Indoor Drop-in Activities for the Little Ones for Marin & Beyond

March 9, 2016

Indoor playLooking for fun indoor play spaces for the little ones? There are several places to take the kids to get them out of the house and burn off all that extra energy, especially on a cold or rainy day. Here are a few ideas for fun indoor drop-in activites in Marin County and beyond:

Berkeley

  • Habitot Children's Museum
    2065 Kittredge Street
    Berkeley
    (510) 647-1111

    Discovery Museum for young children, toddlers and infants. Fun activities, hands on exhibits, arts & crafts, fun classes, music and much more. Cost: $10.00 per child
    (free under 12 mo.) and $10.00 per adult For more info, visit their website.

  • Studio Grow
    1235 10th Street
    Berkeley
    (510) 526-9888

    Studio Grow offers a wide variety of activities for ages 0–6 years. Drop in any time for open play! Come for story, music, or parachute programs. Studio Grow offers a wide variety of activities for all day open play, all included with admission. For more info, visit their website.

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

March 8, 2016

Just Between Friends fall sale Santa RosaCome shop until you drop at this weekend's North Bay Just Between Friends Sale at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Grace Pavilion in Santa Rosa. Taking place Thursday through Sunday, March10–13, 2016, 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.

A $3 admission fee is charged on Thursday, March 10, and $2 on Friday, March 11 for attendees ages 18 and over, but you can get in free by registering for a free pass in advance. Admission on Saturday and Sunday (when all items are 50% off) is free. Sale hours are noon to 8 pm Thursday, 9 am to 8 pm on Friday, and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday, and 9 am to 2 pm on Sunday.

St. Patrick's Day Family Fun in the Bay Area

March 8, 2016

St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick's Day takes place on Thursday, March 17, 2016. There are lots of fun activities such as, family fun runs, storytimes, music, crafts, parades and more...and events. Here is out list of awesome things to do with your family:

  • St. Patrick's Day Parade
    Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco
    Saturday, March 12, 11:30 am

    The West Coast’s largest Irish event celebrating Irish history and culture, the 165th Annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival will take place on Saturday, March 12 at 11:30 am. The Parade will start at the corner of Market and Second Streets where over a hundred colorful floats, Irish dance troupes and marching bands will wind their way to Civic Center Plaza. Following the parade, the Festival will be held at Civic Center Plaza, in front of City Hall. This year’s Festival features cultural and exhibitor booths, a healthy selection of Irish food and beverages, Irish dancing, live music, both contemporary and traditional, and activities for children including inflatable and mechanical rides and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • Lucky Run 5K & 10K
    Hamilton Wetlands, Novato
    Sunday, March 13, 8 am

    This fun family run benefits the Safe and Sober Grad Night for Novato Schools. Come run or walk through the beautiful old Spanish-style Coast Guard housing area in Novato's Hamilton neighborhood as well as the picturesque Hamilton wetlands that have recently been restored and opened as a wildlife refuge. Leprechaun mischief and Irish revelry may be seen along the way. A challenging and fun course for both the young and experienced runners. For more info and registration, visit their website.

The King and I at Throckmorton Theatre

March 8, 2016

The King and I at Throckmorton TheatreSome of the Bay Area's most talented youth performers come together in Mill Valley to present the Throckmorton Theatre's family-friendly production of the Broadway classic musical The King and I. The winner of four Tony awards and five Oscars, The King and I tells the story of Anna, a British schoolteacher hired by the King of Siam as part of his drive to modernize his country, and features a dazzling score and incomparable Jerome Robbins ballet, "The Small House of Uncle Thomas."

The King and I is directed by Throckmorton Youth Performers Director Steven Hess, with choreography by Bidalia E. Albanese and Maria Elena Cacciatore, and musical direction by Desirée Goyette Bogas.

The remaining performances of The King and I take place on Friday, March 11 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 12 at 2 pm, and Sunday, March 13 at 2 pm. General admission tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students; reserved seating tickets are $35. Order tickets online at tickets.throckmortontheatre.org or by calling (415) 383-9600. The box office is also open Tuesday through Sunday, from 2 to 6 pm for in-person sales.

