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Hike, Bike, and Ride at Novato's O'Hair Park

September 16, 2017

O'Hair Park Novato

At the west end of Novato is one of Marin's outdoor gems—O'Hair Park. Sharing space with the Dogbone Meadow dog park and Morning Star Farm equestrian center, the 100-acre O'Hair Park is a great place for a family bike ride, hike or off-road stroller.

Head into the park on the Reuben Kaehler Memorial Trail, which forms an easy loop of approximately two miles. Novato Creek parellels much of the trail, and it's fun to clamber down to the creekside to look for little fish and water bugs while you're on your hike. The trail climbs gently uphill into a bay laurel forest, down into a grassy meadow, and then again into a forest.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 15–17

September 15, 2017


Family fun awaits this weekend at Mill Valley's 61st annual Fall Arts Festival in Old Mill Park.

Try one of our 5 fantastic fall Marin hikes with your family this weekend!

Friday, September 15

  • Just Between Friends Kids Consignment Sale
    Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 9 am–8 pm, Saturday, 9 am–3 pm and Sunday, 9 am–2 pm
    Get a great deal on over 100,000 consignment items in 40,500 square feet of shopping space, including toys, games; outdoor gear; mommy supplies; furniture; crafting, school and party supplies; and more. Cash, checks, debit cards, and Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Bring your own bags, baskets, or even a wagon to carry your deals. Location: Grace Pavilion, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 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.
  • Circus Vargas
    Petaluma
    Friday, 4:30 & 7:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 1, 4 & 7:30 pm

    Circus Vargas presents its new 2017 spectacular SteamCirque! Come on a journey of fantastic proportions where children of all ages will marvel at the wacky and wonderful cast of characters that come alive in this exciting steampunk, science- fiction fantasy inspired circus odyssey. Tickets: $17–$72; under 2 free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Movies in the Park: Beauty and the Beast (2017)
    Howarth Park, Santa Rosa
    Friday, 8 pm
     
    This fun-loving event series is back in Howarth Park for another season! Bring the family, a picnic and a blanket for a lovely evening of film-enjoyment under the stars in our park! Free. Location: 630 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, September 16

  • GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
    Sonoma
    Saturday & Sunday, 8 am–6 pm

    The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Sonoma Raceway for the epic series finale to the 2017 racing schedule. Fun for the entire family. Here is the schedule for kids events. Kids 12 and under are free all weekend. For more info, visit their website.

  • California Coastal Cleanup Day
    Various Marin locations
    Saturday, 9 am–noon

    On the third Saturday of every September volunteers all over the world converge on beaches, shorelines, and inland waterways to pick up trash and remove dangerous debris. Considered the largest marine-related volunteer event in the world, Coastal Cleanup Day is a wonderful opportunity to lend a hand and make a significant difference. There are over 35 sites in Marin to choose from. Check the list here.
  • San Marin Garage Sale
    Novato
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Shop 'til you drop at the big multi-family garage sale in Novato's San Marin neighborhood. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Zumba at the Center
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Saturday, 9–10 am

    We take the 'work' out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burnin g dance fitness party on the lawn. Location: Community Center on the lawn triangle behind the Center at 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
    Old Mill Park, Mill Valley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    The 61st Annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival will showcase over 140 fine artists from all across the country and offer live music and children’s entertainment under the redwoods. The juried works include prints, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, photography, and sculpture. See full schedule here. Cost: $10 general admission, $5 students and seniors, free for kids under 12. Location: Old Mill Park, Throckmorton Ave and Old Mill Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • Junior Chef Classes:  Pancake Party Benefiting No Kid Hungry
    Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am

    Let’s cook some pancakes! We’ll show you everything you need to know so you can make tasty pancakes for your family and friends, served with your favorite toppings. What could be better on the morning after a sleepover? All of the proceeds from this class will be donated to No Kid Hungry as they work to end childhood hunger in America. Cost: $5 donation per child. For more 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.
  • Open Cockpit Weekend: Public Heroes Weekend
    Pacific Coast Air Museum, Santa Rosa
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–4 pm

