Events and Outings

Marin Family Weekend Fun for February 12, 13, 14 & 15

February 12, 2016

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, February 12

  • Chinese New Year Fun: Tai Chi for All Ages
    Dance Palace, Point Reyes Station
    Friday, 11 am–noon

    Experience the health benefits of Tai Chi for all ages with these introductory classes by local instructor Chris Anderl. Fee: $5–10 sliding scale. Location: Dance Palace 503 B Street, Point Reyes Station. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids Night at the Museum
    Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 5–9 pm

    Drop your kids off for after-hours fun at the Schulz Museum. Kids will have the Museum all to themselves for pizza dinner, games, art, and cartooning. Recommended for kids 10 and under. Cost: $25 members, $32 non-members. $5 discount for siblings. Advance reservations required; register online or call (707) 284-1272. Location: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Night Jazz: Dave Getz and Friends
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Friday, 5:30–8:30 pm

    Enjoy live jazz in the outdoor setting of Marin Country Mart. Food available from Marin Brewing Company, FarmShop, El Hurache Loco, BelCampo Meat, Three Twins Ice Cream, Rustic Bakery, and others. Dave Getz was the original drummer for Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company; his quartet performs an eclectic mix of jazz, Latin, samba, funk, and standard. Free. Location: Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. For more info, 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.
  • Family Film Night: Ratatouille
    Presidio Community YMCA
    Friday, 6–10 pm
    Bring your sleeping bags and camp out on the gym floor while you enjoy a fun free movie on a big screen. Free popcorn and It's It ice creams. Food available from Off the Grid at 6 pm, cartoon shorts at 6:30 pm and movie starts at 7 pm. The event is indoors at the Presidio Community Y Gymnasium, 63 Funston Avenue at Lincoln Boulevard in the Presidio. Stay warm and cozy with BYO blankets and cushions. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, February 13

  • Third Annual Presidents Weekend Stand Up Paddle
    McNear's Beach, San Rafael
    Saturday, 8 am–noon

    Dress up as your favorite U.S. president and enjoy a family friendly paddle board race for all ages at McNears Beach Park. Day of race registration starts at 8 am, races start at 9:30 am. Award will be given for best costume. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Don’t forget to bring a paddle board. Park entrance is waived for participants. Meet at the snack bar in McNears Beach Park in San Rafael (201 Cantera Way). For more info, visit their website.
  • Saint Valentine's Festival
    Marin Country, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day with the whole family at the Marin Country Mart and Farmers Market this Saturday. Festivities include sugar cookie decorating, a creative reuse heart art project, an old-fashioned photo stand, face painting, pony rides, and live music. Also, enjoy shopping for delicious local produce, artisan cheese, pastured eggs and meat, local seafood, local organic flowers, and handcrafted jams, confections, and chocolates. For more info, visit their website.
  • Valentine's Fun at Marinwood Farmers Market
    San Rafael
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Join the MSEL students at Marinwood Community Farmers' Market for Valentine's Day Fun. Kids can make valentine's day cards. The Terra Linda High School Band will be playing live music. Location: 101 Marinwood Ave., San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Botanical Valentine's Day Tea
    UC Berkeley Botanical Garden
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    Families can enjoy a celebration of herbs and flowers at this educational walk and tea party. We'll use all of our senses as we explore the nature of these fragrant edibles, with a special opportunity to collect for our make-your-own tea party snacks and garden drinks. Finish the fun by making valentines from pressed botanicals to take home. Cost: $20 adults, $15 adult members,  $18 children, $13 member children. Register online, or by calling (510) 664-9841, or by emailing gardenprograms@berkeley.edu.
  • Lunar New Year 2016
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm

    Come marvel at Chinese acrobatic performances, traditional Chinese lion and folk dancing, and much more. Children of all ages can make a take-home monkey craft, go on a Zodiac Scavenger Hunt through the Zoo to learn fun facts about the animals found on the Chinese calendar. Don't forget to stop by the Primate Discovery Center to see all of our monkeys during this Year of Monkey Celebration!  Cost: free with paid admission to the Zoo.  For more info, visit their website.
  • Lunar Chinese New Year Festival
    Fourth Street in Berkeley
    Saturday, noon–4 pm

