Events and Outings

Marin Family Weekend Fun for September 23, 24 & 25

September 23, 2016

Blackie's Hay Day
Celebrate fall at Blackie's Hay Day, on Saturday at Blackie's Pasture in Tiburon

Here are our other 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 23

  • 52nd Annual Fall Big Book Sale
    Fort Mason, San Francisco
    Friday and Saturday, 10 am–6 pm

    The annual Friends of the San Francisco Public Libary Big Book Sale features over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories. Everything is $3 or less, with a 3-2-1 scale: $3 hard cover books; $2 paperback books; $1 DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media. All items remaining on Sunday are $1. Location: Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sing and Dance with Miss Kitty
    San Rafael Library Lawn
    Friday, 10:30–11:15 am
    Join Marin County’s favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the San Rafael Public. Location: 1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue). For more info, visit their website.
  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movies in the Park: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Friday, 7–10 pm

    Join us this Friday for Movies in the Park. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will begin at 8 pm in Old Mill Park. Bring your blankets, low beach chairs, and flashlights for a fabulous time with family, neighbors and friends. Location: Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 24

  • Weekend Along the Farm Trails
    Sonoma County
    Saturday & Sunday
    Sonoma County farms are abundant with fall harvest. Pack up the family and head out to the farm! Tour your way through Sonoma County and visit farms of your choice. Activities include farm tours, demonstrations, animal petting, hay rides & corn mazes, games and crafts for kids, tastings, cooking demos, flower arranging, and more. Many stops will offer snacks, lunches and epic picnic sites. Farm stands will be open for fresh-from-the-source purchases. Free to visit farms. For more info and to register, visit their website.
  • 4th Annual Candy Palooza
    Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    The annual Candy Palooza is a free festival of all things sweet featuring free tastings, live music and free tours of the factory. Activities include arts and crafts, carnival rides and midway games, chalk art on the patio and tours of the factory. This event is for kids of all ages. Free. Location: One Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween & Vine
    Hermann Sons Hall, Petaluma
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Come see the spectacle that is Halloween & Vine. Enjoy the bewitching artistry of more than 39 eclectic and diverse artists from North America. Celebrate the 21st season of this prestigious show where you can purchase one-of-a-kind works of art, handmade from a number of mediums; such as papier-mâché, leather, felt, spun cotton and everything in between. Location: 860 Western Avenue. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
  • Santa Rosa Toy and Comic Con 2016
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Saturday, 9 am–5 pm

    This year will be even bigger than previous years with more activities and dealers. Come check out everything from 200 plus toy and comic dealers to movie cars, LARPing, a video game room, panels, live wrestling from SPW, a lego free play area and a whole lot more! Tickets: $15–$25. Location: 1350 Bennett Valley Road, San Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Wings Over Wine Country Air Show
    Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rosa
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–4 pm

    The Wings Over Wine Country Air Show is presented by the Pacific Coast Air Museum (PCAM) as a family-friendly community event. Lots of activities for families and children as well as military jet fly-bys, world class civilian aerobatics, and warbirds. Static displays include the museum's collection of over 30 restored aircraft (most of which will be open for climb aboards), civilian and military statics and morning access to the warbirds that will fly later in the show. Gates open both days at 9 am for pre-show activities, including radio controlled model aircraft demonstrations. The main air show events kick off just after 11 am. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • USTA Kids' Play Day
    Tiburon Peninsula Club
    Saturday, 9–11 am

