Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 11, 12 & 13

November 11, 2016

West End Nursery Christmas House San RafaelThe amazing Christmas House at West End Nursery in San Rafael is now open.

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, November 11 (Veterans Day)

  • NPS Free Entrance Days
    Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley

    Friday, 8 am–sunset
    Visit Muir Woods and its majestic redwoods for free on Veterans Day! For more info, visit their website.
  • Christmas House at West End Nursery
    San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 am–5 pm, Sunday 9 am–4 pm

    Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery. This magical setting includes lights, decorated trees, and more. It's a holiday must-visit in Marin. Free admission; ornaments and decor are for sale. Read about our visit here. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
  • Learn to Ride
    Stafford Lake Park, Novato
    Friday, 9–11 am

    Learn to ride pump tracks and rollers with a ranger at the Stafford Lake Bike Park. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Wear comfortable athletic clothing and sturdy shoes. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at this park. Rain will cancel. Questions: Contact Supervising Ranger Adam Craig at  (415) 897-0618. Park entrance is waived for participants. Location: 3549 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
  • Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink
    Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm and Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm
    The Bay Area's largest outdoor ice rink offers 90-minute skating sessions Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 9:30 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 11:30 pm. Admission is $11 for adults and $7 for children ages 7 and under; skate rental is $5. They also offer group rates, as well as birthday parties and private rentals. For more info, call 415) 837-1931 or visit their website.
  • Free Day: Charles Schulz Museum
    Santa Rosa
    Friday, 10 am–5 pm

    Enjoy free admission all day in honor of Veterans Day and Charles Schulz's birthday month. Location: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mediterranean Holiday Bazaar
    Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, Novato
    Friday, noon–7 pm & Saturday, 9 am–7 pm

    This 2nd annual Mediterranean Holiday Bazaar is hosted by the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church in Novato. The event will be held on the church's campus on Highland Drive, the same venue as the annual Marin Greek Festival, This holiday shopping event will showcase the work of over 30 local Bay Area artisans. Location: 1110 Highland Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday, 2
    –10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
    This Saturday, Marin on Ice opens for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young
    de Young Museum, San Francisco
    Friday, 5–8:45 pm

    Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids' Pajama Party with Elisa Kleven
    DIESEL, A Bookstore, Larkspur Landing
    Friday, 6–6:30 pm

    Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author/illustrator Elisa Kleven will be here to read you a bedtime story from The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy: A San Francisco Story. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed. Then head home for bed. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sonoma Evening Nature Hike
    General Vallejo Home, Sonoma
    Friday, 7 pm

    Come out and explore the trail at dusk with the Sonoma Petaluma Parks Association. Interpretation will focus on local wildlife and nocturnal animals.  This is a one mile, slow-paced hike with minor elevation change.  Sturdy shoes and water recommended. Meet at the Vallejo Home parking lot. All ages, free of charge. Location: 363 3rd Street West, Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Berkeley Playhouse: Disney's Beauty and the Beast
    The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 6 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm

     Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $25–40. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marilyn Izdebski Productions Presents Gypsy
    The Playhouse San Anselmo
    Friday, 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 & 7:30 pm and Sunday, 1 pm

    Start the holiday season with the whole family to this classic American musical. Performed by young people from throughout Marin County, is directed and choreographed by Marilyn Izdebski with musical direction by Judy Wiesen. No babies or children under three pls. Tickets: $15. Puchase tickets here. All tickets must be picked up from will call 10 minutes prior to performance. For ages 3 and up. Location: 27 Kensington Rd., San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, November 12

  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm, crafts by SCRAP from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from 11 am–12:30 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pizza Party on Horse Hill
    Horse Hill Open Space Preserve, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Help pull broom and sow native grass seed on Horse Hill. Participants will get a chance to meet the horses up close. The work requires considerable strength and stamina. OK for volunteers as young as 5 if teamed with a parent or guardian. Dress in layers you can get dirty, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. Snacks, lunch, and extra water will be provided. RSVP’s are appreciated but not required: (415) 473-3778. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Storytelling Series
    Marin Waldorf School, San Rafael
    Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am