    Fun for the entire family. Featuring lion dancing and martial arts street performance. Check out their complete schedule of events here.
  • Teen Valentine Party
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 2–4 pm
    Join us for an afternoon of cookies, cakes, tea, paper crafts and board games. For teens 6th–12th grade. Location: 11720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, call (415) 473-2050 or visit their website.
  • Chinese New Year Celebration and Imperial Dinner
    San Francisco Symphony
    Saturday, 3 pm
    Music, family and tradition: three things at the heart of the San Francisco Symphony’s Chinese New Year celebration. This family event includes a pre-concert Festival Reception which transforms the lobbies of Davies Symphony Hall with lion dancing, Chinese calligraphy, ribbon dancing, tea bars, children’s entertainment and “lucky” red envelopes. Get more info and tickets here.
  • Tulipmania at Pier 39
    San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am

    Pier 39 has planted 39,000 spectacular and colorful tulips throughout the waterfront park. Come for a free guided tour led by Pier 39’s expert landscapers beginning at 10 am daily from the Entrance Plaza. After each tour, enjoy complimentary refreshments. For more info, visit their website.

Fun Mid-Winter Break Camps in Marin and Beyond

February 9, 2016

studio 4 artLooking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming midwinter break? Check out some of the great day camp programs here in Marin. Many of these camps offer drop-in sessions for last-minute fun over the break, as well as before- and after-care.

  • Studio 4 Art
    1133 Grant Avenue
    Novato

    (415) 596-5546
    Camp takes place from February 15–19 from camp times 9 am–noon (ages 4–14) or 9 am–3 pm (ages 7–14). Campers will have the choice of many different projects each day that include painting, drawing, ceramics, mixed media and printmaking, students will create a variety of fine art projects in different art mediums. A sibling discount is offered. Cost: $265. For more info, visit their website.
  • Rolling Hills Club
    351 San Andreas Drive

    Novato
    (415) 897-2185

    The Junior Polar Bear Camp (ages 3–5) takes place February 16 and 18 from 9 am–1 pm, and Polar Beach Camp (ages 6–12) takes place February 15–19 from 9 am-4 pm. This year's theme is "Random Acts of Kindness". Activities include: stories, sensory crafts, and games. Prices start at $60/day. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for February 5, 6 & 7

February 5, 2016
Jack London State Historic Park
Take a family hike this weekend at Jack London State Historic 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 Event Calendar.

Friday, February 5

  • Super Bowl City
    Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 11 am–10 pm, Sunday, 11 am–3 pm
    Centered in Justin Herman Plaza, on the Embarcadero at the foot of San Francisco’s famed Market Street, Super Bowl City will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages. It will offer a fun—and free—way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the extravaganza that is the sporting world’s biggest annual event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Create Valentines—The Green Way!
    San Anselmo Library

    Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm
    Create unique valentine cards for friends and family by re-using colorful everyday materials like junk mail, old cards, magazines, and more! Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Julie Bayless
    DIESEL, a bookstore, Larkspur
    Friday, 6–7 pm
    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author Julie Bayless will be here to read you a bedtime story. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed. Then head home for bed. Location: Marin Country Mart, 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. For more info, visit their website.
  • Montessori de Terra Linda's The Wizard of Oz
    Showcase Theater, San Rafael
    Friday, 7 pm

    Join the upper elementary class from Montessori de Terra Linda for a theatrical performance. Students aged 9–12 have worked to develop a show with action and song that will be performed one night only. Tickets: $12 adults, $10 children and seniors. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, February 6

  • Learn How to Pier Fish Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
    Saturday, 9 am–11 am
    Join rangers to learn the secrets and tricks of the trade when fishing from a pier. A limited amount of poles will be available on a first come, first-served basis. A valid California fishing license is required when fishing from the shore, not from the pier. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring a fishing pole. Park entrance waived for participants. Meet at the fishing pier in Paradise Beach Park, 3450 Paradise Drive, Tiburon. For more info, visit their website.
  • 2016 Waterbird Festival
    Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
    Saturday, 9 am–4 pm

    Celebrate scaups, scoters, cormorants, and more! Visit Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary for naturalist-led bird walks, exclusive field trips, and fun bird-themed activities. Bring a pair of binoculars or use our spotting scopes to see the waterbirds that call Richardson Bay home. Location: 376 Greenwood Beach Road, Tiburon. For more info and to regsiter, visit their website.
  • Free Saturday Morning Yoga
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    Practice a modification of alignment-based anusara-inspired Hatha yoga with a combination of breathing, standing, and seated postures in front of the beautiful redwood trees. Prepare to sweat, breathe, align, and stretch. Enjoy a fun unique environment of mindfulness and acceptance while strengthening your core, balance and long muscles. For all levels. Bring a mat and water bottle. Location: Meet at Old Mill Park Amphitheater, 10 minutes prior to start of class. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 29, 30 & 31

