Mill Valley

Marin's Spectacular Muir Woods is Not Just for Tourists

May 1, 2012

Muir WoodsWhile Muir Woods National Monument is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's most visited tourist attractions, it also holds a lot of appeal for locals willing to brave the potential crowds. Popular with Marin residents and visitors alike for over 100 years, this spectacular stand of old growth coast redwoods offers some amazing views and a chance to see the wonders of nature up close. Muir Woods was declared a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, and it's been a great spot for a fun and educational family outing ever since.

For locals, a visit here is still well worth the time, but you do have to keep in mind that it's one of the region's top tourist destinations. Parking at Muir Woods is limited, so get there as early as you can—it opens at 8 am most days so it'll be ready and waiting for you.

Also, try to go during the week if you can and avoid the weekend crowds. Needless to say, the summer months are also busier than other times of the year. While it's still an amazing place regardless of how many people are there, it's even more special when it's quiet and uncrowded. Even though the parking lot was full on our last visit, once we got into the park itself the crowds thinned out and it didn't seem nearly as busy as we had expected.

Win Free Tickets to the May 15 Speak to Me Event in Mill Valley

April 23, 2012

Laura CarstensenSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "A Long Bright Future," a discussion with Laura Carstensen, Ph. D., director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, professor of psychology and public policy, and author of A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health, and Financial Security in an Age of Increased Longevity, on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, from 6:30–9:30 pm.

As an individual, a society and a nation, what are we to do about the additional 20 or 30 years we are expected to live? What do we really know today about life expectancy, and what should we be doing differently as a result? One of the world’s leading authorities on longevity and aging will address this uniquely 21st-century question. Dr. Laura Carstensen will help us re-envision a long life informed by the latest scientific and sociological research. Find out how you can make better decisions today about your lifestyle, family, career, finances and social infrastructure, so you can look forward to many healthy, fulfilling and financially stable years ahead.

Shopping for Kids' Shoes is Fun at buzy beez in Mill Valley

March 2, 2012

Buzy BeezRemember how exciting it was to get new shoes when you were little? That "new shoes" smell, the mysterious foot-measuring device, slanted mirrors, getting to run around the shop to test out a pair, and the pride you felt when you got to wear your brand new pair out and about for the first time ever.

Busy beez, a new shoe boutique just for kids in downtown Mill Valley is creating a lot of "buzz" with its competitively priced, high quality, and durable shoes for kids. They also know that putting kids in proper shoes is vital for their comfort and growth. And if you thought cute, stylish shoes were usually cheap and short-lived, think again—busy beez stocks shoes that are both high-quality and stylish.

Find the Perfect Camp at Strawberry Recreation District's Summer Camp Night

February 29, 2012

Day camp kidsWith all the summer camp choices available out there, things can get a bit confusing when it comes to finding one for your children. If you need a little help with making your summer camp decision, don’t miss the Strawberry Recreation District Summer Camp Night on Thursday, March 1 from 5–7:30 pm.

Over 70 different camps from the Bay Area and beyond will attend, offering parents and campers an evening to explore, research and choose the perfect camp for this summer 2012. Meet special guest Susan Gal, local author of Into the Outdoors. There will also be a REI seminar on what to pack for camp, youth contests, and giveaways. This free event includes door prizes, a jump house, food vendors, and more. All ages are welcome (all children must be accompanied by an adult).

Stop by check out this summer’s offerings. For more info, please call (415) 383-6494 or visit their website. The Strawberry Recreation District is located at 118 East Strawberry Drive in Mill Valley.

Win Free Tickets to the March 6 Speak to Me Event in Mill Valley

February 15, 2012

Deanna ZandtSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "How New Media Will Transform Society, Politics and our Future," a discussion with provocative social media and technology maven Deanna Zandt on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, from 6:30–9:30 pm. Zandt is a media technologist and author of Share This!: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking.

As social media becomes increasingly present in our lives, a major cultural shift is underway. Through the power of relationships, sharing experiences, and organizing online, previously marginalized voices are pouring into and shaping public conversations like never before. With the explosion of social media, women's voices are now being heard, and the next generation is growing up in a world where social media brings unexpected freedom and opportunity, as well as potential peril. Deanna Zandt will discuss the power and challenges that this technological revolution brings to our lives, and will explore how the web is changing the course of society, business and politics, and will suggest ways you can best leverage its power for yourself, your family and your community.

Win Free Tickets to January's Speak to Me Event in Mill Valley

January 10, 2012

Speak to me panelistsSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "Passion and Impact: Inspiring Women Changing Our World," a panel discussion with four extraordinary women on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, from 6:30–9:30 pm. Speakers for this event will be Christine Bronstein, founder of A Band of Wives; Deborah Santana, author, philanthropist, activist for peace and social justice, and founder of Do A Little Foundation; Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America; and Sheryl O'Loughlin, executive director of the Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

There are so many wonderful ways to have a positive influence on the world—the real art is figuring out how to maximize your talents and focus on what you care about most. These four amazing women have each discovered their own unique approaches to changing the world in big and little ways. In this panel discussion, they will share their stories and inspiration, and will discuss ways we can each make our own impactful choices.

Family Dining in Marin: India Palace

January 4, 2012

Food at India Palace in Mill ValleyBoth my husband and I love Indian food, and we're slowly trying to steer our kids in that direction, too. With its spices and heat, Indian food can be a hard sell with kids, but we take them along anyhow with the hope that they'll grow to appreciate it.

India Palace is located in, of all places, the Travelodge on the Redwood Highway frontage road in Mill Valley. It's been a Marin County Indian cuisine mainstay for as long as I can remember, so they must be doing something right. We've been going here for years, both with kids and without. The interior is nicely decorated and comfortable, and it really doesn't feel like you're dining in a motel.

While it seems that a lot of Indian restaurants have opened up in Marin in the past five years or so, we still love India Palace. Service is warm and attentive, and the staff seem to really like kids. There's a large window between the dining room and the kitchen, and the kids love to watch the chefs put skewers of chicken and lamb into the blazing hot charcoal-fueled tandoor ovens.

Win Free Tickets to the Next Speak to Me Event with Stephanie Coontz

November 2, 2011

Stephanie CoontzSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "For Better and For Worse: The Ongoing Revolution in Love, Marriage and Family Life," a discussion with Stephanie Coontz on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, from 6:30–9:30 pm.

Stephanie Coontz is a nationally recognized historian and expert in love, intimacy and parenting; a professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington; and Director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families.

Women's roles, male-female relationships, and family dynamics have changed more in the past 50 years than the previous 5,000, but often in ways that run completely counter to conventional wisdom. After a provocative gallop through the history of love, sex, marriage and parenting, Stephanie Coontz will discuss the sometimes surprising trade-offs resulting from the contemporary revolution in intimate relations. She warns against romanticizing the stability of marriages in the past and suggests that many of the rules we have been taught about how to organize our family lives and interpersonal relationships are out of touch with new realities.

Win Free Tickets to the Next Speak to Me Event with the Authors of "This Is Not the Life I Ordered"

October 12, 2011

Speak to MeSpeak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "Girlfriends' Guide to Learning from Life's Little Surprises," a discussion with the co-authors of This Is Not the Life I Ordered, on Tuesday, October 18 from 6:30–9:30 pm.

Scheduled to appear are Deborah Collins Stephens, best selling author and co-founder of the Center for Innovative Leadership; Congresswoman Jackie Speier; award-winning broadcast journalist Jan Yanehiro; and Michaelene Cristini Risley, an award-winning writer, director, and human rights activist. These Bay Area women, co-authors of This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down, have experienced extraordinary life challenges over many years of friendship.

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