Events and Outings

All Aboard! Tickets for the Polar Express at the California State Railroad Museum on Sale October 1

September 13, 2014

The Polar ExpressGet ready to believe! Tickets for the California State Railroad Museum's annual holiday Polar Express train rides go on sale to the public on Tuesday, October 1, 2014. The Railroad Museum's sister organization, Railtown 1897, will also be holding Polar Express train rides this season, too.

Climb on board a train pulled by a historic streamlined diesel locomotive from the museum's collection and read along with Chris Van Allsburg's classic holiday story as you and your family make your round-trip journey to the North Pole. Meet Santa Claus, the Train Conductor, and the ghostly Hobo. Sing Christmas carols, drink hot-hot-hot chocolate, and eat cookies—served by dancing waiters, of course.

Speak to Me: Intelligent, Inspiring Events for Women

September 11, 2014

Speak to MeWhere can you go to hear inspiring talks by fabulous speakers from around the Bay Area and beyond, taste delicious food and wine, and connect with other women like you? The 2014–2015 Speak to Me Series offers all this over four evenings from October 28, 2014 through April 28, 2015. Designed for women by women, this inspiring and fun series takes place at the Mill Valley Community Center and draws women from all over the Bay Area.

Come listen to dynamic and influential speakers like Tara Sophia Mohr, author of Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message and 10 Rules of Brilliant Women and groundbreaking expert on women’s leadership; Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group; Jim Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media; and Iris Krasnow, journalism professor, best-selling author, and expert in the field of relationships, personal growth and “female generational angst".

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 12, 13 & 14

September 10, 2014
Dipsea Hike
Hike the Dipsea Trail for Zero Breast Cancer 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, September 12

  • Kids' Pajama Party with Aaron Becker
    Diesel, A Bookstore in Larkspur
    Friday, 6 pm

    Put on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author and illustrator Aaron Becker will be here to read you a bedtime story. Aaron Becker is the author and illustrator of Journey and the upcoming follow-up book, Quest. Get cozy in front of the fireplace, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed before heading home for bed. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night: Ghostbusters
    Strawberry Recreation, Mil Valley
    Friday, 7:30 pm
    Join Strawberry Recreation District for a fun night amongst the stars! Bring blankets, family and friends and join us for a wonderful time on the field. Popcorn and refreshments will be available for purchase. Please do not bring chairs that may block the view for others. Fee: $3 per person or $10 per family. Location: 118 East Strawberry Drive, Mill Valley. For more info, call (415) 383-6494 or visit their website.
  • Movies in the Park: The LEGO Movie
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Friday, 8 pm

    The Chamber of Commerce and the City of Mill Valley have partnered on a free outdoor film screening of The LEGO Movie, a blockbuster animated adventure comedy featuring the famous construction toys. Old Mill Park, 17 Cascade Way, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: Flubber
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    This Friday's movie is Flubber (PG). Arrive by 8 pm—films begin at dusk. Popcorn, candy, and sodas will be sold. Bring blankets, pillows, backrests, and low chairs. Film Night suggests leaving pets at home. Donations are appreciated. Creek Park is located in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 13

  • Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 8 am–1 pm

    Get out and get physical for a great cause! This six-mile, noncompetitive, all-ages trail loop is a great way to spend time with friends—enjoy breathtaking Mount Tamalpais views, experience the legendary Dipsea steps, and enjoy food, music, and prizes with great people. Raises funds for Zero Breast Cancer’s prevention-focused research efforts. For more info or to register, visit their website.
  • Novato Bike & Hike
    Indian Valley Campus, Novato
    Saturday, 8 am–4 pm

