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Breakfast with Santa in Marin and the Bay Area

November 13, 2017

Santa and KidsPhoto Courtesy Town Center Corte Madera

Even if you're on the Naughty List this year, Santa and his friends will be happy to have breakfast with you and your family this holiday season! Here's our guide to family-friendly "Breakfast with Santa" events in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area for 2017. We make every effort to assure that all listings and hours are as accurate as possible, but make sure to call or check the venue's website before visiting (if you don't have to make reservations, of course).

Lake Tahoe Ski, Snowboard & Snow Play Family Fun

November 11, 2017

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

It's November, which means it's time to get ready for the start of ski and snow play season in Lake Tahoe! Many of Tahoe ski resorts have already announced their anticipated opening dates for the 2017–2018 season, and some are already open. Generally, big resorts with their own snow-making equipment open earlier in the season.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 10–12

November 11, 2017

Get hands-on at this weekend's 7th Annual Discovery Day at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

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 10

  • 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. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. 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.
  • Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco
    Friday–Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm, Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm

    Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Admission: $12, $7 children 7 and under, skate rental $5. 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
    Marin on Ice is open 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.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Night Fairy
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    When tiny but feisty Flory loses her fairy wings in an attack by a bat, she has to muster all her courage and ingenuity to survive in a garden full of threatening creatures, including a voracious spider. Directed by Hannah Dworkin and Nina Meehan. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets: $26 adults, $24 seniors 65+, $20 children 2–14. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Berkeley Playhouse: Annie
    The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7 pm, Sunday, 2 pm

    Leapin’ lizards! One of the most popular musicals of all time returns to Berkeley Playhouse in an all new production that’s going to “shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!” When Annie is chosen by billionaire Oliver Warbucks to spend the holidays at his mansion, she leaves behind the only community she’s ever known, and her daily life of “hard knocks” and “maybe’s” turns into one of cinemas and Roll’s Royces … and an opportunity to discover the truth about her parents. Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $20–$45. For more info, visit their website.
  • Throckmorton Youth Performers: Annie The Musical!
    Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 2 pm

    Don't miss this classic American musical that takes a stand for what matters most:  love and family! The talented Throckmorton Youth Performers bring the iconic characters to life, including the lovable Daddy Warbucks, the wicked Miss Hannigan and the adorable orphan herself. Perfect for the entire family. Location: 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit their website.
  • 23 Elephants Theatre Company: Legally Blonde
    The Playhouse, San Anselmo
    Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 1 & 7:30 pm, Sunday, 1 pm

    Harvard's beloved Blonde takes the stage by pink storm in this fun upbeat story of self discovery. Legally Blonde The Musical will take you from the sorority house to the halls of justice with Elle Woods (and, of course, her dog, Bruiser). Tickets: $15 general, $23 reserved. Location: 27 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, November 11 (Veterans Day)

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

    Saturday & Sunday, 8 am–sunset
    Visit Muir Woods and its majestic redwoods for free during Veterans Day weekend! For more info, visit their website.

Celebrate the Holidays in Victorian Style at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair

November 9, 2017

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Under colorful swags of Union Jacks and boughs of holly, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party returns for five weekends to the historic Cow Palace in Daly City this November and December. The family-friendly holiday fair takes place on Saturdays and Sundays (as well as the Friday after Thanksgiving) from November 18 through December 17, 2017, and offers visitors a delightfully immersive holiday experience unlike any other.

Run with the Family This Thanksgiving at the Marin Turkey Trot

November 9, 2017

Instead of just eating until you're stuffed this Thanksgiving, do something healthy to kick off the day and help support local charities at the Annual Marin Turkey Trot. Taking place on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23, 2017), the Turkey Trot features fun races for the entire family, including the Youth 1-mile for ages 5 and up, Turkey Trot 5K, and the Pilgrim 10K. All races start and finish at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus at 1800 Ignacio Boulevard in Novato.

Does It Really Snow in Downtown San Rafael?

