April Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

March 29, 2015

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 April.

Webinar: Raising Your Only Child (parents of children of any age)

Parents of only children often worry if their child can be happy and well-adjusted without siblings. During this webinar, we will discuss the many myths about only children and explore the research on how only children develop. We will learn strategies which help to avoid spoiling your child, and which help to foster independence and positive social relationships. We will also explore ways to create a balanced family triad in which each family member feels important and complete. With Karen Friedland-Brown, MA. Tuesday, March 31, noon–1 pm. $10. Register here.

Get Your Tickets Now for This Year's Mountain Play: Peter Pan!

March 29, 2015

Mountain Play Peter Pan Everyone in my family is looking forward to this year's Mountain Play: Peter Pan! Performances of this production of J.M. Barrie's timeless tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up, pirates, the Lost Boys, and the Darling children take place at 2 pm in Mt. Tam's Cushing Memorial Amphitheater on May 24 and 31, and June 7, 13, 14, and 21. The cast includes Melissa WolfKlain at Peter Pan, Jeff Wiesen as Captain Hook/Mr. Darling, Erin Ashe as Wendy Darling, and David Yen as Mr. Smee. Come be a part of this century-old Marin County tradition!

Peter Pan first soared over Broadway in 1954 and features iconic songs like "I'm Flying," "I've Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up," and "Never Never Land," and a book rich with imagination, warmth, and rollicking adventure. Peter Pan has continued to thrill children young and old through various stage and film adaptations, as well as numerous television broadcasts including a live NBC telecast that aired in December.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for March 27, 28 & 29

March 28, 2015

Easter egg huntHere are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and throughout the Bay Area in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, March 27

  • Just Between Friends
    San Mateo Event Center
    Friday, noon–9 pm, Saturday, 9 am–5 pm and Sunday, 9 am–2 pm

    Just Between Friends (JBF) is the Peninsula's largest baby, children's and maternity consignment sale. Shoppers enjoy 50–90% off retail on kids clothing, toys, shoes, furniture and more! Local families earn 60–65% on the items they sell. Click to learn more about shopping, consigning and helping at the sale! Location: 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Performing Arts Academy of Marin Presents Mary Poppins
    Showcase Theatre, Marin Center
    Friday and Saturday, 7 pm & Sunday, 1 pm

    Let Mary Poppins take you on a magical and memorable adventure in this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical! This musical production features performers ages 9 and up. Tickets: $20 adults, $16 seniors 65+ and children 12 and under. To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • San Marin High School Music Dept. presents: Wizard of Oz
    Novato, Emily Gates Student Center
    Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm

    The San Marin High School Music Department presents The Wizard of Oz, a delightful musical suitable for children and adults. Doors open at 7 pm and 1:30 pm. Tickets: $15 adults, $10 children. Location: 15 San Marin Drive, Novato. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, March 28

  • Spring Eggstravaganza and Bunny Breakfast
    Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto
    Saturday, 8:30 am–noon

    Join Mr. E. Bunny for a breakfast your child will never forget! You will dine on a special spring time breakfast, and have a chance to take a photo with Mr. E. Bunny (don’t forget your camera). The breakfast will include french toast, sausages, orange juice, and coffee/hot chocolate. Get your tickets early! An adult must accompany children. After breakfast you can follow Mr. E. Bunny out to Friends Field for our annual Egg Hunt. Breakfast tickets available at the Community & Aquatics/Fitness Center: $6, $4 children, free for ages 2 and under. Egg hunt admission is free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy the best local and organic produce, flowers, pastured meats, seafood, organic cheeses, yogurt and milk, breads, baked goods, pasta, confections, olive oil, and brunch and lunch offerings! Kids can take a pony ride and visit the petting zoo (10 am–2 pm), try out some arts and crafts (9 am–2 pm) and kid's storytelling, 9:30-10:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Easter Bunny Breakfast
    The Cheesecake Factory, The Village Corte Madera
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    The Village at Corte Madera is hosting its annual Easter Bunny Breakfast at The Cheesecake Factory to benefit Dedication to Special Education. Children of all ages will enjoy a delicious breakfast while meeting the Easter Bunny, listening to music by Tim Cain, playing with balloon animals, and more! Cost: $8 Per person (cash or check only). Seating is limited. Please RSVP by calling (415) 924-8921.
  • Teddy Bear Tea with Friends
    Oakland Zoo
    Saturday, 9:30 am–noon

    Kids ages 4–8 plus their stuffed animal/doll and an adult. Enjoy a morning of snacks, activities, books and play while making and delivering an enrichment gift straight to the zoo animal you’ve been learning about. When the fun is done, your child will receive a surprise-filled treat bag to take home. Cost: $23 child members, $26 child non-members; $12 adult members, $15 adult non-members. Parking $8 per car. Visit their website to register for this event.
  • Woolly Egg Ranch Spring Farm Tour
    Tam Valley Community Center
    Saturday, 10 am

    Come see spring at the Woolly Egg Ranch Farm tour right here in Tam Valley. Flowers are starting to bloom, lambs are frolicking, and the first batch of chicks should be hatching. Meet at the Tam Valley Coummunity Center and the group will walk to the ranch. Parents must accompany children; reservations recommended. Remember to wear good shoes and boots if muddy. Cost: $5 per person. Reserve your spot by calling (415) 388-6393. Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. Visit their website here.
  • Kids Cooking Class: Eggs-cellent Eggs
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Eggs aren’t just yummy to eat—they’re also good for you! Learn some basic egg-cooking techniques plus "eggs-traordinary" ways to enjoy those hard-boiled eggs that you’ve decorated. Suitable for ages 5–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.

