Events and Outings

Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 24–26

November 23, 2017

Winter Wonderland in San RafaelVisit downtown San Rafael this Friday and Saturday for free snow sledding and more!

There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, as well as opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers. Also, check out our guide to North Bay Christmas tree farms and Lots.

Friday, November 24

  • Holidays Along Farm Trails
    Sonoma County
    Saturday & Sunday, various times
    'Tis the season to celebrate with our community. Join Sonoma County farmers and producers as they open their gates and barn doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm. Shop their unique farmstands for your holiday meals, cut your own Christmas tree, make a gift at DIY workshops, greet farm animals, and so much more. Free. Register online for a complete list of participants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Christmas House at West End Nursery
    San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 am–5 pm, Sunday 9 am–4 pm

    Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery. This magical setting includes lights, decorated trees, and more. It's a holiday must-visit in Marin. Free admission; ornaments and decor are for sale. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Old MacDonald: Beyond the Farm
    Children's Creativity Museum Theater, San Francisco
    Friday, 10 am, Saturday & Sunday, 10 & 11:15 am

    Old MacDonald lives happily on her farm with all her animals. But Duck is sad because his birthday is tomorrow and his pen-pals live far away. Then Old Macdonald has an idea to cheer up her web-footed friend. Find out at this theater production for audiences ages 6 months to 3 years old. Children under the age of 6 months do not require a ticket. Tickets: $15 per person. Purchase tickets here. Location: 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Great Dickens Christmas Fair
    Cow Palace, San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–7 pm

    Experience Victorian London with hundreds of costumed players, shops offering one-of-a-kind gifts and Christmas treasures, dining, and pubs. Meet Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim, Jules Verne, David Copperfield, Charles Darwin, and 700 costumed characters. Of course, Father Christmas himself will be on hand to join in the fun. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Fun Weekend
    Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
    Friday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Join cartoonist and storyteller Joe Wos for live performances and cartoon workshops throughout the day! Free after museum admission. Location: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $18 for adults (includes skates), $13 for children 8 and under. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
  • Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco
    Friday–Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm, Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm

    Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Admission: $12, $7 children 7 and under, skate rental $5. For more info, visit their website.
  • The 38th Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland
    Downtown San Rafael
    Friday, noon–8 pm & Saturday, 9 am–noon
    Downtown San Rafael will once again commence the holiday season with its Winter Wonderland, Parade of Lights, and Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts that starts the Friday after Thanksgiving. On Friday: free snow sledding, kids activities (noon–4:30 pm & 6–8 pm), Holiday Marketplace (noon–8 pm) and the Parade of Lights (5:30 pm) with Santa and Mrs. Claus's arrival and a tree-lighting immediately after. On Saturday, kids activities and snow sledding continues (9 am–noon). Location: Fourth Street from B Street to Lootens Place in downtown San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday, 2
    –10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
    This Saturday, Marin on Ice opens for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Velveteen Rabbit
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 4 pm & Sunday, 2 pm

    Bring the family for this beloved Bay Area holiday tradition. ODC/Dance enlivens Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. Told though music, dance and a powerful narrative, The Velveteen Rabbit celebrates the unique relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, and the enduring power of love. Tickets range from $15 to $65. For more info, visit their website.
  • A Winter Circus for the Holidays
    Cornerstone Sonoma
    Friday–Sunday, 1, 3 & 5 pm
    An old style circus based on the French tradition of the 1920’s, Le Cirque de Bohème will transport you into a magical world filled with enchantment, adventure and wonder. This winter a Le Cirque de Bohème presents a new show: Freedom. Delight in work of world class performers including a unicycle, contortionist, juggler, slack-rope, hand chair balancing, aerial fabrics, and a hooper aerialist. Tickets: $55–$25.. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting
    San Francisco
    Friday, 4–9 pm

    This Black Friday, Ghirardelli Square will be hosting its annual tree lighting ceremony with free kids activities, tenant promotions, live music, Santa, and more Location: Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street (at Beach and Larkin), San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Winter Lights
    Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 4–8 pm

    Winter Lights is an annual event that brings together community to celebrate the holidays and remember our loved ones. This all-ages event is family-oriented and multi-cultural, and features a tree lighting celebration, remembrance candle lighting ceremony, Santa Claus arriving on a fire truck, Taste of Santa Rosa, live entertainment, children's activities, photos with Santa, ornament painting, and ugly sweater contest, and more. Location: 25 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
  • Napa Valley Wine Train Santa Train
    Napa
    Friday–Sunday, 5 pm

    The Santa Train returns to the Napa Valley Wine Train for another season of Christmas fun for the whole family. Embark on an all new interactive musical journey to Santa's workshop, accompanied by some of Santa's best friends. Santa Train passengers will enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, and other holiday treats. Have your photo taken with Santa at the station before your train departs, too.Santa Train fares start at $55, with special discount pricing for Napa Valley residents. Call (800) 427-4124 or visit their website to book tickets.
  • Macy's 28th Annual Union Square Tree Lighting
    Union Square Park, San Francisco
    Friday, 5:30 pm

