Outdoor Activities

Hiking, nature walks, beaches, and more.

"Disney's Beauty and the Beast" Brings Charm and Fun to the 2017 Mountain Play

May 24, 2017

Mountain Play Beauty and the Beast

This year's Mountain Play—the 104th, to be exact—is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and we had a chance to see it on its opening day last Sunday. This family-friendly production of the Broadway musical has loads of charm and energetic fun and is a must-see live theater experience this spring!

Adapted from the animated feature of the same name, this classic fairy tale features features memorable songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice and of course plenty of Disney fun. Beauty and the Beast is directed by Jay Manley (who also directed West Side Story on Mt. Tam last season), musical direction is by David Möschler leading a live 18-piece orchestra, and choreography is by Nicole Helfer.

Presidio Twilight Returns for Another Summer of Food and Family Fun

May 18, 2017

Presidio Twilight

Join Off the Grid and the Presidio Trust for the fourth season of Presidio Twilight! Opening tonight, May 18 on the Main Parade Ground of the Presidio, Presidio Twilight runs every Thursday from 5-9 pm and features a large selection of international cuisine, live music, sunset activities, and the ambiance of San Francisco’s national park for a one-of-a-kind experience. Lantern-lit cabanas and fire pits underscore the “picnic at dusk” atmosphere and are available to all on a first-come, first-served basis at no cost.

Hit the Trail at Indian Valley Open Space Preserve

May 9, 2017

Indian Valley Open Space Preserve

One of the great things about living in Marin is the amount of easily accessible open space. Almost everyone has at least one trailhead right around the corner, so there's no excuse not to take the family on an outdoor excursion whenever possible. One of the most popular areas for hiking, horseback riding, cycling, and more in northern Marin is Indian Valley Open Space Preserve in Novato.

Located adjacent to the College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus, this 885-acre preserve is criss-crossed by a wide variety of trails, most shaded by oaks and California bay laurels, making it a pleasant place to go for a hike on a hot day. During various times of the year you can find a waterfall, wildflowers, and peaceful Pacheco pond, which is often teeming with wildlife like toads, frogs, fish, and newts. It's a popular destination for school groups studying our ecosystem.

Insider's Guide to the 2017 Mountain Play: Disney's Beauty and the Beast

May 1, 2017

2017 Mountain Play Disney's Beauty and the BeastChelsea Holifield (Belle) and Zachary Isen (Lumière). Photo by Ed Smith

One of Marin County's most beloved and unique events is the famous Mountain Play—an outdoor theatre experience high on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais that's been going strong for over a century! This year's 104th Mountain Play production is the Broadway musical Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Based on the Academy Award-winning Disney animated feature, the stage version of this beloved story includes all of the wonderful songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman along with new songs by Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over 13 years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It all makes for fantastic family entertainment in the spectacular setting of Mt. Tam!

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve

April 21, 2017

Terra Linda - Sleepy Hollow Divide

Marin's geography can be pretty astounding at times. Who would have thought that the San Anselmo neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow was just a stone's throw from the northern San Rafael enclave of Terra Linda? If you try to drive from one of these locations to another, it will take you a good half hour, minimum, but if you take a walk at the Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve, you can go from one to the other in just a few minutes!

Fantastic Family Camping in Marin

April 4, 2017

Family Camping in Marin

Kids love to go camping, and to many people there's nothing quite like sleeping in a tent, toasting marshmallows over a campfire, and spending some time in the great outdoors. Fortunately, here in Marin County we have quite a few fantastic campgrounds right in our backyard. Here are five of our favorites that are perfect for family camping.

Many of these campgrounds are booked up for summer weekends months in advance, but you can often find reservations during the week, and cancellations are common, too. Most of the California state parks, like China Camp and Samuel P. Taylor require reservations through the ReserveAmerica website. Some of these camp sites are first-come, first served, so if you're lucky you can score a great spot to pitch your tent and enjoy the outdoors.

10 Fun Family Outings for Spring Break

April 4, 2017

Train Town SonomaVisit the Wine Country with the kids this Spring Break for family fun destinations like Sonoma TrainTown.

What are you doing on your time off from school next week? Here are a few of our picks for fun things to do with the family around Marin County, the Bay Area, and Northern California during Spring Break. Enjoy!

Spring Break Camps in Marin and Beyond

April 2, 2017

Studio 4 Art CampStudio 4 Art offers Spring Break camps in both Novato and Mill Valley.

Looking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming spring break? Check out some of the great spring break day camps here in Marin and the Bay Area. All the camps listed below drop-in camps, too.

  • Andrews Day Camp
    400 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera
    Ages: Kindergarten and up
    Andrews Camp offers games, crafts, sports and more. Spring break camps take place from 9 am–5 pm from April 10–14 with extended care from 8–9 am and 5–6 pm. Bring lunch and snack. For more info,call (415) 446-8946 or  visit their website.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum
    557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito

    Ages: 4–8
    The BADM is offering Spring Camps that focus on learning through project-based, hands-on activities designed to intentionally boost creativity, STEM skills, and critical thinking. Camps hours: 9 am–2 pm; extended care from 2–4 pm. Two sessions: March 27–31 and April 10–14. For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit

Six Spectacular Spring Wildflower Hikes for Families in Marin

April 1, 2017

Ring Mountain Wildflowers

Spring in California is spectacular, with an abundance of wildflowers, seasonal waterfalls, and wildlife. With all the rain we've been getting this season, spring's wildflowers should be even more spectacular than usual! Before the summer heat bakes the green hillsides brown, get the family out on the trail at one of these great Marin hiking spots with wonderful spring wildflower displays.

These hikes are perfect for a family outing at almost any time of year, but of course are especially nice during March and April. All the trails mentioned here are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, too.

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