Events and Outings

Marin Family Weekend Fun for February 3, 4 & 5

February 3, 2017

Put on your rainboots and take avantage of one of the many family waterfall hikes this weekend.

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

Friday, February 3

  • 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.
  • Friday Fun Days
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! Location: 931 C St., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' PJ Party with Sandra V. Feder!
    DIESEL, a bookstore, Larkspur

    Friday, 6–6:30 pm
    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author Sandra V. Feder will be here to read you a bedtime story. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed. Then head home for bed. Location: Marin Country Mart, 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Movie Night: The Nut Job
    Mathnasium of Mill Valley
    Friday, 6–7 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.
  • Montessori de Terra Linda Presents: Annie, Jr.
    Showcase Theater, San Rafael

    Friday, 7 pm
    Join the upper elementary class from Montessori de Terra Linda for a theatrical performance. Students aged 9–12 have worked to develop a show with action and song that will be performed one night only. Tickets: $12 per person. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Father Daughter Valentine's Dance
    Belvedere Community Center
    Friday, 7–8:30 pm

    This special Father Daughter Valentine's Dance includes dessert buffet, cookie decorating, music, dancing and father-daughter photos. Semi-formal attire is encouraged. Cost: $50 per couple/ $15 per additional daughter. To register, call The Ranch, Belvedere-Tiburon Recreation at (415) 435-4355 or visit their website.

Saturday, February 4

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

    Starting this January, Marin County Parks is offering free access to all parks on the first Saturday of the month all year long! Includes Blackpoint Boat Launch, McInnis Park, McNears Beach Park, Miller Boat Launch, Paradise Beach Park, and Stafford Lake Park. For more info, visit their website.
  • Museums on Us Free Day
    Various Museums
    Saturday & Sunday

    Bank of America cardholders can visit the following Bay Area museums for free! Enjoy the Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor, and the Chabot Space and Science Center. Photo ID and a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card must be presented. For more information, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 27, 28 & 29

January 27, 2017

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, starts on this Saturday, January 28.

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

Friday, January 27

  • 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.
  • Free Chess Night
    Mathnasium of Mill Valley
    Friday, 6–7 pm

    Stop by Mathnasium on Friday night for an hour of free supervised play for K–8th graders. All skill levels are welcome. Free pizza! Location: 247 Shoreline Highway, Suite A3. For more info, visit their website.
  • Outdoor Movie Night: Escape from Alcatraz
    PIER 39, San Francisco
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Grab your blankets and head to the Carousel Stage at the Bay End of the Pier for outdoor Movie Night! Before the show, get a bite to eat at one of PIER 39’s restaurants, or take advantage of special giveaways and Movie Night discounts at participating PIER 39 businesses. At 6 pm, settle in for a free screening of the classic San Francisco film Escape from Alcatraz. For more info and to download coupons, visit their website.
  • Disney's Peter Pan Jr.
    Showcase Theatre, San Rafael
    Friday, 7:30 pm
    & Saturday, 5 pm
    Come and see the amazing talents of the third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students of Good Shepherd Lutheran School’s musical theater class under the direction of Gretchen Simon mesmerize you with their live performance of Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. Based on the Disney film and J.M. Barrie’s enchanting play, it's a modern version of the timeless tale. Tickets: $25 adults, $15 student 8th grade and under. Purchase tickets here. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 28

  • Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show
    Cow Palace, Daly City
    Saturday & Sunday, 8 am–5 pm

    Dog lovers of all ages will not want to miss the upcoming annual Golden Gate Kennel Club (GGKC) dog show - the west’s premier “benched” show.Showcasing over 175 breeds, with 1500 entries a day, the GGKC event is an exciting and unique event for dog lovers who will have a rare opportunity at this “benched” show to learn about and get to know hundreds of breeds of dogs, all in one location over two days. Tickets: general admission $15, children (2–12 years) $9 and family plan (2 adults, 2 children) $42. Purchase your tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Saturday Morning Yoga
    Old Mill Park Amphitheater, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    Practice a modification of alignment-based anusara-inspired Hatha yoga with a combination of breathing, standing, and seated postures in front of the beautiful redwood trees. Prepare to sweat, breathe, align, and stretch. Enjoy a fun unique environment of mindfulness and acceptance while strengthening your core, balance and long muscles. All levels welcome. Bring a mat and water bottle. No registration required. Location: Throckmorton and Cascade Drive. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 20, 21 & 22

January 20, 2017

Put on your rainboots and take avantage of one of the many family waterfall hikes this weekend.