Color Your Easter Eggs with Homemade Natural Dyes

March 27, 2015

Easter eggs with natural dyesColoring Easter eggs is a fun spring tradition, but do you really know what's in those commercial dye kits that you pick up at the supermarket? Dying your Easter egg dyes with your own homemade natural dyes is easier than you think, and the results can be really beautiful. You'll find plenty of recipes and formulas out there, some of which work better than others.

Over the years, we've experimented with various mixtures and figured out a few that really worked well. You can make these plant- and food-based dyes with many of the things that you have on hand in the pantry or refrigerator, or can pick up at the farmer's market, so why not give it a try?

Stapleton Ballet's Sleeping Beauty Comes to The Playhouse in San Anselmo this Weekend

March 26, 2015

Stapleton Ballet Sleeping BeautyThis weekend, over 100 young dancers from Marin's Stapleton Ballet will present the story ballet Sleeping Beauty at the Playhouse in San Anselmo. Featuring lavish sets and costumes, this family-friendly production takes place on Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 5 pm.

The show is performed by Stapleton Youth Company dancers and guest performers, including BFA students from the Dominican University/Lines Ballet program. The show also includes excerpts from Balanchine’s Who Cares? Set to the music of George Gershwin. All seating is general. Run time for the entire show is an hour and a half, and there is a 15-minute intermission. Princess Aurora and the fairies will greet children after the performance, so bring your cameras!

Create a Cute and Colorful Easter Egg Wreath

March 25, 2015

Easter egg wreathEaster is less than 2 weeks away, and my kids and I have been busy creating festive holiday crafts to decorate the house for our big family celebration. My daughter insisted on making a cute and decorative wreath for the front door, so we came up with this fun and easy Easter egg wreath paper craft.

If you don't want to create your egg shapes freehand, I made a basic egg template that you can download and print onto colored paper. Get it here.

To make this craft you'll need:

  • Paper plates
  • Paper Easter grass, multicolored
  • Pastel colored paper for the eggs
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers, crayons, paint, glitter, etc.
  • Ribbon for hanging

Easter Egg Hunts & Events in Marin & the Bay Area

March 24, 2015

Easter egg huntEaster is just a few weeks away (it's on April 5 this year), so it's time to start planning for egg hunts, breakfast with bunny and other special events. Part of the fun is celebrating spring and the Easter season with a traditional egg hunt, and there are Easter egg hunts scheduled at communities throughout Marin County.

Here's our list of fun Easter egg hunts and events taking place in Marin and other locations in the Bay Area. We'll update this list as we find out about additional events. If we've left out your favorite Marin or Bay  Easter egg hunt, please let us know and we'll add it to the roster.

Easter Bunny Photos

While your kids are waiting for the big day, they can visit the Easter Bunny and have their picture taken with him at his whimsical spring house at Northgate in Terra Linda. He'll be at the Macy's wing from March 18, 2015, Monday–Thursday, noon–8 pm, Friday-Saturday, 10 am-9 pm and Sunday, 11 am–6 pm. The Easter Bunny is located in the north mall entrance near Macy's. For more info, visit their website.

Belvedere

  • Bunny Hop & Egg Scramble
    Belvedere Community Center & Park
    Saturday, April 4, 11 am-2 pm

    Bring the kiddos for a carnival & Easter egg scramble. The Easter egg hunt is $5 per child. There will be four hunts during the event, children will be grouped by age: ages 0-2 on the grass at 10:30 am; ages 2 & 3 on the grass at 11:15 am; ages 4 & 5 on the playground at 10:30 am, and ages 6 and up on the playground at 11:15 am. Bunny Hop package: $10/child includes wrist band for age appropriate egg hunt & carnival tickets. Eggstravaganza package: $15/child and includes wristband for age appropriate egg hunt & 20 tickets. Pre-sale packages available by calling (415) 435-4355.  For more info, visit their website.

Munchery Makes Dinnertime Easy and Delicious

March 24, 2015

MuncheryIt goes without saying that most families these days have busy schedules, with work, school, sports, activities, homework, and more taking up plenty of time. And I won't even get started on how busy and exhausted most new parents are! Cooking homemade meals during the week is often one of those things that falls by the wayside, but fortunately, meal delivery services can pick up the slack, and offer a healthy and less expensive alternative to takeout or restaurant meals.

We had the opportunity to try some of the delicious food from Munchery, a San Francisco-based startup that's using technology, sustainability, and talented chefs—most of whom are veterans of the Bay Area restaurant scene—to offer some great dinnertime options. Login to their website or launch their app on your mobile device and browse the day's menu, which will offer options ranging from sushi and salads to grilled chicken and lasagne Bolognese. They offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too. Of course they also have plenty of kids' options, too, as well as side dishes, desserts, soft drinks, coffee, wine, and beer.

The 2015 Marin County Fair Wants Your Entries!

March 24, 2015

Marin County FairAlthough the Marin County Fair doesn't take place until this summer, now is the time to start thinking about your entries for the fair's many competitions. The deadline for entry to all competitions is on or before Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 5 pm.

Children ages 5–18 can enter any number of Junior Division competitions, including arts and crafts, hobbies, cartoon art, performing arts, photography, and creative writing, not to mention traditional preserved food, horticulture, and floral categories. Do you have a prize-winning cow, goat, or chicken in the backyard? Kids can enter all sorts of livestock in the fair.

Don't have a farm animal? Don't worry—kids can also enter their furry friends in the Guinea Pig, Rabbit, or Pocket Pet (mice, rats, hamsters, turtles, and other critters) competitions.

Special theme categories for 2015 include decorated hula hoops and paper lanterns, snapshots of family generations, selfies, Sliny art, family heritage collages, a classic cake baking contest, baby stroller decorated (and a parade!), and more. There's bound to be something for everyone in the family to enter.

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