Events and Outings

Marin Weekend Family Fun for July 22, 23 & 24

July 22, 2016

Sonoma County Fair
The 2016 Sonoma County Fair opens this Friday, July 22 in Santa Rosa

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, July 22

  • Sonoma County Fair
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds
    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 am–11 pm

    The Sonoma County Fair offers both a classic full-scale carnival with plenty of excitement for thrill-seekers and a separate kiddie carnival area for the little ones, with scaled down thrills and lots of excitement. Fair admission is free every day for children 6 and under; Friday is Kids' Days, with free admission for all children 12 and under. Carnival rides are an additional charge. Admission is $12 for ages 13 and up, $6 for children 7–12, and free for children 6 and under. For more info, visit www.sonomacountyfair.com.
  • Children's Garden Series: Unique Derique
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. A beloved Bay Area institution, the Unique Derique is a prince among clowns, an internationally esteemed performer who has honed a singular blend of physical comedy and hambone body percussion. For more info, visit their website.
  • Anime Your Way
    San Rafael Public Library
    Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm

    Learn how to draw in the style of Japanese cartoons known as anime with artist Carlos Nieto. He will teach you how to create your own character step by step, including facial expressions and poses. Visiting from SoCal, Carlos has worked as a layout artist on The Simpsons, as well as visual consultant at Disney. For middle school aged youth (grades 6–8). Space is limited. Please register at the Children’s Reference Desk. Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info and to register, 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: MEX-I-AM. For more info, visit their website.
  • Music in the Park
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music, delicious food by Marinwood Market, wine, and beer. This Friday: Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This week: Revolver. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday: Lost Dog Found. For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.

Saturday, July 23

  • Ranger Led Dog Walk
    Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve
    Saturday, 8–10 am

    Join a ranger on this fun and informative walk in beautiful Baltimore Canyon. Take a relaxed walk along the fire road and discuss local plants, birds, and trail etiquette. This event is ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks. Dogs must be leashed. Meet at gate at the end of Crown Road in Kent Woodlands. 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, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from 11 am–12:30 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Junior Chef Classes: Tools & Techniques
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Hey, kids! Learn how to use some cool kitchen tools, from a garlic press to a grater, as we cook some amazing recipes! You’ll be well equipped to prepare tasty meals for your family and friends. Cost: $30; includes Williams-Sonom gadget set. Suitable for ages 8–13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Puppet Show: Chanticleer the Rooster
    Fairfax Library
    Saturday, 11 am

    Magical Moonshine Theatre presents Chaucer's Canterbury tale about the beloved rooster who is caught by a flattering fox … but foxes can be fooled as well! Assisting Chanticleer is a wise ant, a pig, sheep, goat, dog, hen and farmer. Medieval costumes and live, ancient music (including a 1710 version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm") make for a delightful, interactive family program! First come, first seated. Location: 2097 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax. For more info, visit their website.

Lights, Camera, Fair! at the 2016 Sonoma County Fair

July 18, 2016

Sonoma County Fair carnival

In case you missed or just didn't get enough of the Marin County Fair, you'll be happy to know that the 2016 Sonoma County Fair starts Friday, July 22 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, and runs through Sunday, August 7. It's worth checking out if you've never been: it's bigger and a lot different than Marin's smaller, more intimate fair, and has more of an agricultural focus, which is natural for a more rural county like Sonoma. The Sonoma County Fair also features the largest themed flower show in the country, which is usually pretty stunning—this year's theme is "Sonoma Cinema".

The fair includes a kids' area with free age-appropriate entertainment and activities with the theme "Let's Put on a Show!" Young fairgoers can take part in a show three times a day, which might feature pirates, clowns, astronauts, or even dinosaurs. There’s plenty of lawn and shade as well as a parents rest station with changing tables and chairs for nursing. The Kids Area is open from 11 am to 8 pm, with activities and entertainment from noon to 6:30 pm.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for July 15, 16 & 17

July 15, 2016

Diego's Umbrella at Summer Nights Marin Osher JCC
Diego's Umbrella performs Gypsy rock at the Osher Marin JCC's Summer Nights concert series this Saturday

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, July 15

  • Flower Piano
    San Francisco Botanical Garden
    Friday–Sunday, 7:30 am–6 pm