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

Friday, January 20

  • Breakfast with Enzo
    Sports Basement, San Francisco Presidio
    Friday, 10 & 11 am

    Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, Jew's harp, enzotar, appalachian dulcimer, slide flute, percussion and more. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $7 per person; siblings under 7 months free. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
  • 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.
  • Friday Fun Days
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! Location: 931 C St., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parents' Night Out: Angry Birds
    Rolling Hills Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm

    Join us for a viewing of Angry Birds, create a catapult to launch your own Angry Birds, and play some games inspired by the movie. Pizza will be provided. For ages 2.5–12 years. Cost: $22 members and $32 guests. Register online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley Crab Feed
    Tam Valley Community Center
    Friday, 6:30–9
    pm

    Enjoy all you can eat crab, macaroni and green salads, bread, beer, coffee and dessert. $55 per person; $500 for a table of 10.
    Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Katia & Company presents: Willy Wonka
    The Playhouse, San Anselmo
    Friday, 6:30 pm, Saturday, 2 & 6:30 pm and Sunday, 2 pm

    General Admission: $15 at the door. Show runs approx. 1.5 hrs with a 15-minute intermission. Location: 27 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. Purchase tickets here.

Saturday, January 21

  • Waterbird Festival
    Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Tiburon
    Saturday, 8 am–4 pm

    This fun community and family-friendly event is free and will include naturalist led bird walks, bird scope stations to gain a closer look at the waterbirds visiting our Bay, interactive educational activities, and expert speaker sessions. There will also be exclusive fee-based field trips available. Location: 376 Greenwood Beach Road, Tiburon. For more info, visit their website.
  • Special Exhibit Opening: Rainforest Adventure
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    Rainforest Adventure
     is a multisensory expedition that introduces children to tropical rainforests around the world, highlights the challenges facing these unique ecological wonders, and suggests ways that people can make a difference. Learn more here. Cost: museum admission applies. Location: 557 McReynold Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. Cost: $7 per person; children under 16 free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays through late March. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 13-16

January 16, 2017

Get healthy at the 5th Annual Family Fun Run and Health Fair this Saturday from 9 am2 pm.

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

Friday, January 13

  • Last Weekend: Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or 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.
  • Nike Missile Site Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Friday & Saturday, 12:30–3:30 pm

    Unique in the National Park Service, this restored Cold War anti-aircraft missile site has intriguing stories to tell. Take a ranger-guided tour of this restored facility, and learn about its history from volunteers, many of whom served at sites like. Free. Read about our visit here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Visit with a Beekeeper!
    Sonoma County Children's Museum, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 1–3 pm
    We all know how crucial bees are to our food supply, gardens, and beyond. Shouldn’t we learn more about the importance of these fantastic creatures? Come chat with a real Sonoma County beekeeper on the second Friday of the month from 1 to 3 pm. Museum admission applies. Location: 1835 West Steele Lane Santa Rosa. For more info, call (707) 546-4069 or visit their website.
  • Parents' Night Out: Mad Science
    Rolling Hills Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm

    Science is a BLAST! Come enjoy a dry ice performance where bubbles are filled with smoke, create elephants toothpaste, and make a balloon scream! We will watch Jimmy Neutron. A pizza dinner will be served. Must be potty trained. For ages 2.5–12 years. Cost: $22 members and $32 guests. Register online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Spaghetti Bingo
    Tam Valley Community Center
    Friday, 6:15 pm

    Bring the family for a night of bingo and dinner too. Cost: $8 per person for 9 bingo cards and dinner.
    Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, January 14

