Events and Outings

Riding the Rails at Sonoma TrainTown

July 15, 2017

Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

When we're in the Wine Country, we always make sure we visit TrainTown, the fun and fantastic miniature railroad located in the town of Sonoma. It's a place that I used to visit back when I was a kid, and it's the kind of destination that takes you and your family back to a simpler, less hectic time.

Sonoma TrainTown offers train-related activities that are fun for everyone, from toddlers to grade school kids (and adults, too), as well as a selection of carnival-style rides. It's also a short drive from pretty much anywhere in Marin, which makes TrainTown a must-visit attraction for North Bay families.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for July 14, 15 & 16

July 14, 2017

Fantastical Family Night comes to Broadway Under the Stars at Jack London State Historic Park on Friday and Saturday.

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

Friday, July 14

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

    Visitors are encouraged to seek out the twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within the Garden's 55 acres and play what they like, from chopsticks to Tchaikovsky. On weekend days, professional pianists and a whole host of other musicians will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch and listen. Free after admission. Location: 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Children's Garden Series: Caterpillar Puppets
    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. Joe Leon’s Caterpillar Puppets don’t just entertain kids and parents. A master puppeteer with a sly sense of humor, Leon keeps everyone entertained. This show will takes place the Children's Garden. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a special menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

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

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday: Rewind. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Fantastical Family Night
    Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
    Friday & Saturday, 5:30 pm
    Join us for everyone's favorite annual night of magic and fun. This inspirational evening of dream-living will be filled with Broadway, Disney and everything in between. Featuring special performances by the kids of Transcendence Kids Camp, pre-show adventures, and more. Bring a picnic before the performance. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • 23 Elephants Theatre Company presents: Madagascar Jr.
    Redwood High Little Theater
    Friday, 7:30 pm and Saturday, 1 pm and 7:30 pm

    Take a journey out of the zoo and onto the stage with your favorite crack-a-lackin friends from the blockbuster DreamWorks film. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they escape from their home in New Yorks Central Park Zoo and find themselves on th unexpected musical journey of a lifetime to the madcap world of King Juliens Madagascar. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jaws—Feature Film with Live Orchestra
    Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
    Friday, 7:30 pm
    Watch Steven Spielberg’s action-suspense blockbuster film as the SF Symphony performs John Williams’ iconic score live! Follow each nail-biting twist on the big screen as a seaside community is terrorized by a great white shark. Widely considered one of the most influential adventures in film history, don’t miss your chance to experience this classic of American cinema in a whole new way. Purchase tickets here. Location: 201 Van Ness, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 864-6000 or visit their website.
  • Seussical: The Musical
    Alcazar Theatre, San Francisco
    Friday, 8 pm & Saturday, 2 & 8 pm

    Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Once On This Island and Ragtime) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, and a little girl with a big imagination—Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Tickets: $20–$100. Location: 650 Geary Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, July 15

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

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

    Come and experience Civil War living history in the Sonoma County town of Duncans Mills. Interact with soldiers and civilans and see battles, period demonstrations, and even a speech by President Lincoln. Admission: $12 adults, $6 juniors 6–12, free kids 5 and under. Parking: $5 per car. For more info, visit their website.
  • 37th Annual Big Time Festival
    Bear Valley Visitor Center, Point Reyes
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    This free family event celebrates traditional Native American festivals that would bring together local tribes during the summer months. Throughout the day demonstrators will exhibit their skills in basketry, flint knapping, clamshell bead making, and more. Traditional dancers from the Intertribal Pomo group and Dry Creek Pomo will also perform a variety of traditional dances. Vendors will also be selling a wide variety of crafts. This free event is great for the whole family. For more info, visit their website.
  • Presidio Family-Friendly Bike Ride
    Presidio Visitor Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    Join a Presidio Park Ranger and Presidio Trust guide on this gentle 4-mile bike ride. Roll through the history and nature of the Presidio at a family-friendly pace that's fun for all! Rent a bike from Sports Basement or bring your own. Appropriate for ages 8+. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bug Eaters: All About Carnivorous Plants
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    Family members of all ages are invited to discover some of the fascinating and beautiful plants that can eat insects. Get up close with the amazing leaf adaptations as you learn more about them. Cost: $16, $12 members. Registration required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents: The Rainbow Fish Musical
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Saturday, 10:30 am & 2 pm and Sunday, 10:30 am & 4 pm

