Parent-Toddler Classes at Curious Minds in Corte Madera

August 11, 2016

Curious Minds Parent-Toddler ProgramCorte Madera preschool Curious Minds Learning Center is now enrolling for parent-toddler classes for children aged 16 to 24 months and their caregiver. Current classes are held once a week for an hour and a quarter, from 4 to 5:15 pm.

Research shows that toddlers actively take part in making meaning of their surroundings as they openly explore the world around them. This class is designed to meet this need and create a safe, warm, supportive, and stimulating environment for you and your toddler.

Experiences include a wide range of expressive media: clay, watercolor, light and shadow, collage, and rhythm, and movement, as well as a period of outdoor play and a short circle time. The environment encourages exploration and experimentation, while building relationships with other children and families through shared experiences and negotiated play.

No Campfire? Make S'mores Cookies!

August 10, 2016

s'mores cookiesToday, August 10, is National S'mores Day! In case you don't know what a s'more is, it's a treat consisting of a graham cracker topped with square of milk chocolate (Hershey's is traditional), then topped with a warm toasted marshmallow and then another graham cracker. "S'more" is a contraction of "some more," which is what everyone says after they finish their first one.

If you don't have a campfire or fire pit handy today, try making these amazingly delicious s'mores cookies. They incorporate all the ingredients of a s'more in an easy to make and eat cookie form, so you can enjoy the deliciousness of s'mores anytime without having to wait to go on a camping trip. My son said these were the best cookies he ever tasted, and I'm inclined to agree with him.

Ingredients

  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Walk or Bike on the Bay Trail at Hamilton in Novato

August 9, 2016

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.

The Hamilton section of the Bay Trail skirts the old runway of this former air force base, which has been returned to its original wetland state. The trail is flat and accessible, and welcomes walkers and cyclists to travel along the wetlands that border San Pablo Bay. It is, of course, ideal for walking with an sturdy stroller, too.

You'll find neat little lookout areas along the way, with benches and informative placards that tell you all about the bird life in the area and about the wetland restoration project. They even have stationary binoculars mounted in them so you can take a look at the wildlife out in the wetlands. The views are stunning, with Mt. Burdell to the north and Mt. Diablo to the east.

Marin Fitness Classes with Childcare

August 9, 2016
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. Prices

  • Pomegranate Prenatal Yoga & Parent Center
    25 Tamalpais Avenue
    San Anselmo
    (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
    (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 per hour drop in for kids ages 6 weeks to 5 years (free for members). Reservations required.

Gravenstein Apple Fair: An Old-Time Country Festival

August 9, 2016

Girl with pie Gravenstein Apple FairWhere can you spend the day walking under ancient oaks following your nose from food booth to food booth (featuring frying apple fritters or slices of four-inch high apple pie), taking in terrific acoustic music, and experiencing the sights and sounds of a turn-of-the-century barnyard? At the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair, of course!

Sonoma County's summertime jewel takes place in Sebastopol's Ragle Ranch Park this weekend, August 13 and 14. 2016's event is the 104th Gravenstein Apple Fair, which showcases the best in arts, crafts, food, wines and beers, games, entertainment, and farm life activities.

The Gravenstein Apple Fair is produced by Sonoma County Farm Trails, and celebrates Sebastopol's iconic sweet and tart apple variety. While the fair in days past was a massive agricultural and food processing showcase, the modern version features family friendly fun like arts and crafts vendors, an artisan tasting lounge, chef demonstrations, live music on two stages, a petting zoo, animal displays, a chance to experience a taste of farm life, a hay maze, artisan booths selling handmade goods, performances by "Circus Waldissima" each afternoon, and of course apples!

Strike! Family Bowling Fun and Birthday Parties in and Around Marin

August 8, 2016

Bowling kids Remember those fun times you had bowling when you were a kid? Guess what—it hasn't changed all that much, although it seems that there are fewer spots where you can bowl these days. Actually, it's even more fun for the little ones now with the advent of bumper bowling and ball ramps. Also, you have to love a sport where you can get an order of chili cheese fries while you're playing. It's a great active rainy day activity, too.