  • 5th Annual Health Fair & Family Fun Run
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Saturday, 8:30 am–2 pm
    Get out your running shoes, walking shoes, and friends and family! This fun family event has options for everyone, from competitive runners to parents with little ones in strollers or those who just want to stroll among friends! Runs include a 3-mile race friendly competitive race, a 1.5 mile friendly competitive race, a 1.5-mile family jog/walk, a 1-mile family walk, and even Toddler Dashes for those little ones ages 2 – 5 years. Toddler runs are guided by Coach Tony from Amazing Athletes. Pre-registration is suggested. Register Online at www.millvalleyfamilyfunrun.org

Hands-on Fun for Spring at Slide Ranch

January 9, 2017

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

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

Spring Family Farm Days

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

Marin Weekend Family Fun for January 6, 7 & 8

January 7, 2017

Take a waterfall hike with your family this weekend.

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

Friday, January 6

  • Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or 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.
  • Last Weekend for Ice Skating: Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday-Sunday, noon–10 pm

    This is the last weekend for Marin on Ice, an outdoor skating rink in San Rafael's Northgate Mall. Bring the kiddos out to for a day of ice skating. Skating costs $15 per person, which includes skate rental, and "Skate Buddies" (the blue plastic chair-like supports) are available for beginnners. For more info, call (707) 738-8496 or visit onicemarin.com.
  • Embarcadero Center Ice Rink
    Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm and Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm
    The Bay Area's largest outdoor ice rink offers 90-minute skating sessions Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 9:30 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 11:30 pm. Admission is $11 for adults and $7 for children ages 7 and under; skate rental is $5. They also offer group rates, as well as birthday parties and private rentals. For more info, call 415) 837-1931 or visit their website.
  • Nike Missile Site Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Friday & Saturday, 12:30–3:30 pm

    Unique in the National Park Service, this restored Cold War anti-aircraft missile site has intriguing stories to tell. Take a ranger-guided tour of this restored facility, and learn about its history from volunteers, many of whom served at sites like. Free. Read about our visit here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' PJ Party with Dev Petty!
    Diesel, A Bookstore in Larkspur
    Friday, 6 pm

    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author Dev Petty will be here to read you a bedtime story from I Don't Want to be Big. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies, and get your books signed. Then head home for bed. Free. Location: 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. For more info, visit their website.
  • de Youngsters Family Art Party 2017
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 6–9 pm

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

Saturday, January 9

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

    Starting this January, Marin County Parks is offering free access to all parks on the first Saturday of the month all year long! Includes Blackpoint Boat Launch, McInnis Park, McNears Beach Park, Miller Boat Launch, Paradise Beach Park, and Stafford Lake Park. For more info, visit their website.
  • Last Weekend: Iceless Skating Rink
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday & Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    Hit the “ice” this winter with family and friends at the Bay Area Discovery Museum's Iceless Skating Rink. Children can strap on skates and glide around on a synthetic ice rink in the museum's Discovery Hall. The synthetic ice rink provides all the fun of a real ice rink but without the cold and icy falls. Get in the holiday spirit with this classic winter activity. Best of all, it's free with museum admission or membership. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for December 30, 31 & January 1

December 31, 2016

Point Reyes Lighthouse Visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse this weekend to watch for migrating gray whales.

It's whale watching season! Read more about visiting Point Reyes National Seashore to look for these migrating giants. There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area.

Friday, December 30

  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday & Sunday, noon–9 pm; Saturday, noon–10 pm

    Hit the ice at Marin's only outdoor ice skating rink (open New Year's Day). This season's rink features 6,400 square feet of real ice. Cost: $15 per person all-day; skate rental included. Location: Oak Tree Plaza, Northgate Mall, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Nike Missile Site Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Friday & Saturday, 12:30–3:30 pm

    Unique in the National Park Service, this restored Cold War anti-aircraft missile site has intriguing stories to tell. Take a ranger-guided tour of this restored facility, and learn about its history from volunteers, many of whom served at sites like. Free. Read about our visit here. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco Zoo Lights
    San Francisco Zoo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Come get a feeling for the San Francisco Zoo at night under magical holiday lights! Make your way from Entry Village to the Elinor Friend Playground for some magical playtime under the stars. Stop by to see Santa Claus to put in some last-minute requests. Grab some hot apple cider or cocoa and head over to the Playfield Lawn pay a visit to Santa's special reindeer Belle, Holly, Peppermint, and Velvet. And there will be light snow flurries at Zoo Lights, so bundle up! $8 adults, $5 kids 4–14, free 3 and under. For more information, visit their website.
  • Zoo Lights
    Oakland Zoo
    Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 5:30–9 pm,
    Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland's night sky. Highlights include a candy cane lane themed rides area, a night time adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees and a light show that's sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs. ZooLights is a separate event and is not included in regular Zoo Admission. $8 adults, $7 children 2–14 and seniors 65+, free for children under 2 and adults over 80. For more info, visit their website.
  • Rombeiro Christmas House
    Devonshire Drive, Novato

