Clubhouse J Free Open House Party!

December 23, 2015

Clubhouse J at the Osher Marin JCCMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from the Osher Marin JCC and Clubhouse J.

You and your friends are invited to the Clubhouse J FREE Open House Party on Thursday, January 7, 2016 from 3–6 pm. It takes place at the Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Road, in San Rafael. RSVP for the Open House Party here.
 
The open house will include fun for all with games, a bounce house, Zumba, snacks, friends, and fun, plus it's free for everyone! Parents are welcome to enjoy a cup of Peet’s coffee from the Plaza J café and take a tour of the JCC.

About Clubhouse J

Come play with us in the Clubhouse on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from 3 to 5:30 pm. The Clubhouse is a unique place where kids from all over Marin come to make new friends, strengthen their swim skills, explore their artistic side, Zumba to their favorite songs, try new things, and have a blast. Our experienced staff will help your Club Buddy build new relationships, spark their creativity, and ignite their imagination. Let’s unplug and rediscover the magic of PLAY.

A Family Tradition Full of Love and Thought... But No Cost

December 22, 2015

Buoncristiani christmas tree with letters Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Marin mom and photographer Danielle Buoncristiani, who shares her family's tradition of holiday letter writing. Danielle specializes in photos of families and children. Learn more about her and her photography studio, Buoncristiani Photography, at www.buonphoto.com.

16 years ago when we were soon to be celebrating the holiday season with our newborn son we wanted to start our own family tradition. A tradition that could be done every year and that would cost nothing but thought and love.

The tradition of holiday letter writing began. Both my husband and I wrote a letter to our 9 month old son; we told him his first words, we talked about how he changed our lives, and he heard stories of what had occurred during these months that he came into our lives. My husband and I also wrote to each other. Life gets so crazy busy that often we don’t tell the people we love what makes them so special to us, tell them why we are so proud of them, and talk about some goals for the upcoming year.

Easy Holiday Recipe: Peppermint Bark

December 22, 2015

peppermint barkIn my opinion, peppermint should be the official flavor of the holiday season! This white chocolate peppermint bark candy is a holiday staple in our house, and is quick, delicious, and kid-approved. My kids love the fact that smashing up candy canes is part of this recipe.

Peppermint bark is really easy to make, and doesn't mess the kitchen up nearly as much as making cookies does. Feel free to omit the nuts or mix in something else that you think would be tasty. My mom makes hers with both the almonds and dried cranberries.

Ingredients

Easy Handmade Holiday Bead Ornaments

December 22, 2015

Bead ornamentsYour kids can exercise their holiday creativity by making these easy and festive bead ornaments for the Christmas tree. They also look great attached to wrapped gifts as a little holiday extra.

These ornaments are simple to make, although the candy cane ornament is easier to put together than the star and probably a better project for younger children. All you'll need to make these are pipe cleaners, plastic beads in various colors and shapes, some ribbon, and scissors.

To create the candy canes, take a pipe cleaner and cut it in half. (We used holiday-colored red, white, and green pipe cleaners.) Slip one white bead onto the pipe cleaner and run it to the end. Bend over the last 1/4-inch or so of the pipe cleaner to hold the bead in place.

Marin Maker Kids: Spend Winter Break with an Hour of Code

December 21, 2015

Hour of Code

If your kids are looking for something fun and rewarding to do over Winter Break, why not make that screen time fun and educational by completing an Hour of Code? Hour of Code officially took place during Computer Science Education Week earlier this month, but if you missed it or just want to have more fun learning some code there are some great online resources out there for you to explore.

Some of Our Favorite Family Holiday Movies

December 20, 2015

The Snowman videoDuring the holidays, we're inundated with Christmas-themed movies and TV specials of all different kinds. But what's really worth spending your time watching? Being something of a family of movie buffs, we decided to put together our list of favorite holiday movies and specials, so here are seven seasonal offerings that we think are worth repeat watching each December.

The Snowman

Based on the picture book of the same name by Raymond Briggs, The Snowman is short 27-minute animated film that tells the story of a young boy who builds a snowman on Christmas Eve, only to find that it comes to life later on that night and takes him on a magical journey to the North Pole.

There’s no dialogue to speak of, except for some introductory narration by David Bowie (yes, David Bowie). The Snowman, with its musical interlude featuring the haunting song Walking in the Air, beautiful animation, and messages of friendship and loss, is a true classic. Your kids will love it, and I challenge any parent not to get choked up by the end.

10 Fun Outing Ideas for Winter Break

December 20, 2015

Winter Break is here! While you'll probably spend plenty of time with family and friends for Christmas, you'll also need to keep the little ones occupied, and there are plenty of fun things to do in and around Marin with the kids during their time off! Check out our list of 10 fun family activities and outings, both indoor and outdoor, for winter break.

Make Your Own Holiday Gingerbread House

December 20, 2015

Gingerbread House

Every year we create a gingerbread house using the nice kit sold by Trader Joe's, but last year, after constructing a house from the kit, my daughter decided she wanted to take our gingerbread house building experience a step further and create another one—this time from scratch! Fortunately, as we found out, it's easy to do and fun.

First thing you have to do is come up with a design for your house. We created a template for a basic gingerbread house that's simple to create and put together. (You can download our template, formatted for two letter-size sheets of paper; get page one here and page two here.) You can embellish and elaborate on this little house and make it your own special creation.

Seven Wonderful Winter Family Hikes in Marin

December 19, 2015

Fairway Waterfall Novato Marin County Open SpaceSince we seem to be getting a break from the rain, why not take advantage of the beautiful weather by taking a family hike? There are so many amazing spots in Marin County that are perfect for a hike or nature walk with kids, whether they're in a baby backpack, a stroller, or walking on their own.

The winter landscape in Northern California can be breathtaking, too, with bright green grass and even some wildflowers showing their faces. Here are seven of our favorite amazing Marin hikes for families, perfect for winter or any time, really. Remember to wear layered clothing, and it's usually a good idea to let the kids wear their rain boots on muddy winter trails.

The Fairway Waterfall

The Fairway Waterfall in Novato (also known as the Arroyo de San Jose Waterfall) is a fantastic destination for a winter family hike. It's short and there's an amazing payoff at the end of the trail in the form of a 30-foot waterfall!

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