There are still a few fantastic family friendly bowling alleys in Marin and the Bay Area, so go rent some shoes, pick out your ball (that red one looks pretty cool!) and bowl a few games with the kiddos. Most of these bowling alleys also offer birthday parties for kids, as well. You remember how fun those were, right?

Country Club Bowl

88 Vivian Street, San Rafael 94901
(415) 456-4661
bowlmarin.com

Located in San Rafael, Marin's only bowling alley offers 40 lanes, automatic scoring, and plenty of bumper lanes for the little ones. On-site food is provided by Villa York Pizza and Grill, and they even have 24 beers on tap. In case that's enough, they have pool tables and an arcade, too. Several different birthday party packages are available; call (415) 456-4661 to book your lanes. Check their website for hours and pricing.

Swim With the Rolling Hills Tritons USA Swimming Team!

August 7, 2016

Tritons Swim Team Rolling Hills ClubKeep your kids' swimming going this fall on the Tritons USA Swimming team at the Rolling Hills Club! The season has just started, so now is a great time to join and see what the USA Swimming experience is all about. With a passionate and experienced coaching staff led by new Head Coach Richard Nicholls, it's a great way for kids ages 5 to 18 to take their swimming skills to the next level, learn advanced techniques, and compete.

Coach Richard brings nearly 30 years of international swim coaching experience to the Tritons, who practice at the beautiful Rolling Hills Club in Novato. With a focus on smaller groups and individualized coaching and instruction, the team utilizes new techniques and training methods to help swimmers achieve their goals. It's ideal for swimmers of all ages and levels. Swimmers can compete in USA Swimming meets that take place throughout Northern California, at every level from rookie to Junior Olympics.

Pokemon GO Camp at Mill Valley Community Center

August 6, 2016

Pokemon GO By now everyone's probably aware that Pokémon GO is the biggest thing to come to mobile devices ever. This coming week, August 8 to 12, Mill Valley Recreation is offering a Pokémon GO camp at Mill Valley Community Center. Apparently Mill Valley is home to some of the rarest, most exclusive Pokemon in the world!

Kids ages 10 to 14 can join Mill Valley Recreation's Master Trainer Staff for a week of Pokémon GO activities, instruction on how to play the game safely, friendship, swimming, and most importantly: catching them all! Camps take place from 9:30 am to 4 pm (#39548, $250) or with extended care from 8 am to 6 pm (#39549, $400).

Only a few spots are still available for these camps, so sign up now! You can register online here or download and print a registration form and fax it in or drop it by. Mill Valley Community Center is located at 180 Camino Alto in Mill Valley.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 5, 6 & 7

August 5, 2016
The Little Mermaid 142 Throckmorton Theatre
The Little Mermaid opens this Friday at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley.

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 5

  • Day Out With Thomas
    Roaring Camp Railroad, Felton
    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10:30 am–5:30 pm

    This popular family event takes place at Roaring Camp Railroads in the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can take a train ride, meet Sir Topham Hatt, and enjoy live music. Tickets: $20 advance, $24 for peak times—Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 am–2:30 pm, $24 at the gate. Tickets required for everyone aged 2 and up and include all entertainment and activities as well as a 25-minute train ride. Parking $8 per vehicle. Location: Graham Hill Road, Felton. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma County Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Friday, Saturday, and 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, $6 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. For more info, visit www.sonomacountyfair.com.
  • Children's Garden Series: Crosspulse Ensemble
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Using finger snaps, tight slaps, chest thumps, foot drags, hand rubs, and percussive dance steps, Crosspulse Ensemble performances are designed to entrance children with an international array of rhythms, instruments, and obscure musical practices. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    A fun, family-friendly way to spend your summer evenings. 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 tables on Tunstead or on Town Hall lawn. 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: Cocktail Time at the de Young. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Marinwood’s most popular event is back! Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music with Rin Tin Tiger, a delicious BBQ by Marinwood Market and a bar for the adults. Bring your picnic blanket and your appetite and kick off the weekend Marinwood-style. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Creekside Fridays Music Series
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This week: Tam Valley All Stars. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • The Little Mermaid
    142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm and Sunday, 4 pm
    Bring the entire family to see this family-friendly performance of The Little Mermaid, based on the Disney movie of the same name and featuring a talented cast of Bay Area performers. Tickets: $18 general, $14 students, $35 reserved. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 6