    USTA Kids' Play Day at the Tiburon Challenger, a Pro Circuit men's professional event, is a special opportunity for children 6–12 to see a special exhibition performance, take part in fun activities and games on the court, and enjoy ice cream. USTA NorCal will have gifts for all participants, and kids and their families can stay to see qualifying matches. Participation in Kids' Play Day is free, but registration is required here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Blackie's Hay Day 
    Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Blackie's Hay Day has become a community tradition that children look forward to every year. Designed for children of all ages, Blackie's Hay Day is reminiscent of an old fashioned country fair with pony rides, relay races, toy tractors, jumpies, a climbing wall, live entertainment, food trucks, and more. General admission $15 and children under 2 free.. Activity tickets in packets of 25 ($25) and unlimited bracelets ($50) are available. Order advance tickets online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Toy and Clothing Sale
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Marinwood Kids' Toy and Clothing Sale is coming this Saturday (closed 2:30–3 pm to prepare for half-priced sale at 3 pm). Many families bringing quality used toys, books, clothing, equipment, bedding and some furniture to sell at very low prices. Outfit your kids from ages birth through the teen aged years! Cash only, no checks. Location: Marinwood Community Center, 775 Miller Creek Road, (off Lucas valley Road). For more info visit their website.
  • Berkeley Old Time Music Convention: Kids Concert
    Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch
    Saturday, 10:15–11 am
    Bring the kiddos for this free concert featuring Sam and Abby, from Bloomington, Indiana, They combine clogging, hambone, and soulful singing with energetic banjo playing and some unusual instruments, including musical saw and jaw harp, in a participatory show that is fun for the whole family. Location: Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch, Community Room (3rd floor), 2090 Kittredge Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • Father Goose's Tales
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am, 12:30 & 3 pm and Sunday, 10 am & 12:30 pm

    Marin Theatre Company (MTC) kicks off its 2016–2017 Family Series with Father Goose's Tales. In this production, Mother Goose has taken the day off and Father Goose must take over her duties, including storytelling! Father Goose's Tales is written and performed by Jim Napolitano, who brings the nursery rhymes, stories, and songs to life through innovative shadow puppetry, and is ideal for children ages 4 to 8. Tickets are $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office at 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch Opening Weekend
    Petaluma
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Pick your pumpkins straight from the vine. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals, and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, tire swing, pumpkin blaster, and u-pick squash, as well as a farm store. There will also be a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. For more info, visit their website.
  • Much Ado About Sebastopol
    Ives Park, Sebastopol

    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Step back in time for Sebastopol’s annual Renaissance Faire taking place in Ives Park in Sebastopol this weekend. Ives Park will be transformed into the English countryside of Fenford. Kids will receive a Student Passport which leads students of all ages throughout the grounds seeking clues from townspeople and vendors. Enjoy an afternoon of acting, handcrafted wares, ice cold lemonade and tradional foods and brews. Tickets: Adults $14 & Children (11–17) $8.00. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
    Sonoma Plaza
    Saturday 10 am–8 pm & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival is Sonoma Valley’s annual tradition of celebrating the harvest of wine grapes and the yearly crush. California’s oldest festival, this Sonoma tradition is held on the historic town square and is fun for all ages. Festivities include blessing of the grapes, reenactment of the Bear Flag Revolt, firefighters' water fight, family grape stomp, parade, kids carnival, tiny tacks race, and 5k run/walk. For more info, visit their website.
  • HeadsUp Summerfest Carnival
    San Rafael High School
    Saturday, 10:30 am–4:30 pm

    Come have fun and help save critical school programs for San Rafael City Schools at the HeadsUp Summerfest Carnival on Saturday. Admission is free! Game booths, giant slide, jumpy jumps, petting zoo, face painting, henna, wheel of fortune, kiss a pig, dunk tank, high school art display, kid’s stage with school music groups, yummy BBQ, and delicious pupusas. Location: at 185 Mission Avenue, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Fall Family Festivals & Fairs in Marin and Beyond

September 20, 2016

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin PatchFall is one of our favorite times of year, and there's so much family fun to be found in Marin and beyond. Find a fall festival or fair that's right for you! We'll keep updating our list of events for Marin and beyond as we find more this fall. If you have an event you'd like to see added to the list, please contact us.