    Macy's gift to the city and San Francisco's most recognized Christmas tree will be officially lit in Union Square at 6:40 pm. Macy's 28th Annual Tree Lighting will take place in Union Square Park between Sutter and Post and Geary and Stockton Streets, right across from the front of Macy's. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Friday, 6:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm
    Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows Charlie’s magical adventure when he wins a tour of Wonka’s chocolate factory. You’ll love the feast of songs from the original movie! Adapted for young audiences by Leslie Bricusse and Tim McDonald, based on Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tickets: $26 adults, $24 seniors 65+, $20 children 2–14. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Elephant and Piggie's "We Are in a Play!"
    Children's Creativity Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 6:30 pm, Saturday, 10:30 am, 1:30 & 4:30 pm, Sunday 10:30 am & 1:30 pm

    Expect happy high jinks galore—and a wonderful time, with music and rhyme—as Mo Willems’ two most unlikely pals cavort through the joys and trials of friendship in Elephant & Piggie’s "We Are in a Play!" Back by popular demand at BACT for the holidays! Tickets: $27 adults, $22 children 2–14, $25 seniors 65+. Location: 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Berkeley Playhouse: Annie
    The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Leapin’ lizards! One of the most popular musicals of all time returns to Berkeley Playhouse in an all new production that’s going to “shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!” Perfect for the entire family.  Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $20–$45. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Night Fairy
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday ,11 am

    When tiny but feisty Flory loses her fairy wings in an attack by a bat, she has to muster all her courage and ingenuity to survive in a garden full of threatening creatures, including a voracious spider. Directed by Hannah Dworkin and Nina Meehan. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets: $26 adults, $24 seniors 65+, $20 children 2–14. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach: The Musical
    Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma
    Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm
    Based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach is a brand new take on this “masterpeach” of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the Tony Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, Dogfight and A Christmas Story the Musical) and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, November 25

  • The 38th Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland
    Downtown San Rafael
    Saturday, 9 am–noon
    On Saturday, kids activities and snow sledding continues in downtown San Rafael. Location: Fourth Street from B Street to Lootens Place in downtown San Rafael. 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 am–2 pm adjacent to the farmer's market and live music. Bring the kids and get cozy under the tent to see a special performance by the one and only Emily Butterfly at 9:30 am! For more info, visit their website.
  • Reindeer Romp
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Santa is sending his favorite reindeer, Belle, Holly, and Peppermint, to spread holiday cheer at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens! Until January 1, majestic reindeer will be romping at SF Zoo's Playfield Lawn, near the spectacular Elinor Friend Playground. Zoo admission applies. Location: Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco International Auto Show
    Moscone Center
    Saturday, 10 am–10 pm & Sunday, 10 am–9 pm
    The International Auto Show features the world’s major manufacturers displaying their 2018 model cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans. There will also be classic cars, race cars, car simulators, hot rods, and more. Admission $10, children 12 and younger free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets at the door only. Location: Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Does It Really Snow in Downtown San Rafael?

November 21, 2017

Snow sledding in San Rafael

Does it really snow in Downtown San Rafael? Well, no... not very often. But that doesn't mean that they can't truck a bunch of the frozen white stuff for sledding on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving!

Hit the Ice! Holiday Ice Skating in the Bay Area

November 21, 2017

Ice skating at Marin on Ice

Even though it's an activity that you can do year-round, ice skating seems to be something that's especially appealing around the holidays. Marin on Ice is back at Northgate in San Rafael for another season of outdoor ice skating, so you don't have to leave Marin County to go skate! It's the only rink in the county, but you'll find more opportunities to skate in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and the East Bay. Here's our list of places to hit the ice in the Bay Area this holiday season.

Explore Sonoma County Farms at Holidays Along the Farm Trails!

November 18, 2017

Holidays on the Farm Trails

This November and December, take the family out to visit some of Sonoma's fantastic farms at Holidays Along the Farm Trails. Now through January 1, Sonoma County farmers and producers as they open their gates and barn doors every weekend to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm. Shop their unique farmstands for your holiday meals, cut your own Christmas tree, make a gift at one of the many DIY workshops, feed animals, and much more. You can skip the Black Friday madness at the mall and head out to a farm!

Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 17–19

November 17, 2017

Get in the holiday spirit with a visit to the Christmas House at San Rafael’s West End Nursery.

There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, as well as opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers.

Friday, November 17

  • Christmas House at West End Nursery
    San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 am–5 pm, Sunday 9 am–4 pm

    Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery. This magical setting includes lights, decorated trees, and more. It's a holiday must-visit in Marin. Free admission; ornaments and decor are for sale. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Warehouse Fall Sale
    Bel Marin Keys, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    On Friday and Saturday, many of the warehouses in the Bel Marin Keys will open their doors for direct-to-seller deals waiting for you. This semi-annual sale is one of the hidden shopping gems in Marin County and has been in existence for over 20 years! Shop for a wide variety of goods from food and wine to decor and fine art. For more info, visit their website.