January 29, 2016
Fort Point Civil War Days
Civil War Living History Day takes place his Saturday at Fort Point 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, January 29

  • 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. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $7 per person; siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • Once Upon A Mattress
    Showcase Theatre, San Rafael
    Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm

    Good Shepherd Lutheran Middle School’s young actors do a fantastic job performing this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance. Chances are, you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again. Tickets: $25 adults, $15 student 8th grade and under. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 30

  • STEM Superhero Series
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–5 pm
    Get ready for some serious fun! Kicking off on January 30, our new STEM Superhero Series invites young visitors to use their STEM superpowers to solve real world challenges. All STEM Superheroes will receive capes to adorn with badges earned at each event; attend all four to complete the mission! Events include special facilitated programs for all ages and performances, all free with admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Civil War Living History Day
    Fort Point, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Join reenactors from the American Civil War Association as they bring this 150-year-old fort to life with period uniforms, military music, talks, and demonstrations. We attended this event last year—read our article here. Free admission. For information, call (415) 556-1693 or visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Who doesn’t love an apple! In this class we’ll transform apples into awesome snacks and treats that you and your family will love. Suitable for ages 5–13. Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Chinese New Year Flower Fair
    Chinatown, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–8 pm & Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    The Chinese New Year Flower Fair is set in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown and provides a festive atmosphere in which the community can purchase their annual lunar new year flowers and produce while enjoying traditional Chinese dance, music, art and cultural displays. The Children's Area features a petting zoo, photo area, and other fun activities. Free. Location: Grant Avenue from Clay to Broadway and Pacific Avenue from Kearny to Stockton. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio: A Family Musical
    Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10:30 am and 1 pm

    Come join this magical musical of Gepetto, the master puppet maker and his puppet Pinocchio, who embark on a journey to pursue their dream of turning Pinocchio into a real boy so he can become the son Gepetto dreams of having. They meet many amazing characters along the way, including a Blue Fairy, the Land of the Toys and even escape from a giant whale. Dreams can come true! Admission: $13 plus $2 processing fee. To purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • Super Bowl City
    Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–10 pm & Sunday, 11 am–9 pm
    Centered in Justin Herman Plaza, on the Embarcadero at the foot of San Francisco’s famed Market Street, Super Bowl City will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages. It will offer a fun—and free—way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the extravaganza that is the sporting world’s biggest annual event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Learn to Freshwater Fish
    McInnis Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, noon–2 pm

    Join us at McInnis Park where rangers will teach the tips and tricks of the trade of freshwater fishing. This event requires a short walk uphill and downhill to reach the park's pond. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring a fishing pole. We will provide bait and a limited amount of fishing poles, thanks to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A fishing license is required for participants 16 and over. Friendly dogs are welcome, but must be leashed. Rain will cancel. Park entrance is free. Location: 310 Smith Ranch Rd., San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Scaly Sidekicks
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
    February 1 is National Serpent Day! The Presidio is home to slithering snakes and lovely lizards. Learn about some of our reptile friends by making your own finger puppet. Drop-in anytime between 11 am–4 pm. Free. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents Bad Kitty On Stage!
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    Straight from the pages of the wildly popular Bad Kitty comic book series, here she sprawls, in solitary splendor, until one day … (loud hissing) PUPPY! Uh oh.  And then … (hair on back standing on end) MOUSE! And then … well, let’s just say life gets complicated.  A world premiere. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $22 adults, $18 children, $20 seniors, $13 groups (10 or more). Location: 2020 Addison Street Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 524-2941 or visit their website.
  • Year of the Monkey: Chinese New Year Celebration
    San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch
    Saturday, 1–3 pm
    Join us to celebrate the Year of the Monkey. Performances include lion dance, folk dance, singing, traditional Chinese dress show, and more. Location: Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 22, 23 & 24

January 22, 2016
Bad Kitty BADM
Bad Kitty premieres at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley this weekend. Photo: Bay Area Children's Theatre.