September

  • Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
    Historic Sonoma Plaza
    Friday–Sunday, September 23–25

    Since 1897 the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival has been celebrating the Sonoma Valley’s bounty, community, and local culture. California’s oldest festival, this Sonoma tradition takes place the last full weekend of September in downtown Sonoma’s historic Plaza. Festivities include a Friday night gala, a grape stomp, live music, a lighted parade on Saturday evening, an art show, and more. Event website.
  • Blackie's Hay Day
    Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon
    Saturday, September 24, 10 am–4 pm

    Come out with your family to enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, toy tractor rides, carnival games, jumpies and a climbing wall as well as wonderful entertainment and food. Blackie's Hay Day is a family event with something for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy! Admission: $15 per person; activity tickets available in packs of 25, or as a $50 all-day bracelet. Supports Belvedere-Tiburon Library's kids and teen programs. Event website.

Pumpkin Patches Further Afield

September 17, 2016

Pumpkin PatchWhile there are plenty of awesome pumpkin patches to choose from in Marin and southern Sonoma counties (see our list of those here), you can find other great places to pick up pumpkins and other Halloween and autumn treats throughout the greater Bay Area. Maybe you're headed on a road trip to the south bay, or bound for the grandparents' house in Sacramento this October—there's probably a pumpkin patch on the way. Here are a few out-of-town pumpkin patches, in Solano, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties, that we've visited at one time or another or had recommended to us.

Solano County

Western Railway Museum Pumpkin Patch Festival

5848 Highway 12
Suisun 94585
(707) 374-2978
www.wrm.org
Saturdays and Sundays, October 8–23, 10 am–5 pm


The Western Railway Museum in rural Solano County holds its celebrated annual Pumpkin Festival every Saturday and Sunday from October 8–23. Ride a vintage electric express train to the pumpkin patch at Gum Grove Station for pumpkins, tractor rides, games, music, a hay fort, a pumpkin launcher, and pumpkins for sale, of course. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+, and $10 for children 2–14. Admission includes museum entry, unlimited train rides, picnic area use, and parking. Reservations are not accepted.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 16, 17 & 18

September 16, 2016

Blue Fairy at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
Family fun awaits this weekend at Mill Valley's 60th annual Fall Arts Festival in Old Mill Park.

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 16

  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Fun Days
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! Location: 931 C St., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Circus Vargas: The Big One is Back!
    Village at Corte Madera
    Friday, 4:30 & 7:30 pm, Saturday, 1, 4 & 7:30 pm, Sunday, 1, 4 & 7 pm

    See the world premiere of Circus Vargas presents iLUMINOUS, an all-new, high-energy extravaganza. Be wowed by death-defying stunts, flying aerialists, exhilarating acrobats, and uproarious clowns under a music filled, blue and yellow Big Top. Kids can learn circus skills at the free, interactive pre-show 45 minutes before each performance. After the show meet and take pictures with our performers. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Full Moon Hike at White Hill
    Larkspur
    Friday, 7–9 pm

    Come see nature's fireworks—clear skies, bright stars, and a magnificent full moon. Join rangers for a nature walk to experience this unique preserve after dark. We’ll discuss nocturnal animals and things that go bump in the night! This event is ideal for all ages. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Shakespeare by the River: As You Like It
    Foundry Wharf, Downtown Petaluma
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 2 pm & Sunday, 4 pm
    Bring the family out to experience Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It by the Petaluma River. Free. Location: 2nd and H Streets, Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: Pan
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    Film Night in the Park presents a large-screen outdoor presentation of Pan at Creek Park in San Anselmo. Bring blankets, pillows, backrest and low chairs. Free; donations greatly appreciated. Location: 451 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 17

  • Farmers Market & Pie Baking Competition
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Show off your baking skills and bring your best pie to the Marin Country Mart Farmers Market on Saturday at 10 am at the Big Tent. New this year is a special category for bakers 14 and under. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, children's crafts 10:30 am–1:30 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • California Coastal Cleanup Day
    Various Marin locations
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    On the third Saturday of every September volunteers all over the world converge on beaches, shorelines, and inland waterways to pick up trash and remove dangerous debris. Considered the largest marine-related volunteer event in the world, Coastal Cleanup Day is a wonderful opportunity to lend a hand and make a significant difference. There are over 35 sites in Marin to choose from. Check the list here.
  • NatureBridge Coastal Cleanup Day
    Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito

    Saturday, 9 am–noon
    Celebrate the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day with stewardship at Rodeo Lagoon. Coastal Cleanup Day is the highlight of the California Coastal Commission's year-round  Adopt-a-Beach program. This is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together to take care of our fragile marine environment. Free. For all ages. Register here. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Marin Garage Sale
    Novato
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Shop 'til you drop at the big multi-family garage sale in Novato's San Marin neighborhood. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The 60th Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival will showcase over 140 fine artists from all across the country and offer live music and children’s entertainment under the redwoods. The juried works include prints, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, photography, and sculpture. See full schedule here. Cost: $10 general admission, $5 students and seniors, free for kids under 12. Location: Old Mill Park, Throckmorton Ave and Old Mill Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • Father Goose's Tales
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am, 12:30 & 3 pm and Sunday, 10 am & 12:30 pm

    Marin Theatre Company (MTC) kicks off its 2016–2017 Family Series with Father Goose's Tales. In this production, Mother Goose has taken the day off and Father Goose must take over her duties, including storytelling! Father Goose's Tales is written and performed by Jim Napolitano, who brings the nursery rhymes, stories, and songs to life through innovative shadow puppetry, and is ideal for children ages 4 to 8. Tickets are $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office at 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • 2016 Korean Day Cultural Festival
    Union Square, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    We invite you to come celebrate with us with live Korean performances, food and cultural experiences on September 17th at Union Square in San Francisco! Free but RSVP is required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden Plant Sale
    College of Marin Indian Valley Campus, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Shop for plants and produce this weekend at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden. On Sunday, there will be family activities from 1 to 3 pm including a scavenger hunt, face painting, fall farm crafts, and more. For more info, visit their website.
  • International Dragon Boat Festival
    Lake Merritt, Oakland
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The California Dragon Boat Association presents the 21st Annual Kaiser Permanente Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Merritt, Oakland! Cheer on the fleet of colorful 40-foot dragon boats as they race to the beat of Chinese drums. This two-day, admission-free festival brings a weekend of world-class dragon boat racing, spectacular cultural performances, delicious food, a variety of clothes and crafts vendors, and kid-friendly activities in Dragon Land where games and arts and crafts await. For more info, visit their website.
  • Junior Chef Classes: American Girl Pancake Party
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Support a great cause—and have fun while you’re doing so! In this hands-on class with American Girl™, we’ll make pancakes together and, of course, eat our delicious creations! For ages 8+. Cost: $40 per child includes an American Girl™ for Williams-Sonoma Pancake Kit (30% of the proceeds will be donated to No Kid Hungry!) Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Circus Vargas is in town!
    Corte Madera Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Performers from the Circus will entertain families at the Corte Madera Library. It’s a high-energy extravaganza which is currently touring California. Look for the bigtop near Nordstrom, then head to the Library for a chance to meet and greet stars from the show. For more information, call (415) 924-6382. Location: 707 Meadowsweet, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • A Year With Frog & Toad
    The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Downtown Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm
    The Tony Award-nominated musical, based on Arnold Lobel's beloved stories, is back in Berkeley at a new venue! Come celebrate friendship in glorious song, as our heroes, Frog and Toad, hop through a season of comic adventures with their animal friends. Recommended for age 3 and up. This performance runs 65 minutes with no intermission. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2025 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 9, 10 & 11

September 9, 2016

Our go-to spot for family hikes and outdoor excurisions in Marin is the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes National Seashore.