    Come with us under the sea for The Rainbow Fish Musical, a world premiere based on the award-winning book by Marcus Pfister about the joy of finding friendship through sharing. Book, music and lyrics by Austin Zumbro. Playing in Oakland and San Francisco. Tickets: $20 per person. Location: 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland. For more info, visit their website.
  • Guided Hike: Birds + Bird Art Scavenger Hunt
    Presidio Visitor Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10:30 am–12:30 pm

    Join us for a two-mile family-friendly guided hike led by volunteer Presidio art docents, Presidio trail ambassadors, and Golden Gate Audubon birders to view birds in the Presidio and enjoy chalk art created by local nature artists. Registration is required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Special Musical Performance: Asheba
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 11–11:45 am
    Enjoy a caribbean-infused music performance by Asheba during Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit Making Day!  For all ages. Museum admission applies. Loction: 557 McReynolds Rd, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Traveling Spectacular at Cornerstone
    Cornerstone, Sonoma
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    The Traveling Spectacular is a surrealist vaudeville experience inspired by the dreams and dust of a bygone age. Allow your sense of wonder to ignite as we take you on a journey into the imagination: Grand illusions, a sword-swallowing prestidigitator extraordinaire, vaudevillian comedy, a bevy of dancing beauties and the fire-breathing Devil himself! All set to original music by our Gypsy-Klezmer orchestra, the Oddjob Ensemble. $20, children under 4 free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–6 pm

    Come out to the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture for their second Fair of the year with an incredible summer celebration of independent craft and design! For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Flower Power Pendants
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm

    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Come celebrate the spirit of the 1960s by making your own necklaces with super groovy pendants. Registration not required, but preferred. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • 20th Annual Free Fiddlekids Concert
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday, 11:30 am (doors open at 11 am)

    Please come enjoy our free fiddlekids fiddle concert. It's always a sweet and incredible show of young fiddlers playing their recently learned tunes. Only happens once a year, and we'd love to have you join us in celebrating our 20th fiddlekids anniversary! Free–open to the public. Location: 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Breastfest Beer Festival
    Marin Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, noon–4 pm
    60 breweries, local food purveyors and Bay Area musicians join together to help women gain access to alternative means of cancer therapy. Attendees get endless eats, bottomless cups, and live music. Proceeds will benefit low-income women with breast cancer. Tickets: $50 advance, $65 at the door. For more info, visit their website.
  • 23 Elephants Theatre Company presents: Madagascar Jr.
    Redwood High Little Theater
    Saturday, 1 pm and 7:30 pm

    Take a journey out of the zoo and onto the stage with your favorite crack-a-lackin friends from the blockbuster DreamWorks film. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they escape from their home in New Yorks Central Park Zoo and find themselves on th unexpected musical journey of a lifetime to the madcap world of King Juliens Madagascar. Tickets: $15. Purchase tickets online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tarzan
    Berkeley Playhouse
    Saturday, 1 & 7 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm

    With a thrilling score from one of pop-music’s greatest icons, Phil Collins, Tarzan is the ultimate story of a unique family drawn together by fate and bound by love. Audiences will journey to the African jungles in this vibrant production that features a live percussive environment, stunning acrobats, and a heartfelt story about what it means to be a family. Tarzan is this summer’s most exciting musical event.Tickets: $25–$40. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Be Part of the Largest Human Flower
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday, 1 pm

    Be part of history and help form a beautiful lotus that can be seen from the sky. At least 3,000 community members are needed. The current Guiness World Record title for the Largest human flower featured 2,297 people at the Rochester Lilac Festival on May 9, 2014. All participants will receive free admission to the museum’s Flower Power exhibition, a chance to win raffle prizes, and a commemorative downloadable photo of the attempt. For more info and to register, visit their website.
  • Family STEM Saturdays
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 2:30–4:30 pm
    Encourage hands on science explorations with activities that build a foundation for understanding physical properties, mathematics, and engineering principles. Come experiment, build, and create. All ages welcome.This Month: make your own playdough. All ages welcome. Admission applies. Location: 2065 Kittredge St, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Concerts on the Green
    City Green, Downtown Novato
    Saturday, 5–7 pm