    Visitors are encouraged to seek out the twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within the Garden's 55 acres and play what they like, from chopsticks to Tchaikovsky. On weekend days, professional pianists and a whole host of other musicians will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch and listen. Free after admission. Location: 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Children's Garden Series: Pi Clowns
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11 am & 12:15 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Silliness is very serious business for the Pi Clowns. A company dedicated to knock-about physical comedy, these performers don’t tell jokes. They embody them with robust and timeless antics. Blending mime, theater, acrobatics, juggling, and improvisation, the Pi Clowns deliver delightful and original clown vignettes. This show will takea place the Children's Garden. For more info, visit their website.
  • Circuit Craze
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Come join us for a morning of simple science learning and fun for the whole family! We’ll have fun making simple circuit art projects together. Best for children of all abilities ages 4-10 with caregivers. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. For more info, call
    415-506-3165 or 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, Getting There: Celebrating Ed Ruscha and the Great American West. For more info, visit their website.
  • Fantastical Family Night
    Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
    Friday & Saturday, 5:30 pm
    J
    oin us for everyone's favorite annual night of magic and fun. This inspirational evening of dream-living will be filled with Broadway, Disney and everything in between. Featuring special performances by the kids of Transcendence Kids Camp, pre-show adventures, and more. Bring a picnic before the performance. Puchase tickets here. Location: 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday: Gator Nation Band, Zydeco. For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday, Dedicated Maniacs will be performing. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.

Saturday, July 16

  • Family BikeAbout
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday, 8:30–10 am

    Families can bring their bicycles to the Zoo for this informative one- and one-half hour, docent-led cycling tour. It’s great to be in the Zoo ahead of the crowds and watch the animals start their day. Registration includes parking and Zoo admission. Participants must bring a bicycle; the SF Zoo does not provide bicycles to rent. Cost: SFZS Members: $18 per peddler and Non-Members: $23 per peddler. Children piggy-backing on their parents' bikes are free. Location: 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 753-7080 or visit their website.
  • Civil War Days
    Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncans Mills
    Satuday, 9 am–5 pm and Sunday, 9 am–3 pm

    Come and experience Civil War living history in the Sonoma County town of Duncans Mills. Interact with soldiers and civilans and see battles, period demonstrations, and even a speech by President Lincoln. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for juniors 6–12, and free for kids 5 and under. Parking is $5 per car. For more info, visit their website.
  • Teddy Bear Tea with Friends!
    Oakland Zoo
    Saturday, 9:30 am–noon

    Bring the kiddos (ages 4-8), adult and your stuffie, and learn all about one of our Zoo’s special animals. Enjoy a morning of snacks, activities, books and play while making and delivering an enrichment gift straight to the zoo animal you’ve been learning about. When the fun is done, your child will receive a surprise-filled treat bag to take home. Cost: $23 member childfren, $26 non-members; $12 member adults, $15 non-members. Parking Fee: $8 non-members, free for members. Registration required here. For more info, visit their website.
  • 36th Annual Big Time Festival
    Bear Valley Visitor Center, Point Reyes
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    This free family event celebrates traditional Native American festivals that would bring together local tribes during the summer months. Throughout the day demonstrators will exhibit their skills in basketry, flint knapping, clamshell bead making, and more. Traditional dancers from the Intertribal Pomo group and Dry Creek Pomo will also perform a variety of traditional dances. Vendors will also be selling a wide variety of crafts. This free event is great for the whole family. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Rivertown Revival
    Steamer Landing Park, Petaluma
    Saturday, 11 am–8 pm

    This is a unique, arts-based thematic festival that sustainably highlights and celebrates the Petaluma River, benefitting the Friends of the Petaluma River. This community festival includes over 100 musicians, an art boat flotilla, art boat drag races, aerial acts on the river, artisan merchants, $5 weddings, local food vendors, theatrical performances, and children's activities. Cost: $10 adults, $5 children. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Build Your Bridge
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! Do you know the length of the Golden Gate Bridge? Come learn the answer and other fun bridge facts as you design your very own San Francisco bridge Registration not required, but preferred. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Breastfest Beer Festival
    Marin Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, noon–4 pm
    60 breweries, local food purveyors and Bay Area musicians join together to help women gain access to alternative means of cancer therapy. Attendees get endless eats, bottomless cups, and live music. Proceeds will benefit low-income women with breast cancer. $55 advance, $65 at the door. For more info, visit their website.
  • Water Safety Day
    Mill Valley Recreation
    Saturday, 12:30–5 pm