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 9

  • Breakfast with Enzo
    Sports Basement, San Francisco Presidio
    Friday, 10 & 11 am
    Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, jew's harp, enzotar, appalachian dulcimer, slide flute, percussion and more. He has been performing and recording professionally for over fifteen years, the last ten of which he has spent in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $15 for one child & $10 per each additional child siblings under 7 months free. Lots of free parking too. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    The popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. This Friday: Everything and Nothing. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parents' Night Out
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, 5–10 pm

    Drop off the kids and enjoy a night out! While you relax, the kids will be having fun with the Marinwood staff. Games, park time, arts and crafts, dinner and a movie at the end of the night! Activities include a toy room, dodgeball or just hanging out. Cost: $23 per child. Register here. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Stars & Blankets Movie Night
    Nicasio Square Ball Field
    Friday, 6:30 pm

    Bring the family for a picnic and movie at Nicasio Square Ball Field. Enjoy the movie School of Rock on the big screen. Cost: $20 donation per family or $5 per person. There will be a snack shack open with hot dogs, popcorn, drinks and more. Make sure to bring your picnic blankets. Call (415) 237-3218 with questions. For more info, visit their Facebook page.

Saturday, September 10

  • Farmers' Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Shop for great local food and have fun at Marin Country Mart. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm adjacent to the farmer's market. Arts and crafts and face painting for kids from 9 am–2 pm and kid's entertainment from 9:30–10:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Program: Young Naturalists
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    Learn to identify some key California native plants and create your own field guide journal. This engaging walk and hands-on workshop is perfect for children ages 6 and up and their accompanying adults. Take what you learned on your next hike or outdoor adventure! Children must be accompanied by a paid adult chaperone. Wear appropriate clothes for dirt paths and sitting on the ground.  $15, $10 members. Register online, by calling (510) 664-9841, or by emailing gardenprograms@berkeley.edu. For more info, visit their website.
  • Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival
    Johnson's Beach, Guerneville
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    The Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival returns to Johnson's Beach in Guerneville with a lineup including Keb Mo', Sheila E., Chaka Khan, and Jonny Lang. Enjoy an international food court and water activities, too. Kids tickets available, and ages 5 and under are admitted free. For more info, visit their website.
  • A Year With Frog & Toad
    The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Downtown Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
    The Tony Award-nominated musical, based on Arnold Lobel's beloved stories, is back in Berkeley at a new venue! Come celebrate friendship in glorious song, as our heroes, Frog and Toad, hop through a season of comic adventures with their animal friends. Recommended for age 3 and up. This performance runs 65 minutes with no intermission. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2025 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: All Hands on Deck for Cute Crustaceans
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–6 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square (across from the Presidio Officers' Club), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pixie Park Open House
    Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon

    Open Houses are a great way to learn about the history of Pixie Park and what it means to belong to this co-op playground. The new member open house is conducted in a casual environment where you can speak to a board member about the benefits and responsibilities of being a Pixie family, as well as ask questions and meet other prospective families. After learning about the park, interested families can sign-up and receive their key. Location: 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross. For more info, visit their website.
  • Cartoonist: Svetlana Chmakova
    Charles Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 1–3 pm

    Meet, watch, and talk to internationally published, award-winning manga author Svetlana Chmakova. Chmakova was recently nominated for an Eisner award for her graphic novel, Awkward, which has been honored as one of the Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2015 by School Library Journal as well as one of the Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens 2016 by YALSA. Museum admisson applies. Location: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival 2016
    San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, noon–5 pm

    Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is excited to invite you to the annual, two-day chocolate celebration that has transformed into a true San Francisco staple. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival hosts over 50 vendors, culinary demos by top dessert professionals, a silent auction, and the popular Chocolate & Wine Pavilion. The best part? 100% of the profits from this event are donated to San Francisco non-profit, Project Open Hand. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China
    Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
    Saturday, 2 pm & 8 pm

