Marin Fitness Classes with Childcare

October 12, 2015
working out at pomegranate in san anselmo
Pomegranate Prenatal Yoga & Parent Center, San Anselmo; photo by Fluid Frame

It's the New Year, and with it usually comes the resolution to finally get in shape. Getting a good workout in can sometimes be difficult with little ones around, so we've put together this list of Marin County drop-in fitness classes that offer childcare at the same time. Some of these fitness centers require memberships, but those that do often offer day passes so you can give it a try; check their websites or give them a call for complete details and class schedules.

  • Pomegranate Prenatal Yoga & Parent Center
    25 Tamalpais Avenue
    San Anselmo
    (415) 785-3173

    Pomegranate in San Anselmo offers a variety of pre and postnatal yoga classes. Onsite childcare is $8 per child per class and is available for the following classes: Mondays, Vinyasa Flow from 11am-12:15 pm; Tuesdays, Core Essentials: Mat Pilates for Women from 9:30–10:45 amThursdays for Prenatal Yoga from 9:30–10:45; Thursdays for Core Essentials: Mat Pilates for Women from 11 am–noon; Fridays for Prenatal Yoga from 9:30–10:45 am; Vibrant Flow from 12:30-1:45 pm; Sundays for Nurturing Flow from 9:30–10:45 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Rolling Hills Club
    351 San Andreas Drive
    (415) 897-2185

    Classes include yoga and pilates. While you work out kids 6 weeks to 6 years can have fun in the Kids Club, which offers a variety of great toys, art supplies, books, and a play yard, and is staffed by a CPR-certified team. $8 per hour drop in for kids ages 6 weeks to 5 years ($5 for members). Reservations required.

Sopa de Albondigas - Mexican Meatball Soup

October 12, 2015

sopa de albondigas - Mexican meatball soupWith fall here and the evenings getting cooler, it's time to make some delicious comfort food for dinner. This classic Mexican soup features little meatballs cooked in broth with tons of fresh vegetables. It's tasty and healthy, too!

For this version, I added green beans and chunks of summer squash to complement the usual carrots and potatoes. One of the great things about this dish is that you can vary the vegetables depending on what's available or what your family likes. Cabbage, kale, corn, and peas would all be welcome in the pot.

We used lean ground beef for the meatballs, but you can use half beef and half ground pork, ground turkey, or even chicken. My kids love to get involved and help make the meatballs, too.

Pumpkins and More at the Tolay Fall Festival

October 11, 2015

Tolay Fall FestivalMany families in Marin and the North Bay have fond memories of visiting the popular pumpkin patch at Cardoza Ranch outside Petaluma. In 2005, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District and the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department acquired Cardoza Ranch, also known as Tolay Lake Ranch, turning its 1,737 acres of farmland into a county park.

Tolay Lake Ranch is a unique spot, with a freshwater lake, wetlands, diverse wildlife, and 8,000 years human habitation with extensive archaeological and historical sites. Tolay Lake Regional Park is currently under development and access is restricted, although the public can visit the park through a day-use permit program.

The Sonoma Regional Parks Department keeps the spirit of the old Cardoza pumpkin patch alive by holding the annual Tolay Fall Festival, now in its ninth year. This popular event takes place over two  weekends in October, October 17–18 and October 24–25, from 11 am–5 pm.

Halloween Craft Project: Paper Jack-O-Lanterns

October 10, 2015

Pumpkin paper lanternsKids always love to make fun decorative crafts, especially at Halloween, when they can help make the house or classroom extra spooky. These easy-to-make paper jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween-time take on the traditional paper lantern craft project, and are simple enough that almost anyone in the family can make them. Make a bunch with different face designs and hang them around the house.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Orange and green construction paper (we used 12 x 18" sheets, but letter size will work, too)
  • Black markers, paint, or construction paper

Halloween Craft: Recycled Glass Pumpkin Votives

October 10, 2015

Halloween pumpkin votives recycled craftThis easy craft project is so much fun to make, and the finished product looks fantastic, especially when lit with a flickering candle. Best of all, you can make them using materials from your recycling bin! These Halloween pumpkin votives are simple to make, and are a perfect craft project for all ages, with parental supervision, of course. My second-grade daughter and I created the pair of jack-o-lanterns lanterns shown here.

This project is a little messy, so make sure you have a good work area that's easy to clean up. You can also create variations on this craft: use white tissue to make ghost lanterns, and green to make monsters.

To make this project, you'll need:

  • Glass jars from the recycling bin
  • Mod Podge
  • Orange tissue paper, cut into 1- to 2-inch squares

Marin Family Weekend Fun for October 9, 10 & 11

October 9, 2015

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.

