Spend a Day on the Farm at Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma

March 3, 2015

tara firma farms petaluma

Petaluma's Tara Firma Farms is a family-run farm that produces humanely raised chickens, pigs, turkeys, and cattle on 300 acres just across the Sonoma County line. In addition to raising and selling their products, they're committed to educating the public about life on the farm, healthy food, and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Tara Firma farms offers free farm tours on weekends at 10 am, noon, and 2 pm. The tours are a fantastic farm experience for parents, kids, and anyone who wants to get an up-close-and-personal look at where their food comes from. Come experience the sights, sounds, and, yes, smells of the farm first-hand!

Longevity Noodles for Chinese New Year

March 2, 2015

longevity noodlesDuring Chinese New Year, which ends on March 5 this year, we try to make some of the traditional foods associated with the holiday. Foods that are made and eaten during the new year celebration often have symbolic meanings meant to invoke prosperity and good fortune. In this case, the name "longevity noodles" is self-explanatory: the long noodles symbolize a long and happy life. Don't break them up when you're cooking, and try to eat them all in one piece!

This recipe is our adaptation of the traditional dish. We included a variety of kid-friendly Asian veggies like snow peas, napa cabbage, and bean sprouts, and left out the black mushrooms at the request of my daughter, who helped shop for the ingredients. Feel free to vary the ingredients depending on your family's preferences. Our kids both asked for seconds (and ate the vegetables and chicken, not just the noodles).

Also, it helps to prepare, measure out, and set aside all the ingredients in advance. The dish comes together quickly, and having everything ready and at hand makes a big difference.


March Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

March 2, 2015

infant yawningParents 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 March: choosing the right preschool, infant and child CPR and strategies that can help parents with tantrums and meltdowns.

Proven Solutions to Puzzling and Challenging Behaviors: Part 1 (for parents of children 1 - 7 years)

Does your child have epic meltdowns? Is he clumsy, clingy, or picky about clothes or shoes? Does she bite, chew clothing, or frequently bump into people or things? Children can be baffling, often leaving parents struggling to manage their behaviors and responding to their needs. Here comes help: Parents Place's Proven Solutions class, which offers scientific explanations for children's puzzling behaviors. A child therapist and occupational therapist team up to offer clear explanations, up-to-date research, strategies, and examples that bring proven methods to life. You will leave with a whole new understanding of why children behave the way they do and tools you can use when your child exhibits challenging behaviors. With Alyse Clayman, LCSW, and Letha Marcheti, BS, OTR/L, C/NDT. Mon., Mar 2, 7:00 - 9:00 pm. $40. Register here.

This Summer, Learn STEM Skills and Have a Blast with iD Tech!

March 2, 2015

iD Tech CampsMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from iD Tech summer camps.

One million STEM jobs are projected to go unfilled by the year 2020. We’re talking some of the highest-paid, most creative careers imaginable. Yet only one in ten high school students have access to computer science courses—and far fewer at the K-8 level—meaning they are missing important instruction.

But what about summer?

At iD Tech summer programs, students ages 6–18 code apps, design video games, mod with Minecraft, engineer robots, build websites, produce movies, create wearable electronics, and more. Courses are taught by tech-savvy, adult-only staff in small clusters of just 8 students per instructor—guaranteed. iD Tech offers five summer camp experiences in Northern California:

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

March 1, 2015

sleeping toddler or babyMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin parent coach, infant/toddler sleep researcher, and family therapist 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 8, 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 3) 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.

When Life Hands You Meyer Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

February 28, 2015

Lemon barLemon bars have to be one of my all time favorite desserts. I usually reserve lemon bars for special occasions, because they are so sweet and rich. They are great for a special treat, party or a school event.

My mom gave me a huge basket of Meyer lemons from her tree, so naturally I used them to make some lemon bars. If you're not familiar with Meyer lemons, they're a seasonal citrus fruit that's similar to the regular Eureka lemons that you find in the grocery store, but with a thinner peel; they're sweeter and more aromatic, too. The lemon bars they made are truly fantastic, with an amazing citrus flavor that you simply won't get from grocery store lemons. If you don't have a Meyer lemon tree yourself (or have a friend who does), you can find them Trader Joe's or at one of the local farmers markets—while they're in season.

