Get Ready for Summertime on Main in Tiburon!

July 14, 2015

Summertime on Main TiburonThis summer, the Town of Tiburon is launching Summertime on Main, a new pilot series of weekday events on Main Street to both encourage residents and visitors to come enjoy the downtown. Starting on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 and taking place on four consecutive Wednesdays through August 12, Main Street will become a pedestrian-only zone from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm with children’s entertainment, live music for kids and adults, sidewalk sales and the opportunity to wine and dine al fresco on the street.

Participating merchants on Tiburon's Main Street and Historic Ark Row will offer special discounts, restaurants will serve meals at outdoor tables and there will be various activities to keep the kids happily engaged while parents enjoy themselves. Up to two hours of validated parking will be available, too.

The inaugural Summertime on Main theme for July 22 is “Main Street Musical", with a performance for kids from the princesses and princes of Marin's Once Upon a Song and music from the Rusty Strings Express for grownups. Upcoming performers include magician Heather Rogers, children's peformer Tim Cain, and live music and hula from Aloha Polynesia.

The Insider's Guide to Visiting Tiburon for Families

July 13, 2015


Tiburon, that "nearly perfect" Marin town on the end of its namesake peninsula, is a fantastic place for families to visit. Tiburon has long been a favorite of locals and tourists, and boasts amazing views of San Francisco, plenty of boutiques, shops, and restaurants, and lots for everyone to see and do. So pack up the kiddos this summer and head out to Tiburon for a day of fun!

You'll probably want to head straight for downtown Tiburon. We love to walk along the path in Shoreline park and watch the sailboats as they glide by on San Francisco Bay. Along the way, you'll find a fun and interesting museum that's perfect for kids, as well as grassy areas that are ideal for a picnic or just relaxing.

All Aboard for a Day Out With Thomas!

July 12, 2015

Day Out With Thomas at Roaring Camp Railroads.Is your child a Thomas the Tank Engine fanatic? If so, your chance to experience all things Thomas & Friends and even take a ride on a train drawn by Thomas the Tank Engine himself is coming this summer! Tickets are on sale now for Day Out With Thomas: The Celebration Tour 2015, which takes place over two weekends on July 24–26 and August 1–2 at Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

You can take a train ride, meet Sir Topham Hatt, enjoy live music, play in a bounce house, take in some storytelling, get a (temporary) Thomas & Friends tattoo, and even watch videos. There's something for everyone. Of course there are also plenty of ways available to separate you from your cash, with just about every conceivable Thomas & Friends product available for sale.

Keep Cool with Frozen Watermelon Pops

July 11, 2015

When the temperature rises in the summer, we like to make these frozen watermelon pops to help beat the heat. They're easy to make, delicious, healthy (they're all fruit, after all), and fun to eat on a hot summer day.

You don't need much to make these, just the watermelon, a little sugar (if needed), a blender or food processor, and ice pop molds. You can use other fruits to make these, too—fresh strawberries are particularly good—but the classic summer flavor of watermelon just seems to be perfect for a frozen treat like this.

The kids like to pitch in and help make these, too, although it can be hard for them to wait while the pops firm up in the freezer. Needless to say, grownups may want to take charge of the blending, for safety's sake.


  • Watermelon
  • Sugar to taste (optional)
  • Ice pop molds

Marin Family Weekend Fun for July 10, 11 & 12

July 10, 2015

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 10

  • Free Children's Garden Series: Pi Clowns
    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. Silliness is very serious business for the Pi Clowns. Blending mime, theater, acrobatics, juggling, and improvisation, the Pi Clowns deliver delightful and original clown vignettes. This show will take place on the Esplanade. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Bubble Lady
    Civic Center Library, San Rafael
    Friday, 2–3 pm

    Rebecca Niles returns for an hour of soapy bubbly fun. Get ready to be amazed! For ages 2 and up. Location: 3501 Civic Center Drive # 427. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Clare
    diesel, A Bookstore, Larkspur
    Friday, 6 pm

    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore. It's Pajama story time with our very own childrens' bookseller, Clare! Get cozy in front of the fireplace, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies, and then head home for bed. Free. For ages 4–8. Location: Marin Country Mart, Larkspur. For more info, 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, Jerry Hannan will be performing electrifying blues. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Join us this summer for live music, food, and fun for the entire family at Marinwood Park! Enjoy 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.

Saturday, July 11

  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and live music from 11 am–12:30 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Off-Site Adventures: Nature Hike
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 10:30–11:30 am
    Experience new parts of Fort Baker in these family adventures designed to share a little bit of history and natural wonder. Great for all ages, but please leave the stroller in the car. Options for 30 minutes or the full hour; trips include Horseshoe Cove, the Parade Grounds, the Batteries, and other local trails. Museum admission applies; meet at the Cafe. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Salt is an amazing way to bring out the flavors in everything you cook. Learn you how to cook on a salt plate, from chicken and corn quesadillas to chocolate chip cookies, and how to use different flavored salts on your favorite foods, from popcorn to veggies skewers. Suitable for ages 8–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Maker Saturdays
    Bon Air Center, Greenbrae
    Saturday, noon–3 pm

    Every Saturday, Bon Air Center and Marin Maker Mobile host a free weekly 3-hour event featuring activities for makers of all ages. Come make, share and learn with hands-on activities where you can make a duct-tape wallet or purse, a windsock, or maybe even learn to solder. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Movie Matinee: James and the Giant Peach
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 2–4 pm