    Bring the kiddos ages 3–6 years to this free storytelling series at Marin Waldorf School in San Rafael. This is free and open to the public.  Please arrive early-story starts promply at 9:30 am. Location: 755 Idylberry Road San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-8190 or visit their website.
  • Holiday Bazaar
    Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, Mill Valley
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    There will be hand made gifts, food, baked goods, a children's boutique, children's activities, music, and more. Location: 410 Sycamore Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, call (415) 388-4456 or visit their website.
  • Free Junior Chef Class - Thanksgiving Helper: Pumpkin Pie!
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    If dessert is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast, this is the class for you! Join us and learn how to bake an amazing pumpkin pie that your family and friends will love. Suitable for ages 8-13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kindermusik Saturday Playdate
    Saturday, 10–10:45 am
    Join us with your baby, toddler or preschool for a fun-filled morning of singing, dancing, instrument play and fun with props like parachute, scarves & balls! Cost: $20 one child, $30 (2) siblings, $35 (3) siblings. Location: 1530 Center Rd #12, Novato. Register online here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Creative Family Fun: Art Celebrating Our Veterans
    Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–1 pm
    For this special Veterans Day Creative Family Fun event, drop in and create artwork celebrating the spirit of community and service. Open to kids of all ages. Registration not required, but preferred. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pixie Park Open House
    Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross
    Saturday, 10:30 am–noon

    Open Houses are a great way to learn about the history of Pixie Park and what it means to belong to this co-op playground. The new member open house is conducted in a casual environment where you can speak to a board member about the benefits and responsibilities of being a Pixie family, as well as ask questions and meet other prospective families. After learning about the park, interested families can sign-up and receive their key. Location: 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross. For more info, visit their website.
  • STEAM Saturday
    San Rafael Public Library
    Saturday, 11 am

    Come to the San Rafael Library for STEAM powered stories, rhymes, songs, crafts, experiments, and sensory experiences for preschool children ages 3–6 and their caregivers. Registration required: register at the children’s reference desk or call at (415) 485-3322. Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • "Art From the Heart" Trunk Show
    Twin Cities Community Preschool
    Saturday, 11 am–4 pm

    "Art from the Heart" is an annual trunk show hosted by Twin Cities Community Preschool for local moms to showcase their small businesses. We will have unique jewelry, clothing, pottery, gifts, and wreaths for purchase - just in time for the holidays. There will be beverages and nibbles as you shop. Please invite a friend and enjoy an hour or two away from the kids for this unique Holiday shopping experience. Location: Twin Cities Community Preschool 56 Mohawk Ave, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Clay Gingerbread House Building Workshop
    Studio4Art, Novato
    Saturday, 1–4 pm

    Our 9th Annual Gingerbread House Workshop for ages 7+ (children younger are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult). Create your own gingerbread house that with last for several years to come. The cost covers all supplies, tools, instructions, and enough clay to build a 8-10" tall clay gingerbread house, and an additional visit to the studio for glazing (at the customer's convenience). Cost: $55 per house. Register online here. Location: 1133 Grant Avenue, Downtown Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Lighting of the Sonoma Plaza
    Downtown Sonoma Square
    Saturday, 4–8 pm

    Experience Sonoma Valley California as we celebrate the fourth annual Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza. Enjoy 8-acres of 100,000+ sparkling lights + music + holiday treats!! Free to the public and family friendly. Music starts at 5 pm, with performances starting at 5:45 pm. Bring a picnic, including wine and beer! Location: Downtown Sonoma Plaza. For more info, visit their website.
  • Laternenfest
    Pioneer Park, Novato
    Saturday, 5:30 pm
    Join us for a centuries-old German tradition of songs and brightly-colored lanterns to celebrate Martins Tag! We will have a lantern parade and refreshments will be available. The parade is free! Only $5 per person if you would like a cup of hot chocolate and a Weckmann (jumbo gingerbread man) afterward. Everyone is welcome. RSVP by emailing here or calling (415) 897-9771. Location: 1007 Simmons Lane, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Christmas House at West End Nursery (see Friday for details).
  • Marin on Ice (see Friday for details).
  • Marilyn Izdebski Productions Presents, Gypsy (see Friday for details).
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square (see Friday for details).

