Rainy Day Activities

Another Marin Indoor Play Space Gone? Gymboree Play & Music in Mill Valley to Close!

March 22, 2009

baby playing in the tunnel at Gymboree in Mill ValleyFor a county with a relatively large number of families, Marin has never had a surplus of indoor play spaces for young children. While our weather is usually nice enough for outdoor play, indoor spots are appealing during cold, rainy, or hot weather, and also because of the classes and programs that many of them offer in addition to being a place to play.

Over the last year, we've lost two great resources, Playtime Safari in Novato and San Anselmo's Playdate Café, victims of unfortunate circumstance and the sputtering economy. This week, we've learned that Mill Valley's Gymboree Play & Music, a longtime favorite spot of many Marin parents, will be most likely closing its doors for good at the end of the month! The current owner of the Gymboree Play & Music franchise has decided to close it, but it was apparently bought back by Gymboree itself (which was founded in Mill Valley and is currently headquartered in San Francisco) with the intention of keeping the facility open. Unfortunately, they have not been able to renegotiate a lease with the landlord at Strawberry Village, where it is located.

Farewell, Playdate Café?

December 8, 2008

Playdate Cafe in San AnselmoSadly, we received an email today from San Anselmo's Playdate Café stating that they are closing indefinitely. Another victim of the credit crunch and economic downturn, their doors are shutting as of today, December 8, 2008. Their website will remain up and running at www.playdate-cafe.com.

We'll definitely miss Playdate Café and all the great events they hosted for families. This past November saw the closing of another mom-run small business and similar indoor playspace, Playtime Safari in Novato. It's a shame, because both of these businesses were great resources for Bay Area parents and children. We're sorry to see them go. There's the possibility that Playdate Café may only close temporarily, so we certainly would love to see them open again soon.

Help Save Playtime Safari! (Business has closed)

September 29, 2008

Playtime SafariIf you're a parent with small children in Novato, then you probably know all about Playtime Safari, the wonderful indoor children's playspace on Nave Drive at the south end of town. If you don't know about it, you can read about it here. Created and run by Marin mompreneur Yvonne Goodrich, Playtime Safari offers families a big 4,000-square-foot indoor playspace, as well as classes, workshops, concerts, birthday parties, and more. It's a great resource, and unfortunately it's about to go away. It seems Playtime Safari has been given a 60-day notice to terminate its lease, in an effort to get it to sign a long-term lease that will nearly triple its existing rent. So as of now, Playtime Safari will close its doors forever on November 5, 2008. If you would like to support the business and let the landlords know how you feel about Playtime Safari closing, please contact them at:

Kahl & Goveia Commercial Real Estate
c/o Bruce Kahl & Joe Goveia
250 Brooks Street
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 376-1100

There will be a signature drive at Playtime Safari, so you can stop by during opening hours and sign a letter along with other local parents. Attached below is a copy of the letter if you'd like to use it for the basis of your own message. Playtime Safari is located at 5470 Nave Drive in Novato, and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:30 am to 3 pm and Wednesday from 9:30 am to 6 pm.

Playdate Café Now Open in San Anselmo (has closed)

May 12, 2008

Playdate Cafe castleUnfortunately, Playdate Café has closed it’s doors due to the poor economy.

Pamper Yourself at the Spa on Mother's Day

May 5, 2008

mother's day massageI think many moms will agree that there’s no better Mother’s Day gift than a massage or spa package. I know that’s what I want, especially after working and chasing two small children around all week, every week. Fortunately, there are a number of places in Marin for busy moms to relax and take some time out to be pampered. Go ahead, you’re worth it…


Rainy Season Puzzle Fun

October 17, 2007
Pirate and the Treasure PuzzleNow that the rain is upon us, I’ve been looking for fun things for the kids to do inside, especially something that helps with their cognitive and fine motor skills. Both of my kids love the challenge of a puzzle, so I bought them each a Djeco puzzle from Oompa Toys, an online retailer of high quality European and natural toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
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