Events and Outings

Circus Vargas Returns to Petaluma with SteamCirque

September 5, 2017

Circus Vargas SteamCirque

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Circus Vargas.

Circus Vargas returns to the North Bay with its latest and greatest show: SteamCirque! This animal-free, traveling circus—the biggest in the USA—pitches its big top at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma from September 14 to 18. Shows take place at various times throughout the day, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays.

25 Inexpensive (or Free) Things to Do for Families in September

September 3, 2017

Tiburon Bike PathTake a ride along the Tiburon bike path this September.

September is here and school is back in, but that doesn't mean there still isn't a lot of family fun to be had! You don't have to break the bank to have a great time with the kiddos, either! Here are 25 great ideas for great affordable activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area in September, all of which are free or really inexpensive. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. Take a family bike ride or walk along the Tiburon bike path.
  2. Free family fun day at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, September 3, 10:30 am–2 pm
  3. Swim, jump and slide at the Water Park at Spring Lake, Santa Rosa, September 3, 11 am–6 pm

Marin Family Events for Labor Day Weekend

September 1, 2017

Sausalito Art FestivalThe Annual Sausalito Art Festival takes place this weekend at Marinship Park.

Check out our list of 12 terrific family outings for this Labor Day Weekend!

Friday, September 1

 
  • Closing Weekend: "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit"
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Friday–Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    In "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit" children ages 2 to 6 enter the world of Daniel Tiger and friends to explore the Neighborhood. Through immersive experiences, visitors collaborate to solve problems, use their imaginations to transform their surroundings and play along with Daniel’s singable strategies as they learn life’s little lessons. Museum admission applies. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: Teddy Bears' Picnic
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Friday, 10 am; Saturday & Sunday, 10 am & 11:15 am

    Bring your own Bear, if you'd like, and join our Teddy Bear as she packs a picnic and scampers off for an adventure in the forest. We will explore the foods that every bear loves, learn what grows in the forest, and play some wonderful games. Who knows what might happen? Maybe ants will go marching! Maybe the honey bees won't want to share their honey! Together, you and the bears will surmount these obstacles and have a lovely, lively time! For audiences age 6 months to 3 years old. Children under the age of 6 months do not require a ticket. For more info, visit their website.
  • Closing Weekend: McNear's Beach Pool
    San Rafael
    Friday, 11 am–5 pm & Saturday, 11 am–6 pm

    Bring the entire family to swim and splash at McNear's Beach pool this weekend. After this weekend, the pool will be closing for the season. Parking is free on Saturday, due to Free Access of All Parks, but there is a charge to swim. Location: 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Closing Weekend: Spring Lake Water Park
    Santa Rosa
    Friday–Monday, 11 am–6 pm

    This inflatable water park includes multiple play stations for both kids and adults, including slides, bounce islands, a bouncy bridge, a trampoline, climbing cliffs, balance beam, and more. Test your strength by bouncing, sliding, balancing, climbing, and more! Spring Lake's three-acre swimming lagoon is filled with filtered spring water which is chlorinated to exeed water quality standards. Cost: $10 per person for water park and $7 parking fee. Location: Spring Lake Regional Park is located at 393 Violetti Road in Santa Rosa. For more info, read our article here.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Come on downtown to San Anselmo for Picnics on the Plaza on six Friday evenings this summer: Grab dinner-to-go at a local restaurant, purchase food at the event, or pack a picnic and dine with old and new friends at the plaza. Enjoy live entertainment and activities; it's great, music, food and family fun! Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

12 Terrific Family Outings for Labor Day Weekend

August 29, 2017

McNears Beach San Rafael

Labor 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. Many of the destinations and activities here close up shop after Labor Day, so this is your last chance to visit until next summer!

There's Something for the Entire Family at the Sausalito Art Festival

August 29, 2017

2016 Sausalito Art Festival

A Marin County tradition for over half a century, the Sausalito Art Festival returns to Marinship Park this Labor Day Weekend, September 2 to 4, for its 65th season. The family friendly festival showcases the works of the finest local, national and international artists, with thousands of original works of art by 260 artists, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media, and photography.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 25, 26 & 27

August 26, 2017

The 36th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest take place this Sunday at Drake's Beach