Sunday, November 13

  • Civic Center Farmers' Market
    Marin Civic Center, San Rafael

    Sunday, 8 am–1 pm
    There's lots of organically grown produce, breads, eggs, and fresh cut flowers, as well as live music, bounce houses, and more. This farmers' market is a great one to take the kids to. It’s located in the main Civic Center parking lot. For more info, visit their website.
  • Brick Palooza 
    Veterans Building, Santa Rosa
    Sunday, 9 am–5 pm

    A LEGO fan festival, exhibition and celebration. Cost: $10 advance, $12 at the door; kids 4 and under free. Location: 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
  • SF Birth and Baby Fair
    Golden Gate Club, San Francisco
    Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    The event for new and expecting parents in the San Francisco Bay Area. Showcasing local resources, services, and new, innovative products for young families. Location: Golden Gate Club, San Francisco Presidio, 135 Fisher Loop. For more info, visit their website.
  • Super Fun Sundays: Celebrate Rhythm with Crosspulse
    Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
    Sunday, 10–11:30 (doors open at 9:45 am)

    On second Sundays, The Museum opens early just for kids and their grownups. Family fun includes a rhythm art studio, fun in Ned Kahn: Negev Wheel, and a stomping good time with Crosspulse. Free with Museum admission; adults must be accompanied by a child for entry; youth 18 and under always free. Location: 736 Mission Street, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marine Science Sunday: Creatures of the Deep
    Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito
    Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    This month we celebrate Thanksgiving by highlighting the amazing feeding and hunting strategies of marine mammals! Find out about how orcas have learned together to wash seals off the ice in Antarctica, humpback whales use bubbles to trap fish and otters use tools to crack open their favorite foods! For more info, visit their website.
  • Sundays at the J!
    Marin JCC, San Rafael
    Sunday, 10 am–5:45 pm

    Bring the family for a day of fun. Playtime in the gym, bounce house, and tumbling for families with children 6 and under, art time, library time in the Lefferts Jewish Community Library, and sports and recreation for families with children 7+. Family-friendly fare is available at the café. Adult supervision is required for kids 9 and under. Drop-in charge per person. Location: 200 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco Veterans Day Parade
    Fisherman's Wharf/Embarcadero, San Francisco
    Sunday, 11 am–1 pm

    The 2016 parade route is currently being planned. In 2015 the parade stepped off at Embarcadero at North Point Street near Fisherman’s Wharf and the route was along Jefferson Street in Fisherman's Wharf. For more info, visit their website.
  • Reading and Book Signing: The Bear Who Wasn't There
    DIESEL, A Bookstore
    Sunday, 1 pm
    DIESEL, A Bookstore in Larkspur welcomes back LeUyen Pham to the store to read and sign her new picture book, The Bear Who Wasn't There. For more info, visit their website
  • San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
    Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
    Sunday, 2 pm
    The Youth Orchestra Series offers a chance to enjoy the latest generation of young musicians in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, an ensemble that has earned international recognition. Don’t miss these concerts, performed by more than one hundred of the Bay Area’s most talented young instrumentalists. Recommended for ages 12 and older. Tickets starting at $15. Purchase ticketes here. Location: 201 Van Ness, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Full Moon Hike
    Stafford Lake Park, Novato
    Sunday, 5–7 pm

    See the full moon rise in the east as we follow a relatively flat path around the lake for a 2-mile hike, then we’ll finish the evening with s’mores and discussions about the moon and how we interact with it here on earth. This easy event is ideal for all ages. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. Park entrance is waived for participants. Location: 3549 Novato Blvd., Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Christmas House at West End Nursery (see Friday for details).
  • Marin on Ice (see Friday for details).
  • Marilyn Izdebski Productions Presents Gypsy (see Friday for details).
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square (see Friday for details).