    Come join us for an afternoon of fun and entertainment for the whole family! This Saturday: James and the Giant Peach. For families of all ages. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Flynn Creek Circus Under the Big Top
    Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 3 & 7 pm and Sunday, 1:30 & 4 pm
    Flynn Creek Circus' acrobats, aerialists, equilibrists and more light up the stage in their charming vintage tent this summer. Perfect for all ages. Come see top quality circus acts from all over the world accomplish amazing stunts. Full of laughs, drama and truly jaw dropping skill, this is a show that everyone can enjoy! Purchase tickets here. Location: 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Concert on the Green: The T-Sisters
    Novato City Green
    Saturday, 5–7 pm
    Join Novato ALIVE on Saturday for the first of three free concerts happening this summer on the City Green in downtown Novato! This first concert features the T-Sisters, a vocally driven contemporary folk band from Oakland. Finnegan's Marin will be selling beverages on-site. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the green. Location: Sherman Avenue near Novato City Hall. For more info, visit their website.
  • Beatles in the Park Tribute Concert
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Saturday, 6–9 pm

    The San Anselmo Arts Commission hosts their annual Beatles Night. Musical direction by Joe Bagale and the Fantastic Fabulous. Doors open at 4 pm. The event includes a live music sing-along. Tickets are available at Creek Park the day of the event. Cost: $15 adults, $5 kids 12 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Summer Nights: Hot Buttered Rum
    Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, 7–10 pm

    Bring a picnic, your blanket, low-backed lawn chairs, and dancing shoes—there's fun for the whole family! Food, beer, wine, soft drinks, and snacks will be available for purchase, and there's a playground available for supervised play and the art room will be open for coloring fun. This Saturday features Hot Buttered Rum, with food by Big Jim's BBQ and Kid Zone sponsored by DrawBridge. Cost: $20 members $23 general public advance, $28 at the door; kids 17 and under free. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Fairfax Theatre Company: Willam à La Shakespeare
    Fairfax Pavilion
    Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 7:30 pm
    Fairfax Theatre Company presents iconic scenes from Shakespeare's plays, including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, and A Comedy of Errors. Doors open at 7:30 pm; curtain at 8 pm. Tickets: $15 adults, $10 seniors and students. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: Bedknobs & Broomsticks (G)
    Contrati Ball Field, Fairfax
    Saturday, 8 pm

    Kick off the Fairfax Festival with a free outdoor screening of Bedknobs & Broomsticks (G) in Fairfax's Contrati Field. Show time is 8 pm, but arrive an hour early for music, a raffle, and a cartoon. Bring your picnic, blankets, and low-backed lawn chairs. Popcorn, candy, and sodas available for sale. For more information, visit their website.

Summer Craft for Kids: Make a Mini Terrarium

July 9, 2015

TerrariumsThis fun and easy craft is a perfect summer activity. My kids had a blast creating their own miniature gardens. It's fun to create your own world in a glass container and decorate it with found materials. This project is great for all ages, with adult supervision, of course.

The creative possibilities for this project are endless—make a fairy garden, a prehistoric forest, a jungle, or just let your imagination run wild. You can pick up plants suitable for a terrarium at your local garden store. Mosses, succulents, and air plants are all great candidates for a terrarium.

Decorate your terrarium with interesting rocks and plastic animals, dinosaurs, or figures—whatever you have on hand. Keep it moist with spray bottle filled with water. You can put a cover on your terrarium if you want, but make sure to poke holes in the lid first to let air circulate.

To make your terrariums you'll need:

Wise College Shoppers Finish Less Poor

July 9, 2015

Tanya SteinhoferMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin mom and financial planner Tanya Steinhofer, CFA,CFP®.

Although my kids are still young, I am starting to learn more about the college selection process to help some of my financial planning clients with older kids. It is a highly complicated and seemingly mysterious process, but doesn’t need to be frustrating. The best quote I’ve read so far regarding college pricing is that “Colleges are priced like airlines – everyone pays a different price”. If you can understand the fact that colleges are run like profit-maximizing businesses, then it makes it much easier to comparison shop and become a smart college shopper.

Some of the best tips I’ve learned so far include:

  1. Start early. The earlier you start researching colleges and their costs, the more likely you’ll be to find the best fit for your child at the most reasonable price. You want to influence your child’s direction before they get their heart set on one or two schools.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Tennessee Valley Trail

July 7, 2015

Tennessee ValleyTennessee Valley near Mill Valley is one of the most popular hiking and outdoor recreation spots in all of Marin County, and for good reason—it has a combination of easy walks, dramatic views, and a spectacular beach at the end of the trail. Tennessee Valley Trail, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is a perfect hike for families, and can be easily managed with an offroad-capable stroller. With few hills, the 3.4-mile round trip hike out to the beach at Tennessee Cove and back is easy for hikers (and mountain bikers, too) of all ages.

Tennessee Valley Trail is also quit popular with equestrians. Miwok Livery Stables is actually located on-site, so expect to see horses pretty often.

Splash, Slide, and Swim at the Hamilton Community Pool in Novato

July 7, 2015

Hamilton Community Pool NovatoIt's summer vacation, the weather's warm, and almost everyone loves going to the pool for a day of splashing and swimming in the sun. One of my family's favorite Marin public pools is the one in Novato's Hamilton neighborhood.

My kids love Hamilton Community Pool especially for the shallow kids' pool with its play structure, water slide, and water sprayers. It's a blast for kids of all ages. There's also a larger more traditional pool for more serious swimming and water play.

The remodeled and renovated Hamilton Community Pool opened in 2010 after a long construction process. We used to go to the old pool, which was left over from the old air force base and dated from the 1930s. The new pool and the surrounding facilities are a real improvement on the somewhat dilapidated old ones. The whole area is clean, modern, well kept up, and definitely worth a visit.

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