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, January 22

  • 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. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $7 per person; siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • Katia & Company presents: Please Be Seated
    The Playhouse San Anselmo
    Friday & Saturday, 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Featuring a cast of talented local kids, follows the misadventures of a group of 5th through 8th graders who try to put on their own production of Cinderella. Featuring diva actors, a stressed-out director, and incompetent stagehands—everything that can go wrong, does! Tickets: $15 for adults and $10 for students 12 and under. (Make sure you mention Marin Mommies at the door for your free ticket! One free ticket per family.) Doors open 20 minutes before the show. No children under 3 years old, please. Location: 27 Kensington Road in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 23

  • Family Bird Walk at Olompali
    Olompoli State Historic Park, Novato
    Saturday, 8:30 am–noon

    Celebrate the season with the birds of Olompali. Beginning and experienced birders are invited to join leaders Rich Cimino and Janet Bodle of Yellowbilled Tours to view Olompali's diverse avian residents as we walk the ranch road past the park's reservoir. Perfect for the family. Cost: $8 per car; event is free. Location: new park entrance from Atherton Avenue/Redwood Boulevard in Novato. For more info, call (707) 762-9715 or visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Waffles aren’t just for breakfast—you can eat them from morning ’til night! Join us as we prepare waffles for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND dessert. Suitable for ages 5-13. Call the store to reserve your spot: (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Montessori de Terra Linda Open House
    San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am

    Tour the campus, get an overview of our program, and hear passionate presentations from faculty about the Montessori curriculum. Please call to RSVP at (415) 479-7373 x112.  Adults only, please. More information
  • The Mountain School Open HOuse
    Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Bring the whole family to visit the preschool classrooms, meet the teachers, and chat with Mountain School parents. Refreshments will be served! RSVP to info@marinmountainschool.org or call (415) 924-4661
  • Cascade Canyon School Open House
    Fairfax
    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Meet the teachers and learn more about Cascade Canyon School this January. RSVP at (415) 448-5125 or cascade@cascadecanyon.org. More information
  • "Your Favorites" Special Storytime Activity
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Join us for a special storytime to celebrate the top picture books picked by Novato families! Come experience these stories and listen, read and play with the books you love. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, call (415) 473-2050 or visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Ice Age Mammal Masks
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
    Before humans came to the Presidio, large mammals lived here! These ice age ani?mals included Sabertooth Cats, Columbian Mammoths, and Dire Wolves. With your own masks, these ancient creatures can once more been seen in the Presidio. Drop-in anytime between 11 am–4 pm. Free. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents Bad Kitty On Stage!
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    Straight from the pages of the wildly popular Bad Kitty comic book series, here she sprawls, in solitary splendor, until one day … (loud hissing) PUPPY! Uh oh.  And then … (hair on back standing on end) MOUSE! And then … well, let’s just say life gets complicated.  A world premiere. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Tickets: $22 adults, $18 children, $20 seniors, $13 groups (10 or more). Location: 2020 Addison Street Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 524-2941 or visit their website.
  • Creek Walk to See Spawning Coho Salmon
    Samuel P Taylor Park, San Geronimo
    Saturday, 11 am–1 pm
    With the first hard rains in the watershed comes the beginning of spawning season for Coho salmon. SPAWN-trained naturalists lead creek walks to explore the majesty of the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Tour will meet at the front Kiosk of Camp Taylor and embark on a journey to multiple creek sites in search of some of these critically endangered salmon. Tours are open to all ages and abilities. Cost: $10 per person donation requested. Register here.
  • Octopalooza!
    Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11:30 am–2:30 pm

    At Aquarium of the Bay, we celebrate cephalopods of the world through an entire week of fun activities, crafts, and presentations! Join us as we bring some of these engaging activities to the Bay Model for this octo-tastic event. We’ll experiment with market squid dissections using squids from the sustainable seafood we feed our animals at Aquarium of the Bay. Plus, we’ll have an “octopus course” with fun challenges to find the inner cephalopod in all of us! Location: 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Imagination Players present: Narnia
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm

    Berkeley Playhouse presents Narnia. Performed by students in Berkeley Playhouse’s educational program, the Imagination Players. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2640 College Avenue Berkeley. Find more info here.
  • Moms Matinee: Gem of the Ocean
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 2 pm

    Moms Matinees at Marin Theatre Company feature onsite childcare at no additional cost, in partnership with UrbanSitter. Babysitters will be onsite beginning at 1 pm. Let the box office know if you'll need a babysitter when you book your tickets. This Saturday: August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. Location: 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun: January 15, 16, 17 & 18

January 15, 2016
Learn all about the famous Sea Lions at PIER 39 in San Francisco this weekend. Photo: PIER 39.

