Fall Family Fun Runs in Marin and the Bay Area

September 10, 2016

Marin Turkey Trot
Work up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner at the Marin Turkey Trot on November 24.

Running is a fantastic way for the whole family to get outside, get fit together, and enjoy the beauty of the Bay Area. Families have plenty of opportunities to race together in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area this fall, from family fun runs and walks to cross-country half-marathons! There's something for every fitness and experience level.

September

Clo-Cow Half Marathon

Sunday, September 18
Downtown Petaluma

The 6th running of the Clo-Cow Half Marathon & 5K is set for September 18, 2016 in Historic Downtown Petaluma. This beautiful half-marathon course takes you through rural Sonoma County farm country, over rolling hills where you'll be cheered on by sheep, horses, and of course cows! The trip out there is a challenging one, but the inclines just make the views even more rewarding! Find event details and registration here.

October

Marin Color 5K

Saturday, October 1
Indian Valley College, Novato
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. Find event details and registration here.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 9, 10 & 11

September 9, 2016

Our go-to spot for family hikes and outdoor excurisions in Marin is the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes National Seashore.

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, September 9

  • Breakfast with Enzo
    Sports Basement, San Francisco Presidio
    Friday, 10 & 11 am
    Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, jew's harp, enzotar, appalachian dulcimer, slide flute, percussion and more. He has been performing and recording professionally for over fifteen years, the last ten of which he has spent in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $15 for one child & $10 per each additional child siblings under 7 months free. Lots of free parking too. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    The popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. 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: Everything and Nothing. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parents' Night Out
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, 5–10 pm

    Drop off the kids and enjoy a night out! While you relax, the kids will be having fun with the Marinwood staff. Games, park time, arts and crafts, dinner and a movie at the end of the night! Activities include a toy room, dodgeball or just hanging out. Cost: $23 per child. Register here. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Stars & Blankets Movie Night
    Nicasio Square Ball Field
    Friday, 6:30 pm

    Bring the family for a picnic and movie at Nicasio Square Ball Field. Enjoy the movie School of Rock on the big screen. Cost: $20 donation per family or $5 per person. There will be a snack shack open with hot dogs, popcorn, drinks and more. Make sure to bring your picnic blankets. Call (415) 237-3218 with questions. For more info, visit their Facebook page.

Saturday, September 10

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

    Shop for great local food and have fun at Marin Country Mart. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm adjacent to the farmer's market. Arts and crafts and face painting for kids from 9 am–2 pm and kid's entertainment from 9:30–10:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Program: Young Naturalists
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    Learn to identify some key California native plants and create your own field guide journal. This engaging walk and hands-on workshop is perfect for children ages 6 and up and their accompanying adults. Take what you learned on your next hike or outdoor adventure! Children must be accompanied by a paid adult chaperone. Wear appropriate clothes for dirt paths and sitting on the ground.  $15, $10 members. Register online, by calling (510) 664-9841, or by emailing gardenprograms@berkeley.edu. For more info, visit their website.
  • Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival
    Johnson's Beach, Guerneville
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    The Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival returns to Johnson's Beach in Guerneville with a lineup including Keb Mo', Sheila E., Chaka Khan, and Jonny Lang. Enjoy an international food court and water activities, too. Kids tickets available, and ages 5 and under are admitted free. For more info, visit their website.
  • A Year With Frog & Toad
    The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Downtown Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
    The Tony Award-nominated musical, based on Arnold Lobel's beloved stories, is back in Berkeley at a new venue! Come celebrate friendship in glorious song, as our heroes, Frog and Toad, hop through a season of comic adventures with their animal friends. Recommended for age 3 and up. This performance runs 65 minutes with no intermission. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2025 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: All Hands on Deck for Cute Crustaceans
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–6 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square (across from the Presidio Officers' Club), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pixie Park Open House
    Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon

    Open Houses are a great way to learn about the history of Pixie Park and what it means to belong to this co-op playground. The new member open house is conducted in a casual environment where you can speak to a board member about the benefits and responsibilities of being a Pixie family, as well as ask questions and meet other prospective families. After learning about the park, interested families can sign-up and receive their key. Location: 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross. For more info, visit their website.
  • Cartoonist: Svetlana Chmakova
    Charles Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 1–3 pm

    Meet, watch, and talk to internationally published, award-winning manga author Svetlana Chmakova. Chmakova was recently nominated for an Eisner award for her graphic novel, Awkward, which has been honored as one of the Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2015 by School Library Journal as well as one of the Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens 2016 by YALSA. Museum admisson applies. Location: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival 2016
    San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, noon–5 pm

    Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is excited to invite you to the annual, two-day chocolate celebration that has transformed into a true San Francisco staple. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival hosts over 50 vendors, culinary demos by top dessert professionals, a silent auction, and the popular Chocolate & Wine Pavilion. The best part? 100% of the profits from this event are donated to San Francisco non-profit, Project Open Hand. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China
    Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
    Saturday, 2 pm & 8 pm