    Water Safety Day is a family event filled with both fun and safety information. Enjoy free admission to the pool from 12:30 to 5 pm. Activities and demonstrations take place from 2 to 5 pm and include lifeguard demos, airbrush tattoos, coloring, a bounce house, water games, a kids' nail salon, music, a raffle, and lifejacket fittings. In addtion, firefighters from the Southern Marin Fire Protection Disctrict will present a water rescue demonstration from 2 to 4 pm. Come prepared with your water safety-related questions! Location: 1Water Safety Day is a family event filled with both fun and safety information. Location: 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley.
  • Disney's The Little Mermaid
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm

    Ariel has always dreamed of leaving her underwater kingdom to see what lies beyond the sea. When she falls in love with a handsome prince who lives on land, she's willing to give up everything to be with him. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film. Tickets: $23–$60. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.

Hands-on Fun for Fall at Slide Ranch

July 11, 2016

slide ranch spring flingSlide Ranch is a wonderful place for everyone in the family. 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. Here is a list of their upcoming events for fall, 2016. Their programs do fill up quickly, especially popular ones like the fso you need to plan ahead if you are interested in participating. Register for programs online at www.slideranch.org.

Friday Night Slide

Come see what evenings are like at Slide Ranch. Enjoy a delicious catered dinner and then explore the ranch's nature trails and participate in family-friendly events in this evening program. Bring headlamps or flashlights. Activities offered will be for kids of all ages. Adults can BYOB. Cost: $60 per adult, $40 per child, including dinner; free for children 35 months under.

  • Friday, September 16, 5–8 pm: Owls
  • Friday, October 7, 5–8 pm: Creatures of the Night

Marin Family Weekend Fun for July 8, 9 & 10

July 7, 2016


Flower Piano returns to the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

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, July 8

  • Flower Piano
    San Francisco Botanical Garden
    Friday–Sunday, 7:30 am–6 pm

    Visitors are encouraged to seek out the twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within the Garden's 55 acres and play what they like, from chopsticks to Tchaikovsky. On weekend days, professional pianists and a whole host of other musicians will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch and listen. Free after admission. Location: 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Children's Garden Series: Red Panda Acrobats
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11 am & 12:15 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Combining exceptional athletic skills, traditional Chinese music, dazzling costumes, and a fast-paced show sure to amaze viewers of all ages, the Red Panda Acrobats bring the ancient art of Chinese acrobatics into the 21st century with jaw-dropping displays of strength, balance, and dexterity. This show will take place on the Esplanade. 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, Dance-Off: Swing 2 with Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday, the Lara Price Band performs blues. For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday, Vibrasón. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Join us this summer for live music, food, and fun for the entire family at Marinwood Park! Enjoy delicious BBQ by Marinwood Market and a bar for the adults. Bring your picnic blanket and your appetite and kick off the weekend Marinwood-style. This Friday: Waterstrider. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Marin Summer Theater: Little Shop of Horrors
    San Marin High School, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 8 pm, Sunday 2 pm

    A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world. Tickets: $20 adults, $15 students and seniors; $25 reserved. Location: 15 San Marin Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Fairfax Theatre Company: Relativity! The Musical
    Fairfax Pavilion
    Friday & Saturday, 8 pm
    Fairfax Theatre Company presents Relativity! The Musical. Doors open at 7:30 pm; curtain at 8 pm. Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, $10 kids 12 and under. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, July 9

  • Cotati Kids Day Parade & Festival
    Downtown Cotati
    Saturday, 7 am–2 pm

    The 24th annual Cotati Kids Day Parade & Festival kicks off with a free pancake breakfast from 7 to 9 am followed by a parade at 10 am that goes from Cotati City Hall to La Plaza Park. The festival includes a jump house, live music, entertainment by host Fiz-Nick Rick, free games and prizes, arts and crafts, and more. Free! 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, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and live music from 11 am–12:30 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free E-Waste Recycling
    Marin Civic Center VMA Parking Lot
    Saturday, 9 am–3 pm

    Bring your old computers, laptops, cellphones, telephones, printers and more at this weeken's free e-waste event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Circuit Craze
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 11 am–noon
    Come join us for a morning of simple science learning and fun for the whole family! We’ll have fun making simple circuit art projects together. Best for children of all abilities ages 4–10 with caregivers. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Billowing Birdmobiles
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! The Presidio is home to hundreds of bird species, from hummingbirds to Great Blue herons. Come design your own bird mobile and bring some of the Presidio’s birds home with you! Registration not required, but preferred. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Wine Country Big Q
    Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, Petaluma
    Saturday, 1–5 pm