  • Free Saturday Morning Yoga
    Old Mill Park Amphitheater, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    Practice a modification of alignment-based anusara-inspired Hatha yoga with a combination of breathing, standing, and seated postures in front of the beautiful redwood trees. Prepare to sweat, breathe, align, and stretch. Enjoy a fun unique environment of mindfulness and acceptance while strengthening your core, balance and long muscles. All levels welcome. Bring a mat and water bottle. Location: Throckmorton and Cascade Drive. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Space Festival
    Pacheco Plaza, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Meet legendary astronauts, including Apollo 15's Al Worden and Novato's own shuttle astronaut Yvonne Cagle, see full-sized lunar module and moon buggy replicas, view the sun through telescopes, check out interactive space displays, and more at the Space Station Museum's annual Space Festival. Admission and parking are free! For more info, visit their website.
  • Head for the Headlands Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    The Marin Headlands will celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service with a special weekend of talks, exhibits, tours and activities. Food trucks and special events all day. Come join in the celebration! For more info, visit their website.
  • Silhouette Artist Karl Johnson
    Pottery Barn Kids, Corte Madera

    Saturday, 10 am–6 pm
    Third-generation silhouette artist Karl Johnson will be at Pottery Barn Kids in Corte Madera on August 6 to create hand-cut silhouettes. Each one is cut freehand and takes just minutes. All ages are welcome including the squirmy ones! Please reserve your appointment here. Location: The Village Corte Madera, 1600 Redwood Hightway, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • ZOOlympics
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The Summer Games have kicked off in Rio and SF Zoo is joining in the fun by hosting its own “ZOOlympics”! Throughout the Zoo, guests will find ten fun facts posted with information about the natural talents animal possess. Everyone is encouraged to learn about wildlife and test their own skills by participating in a physical activity to see how they measure up. All “scores” can be recorded in a provided booklet. Some of the “events” include breath holding, high jump and longest wing span. See the schedule here. Regular Zoo Admission applies. For more info, visit their website
  • Olympic Crafts and Games
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 11 am–noon

    Join us as we celebrate the start of the Summer Olympics library-style with crafts, games and fun for all! For families of all ages and abilities. Free. Location: 1720 Novato Blvd., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Music Festival
    Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds
    Friday, 6:45–9 pm & Saturday, 12:15–9 pm

    This family friendly festival will feature 15 fantastic bands on three stages, and a kids' area! Tickets: $35 general Friday, $40 general Saturday, $20 students 13–17, and free for kids 12 and under. Proceeds go to support music programs in all Petaluma area public schools! For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Night: Pirates
    Mill Valley Aquatics
    Saturday, 5–7 pm
    Come join in the summer fun and get your swimmin' groove on. Family fun night will include: swimming, games, music, raffle, face painting, costume contest, a kid-friendly movie, and more. Cost: $10 for the entire family. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bat Night
    Olompali State Historic Park, Novato
    Saturday, 6–9 pm

    The popular evening of batty activities and live bats returns. Perfect for the entire family. There will be bat snacks, bat mask decorating, and the chance to meet live bats. Bring a flashlight and chair or blanket to sit on while observing bats. Come explore and enjoy a family evening at this park. For more info, call (707) 762-9715 or visit their website.
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