    Spend a wonderful day cycling the back roads or hiking the hills and ridges of Marin, and then kick back ?and enjoy a fun family festival of ?food and music at Indian Valley Campus (IVC) meadow. This event helps provide school ?scholarships and fund projects for local schools and charitable organizations in the community and beyond. Bike or hiking tour ticket $75 individual, $120 couple, $150 family of four; $25 festival ticket only. Must be 14+ for biking tours and Buzzard Burn 6-mile hike. For more info, visit their website.
  • Farmers' Market and Pie Baking Contest
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    This Saturday, enter your award-winning pies in the 4th annual Pie Baking Contest at the Marin Country Mart Farmers' Market in Larkspur Landing. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10:30 am–2 pm adjacent to the farmer's market. Arts and crafts and face painting for kids from 9 am–2 pm and kid's music or stories from 9:30–10:30 am. For more info, visit their website.
  • Greenbrae Mini Maker Faire
    Bon Air Center
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm
    Come visit Marin's largest "do-it-yourself" festival, with hands-on learning activities and exhibits on arts, crafts, science, robotics, music, technology, sustainability, food, and creativity. It's a day of family fun that encourages the "maker" in all of us. Admission: $7.50 adults, $5 youth 4–14, free for children 3 and under. $20 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 youths). For more information, visit their website.
  • LEGO Fall Preview
    Play-Well Marin, San Anselmo
    Saturday, 10 am–6 pm

    Come by and build with Play-Well's massive collection of LEGO for free and learn about their fall classes and workshops. Come and check out some of the cool workshops: Battle Track: 10:30 am–noon, Gear Cars: 1–2:30 pm, and Airplanes- 3–4:30 pm. Location 216 Greenfield Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, call (415) 460-5210 or visit their website.
  • Sebastopol Renaissance Faire
    Ives Park, Sebastopol
    Saturday, 10 am–6 pm & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Come experience Sebastopol's very own Renaissance Faire and support local public schools and programs! Ives Park, in the center of Sebastopol, is transformed into the town of Fenford in 16th-century England. The locals are celebrating the apple harvest, and Queen Elizabeth and her extensive court pay a visit to honor these humble citizens. Fun for the entire family. Cost: $14 adults, $8 children 11–17, and free for kids 10 and under. Location: 7400 Willow Avenue, in between the fire house and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts (in the Veteran's Memorial Building). For more info, visit their website.
  • Explore Martin Griffin Preserve
    Audubon Canyon Ranch, Bolinas
    Saturday, 10 am-4 pm

    Audubon Canyon Ranch eagerly welcomes you back to the Martin Griffin Preserve for fall exploring! Hike through the redwood grove under the historic heronry. Learn about spiders in the Spider Patch. Visit the ponds and the indoor teaching spaces. Volunteer naturalists called Ranch Guides will be available to answer questions from inquisitive nature lovers! Read about our visit here. Location: 4900 Shoreline Highway between the towns of Stinson Beach and Bolinas. For more info, visit their website.
  • Lyford House Open to Visitors
    Tiburon
    Saturday, 10 am–1 pm

    Lyford House, the yellow 1876 Victorian on the shores of Richardson Bay at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, will be open on Saturday for free tours. It was deeded to the Audubon Society in 1961 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Location: 376 Greenwood Beach Road, Tiburon. For more info, call (415) 388-2524 or visit their website.
  • Family Fun: Mini Golf
    McInnis Park, San Rafael
    Saturday, 11 am–1 pm

    Rangers will host a fun afternoon of miniature golf at the McInnis Park Golf Center. Prizes will be given for anyone who gets a hole-in-one! Healthy snacks will be provided. This event is for children ages 12 and under, who must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Hillside picnic area. Park entrance is free. Questions: Contact Supervising Ranger Audrea Bocchi at (415) 446-4423 or visit their website.

Bay Area Discovery Museum Closed for Annual Maintenance

September 7, 2014

Bay Area Discovery Museum Lookout CoveSausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum, Marin's favorite hands-on place for kids to learn and explore, will be closed for its annual maintenance the next two weeks—from Monday, September 8 through Monday, September 22, 2014. They close at this time each year for two weeks to clean and undertake improvement projects that can't be done when they're open to the public. The museum will re-open on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.

We're looking forward to some of the museum's great fall and winter programs, like the Goblin Jamboree (October 18 and 19), the Harvest Festival (November 8), Gingerbread Architecture Extravaganza (November 29 and 30, and the new Snow Days Family Fundraiser (December 12–13, complete with real snow). Get the full schedule of upcoming events and programs on the museum's website.

