Holidays in Marin

Marin on Ice

Our annual guide to Christmas and holiday events for families in Marin and the Bay Area

Sponsored by Marin on Ice.

Get Your Tickets for San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker

September 17, 2017

San Francisco Ballet NutcrackerPhoto courtesy San Francisco Ballet © Erik Tomasson

December is here, and for many families, the holidays won't be complete without attending a performance of San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. Experience 200 costumed characters, dazzling scenery, Tchaikovsky's beautiful score performed live by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and the opulence of the War Memorial Opera House decorated for Christmas. Tickets to this time-honored holiday tradition are going fast!

Many different performances of Nutcracker take place in the Bay Area during the holiday season, but San Francisco Ballet's is the one that sets the standard. Did you know that San Francisco Ballet was the first ballet company to bring Nutcracker to America, way back in 1944?

All Aboard! Tickets for The Polar Express Train Ride on Sale Soon

September 10, 2017

The Polar Express

Get ready to believe! Tickets for the California State Railroad Museum's annual holiday Polar Express train rides go on sale to members only on September 26–28, 2017 and to the general public on Saturday, October 1, 2017. The Railroad Museum's sister organization, Railtown 1897 in Jamestown will also be holding Polar Express train rides again this holiday season.

Members of the Californa State Railroad Museum and Railtown 1897 are eligible to participate in member advance ticket sales. In order to reserve member tickets, your membership must be active or renewed as of Monday, September 5, 2017.

Spring Break Camps in Marin and Beyond

April 2, 2017

Studio 4 Art CampStudio 4 Art offers Spring Break camps in both Novato and Mill Valley.

Looking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming spring break? Check out some of the great spring break day camps here in Marin and the Bay Area. All the camps listed below drop-in camps, too.

  • Andrews Day Camp
    400 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera
    Ages: Kindergarten and up
    Andrews Camp offers games, crafts, sports and more. Spring break camps take place from 9 am–5 pm from April 10–14 with extended care from 8–9 am and 5–6 pm. Bring lunch and snack. For more info,call (415) 446-8946 or  visit their website.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum
    557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito

    Ages: 4–8
    The BADM is offering Spring Camps that focus on learning through project-based, hands-on activities designed to intentionally boost creativity, STEM skills, and critical thinking. Camps hours: 9 am–2 pm; extended care from 2–4 pm. Two sessions: March 27–31 and April 10–14. For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit

Winter Break Camps in Marin and Beyond

February 9, 2017

studio 4 artLooking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming winter break? Check out some of the great winter day camps here in Marin and the Bay Area. All the camps listed below offer day camp or drop-in camps.

  • Andrew's Day Camp
    400 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera
    Ages: kindergarten and up
    Andrew's Camp offers games, crafts, sports and more. Camps take place from 9 am–5 pm with extended care from 8–9 am and 5–6 pm. Bring lunch and snack. For more info,call (415) 446-8946 or  visit their website.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum
    557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito

    Ages: 4–8
    The BADM is offering a Winter Discovery Camp that focuses on learning through project-based, hands-on activities designed to intentionally boost creativity, STEM skills, and critical thinking. Camps hours:  9 am–2 pm; extended care from 2–4 pm (extended care $50/per day). For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit www.baykidsmuseum.org.
  • N.Y. Broadway Training Programs
    625 Arthur St., Novato High School
    Ages: 7–15

    Broadway Camp includes classes in ballet, jazz, tap, theatre dance, hip hop, acting, voice, musical theatre, arts & crafts, fun & games, special events and workshops. Mini performance on the last hour on Friday. Pizza party. Daily snack. Register here. For more info, visit www.marissajoyganz.com.

Lake Tahoe Ski, Snowboard & Snow Play Family Fun

January 13, 2017

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

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.

Northstar

  • Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country, terrain parks, ice skating, ski and snowboard lessons and rentals
  • Lodging, dining, shopping, activities, and events in the Northstar Village

Christmas Tree Recycling in Marin

January 1, 2017

Christmas tree recyclingAs December draws to a close and the New Year begins, the time comes bid farewell to your Christmas tree. It's a sad but inevitable fact of life that your tree has to go at some point, unless you have an artificial Christmas tree, in which case you can stop reading right here.

Fortunately, your local disposal agency is usually more than happy to take your dried out old Noble Fir off your hands and do the green thing with the tree by recycling it. If for some reason you can't leave your tree out by the curb with your yard waste, you can drop it off at a number of different locations, including all Marin County Fire Department stations (through January 21), throughout Marin County.

Keep in mind that you need to remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, and plastic tree bags from the tree before you put it out for pick up. (Don't forget to remove metal or plastic stands, too.) Here's a rundown of Christmas tree disposal details for communities in Marin:

Marin Sanitary

For Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Las Gallinas Valley, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Ross Valley (Sleepy Hollow and Oak Manor): Trees will be collected at the curb on your regular yard waste pickup day during the month of January. One pickup per residence. If trees are greater than 6 feet in length, please cut them in half. Remove all metal stands, plastic tree bags, and ornaments. Flocked trees will not be accepted.

Ring in 2017 with Family Fun for New Year’s Eve

December 29, 2016

New Year's EveWhile New Year’s Eve is usually a party for adults (at least those who can still stay up until midnight), it can also be a fun celebration for the whole family. New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the old and welcome the new, and just about everyone can appreciate that, even children.

We usually like to have some friends and family over to celebrate the old year and cheer in the new one. During the course of the evening we take a moment to go around the room and recount happy and positive things that have happened throughout the year, as well as what our expectations are for the New Year.

We like to serve festive social foods like fondue, and open a bottle or two of sparkling apple cider like Martinelli's, and some bubbly for the grownups, of course. A festive champagne flute of sparkling cider is fun to sip and welcome by children and adults who aren’t drinking alike.

Family Friendly New Year's Eve Events in Marin and the Bay Area

December 26, 2016

New Year's Even Bell Ringing Asian Art MuseumSay goodbye to 2016 and welcome in the New Year at one of these family friendly events taking place in Marin and elsewhere in the Bay Area. Many of these celebrations take place earlier in the day or evening on December 31 so little ones can get a taste of New Year's Eve fun without staying up past their bedtimes.

  • Noon Year's Eve
    Bay Area Discovery Museum
    , Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm
    Ring in the New Year with your little ones at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve! This kid-friendly affair includes music by DJ ManCub, a celebratory ball drop at noon, dancing, and various art activities like crown making. In addition, enjoy access to the museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits like Lookout Cove and Bay Hall. (Note: Iceless Skating Rink is closed during Noon Year’s Eve.) For more info, visit their website.
  • Annual Japanese Bell Ringing Ceremony
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
    Saturday, 9:30–noon

    Ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a giant 2,100-pound, 16th-century, Japanese temple bell at the Asian Art Museum. Participants may take turns ringing the museum’s bronze bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds, and ill luck of the previous year. This time slot is exclusive to members. Bell-ringing opens to general admission at 11:30 am. First come, first served. Pick up tickets to ring the bell at the admission desk. Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.

Where's Santa Now? NORAD Tracks Santa 2016!

December 22, 2016

NORAD Santa Tracker 2016

Every Christmas, the men and women of NORAD take a break from tracking the skies and waterways of North America and instead follow Santa Claus on his annual Christmas trek around the globe. You can check out Saint Nick's progress live online at NORAD's special Santa Tracking website, www.noradsanta.org. You can also track Santa on a mobile app available for iOS, Android, or Windows devices.

Ice Skating Fun at Snoopy's Home Ice in Santa Rosa

December 21, 2016

Snoopy's Home Ice Redwood Empire Ice ArenaOne 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.