple FairEnjoy good old fashioned family fun at this weekend's Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol.

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, August 11

  • Insect Discovery Lab
    Point Reyes Library
    Friday, 11 am–noon

    Prepare to be amazed when the Insect Discovery Lab visits the Point Reyes and Stinson Beach Libraries. Explore the fantastic lives of beetles, millipedes, tarantulas, and walking sticks at this interactive workshop. Free. Location:
    11431 State Route One, Point Reyes Station. Fore more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma County Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Friday–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. Carnival rides are an additional charge. Admission is $12 for ages 13 and up, $7 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Garden Series: Unique Derique
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, noon & 2:15 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.
  • End-of-Summer Reading Party with SF Bubble Guy Mike Ashe
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 3–4 pm
    Bring the kids for an hour of bubble fun by the San Francisco Bubble Man Mike Ashe. Free. Location: Sir Francis Drake Blvd & Center Blvd, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Circus Vargas
    Corte Madera
    Friday, 4:30 & 7:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 1, 4 & 7:30 pm

    Circus Vargas' presents its new 2017 spectacular SteamCirque! Come on a journey of fantastic proportions where children of all ages will marvel at the wacky and wonderful cast of characters that come alive in this exciting steampunk, science- fiction fantasy inspired circus odyssey. Tickets: $17–$72; under 2 free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Come on downtown to San Anselmo for Picnics on the Plaza on six Friday evenings this summer: Grab dinner-to-go at a local restaurant, purchase food at the event, or pack a picnic and dine with old and new friends at the plaza. Enjoy live entertainment and activities; it's great, music, food and family fun! Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, 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: Auricular Arrangements. For more info, visit their website.
  • Broadway Under the Stars: Fascinating Rhythm
    Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
    Friday–Sunday, 5 pm
    Are you ready to be invigorated with a sensational blend of movement and song that celebrates the Fascinating Rhythm that keeps our hearts moving through life? Your toes will be tapping as you join us on this rousing and rhythmic journey of music and dance that will have you swaying to the beat all night long. Bring a picnic before the performance. The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $45–$149. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • Nostalgia Days Rod and Custom Car Show
    Downtown Novato
    Friday, 5:45–8 pm & Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Now in its 20th year, this celebration of hot rods, classic cars and small-town Americana is a great reason to visit downtown Novato this weekend. This free, family-friendly event kicks off with a Friday Night Cruise, then Saturday sees Downtown Novato transform into a classic car show, all the way from 1st to 7th Street on Grant Avenue. Live music by the Four Teardrops and the Deadlies. For more info, visit their website.

Hands-on Fun for Fall at Slide Ranch

August 11, 2017

Slide Ranch is a great place for family members of all ages. We tried out one of their family farm days in the past and my kids had a great time petting the sheep planting seeds, milking a goat, and making nature crafts. They offer guided tours and lots of hands-on activities, including collecting eggs from chickens, planting seeds, sampling from their organic garden, learning to make crafts and food just like the early farmers, and exploring the nearby tide pools.

Slide Ranch is located off of Shoreline Highway in Muir Beach. Below is a list of their upcoming fall events. Their programs often sell out quickly, so you need to plan ahead if you are interested in participating. Register for programs online at www.slideranch.org.

6 Last-Minute Family Getaways Before Summer Ends!

August 10, 2017

Asilomar State Beach Pacific Grove

The new school year is almost here, but that doesn't mean that summer is over! There's still time pack up the kids and take a last-minute summer family getaway. Here are 6 of our favorite destinations that aren't that far away and are perfect for an impromptu end-of-summer trip.

Drum Parties with Mika's Drumming Magic

August 8, 2017

Mika's Drumming Magic drum party

Looking for a fun, unique, and memorable birthday party? Marin's Mika's Drumming Magic offers exciting drum parties for people of all ages.

Mika provides instruments and excellent facilitation for groups of all ages, drawing on skills he's developed over 20 years of facilitating drum groups for schools, workshops, private and corporate clients. Drumming Magic drum parties are paced in a way that makes them fun and accessible for participants of all ages. Even participants who consider themselves non-musical are amazed with what they and the group create together!

Marin Toddler Art Classes

August 8, 2017

Fall is around the corner and so is the time to look for creative classs to keep the little ones busy. Here is our list of fun hands-on art classes for toddlers in Marin.

Art Abloom

751 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo 94960
(415) 256-1112
Ages: toddler and up
Register: 
Art Abloom

Art Abloom offers classes year round for all ages, toddlers to adults. In a nurturing environment, student artists are encouraged to explore while celebrating their individual uniqueness.

Farm-to-Table Grilled Lamb Skewers and Summer Vegetables

August 8, 2017

Grilled Lamb and Summer Vegetables

This article is sponsored by Marin Whole Foods Markets, where you can buy local, sustainably raised Pozzi lamb at the butcher counter.

Summertime means grilling time! We’re always looking for healthy ingredients to throw on the grill, and this time we gave locally raised lamb a try. I know there are plenty of people out there who profess to dislike lamb, but it’s really worth trying, especially if it’s locally raised and grass-fed, like the Pozzi Ranch lamb offered at the butcher counter at Marin’s Whole Foods Markets.

Dive into the Reef at California Academy of Science's Teen Science Night

August 7, 2017

#TeenScienceNight at the California Academy of Sciences

Calling all Bay Area teens! The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park is hosting its fifth annual #TeenScienceNight this Friday, August 11, 2017, from 6:30–9 pm. This event—the world's largest teen-only science event—features fun sciences programs, experiments, and talks, as well as food, music, and dancing. And, best of all, no adults are allowed, only teens ages 13 to 18. Admission is free.

Marin Fitness Classes with Childcare

August 7, 2017

working out at pomegranate in san anselmo Pomegranate Prenatal Yoga & Parent Center, San Anselmo; photo by Fluid Frame

Getting a good workout in can sometimes be difficult with little ones around, so we've put together this list of Marin County drop-in fitness classes that offer childcare at the same time. Some of these fitness centers require memberships, but those that do often offer day passes so you can give it a try; check their websites or give them a call for complete details and class schedules.

  • Pomegranate Prenatal Yoga & Parent Center
    25 Tamalpais Avenue
    San Anselmo 94960
    (415) 785-3173

    Pomegranate in San Anselmo offers a variety of pre and postnatal yoga classes. Onsite childcare is $8 per child per class and is available for select classes. For more info, visit their website.
  • Rolling Hills Club
    351 San Andreas Drive
    Novato 94947
    (415) 897-2185

    Classes include yoga and pilates. While you work out kids 6 weeks to 6 years can have fun in the Kids Club, which offers a variety of great toys, art supplies, books, and a play yard, and is staffed by a CPR-certified team. $8 for kids ages 6 weeks to 5 years (free for members). Reservations required.
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