    Everyone loves barbecue and some of the best pit masters will be here to serve you up a slice. Sample great “authentic” barbecued meats, world class wines, award-winning brews while enjoying great rock and blues music. Bring all of your senses to life as you wander amongst the teams to see, smell and taste mouthwatering barbecue. Location: 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Disney's The Little Mermaid
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm

    Ariel has always dreamed of leaving her underwater kingdom to see what lies beyond the sea. When she falls in love with a handsome prince who lives on land, she's willing to give up everything to be with him. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film. Tickets: $23–$60. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Sundown Safari
    Oakland Zoo
    Saturday, 5 pm–Sunday, 10 am

    Grab your tent, sleeping bag, your family, and a few friends and get ready for an overnight adventure at Oakland Zoo. This unique program includes dinner, a nighttime and morning guided tour of the zoo, a special behind the scenes, live animal presentations, interactive and educational activities, a Wildlife Theater show, a hot morning breakfast, and s’mores! For families with children ages 4 and up. Cost: $85 per person; $75 for zoo members. Location: 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. For more info, visit their website.
  • Summer Nights: African Music
    Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, 7–10 pm

    Bring a picnic, your blanket, low-backed lawn chairs, and dancing shoes—there's fun for the whole family! Food, beer, wine, soft drinks, and snacks will be available for purchase, and there's a playground available for supervised play and the art room will be open for coloring fun. This Saturday features Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, with food by Big Jim's BBQ and Kid Zone sponsored by DrawBridge. Cost: $20 members $23 general public advance, $28 at the door; kids 17 and under free. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.

Wine Country Swimming Fun at Morton's Warm Springs

July 7, 2016

Morton's Warm Springs

Looking for a great family day trip this summer? Try heading to the Wine Country town of Glen Ellen for a day of swimming fun at Morton's Warm Springs Resort. Morton's Warm Springs is a family resort famous for its geothermally heated pools filled with natural mineral water. Long thought to have healing benefits, these spring waters have lent their name to numerous communities in the Sonoma area, including Boyes Hot Springs, Agua Caliente, and Fetters Hot Springs.

Watching the Fireworks in Marin

July 2, 2016

For families with young children, the ritual of watching 4th of July fireworks can be a little inconvenient. Babies and toddlers are often scared of the noise (if you're close enough to hear), the summer sunset at around 9 pm means most kids are up way past their bedtime. It's even worse if you decide to wake them out of a deep sleep in time to see the fireworks (trust me, I've been there). Nothing's quite as crabby and grumpy as an overtired child, no matter how great the fireworks are.

With this in mind, we've sought out places to watch the fantastic fireworks display at the Marin County Fair that don't involve leaving the car, so the little ones can doze in peace. Obviously you can just pay your $17 and go to the fair, but again, if you've got two sleeping children in the car, this isn't going to work. Neither is driving over near the fair—it's hard to see anything from the area along Civic Center Drive, and the resulting post-fireworks gridlock around the fairgrounds is pretty miserable.

On a friend's suggestion, we checked out a fireworks viewing spot up at the Unitarian Universalist Church parking lot, which is on Channing Way off Professional Center Parkway in Terra Linda. It's potetentially ideal, situated on a hill that overlooks the Marin County Fairgrounds. This wasn't bad, but the number of places where you could actually see anything was pretty limited and it became obvious that we weren't the only people there to see the fireworks—it's a pretty popular spot. Those people who could find a spot where they could see through the trees were treated to a spectacular view, though.

Marin Family Weekend Events for 4th of July Weekend

July 1, 2016

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this Independence Day weekend. The Marin County Fair opens on June 30. Find out more about here.

Looking for a place to watch the fireworks in Marin? Check out our list of places here.

