Drop-in Activities

Celebrate the End of Summer with a Snow Party at Strawberry Village!

August 22, 2017

End of Summer Snow Party

How about celebrating the end of summer with a snow party? Grab your boots and gloves and come play in the Snow Zone at Strawberry Village in Mill Valley this Saturday, August 26, from 10 am to 1 pm. Strawberry Village's Piazza will be transformed into a winter playground, complete with a 20-by-60-foot Snow Zone filled with two feet of real snow. Not only can the kids play in the snow, but they'll enjoy live music, a photo booth, arts and crafts, a caricature artist, airbrush tattos, balloon twisting, face painting, and more.

Where to Watch the Solar Eclipse in Marin and the Bay Area

August 19, 2017

Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

In case you haven't noticed, there's going to be a total solar eclipse on Monday morning! On August 21 at approximately 9:05 am, the moon will start to pass in front of the sun, with maximum coverage occurring at around 10:15 am. This is the first eclipse visible across the entire continental US since 1979 and the last until 2024.

Unfortunately, in the Bay Area we won't get to see the sun completely blocked—you'll have to go to parts of Oregon, Idaho, Georgia or somewhere else for that, but 78% of it will be hidden from view, so the effects should still be dramatic! Here's our guide to places for solar eclipse viewing in Marin and the Bay Area on Monday, many of which will offer free eclipse-viewing glasses, usually on a first-come, first-served basis.

Blast Off at the Novato Space Festival Today at Pacheco Plaza

August 6, 2017

Novato Space Festival

Celebrate 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 Sunday, 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 astronauts including Al Worden, who participated in the Apollo 15 moon mission; shuttle crew members Jerry Ross, Nicole Stott, Bruce Melnick, and Dan Bursch; and Novato's own shuttle astronaut Yvonne Cagle. This year, families with children 12 an under will get early admission at 9:30 am and can attend a special book reading by astronaut Jerry Ross in the museum's Moon Room.

In addition to meeting legendary astronauts, visitors will also get a chance to check out over 30 different space exhibits, as well as the Space Station Museum's exhibits.

"Hot Amphitheater Nights" Kicks off Tonight!

July 29, 2017

Hot Amphitheater Nights Novato

Novato's Hot Amphitheater Nights free concert series kicks off tonight, Saturday, July 29, from 5 to 7 pm at Hamilton Amphitheater Park! Tonight's performer is San Francisco's Royal Jelly Jive, a retro-modern band that blends jazzy cabaret sounds with funk, rock, and soul.

Bring your family and friends and pack up your blankets, lawn chairs and picnics for this fun free event. Kona Ice will be on hand selling shave ice, too. The next concert takes place Saturday, September 9 and features nostalgic music from Mexico and the Caribbean by Cascada de Flores. For more info, visit www.novato.org/concerts.

Nature for Kids Hikes with Marin County Parks Are Fun and Fascinating

July 9, 2017

Nature for Kids Marin Parks David Herlocker

Spending time in the outdoors as a family this fall can be both fun and educational: get some exercise, explore Marin County's many parks and open space preserves, take advantage of our often lovely fall weather, and learn about the natural wonders that can be found all around us. A fantastic and eye-opening way to get out and experience nature in Marin is to take part in one of the naturalist-led family outings offered by Marin County Parks.

The parks department's Nature for Kids outings take place at Marin's many open space areas, and feature a leisurely, kid-paced hike with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way. The hikes are informal and unstructured, and perfect for kids of all ages, although they seem geared for kids ages 3 to 12.

Family Kayak Adventures in Marin and Northern California

June 26, 2017

Kayaking

One of the activities we love to do is kayaking. It's a fantastic way to experience nature and peacefully explore local waterways. What we love most about it is that it's an activity that can be enjoyed by all ages! Tandem kayaks often have a third seat for a small child, and kids can easily pick up the skills needed to paddle their craft through the water. It's fun and great exercise.

For beginners, all these kayak rental outfits offer the sit-on-top style ocean kayaks, which are stable, lightweight, and easy to paddle. The only drawback is that you can get a little wet while you're paddling, but then that's part of the fun. We've kayak on lakes, bays, and rivers, and each type of location offers a different experience.

Presidio Twilight Returns for Another Summer of Food and Family Fun

May 18, 2017

Presidio Twilight

Join Off the Grid and the Presidio Trust for the fourth season of Presidio Twilight! Opening tonight, May 18 on the Main Parade Ground of the Presidio, Presidio Twilight runs every Thursday from 5-9 pm and features a large selection of international cuisine, live music, sunset activities, and the ambiance of San Francisco’s national park for a one-of-a-kind experience. Lantern-lit cabanas and fire pits underscore the “picnic at dusk” atmosphere and are available to all on a first-come, first-served basis at no cost.

Touch a Truck at Oak View Nursery School in San Rafael this Saturday

April 27, 2017

Touch a Truck 2016 Oak View Nursery School San RafaelThis Saturday, April 29, 2017, put your imagination in gear and come to Oak View Nursery School for their fourth annual Touch a Truck event! At Touch a Truck, kids (and grownups, too) will get a chance to get behind the wheel of some amazing vehicles and rub elbows with their hometown heroes.

Come and explore and get behind the wheel of your favorite vehicles, including a fire truck, dump truck, police car, school bus, tow truck, ambulance, rescue truck, recycle truck, construction vehicles, and more. There promises to be a parking lot full of cool trucks this year! It will definitely be a day to remember.

See What UC Berkeley Has to Offer at Cal Day 2017

April 18, 2017

Cal Day

Take your family to UC Berkeley on Saturday, April 22, from 9 am to 5 pm to see all that the university has to offer at their annual Cal Day open house. Explore over 400 lectures, demonstrations, and tours taking place across campus, and learn about everything from architecture to zoology.

Learn about Cal spirit and traditions; listen to live music by the Cal Band and other performers; tour museums like the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Museum of Paleontology; and learn about science, engineering, technology, and more with hands-on fun. Prospective Cal students will also have a chance to learn about admissions, programs and resources at the university, and can even tour residence halls. Kids can pick up a Science@Cal Passport at the Valley Life Sciences building and tale part in fun hands-on science activities around campus.

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