Here is the recipe I used for lemon bars. Yes, it seems like a lot of sugar, but you have to offset the tartness of the lemons. If you don't have Meyer lemons, that's OK. This recipe is still fantastic with regular lemons, too.

Marin Family-Friendly Weekend Fun for February 27, 28 & March 1

February 27, 2015
mount burdell
Take a family hike on Mount Burdell in Novato this weekend.

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, February 27

  • Disney On Ice Presents Let's Celebrate
    Oracle Arena, Oakland

    Friday, 10:30 am & 7:30 pm, Saturday, 11 am, 3 pm & 7 pm, and Sunday, 11 am, 3 pm & 6:30 pm
    It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends at Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! Shows run from February 25–March 1. Tickets start at $20. Purchase tickets here. Location: 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland. To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Young Performers Theatre: Beauty and the Beast
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Friday, 6:30 pm, Saturday, 2 pm & 4:30 pm, Sunday, 2:30 pm

    The classic story of a repulsive Beast who inhabits a strange and magical castle, and of the beautiful girl who is caught in the castle whose innocence and sympathetic affection for the Beast breaks a wicked spell and releases a handsome prince. Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Cabaret 2015: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Mill Valley Middle School
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7:30 pm

    This weekend, Mill Valley Middle School presents its musical production of Roald Dahl's beloved story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Performances take place on Friday, February 27 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, February 28 at 1 and 7:30 pm. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Tickets are available at the door only, and cost $15 for adults and $10 for children. Location: MVMS Gym, 425 Sycamore Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, February 28

  • 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.
  • WildCare Family Adventures: Hike to Fairway Falls
    Fairway Drive, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–12:30 pm

    WildCare Family Adventures will visit Fairway Falls in Novato, part of the Ignacio Valley Open Space Preserve. Marin's waterfalls are some of the county's hidden treasures and are best appreciated when they're running full force in winter and spring. This easy hike follows the creek through a lush forest and ends at the waterfalls. Free. For directions or more info, visit their website.
  • Spotlight Event with Author Faith Ringgold
    Children's Museum of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Celebrate Black History Month by creating a gorgeous quilt inspired by the author of Tar Beach, Faith Ringgold. Programs are free with admission to the museum. Location: 1835 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, call (707) 546.4069 or visit their website.
  • World on Stage Performances: Chinyakare Ensemble
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11 am

    Chinyakare Ensemble presents the incredibly varied spectrum of Zimbabwean music and dance. Harmonically weaving voices with traditional instruments and dance, they celebrate the beauty and power of southern African culture. Tickets: $5 members, $7 general plus Museum admission).Purchase tickets here. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Meet the Cat in the Hat
    Powell's Sweet Shoppe, Novato
    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm

    Meet the one-and-only Cat in the Hat in celebration of the birthday of Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day. Goodie Bags and gelato for $5. Face painting and much more fun! 10% of all sales generated during event hours will go to the Novato Unified School District. Location: 879 Grant Avenue, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco History Expo
    The Old Mint, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–5 pm & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm
    Come to the Old Mint as more than 50 San Francisco organizations create "mini-museums" showcasing the diverse history of San Francisco's communities. In addition, there will be historic films, special programs, an art exhibition, and more. Admission: $5, under 12 free. The Old Mint is located South of Market at 88 5th Street at Mission. For more information, visit their website.

Find a Bargain at the Novato Mothers Club Kid's Rummage Sale, Saturday, March 7

February 26, 2015

Novato Mothers Club Rummage SaleDon’t miss the 2015 Novato Mothers Club Rummage Sale! This huge rummage sale takes place on Saturday, March 7, from 9 am to 3 pm. You can literally get everything you need for your family: cribs, strollers, children’s clothing, maternity wear, toys, books, shoes, nursing items, and more. It's a favorite shopping event for Marin families. There will also be a bake sale for goodies to munch while you shop.

The sale will close from 1:30 to 2 pm. After 2 pm everything will be 50% off!

The Novato Mothers Club Rummage Sale will take place at Novato's Downtown Recreation Center, located at 950 Seventh Street, off Grant Avenue, in downtown Novato (adjacent to the Novato Gymnastics Center). Admission to the rummage sale and parking are free. Cash only.

Visit a Museum for Free in March

February 26, 2015

ExploratoriumDid 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.

First Sunday of the Month—March 1

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