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, August 25

  • Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley
    Friday, 8 am–8 pm

    Visit Muir woods for free during Free Entrance Days for the birthday of the National Park Service. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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: $15 for one child, $10 per each additional child, siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • Children's Series: Venezuelan Music Project
    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. Enjoy fertile intermingling of indigenous, European and African influences with Venezuelan Music Project. Free. Location: Esplanade at Yerba Buena Gardens, near the MLK, Jr. waterfall. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Come on downtown to San Anselmo for Picnics on the Plaza on six Friday evenings this summer: Grab dinner-to-go at a local restaurant, purchase food at the event, or pack a picnic and dine with old and new friends at the plaza. Enjoy live entertainment and activities; it's great, music, food and family fun! Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main: Back to School
    Tiburon
    Friday, 6–9 pm
    Bring the family to some outdoor dining, live music and dancing on Main Street in downtown Tiburon. This Friday: School’s back in session and so is Neon Velvet, the ultimate modern rock dance band. Blending new wave and modern rock hits, this world class band packs the dance floor and delivers an unforgettable time! For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8:30 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday, Eugene Huggins and Friends, sponsored by the Call of the Sea. For more info, visit their website.
  • Campfire Program
    McNears Beach Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 7–9 pm
    Join rangers for an evening of fun with local lore, legends, and campfire tales. This event is ideal for all ages. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Wear comfortable athletic clothing and sturdy shoes. Park entrance is waived for participants. Location: 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movies in the Park: Finding Dory
    Howarth Park, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 8 pm
     
    This fun-loving event series is back in Howarth Park for another season! Bring the family, a picnic and a blanket for a lovely evening of film-enjoyment under the stars in our park! Free. Location: 630 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Shakespeare: The Three Musketeers
    Forest Meadows Amphitheater, San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 pm, Sunday, 4 & 8 pm

    The hot-headed D’Artagnan and his misfit musketeer mates serve the king with swashbuckling zeal through a series of dashing and exciting exploits. A comic adventure for the whole family to enjoy. One for all, and all for one! Tickets: $37 general, $34 seniors 65+, youth 25 and under $12. For more info, visit their website.
  • Outdoor Movie Night: Inside Out
    Pier 39, San Francisco
    8:45–11 pm

    Grab your blankets and settle in for a free screening of local favorite, Inside Out. This film is rated PG. Location: Pier 39, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, August 26

  • 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 10:30 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and live music from noon–2 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. The will also be a children's book Launch Party for the picture book "Leo the Ghost Story" at 10:30 am under the tent at the farmers market. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Admission Day: Island Party
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 9:30 am–4:30 pm
    Habitot is celebrating the end of summer with a Summer Island Party-themed free admission day sponsored by the Union Pacific Foundation. Island-themed art activities in the Art Studio, Hawaiian leis for dress up, live performances , and exhibits that promote learning through play, including a wind tunnel swirling with island flowers in the air! Register in advance to receive expedited entry to the Island Party. Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • End of Summer Snow Party
    Strawberry Village Shopping Center, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am–1 pm

    Grab your boots and gloves and come play in the Snow Zone with real snow! Plus, enjoy other cool activities including live music, a photo booth, caricatures, airbrush tattoos, balloon twisting, arts and crafts, and face painting. Event benefits Kiddo!, the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation. Tickets: $10. Location: Strawberry Village Main Piazza, 800 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Pignic 2017
    Marin Humane, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–2 pm

    Join us for our 7th annual Pignic, a fun-filled gathering for guinea pigs and their owners!  Grab some lunch, pack up your guinea pigs, and join us for a cavy costume contest, a vegetable eating contest, raffle, bake sale, health checks, grooming, and more! All proceeds benefit local rescue operations. Admission: $5. Location: 171 Bel Marin Keys Boulevard, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • 23rd Annual Bodega Seafood, Art and Wine Festival
    Bodega
    Saturday, 10 am–6 pm & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Live music, wine and beer tastings, dance floor, and a kids' entertainment, activities and games. $15 adults, $10 seniors 60+ and military, $8 ages 12–18, kids under 12 free. Tickets available at the gate, too. Food and drink not included in admission price. Free parking. Location: Watt's Ranch, 16855 Bodega Highway. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Nature Hike
    Sugarloaf Regional Park, Kenwood
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    Join us for a 1.4-mile nature hike along the Sonoma Creek,   On the hike your leader will teach you about the plants, animals and aquatic life of Sonoma Creek.   The hike starts at the visitors center.  No fee, but parking charges apply. Location: 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd, Kenwood. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Egg-citing Critters
    Presidio Officers’ Club
    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 full of exciting and interesting animals. Come to the Presidio Officers’ Club to create your own egg-citing critter and learn about all the different animals that call the Presidio home. Registration not required, but preferred. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Pershing Square, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bean Sprouts Family Day
    San Francisco Botanical Gardens

    Saturday, noon–3 pm
    A great afternoon outing with the kids! Bring a picnic and ramble on out to the west end of the Botanical Garden for craft and nature activities, volunteer work in the native beds and California nature trail, and exploration of this hidden treasure in the city. Kids and their families can help water the garden, dig in a sand dune, go on a bug hunt, play pine cone basketball, create an herb bundle, and much more! Families with children of all ages are welcome. Free with regular admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Movies on the Green
    Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

    Saturday, 5 pm
    Bring a blanket and join us on Weill Lawn as we screen a double-feature of Disney’s two versions of the classic tale, Beauty and the Beast. Location: 1801 E. Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park. Weill Hall and Lawn. For more info, visit their website.
  • Teen Movie Night
    Belvedere Tiburon Library
    Saturday, 5–7:30 pm

    Teens age 11–18 (in grades 6–12) are invited to the library after hours for free movie, popcorn, and pizza once a month on a Saturday. Movies may be rated PG-13; call or email the library for the movie title. Location: 1501 Tiburon Blvd., Founders Room, Tiburon. For more info, visit their website.

