Mom's Night Out with the San Rafael Pacifics

July 17, 2017

Mom's Night Out San Rafael Pacifics

Marin Roto-Rooter presents a Mom's Night Out with the San Rafael Pacifics on Saturday, July 22 at 4:05 pm. This fun-filled night out at the ballpark features wine tasting by Chronic Cellars and a post-game kickball game and beers with Pacifics players!

Tickets cost $50 and includes a baseball cap, all activities, and general admission to the ball game. It's not just about fun; it's for a good cause, too: $25 of each ticket will be donated to Sunny Hills Services, a Marin non-profit organization that supports vulnerable youth and their families. Order tickets online.

Our 5 Favorite Family Hikes in Marin

July 16, 2017

Tennessee Valley Family Hike Marin

We often get asked what our favorite hikes for families are in Marin. To be honest there are so many amazing hikes that sometimes it's hard to narrow them down, so we sat down and compiled a list of our top 5 family hikes in Marin.

We chose these particular hikes because they're easy for everyone in the family, relatively short, and are just a short drive from anywhere in Marin.

Riding the Rails at Sonoma TrainTown

July 15, 2017

Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

When we're in the Wine Country, we always make sure we visit TrainTown, the fun and fantastic miniature railroad located in the town of Sonoma. It's a place that I used to visit back when I was a kid, and it's the kind of destination that takes you and your family back to a simpler, less hectic time.

Sonoma TrainTown offers train-related activities that are fun for everyone, from toddlers to grade school kids (and adults, too), as well as a selection of carnival-style rides. It's also a short drive from pretty much anywhere in Marin, which makes TrainTown a must-visit attraction for North Bay families.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for July 14, 15 & 16

July 14, 2017

Fantastical Family Night comes to Broadway Under the Stars at Jack London State Historic Park on Friday and Saturday.

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, July 14

  • Flower Piano
    San Francisco Botanical Garden
    Friday–Sunday, 7:30 am–6 pm

    Visitors are encouraged to seek out the twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within the Garden's 55 acres and play what they like, from chopsticks to Tchaikovsky. On weekend days, professional pianists and a whole host of other musicians will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch and listen. Free after admission. Location: 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Children's Garden Series: Caterpillar Puppets
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11 am & 12:15 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Joe Leon’s Caterpillar Puppets don’t just entertain kids and parents. A master puppeteer with a sly sense of humor, Leon keeps everyone entertained. This show will takes place the Children's Garden. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mom & Baby Yoga
    Pomegranate, San Anselmo
    Friday, 11 am

    Enjoy your baby, reconnect with your body, and meet other new moms in our postnatal mama and baby yoga class. Class is most successful with pre-crawling babies but all are welcome to try out a class and discuss exceptions with the instructor. We want mamas to be able to get out of the house, meet other moms, and enjoy the support and exercise of a yoga class. Cost: $23 for drop-in class. Sign-up online here. Location: 25 Tamalpais Avenue, 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 special menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday: Curtis Lawson & Friends (blues). For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday: Rewind. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Fantastical Family Night
    Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
    Friday & Saturday, 5:30 pm
    Join us for everyone's favorite annual night of magic and fun. This inspirational evening of dream-living will be filled with Broadway, Disney and everything in between. Featuring special performances by the kids of Transcendence Kids Camp, pre-show adventures, and more. Bring a picnic before the performance. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • 23 Elephants Theatre Company presents: Madagascar Jr.
    Redwood High Little Theater
    Friday, 7:30 pm and Saturday, 1 pm and 7:30 pm

    Take a journey out of the zoo and onto the stage with your favorite crack-a-lackin friends from the blockbuster DreamWorks film. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they escape from their home in New Yorks Central Park Zoo and find themselves on th unexpected musical journey of a lifetime to the madcap world of King Juliens Madagascar. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jaws—Feature Film with Live Orchestra
    Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
    Friday, 7:30 pm
    Watch Steven Spielberg’s action-suspense blockbuster film as the SF Symphony performs John Williams’ iconic score live! Follow each nail-biting twist on the big screen as a seaside community is terrorized by a great white shark. Widely considered one of the most influential adventures in film history, don’t miss your chance to experience this classic of American cinema in a whole new way. Purchase tickets here. Location: 201 Van Ness, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 864-6000 or visit their website.
  • Seussical: The Musical
    Alcazar Theatre, San Francisco
    Friday, 8 pm & Saturday, 2 & 8 pm

    Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Once On This Island and Ragtime) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, and a little girl with a big imagination—Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Tickets: $20–$100. Location: 650 Geary Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, July 15

  • Family BikeAbout
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday, 8:30–10 am

