The Insider's Guide to Visiting Tiburon for Families

September 8, 2014

Downtown TiburonTiburon, that "nearly perfect" Marin town on the end of its namesake peninsula, is a fantastic place for families to visit. Tiburon has long been a favorite of locals and tourists, and boasts amazing views of San Francisco, plenty of boutiques, shops, and restaurants, and lots for everyone to see and do. So pack up the kiddos and head out to Tiburon for a day of fun!

You'll probably want to head straight for downtown Tiburon. We love to walk along the path in Shoreline park and watch the sailboats as they glide by on San Francisco Bay. Along the way, you'll find a fun and interesting museum that's perfect for kids, as well as grassy areas that are ideal for a picnic or just relaxing.

Downtown Tiburon, along Main Street, is home to plenty of places to dine, many of which have a spectacular view of the Bay and San Francisco. Main Street is also home to historic Ark Row, where many of the buildings are actualy converted Victorian-era houseboats. There always seems to be some sort of fun special event taking place in downtown Tiburon, too, from a classic car show to the family-friendly fun at Friday Nights on Main to a holiday festival and tree lighting in early December.

Bay Area Discovery Museum Closed for Annual Maintenance

September 7, 2014

Bay Area Discovery Museum Lookout CoveSausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum, Marin's favorite hands-on place for kids to learn and explore, will be closed for its annual maintenance the next two weeks—from Monday, September 8 through Monday, September 22, 2014. They close at this time each year for two weeks to clean and undertake improvement projects that can't be done when they're open to the public. The museum will re-open on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.

We're looking forward to some of the museum's great fall and winter programs, like the Goblin Jamboree (October 18 and 19), the Harvest Festival (November 8), Gingerbread Architecture Extravaganza (November 29 and 30, and the new Snow Days Family Fundraiser (December 12–13, complete with real snow). Get the full schedule of upcoming events and programs on the museum's website.

Our Favorite Homemade Apple Pie

September 7, 2014

apple pieAfter all our apple picking excursions in Marin and Sonoma, plus offerings from our neighbors and my mom, we've found ourselves with a surplus of apples. That means I'm always looking for fantastic apple recipes. Of course good old apple pie is one of those that falls immediately to mind.

This is my go-to recipe for this treat. It's an adaptation of the recipe that used to be on the back of the box of Trader Joe's frozen pie crusts. I don't know what it is about it, but it makes what my family thinks it the best apple pie ever. I still usually use the Trader Joe's pie crusts for this, since they're really good quality and make for a lot less work. Feel free to make your own pie crusts or to use a different brand, though.

I like to make this pie with local Gravenstein apples, but any tart apple, such as Granny Smith, will work fine.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds apples (about 6 medium), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 package Trader Joe's pie crusts, thawed
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Marin Weekend Family Events for September 5, 6 & 7

September 6, 2014
Feeding the sheep at Chileno Valley Ranch
Visit Chileno Valley Ranch this Sunday for u-pick apples and fun on the farm.

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, September 5

  • Infant and Child CPR Class and Vendor Fair
    Whole Foods Mill Valley
    Friday, 9:30–11 am

    Whole Foods in Mill Valley offers a child CPR class followed by a vendor fair for new parents featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, Mill Valley Recreation, and more. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes. One-year CPR certification is included with the course. CPR certificate fee $30. Space is limited; register here. The event takes place at the Whole Foods at 414 Miller Avenue.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    San Anselmo Town Hall Lawn
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Picnics feature music and family fun. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: The Fifth Element
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    This Friday's movie is The Fifth Element (PG-13). Arrive by 8 pm—films begin at dusk. Popcorn, candy, and sodas will be sold. Bring blankets, pillows, backrests, and low chairs. Film Night suggests leaving pets at home. Donations are appreciated. Creek Park is located in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 6

  • Fall Fishing Derby
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    Join rangers for the fall fishing contest at Paradise Beach Park! Prizes will be awarded for the first fish and the biggest fish! A limited number of fishing poles and bait will be provided first-come, first-served to beginners, thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A valid California fishing license is required when fishing from the shore; not from the pier. Paradise Beach Park is at 3450 Paradise Drive in Tiburon. Meet at the fishing pier. Park entrance is free. For more information, visit their website.
  • Infant and Child CPR Class and Vendor Fair
    Whole Foods San Rafael
    Saturday, 9:30–11 am

    Whole Foods in San Rafael offers a child CPR class followed by a vendor fair for new parents featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, and more. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes. One-year CPR certification is included with the course. CPR certificate fee $30. Location: 340 Third Street. Space is limited; register here. Find out more about his event here.

September Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

September 5, 2014

Parents PlaceParents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. This fall, they offer a wide variety of programs, from childbirth education to classes for parents and children. Here are a few of the programs they offer in September, including a webinar on positive discipline and an effective fathering workshop with author and parent coach Tom Limbert.

JAMaROO Music Time, plus bonus free play! (9 months–4 years)

JAMaROO Music Time is a fun-packed, 40-minute class that combines music, creative movement, and storytelling. Children will sing, play simple instruments, read stories, balance bean bags, and dance with streamers to a variety of music from around the world. Class themes are related to nature and the outside world.Tuesdays, September 9–23, 10–10:40 am. $39 per child; $22.50 for each additional sibling, for three-week series. Parental supervision is required. As a bonus, the playroom will be available for free play from 10:40 am until noon after each session Register here.

Terrific Toddlers and Twos (1–3 years)

Acquire a developmental understanding of how best to support your little ones and preserve your sanity! We will talk about setting limits, guiding behavior, developing social skills, understanding tantrums, and more. With Bonnie Romanow, BA, childhood development specialist. Wednesday, September 10, 6:30–8:30 pm. $40. Register here.

Take a Family Hike at Santa Margarita Island Open Space Preserve

September 4, 2014

Santa Margarita Island Open Space Preserve in San RafaelFamilies looking for a short, easy hike with interesting things to see along the way should check out Santa Margarita Island Open Space Preserve in northern San Rafael. Located in the Santa Venetia neighborhood just east of the Marin Civic Center, this small preserve really is a little island surrounded by tidal wetlands. It's home to numerous birds and other wildlife, so make sure you bring your binoculars!

Open the gate and walk across the little bridge onto the four-and-a-half-acre island. You'll see pilings and concrete walls, which are the remains of a failed development from the early 1900s that sought to transform the area into a Venice-like town, complete with canals and gondolas (and hence the name Santa Venetia). The bridge is a great place to look for shorebirds that live in the wetlands, including egrets, black-necked stilts, and the endangered California clapper rail.

Once over the bridge, you'll be on the trailhead. Go right or left—it doesn't matter, because the whole trail is a flat, .3-mile loop. It's easy for hikers of any age, and can probably be managed with an off-road capable stroller, too. No bikes are allowed here—just hikers and equestrians.

A Visit to Wildcare in San Rafael

September 2, 2014

WildCare San RafaelOne of Marin's most amazing resources is WildCare. This amazing urban wildlife rehabilitation center helps out thousands of ill, injured, or orphaned wild animals from around the Bay Area. They also undertake wildlife and nature education and operate a 24-hour Living with Wildlife Hotline.

We love to visit the courtyard and small natural history museum at their headquarters in San Rafael's Albert Park. The WildCare courtyard is home to the its Wildlife Ambassadors—animals who are unable to be released back in to the wild and whose permanent home is now in San Rafael. These animals serve as ambassadors to the community, appearing in educational programs at schools and other programs throughout the bay area. We've been coming here to visit since the kids were really little, and some of the animals here seem like old friends.

Car Seat Inspection and Installation in Marin

September 2, 2014

Rear-facing car seatOne of the most daunting things that new parents face, is… installing the car seat! Believe it or not, four out of five car safety seats are actually installed incorrectly. Before my son was born, my husband spent what seemed like many frustrating hours installing the car seat in the back of our car. Eventually he was pretty happy with the job that he did. That is, until we took the car to the CHP for a car seat inspection, where it was declared incorrect. In fact, the officer took out the seat and reinstalled it correctly in just a few minutes!

I've heard similar stories from fellow parents, so it's definitely a must to get your car seat inspected by a qualified agency or individual before you use it for your precious cargo. They'll check your installation and, if needed, show you how to properly install the seat.

Infant CPR Class Events at Whole Foods San Rafael and Mill Valley

September 1, 2014

Mill Valley Whole Foods EventAttention new parents! This week, Whole Foods Markets in San Rafael and Mill Valley will offer events for new moms and dads with an infant and child CPR class followed by a vendor fair featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, and Mill Valley Recreation, among others. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes.

One-year CPR certification is included with the course. For both classes, the fee for the certificate has been reduced to $30 (regularly $45) for this special community event. Space for both events is limited, so register to reserve your spot now (reservation links below).

The Mill Valley event takes place at the original Whole Foods Market at 414 Miller Avenue on Friday, September 5, with the class from 9:30–11 am and the vendor fair from 11 am–1 pm. Register for the Mill Valley event here.

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