Friday, July 1

  • Marin County Fair
    Marin County Fairgrounds, San Rafael
    Friday–Monday, 11 am–11 pm

    Come to the fair for over 12,000 exhibits, carnival rides, headline entertainment, the barnyard, an international short film and video festival, nightly fireworks, and more! Admission: $20 adults, $15 children 4–12 and seniors 65+, free for children 3 and under. For more information, call (415) 473-6800 or visit their website.
  • Free Children's Garden Series: Caterpillar Puppets
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11-11:30 am & 12:15-12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Joe Leon’s Caterpillar Puppets don’t just entertain kids and parents. Like his version of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Bla-bla-blas, or the shy artist mouse Amadeus who needs encouragement from the audience to fulfill his calling. Meet the artists after each show! This show will take place on the Esplanade. 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, Dance-Off: Street Dance Theater. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday:  Bobbie “Spider” Webb – blues. For more info, call (415) 289-4100 or visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday, Second Street Band. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Fair Fireworks and S’more Feast
    McInnis Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 8:30–10:30 pm

    In celebration of our nation’s birthday, come see the Marin County Fair fireworks from the top of the Nike Site at McInnis Park. It is an easy uphill stroll from the skatepark parking lot to sweeping views of the bay and surrounding hills. Rangers will prepare s’mores just in time for the firework show that begins promptly at 9:30 pm. Don’t forget to bring low back chairs or a blanket. Hot chocolate and s’more fixings provided. Location: 310 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, July 2

  • 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 family music (9:30–10:30 am). For more info, visit their website.
  • Red, White and Zoo
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Celebrate 4th of July at SF Zoo! We’re highlighting “patriotic” animals naturally colored red, white and blue on 4th of July weekend. Check out Keeper Talks on animals like red panda, polar bear, and white pelican. Enjoy a family BBQ in the Depot Grill. On Saturday, the zoo partners with KQED to bring the classic red children’s character "Clifford" to cruise the Zoo, greet and take pictures with guests. Free after zoo admission. For more info, visit their website
  • 32nd Annual Fillmore Jazz Festival
    San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Blending art and soul in one of the country’s most unique neighborhoods, the Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast, drawing over 100,000 visitors over the Independence Day weekend. From sunup to sundown, visitors can groove to the sounds of live music from multiple stages, browse the offerings of over 12 blocks of fine art and crafts and enjoy gourmet food and beverages. Location: Fillmore Street, between Jackson and Eddy. For more info, visit their website.
  • Builder's Challenge
    Novato Library
    Saturday, 11 am–noon

    Children of all abilities ages 4–12 are invited to build, play, engineer and destruct together. Registration is not required but space is limited to 30 people on a first-come, first-serve basis. Materials will be provided. Location: 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Disney's The Little Mermaid
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 6 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm

    Ariel has always dreamed of leaving her underwater kingdom to see what lies beyond the sea. When she falls in love with a handsome prince who lives on land, she's willing to give up everything to be with him. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film. Tickets: $23–$60. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Healthy Parks, Healthy People
    Presidio of San Francisco
    Saturday, 2–4 pm

    Is getting fit difficult because you could use some motivation and change of scenery? Your National Parks can help! Join the Healthy Parks Healthy People Rangers and leaders each month as we work our way to fitness and a healthier lifestyle. Through hiking, beginner exercises and family games, you'll get to know your various National Park sites while getting those hearts and waistlines happy. Meet in front of the Presidio Visitor Center at building 36 Lincoln Boulevard. Wear comfortable exercise clothing you can move in and don't mind getting dirty. Don't forget your water bottles. RSVP: (415) 561-4323. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sun Valley to Fireworks Walk
    San Rafael
    Saturday, 8:30–10:30 pm

    Join a ranger for a nature walk to experience this unique preserve after dark. We’ll discuss nocturnal animals and things that go bump in the night! The highlight of the walk will be to enjoy the Marin County Fair fireworks from one of the best viewing spots on Open Space. Fireworks start at 9:30 pm. This event is ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. Meet at the Dan Abraham Trailhead. For more info, visit their website.

2016 Marin 4th of July Parades, Fireworks and More…

June 28, 2016

Kids in the 4th of July modeCelebrate Independence Day the Marin County way! Communities across the Marin observe the 4th of July in their own unique ways. Here’s what’s going on in your community on Monday, July 4. We will be updating the list as we learn of new events, so please check back. Please keep in mind that event details can change without notice, so please check the event links or call before attending.

You can also add your local Independence Day event to our Family Events Calendar.

Corte Madera and Larkspur

  • The Corte Madera-Larkspur festivities celebrate start off with at the 64th Annual Independence Day Pancake Breakfast—with pancakes, sausages, fruit, coffee, orange juice, and milk—at Larkspur's American Legion Twin Cities Post 313 at 500 Magnolia Avenue. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, with famous 1928 recipe gin fizzes and the Post 313 Renowned Mimosa for $5 each. Breakfast is from 8–11 am; flag raising ceremony at 7:45 am. Info: call (415) 924-6283 or  www.americanlegion313.org
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