On September 17 and 18, artists from around the country will gather beneath the redwoods at historic Old Mill Park for the 60th annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. This popular family-friendly festival features the work of over 140 artists, great live music, and kids' entertainment ranging from puppet shows and magic to sing-alongs and storytelling. It all makes for a magical weekend under the trees!
The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Family entertainment, emceed by the Blue Fairy, includes performances by the Fratello Marionettes; magic with Brian Scott and the Wizard of Ahs; storytelling by Scott the Storyteller; drumming with Mike; and music by Singers Marin, Dave Fromer, Octopretzel and the PAAM singers. Performers on the main music stage include Aaron Redner, Chelle's Juke Joint, Yacht Club of Paris, Faust & Fox, and Deep Blue Jam. Check their website for a complete entertainment schedule.
Summer is almost here, and so are the San Francisco Bay Area's county fairs, which take place almost every week from June through August. In addition to our own fantastic Marin County Fair, which happens in San Rafael from June 30 through July 4, fairs take place in just about every county in the Bay Area. Your family can get its fill of fun all summer long with carnival rides, farm animals, concerts, competitions, games, performances, and much, much more! Each fair has its own unique offerings and fun activities for everyone.
Here's our guide to summer fairs and festivals in Marin County and the San Francisco Bay Area. We included the California State Fair in Sacramento, too. Fairs are listed in chronological order.
Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th Street, Antioch 94509
The 2016 Contra Costa County Fair features a new free Family Fun Zone, as well as concerts, a dinosaur and dragon encounter with Prehistoric Adventures, animal shows, and more. Friday, June 3 is Fun Family Friday with free admission all day for kids 12 and under. contracostafair.com
San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo 94403
San Mateo County's annual fair includes concerts by Night Ranger, Kansas, and Tower of Power, as well as free fair entertainment like STEM activities from the Super Science Company, Captain Jack Spareribs, Life Sized Mousetrap, the Great American Petting Zoo, Balloonacy, and more. Of course there will be carnival rides, farm animals, and exhibits of all types, too. www.sanmateocountyfair.com
June 15–July 4
Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton 94566 The Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton offers an amazing lineup of concerts featuring headliners like Tower of Power, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Great White, Smash Mouth, Leann Rimes, and more. There will also be a carnival midway with rides and games, a 4th-of-July Fireworks Spectacular, farm animals, a rodeo, monster trucks, motocross, a demolition derby, and countless entertainers. annual.alamedacountyfair.com
Get ready for the greatest show (and tell) on earth as Maker Faire Bay Area returns to the San Mateo Event Center. Maker Faire describes itself as “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new!”, and it’s a family-friendly expo of invention and creativity featuring everything from technology, science, and engineering to food, art, and education. It’s a celebration of all things “Maker” that will inspire you and your family to become Makers yourselves. Maker Faire Bay Area takes place Friday through Sunday, May 20, 21, and 22, from 1 to 5 pm on Friday, 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday.
This coming week, April 12-18, 2015, has been declared “Week of the Young Child” by the County of Marin Board of Supervisors! Join the County, along with the Marin Child Care Council, in a week of fun to recognize how important early childhood education and great teachers are to everyone.
The week kicks off on Sunday, April 12 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito with a celebration jam-packed with fun literacy, math, and science school readiness activities for little ones. A variety of community partners from throughout Marin and the Bay Area, including UCSF, the California Highway Patrol, First 5 Marin, and the Marin County Free Library, will be on hand to discuss everything from car seat safety to new parent education. Free medical screenings will be provided, too.
Later in the week, families are encouraged to partake in a variety of fun themed activities, including Music Monday, Taco Tuesday, and Work Together Wednesday. On Friday, “Wee Read” will feature local legislators visiting preschools to spend time and read stories.
Attention new parents and parents-to-be! Boobie-Palooza, the first Bay Area baby event focusing on wellness-based education, informed pregnancy, and early childhood natural health, is coming to Berkeley on Sunday, February 22. This amazing new event offers panels, workshops, and expert presentations on the topics of attachment parenting, breastfeeding, birthing options, sleep techniques, and more, as well as exhibitors, entertainment, and family-friendly fun.
Boobie-Palooza is organized by Bay Area birthing and early childhood specialists Dahlia Frydman, a board-certified lactation consultant, and Moorea Malatt, founder of Savvy Parenting Support and certified post-partum doula. This day-long event takes place at Berkeley's Ed Roberts Campus on Sunday, February 22, from noon to 5 pm.