Fall & Winter Break Camps in Marin and Beyond

November 15, 2017

Studio 4 Art CampStudio 4 Art offers Thanksgiving & Winter Break camps in both Novato and Mill Valley.

Looking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming Thanksgiving or Winter Break? Check out some of the great day camps here in Marin and the Bay Area. All the camps listed below offer drop-in camps, too.

  • Andrews Day Camp
    400 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera
    Ages: Kindergarten and up
    Andrews Camp offers a fall and winter break cammps that includes that offers outings to Scandia, Rebounderz, Six Flags, games, crafts, sports and more. Bring lunch and snack. For more info,call (415) 446-8946 or  visit their website.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum
    557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito

    Ages: 4–8
    The BADM is offering fall and winter Discovery Camps provide child-directed, inquiry driven learning through project-based, hands-on activities designed to intentionally boost creativity, STEM skills, and critical thinking. Children come away with the skills and tools to support lifelong discoveries. For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit www.baykidsmuseum.org.
  • N.Y. Broadway Training Programs Winter Break Broadway Camp
    Novato High School, 625 Arthur Street, Novato
    Ages: 7–15

    Spend a week off from school singing, dancing, acting, and so much more! Campers will have fun classes in voice, acting and dance as well as rehearsals for a fully costumed "Mini-Broadway Musical Performance" to be performed on the final day of camp. Lots of fun and exciting activities, workshops and events will be scheduled throughout the week. Taught by NYC Broadway Professionals. For more info, visit www.marissajoyganz.com.

Photos Ops with Santa Claus in Marin and Beyond

November 14, 2017

Santa Claus photos MarinPhoto Courtesy Town Center Corte Madera

It goes without saying that every Holiday season Santa Claus is an extremely popular guy. He and his small army of little helpers will be making the rounds for photos and other holiday fun at various shopping centers and other locations in Marin County and beyond. (And of course you'll need to tell him what you want for Christmas, too!)

Breakfast with Santa in Marin and the Bay Area

November 13, 2017

Santa and KidsPhoto Courtesy Town Center Corte Madera

Even if you're on the Naughty List this year, Santa and his friends will be happy to have breakfast with you and your family this holiday season! Here's our guide to family-friendly "Breakfast with Santa" events in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area for 2017. We make every effort to assure that all listings and hours are as accurate as possible, but make sure to call or check the venue's website before visiting (if you don't have to make reservations, of course).

Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 10–12

November 11, 2017

Get hands-on at this weekend's 7th Annual Discovery Day at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

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, November 10

  • Christmas House at West End Nursery
    San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 am–5 pm, Sunday 9 am–4 pm

    Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery. This magical setting includes lights, decorated trees, and more. It's a holiday must-visit in Marin. Free admission; ornaments and decor are for sale. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
  • Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco
    Friday–Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm, Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm

    Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Admission: $12, $7 children 7 and under, skate rental $5. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday, 2
    –10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
    Marin on Ice is open for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Night Fairy
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    When tiny but feisty Flory loses her fairy wings in an attack by a bat, she has to muster all her courage and ingenuity to survive in a garden full of threatening creatures, including a voracious spider. Directed by Hannah Dworkin and Nina Meehan. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets: $26 adults, $24 seniors 65+, $20 children 2–14. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Berkeley Playhouse: Annie
    The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Leapin’ lizards! One of the most popular musicals of all time returns to Berkeley Playhouse in an all new production that’s going to “shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!” When Annie is chosen by billionaire Oliver Warbucks to spend the holidays at his mansion, she leaves behind the only community she’s ever known, and her daily life of “hard knocks” and “maybe’s” turns into one of cinemas and Roll’s Royces … and an opportunity to discover the truth about her parents. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $20–$45. For more info, visit their website.
  • Throckmorton Youth Performers: Annie The Musical!
    Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 2 pm

    Don't miss this classic American musical that takes a stand for what matters most:  love and family! The talented Throckmorton Youth Performers bring the iconic characters to life, including the lovable Daddy Warbucks, the wicked Miss Hannigan and the adorable orphan herself. Perfect for the entire family. Location: 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • 23 Elephants Theatre Company: Legally Blonde
    The Playhouse, San Anselmo
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7:30 pm, Sunday, 1 pm

    Harvard's beloved Blonde takes the stage by pink storm in this fun upbeat story of self discovery. Legally Blonde The Musical will take you from the sorority house to the halls of justice with Elle Woods (and, of course, her dog, Bruiser). Tickets: $15 general, $23 reserved. Location: 27 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, November 11 (Veterans Day)

  • NPS Free Entrance Days
    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley

    Saturday & Sunday, 8 am–sunset
    Visit Muir Woods and its majestic redwoods for free during Veterans Day weekend! For more info, visit their website.
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