    Among its country's most celebrated troupes, the Shanghai Acrobats of the People's Republic of China dazzle with a vivid new spectacle that celebrates their colorful, kinetic hometown. Expect daring stunts like giant trampoline somersaults, hoop-diving dragons, aerial silk ribbon dances, juggling, and a signature gravity-defying jumping routine that has earned the acrobats a Guinness World Record. Family friendly; ages 16 and under half price! Tickets starting at $30. Purchase tickets he e.
  • Free Shakespeare in the Park: The Winter's Tale
    Presidio, San Francisco
    Saturday, 2–4 pm
    Bring a picnic and your family to the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of The Winter's Tale featuring a cast of the Bay Area's best actors, including six of SF Shakes' Resident Artists. Location: Presidio’s Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Southern Marin Mothers' Club Community Open House

September 6, 2016

SMMC Open HouseAre you a parent of young children in Marin? Then check out the first ever Southern Marin Mother's Club (SMMC) Community Open House at Larkspur's Piper Park this Sunday, September 11 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Learn more about the SMMC and enjoy Music with Megan, a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, food and drinks, and a chance to meet fellow parents and new friends, and of course learn about the perks of being an SMMC member.

The SMMC Community Open House is a free event, but RSVPs are appreciated. Both SMMC members and non-members are welcome, as are parents from throughout Marin County (not just southern Marin). Reserve your spot online via Eventbrite. Piper Park is located at 250 Doherty Drive in Larkspur.

Fall Festivals & Family Halloween Events in Marin & the Bay Area

September 5, 2016

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
The first Pumpkin Patch Harvest Faire takes place October 1 and 2 at Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch  

Fall is one of our favorite times of year, and there's so much family fun to be found in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area. Find a fall festival or Halloween event that's right for you! We'll keep updating our list of events for Marin and beyond as we find more this fall. If you have an event you'd like to see added to the list, please contact us.

Marin and Sonoma Events

September

  • Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
    Historic Sonoma Plaza
    Friday–Sunday, September 23–25

    Since 1897 the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival has been celebrating the Sonoma Valley’s bounty, community, and local culture. California’s oldest festival, this Sonoma tradition takes place the last full weekend of September in downtown Sonoma’s historic Plaza. Festivities include a Friday night gala, a grape stomp, live music, a lighted parade on Saturday evening, an art show, and more. Event website.
  • Blackie's Hay Day 2016
    Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon
    Saturday, September 24, 10 am–4 pm

    Come out with your family to enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, toy tractor rides, carnival games, jumpies and a climbing wall as well as wonderful entertainment and food. Blackie's Hay Day is a family event with something for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy! Admission: $15 per person; activity tickets available in packs of 25, or as a $50 all-day bracelet. Supports Belvedere-Tiburon Library's kids and teen programs. Event website.
  • Weekend Along the Farm Trails
    Various locations in Sonoma County
    Saturday & Sunday, September 24 & 25, 10 am–4 pm

    On September 24 and 25, Sonoma County farmers will open their gates and barn doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm. Enjoy tours, tastes, and demonstrations fresh from the source. Most of the stops are free. All you need is transportation, a map of your route, a cooler to keep your purchases fresh, and a sense of adventure! Register for free and get details. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma County Harvest Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Friday–Sunday, September 30–October 2
    The Harvest Fair marks its 42nd year of showcasing Sonoma County’s grand harvest. Events include the World Championship Grape Stomp, award-winning food and beverages, cooking competitions, a Wine Country Marketplace, and more. Event website.

October

  • Pumpkin Patch Harvest Faire
    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 10 am–6 pm

    Opening weekend at the Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch will feature the first-ever Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival, featuring a variety of local artists and artisans with hand made arts and cradfts, wearables, homemade preserves, candles, and soaps, and of course all the usual pumpkin patch fun and festivities. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Event website.

Get Ready for the Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

September 5, 2016

Goblin JamboreeCome get a jump on Halloween at the 30th annual Goblin Jamboree fundraiser at the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Bring your little goblins to this year’s spooky family event on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16 from 10 am to 4 pm. Come in costume and explore the Bay Area Discovery Museum transformed into a haunted Halloween wonderland complete with games, attractions and live entertainment.