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

Friday, October 9

  • Fleet Week 2015
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, various times

    Fleet week returns to San Francisco, along with the Blue Angels, who will perform over San Francisco Bay on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 pm. Fleet Week also includes a parade of ships (Friday, noon–1 pm), ship tours, band concerts, and more. Free admission; airshow bleacher seat tickets at Marina Green $50–$60. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's FilmFest
    Mill Valley Film Festival
    Friday, Satuday & Sunday, various times

    Tour the world with your family at the MVFF Children’s FilmFest, celebrating its 21st year of showcasing the finest family films from around the world. Location: various theaters within Marin. For a complete listing of films, visit their website here.
  • Free Outdoor Film: Big Hero 6
    Presidio Main Post, San Francisco
    Friday, 5:30–10 pm

    Grab the kiddos, a blanket and enjoy a fun, free outdoor movie under the stars. The event will be held on the lawn behind the Presidio Dance Theatre, 386 Arguello Boulevard, on the Presidio's Main Post. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, October 10

  • San Domenico School Garden Faire
    San Anselmo
    Saturday, 10 am–1 pm

    Bring the family to this year's community garden family faire. There will be live music, farmers' market, eco-exhibits, crafts, games and gourmet foods. Fun for all ages. Admission is free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Off the Grid Fleet Fest
    Pier 80, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Join us for tours of ships from the United States Navy and Coast Guard bringing over 900 sailors and Coasties to the Dogpatch neighborhood this week. Portside, enjoy a festival atmosphere of San Francisco food truck culture, live music, art and educational military displays. A great way to experience the day to day of sailors’ lives and to celebrate the men and women who serve our Nation. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bon Air Invitational Car Show
    Bon Air Center, Greenbrae
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Over 100 of the finest vintage cars in the area have been invited to show at Bon Air Center’s car show. The event is free to the public. Location: 50 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes: Baking with Pumpkin
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Pumpkins aren’t just for carving jack-o’-lanterns. There are also varieties (with fun names like Sugar Pie and Baby Bear) that are wonderful for eating! In this class we’ll have fun making waffles, cupcakes and other tasty pumpkin treats. Suitable for ages 8–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Theatre Company presents Cinderella
    Mill Valley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm
    This Saturday and Sunday, the Marin Theatre Company presents Cinderella as you've never seen it before in a production by the award-winning Great Arizona Puppet Theater. This production is recommended for families with children ages 4 and up, and runs for 45 minutes. Tickets cost $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. Visit their website for more info.
  • Leap's 32nd Annual Sandcastle Contest!
    Ocean Beach, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10:30 am–4:30 pm

    Bring the family to check out some amazing sand castles. Leap hosts this spirited competition between teams of architects, designers, contractors, corporations, engineers and local elementary school students each October on Ocean Beach. The Sandcastle Contest is a fundraiser to support Leap's arts education programs, but admission is free to the community. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Music Open House
    Frieight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday, 11 am

    Bring the kiddos to sing and dance to local children's entertainers. Some of this year's entertainers include a musical storyteller, Asheba, Bug Family Band, Little Folkies, and an instrument petting zoo. This event is free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pixie Park Open House
    Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross
    Saturday, 11 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.

Take Control of Your (Financial) Life

October 8, 2015

Tanya SteinhoferMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin mom and financial planner Tanya Steinhofer, CFA,CFP®.

Those who know me know one of my passions is inspiring women to take financial responsibility for their lives. We live in a culture where girls are discouraged from taking an interest in math, finance and investing, yet women control more and more of the wealth in this country. Longer life expectancies and a high divorce rate are two other critical reasons why women should take responsibility for their financial well-being.

Two areas bear the most attention by women: educating themselves on the basics on personal finance and investing and proactively managing their human capital.

Don't Miss "Cinderella" This Weekend at Marin Theatre Company

October 6, 2015

Cinderella at Marin Theatre CompanyThis Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, Marin Theatre Company presents Cinderella as you've never seen it before in a production by the award-winning Great Arizona Puppet Theater. Don't miss this enchanting story of pumpkin coaches, glass slippers, and handsome princes told by puppets! This production is recommended for families with children ages 4 and up, and runs for 45 minutes.

Performances of Cinderella take place at 10:30 am and 12:30 and 2:30 pm. Tickets cost $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley.

As an added bonus, Marin Theatre Company is partnering with Amazing Fairytale Parties to offer young theatergoers a chance to meet and have their photos taken with a real life Cinderella.

Our Top 10 Spooky Halloween Movies for Families

October 6, 2015

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were RabbitHalloween is a few weeks away, and there's nothing much better than watching a spooky (but not too scary) movie with the family and sharing a big bowl of popcorn. I polled everyone in our family to find out what their favorite Halloween movies were, and we came up with this list of ten that we think are must-sees.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (G)

This Halloween classic has been family favorite since 1966, so you probably watched it when you were a kid. Charlie Brown still gets nothing but rocks while trick-or-treating, Linus is always positive that the Great Pumpkin will pay a visit to the pumpkin patch, and it's still funny and touching. For all ages.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (G)

Wallace and Gromit, the ever-charming cheese-loving claymation duo, star in this clever sendup of monster movies, where something horrible ravages gardens and threatens a village's veggie-growing competition. Cute and clever with plenty of jokes (including a few that only grown-ups will get). Ages 3 and up.

Syndicate content