Find a Bargain at this Saturday's Marin Parents of Multiples Club Garage Sale

May 29, 2016

Marin Parents of Multiples Club Garage Sale June 8 Marin Catholic Find top quality children’s clothes, toys, and equipment at garage sale prices this Saturday, June 4, 2016 at the 12th annual Marin Parents of Multiples Club (MPOMC) Garage Sale! Known at the largest family garage sale in Marin County, the sale features a variety of high-quality used items including maternity apparel, baby and children’s clothes (from infant to about age 10), infant and toddler gear, toys, furniture, strollers, safety equipment, feeding and nursing items, books, videos, outdoor play toys and equipment, and much more!

Because of the sale's strict quality control guidelines (it's often called the "Neiman-Marcus of garage sales"), this is the perfect place to find high-quality clothes and gear at 50%–80% below retail. This incredible sale not only benefits MPOMC members, who have early access to the huge selection of merchandise, but has a substantial community outreach component and is a service to the community at large. After the sale is closed, local families in need and non-profit organizations are invited to "shop" the remaining items at the sale for free.

Mill Valley is the Place to Be This Memorial Day Weekend

May 28, 2016

Mill Valley Parade Fire TruckMill Valley is the place to be in Marin County this Memorial Day Weekend! From an old-fashioned parade and a pancake breakfast to a fun family carnival and a blockbuster celebration at the Community Center, there's something for everyone in the family. For more info on all these events, visit the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce website.

Kiddo! Family Carnival

The long weekend started off with the annual Kiddo! Family Carnival, which takes place today and tomorrow, May 28 and 29, from noon to 10 pm, and on Memorial Day, Monday May 30, from noon to 5 pm. This old-fashioned carnival features fun for all ages, including rides like the Tune Train, Zipper, Sizzler, and the Typhoon, and games. Delicious food and drink will be available for purchase, too.

"West Side Story" Brings Energy and Excitement to the 2016 Mountain Play

May 28, 2016

Mountain Play West Side Story 2016

It's always amazing to see how the Mountain Play transforms Mt. Tam's Cushing Memorial Amphitheater. Last year it was Neverland and Captain Hook's pirate ship, and this season it's the inner-city New York neighborhood setting of West Side Story. We got a chance to see the Mountain Play's production of this Broadway classic on its opening day, and as usual, it was a fantastic outdoor theater experience! My 10-year-old daughter and I really felt like we were transported to a different place and era.

With plenty of classic songs like "Maria", "America", and "I Feel Pretty" and spectacular dancing choreographed by Nicole Helfer and based on the Jerome Robbins' original work, West Side Story is exhilarating and full of energy. It's based on Romeo and Juliet, so don't expect a happy ending, though. West Side Story is directed by Jay Manley (who also directed The Sound of Music on Mt. Tam in 2013), and Leonard Bernstein's score is performed by David Möschler leading a live 18-piece orchestra.

Marin Memorial Day Weekend Family Events 2016

May 27, 2016
American Crown Circus comes to Marin on Memorial Day Weekend
American Crown Circus brings its big top to Marinwood this Memorial Day weekend.

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this Memorial Day weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, May 27

  • American Crown Circus
    St. Vincent's, Marinwood
    Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, various times

    This family run, bilingual circus, presented by Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise, is centered around acrobats, performers, and clowns, with no exotic animals. Performances are on Friday, May 27 at 6:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29 at 1:30, 4, and 6:30 pm; and Monday, May 30 at 1:30 and 4 pm. Advance tickets are $14 and are good for any performance; two children under 12 admitted free per paid advance adult ticket. Tickets at the gate $20. For more info or to order tickets, vist their website.
  • Kiddo Family Carnival
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, 4–10 pm, Saturday & Sunday, noon–10 pm & Monday, noon–5 pm