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

Friday, January 15

  • 26th Anniversary of the Sea Lions’ Arrival
    PIER 39's Entrance Plaza, San Francisco
    Friday–Monday, 11 am–4 pm

    Learn everything you ever wanted to know about California sea lions during the celebration of the return of these gregarious pinnipeds to PIER 39's famous K-docks! Free educational walking tours provided by naturalists from the Aquarium of the Bay. Tours begin at the top of the hour between noon and 4 pm each day. Enjoy complementary refreshments. For more info, visit their website.
  • Spaghetti Bingo
    Corte Madera Recreation Center
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Embrace the season as we bring the beauty of a white winter inside at "Frosted Spaghetti Bingo" this Friday at the Corte Madera Community Center. Fun for the whole family! The night will include a delicious buffet-style spaghetti dinner from 6–7 pm and bingo from 7–9 pm. Cost: $20 per person, includes 3 bingo cards. Additional cards may be purchased for $1. Purchase tickets online or call (415) 927-5072. Location: 489 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Film Night: McFarland, USA
    Presidio Community YMCA
    Friday, 6:30 pm

    Bring your sleeping bags and camp out on the gym floor while you enjoy a fun, free movie on a big screen. Free popcorn and It's It ice creams. Sponsored by San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell. The event is indoors at the Presidio Community Y Gymnasium, 63 Funston Ave at Lincoln Blvd in the Presidio. Stay warm and cozy with BYO blankets and cushions. For more info, 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.

Saturday, January 16

  • 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.
  • Children's China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday–Monday, 9 am–5 pm

    The new exhibiton Children's China opens on January 16. Take a trip to China—no passport required! Participate in a traditional tea ceremony, learn Chinese character writing, care for pandas, partake in dragon parades and more! Admisson to musuem applies. They will be open on Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Location: 557 McReyonlds Road, Sausalito. For more info, call (415) 339-3300 or visit their website here.
  • Family Hike: Muir Woods
    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley
    Satuday, 9:30 am–noon

    Suddenly it’s January; did El Niño arrive in Muir Woods? Coho salmon, fetid adder’s tongue, mushrooms, and spiders, follow Ranger Lou on this woodsy expedition to find clues of the season in the forest. People of all ages and abilities welcome. Baby backpack carriers preferred over strollers. Dress in layers. Bring snack, lunch, and water. Heavy rain cancels. In case of heavy rain, call Muir Woods before leaving your house. Reservations required by calling (415) 388-2596. For more info, visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Join us for a crepe party! In this hands-on class, you can make crepes just the way you like them, with your favorite fillings and delicious toppings. Suitable for ages 5–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free E-waste Recycling Event
    Marin Civic Center Parking Lot, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    Conservation Corps North Bay is hosting a FREE E-waste Recycling event at the Marin Civic Center parking lot. Bring in your e-waste to be responsibly recycled! Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visiti their website.
  • Lego Robotics Lab
    Mill Valley Public Library
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon

    Learn to program a Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robot to perform various challenges. Registration required. Participants must be in Grades 5–8. Click here to register. Location: 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Creekside Room, Mill Valley Public Library. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 8, 9 & 10

January 8, 2016
Mochi pounding at the Asian Art Museum in San Francsico
Celebrate the New Year, Japanese-style, with traditional mochi pounding at the Asian Art Museum.

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, January 8

  • Sing and Dance with Miss Kitty
    San Rafael Public Library
    Friday, 10:30–11:15 am

    Join Marin County favorite Miss Kitty for a series of fun family concerts just right for children aged birth to 8 years old. Free, no registration required! Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 485-3322 or visit their website.
  • Last Weekend for Ice Skating: Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday-Sunday, noon–10 pm

    This is the last weekend for Marin on Ice, an outdoor skating rink in San Rafael's Northgate Mall. Bring the kiddos out to for a day of ice skating. Skating costs $15 per person, which includes skate rental, and "Skate Buddies" (the blue plastic chair-like supports) are available for beginnners. For more info, call (707) 738-8496 or visit onicemarin.com
  • de Youngsters Family Art Party 2016
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Join other Bay Area families in putting the "art" in "party" at the de Youngsters third annual benefit bash for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Guests both young and "young at art" will enjoy a fun-filled evening at the de Young exploring color and line fun-filled evening at the de Young exploring art and innovation in the true spirit of San Francisco. Creative thinkers will be inspired by Jewel City: Art from San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Activities will include hands-on art making, live performances, cutting edge technology, and more surprises! For info and tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, January 9

  • Family Fun Run/Health & Wellness Fair
    Mill Valley Recreation Center
    Saturday, 8–2 pm