Ride a train or real ponies, try your hand at Boo Bowling, make your way through a hay maze, play with glow-in-the-dark trains in the Bay Hall, and and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment. This year's event will feature live musical performances from the Hipwaders, Jelly Jame Time, and Asheba. New this year is a spooky haunted house in the Fab Lab. This event is the perfect Halloween party for kids ages 6 months to 10 years.

Marin Family-Friendly Events for Labor Day Weekend

September 2, 2016

Sausalito Art FestivalThe Annual Sausalito Art Festival takes place this weekend at Marinship Park.

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

Friday, September 2

 
  • Miss Kitty Sing-along
    San Rafael Library Outdoor Lawn
    Friday, 10:30–11:15 am
    Join Marin County’s favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the San Rafael Public. Location: 1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue). For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    The popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. This Friday: The Long Horizon. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Bethanie Murguia
    Diesel Bookstore, Larkspur Landing

    Friday, 6 pm
    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author/illustrator Bethanie Murguia will be here to read you a bedtime story. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies. Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! is the perfect book for all the princesses, fairies, and ballerinas in your life! Location: Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus
    SAP Center, San Jose
    Friday, 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am, 3 pm & 7 pm; Sunday, 1 & 5 pm; Monday, 11:30 am
    Prepare to blast off on an intergalactic adventure for space-age family fun! Launch into the future with Out Of This World. Children Of All Ages can take the helm to join the Circus Space Fleet on a heroic quest of good versus evil that will let imaginations run wild with unexpected surprises and thrills at every turn. Your entire family will be amazed by this cosmic voyage as you discover the wonders of gravity-defying acrobats, orbital aerialists, majestic animals, fearless daredevils and humorous clowns. Location: 525 West Santa Clara, San Jose. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 3

  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. The will also be a children's book Launch Party for the picture book "Leo the Ghost Story" at 10:30 am under the tent at the farmers market. For more info, visit their website.
  • Closing Weekend for Magic Treehouse
    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 exhibit allows children to branch out through history via a magical, time-traveling tree house. Children explore history through immersive environments, period costumes, props, and more than 30 hands-on learning experiences. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sausalito Art Festival
    Marinship Park, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–7 pm and Monday, 10 am–5 pm
    The country’s best art and most exciting artists, a top-name music line-up, gourmet food, and fine wines and premium beers all bring more than 30,000 art lovers together in an electrifying atmosphere of creativity, fun, discovery, and magic every Labor Day Weekend. A children and families area features hands-on activities and entertainment for all ages, including kids' music by Tim Cain. Tickets: $25 for general, $20 seniors 62+, $5 ages 6–12, free for children under 6. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes: Fall Baking for Kids
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Calling all bakers! Fall is the perfect time to fill your house with the irresistible aroma of cupcakes, cookies and muffins baking in the oven. Join us and learn the basics of baking as we whip up some yummy sweet treats.  $10 per child, benefits No Kid Hungry. For ages 8+. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • 2016 Aloha Poly Fest
    Golden Gate Park, San Franicsco
    Saturday, 11 am–6 pm

    Bring the entire family for some great entertainment and fun activities at this free admisson and parking event and learn about Polynesian islands in the Pacific Ocean through cultural dances, songs, crafts, merchandise and more. Location: County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Keeping It Real with Harbor Seals
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–6 pm
    Did you know Pacific Harbor Seals live near the Presidio all year long? Come make your own Pacific Harbor Seal with recycled materials and learn how you can protect them and their habitat.  Featuring different crafts every weekend! Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square (across from the Presidio Officers' Club), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Curtain Theatre: The Comedy of Errors
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Saturday–Monday, 2 pm

    A mixture of mistaken identity, glorious romance, and families reunited, the show is perfect for a summer afternoon in the redwoods listening to some of the most beautiful words ever written!? Free. Location: 17 Cascade Way, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
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