    Look inside these vintage aircraft, and learn about their history from the crews who have lovingly restored them. You may climb aboard selected aircraft this weekend and sit in the pilot's seat! Come and take a look at some of the aircraft that make it possible for us to live our lives in great safety and confidence, knowing that when the worst happens a competent and dedicated aviator can be on hand within minutes to help us. Free after museum admission. For more info, visit their website.
  • Presidio Family-Friendly Bike Ride
    Presidio Visitor Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    Join a Presidio Park Ranger and Presidio Trust guide on this gentle 4-mile bike ride. Roll through the history and nature of the Presidio at a family-friendly pace that's fun for all! Rent a bike from Sports Basement or bring your own. Appropriate for ages 8+. For more info, visit their website.
  • Family Program: California Natives: Plants and People
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10–11 am

    Bring the whole family for a guided tour.. Our walk on the "Indian Trail" will explore the creative ways California Indians have used native plants in their everyday lives for food, shelter, tools, fiber, medicine, even music, toys and games. At the end, we'll make a cattail cordage bracelet to take home.  $15 Adult,  $12 Child,  $10 Member Adult,  $8 Member Child (must have Family Membership level or above). Register online, or by calling 510-643-2755, or by emailing gardenprograms@berkeley.edu. Location: 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • ZOOtoberfest 2017
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Every weekend in October, go on an adventure in “Harvest Hallow” for access to new and exciting attractions. Navigate through San Francisco’s largest hay maze, a 5,000-square-foot structure made from 600 bales of straw and incorporates play areas within the design. Live Music Performances from 11:00 pm to 3:00 pm Free with paid admission to San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!  Location: For more info, visit their website.
  • Musical Storytime with Miss Melissa
    Copperfield's Books, Novato
    Saturday, 10:30–11am

    This is musical family fun for babies, kids and grown ups, too! Bring the crew! Come on down to Copperfield's Books and shake it up with local children's musician and Kidnermusik educator, Miss Melissa Ayotte, as she shares songs, stories and sign language. Location: 999 Grant Avenue, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Bay Area Children's Theatre: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
    The Osher Studio, Berkeley
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am and 1:30 pm

    Straight from a hit run in New York, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show will delight you with a magical stage rendition of Eric Carle’s beloved stories about sea horses, fireflies, and, of course, that lovable lepidoptera himself, brought to life in vibrant color with puppets galore! Recommended for age 3 and up, this performance runs 65 minutes with no intermission. Tickets: adults $26, child (2–14) $20 and senior $24. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Annual Family Open House
    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
    Saturday, 11 am

    In their wildly interactive shows for children and families, silly six-piece band Your Song My Song sings you through watery adventures, recycling kid revolutionaries, classic children's books, jungle expeditions, and deep sea dives! Instrument petting zoo. Free admisson. Location: 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • American Indian 50th Anniversary Trade Feast
    Miwok Park, Novato
    Saturday, 11 am–5 pm

    Bring the family to celebrate their 5th Anniversary. Featured activities: Inter-tribal Pomo Dance Group, “Red Voice Drum” Drumming & Singing, “Kalpulli Anahuak” Aztec Dancers, children’s activities/native story telling, hoop dancing and much more. Free admission. Location: 2200 Novato Blvd., Novato. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
  • Princesses Wear Pants Storytime
    Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 11 am

    In their debut children's picture book, Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim team up for a savvy, imaginative story that celebrates fashion and girl power. Join the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple as she finds a clever way to get the job done while staying true to herself. Activities to follow. Location: Town Center Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sumo Champions Exhibition
    Japantown Peace Plaze, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, noon–5 pm

    Learn about the ancient Japanese tradition of Sumo and watch live matches at noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm. Meet Sumo wrestlers in person at a meet-and-greet at 5 pm. Free. Location: Post and Buchanan Streets, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Nike Missile Site Open House
    Marin Headlands, Sausalito
    Saturday, 12:30–3:30 pm

