Summer Vacation

25 Inexpensive (or Free) Things to Do for Families in October

October 2, 2017

Pumpkin Patch FunVisit a pumpkin patch for farm fun with the kiddos this October.

It's already October, and you don't have to break the bank to have a great time this fall with the kiddos! Here are 25 great ideas for great affordable activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area in October, all of which are free or really inexpensive. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. Visit a local pumpkin patch for fall family fun.
  2. Visit the Legion of Honor in San Francisco for free on the first Tuesday of the month, October 3, 9:30 am–5:15 pm

25 Inexpensive (or Free) Things to Do for Families in September

September 3, 2017

Tiburon Bike PathTake a ride along the Tiburon bike path this September.

September is here and school is back in, but that doesn't mean there still isn't a lot of family fun to be had! You don't have to break the bank to have a great time with the kiddos, either! Here are 25 great ideas for great affordable activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area in September, all of which are free or really inexpensive. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. Take a family bike ride or walk along the Tiburon bike path.
  2. Free family fun day at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, September 3, 10:30 am–2 pm
  3. Swim, jump and slide at the Water Park at Spring Lake, Santa Rosa, September 3, 11 am–6 pm

12 Terrific Family Outings for Labor Day Weekend

August 29, 2017

McNears Beach San Rafael

Labor day weekend is summer vacation's last hurrah (even if most kids are in school already). Make the most of this last long weekend of summer with a fun family outing or activity in Marin or elsewhere in the Bay Area. Many of the destinations and activities here close up shop after Labor Day, so this is your last chance to visit until next summer!

25 Inexpensive (or Free) Things to Do for Families in August

August 1, 2017

Bat Night returns to Olompali State Park on Saturday, August 5.

August is here—and with it the last few weeks of summer vacation! You don't have to break the bank to have a great time with the kiddos, either! Here are 25 great ideas for great affordable activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area in August, all of which are free or really inexpensive. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. Visit the de Young Museum in San Francisco for free on the first Tuesday of the month, August 1, 9:30 am–5:15 pm
  2. Meet Presidio first responders and see plice and fire displays and demonstrations on National Night Out. August 1, 4:30–7:30 pm.

25 Inexpensive (or Free) Things to Do for Families in July

July 4, 2017

McInnis Park

July is here, and there's so much for families to do in Marin and the Bay Area. You don't have to break the bank to have a great time with the kiddos, either! Here are 25 great ideas for great affordable activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area in July, all of which are free or really inexpensive. Keep in mind some of these activities require advance registration, so check before you go.

  1. See some art for free at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Fridays through August 18, 5–8:30 pm
  2. Play 18 holes of mini golf with the kiddos at McInnis Park. Open daily.
  3. Visit the seals and sea lions the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands. Open daily, 10 am–4 pm
  4. Admission to the Bay Area Discovery Museum is free on the first Wednesday of the month. July 5, 9 am–5 pm
  5. Magician Brian Scott performs at the Mill Valley Library. July 5, 3:30–4:30 pm

Inexpensive (or Free) Family Activities in the Bay Area for June

June 1, 2017

June is here, which means the end ofthe school year and summer vacation! It's time to start thinking of fun and affordable ways to keep the kids occupied when they're finally out of school. Fortunately, parents in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area will find plenty for kids to do!

Here are suggestions for great affordable summer activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area taking for each day in the month of June. From hiking to swimming to movies to concerts, everything listed here is inexpensive or even free. You don't have to break the bank to have a great time!

All Month

Summer Reading Challenge
Marin County Free Library Branches

Join the Summer Challenge for Kids & Teens at the Marin County Public Libraries. Kids earn a Book Bucks for every 100 minutes of reading which can be redeemed for a variety of prizes. Kids who complete the Learning Challenge wil receive a Gold Medal Reader button. Teens can earn scratcher tickets by checking out books, writing book reviews, and attending teen events. Check with your local library branch for details.

Thursday, June 1

Presidio Twilight
San Francisco Presidio
5–9 pm
Presidio Twilight is the Bay Area's largest community campfire! Enjoy a large selection of international cuisine from the food trucks of Off the Grid, live music, sunset activities, and the ambiance of San Francisco’s national park for a one-of-a-kind experience. Lantern-lit cabanas and fire pits are available free on a first come, first-served basis. Additional activities include traditional games such as bean bag toss, hula hoops, and giant Jenga. More information.

Dream Big, Read! this Summer at the Marin County Free Library

June 6, 2012

Summer reading at the Marin County Free LibraryNow that school is almost out and summer vacation is just around the corner, it's a good time to start looking for fun activities to do with the kids. One of our favorite summer activities is the summer reading program at the Marin County Library. It's a great way to discover new books and revisit some old favorites. Children are awarded prizes based on the number of books they read—books that are read to them count, too, so even younger children who can't read yet can get involved in the fun.

This year the Marin County Free Library sponsors its “Dream Big, Read!” reading program from June 9 through August 11. Prizes include rainbow gel pens, magnetic bookmarks, Round Table Pizza coupons, and a "Dream Big, Read!" T-shirt. To claim their prizes, your kids can take their reading logs to the children's librarian at your local library branch. Check with your local library for details.

Vacation Strategies

May 31, 2011

Marin Mommies guest article by Marin marriage and family therapist Kate Brennan.

Summer is just around the corner. Vacations from school can be pleasant times for the entire family, not just the children. The daily pressures of homework or early morning rushing will cease to exist for a few months during the long days of summer. The daily routines will change during vacations but it is reasonable to expect children to follow routines regarding meals, chores, and recreation. If boredom is expressed, a little bit of encouragement from you can motivate her to find interesting things to do on her own. Below are some ideas for both staying at home and for trips.

Staying at Home

  • Plant a vegetable garden. Make a summer salad from vegetables grown in the garden.
  • The daily watering and cultivating of the garden will help your children with responsibility while teaching them about the wonders of nature.
  • Summertime is a wonderful time for pleasure reading. Explore the library's non-fiction section together to find books about hobbies or a summer project that interests your child.
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