Events and Outings

Celebrate the Holidays in Victorian Style at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair

November 9, 2017

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Under colorful swags of Union Jacks and boughs of holly, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party returns for five weekends to the historic Cow Palace in Daly City this November and December. The family-friendly holiday fair takes place on Saturdays and Sundays (as well as the Friday after Thanksgiving) from November 18 through December 17, 2017, and offers visitors a delightfully immersive holiday experience unlike any other.

Run with the Family This Thanksgiving at the Marin Turkey Trot

November 9, 2017

Instead of just eating until you're stuffed this Thanksgiving, do something healthy to kick off the day and help support local charities at the Annual Marin Turkey Trot. Taking place on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23, 2017), the Turkey Trot features fun races for the entire family, including the Youth 1-mile for ages 5 and up, Turkey Trot 5K, and the Pilgrim 10K. All races start and finish at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus at 1800 Ignacio Boulevard in Novato.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 3, 4 & 5

November 3, 2017

The Union Square Ice Rink celebrates its 10th anniversary with free skating on Friday, November 3.

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

Friday, November 3

  • Union Square Ice Rink's 10th Birthday Party
    San Francisco
    Friday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    To commemorate ten years of outdoor skating at the quintessential San Francisco location, residents and visitors of San Francisco are invited to an all-day celebration featuring free ice skating, performances, and birthday treats! The celebration will include performances by some of San Francisco’s favorite arts organizations, a live installation by San Francisco's favorite mural artist, fnnch, and more surprises to be announced! Free skating slots subject to availability; first come first served. For more info, visit their Facebook Page.
  • Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco
    Friday–Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm, Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm

    Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Admission: $12, $7 children 7 and under, skate rental $5. For more info, visit their website.
  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parents Day Out: Madagascar
    Rolling Hills Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm
    Join us for a Jungle of a Good Time! Play games inspired by the movie, turn your face into a wild animal, and make your own chocolate dipped banana penguin. We will watch the movie Madagascar. Pizza will be provided. Cost: $34 guest, $24 member. Location: 351 San Andreas Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movie Night: Smurfs: The Lost Village
    Mathnasium of Mill Valley
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Stop by Mathnasium on the first Friday of the month for movie night. Free pizza and soda will be served. Students, parents, and friends welecome. Location: 247 Shoreline Highway, Suite A3. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Night Fairy
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

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

Saturday, November 4

  • Free Access to All Parks
    Marin County Parks
    Saturday, All Day

    Marin County Parks is offering free access to all parks on the first Saturday of the month all year long! Includes Black Point Boat Launch, McInnis Park, McNears Beach Park, Miller Boat Launch, Paradise Beach Park, and Stafford Lake Park. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for October 27–29

October 27, 2017

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

Friday, October 27

  • Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch
    Santa Rosa
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am

    Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch offers eight acres of pumpkins, a huge seven-acre corn maze, kiddy corn mazes, hay and sunflower mazes, jack-o-lantern tether ball, tire swings, a 10-bale-high hay pyramid, a huge jumpy pillow, pedal trike races, a corn play box, a petting zoo, face painting, and more. Location: 5157 Stony Point Road (at Rohnert Park Expressway). For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also offers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Activities are free and so is the parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Nicasio
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a wide variety of certified organic pumpkins spread out in an expansive meadow on the farm. Kids activities: jumpy houses, inflatable slide, hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, farm animals to visit, a climbing wall, and face painting. Some of these attractions have an admission fee, and some are available only on weekends and select days. Shaded seating area with picnic tables, so you can relax and take in the scenery, listen to some great live music, and even eat lunch. If you arrive hungry, Big Jim's BBQ is on hand on weekends. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Location: 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. Some of these attractions have an admission fee. For more info, visit their website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Petaluma
    Friday 1–9 pm, Saturday, 10 am–9 pm, Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, and u-pick squash, and the new Haunted Forest, as well as a farm store and a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. Read our review here.
  • Godmothers Pumpkin Patch
    St. Vincent's, Marinwood
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    This long-time favorite pumpkin patch at St. Vincent's near Marinwood offers a variety of pumpkins as well as attractions and activities like bounce houses, a hay pile, face painting, snack shack, and a picnic area. Groups welcome. Read our review of St. Vincent's Pumpkin Patch. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween Magic Show
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, 4 pm