Fall Family Fairs & Festivals in the Bay Area

August 21, 2017

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin PatchFall is one of our favorite times of year, and there's so much family fun to be found in Marin and beyond. Find a family-friendly fall festival, fair or Oktoberfest to celebrate the season. 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.

  • Halloween Harvest Festival
    Marinwood
    Friday, October 13, 5–7 pm

    Come to Marinwood for its annual Halloween Harvest Festival for children 12 and under. Activities include carnival games, pumpkin carving and decorating, face painting, trick-or-treat bag decorating, caramel apples, and a bounce house. Tickets: $12 advance or $16 at the door for kids ages 2 to 12; adults free. Food available for purchase. Event website.
  • KidsFest at the Zoo 2017
    San Francisco Zoo
    Friday, October 13, 6–8 pm

    The most popular family event at the San Francisco Zoo, KidsFest returns! Exclusive wildlife presentations, live music, face painting, fun activities and crafts. Complimentary food, beverages and parking. Tickets: Adult $30, Child under 10 years $20 and Child under 3 Free. Purchase tickets here.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for August 18, 19 & 20

August 18, 2017

Chileno Valley
Meet Daniel Tiger and ride the train at the Bay Area Discovery Museum's Transportation Day on 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, August 18

  • Mom & Baby Yoga
    Pomegranate, San Anselmo
    Friday, 11 am

    Enjoy your baby, reconnect with your body, and meet other new moms in our postnatal mama and baby yoga class. Class is most successful with pre-crawling babies but all are welcome to try out a class and discuss exceptions with the instructor. We want mamas to be able to get out of the house, meet other moms, and enjoy the support and exercise of a yoga class. Cost: $23 for drop-in class. Sign-up online here. Location: 25 Tamalpais Avenue, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Series: Non Stop Bhangra
    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. A passport to Bollywood for kiddies. Non Stop Bhangra celebrates the beautiful and vibrant spirit of Bhangra, a traditional Punjabi folk music and dance.Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Room End of Summer Party
    Mill Valley Public Library - SmartGarden
    Friday, 2:30–4 pm

    Celebrate the end of summer with your friends and library staff under the redwood trees. Crafts, bubbles, face painting, music and more! SmartGarden. Free.  Location: 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Come on downtown to San Anselmo for Picnics on the Plaza on six Friday evenings this summer: Grab dinner-to-go at a local restaurant, purchase food at the event, or pack a picnic and dine with old and new friends at the plaza. Enjoy live entertainment and activities; it's great, music, food and family fun! Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. 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 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. For more info, visit their website.
  • Broadway Under the Stars: Fascinating Rhythm
    Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
    Friday–Sunday, 5 pm
    Are you ready to be invigorated with a sensational blend of movement and song that celebrates the Fascinating Rhythm that keeps our hearts moving through life? Your toes will be tapping as you join us on this rousing and rhythmic journey of music and dance that will have you swaying to the beat all night long. Bring a picnic before the performance. The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $45–$149. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marinwood's Music in the Park Series
    Marinwood Park, San Rafael
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Marinwood’s most popular event is back! Enjoy Friday evenings in the park, featuring live music with delicious food by Marinwood Market, wine and beer. This Friday:  Mitch Polzak and The Royal Deuces. Free; food, wine, and beer may be purchased. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8:30 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available, first-come first-served. This Friday: Dr. Mojo Band (blues). For more info, visit their website.

Free Outdoor Family Movies in Marin and the Bay Area

August 12, 2017

Film Night in the Park Marin County Summer

Summer means its time for free outdoor movies in Marin and the Bay Area, so grab your blankets and pillows, pack the picnic basket, and get ready to enjoy some family flicks al fresco. Here's our guide to free outdoor movies this summer and fall in Marin, San Francisco, and Sonoma County.

Most movies begin at dusk or around 8 pm; check the organizer's website for exact time and location. Some feature food trucks and even wine pairings. Popcorn is often offered for free!

In addition, the North Bay Mobile Drive-In screens movies on the side of the Old Hamilton Theater building in Novato; join their Meetup page to get notified about upcoming screenings.

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