Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 5, 6 & 7

August 5, 2016
The Little Mermaid 142 Throckmorton Theatre
The Little Mermaid opens this Friday at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley.

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, August 5

  • Day Out With Thomas
    Roaring Camp Railroad, Felton
    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10:30 am–5:30 pm

    This popular family event takes place at Roaring Camp Railroads in the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can take a train ride, meet Sir Topham Hatt, and enjoy live music. Tickets: $20 advance, $24 for peak times—Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 am–2:30 pm, $24 at the gate. Tickets required for everyone aged 2 and up and include all entertainment and activities as well as a 25-minute train ride. Parking $8 per vehicle. Location: Graham Hill Road, Felton. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma County Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 am–11 pm

    The Sonoma County Fair offers both a classic full-scale carnival with plenty of excitement for thrill-seekers and a separate kiddie carnival area for the little ones, with scaled down thrills and lots of excitement. Carnival rides are an additional charge. Admission is $12 for ages 13 and up, $6 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. For more info, visit
  • Children's Garden Series: Crosspulse Ensemble
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Using finger snaps, tight slaps, chest thumps, foot drags, hand rubs, and percussive dance steps, Crosspulse Ensemble performances are designed to entrance children with an international array of rhythms, instruments, and obscure musical practices. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    A fun, family-friendly way to spend your summer evenings. Come on downtown to San Anselmo for Picnics on the Plaza on six Friday evenings this summer: Grab dinner-to-go at a local restaurant, purchase food at the event, or pack a picnic and dine with old and new friends at the plaza tables on Tunstead or on Town Hall lawn. Enjoy live entertainment and activities; it's great, music, food and family fun!  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: Cocktail Time at the de Young. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Marinwood’s most popular event is back! Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music with Rin Tin Tiger, a delicious BBQ by Marinwood Market and a bar for the adults. Bring your picnic blanket and your appetite and kick off the weekend Marinwood-style. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Creekside Fridays Music Series
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This week: Tam Valley All Stars. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • The Little Mermaid
    142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm and Sunday, 4 pm
    Bring the entire family to see this family-friendly performance of The Little Mermaid, based on the Disney movie of the same name and featuring a talented cast of Bay Area performers. Tickets: $18 general, $14 students, $35 reserved. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 6

  • Free Saturday Morning Yoga
    Old Mill Park Amphitheater, 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. All levels welcome. Bring a mat and water bottle. Location: Throckmorton and Cascade Drive. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Space Festival
    Pacheco Plaza, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Meet legendary astronauts, including Apollo 15's Al Worden and Novato's own shuttle astronaut Yvonne Cagle, see full-sized lunar module and moon buggy replicas, view the sun through telescopes, check out interactive space displays, and more at the Space Station Museum's annual Space Festival. Admission and parking are free! For more info, visit their website.
  • Head for the Headlands Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    The Marin Headlands will celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service with a special weekend of talks, exhibits, tours and activities. Food trucks and special events all day. Come join in the celebration! For more info, visit their website.
  • Silhouette Artist Karl Johnson
    Pottery Barn Kids, Corte Madera

    Saturday, 10 am–6 pm
    Third-generation silhouette artist Karl Johnson will be at Pottery Barn Kids in Corte Madera on August 6 to create hand-cut silhouettes. Each one is cut freehand and takes just minutes. All ages are welcome including the squirmy ones! Please reserve your appointment here. Location: The Village Corte Madera, 1600 Redwood Hightway, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • ZOOlympics
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The Summer Games have kicked off in Rio and SF Zoo is joining in the fun by hosting its own “ZOOlympics”! Throughout the Zoo, guests will find ten fun facts posted with information about the natural talents animal possess. Everyone is encouraged to learn about wildlife and test their own skills by participating in a physical activity to see how they measure up. All “scores” can be recorded in a provided booklet. Some of the “events” include breath holding, high jump and longest wing span. See the schedule here. Regular Zoo Admission applies. For more info, visit their website
  • Olympic Crafts and Games
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 11 am–noon

    Join us as we celebrate the start of the Summer Olympics library-style with crafts, games and fun for all! For families of all ages and abilities. Free. Location: 1720 Novato Blvd., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Music Festival
    Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds
    Friday, 6:45–9 pm & Saturday, 12:15–9 pm

    This family friendly festival will feature 15 fantastic bands on three stages, and a kids' area! Tickets: $35 general Friday, $40 general Saturday, $20 students 13–17, and free for kids 12 and under. Proceeds go to support music programs in all Petaluma area public schools! For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Night: Pirates
    Mill Valley Aquatics
    Saturday, 5–7 pm
    Come join in the summer fun and get your swimmin' groove on. Family fun night will include: swimming, games, music, raffle, face painting, costume contest, a kid-friendly movie, and more. Cost: $10 for the entire family. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bat Night
    Olompali State Historic Park, Novato
    Saturday, 6–9 pm

    The popular evening of batty activities and live bats returns. Perfect for the entire family. There will be bat snacks, bat mask decorating, and the chance to meet live bats. Bring a flashlight and chair or blanket to sit on while observing bats. Come explore and enjoy a family evening at this park. For more info, call (707) 762-9715 or visit their website.

Pick Your Own Apples in the North Bay!

August 4, 2016

Apple Picking

Late summer marks the start of apple season, and plenty of the tasty and popular fruits can be found in the North Bay, especially in the area around Sebastopol in western Sonoma County. Sebastopol is the de facto apple capital of the Bay Area, and it's justifiably famous for its Gravenstein apples, a variety that you won't find grown commerically anywhere else. While it's fun to eat and cook with apples, it's even more fun (and educational) to head out into an orchard and pick them yourselves!