November 7, 2017

Snow sledding in San Rafael

Does it really snow in Downtown San Rafael? Well, no... not very often. But that doesn't mean that they can't truck a bunch of the frozen white stuff for sledding on the Friday after Thanksgiving!

Snow will arrive in Marin as part of the 38th annual Downtown San Rafael Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland, which takes place Friday, November 24. The event happens on Fourth Street from A Street to Lootens Place. Enjoy the Parade of Lights, Winter Wonderland, holiday market, tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment, and more! Free snow sledding and kids' activities take place from noon to 4:30 pm and 6 to 8 pm, and the Holiday Marketplace runs from noon to 8 pm.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for November 3, 4 & 5

November 3, 2017

The Union Square Ice Rink celebrates its 10th anniversary with free skating on Friday, November 3.

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 3

  • Union Square Ice Rink's 10th Birthday Party
    San Francisco
    Friday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    To commemorate ten years of outdoor skating at the quintessential San Francisco location, residents and visitors of San Francisco are invited to an all-day celebration featuring free ice skating, performances, and birthday treats! The celebration will include performances by some of San Francisco’s favorite arts organizations, a live installation by San Francisco's favorite mural artist, fnnch, and more surprises to be announced! Free skating slots subject to availability; first come first served. For more info, visit their Facebook Page.
  • Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
    San Francisco
    Friday–Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm, Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm

    Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Admission: $12, $7 children 7 and under, skate rental $5. For more info, visit their website.
  • French Storytime (L'Heure du Conte)
    San Anselmo Library
    Friday, 11–11:30 am

    For children of all ages and their parent or caregiver. Talk, sing, read, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music in French. No registration required. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay with children during all storytime sessions. Free. Location: 110 Tunstead Avenue, Council Chambers, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parents Day Out: Madagascar
    Rolling Hills Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm
    Join us for a Jungle of a Good Time! Play games inspired by the movie, turn your face into a wild animal, and make your own chocolate dipped banana penguin. We will watch the movie Madagascar. Pizza will be provided. Cost: $34 guest, $24 member. Location: 351 San Andreas Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movie Night: Smurfs: The Lost Village
    Mathnasium of Mill Valley
    Friday, 6–8 pm

    Stop by Mathnasium on the first Friday of the month for movie night. Free pizza and soda will be served. Students, parents, and friends welecome. Location: 247 Shoreline Highway, Suite A3. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Night Fairy
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Friday, 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    When tiny but feisty Flory loses her fairy wings in an attack by a bat, she has to muster all her courage and ingenuity to survive in a garden full of threatening creatures, including a voracious spider. Directed by Hannah Dworkin and Nina Meehan. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets: $26 adults, $24 seniors 65+, $20 children 2–14. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, November 4

  • Free Access to All Parks
    Marin County Parks
    Saturday, All Day

    Marin County Parks is offering free access to all parks on the first Saturday of the month all year long! Includes Black Point Boat Launch, McInnis Park, McNears Beach Park, Miller Boat Launch, Paradise Beach Park, and Stafford Lake Park. For more info, visit their website.

Hit the Ice! Holiday Ice Skating in the Bay Area

November 1, 2017

Ice skating at Marin on Ice

Even though it's an activity that you can do year-round, ice skating seems to be something that's especially appealing around the holidays. Marin on Ice is back at Northgate in San Rafael for another season of outdoor ice skating, so you don't have to leave Marin County to go skate! It's the only rink in the county, but you'll find more opportunities to skate in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and the East Bay. Here's our list of places to hit the ice in the Bay Area this holiday season.

Our Ultimate Guide to Family Ski and Snow Fun in Lake Tahoe

October 28, 2017

Ski Lesson Tahoe

With this year's abundance of snow, Tahoe has become the ultimate family getaway destination this winter! Get ready for winter and plan your ultimate Tahoe vacation with the help from our guide to family fun in the Sierra.

Whether you're skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or just looking to play around in the snow, there's something for you and your family in the mountains this winter.

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