North Bay's Largest Children's and Maternity Consignment Sale this Weekend!

March 7, 2017

Just Between Friends fall sale Santa Rosa

Come shop until you drop at this weekend's North Bay Just Between Friends Mega Children's Sale at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Grace Pavilion in Santa Rosa. Taking place today, Thursday, March 9 through 12, 2017, Just Between Friends is the North Bay's largest children's and maternity consignment event.

Get a great deal on over 100,000 consignment items in 40,500 square feet of shopping space, including toys, games; outdoor gear; mommy supplies; furniture; crafting, school and party supplies; and more. You'll save 30–90% off retail prices on tons of gently used and even new items. Cash, checks, debit cards, and Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Bring your own bags, baskets, or even a wagon to carry your deals.

Six Spectacular Spring Wildflower Hikes for Families in Marin

March 6, 2017

Ring Mountain Wildflowers

Spring in California is spectacular, with an abundance of wildflowers, seasonal waterfalls, and wildlife. With all the rain we've been getting this season, spring's wildflowers should be even more spectacular than usual! Before the summer heat bakes the green hillsides brown, get the family out on the trail at one of these great Marin hiking spots with wonderful spring wildflower displays.

These hikes are perfect for a family outing at almost any time of year, but of course are especially nice during March and April. All the trails mentioned here are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, too.

Chef Daddy Cooks Food Your Kids Will Eat: Beef Bourguignon

March 5, 2017

Beef Bourguignon

On cool winter nights, it just seems right to make some stick-to-your-ribs comfort food classics. One of my family's favorites is beef bourguignon.

This timeless dish of beef braised with red wine and vegetables is easy to make and I have yet to find anyone who doesn't love it. It's one of my dinner party staples, since you can throw it all together in the early afternoon and just let it go on the stove so you can socialize instead of slave away in the kitchen.

One of the other great things about beef bourguignon is that you can make it from an inexpensive cut of meat like chuck, which the long braising time renders tender and delicious. I like to buy locally raised grass-fed beef from Marin County producers, like Stemple Creek Ranch and Marin Sun Farms, when I can, and this is a great way to prepare a quality ingredient without breaking the bank.

The Insider's Guide to Visiting Tiburon for Families

March 5, 2017

Tiburon

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.

Time Change and Babies/Toddlers: How to Help Your Little One Adjust

March 4, 2017

sleeping toddler or babyMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin parent and family coach Dr. Angelique Millette.

With the time change approaching, I have received many e-mails and phone calls from parents asking how they can help their babies and toddlers transition to the new time without upsetting their child’s sleep.

Starting Sunday, March 12, at 2 am, clocks will be set forward one hour—“spring forward.”

You can help your baby/toddler by starting to adjust ahead of the time change. Starting Tuesday night (March 7) begin to put baby down 10 minutes earlier for bed. You can do this by comforting, singing or reading, and starting the bedtime ritual/routine 10 minutes earlier. Do this for the rest of the week, so when the time change does happen, your baby or toddler will have slowly adjusted to the new time.

If your baby or toddler’s bedtime is 7 pm, it will look like this:

  • Tuesday: 6:50 pm bedtime
  • Wednesday: 6:40 pm bedtime
  • Thursday: 6:30 pm bedtime
  • Friday: 6:20 pm bedtime
  • Saturday: 6:10 pm bedtime

Early Childhood Open House March 10 at Marin Waldorf School

March 4, 2017

Early Childhood at Marin Waldorf

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Marin Waldorf School.

Marin Waldorf School's early childhood program offers a nurturing environment filled with rhythm and wonder. The nature of our program ensures a strong sense of consistency, order and security - essential to the healthy development of the young child. Everything done in class has a purpose, instilling a sense of joy and care for every task. The atmosphere is homelike and the focus is on play and cultivating imagination. Outdoor playtime is scheduled every day, rain or shine. Come visit our beautiful classrooms and meet our early childhood teachers to learn more. The Early Childhood Open House takes place on Friday, March 10, 2017 from 11 am to noon. RSVP online or call (415) 479-8190 for more info. Marin Waldorf School is located at 755 Idylberry Road, San Rafael 94903.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for March 3, 4 & 5

March 3, 2017

Visit McNears Beach Park in San Rafael for free this Saturday

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 throughout the Bay Area in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, March 3

  • Crazy Awesome Science!
    Children's Museum of Sonoma County
    Friday, 2 pm
    Bring the kiddos for a scientific demonstration followed by hands-on science. Past topics include: SPF, Elephant Toothpaste, Dry Ice Bubbles, Fizzy Rockets, Sheep Eye Dissection and many more! Museum admisson applies. Location: 1835 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Meet Children's Author and Illustrator Alexandra Boiger
    San Anselmo Library-Council Chambers
    Friday, 3:30 pm
    Learn about the art of children’s book illustration with renowned local children’s author and illustrator Alexandra Boiger. She is the illustrator of the children’s series Tallulah and the forthcoming When Jackie Saved Grand Central, to be published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Come get a sneak peek at her latest book! Location: 525 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids Night Out: Totally '80s
    Rolling HIlls Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm

    It’s totally rad! Join us for a totally tubular '80s party! We will much on some '80s candy, visit our '80s beauty bar for a '80s makeover, and dance to some sick '80s tunes. We will watch Smurfs: World of Wonders. A pizza dinner will be served. Must be potty trained. Ages: 2.5–12. Cost: $24 member and $34 guest. Register here. Location: 351 San Andreas Drive, Novato. For more info, call (415) 897-2185 or visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Constance Hale
    Diesel Bookstore, Marin Country Mart
    Friday, 6–6:30 pm
    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author Constance Hale will be here to read you a bedtime story from 'Iwalani's Tree. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed, then head home for bed. As a special treat, Constance will give a little hula demonstration and show some of her treasures from the sea!  Location: 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle. For more info, call (415) 785-8177 or visit their website.
  • Free Movie Night: Lilo & Stitch 2
    Mathnasium of Mill Valley
    Friday, 6–7 pm

    Stop by Mathnasium on the first Friday of the month for movie night. Free pizza and soda will be served. Students, parents, and friends welecome. Location: 247 Shoreline Highway, Suite A3. For more info, visit their website.
  • MVMS Cabaret 2017 presents Annie
    Mill Valley Middle School Gym
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 1 pm

    The annual Mill Valley Middle School Cabaret is an all-ages show featuring a cast and crew of approximately 100 students who auditioned to be singers, dancers, and actors; or applied to be stage managers, set designers, costume designers, makeup artists, lighting assistants, and sound assistants. Tickets: $10–$35. Purchase tickets here. Location: 425 Sycamore Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • You're a Good Man Charlie Brown: The Musical
    College of Marin Performing Arts Building
    Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm

    Here's the whole Peanuts gang on stage! Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, and of course, Charlie Brown's best pal, Snoopy the Beagle. The play deals with a day in the life of Charlie Brown - from bright, uncertain morning to hopeful, starlit evening! Bring the whole family! Directed by James Dunn. Musical Direction by Paul Smith. This runs from March 3–19. March 3 production-pay what you will preview. Tickets for other nights: $25, seniors $20 and COM Associates $15. Purchase tickets online here. Location: 835 College Avenue, the James Dunn Theatre, Kentfield. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, March 4

  • Free Access to all Parks
    Marin County Parks
    Saturday, All Day

    Starting this January, Marin County Parks is offering free access to all parks on the first Saturday of the month all year long! Includes Black Point Boat Launch, McInnis Park, McNears Beach Park, Miller Boat Launch, Paradise Beach Park, and Stafford Lake Park. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • STEM Superhero Series: Robots and the Future
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 a m–5 pm

    Children use their STEM skills to design, imagine, and test innovations around robotics. Activities include testing robot circuitry, programming robots to follow commands, and using everyday objects to engineer instruments. Museum admission applies. Location: 557 McReynold Road, Sausalito. 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 listen to music (9:30–10:30 am). For more info, visit their website.
  • Open House Play Date: Marin Multiples
    Peacock Gap Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    Learn about the club and meet other parents of multiples! Location: 298 Peacock Drive, San Rafael. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
  • Free Saturday Morning Yoga
    Old Mill Park, 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. For all levels. Bring a mat and water bottle. Location: Meet at Old Mill Park Amphitheater, 10 minutes prior to start of class. For more info, visit their website.
  • Zumba at McInnis Park
    McInnis Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am
    Kick off an energetic weekend with Zumba at McInnis Park led by a professional instructor. This event is ideal for all ages so bring the family. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Wear comfortable athletic clothing and sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring water. Rain will cancel the event. Questions: Contact Kevin Wright at KWright@marincounty.org, or (415) 473-2129. For more info, visit their website.
  • Crissy Field-Ranger Lead Family Bike Ride
    San Francisco
    Saturday, 9:45–11:30 am

    Family-friendly bike trip around Crissy Field and the Presidio Main Post!  Led by a Presidio park ranger, this 5.3-mile mostly-flat ride will take you on a whirlwind tour of some Presidio highlights, including: Fort Point, the brand new Presidio Visitor Center, Crissy Field marsh and the the Historic Pet Cemetery. Bike rentals available. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mountain Bike Ride with a Ranger
    Rush Creek, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Want to go on a scenic mountain bike ride with a ranger? Come join Supervising Ranger Ian McLorg for a morning ride along the marsh at Rush Creek Preserve. This event is ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks. Rain will cancel. Location: Meet at the Pinheiro Fire Rd gate on Binford Road in Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Theatre Company's Hare & Tortoise
    Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am, 12:30 pm & 3 pm, Sunday, 10 am & 12:30 pm
    Young, excitable Hare wants nothing more in this world than to race his friend--the older, slower Tortoise. While Hare speeds through daily life and does everything he can to make the time pass faster, Tortoise slows down and takes her time, whether doing chores or having fun. Hare and Tortoise is a fun, fast (and slow) show for 4 to 8 year olds about friendship, the passing of time and the excitement of growing up. Tickets: $18–$22. Purchase tickets here. Location: 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, call (415) 388-5200 or visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Class: Disney's Beauty and the Beast "Be Our Guest"
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Come and celebrate the launch of Beauty and the Beast with a fun cooking class for kids ages 8–13. We'll be making Beastly Bread Pudding and Chips and favorte oat chocolate chip cookies. Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Pippi Longstocking
    Children's Creativity Museum Theater, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm

    Annika and Tommy's new neighbor Pippi Longstocking has crazy red pigtails, a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson, and a tendency to get caught up in one outrageous adventure after another! Whether she's fending off burglars, wrestling a circus strongman, or sailing away on a pirate ship, Pippi wins over even the sternest of hearts in this rollicking musical adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's beloved book. Location: 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco 94103. For more info, visit their website.
  • STEAM Saturday
    San Rafael Public Library
    Saturday, 11 am

    Come to the San Rafael Library for STEAM powered stories, rhymes, songs, crafts, experiments, and sensory experiences for preschool children ages 3–6 and their caregivers. Registration required: register at the children’s reference desk or call at (415) 485-3322. Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Dazzling Damselfly
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! The forktail damselfly was reintroduced to Mountain Lake in October. This month, the larvae will finally emerge from the water as adults! Welcome these rare damselflies back to the Presidio by making a damselfly craft. Free. Read about our visit to the Officers' Club here. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint
    The Old Mint, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–5 pm & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm
    This weekend, the Old Mint becomes a pop-up museum of San Francisco history featuring more than 75 exhibitors at the San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint. Join community historians, archivists, genealogists, archaeologists, researchers, educators, reenactors, and other history enthusiasts for a free community open house at this historic site. Free. Location: 88 Fifth Street (at Mission Street), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Science Saturday at Environmental Discovery Center
    Spring Lake Regional Park, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 1–3:30 pm

    Families are welcome to stop by and join a Discovery Center naturalist for fun, hands-on activities with a different theme each month. Activities start on the hour at 1, 2 or 3 pm. Science Saturdays feature tangible experiments and projects that let children explore the world around us. Free; parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Loctation: 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Young Performers Theatre: Hansel and Gretel
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 1 and 3:30 pm & Sunday, 2:30 pm

    With a bare cupboard and no food, the stepmother contrives to leave Hansel and Gretel deep in the woods, to shift for themselves. Their playmates set off in search of them, but are captured by Witch Wicked and turned into a gingerbread fence. Hansel and Gretel are also caught, but outwit the witch and break her spell. The stepmother arrives remorseful, and all go home laden with baskets of jewels. This play is a fun adventure for kids of all ages! Tickets: $12. Location: Young Performers Theatre, Fort Mason Center. To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Healthy Parks Family Walk
    Presidio of San Francisco
    Saturday, 2–4 pm

    Bring the entire family for hiking, beginner exercises and family games, you'll get to know your various National Park sites while getting those hearts and waistlines happy. For more info, visit their website.

Experience Real Science and Real Animals at the Marine Mammal Center's Camp Sea Quest

March 2, 2017

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from The Marine Mammal Center which offers summer camps for kids grades K–6 in the Marin Headlands in Sausalito. Learn more at www.marinemammalcenter.org.

Kids can take a deep dive into marine science and ocean conservation this summer at Camp Sea Quest, a five-day summer camp at The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands. Campers will discover the wonders of marine mammals and our planet's oceans through real science experiments, hands-on activities, learning opportunities, and more.

Baby and Infant Swim Lessons in Marin

February 28, 2017

infant and toddler swimming lessonsBeing safe and comfortable around water is extremely important, and it's never too early to introduce little ones to the basics of water skills. Many infants actually take naturally to the water! Infant swim classes in Marin County start as early as six months old, and are usually parent/child sessions where you or a caregiver can enjoy the water with your child. While most of these classes don't teach infants to swim per se, they do introduce parents and children to the water and important safety skills.

Below is our list of infant and toddler swim classes in Marin. Although many of the facilities listed are private clubs, unless otherwise indicated, all locations offer public lessons open to all. Most programs require pre-registration; follow the links or call to sign up or for more information.

Mill Valley

  • Infant Swim Marin
    Mill Valley
    (415) 578-0966

    Survival swimming lessons for children ages 6 months - 6 years. Lessons for a 6-12 month old focus on teaching the child to roll onto their back to float, rest and breathe, and to be able to maintain this life-saving position until help arrives. Lessons for children 1-6 years old focus on teaching the swim- float-swim survival sequence. Children learn to swim with their head down; roll onto their back to float, rest, and breathe; and roll back over to resume swimming until they reach the side of the pool, where they can either crawl out or until they can be rescued.
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