Being safe and comfortable around water is extremely important, and it's never too early to introduce little ones to the basics of water skills. Many infants actually take naturally to the water! Infant swim classes in Marin County start as early as six months old, and are usually parent/child sessions where you or a caregiver can enjoy the water with your child. While most of these classes don't teach infants to swim per se, they do introduce parents and children to the water and important safety skills.
Below is our list of infant and toddler swim classes in Marin. Although many of the facilities listed are private clubs, unless otherwise indicated, all locations offer public lessons open to all. Most programs require pre-registration; follow the links or call to sign up or for more information.
Infant Swim Marin
Survival swimming lessons for children ages 6 months - 6 years. Lessons for a 6-12 month old focus on teaching the child to roll onto their back to float, rest and breathe, and to be able to maintain this life-saving position until help arrives. Lessons for children 1-6 years old focus on teaching the swim- float-swim survival sequence. Children learn to swim with their head down; roll onto their back to float, rest, and breathe; and roll back over to resume swimming until they reach the side of the pool, where they can either crawl out or until they can be rescued.
Remember those fun times you had bowling when you were a kid? Guess what—it hasn't changed all that much, although it seems that there are fewer spots where you can bowl these days. Actually, it's even more fun for the little ones now with the advent of bumper bowling and ball ramps. Also, you have to love a sport where you can get an order of chili cheese fries while you're playing. It's a great active rainy day activity, too.
There are still a few fantastic family friendly bowling alleys in Marin and the Bay Area, so go rent some shoes, pick out your ball (that red one looks pretty cool!) and bowl a few games with the kiddos. Most of these bowling alleys also offer birthday parties for kids, as well. You remember how fun those were, right?
Located in San Rafael, Marin's only bowling alley offers 40 lanes, automatic scoring, and plenty of bumper lanes for the little ones. On-site food is provided by Villa York Pizza and Grill, and they even have 24 beers on tap. In case that's enough, they have pool tables and an arcade, too. Several different birthday party packages are available; call (415) 456-4661 to book your lanes. Check their website for hours and pricing.
One of our favorite sports activities is swimming, and there's no better way to get involved and have a blast than to compete with your local swim team. It's fun, and really builds swimming skills and great sportsmanship.
Now's the time to sign up for swim teams for this spring and summer. Listed below are the 10 Marin Swim League swim teams located throughout the county and their registration dates. Click on the team name to go to their website. The swim team season begins with practices in March and wraps up in mid-July with the Championship meet, usually held at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus pool in Novato.
For more information on the Marin Swim League, including a full schedule of 2017 spring and summer swim meets, visit www.marinswimleague.org.
Mid-winter break is just around the corner and there's no shortage of snow in the Sierras. It's not too late to make plans for a family getaway to have fun in the snow. Check out our guide to ski, snowboard and snow play locations for North and South Lake Tahoe.
The Lake Tahoe area has a variety of resorts and ski areas to suit anyone's taste and budget. Here's our guide to places to ski, snowboard, tube, sled, and play in the snow around Tahoe. We're tried to focus on spots that offer not only skiing and snowboarding, but tubing, snow play, and other winter activities, too. If we've omitted your favorite, please let us know.
Make sure you check before you head up to the high country, though, as opening dates are tentative and dependent on snowfall and weather; we've included website links and phone numbers.
North Lake Tahoe
Just a few hours away off Interstate 80, North Lake Tahoe and the Truckee area offer a huge concentration of ski resorts and other destinations for fun in the snow.
Get out your running shoes, walking shoes, and friends and family! Join other active members in the community at the Fifth Annual Family Fun Run. This event is held in conjunction with the annual Health and Wellness Fair. 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! The Mill Valley Community Center will be buzzing with all sorts of events from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday January 14. Race start times vary by event from 8:30 am to 11:45 am.
It's never too early to get fit, and yoga is a fantastic way to get healthy, develop mindfulness and body awareness, build concentration, manage stress, and more. So say "om" and check out one of these local Marin and San Francisco Bay Area kids' yoga classes. We've listed them by location, and included classes in Marin, San Francisco, and Sonoma County.
Yoga Center of Marin
518A Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera 94925 www.yogacenterofmarin.com
Yoga Center of Marin in Corte Madera offers a variety of yoga classes for kids and youth, including Yoga for Kids, Yoga for Yogapowerment for Girls. Classes are taught in eight-week sessions.
2207 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur 94939 www.yogaworks.com
YogaWorks offers a special one-day-only Meddy Teddy kid's yoga class and event for children ages 6–9; Saturday, January 28, 10:30–11:30 am.
One 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.
With more snow moving into the Sierras, it's time to start thinking about winter sports family fun in the mountains. While downhill skiing and snowboarding are synonymous with snow sports to many people, cross country skiing is a fun and low-key alternative to the lift lines. Cross country skiing is fun, easy to learn, and requires a minimum of equipment. Dress in warm active clothing, put on your boots and skis, grab your poles, and you're good to go!
We tried out cross country last winter, and had a great time. My kids picked it up right away—after 20 minutes on the practice loop they were off and hitting the trails. The whole family can join in, too—you can even get a jogging stroller on skis and pull your little one along, and many cross country trails allow dogs, too. An added bonus: cross country skiing is one of the best aerobic exercise activities you can do. It's a great way to get active and enjoy the beauty of the mountains in winter.
Even though it's an activity that you can do year-round, ice skating seems to be something that's especially appealing around the holidays. Marin on Ice is back at Northgate in San Rafael for another season of outdoor ice skating, so you don't have to leave Marin County to go skate! It's the only rink in the county, but you'll find more opportunities to skate in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and the East Bay. Here's our list of places to hit the ice in the Bay Area this holiday season.
Marin on Ice
Marin on Ice outdoor skating rink in San Rafael's Northgate Mall returns to offers al fresco skating from Wednesday, November 9, 2016 through January 8, 2017. The rink will once again be located near the center's Oaktree Plaza and features 6,400 square feet of real ice. Skating costs $15 per person, which includes skate rental and all-day in-and-out privileges. "Skate Buddies" (the blue plastic chair-like supports) are available for beginnners. Discount ticket books (10 tickets for $120) are available, too.