    Bring the family for a four-day real old-fashioned carnival. There will be rides for all ages, plus food and games. The littlest ones in your family will love the Berry-Go-Round and the Tune Train, while your teenagers will be thrilled with the Sizzler, Zipper, Century Wheel, and the Typhoon. Advance discounted ticket books will be available in the Kiddo! office and Mill Valley Community Center while they last. Books are $25 advance, $35 once the carnival begins. Books may be turned in for a one-day wrist band for unlimited rides. Food and games extra. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main
    Main Street, Downtown Tiburon
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Bring the family to some outdoor dining, live music and dancing on Main Street in downtown Tiburon. This season's kickoff event features Mustache Harbor performing the hits of the '70s and '80s. For more information, visit their website.
  • Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover
    California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
    Friday, 6 pm–Saturday, 8 am

    Experience your own night at the museum! Explore the exhibits after-hours and discover the deepest depths of the oceans, travel to the tops of rainforests, blast off into outer space at your own private planetarium show, and then settle in for story time after snacking on milk and cookies. When the lights go out, roll out your sleeping bag next to the California Coast tank or the Swamp window face-to-face with Claude the albino alligator. In the morning head over to the Academy Café for breakfast. Cost: $109 per person. For more info, visit their website.
  • Katia & Co Presents: The Wizard of Oz
    Showcase Theater, San Rafael
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 2 pm

    The Wizard of Oz starring young actors ranging in age from 5 to 16 from all over Marin County. This show is directed and choreographed by Katia McHaney. Tickets: adults $15 and Children $12. Purchase tickets here.
  • Throckmorton Youth Present Sweet Charity
    142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 1 pm
    Sweet Charity, the spring Throckmorton Youth Production, is a hit! Bring your family, bring your friends—you will be singing along all week! Have you ever known a girl who wanted something so badly that she tried too hard to get it? Meet Sweet Charity, the girl who wants to be loved so much that she has lost sight of who she is. Charity sings, dances, laughs and cries her way through romances in the all too real… Tickets: $15–$20 general, $35 reserved. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, May 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.
  • Exhibition Opening: The Magic Tree House
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday–Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    Based on the best-selling children’s book series written by Mary Pope Osborne and published by Random House, the Magic Tree House traveling exhibition allows children to branch out through history via a magical, time-traveling tree house. Museum admission applies. For more info, visit their website.
  • Carnivore Carnival 2016
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday–Monday, 10 am–5 pm

    Carnivore Carnival will feature good ol' fashioned fun with a nod to the zoo's amazing bears, lions, tigers, wolverines, fishing cats, and otters. After you stop by and see these magnificent animals, try your luck at many fun carnival games... you may even win a prize!  After some cotton candy, a hot dog and soda, show off your strength on the Rock Climbing Wall. Zoo admission applies. Location: Sloat Boulevard at the Great Highway, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • The 38th Annual San Francisco Carnaval
    Harrison Street, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Come celebrate at the 37th annual Carnaval San Francisco, a free two–day family festival in San Francisco’s Mission District over Memorial Day weekend on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets and experience global cuisine, international music, dance, arts and crafts, and other fun activities and entertainment on every street corner for the entire family to enjoy. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Greek Festival
    Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, Novato
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–10 pm
    Come celebrate the culture of Greece with fabulous authentic Greek cuisine, live Greek music and dance, children's activities, cooking demonstrations, and more. Adults $5, seniors 55+ $4, children 16 and under free. The Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church is at 1110 Dickson Drive in Novato. For more info, call (415) 883-1998 or visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Memorial Day Paper Poppies
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Bring the kids to make Memorial Day paper poppies. Best for kids aged 5 to 12. Drop in anytime between 11 am and 4 pm. Free. Read about our visit to the Officers' Club here. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Hike: Come to Your Senses at Crissy Field
    San Francisco
    Saturday, 2–4 pm

    Come experience sites sounds, smells, and flavors of Crissy Field on a one-mile easy walk at the Crissy Marsh. Look for crabs, taste strawberry treats; listen to legends, smell a sea shore habitat; touch and play on the sands of Crissy field under the cypress trees. Free: for the whole family; pre-registration is required; 415 561-2805. For more info, visit their website.