    Thrills and chills await us with his Halloween magic show. Our magician combines comedy, audience participation and amazing magic to create a spooktacular 45 minutes show for goblins ages 3 to 103. Cost: $9 general, free for kids 3 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Trunk or Treat at the Center
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, 4:30–6:30 pm

    Bring your children to the Community Center Parking Lot for a fun, safe and community Halloween event! Face painting, food truck, treating, games & more! Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween Scream on the Green: Haunted House
    Downtown Novato
    Friday, 5:30–9 pm

    Get a preview of Scream on the Green Friday evening at the haunted house. Location: Sherman Avenue and the Civic Green and Novato City Hall complex. For more info, visit their website.
  • It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
    Snoopy's Home Ice, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 6–8:30 pm

    Bring your blanket and pick a spot on the ball field for a night of ghoulish fun and Halloween festivities. Movie starts at dusk on the inflatable big screen. Meet Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, enjoy Halloween crafts and trivia games, and follow the trick-or-treat trail. Free popcorn and "witches brew". Costumes encouraged. At Schulz Complex Ball Field on Hardies Lane across from Snoopy's Home Ice. For more info, visit their website.
  • Spooky Spaghetti Bingo
    Corte Madera Rec Center
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Enjoy a buffet-style spaghetti dinner from 6 to 7, then Bingo for prizes until 9! Fun for the whole family! $15 per person admission includes 3 Bingo cards. For more info, call (415) 927-5072 or visit their website.
  • Novato Horsemen Haunted House
    600 Bugeia Lane, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 7–10 pm

    Bring the kids out for a night of scare and fun at the Novato Horseman Haunted House in Novato. Admission: $5 per person. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Marin High School Music presents The Addams Family
    San Marin High School, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm

    Celebrate the Halloween season with the creepiest family around, The Addams Family! San Marin Students bring the Addams family to life but with a twist. Audiences will enjoy a unique and immersive theater experience sure to entertain. This show might be considered PG-13 so please consider this when bringing children. Tickets: $15 general, $5 students and children, $25 VIP. For more info and tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, October 28

  • Not-Too-Spooky Halloween
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 9:30 am–4:30 pm

    Come to our not-too-spooky celebration for infants, toddlers and preschoolers! The Museum will be transformed into a Halloween playground, paint miniature pumpkins in the Art Studio, and fly paper ghosts in the Wind Tunnel. Visit the witches’ apothecary in the grocery store. Come celebrate with us by coming in costume! Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • North Bay Science Discovery Day
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    This event is designed to inspire children and raise awareness of the importance of STEM in everyday life. This free event features local organizations like Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Aquarium of the Bay, California State Parks, the Marin County Free Library, Kaiser Permanente, Marinovators, the Pacific Coast Air Museum, Play-Well TEKnologies, and many many more. Plan on staying all day to experience all the fun! Free admission and parking. Location: 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for October 20–22

October 20, 2017

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.

Check out our list of Halloween pumpkin patches in Marin and Sonoma counties—see our list here.

Friday, October 20

  • Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch
    Santa Rosa
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am

    Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch offers eight acres of pumpkins, a huge seven-acre corn maze, kiddy corn mazes, hay and sunflower mazes, jack-o-lantern tether ball, tire swings, a 10-bale-high hay pyramid, a huge jumpy pillow, pedal trike races, a corn play box, a petting zoo, face painting, and more. Location: 5157 Stony Point Road (at Rohnert Park Expressway). For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also offers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Activities are free and so is the parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Nicasio
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a wide variety of certified organic pumpkins spread out in an expansive meadow on the farm. Kids activities: jumpy houses, inflatable slide, hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, farm animals to visit, a climbing wall, and face painting. Some of these attractions have an admission fee, and some are available only on weekends and select days. Shaded seating area with picnic tables, so you can relax and take in the scenery, listen to some great live music, and even eat lunch. If you arrive hungry, Big Jim's BBQ is on hand on weekends. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Location: 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio. Read our review here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
    550 Stony Point Road
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
    Over 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds, as well as a 4-acre Amazing Corn Maze (admission $6, 5 and under free; $9 on Friday and Saturday nights 6–10 pm), farm animals, a zip line, weekend pony rides, face painting, jumpy houses and inflatables, food vendors, covered snack area, and more. Some of these attractions have an admission fee. For more info, visit their website.
  • McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
    Petaluma
    Friday 1–9 pm, Saturday, 10 am–9 pm, Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Find the perfect pumpkin in McClelland's three-acre organic pumpkin field. Free admission includes pumpkin patch, petting farm animals (including cows, goats, and chickens), and watching cows being milked in the parlor. There's also a hay maze, kids' haunted hay house, hay rides, bounce houses, and u-pick squash, and the new Haunted Forest, as well as a farm store and a food cart serving organic grilled cheese sandwiches, organic milkshakes, organic popcorn, and espresso drinks. Read our review here.
  • Godmothers Pumpkin Patch
    St. Vincents, Marinwood
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    This long-time favorite pumpkin patch at St. Vincent's near Marinwood offers a variety of pumpkins as well as attractions and activities like bounce houses, a hay pile, face painting, snack shack, and a picnic area. Groups welcome. Read our review of St. Vincent's Pumpkin Patch. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley Haunted House
    Tam Valley Community Center, Mill Valley
    Friday–Sunday, 3:30–7:30 pm (depending on ages)