    Bring your family and a picnic and enjoy classic jazz and blues from Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers on the City Green in Downtown Novato. Free outdoor summer concert for all ages!. Location: 901 Sherman Avenue, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Angel Island Movie Night: Moana
    Angel Island State Park
    Saturday, 5 pm

    Angel Island Conservancy in partnership with the Mill Valley Film Festival presents Disney’s Moana. The evening will include live music, hula dancers, games and more! Movie starts at sundown. Ferry departs Tiburon at 5 pm; arrive no later than 4:30 pm to board. Purchase dinners in advance; snacks and drinks available, too. Tickets: $30 adults, $15 kids; includes ferry ride. For more info, visit their website.

10 Fun Things to Do With Preschoolers in Marin and the Bay Area This Summer

July 10, 2017

Toddler fun Marin

Keeping the little ones busy this summer is a high priority for parents, and if they can learn something in the process then so much the better. Bonus points if you have a great time, too. If you nees some inspiration, here are 10 things to do with preschool-aged children in and around Marin and the Bay Area this summer.

Marin Family Weekend Fun for July 7, 8 & 9

July 7, 2017

Terwilliger Nature Trail Stafford LakeHike the Terwilliger Nature Trail at Stafford Lake Park with Marin Parks rangers on Sunday.

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

Friday, July 7

  • Free Children's Garden Series: Crosspulse
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11 am & 12:15 pm

    Using finger snaps, tight slaps, chest thumps, foot drags, hand rubs and percussive dance steps, Crosspulse performances are designed to enchant children with an international array of rhythms, instruments and obscure musical practices. Creating a joyful noise that is sure to entrance adults as well as kids, Crosspulse is a Bay Area treasure known for bringing body music into classrooms, theaters and nightclubs around the world.. For more info, visit their website.
  • AVP Pro Beach Volleyball
    Pier 30/32, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 9 am–6 pm, Sunday, 9 am–5:30 pm

    One of four tournaments held in California, the San Francisco event is unlike the other three. As opposed to the deep sands on the natural beaches in Southern California, this competition takes place on a pier with the scenic Bay Bridge looming overhead. General admission is free. For more info, visit their website.
  • 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.
  • Feather, Fur and Scales
    Fairfax Library
    Friday, 1:30–2:30 pm

    WildCare Rehab Specialists will share rescue stories about sick & injured animals. Meet a rescue animal and learn how to live peacefully with local wildlife. This program is suitable for all ages. Thanks to Friends of the Marin County Free Library for funding this Summer Challenge event. For more info, visit their website.
  • Build-o-Rama
    Mill Valley Library
    Friday, 2:30–4 pm

    Calling all young artists, architects, and engineers! We have the tools to help you creatre skyscrapers, scultures, and structures: MagnaTiles, Strawbees, Connectagons, Legos, Sculpture in a Box, Keva, and more! You'll have limitless possibilities to design and build. All ages! No registration required. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a special menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

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

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

    Join us this summer for live music, food, and fun for the entire family at Marinwood Park! Enjoy delicious BBQ by Marinwood Market and a bar for the adults. Bring your picnic blanket and your appetite and kick off the weekend Marinwood-style. This Friday: Waterstrider. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Seussical: The Musical
    Alcazar Theatre, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 8 pm

    Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Once On This Island and Ragtime) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, and a little girl with a big imagination—Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Tickets: $20–$100. Location: 650 Geary Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movies in the Park: The Princess Bride
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Friday, 8 pm

    Celebate the 30th anniversary of the classic movie The Princess Bride. Please bring your blankets, low beach chairs, flashlights and picnics. Movie begins at sunset. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, July 8