Marin Weekend Family Events for September 5, 6 & 7

September 6, 2014
Feeding the sheep at Chileno Valley Ranch
Visit Chileno Valley Ranch this Sunday for u-pick apples and fun on the farm.

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

Friday, September 5

  • Infant and Child CPR Class and Vendor Fair
    Whole Foods Mill Valley
    Friday, 9:30–11 am

    Whole Foods in Mill Valley offers a child CPR class followed by a vendor fair for new parents featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, Mill Valley Recreation, and more. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes. One-year CPR certification is included with the course. CPR certificate fee $30. Space is limited; register here. The event takes place at the Whole Foods at 414 Miller Avenue.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    San Anselmo Town Hall Lawn
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Picnics feature music and family fun. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Film Night in the Park: The Fifth Element
    Creek Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8 pm

    This Friday's movie is The Fifth Element (PG-13). Arrive by 8 pm—films begin at dusk. Popcorn, candy, and sodas will be sold. Bring blankets, pillows, backrests, and low chairs. Film Night suggests leaving pets at home. Donations are appreciated. Creek Park is located in San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 6

  • Fall Fishing Derby
    Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    Join rangers for the fall fishing contest at Paradise Beach Park! Prizes will be awarded for the first fish and the biggest fish! A limited number of fishing poles and bait will be provided first-come, first-served to beginners, thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A valid California fishing license is required when fishing from the shore; not from the pier. Paradise Beach Park is at 3450 Paradise Drive in Tiburon. Meet at the fishing pier. Park entrance is free. For more information, visit their website.
  • Infant and Child CPR Class and Vendor Fair
    Whole Foods San Rafael
    Saturday, 9:30–11 am

    Whole Foods in San Rafael offers a child CPR class followed by a vendor fair for new parents featuring community partners including SoulCycle, fitmob, Stroller Strides, Urban Sitter, and more. There will also be free samples and a raffle for gift baskets and other prizes. One-year CPR certification is included with the course. CPR certificate fee $30. Location: 340 Third Street. Space is limited; register here. Find out more about his event here.

A Visit to Wildcare in San Rafael

September 2, 2014

WildCare San RafaelOne of Marin's most amazing resources is WildCare. This amazing urban wildlife rehabilitation center helps out thousands of ill, injured, or orphaned wild animals from around the Bay Area. They also undertake wildlife and nature education and operate a 24-hour Living with Wildlife Hotline.

We love to visit the courtyard and small natural history museum at their headquarters in San Rafael's Albert Park. The WildCare courtyard is home to the its Wildlife Ambassadors—animals who are unable to be released back in to the wild and whose permanent home is now in San Rafael. These animals serve as ambassadors to the community, appearing in educational programs at schools and other programs throughout the bay area. We've been coming here to visit since the kids were really little, and some of the animals here seem like old friends.

Hands-on Fun for Fall at Slide Ranch

August 30, 2014

Slide 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 a seed, 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 at Muir Beach. Below is a list of their upcoming fall events. Their programs do fill up quickly, so you need to plan ahead if you are interested in participating. Register for programs online at www.slideranch.org.

Family Farm Days (10 am–2 pm for all farm days)

$30 per person; age 2 and under free. 15% discount for families of 4 or more.

  • Halloween/El Dia de los Muerto Family Farm Day
    Saturday, November 1

Marin Family-Friendly Events for Labor Day Weekend

August 29, 2014

Sausalito Art Festival

The 62nd Sausalito Art Festival takes place this weekend at Marinship Park.