If you're not lucky enough to have an apple tree growing in your backyard, then head up to one of the local apple farms that offers a u-pick experience. It's a fun family outing, and prices and quality are usually bettter than you'll find in the supermarket. There's nothing quite like an afternoon on the farm, too.

Bat Night Returns to Olompali State Historic Park in Novato

August 4, 2016

Bat Night

This Saturday, August 6, 2016, Bat Night returns to Olompali State Park in Novato. This fun family event features an evening of bat-related crafts and activities and a chance to meet live bats in person. You'll also get to see bats exiting the park's old barn at night. It's a lot of fun, and you'll learn about the vital role bats play in our ecosystem.

Bat Night starts at 6 pm with bat snacks and bat mask decorating. A presentation by NorCal Bats follows at 8:30, and bats will emerge from the barn at dusk. Bring a flashlight and chairs or blankets to sit on while observing bats.

The Importance of Enrichment During Early Childhood

August 3, 2016

Ark Row Center for Enrichment Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Ark Row Kids in Tiburon, which is holding its special re-opening event on Saturday, August 6 at 3 pm.

Early childhood is a very special time for kids. During the first two years children's brains grow quickly with many changes in structure and function, and by age 3 cognitive and emotional development occurs. Because of that kids must be stimulate during early childhood.

At Ark Row Kids, children can develop and raise their creativity and curiosity while they learn, play and explore in a safe environment. Every day is a good day to do some arts and crafts, where we teach kids basic concepts and develop their motor coordination and cognition. Each day we work with a different material to stimulate curiosity, sensory motor skill, and creativity.

Music, dancing and storytelling are also part of our mornings at Ark Row—for us they are a very important part of children's growth. Our mission is to teach and care, and be a place where kids love to stay, play, and learn to grow with confidence and self-esteem.

Summer Family Fun in North Lake Tahoe

August 2, 2016

Commons Beach, Tahoe City

Lake Tahoe is without question one of California's classic family vacation destinations year-round. While a lot of people think of it in terms of winter sports, we think it has a special charm in the summer.

One of our favorite places to stay and play lakeside is in and around the lovely north Lake Tahoe town of Tahoe City. You can hike, bike, boat, kayak, swim, raft, or just relax amidst the towering pines and crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River.

Blast Off at the Novato Space Festival This Saturday at Pacheco Plaza

August 2, 2016

2016 Novato Space FestivalCelebrate all things outer space at the annual Novato Space Festival at the Pacheco Plaza shopping center. This fun and educational family event is presented by the Space Station Museum and takes place Saturday, August 6 from 10 am to 4 pm at the museum and on Pacheco Plaza's Center Stage. Admission and parking are free! Over 4,000 people attended this event last year.

Meet real astronaut including Al Worden, who participated in the Apollo 15 moon mission; Charlie Duke, an Apollo 16 moon walker; and Novato's own shuttle astronaut Yvonne Cagle. Participating organizations include Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the Planetary Society, NASA Ames Center, the National Space Society, and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Visitors will also get a chance to check out the Space Station Museum's exhibits, including a 90% scale mockup of a lunar lander and an exact replica of an Apollo moon buggy, participate in hands-on interactive exhibits under the Big Tent, meet R2D2 and Imperial Stormtroopers, sit in a jet fighter cockpit, play with the San Marin Robotics Club, and more!

"The Little Mermaid: The Musical" Opens at the Throckmorton Theatre

August 1, 2016

The Little Mermaid 142 Throckmorton Theatre This Friday, Throckmorton Theatre premieres its summer production of The Little Mermaid: The Musical, an adaptation of Disney's movie of the same name, featuring a talented case of Bay Area theater professionals and of course memorable music by eight-time Academy Award-winner Alan Menken.

Directed by actor and director Steven Hess (star of last year's production of Shrek: The Musical), The Little Mermaid stars San Francisco's Ashley Willits in the title role, San Francisco International Comedy Competition winner Johnny Steele as Scuttle, Beach Blanket Babylon veteran Phillip Percy Williams as Sebastian, and Barry Martin as King Triton, among others. The cast even features four talented mother-daughter teams from Mill Valley!

Performances of The Little Mermaid take place on Friday, August 5, 12, and 19 at 7 pm, Saturday, August 6, 13, 20 at 7 pm, and Sunday, August 7, 14, and 21 at 4 pm. General admission tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students; reserved seating tickets are $35. Order tickets online at or by calling (415) 383-9600. The box office is also open Tuesday through Sunday, from 2 to 6 pm for in-person sales.

Get Away to Amazing Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe

July 31, 2016

Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of California's premier vacation destinations and for us, there's no place that showcases the area's natural beauty more than Emerald Bay. Located off Highway 89 about 12 miles north of South Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay offers stunning views and outdoor activities for the whole family, including hiking, swimming, kayaking, and more.

The focus point of Emerald Bay State Park is centered on the area around Vikingsholm, a Scandanvian-style mansion built back in the 1920s. To get there, park in the lot and then, after taking in the view at the scenic overlook, hike down to the beach. The hike is about one mile with a 500-foot elevation change; while the trip down is easy, the hike back can be a bit of a challenge. We saw plenty of families with small kids tackling it, though, and it's not that tough if you take it in stages.

Recipe from Pernilla's Pantry: Deconstructed Cheeseburger Salad

July 31, 2016

deconstructed cheeseburger salad When things get busy, especially at the start of a new school year, I place an order to Pernilla's Pantry, a mom-run business here in Marin that offers creative healthy meals for busy families. When your order arrives, you'll receive recipe cards and all the ingredients that you need to make three or four fantastic family meals for the week.

Pernilla's Pantry was created by Pernilla Sumner, a Marin mom and Swedish native who loves to share her passion for food and good cooking with others. Pernilla shared one of her most popular recipes with us: Deconstructed Cheeseburger Salad.



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