    Friday–Sunday, 6–10 pm
    Their home is something that truly has to be seen to be believed, and photos don't really do it justice. There are something like 140,000 lights as well as countless figurines, dioramas, and decorations adorning the front and side yards, walls, and roof of the Rombeiro house. If you think the outside is impressive, then you need to go on inside and get a healthy dose of Christmas spirit. You'll find model trains, more figurines, Christmas trees, and the biggest lighted holiday village you've ever seen. Location: 34 Devonshire Drive, off of Center Road, Novato. For more info, read about our visit here.
  • Tactile Dome Special Evening Hours
    Exploratorium, San Francisco
    Friday, 6:15 & 7:30 pm

    The museum closes at 5 pm, but the after-hours interactive fun continues. Take an excursion through total darkness in the Tactile Dome. Crawl, slide, and bump your way through the pitch-dark Dome using your sense of touch as your only guide through its chambers and mazes. For ages 7 and up. Admission: $15, $12 members. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, December 31

  • Noon Year's Eve
    Bay Area Discovery Museum
    , Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm
    Ring in the New Year with your little ones at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve! This kid-friendly affair includes music by DJ ManCub, a celebratory ball drop at noon, dancing, and various art activities like crown making. In addition, enjoy access to the museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits like Lookout Cove and Bay Hall. (Note: Iceless Skating Rink is closed during Noon Year’s Eve.) For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy the best local and organic produce, flowers, pastured meats, seafood, organic cheeses, yogurt and milk, breads, baked goods, pasta, confections, olive oil, and brunch and lunch offerings! Kids can take a pony ride and visit the petting zoo (10 am–2 pm), try out some arts and crafts (9 am–2 pm) and listen to music (9:30–10:30 am). Enjoy complimentary latkes from the Hanukkah Hut, too. For more info, visit their website.
  • Whale Watching at Point Reyes Lighthouse
    Point Reyes National Seashore
    Weekends, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Go see the whales out at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock. Shuttle buses leave Drakes Beach every 15–20 minutes. The cost is $7 per person. Children under 16 are free. No cars allowed at Point Reyes Light House on weekends and holidays December 26, 2015 through late March 2016. For more info, visit their website.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for December 23, 24 & 25

December 23, 2016

Mickey Mouse Christmas House Marinwood  Visit the Amazing Rombeiro Christmas House in Novato this Weekend!

There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers, and amazing decorated holiday houses.

Friday, December 23

  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
    Friday, 11 am, 2 pm and Saturday, 2 pm

    Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and the entire Peanuts gang bring this television classic to life. With live actors, an animated backdrop, and Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music performed by the San Francisco Symphony, it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas experience you won’t want to miss. This family-friendly concert begins with Tony Award-winner Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I) singing holiday favorites with the SF Symphony and SF Symphony Chorus. Purchase tickets here. Location: 201 Van Ness, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Nike Missile Site Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Friday, 12:30–3:30 pm

    Unique in the National Park Service, this restored Cold War anti-aircraft missile site has intriguing stories to tell. Take a ranger-guided tour of this restored facility, and learn about its history from volunteers, many of whom served at sites like. Free. Read about our visit here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Polar Express Train Ride
    Santa Cruz
    Saturday, 1, 3 & 7:30 pm