    The theme for TCSD's annual Tam Valley Haunted House is "Summon the Reaper". The Haunted House has three different tours: 3:30–4:30 pm: Not Scary, for children under 8 with all the lights on and a fun tour of the different areas; 5-6:30 pm: Scary, for children over 9; closed 6:30–7:30 pm to feed the volunteer monsters then back open 7:30–9 pm for a truly horrifying experience. Cost: $6 per person. Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Teen Food Craft: Pumpkin Candy
    Civic Center Library, San Rafael
    Friday, 4–5:30 pm

    Join us every third Friday of the month for a fun craft. This month we’re making candy! Materials provided. Please arrive on time to hear the instructions. For students in the 6th–12th grades only. No registration necessary. This event will be held in Room 410B, down the hall from the library. For more info, visit their website.
  • 6th Annual Ohlone Big Time Festival
    Rob Hill Campground, Presidio of San Francisco
    Friday, 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday, noon

    Join us in Ohlone Big Time! Celebrating indigenous culture of the California coast. Experience food, dancing, singing, storytelling, raffles , vending, camping and good old family fun. All are welcome! For more info, visit their website.
  • Outdoor Movie Night: Jaws
    Robin Sweeny Park, Sausalito
    Saturday, 6:30–8:30 pm

    See Jaws for free in Sausalito's Robin Sweeny Park. Location: Caledonia Street, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Novato Horsemen Haunted House
    600 Bugeia Lane, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 7–10 pm

    Bring the kids out for a night of scare and fun at the Novato Horseman Haunted House in Novato. Admission is $5 per person. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Marin High School Music presents The Addams Family
    San Marin High School, Novato
    Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Celebrate the Halloween season with the creepiest family around, The Addams Family! San Marin Students bring the Addams family to life but with a twist. Audiences will enjoy a unique and immersive theater experience sure to entertain. This show might be considered PG-13 so please consider this when bringing children. Tickets: $15 general, $5 students and children, $25 VIP. For more info and tickets, visit their website.
  • College of Marin Drama Department presents The Little Prince
    James Dunn Theatre, Kentfield
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 2 & 7:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm
    Perfect for all ages! Bring the family to see The College of Marin Drama Department's, The Little Prince. Young and old alike will love this heartwarming, classic tale by Antoine de St. Exupéry. Journey alongside the Little Prince through the desert and outer space, while he encounters marvelous celestial beings!  Don’t miss this delightful story that encourages audiences of all ages to rediscover their dreams and the wonders that are all around them! Tickets: $20 General; $15 Seniors; $10 COM Students, Employees, Alumni, Retirees, and Youth. Purchase tickets here.

Saturday, October 21

  • 2017 Bioneers Conference & Family Fair
    Marin Center, San Rafael
    Saturday & Sunday, 8 am–6 pm

    The Bioneers Conference highlights breakthrough ideas for solving our most pressing ecological and social challenges. Come learn from some of the country’s top nature-inspired education masters and have fun exploring a wide array of experiential education activities. Free events on-site including the Family Fair (10 am–4 pm). For more info, visit their website.