8 Awesome Spots For a Memorial Day Weekend Picnic

May 27, 2016

Memorial Day weekend has arrived. The weather is going to be absolutely beautiful. Pack a picnic and enjoy the outdoors with your family at one of the many great picnic spots in and around Marin and Sonoma County. Here are some of our favorite places to bring our lunch and dine al fresco.

  • Bear Valley Visitor Center
    Point Reyes National Seashore

    Bear Valley in the Point Reyes National Seashore is home to the park's visitor center as well as a large picnic area complete with tables, restrooms, charcoal grills,  and drinking water. Have a leisurely lunch outdoors, and then take a hike—there are a number of different hikes and walks you can do here that are suitable for everyone in the family, including the Earthquake Trail, the Bear Valley Trail, and the trail leading to the Morgan horse ranch. Read more about Bear Valley in our article here.
  • China Camp State Park
    San Rafael

    China Camp State Park offers a variety of beautiful picnic spots overlooking San Pablo Bay. You'll find most of these picnic spots located along the winding Point San Pedro Road, most of which have nice lawns, picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, and amazing views. You can also have your picnic down in China Camp Village, which also boasts historic exhibits, a pleasant little beach for wading and swimming, and a funky little snack bar that looks like it hasn't changed since the 1930s. Read more about China Camp State Park in our article here.

Swimming, Play and More at McNears Beach Park in San Rafael

May 26, 2016

McNears Beach Park is one of those special places that I hold close to my heart. I grew up literally around the corner from it, and spent a lot of time there as a child. It's still one of my favorite places to spend the day in Marin, especially now that I have kids of my own. McNear's Beach is a 55-acre county park located on the shores of San Pablo Bay. It's the a perfect place to go on a warm day to wade in the bay, swim in the pool, picnic, fish, take in spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay Area, and more.

Marin Summer Survival Guide 2016

May 24, 2016

Summer's almost here, the kids will be out of school soon, and you'll be looking for things to do. Don't worry... check out our hot list of things to do this summer in Marin and the Bay Area. Our list includes free outdoor concerts and movies, community pools, swim lessons, beaches, camping, summer hikes, playgrounds, great summer reads, and the best places to go biking with the kiddos in Marin. Check back soon for the scoop on 4th of July fireworks, the Marin County Fair, summer festivals and more. Find out more here.

Free Outdoor Family Movies in Marin and the Bay Area

May 24, 2016

Film Night in the Park Marin County Summer

Summer means its time for free outdoor movies in Marin and the Bay Area, so grab your blankets and pillows, pack the picnic basket, and get ready to enjoy some flicks al fresco. Here's our guide to free family-friendly outdoor movies in Marin, San Francisco, and Sonoma County. Most movies begin at dusk or around 8 pm; check the organizer's website for exact time and location.

In addition, the North Bay Mobile Drive-In screens movies on the side of the Old Hamilton Theater building in Novato; join their Meetup page to get notified about upcoming screenings.

2016 Outdoor Movie Schedule:


Family Friendly Recipes for a Memorial Day Barbeque

May 23, 2016

Tri-tipMemorial Day Weekend, that traditional kick-off to summer is coming up! Since it's traditional to have a BBQ in the backyard, we've put together a selection of our most popular family-friendly grilling recipes, along with a few great sides and warm weather treats. So fire up the grill, cook up a feast, and enjoy the weekend!

Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip

Cooked slowly over charcoal with plenty of wood smoking chips, this traditional Santa Maria-style tri tip is simple to make and really delicious.

Barbeque Ribs on the Charcoal Grill

Slow-cook dry-rubbed ribs on the charcoal grill with plenty of wood smoking chips.

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