    Among its country's most celebrated troupes, the Shanghai Acrobats of the People's Republic of China dazzle with a vivid new spectacle that celebrates their colorful, kinetic hometown. Expect daring stunts like giant trampoline somersaults, hoop-diving dragons, aerial silk ribbon dances, juggling, and a signature gravity-defying jumping routine that has earned the acrobats a Guinness World Record. Family friendly; ages 16 and under half price! Tickets starting at $30. Purchase tickets he e.
  • Free Shakespeare in the Park: The Winter's Tale
    Presidio, San Francisco
    Saturday, 2–4 pm
    Bring a picnic and your family to the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of The Winter's Tale featuring a cast of the Bay Area's best actors, including six of SF Shakes' Resident Artists. Location: Presidio’s Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Easy Gravenstein Apple Dumplings

September 9, 2016

Apple dumplings

With all the apple picking we do in the late summer and fall, I find myself looking for apple related recipes of all kinds. This is one of my family's favorites: old fashioned apple dumplings. They're basically peeled and cored whole apples stuffed with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, wrapped in pie dough, and drizzled with a syrup that turns into a gooey caramel in the oven. This is a perfect dessert for upcoming cool fall evenings, and it makes the house smell wonderful when it bakes.

You can make these using your own favorite pie dough recipe, but I usually opt to save some time and effort and use the frozen pie crusts from Trader Joe's. They're really very good and as far as I can tell are indistinguishable from homemade!

Family Fun Under the Redwoods at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

September 8, 2016

Blue Fairy at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

On September 17 and 18, artists from around the country will gather beneath the redwoods at historic Old Mill Park for the 60th annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. This popular family-friendly festival features the work of over 140 artists, great live music, and kids' entertainment ranging from puppet shows and magic to sing-alongs and storytelling. It all makes for a magical weekend under the trees!

The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Family entertainment, emceed by the Blue Fairy, includes performances by the Fratello Marionettes; magic with Brian Scott and the Wizard of Ahs; storytelling by Scott the Storyteller; drumming with Mike; and music by Singers Marin, Dave Fromer, Octopretzel and the PAAM singers. Performers on the main music stage include Aaron Redner, Chelle's Juke Joint, Yacht Club of Paris, Faust & Fox, and Deep Blue Jam. Check their website for a complete entertainment schedule.

Southern Marin Mothers' Club Community Open House

September 6, 2016

SMMC Open HouseAre you a parent of young children in Marin? Then check out the first ever Southern Marin Mother's Club (SMMC) Community Open House at Larkspur's Piper Park this Sunday, September 11 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Learn more about the SMMC and enjoy Music with Megan, a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, food and drinks, and a chance to meet fellow parents and new friends, and of course learn about the perks of being an SMMC member.

The SMMC Community Open House is a free event, but RSVPs are appreciated. Both SMMC members and non-members are welcome, as are parents from throughout Marin County (not just southern Marin). Reserve your spot online via Eventbrite. Piper Park is located at 250 Doherty Drive in Larkspur.

Get Ready for the Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

September 5, 2016

Goblin JamboreeCome get a jump on Halloween at the 30th annual Goblin Jamboree fundraiser at the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Bring your little goblins to this year’s spooky family event on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16 from 10 am to 4 pm. Come in costume and explore the Bay Area Discovery Museum transformed into a haunted Halloween wonderland complete with games, attractions and live entertainment.

Ride a train or real ponies, try your hand at Boo Bowling, make your way through a hay maze, play with glow-in-the-dark trains in the Bay Hall, and and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment. This year's event will feature live musical performances from the Hipwaders, Jelly Jame Time, and Asheba. New this year is a spooky haunted house in the Fab Lab. This event is the perfect Halloween party for kids ages 6 months to 10 years.

Outdoor Outings for Kids: Bear Valley Visitor Center in Point Reyes

September 4, 2016

Bear Valley Visitor Center Point Reyes National Seashore

Our go-to spot for family hikes and outdoor excurisions in Marin is the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes National Seashore. Home to the park's main visitor center and headquarters, it's a wonderful place for kids and adults alike to learn about nature and local history and explore the outdoors. It has so much to offer: picnics, hikes, views, and wildlife.

The visitor center itself is always our first stop. With interesting dioramas and displays about the wildlife around Point Reyes, free audio-visual programs, and an information desk manned by helpful rangers and volunteers, the visitor center is a great place to learn about Point Reyes and its amazing natural history. You can also learn about the human history of the area, too, through exhibits on the Miwok Indians who once inhabited Point Reyes, the visit of English seafarer Sir Francis Drake in the 16th century (look for the cool cutaway model of Drake's ship The Golden Hinde in the center's auditorium), and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

Marin Family-Friendly Events for Labor Day Weekend

September 2, 2016

Sausalito Art FestivalThe Annual Sausalito Art Festival takes place this weekend at Marinship Park.