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

    The 25th annual Cotati Kids Day Parade & Festival kicks off with a free pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 am at Church of the Oaks followed by a parade at 10 am that goes from Cotati City Hall to La Plaza Park. The festival includes a jump house, live music, entertainment by host Fiz-Nick Rick, free games and prizes, diaper derby, arts and crafts, and more. Free! For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and live music from 11 am–12:30 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Equine Expo 2017
    Novato Horsemen, Novato
    Saturday, 9 am–4 pm

    This one-day horse expo features all things equine including demos, vendors, and horse clubs and organizations from Marin, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond. Free admission. Location: 600 Bugeia Lane, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Exhibit: "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit"
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday & 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.
  • Concert for Kids & Tot Art in the Park
    Robin Sweeny Park, Sausaltio
    Saturday, 10:30 am

    Sausalito Parks and Recreation is pleased to bring back Concert for Kids & Art in the Park. Sponsored by the Sausalito Lions Club, this annual children's entertainment series takes place on Saturday mornings once a month from July through October at Robin Sweeny Park. These summer and fall performances feature music, art, fun and laughs for children of all ages. Bring your family, a blanket and enjoy these free concerts. Location: 420 Litho Street, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre presents: The Rainbow Fish Musical
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland
    Saturday, 10:30 am & 2 pm and Sunday, 10:30 am & 4 pm

    Come with us under the sea for The Rainbow Fish Musical, a world premiere based on the award-winning book by Marcus Pfister about the joy of finding friendship through sharing. Book, music and lyrics by Austin Zumbro. Playing in Oakland and San Francisco. Tickets: $20 per person. Location: 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creepy Crawlies & Insect Safari
    Martin Griffin Preserve
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm

    It is true that insects comprise at least 90% of the animal forms on Earth. That’s 6-10 million species. It is also true that arachnophobia is the #1 phobia in the United States. How, ever, will humanity survive!? Start by finding out that every creepy crawly has a story that it wants to tell. What do I eat? Where do I live? What do I have to do with the price of coffee? Eddie Dunbar will demystify our friend, the insect and insect allies, and put us all onto a path of healing through the amazing world of insects. $20, $15 members and students, free for children under 18. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Balancing Butterfly Mobiles
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–4 pm
    Drop in for imaginative craft-making based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage. Featuring different crafts every weekend! The Presidio is home to many beautiful butterflies, from Monarchs to the Green Hairstreak butterfly. Come learn about the Presidio's different butterflies by making your own mobile and then get out in the park to find some of our flying friends.  Registration not required, but preferred. Location: 50 Moraga Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Wine Country Big Q
    Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, Petaluma
    Saturday, 1–5 pm

    Everyone loves barbecue and some of the best pit masters will be here to serve you up a slice. Sample great “authentic” barbecued meats, world class wines, award-winning brews while enjoying great rock and blues music. Bring all of your senses to life as you wander amongst the teams to see, smell and taste mouthwatering barbecue. Location: 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family STEM Saturdays
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 2:30–4:30 pm
    Encourage hands on science explorations with activities that build a foundation for understanding physical properties, mathematics, and engineering principles. Come experiment, build, and create. All ages welcome.This Month: make your own playdough. All ages welcome. Admission applies. Location: 2065 Kittredge St, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.

The Family Friendly Summer Nights Outdoor Music Festival Returns to the Osher Marin JCC

July 5, 2017

Summer Nights at the Marin JCC

This summer, the Osher Marin JCC reprises its most popular event series: the Summer Nights Outdoor Music Festival. Bring your picnic, blanket, low-backed lawn chairs, and dancing shoes—there's fun for the whole family! Concerts take place on Saturday evenings from July 8 through August 5, 2017 at 7 pm. Dinners from a variety of local pop-up restaurants will be available for purchase, along with beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks.