    Jump start your New Years resolution with a fun and exciting way to experience health, wellness and community in Mill Valley. Family fun run/walk (around the large lawn area behind community center), bounce house, airbrush tattoos, face painting, and food tasting. Health & Wellness Fair takes place from 10 am-2 pm. Preregister for fun run here. Free admission to fair. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    A spiralizer turns fruits and vegetables into all kinds of shapes, from noodles to spiral cuts. We’ll teach you how to make fun foods with this cool tool. Suitable for ages 8–13. Suitable for ages 8–13. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Montessori Open House
    Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Get to know Marin Montessori at an open house at their Corte Madera Campus, 5200 Paradise Drive. RSVP required; call (415) 924-5388 ext. 0. More information
  • Marin Waldorf School Open House
    San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am–12:30 pm
    Marin Waldorf School, which offers eduction for children from early childhood to 8th grade, holds its open house at its San Rafael campus, 755 Idylberry Road, from 10 am–12:30 pm. RSVP required at (415) 479-8190 or on their website. More information

Hands-on Fun for Spring at Slide Ranch

January 5, 2016

slide ranch spring flingSlide Ranch is a great place for family members of all ages. We tried out one of their family farm days in the past and my kids had a great time petting the sheep planting seeds, milking a goat, and making nature crafts. They offer guided tours and lots of hands-on activities, including collecting eggs from chickens, planting seeds, sampling from their organic garden, learning to make crafts and food just like the early farmers, and exploring the nearby tide pools.

Slide Ranch is located off of Shoreline Highway in Muir Beach. Below is a list of their upcoming spring events. Their programs often sell out quickly, so you need to plan ahead if you are interested in participating. Register for programs online at www.slideranch.org.

Spring Family Farm Days

Family Farm Days at Slide Ranch are relaxed four-hour programs that feature a wide range of activities related to the day's theme. Cost: $25 per person; age 2 and under free.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 1, 2 & 3

December 30, 2015
Elephant seal at Point Reyes
Experience Elephant Seals this weekend at Point Reyes National Seashore's Chimney Rock.

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.

You can also hit the ice at Marin on Ice or another Bay Area seasonal skating rink; check out our guide to local ice skating here.

Friday, January 1 - New Year's Day

  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday & Sunday, noon–9 pm; Saturday, noon–10 pm

    Hit the ice at Marin's only outdoor ice skating rink (open New Year's Day). This season's rink features 6,400 square feet of real ice. Cost: $15 per person all-day; skate rental included. Location: Oak Tree Plaza, Northgate Mall, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 2

  • Museums on Us
    Various locations
    Saturday & Sunday
    Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders get free general admission to select location museums on the first full weekend of every month. Present your card and a photo ID for admission; one free general admission per cardholder. Get full details here. Participating museums include the de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Chabot Space and Science Center. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. The cost is $7 per person. Children under 16 are free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays December 26, 2015 through late March 2016. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Classes: Vitamix for Kids
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am
    Discover all of the amazing things that the Vitamix blender can do! Use it to whip up tasty smoothies and a whole lot more. Suitable for ages 8–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Experience Elephant Seals
    Elephant Seal Overlook, Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 11 am–4 pm
    View an elephant seal colony through binoculars and scopes. A special 30-minute slide program about elephant seals may be available at the Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock, depending on staffing availability. Check at one of the Visitor Centers for whether the slide program is being offered. Visitors will need to take the winter shuttle bus from Drake's Beach. For more info, call (415) 669-1534 or visit their website.
  • Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal
    Children's Creativity Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am, 2 & 5 pm

    The hilarious and heartburning, uh, heartwarming holiday adventure of a lump of coal who wants to be an artist. A world premiere inspired by Lemony Snicket at his tongue-in-cheek, story weaving best, this stage adaptation will delight young and old theatregoers alike. For those itching to be a part of the action, this play also includes some uniquely interactive moments, and encourages children to explore their own creative sides! Recommended for age 4 and up. 60 minutes; no intermission. Tickets: $22 adults, $20 seniors 65+, $18 children 14 and under. Location: 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Saturday Cinema: Holiday Animation Festival
    Exploratorium, San Francisco
    Saturday, 1, 2 & 3 pm

    Ring in the New Year with exuberant and unaffected animations. Making use of stop-motion, pixelation, and handcrafted techniques, these short works rely on visual prowess to tell simple, jubilant stories of quiet heroism, emotional reactions, and internal conflicts. For all ages. Free with museum admission. Location: Pier 15, San Francisco (on the Embarcadero). For more information, visit their website.
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