Family Halloween Events in Marin & the Bay Area

October 19, 2017

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

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

Marin and Sonoma Events

  • LEGO Haunted House Workshop
    Play-Well Marin, San Anselmo
    Monday, October 30, 3–5 pm
    This Halloween season, join Play-Well TEKnologies for a LEGO Haunted House workshop! Participants will have time to engineer their own trap then they will see if their LEGO Minifigure to go through. Can you make it out of the haunted house without getting scared! Fee: $20. For more info and to register, visit their website.
  • Halloween Trick-or-Treat Trail
    Downtown Petaluma
    Tuesday, October 31, 3–5:30 pm

    Join over 60 participating downtown Petaluma merchants for a fun and safe community Halloween for the entire family and goodies for costumed kids under 12. Prepare for a hautingly "ghould" time  as the scary, the cute, the ugly and the creepy descend on Downtown Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for October 13, 14 & 15

October 14, 2017

Tolay Fall Festival

Due to the current wildfires in the North Bay many events have been cancelled this weekend, including the Tolay Fall Festival, the Marin Waldorf School Children's Faire, the Mountain School Apple Faire, the Cornerstone Harvest Pumpkin Patch Festival, Weekend Along the Farm Trails, and the Kunde Giant Pumpkin Festival. Other events may be cancelled; check with the organizer before attending.

Halloween pumpkin patches in Marin and Sonoma counties are open—see our list here.

Friday, October 13

  • Mill Valley Film Festival
    Various Locations
    Friday–Sunday, various times

    The 40th annual Mill Valley Film Festival features a variety of fantastic family films from around the world. Location: various theaters within Marin. For a complete listing of films, visit their website here.
  • Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch
    Santa Rosa
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am

    Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch offers eight acres of pumpkins, a huge seven-acre corn maze, kiddy corn mazes, hay and sunflower mazes, jack-o-lantern tether ball, tire swings, a 10-bale-high hay pyramid, a huge jumpy pillow, pedal trike races, a corn play box, a petting zoo, face painting, and more. Location: 5157 Stony Point Road (at Rohnert Park Expressway). For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch
    Spring Hill Jersey Farm, Petaluma
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–6 pm

    Pick your own organic pumpkin, dig for potatoes, take a tractor ride, visit farm animals, taste homemade ice cream and Spring Hill cheese, milk a cow, and get lost in the hay maze. Peter Pumpkin Patch also offers fresh fruits and vegetables and picnic baskets. Activities are free and so is the parking. This is a wonderful and fun pumpkin patch on a real working farm. Location: 4235 Spring Hill Road (off Bodega Ave.). For more info, call (707) 762-3446 or visit their website.
  • Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
    Nicasio
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm

    Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a wide variety of certified organic pumpkins spread out in an expansive meadow on the farm. Kids activities: jumpy houses, inflatable slide, hay rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, farm animals to visit, a climbing wall, and face painting. Some of these attractions have an admission fee, and some are available only on weekends and select days. Shaded seating area with picnic tables, so you can relax and take in the scenery, listen to some great live music, and even eat lunch. If you arrive hungry, Big Jim's BBQ is on hand on weekends. Tim Cain performs on Sunday from 11 am to noon. Location: 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio. Read our review here. For more info, visit their website.

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

October 9, 2017

Goblin Jamboree

Come get a jump on Halloween at the 31st annual Goblin Jamboree fundraiser at the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Bring your little goblins to this year’s spooky family event on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 from 10 am to 4 pm. This year’s theme is "Witches and Wizards" and they have put together a cauldron of spooky themed programs and activities to entertain your entire family.

Ride a train or real ponies, create your own wand and potions, make your way through a broom obstacle course and some hay mazes, play with glow-in-the-dark trains in the Bay Hall, explore the spooky sticker room, and and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment. This year's event will feature live musical performances from the JimBo Trout, Juice and Jelly, and Beau Mathews. This event is the perfect Halloween party for kids ages 6 months to 10 years.

A Visit to Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

October 9, 2017

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we paid a visit to the popular Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch, a certified organic pumpkin patch that has been a Marin County tradition for 20 years! Located in the small west Marin village of Nicasio, the farm is just west of the Nicasio Village Square right on Nicasio Valley Road. Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch is open seven days a week through Halloween from 10 am to 6 pm, and it's always worth a visit.

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