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

Friday, August 29

  • Picnics on the Plaza
    San Anselmo Town Hall Lawn
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Picnics feature music and family fun. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main: Main Street USA
    Tiburon

    Friday, 6–9 pm
    Bring the family to some outdoor dining, live music and dancing on Main Street in downtown Tiburon. This Friday: a salute to Disney, with some of your favorite characters in attendance and the music of the Kyle Martin Band performing contemporary and classic rock favorites. For more info, visit their website.
  • 18th Annual Nostalgia Days Rod and Kustom Car Show
    Downtown Novato
    Friday, 4–8 pm & Saturday, 10 am–5 pm

    Novato's annual celebration of all things automotive features a salute to American Graffiti with a special appearance by actress Candy Clark ("Debbie" in the movie). Friday night cruise takes place on a loop through Novato, and Saturday features a car show, live music, raffle, and vendors. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Movie Night: Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Stafford Lake, Novato
    Friday, 7:30–10 pm

    The lawn at pastoral Stafford Lake Park sets the perfect stage for this classic outdoor summer event, featuring a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Marin Parks will host the show and provide the popcorn; bring your family, a blanket, chairs, and a picnic dinner or snacks (portable BBQs are allowed). The show will begin 15 minutes after sunset. For more info, call (415) 897-0618 or visit their website.

Saturday, August 30

  • Sausalito Art Festival
    Marinship Park, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–7 pm and Monday, 10 am–5 pm
    The country’s best art and most exciting artists, a top-name music line-up, gourmet food, and fine wines and premium beers all bring more than 30,000 art lovers together in an electrifying atmosphere of creativity, fun, discovery, and magic every Labor Day Weekend. A children and families area features hands-on activities and entertainment for all ages. Featuring local children’s music with local Tim Cain and performers including Benny and Bebe's Magic Circus. Tickets to the Sausalito Art Festival are $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors 62+, and $5 for juniors ages 6–12, and free for children under 6. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Baby food cooking and nutrition demonstration with Baby Bites and NewboRN Solutions from 10:30 am–noon. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 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.
  • Muir Woods Family Walk
    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9:30 am–12:30 pm
    Can't stand to see vacation end but too tired to travel? Spend quality time with the family in an ancient redwood forest just 25 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. Before letting the long, lazy days of summer slip away, take a leisurely walk through an ancient redwood forest. Wear sturdy shoes, dress in layers and bring lunch, snacks and water. Entrance fees apply. All ages welcome. Strollers not advised; backpack baby carriers OK. Reservations required; call (415) 388-2596. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Reptile Expo
    Petaluma Community Center
    Saturday, 10 am-5 pm

    Open to the public. All ages welcome. Join us as we welcome a variety of vendors and exhibitors offering hundreds of snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles, tortoises, tarantulas, scorpions, supplies, jewelry, and more at this year's Petaluma Reptile Expo presented by North Bay Herpetological Society. Cost: $5.00 for Adults, Kids 12 and under $2. Location: 320 McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Theater for Young Audiences: Five Little Monkeys
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm & 3 pm and Sunday, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm & 5 pm

    Those five little monkeys will get into as much mischief on stage as they do in their namesake picture books. Take cover when they make that birthday cake for Mama, meet up with a crocodile, and disappear in the store! The play’s all in rhyme, so you’ll have a great time! Recommended for ages 2–7, 45 minutes. Tickets are $18 for children under 14 and $22 for adults. Order online at tickets.marintheatre.org, by phone at  (415) 388-5208, or in person at the MTC box office, 397 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Komodo Karnival
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 11 am–3 pm

    Komodo Karnival will feature good ol' fashioned fun with a nod to the Big Daddy Bahasa, the Zoo's resident Komodo dragon. After you stop by and see him at Komodo Alley, try your luck at games like Crazy Ball, Ring the Bottle, Hoop Shot, Milk Can, Fat Cats and Fish Are Jumping; you may even win a prize! After some cotton candy and a hot dog and soda, show off your strength on the Komodo High Striker then make like a dragon and head up our Komodo Klimbing Wall. Free after zoo admission. For more info, visit their website.

Ten Terrific Family Outings for Labor Day Weekend

August 28, 2014

Hamilton Community Pool NovatoLabor day weekend is summer vacation's last hurrah (even if most kids are in school already). Make the most of this last long weekend of summer with a fun family outing or activity in Marin or elsewhere in the Bay Area.

For more fun family events for this weekend, check out the special Labor Day Weekend edition of our weekly event guide.

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