Indoor Drop-in Activities for the Little Ones for Marin & Beyond

October 3, 2016

Indoor playLooking for fun indoor play spaces for the little ones? There are several places to take the kids to get them out of the house and burn off all that extra energy, especially on a cold or rainy day. Here are a few ideas for fun indoor drop-in activities in Marin County and beyond:


  • Habitot Children's Museum
    2065 Kittredge Street
    (510) 647-1111

    Discovery Museum for young children, toddlers and infants. Fun activities, hands on exhibits, arts & crafts, fun classes, music and much more. Cost: $10.00 per child (free under 12 mo.) and $10.00 per adult For more info, visit their website.

Raising Capable Kids: A Seminar for Pro-Active Parents

October 3, 2016

Executive function kids

Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Innovative Learning Services.

Expert Tips to Grow Executive Function Skills at Home

"The single greatest predictor of academic success is executive function. It even trumps IQ."
—John Medina, Brain Rules

Here’s what parents can do about it.  

Executive function skills are high-level mental processes that allow us to regulate behavior over time in order to achieve long-term goals.  Nurturing these skills from a young age can have a bigger impact on your child’s education and long-term well-being than other factors - including IQ, school choice, or delaying kindergarten.  Yes, it’s that important.

New Video Speaker Series from Speak to Me Begins This Fall

October 3, 2016

Speak to Me This fall, Speak to Me, Marin's inspiring speaking series for women, launches its new Video Speaker Series. Beginning October 17, you can access each presentation for free for a full 48 hours. You can also purchase each video event for on-demand access for $45.

This October, the series focus is on breast cancer and our current political climate, with Leah Kelley, MD, breast and gynecological surgeon at Marin General Hospital and expert in breast cancer and gynecological care; and Rebecca Costa, sociobiologist, futurist, nationally syndicated radio host, and author of The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction.

October 17: Breast Cancer in Marin: The Myths, the Facts, and the Science
Learn how to separate fact from fiction about the risks of breast cancer and how you can play an active role in your health. Plus hear about incidence rates in Marin and get answers to questions on every women’s mind about their breast health. RSVP

Meet the Midwives of Marin on Monday, October 3

October 2, 2016

Midwives of MarinMoms-to-be planning to deliver their babies at Marin General Hospital can take advantage of the hospital's and Prima Medical Group's Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) for prenatal, labor and delivery, and postnatal care. A midwife is a trained professional with special expertise in pregnancy and delivery in low-risk, healthy women. The midwives at Marin General Hospital are all registered nurses with a MA in nursing or public health and are certified through the American College of Nurse-Midwives, which works in conjunction with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Marin General Hospital is in fact the only hospital in Marin or San Francisco that offers midwife services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you're interested, the hospital holds a series of one-hour informational meetings throughout the year. Midwives will share their philosophies and approaches, and review the services available when you choose to deliver your baby at Marin General Hospital.

An optional tour of Marin General Hospital Birth Center follows each meeting. Partners, family, and friends are of course welcome. Light snacks will be served. No fee or registration required. The last Meet the Midwives event of 2016 takes place Monday, October 3, from 7:15 to 8:15 pm.

Pumpkin Muffins: A Tasty Fall Treat

October 2, 2016

Pumpkin Muffins Having a mini muffin pan has changed my life. No really, it has—not in a big way, but it's inspired us to experiment with different muffin recipes. A healthy muffin makes a great breakfast treat, lunch box snack, playgroup munchie, or Halloween party goodie. One of our favorite muffins to make in the fall (and year-round, even), are pumpkin muffins. They're delicious, healthy (pumpkins have lots of fiber, beta carotene, and protein), and easy to make. Sometimes we just grab a box of Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix, but more often than not, we make them from scratch. They make the house smell great when they're baking, too.

Experience Life on the Farm at McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

October 2, 2016

McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

McClelland's Dairy is a family-run, certified organic dairy farm located just west of Petaluma, and their annual Halloween pumpkin patch just keeps getting better and better every year. McClelland's offers a lot of fun for families, especially if you are looking for a genuine farm experience. If you haven't been there yet, it's definitley worth putting on your fall family itinerary. Attractions and activities here range from a farm animal petting zoo and into the dairy's milking barn to a giant slide and an air-powered pumpkin cannon. You can hang out here and play all day!

The entrance to McClelland's can sneak up on you a little, so keep an eye out for their signs as you head down Bodega Road into the Two Rock area west of Petaluma. Turn into the dirt driveway and parking it to your immediate right. On your left you'll see their big pumpkin patch, where you're welcome to go pick that perfect Halloween pumpkin off the vine. All pumpkins here are organically grown.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for September 30, October 1 & 2

September 30, 2016

Pumpkin Patch Party Nicasio Valley Farms

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.

Most Halloween pumpkin patches in Marin and Sonoma counties are now open—see our complete list here.