    Families can bring their bicycles to the Zoo for this informative one- and one-half hour, docent-led cycling tour. It’s great to be in the Zoo ahead of the crowds and watch the animals start their day. Registration includes parking and Zoo admission. Participants must bring a bicycle; the SF Zoo does not provide bicycles to rent. Cost: SFZS Members: $18 per peddler and Non-Members: $23 per peddler. Children piggy-backing on their parents' bikes are free. Location: 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 753-7080 or visit their website.
  • Civil War Days
    Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncans Mills
    Satuday, 9 am–5 pm and Sunday, 9 am–3 pm

    Come and experience Civil War living history in the Sonoma County town of Duncans Mills. Interact with soldiers and civilans and see battles, period demonstrations, and even a speech by President Lincoln. Admission: $12 adults, $6 juniors 6–12, free kids 5 and under. Parking: $5 per car. For more info, visit their website.
  • 37th Annual Big Time Festival
    Bear Valley Visitor Center, Point Reyes
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    This free family event celebrates traditional Native American festivals that would bring together local tribes during the summer months. Throughout the day demonstrators will exhibit their skills in basketry, flint knapping, clamshell bead making, and more. Traditional dancers from the Intertribal Pomo group and Dry Creek Pomo will also perform a variety of traditional dances. Vendors will also be selling a wide variety of crafts. This free event is great for the whole family. For more info, visit their website.
  • Presidio Family-Friendly Bike Ride
    Presidio Visitor Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    Join a Presidio Park Ranger and Presidio Trust guide on this gentle 4-mile bike ride. Roll through the history and nature of the Presidio at a family-friendly pace that's fun for all! Rent a bike from Sports Basement or bring your own. Appropriate for ages 8+. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bug Eaters: All About Carnivorous Plants
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    Family members of all ages are invited to discover some of the fascinating and beautiful plants that can eat insects. Get up close with the amazing leaf adaptations as you learn more about them. Cost: $16, $12 members. Registration required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents: The Rainbow Fish Musical
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Saturday, 10:30 am & 2 pm and Sunday, 10:30 am & 4 pm

    Come with us under the sea for The Rainbow Fish Musical, a world premiere based on the award-winning book by Marcus Pfister about the joy of finding friendship through sharing. Book, music and lyrics by Austin Zumbro. Playing in Oakland and San Francisco. Tickets: $20 per person. Location: 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland. For more info, visit their website.
  • Guided Hike: Birds + Bird Art Scavenger Hunt
    Presidio Visitor Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10:30 am–12:30 pm

    Join us for a two-mile family-friendly guided hike led by volunteer Presidio art docents, Presidio trail ambassadors, and Golden Gate Audubon birders to view birds in the Presidio and enjoy chalk art created by local nature artists. Registration is required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Special Musical Performance: Asheba
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11–11:45 am
    Enjoy a caribbean-infused music performance by Asheba during Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit Making Day!  For all ages. Museum admission applies. Loction: 557 McReynolds Rd, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Traveling Spectacular at Cornerstone
    Cornerstone, Sonoma
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    The Traveling Spectacular is a surrealist vaudeville experience inspired by the dreams and dust of a bygone age. Allow your sense of wonder to ignite as we take you on a journey into the imagination: Grand illusions, a sword-swallowing prestidigitator extraordinaire, vaudevillian comedy, a bevy of dancing beauties and the fire-breathing Devil himself! All set to original music by our Gypsy-Klezmer orchestra, the Oddjob Ensemble. $20, children under 4 free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–6 pm

    Come out to the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture for their second Fair of the year with an incredible summer celebration of independent craft and design! For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Flower Power Pendants
    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. Featuring different crafts every weekend! This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Come celebrate the spirit of the 1960s by making your own necklaces with super groovy pendants. Registration not required, but preferred. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • 20th Annual Free Fiddlekids Concert
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday, 11:30 am (doors open at 11 am)

    Please come enjoy our free fiddlekids fiddle concert. It's always a sweet and incredible show of young fiddlers playing their recently learned tunes. Only happens once a year, and we'd love to have you join us in celebrating our 20th fiddlekids anniversary! Free–open to the public. Location: 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Breastfest Beer Festival
    Marin Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, noon–4 pm
    60 breweries, local food purveyors and Bay Area musicians join together to help women gain access to alternative means of cancer therapy. Attendees get endless eats, bottomless cups, and live music. Proceeds will benefit low-income women with breast cancer. Tickets: $50 advance, $65 at the door. For more info, visit their website.
  • 23 Elephants Theatre Company presents: Madagascar Jr.
    Redwood High Little Theater
    Saturday, 1 pm and 7:30 pm

    Take a journey out of the zoo and onto the stage with your favorite crack-a-lackin friends from the blockbuster DreamWorks film. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they escape from their home in New Yorks Central Park Zoo and find themselves on th unexpected musical journey of a lifetime to the madcap world of King Juliens Madagascar. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tarzan
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 7 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm

    With a thrilling score from one of pop-music’s greatest icons, Phil Collins, Tarzan is the ultimate story of a unique family drawn together by fate and bound by love. Audiences will journey to the African jungles in this vibrant production that features a live percussive environment, stunning acrobats, and a heartfelt story about what it means to be a family. Tarzan is this summer’s most exciting musical event.Tickets: $25–$40. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Be Part of the Largest Human Flower
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday, 1 pm

    Be part of history and help form a beautiful lotus that can be seen from the sky. At least 3,000 community members are needed. The current Guiness World Record title for the Largest human flower featured 2,297 people at the Rochester Lilac Festival on May 9, 2014. All participants will receive free admission to the museum’s Flower Power exhibition, a chance to win raffle prizes, and a commemorative downloadable photo of the attempt. For more info and to register, visit their website.
  • Family STEM Saturdays
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 2:30–4:30 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.This Month: make your own playdough. All ages welcome. Admission applies. Location: 2065 Kittredge St, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Concerts on the Green
    City Green, Downtown Novato
    Saturday, 5–7 pm

    Bring your family and a picnic and enjoy classic jazz and blues from Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers on the City Green in Downtown Novato. Free outdoor summer concert for all ages!. Location: 901 Sherman Avenue, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Angel Island Movie Night: Moana
    Angel Island State Park
    Saturday, 5 pm

    Angel Island Conservancy in partnership with the Mill Valley Film Festival presents Disney’s Moana. The evening will include live music, hula dancers, games and more! Movie starts at sundown. Ferry departs Tiburon at 5 pm; arrive no later than 4:30 pm to board. Purchase dinners in advance; snacks and drinks available, too. Tickets: $30 adults, $15 kids; includes ferry ride. For more info, visit their website.

Flower Piano Returns to the San Francisco Botanical Garden

July 13, 2017

Flower Piano San Francisco Botanical Garden

This summer, Flower Piano returns to the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park from July 13 to 24. Now in it's third year, this music-filled event features a dozen pianos placed in dramatic locations throughout the 55-acre garden for anyone to play. Pianos are available to the public to play between 9 am and 6 pm every day, except during scheduled performances. Flower Piano is produced in conjunction with Sunset Piano.

My son, who's been playing piano since he was five, had a blast exploring the garden and finding and playing all 12 pianos. It's fun to stop and hear what other visitors are playing, too. Sometimes you'll be surprised with a really fantastic performance! Performances take place throughout the event, including Piano Extravaganzas from noon to 2 pm on Saturday, July 15 and July 22; check their website for a full schedule.

Explore Berkeley's Tilden Park for Family Fun and Adventure

July 11, 2017

Tilden Park Little Farm

For a fun family day out this summer (or any time of year, actually), head east over the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge and up into the Berkeley Hills, where you'll find Tilden Park, a 2,000-acre playground where there's literally something for everyone. Part of the East Bay Regional Parks system, Tilden is so big and there's so much to do here, that it really bears repeat visits!

From hiking trails and campgrounds to a historic carousel and scale steam trains, you'll find a lot to do here. Best of all, many of the attractions are free or very inexpensive. Here are our favorite things to do when visiting Tilden!

Tilden Nature Area and Little Farm

One of the busiest areas of Tilden Park is the Nature Area, and for good reason. This part of the park is home to the Little Farm, the Environmental Education Center, and numerous family friendly hiking trails, as well as group campgrounds, picnic areas, and a playground. It's located right off Canon Drive at the north end of the park.

There's Still Time to Sign Up for an Awesome Summer Camp in Marin!

July 11, 2017

Avid4 Adventure Bike CampPhoto: Avid4 Adventure

It's July, and that summer camp you didn't sign the kids up for is looking pretty good right now. Don't panic! Many awesome summer camps throughout Marin still have some spots left so you kids can have some summer fun and you can get a break.

Here are a few local summer camps that have still have space available in July and August. If one looks good to you, don't wait—camps can fill up fast!

  • TinkerTech offers Superhero Maker Camp from July 17–21 at Novato's Loma Verde Elementary School and Maker and Robot Camps at San Domenico School in San Anselmo from July 24–28.

Walk or Bike on the Bay Trail at Hamilton in Novato

July 10, 2017

The Bay Trail Novato Hamilton

The Bay Trail opened in the summer of 2014 in Novato's Hamilton neighborhood, and it's one of our favorite Marin spots for short hike or bike ride with the kids. With easy access from several points in Hamilton and stunning views, this is a great place for families to head outdoors for an active outing.

10 Fun Things to Do With Preschoolers in Marin and the Bay Area This Summer

July 10, 2017

Toddler fun Marin

Keeping the little ones busy this summer is a high priority for parents, and if they can learn something in the process then so much the better. Bonus points if you have a great time, too. If you nees some inspiration, here are 10 things to do with preschool-aged children in and around Marin and the Bay Area this summer.

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