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

July 5, 2017

McInnis Park

July is here, and there's so much for families to do in Marin and the Bay Area. 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 July, all of which are free or really inexpensive. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. See some art for free at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Fridays through August 18, 5–8:30 pm
  2. Play 18 holes of mini golf with the kiddos at McInnis Park. Open daily.
  3. Visit the seals and sea lions the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands. Open daily, 10 am–4 pm
  4. Admission to the Bay Area Discovery Museum is free on the first Wednesday of the month. July 5, 9 am–5 pm
  5. Magician Brian Scott performs at the Mill Valley Library. July 5, 3:30–4:30 pm

2017 Marin 4th of July Parades, Fireworks and More…

July 4, 2017

4th of July

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

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

Corte Madera and Larkspur

  • The Corte Madera-Larkspur festivities celebrate start off with at the 65th Annual Independence Day Pancake Breakfast—with pancakes, sausages, fruit, coffee, orange juice, and milk—at Larkspur's American Legion Twin Cities Post 313 at 500 Magnolia Avenue. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, with famous 1928 recipe gin fizzes and the Post 313 Renowned Mimosa for $5 each. Breakfast is from 8–11 am; flag raising ceremony at 7:45 am. Info: call (415) 924-6283 or  www.americanlegion313.org
  • Don’t miss this year’s Corte Madera-Larkspur 4th of July Parade and Festival! One of the biggest 4th of July events in Marin, the parade boasts the elaborate floats, precision drill teams, classic cars, and the Corte Madera Town Band. This year's parade celebrates the Corte Madera's centennial! The parade starts at 10:30 am. Accompanying festivities at Corte Madera's Town Park from 9 am–5 pm include arts and crafts, food and drink, carnival games, children's activities, bounce houses, and stage shows. The parade leaves Redwood High School and winds through downtown Larkspur from Magnolia Street and into Corte Madera by way of Tamalpais Street until it reaches Corte Madera Town Center. The streets will close at 10 am. Info: (415) 924-0441 or www.cortemadera.org.

Watching the Fireworks in Marin

July 3, 2017

Marin County Fair FireworksFireworks at the Marin County Fair. Photo: Marin County Fair

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

Marin Family Weekend Events: June 30, July 1 & 2

July 2, 2017

Meet Storm Troopers from the 501st Legion Golden Gate Garrison at the Marin County Fair, which opens Friday.

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

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

Friday, June 30

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

    Come to the fair for over 12,000 exhibits, carnival rides, headline entertainment, the barnyard, an international short film and video festival, nightly fireworks, and more! Admission: $20 adults, $15 children 4–12 and seniors 65+, free for children 3 and under. For more information, call (415) 473-6800 or visit their website.
  • Children's Garden Series: Ka-Hon
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm
    Founded in 2012 by some of the Bay Area’s finest Latin percussionists, Ka-Hon features Venezuelan-born Omar Ledezma, Peru’s Braulio Barrera and Pedro Rosales, and Mexican-born José Roberto Hernandez and Javier Cabanillas. Known for highly interactive performances, this band creates an experience that’s definitely outside the box.Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Game Day!
    Mill Valley Library
    Friday, 2:30–3:30 pm

    Roll the dice, spin the spinner, or pick a card! Play board games, cards, or work a puzzle in the Creekside Room. All ages, no registration required. Location: Creekside Room, 375 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Broadway Under the Stars
    Jack London State Historic Park, Glen Ellen
    Friday, 5 pm

    Join Transcendence for this thrilling celebration of music and dance from Broadway and beyond. Opening the season with a splash, this concert pays tribute to some of the most powerful songs and shows ever written. Kick off your summer with an evening you and your friends will never forget! Preshow picknicking starts at 5 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights on Main
    Main Street, Downtown Tiburon
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Bring the family to some outdoor dining, live music and dancing on Main Street in downtown Tiburon. We’ll be jamming to the Spirit of the Caribbean’s calypso music and hunting for treasure! Every day should feel this good!For more information, visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

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

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday: Sugar Rush. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Sun Valley to Fireworks Walk
    San Rafael
    Friday, 8:30–10:30 pm

    Join a ranger for a nature walk to experience this unique preserve after dark. We’ll discuss nocturnal animals and things that go bump in the night! The highlight of the walk will be to enjoy the Marin County Fair fireworks from one of the best viewing spots on Open Space. Fireworks start at 9:30 pm. This event is ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. Meet at the Dan Abraham Trailhead. For more info, visit their website.
  • Outdoor Movie Night: The Parent Trap
    Pier 39, San Francisco
    8:45–11 pm

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

Saturday, July 1

  • 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.
  • 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.
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