Fast Food Gets Healthy at Amy's Drive Thru in Rohnert Park

March 7, 2016

Amy's Drive Thru Rohnert Park

The terms "fast food" and "health food" have never really been synonymous—until Amy's Drive Thru opened last summer in the Sonoma County town of Rohnert Park! Created by the same people who run the Amy's Kitchen, famous for its vegetarian and vegan frozen pizzas, mac-and-cheese, burritos, and other prepared foods, Amy's Drive Thru is like a traditional fast food restaurant with, as the name implies, a drive through, but everything is either vegetarian or vegan, as well as made from sustainable, local, and organic ingredients. We've stopped by Amy's for lunch a few times when up in the area, and really enjoyed their unique healthy take on traditional fast food treats.

Makeblock's Starter Robot Kit is a Great Intro to Robotics and Coding

March 7, 2016

Makeblock Starter Robot Kit

One of the cool presents under the Christmas tree this year was Makeblock's Starter Robot Kit. This kit contains everything you need to assemble your own robot tank and three wheeled car. The robot has rubber tracks for all-terrain mobility, an ultrasonic sensor for object avoidance, and an infrared remote control so you can drive it around the house, backyard, or classroom. It's all built around an arduino board, which allows you to program the robot, too.

A startup based out of Shenzhen, China, Makeblock produces a variety of other robotics kits in addition to the Starter Robot, using its open-source robiotics platform. As the name implies, you can get various add-on components to extend your robot into a unique technological creation.

Fine Art Summer Camps in Marin and the Bay Area

March 6, 2016

Summer Art Camp While many summer camps in Marin offer arts and crafts activities in their programs, you'll find a few that specialize specifically in art. Here's a list of specialized fine art camps in Marin and San Francisco for your budding Rembrandt or Georgia O'Keeffe. Some of the camps are actually held by museums! To find more fantastic camps, visit our 2016 Marin Summer Camp Guide. Popular camps can sell out early, so reserve your spot as soon as possible!

  • Studio 4 Art's Fine Art Camps
    Location: Mill Valley & Novato
    Ages: 4–14
    Dates: June 6–August 12
    Cost: $200–$385 per week

    Studio 4 Art's camps take place at their studios in downtown Novato and Mill Valley, where professional artists introduce campers to new and contemporary art techniques, procedures and processes. Some of the topics taught will be wheel throwing, cartooning, mosaics, sewing, fashion design, sculpture, pottery, acrylic painting, watercolor painting, oil painting, printmaking, photography, and pastels. Camps take place from 9:30 am until 12:30 or 3:30 pm, and cost from $255–$435 per week or $65–$105 daily drop-in (if space available). For more info visit www.studio4art.net or (415) 596-5546.

March Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

March 5, 2016

Girls LeadershipParents 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.

Infant Sleep Solutions

Sunday, March 6, 10 am–noon
Learn some great techniques to help your little one-and you!-sleep. We will discuss baby sleep needs and the best ways to help young ones learn good sleep habits. We will cover the importance of a baby schedule, challenges to baby sleep habits (developmental milestones), new SIDS research and guidelines, pros and cons of various sleep methods (Ferber, CIO, low/no-cry methods), infant/child sleep products, and choices: family bed, crib, and room sharing. Pre-crawling babies welcome. With infant sleep expert Sarah Middelton, MA, CD, PCD. $45 per individual; $75 per couple. Register here.

The Perfect Camp Awaits at the 2016 Marin Summer Activities & Camp Fair

March 5, 2016

Marin Summer Activities & Camp FairIf you're trying to make a decision on the perfect summer camp for your kids, save the date for the upcoming Marin Summer Activities & Camp Fair, which takes place Sunday, March 6 from 10 am to 1 pm at Conlan Center Gymnasium at the Dominican University of California in San Rafael.

As in years past the Marin Summer Activities & Camp Fair will offer plenty of fun for everyone, with free pizza, fun prizes for kids, and a bounce house, as well as representatives from dozens of summer camps. This year the fair is expanding to include other summer options like tutoring and activities, too! Older campers in middle school and high school are encouraged to attend as well.

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