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this Labor Day weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, September 2

 
  • Miss Kitty Sing-along
    San Rafael Library Outdoor Lawn
    Friday, 10:30–11:15 am
    Join Marin County’s favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the San Rafael Public. Location: 1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue). For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    The popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. 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: The Long Horizon. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Bethanie Murguia
    Diesel Bookstore, Larkspur Landing

    Friday, 6 pm
    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author/illustrator Bethanie Murguia will be here to read you a bedtime story. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies. Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! is the perfect book for all the princesses, fairies, and ballerinas in your life! Location: Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus
    SAP Center, San Jose
    Friday, 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am, 3 pm & 7 pm; Sunday, 1 & 5 pm; Monday, 11:30 am
    Prepare to blast off on an intergalactic adventure for space-age family fun! Launch into the future with Out Of This World. Children Of All Ages can take the helm to join the Circus Space Fleet on a heroic quest of good versus evil that will let imaginations run wild with unexpected surprises and thrills at every turn. Your entire family will be amazed by this cosmic voyage as you discover the wonders of gravity-defying acrobats, orbital aerialists, majestic animals, fearless daredevils and humorous clowns. Location: 525 West Santa Clara, San Jose. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 3

  • 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 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. The will also be a children's book Launch Party for the picture book "Leo the Ghost Story" at 10:30 am under the tent at the farmers market. For more info, visit their website.
  • Closing Weekend for Magic Treehouse
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    Based on the best-selling children’s book series written by Mary Pope Osborne and published by Random House, the Magic Tree House traveling exhibit allows children to branch out through history via a magical, time-traveling tree house. Children explore history through immersive environments, period costumes, props, and more than 30 hands-on learning experiences. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sausalito Art Festival
    Marinship Park, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–7 pm and Monday, 10 am–5 pm
    The country’s best art and most exciting artists, a top-name music line-up, gourmet food, and fine wines and premium beers all bring more than 30,000 art lovers together in an electrifying atmosphere of creativity, fun, discovery, and magic every Labor Day Weekend. A children and families area features hands-on activities and entertainment for all ages, including kids' music by Tim Cain. Tickets: $25 for general, $20 seniors 62+, $5 ages 6–12, free for children under 6. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes: Fall Baking for Kids
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Calling all bakers! Fall is the perfect time to fill your house with the irresistible aroma of cupcakes, cookies and muffins baking in the oven. Join us and learn the basics of baking as we whip up some yummy sweet treats.  $10 per child, benefits No Kid Hungry. For ages 8+. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • 2016 Aloha Poly Fest
    Golden Gate Park, San Franicsco
    Saturday, 11 am–6 pm

    Bring the entire family for some great entertainment and fun activities at this free admisson and parking event and learn about Polynesian islands in the Pacific Ocean through cultural dances, songs, crafts, merchandise and more. Location: County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Keeping It Real with Harbor Seals
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–6 pm
    Did you know Pacific Harbor Seals live near the Presidio all year long? Come make your own Pacific Harbor Seal with recycled materials and learn how you can protect them and their habitat.  Featuring different crafts every weekend! Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square (across from the Presidio Officers' Club), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Curtain Theatre: The Comedy of Errors
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Saturday–Monday, 2 pm

    A mixture of mistaken identity, glorious romance, and families reunited, the show is perfect for a summer afternoon in the redwoods listening to some of the most beautiful words ever written!? Free. Location: 17 Cascade Way, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

September Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

September 2, 2016

Parents Place 2-year-old Parents 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 September.

Terrific Toddlers Part 1: Who Are They and How to Best Guide Them (1–3 years)

Wednesday, September 7, 7–9 pm
They are wild and wonderful, and understanding the developmental needs and challenges of your toddler will support you to stay sane during this lively and challenging time. We will explore appropriate expectations based on developmental needs. Discussion includes setting limits, guidance strategies, developing social skills, and more. (Part 1 of 2, participation in both is encouraged but not required). With Bonnie Romanow, BA, Childhood Development Specialist. $45; $75 for two parenting partners. Receive a discount when you register for both Part 1 and 2! Register here.

Is That Me Yelling? (all ages)

Wednesday, September 14, 7–9 pm
Want to have more harmony at home and less yelling? Most parents agree that yelling isn't beneficial, but many report that they just don't know what to do when their children misbehave. Learn to create a plan-and more-to address the issues that trigger yelling. One recent participant shared, "Rona's class goes beyond the standard suggestions of deep breaths and removing yourself from the room. She helped me think about the negative thought patterns I get caught in that fuel my yelling." With Rona Renner, RN, expert parent educator, temperament counselor, and author of the book, Is That Me Yelling? $45. Register here.

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