Friday, September 30

  • Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
    Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
    Friday 10:30 am–7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–7 pm
    This free annual music festival of bluegrass, old time, country, and more, founded by the late Warren Hellman, takes place in Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow and Marx and Lindley Meadows. This year's headliners include Dry Branch Fire Squad, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, and Cyndi Lauper. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Fun Days
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! Location: 931 C St., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Design Paper Circuits
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 4–5 pm

    Paper Circuitry Friday, for grades 5 and up. Explore design and learn how to run electric current through a piece of paper. Call (415) 258-4656 to sign-up. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main: Firefighter's Diamond Jubilee
    Downtown Tibruon
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Bring the entire family for a night of fun. The Tiburon Fire Protection District celebrates its Diamond Jubilee year with a dance party extravaganza! Wonder Bread 5 will have us laughing, singing and dancing in the street as the fire district celebrates 75 years of exceptional service. Great activities for kids, including a whale scavenger hunt, will be offered. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, October 1

  • Museums on Us Free Day
    Various Museums
    Saturday & Sunday

    Bank of America cardholders can visit the following Bay Area museums for free! Enjoy the Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor, and the Chabot Space and Science Center. Photo ID and a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card must be presented. For more information, visit their website.
  • Vintage Car Races
    Sonoma Raceway

    Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 am–5:30 am
    Vintage race cars from the '50s through the '70s compete at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. Visit the paddock to look at cars and talk to the drivers. It's like a museum on wheels! Adults $12 advance $25 day-of, children free. Sonoma Raceway is located at Highway 37 and 121 between Sonoma and Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also ofers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Free parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • 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.
  • Marin Color 5K
    Indian Valley College, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am

    A 5K walk, run, hop, skip, leap, mosey on a designated route. Along the way, participants go through stations where they are sprayed with colored powder. After the 5K, everyone will gather for a fun festival.  Rotary Club of Ignacio event to benefit the Rotary Club of Ignacio Foundation and other charitable organizations. Open to all ages; ages 6 & up must be registered. The 5K starts at 10 am. Packet pickup begins at 8 am. Register here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Re:Make 2016
    Fort Mason Festival Pavillion, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
    Bring your family and friends to the Re:Make festival. Thousands will come out to try their hand at tons of free DIY projects and will stay to shop awesome handmade goods from over 100 makers. Grab a bite to eat at the food trucks, or dance the day away to top tracks mixed by our in-house DJ. All ages welcome. Come to learn, make, play and explore! Free, but an RSVP is required. Location: Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Yoga in the Park
    McNear's Beach, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–2 pm
    Begin with service projects that will focus on beach clean-up, landscape maintenance, and habitat restoration, then switch gears at noon and enjoy a 45-minute yoga class on a flat grassy area beside the bay. The class will be led by professional yoga teacher Daniel Rauck and will be suitable for all ages and ability levels. A free, healthy lunch will be provided at 1 pm. All skill levels are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. All ages are welcome; anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Park entrance fee is waived. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pumpkin Patch Harvest Faire
    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Opening weekend at the Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch will feature the first-ever Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival, featuring a variety of local artists and artisans with hand made arts and cradfts, wearables, homemade preserves, candles, and soaps, and of course all the usual pumpkin patch fun and festivities. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Event website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, and u-pick squash, as well as a farm store and a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. Read our review here.
  • Family Fun Day: San Francisco Maritime Park
    San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am
    Get active along with your whole family at our maritime-themed game day. We will play team-building games such as Treasure Hunt, Walk the Plank, Cannonball Toss, and Swab the Decks! Come prepared to get a little wet, get your body moving, and have fun! Kids are invited to stay after the program and earn their Junior Ranger badge! Free. Location: 900 Beach Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma County Harvest Fair
    Santa Rosa
    Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 am–5 pm
    Experience the best of Wine Country at the 41st annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair in Santa Rosa. Activities include: wine tasting, kids grape stomp on Sunday for ages 13 and under, live music, family activiities and more. Gate admission is $5, and tasting tickets range from $25-$55. Location: 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Headlands Fall Art Adventure
    Point Bonita YMCA, Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11 am–12:30 pm

    Put your creative cap on for a Marin Headlands adventure in art! We will look at the work of Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration, and then create our own ephemeral nature art. Working individually or as a group, we'll gather natural objects around the Headlands or on the beach to create amazing sculptures. We will examine the natural wonders of our coastline while exploring our inner artists! Free event. Join us after the event for an option delicious and nutritious lunch for $10/adults, $5/youth. Location: 981 Fort Barry, Marin Headlands in Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family History Event: Fandango
    Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park
    Saturday, noon–4 pm

    Enjoy the rancho with the Alta California Dance Company as they teach and perform dances of the 1840s. Games, refreshments, dance lessons, and more. For all ages. Admission: $3 for 17 and older, $2 for ages 6–16. No dogs please. Location: 3325 Adobe Road, Petaluma. For more info, call (707) 762-4871 or visit their website.

October Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

September 30, 2016

Parents Place 2-year-oldParents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. They offer a wide variety of programs and classes for parents and children throughout the year. Here are a few of the classes they are offering for the month of October.

New Mom's Tea (pre-crawling babies)

Wednesday, October 19, 10:30 am–noon
Join us for a free New Moms' Tea for an opportunity to discuss the joys and challenges of becoming a parent and to meet other new moms. We will discuss your favorite parental finds (i.e., baby gear, stroller friendly hikes, childcare options) as well as share about local resources supporting young families. Babies welcome. With Rebecca Breen, LCSW. Free, but preregistration required. Register here.

Visit a Museum for Free in October

September 29, 2016

Visit a Bay Area Museum for freeDid you know you can visit most of the Bay Area's major museums and cultural attractions for free every month? Just about all museums have one day a month set aside as a free day. They all aren't on the same day, too, so if you plan it right you can take in several museum outings without having to pay a thing.

Note that most museums charge for admission to special exhibitions and usually only the special exhibition fee is charged on free days; see details with each museum listing below.

Also, groups are generally not admitted on free days; check with each museum for their free day group policy.

Bank of America Museums on Us—October 1 & 2

Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders get free general admission on the first full weekend of every month. Present your card and a photo ID for admission (one free general admission per cardholder). Get full details here. Participating museums include:

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