Outdoor Activities

Hiking, nature walks, beaches, and more.

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.

Easy Mountain Biking Trails for Families in Marin

March 31, 2017

Mountain biking in Marin at China Camp State Park

It goes without saying that mountain biking is an extremely popular activity in Marin, and for good reason—it was invented right here on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais! There's really nothing quite like a ride down the trail, and it's a great activity for the whole family.

Get your kids started on cross-country cycling by trying out some of these easy, bike-friendly Marin trails. All you'll need is a mountain bike or other off-road capable bicycle and a helmet. (Make sure you bring plenty of water and some healthy snacks, too.)

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve

March 12, 2017

Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve Novato

While not as iconic, renowned, or tall as southern Marin's Mount Tamalpais, Novato's Mount Burdell offers its own kind of charm and appeal for families looking for an easy outdoor outing. Mount Burdell Open Space preserve boasts plenty of wide fire roads and trails that are perfect for a hike with small children. Those after more challenging treks can head uphill and look for the seasonal Hidden Lake, hike to the top of the 1,558-foot peak for amazing views of the San Francisco Bay Area, and even drop down into neighboring Olompali State Historic Park.

Wildflowers of all different colors are beginning to make an appearance, and seasonal streams burble and splash their way down the hilside. Keep an eye open for birds of all sorts, including red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and wild turkeys, as well as a variety of colorful butterflies. Late winter and early spring is really a magical time of year here!

The Insider's Guide to Visiting Tiburon for Families

March 5, 2017

Tiburon

Tiburon, that "nearly perfect" Marin town on the end of its namesake peninsula, is a fantastic place for families to visit. Tiburon has long been a favorite of locals and tourists, and boasts amazing views of San Francisco, plenty of boutiques, shops, and restaurants, and lots for everyone to see and do. So pack up the kiddos this summer and head out to Tiburon for a day of fun!

You'll probably want to head straight for downtown Tiburon. We love to walk along the path in Shoreline park and watch the sailboats as they glide by on San Francisco Bay. Along the way, you'll find a fun and interesting museum that's perfect for kids, as well as grassy areas that are ideal for a picnic or just relaxing.

First-time Family Camping Spots in Marin and Beyond

February 27, 2017

Slide Ranch Family CampIntroduce the kids to camping at Slide Ranch's Family Campouts at their spectacular seaside location. Photo: Slide Ranch

It's never too early to get the little ones introduced to camping and the outdoors, but let's face it—camping with small kids in tow isn't always easy, especially when you have gear to pack in and camp at a site that's lacking some expected creature comforts. With that in mind, we've put together this guide to perfect places for a first-time camping experience with the kiddos. All these are family friendly car camping spots where you can pull up to your campsite, set up your tent, and then have fun.

Many of these campgrounds are booked up for spring and summer weekends months in advance, but you can often find reservations during the week, and cancellations are common, too. California state parks, like Samuel P. Taylor and Sugarloaf Ridge accept reservations through the ReserveAmerica via their website or by calling 1(800) 274-7275.

Four Easy Waterfall Hikes for Families in Marin

February 20, 2017

Fairway waterfall Novato

One of the things I love most about winter in Marin is being able to hike to a beautiful waterfall, and when it rains families have many to choose from. The waterfalls in our list here all involve hikes of varying length, and all are perfect destinations for a family outdoor outing. There's something for hikers of every ability here.

All of these waterfalls are at their most spectacular after the big rainstorms we've been having this winter. This also means the trails will be pretty muddy, so make sure you put on the rain boots and dress the kiddos in something that you don't mind getting dirty. Here are four of our favorite Marin waterfall hikes, in order of difficulty (although all of them are family friendly). All but one of these hikes (Cataract Falls on Mt. Tamalpais) are on lands administered by Marin County Parks; visit their website for more info and to download printable trail maps for each preserve.

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