    The Polar Express Train Ride departs from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, complete with dancing chefs, singing elves, and a special gift from Santa Claus himself—a silver sleigh bell. Don't forget to wear your pajamas while you enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, and a reading of The Polar Express while on board. First-class tickets still available for rides this weekend. For more info and tickets, call (877) 726-7245 or visit their website.
  • LEGO Play Day
    Mill Valley Library
    Friday, 2:30 pm
    Get in touch with your inner engineer and build with colorful LEGO! We bring out our collection of more than 10,000 bricks, and kids can build whatever they imagine. Free. No sign up needed. Location: 375 Throckmorton Ave. Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website
  • Le Petit Cirque de Noël
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Friday, 5:15 pm & 7:30 pm
    Full of enchantment, thrill and wonder, Le Cirque de Bohème has delighted kids and adults for years. Founded by Frenchman Michel Michelis, his circus company, Le Cirque de Bohème, was created 12 years ago in Paris and moved to California seven years ago. All tickets are  $25. However, because space is limited in the tent, all attendees must have a ticket, available here at Brown Paper Tickets here.
  • San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
    War Memorial Opera House
    Friday, 2 & 7 pm, Saturday, 11 am & 4 pm

    San Francisco Ballet’s awe-inspiring production is like no other, with colorful, larger-than-life scenery, over 200 dazzling costumed characters, and of course Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score performed live by the world-class San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Ticket prices start at $65. For more info, call (415) 865-2000 or visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday, 2–10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
    This Saturday, Marin on Ice opens for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
  • African-American Shakespeare Company: Cinderella
    Herbst Theatre, Fort Mason, San Francisco
    Friday, 3 & 8 pm, Saturday, 11 am & 3 pm
    Back by popular demand, the holiday season once again sees the return of this heartwarming holiday show where Cinderella, toiling away as a lowly scullery maid to please her evil stepmother (and oddly masculine stepsisters) comes in contact with a Fairy Godmother who means business with a capital B. Aided by the help of a little bit of magic, Cinderella finds her Prince Charming and learns that anything—even miracles—are possible when you believe in yourself. After the show audience members will have a magical moment to meet the entire cast for a holiday “meet and greet” picture opportunity. Tickets: $20–$40. For more info, visit their website.
  • ZooLights 2016
    San Francisco Zoo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    Experience the wonder of the holiday season and enjoy your 100-acre park, conservation center, and zoo under beautiful and bright lights. ZooLights 2016 takes you on a magical trip to a destination like no other—with Santa Claus, reindeer and a holiday marketplace with food and seasonal delights. Lovely music from carolers will fill the air and bright lights will shine the way as you leave the city behind and retreat to a holiday hideaway. Admission: $8 adults, $6 youth 4–14, free for kids 3 and under; parking $10. Location: Sloat Boulevard at the Great Highway, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Zoo Lights
    Oakland Zoo
    Friday, 5:30–9 pm,
    Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland's night sky. Highlights include a candy cane lane themed rides area, a night time adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees and a light show that's sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs. ZooLights is a separate event and is not included in regular Zoo Admission. $8 adults, $7 children 2–14 and seniors 65+, free for children under 2 and adults over 80. For more info, visit their website.
  • Rombeiro Christmas House
    Devonshire Drive, Novato

    Friday–Sunday, 6–10 pm
    Their home is something that truly has to be seen to be believed, and photos don't really do it justice. There are something like 140,000 lights as well as countless figurines, dioramas, and decorations adorning the front and side yards, walls, and roof of the Rombeiro house. If you think the outside is impressive, then you need to go on inside and get a healthy dose of Christmas spirit. You'll find model trains, more figurines, Christmas trees, and the biggest lighted holiday village you've ever seen. Location: 34 Devonshire Drive, off of Center Road, Novato. For more info, read about our visit here.

Ice Skating Fun at Snoopy's Home Ice in Santa Rosa

December 21, 2016

Snoopy's Home Ice Redwood Empire Ice ArenaOne of our must-do family tradions during the holidays is to visit Snoopy's Home Ice, as well as the Charles M. Schulz Museum right next door. The arena was a gift to the North Bay community from the late Santa Rosa resident and Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, and has been going strong since 1969.

I always consider an outing here a holiday tradition, especially since I grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas every year, and attended a few holiday ice shows here over the years, too. It was always a treat to see Charles Schulz himself sitting in the audience, enjoying the show and chatting with visitors. 

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