    Unique in the National Park Service, this restored Cold War anti-aircraft missile site has intriguing stories to tell. Take a ranger-guided tour of this restored facility, and learn about its history from volunteers, many of whom served at sites like. Free. Read about our visit here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Young Performers Theatre: Sleeping Beauty
    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
    Saturday, 2 & 4:30 pm, Sunday, 11 am & 2:30 pm

    This classic fairytale is performed by kids for kids and is suitable for all ages. Tickets: $12. Location: Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 300, San Francisco. For more info, call (415) 346-5550 or visit their website.
  • Family Maker Saturdays: Kinetic Sand!
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Saturday, 2–4:30 pm
    Kinetic sand is fun to play with but is also great for developing fine motor skills, creative thinking and pre-writing skills. It can also promote calm! Encourage hands on science explorations with activities that build a foundation for understanding physical properties, mathematics, and engineering principles. Come experiment, build, and create. All ages welcome. Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Shakespeare in the Park: Hamlet
    Presidio, San Francisco
    Saturday & Sunday, 2–5 pm
    Bring a blanket and enjoy an outdoor performance of a beloved favorite. This year the SF Shakespeare Festival celebrates 35 years of free and accessible Shakespeare performances and presents Hamlet for the first time. Location: Presidio’s Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Comics Fest Event
    Belvedere Tiburon Library, Founders Room
    Saturday, 2:30–4 pm

    Come and meet Authors and comic artists, Lily Williams (If Sharks Disappeared, 2017) and Amy Martin, a cartoonist, illustrator, and children's librarian living in Oakland, California. Please note: content in this presentation may not be appropriate for children under 10 years old. Location: 1501 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon. For more info, call (415) 789-2665 or visit their website.
  • Free Movies on the Green: Disney's Cars 3
    Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

    Sunday, 3 pm
    Bring a blanket and join us on Weill Lawn as we screen Disney’s newest smash hit Cars 3! Location: 1801 E. Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park. Weill Hall and Lawn. For more info, visit their website.

Fall and Winter Family Programs in the Marin Headlands from NatureBridge

September 14, 2017

NatureBridge, which organizes Coastal Camp, a summer day camp for kids in kindergarten through ninth grade, also offers organized family programs at the Marin Headlands. Monthly programs include night hikes, campfires, and more. Here's what NatureBridge has to offer for families this fall and winter.

Evening programs feature an educator-led hike in the Marin Headlands followed by fun around the campfire including s'more roasting, campfire skits, and fun sing-alongs. Visit www.naturebridge.org or call (415) 332-5771 for more information and to register for programs, which often sell out way in advance.

Hike the Headlands
September 24, 10 am–2 pm

Hike the Headlands is an exciting day of exploration in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Discover the Headlands with a NatureBridge educator and engage in hands-on science activities in the learning labs. There will be live music, delicious food, arts, crafts, and inspiring hikes! $25 per adult; $12 per child (4–17 years old); $65 per family (2 adults and 2 children). Register here.

Ballet Classes for Kids in Marin

September 12, 2017

 Photo courtesy: The Joy of Dance Ballet School

Looking for a ballet class in Marin for your kiddos? Here is our list of local ballet classes throughout Marin County for kids of all ages. New ballet classes start for fall in September, but usually you can join in any time. Some classes start as young as a year and a half, so there's no excuse for not getting the kiddos dancing at an early age!

  • The Joy of Dance Ballet School
    Sausalito
    Joy of Dance Ballet offers dance classes for children and adults of all ages and dance ability. Classes start with the earliest ballet class (ages 2.5 years) and go primary ballet (ages 11 and up). Locations: Private and group lessons at Harmonia in Sausalito as well as group dance classes within several Marin/SF Schools. For more information, call (415) 812-4821 or visit their website.

5 Fantastic Fall Family Hikes in Marin

September 12, 2017

Fall offers some of the finest weather of the year in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area, so make sure you take some time to hit the trail and take in a hike before the weather turns cold and wet. The coastal areas in Northern California are particularly nice in the fall, and are often warmer and clearer than inland. (Photo: Rush Creek, Novato)

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.

Celebrate Art and Storytelling with the Marin Comics Fest

September 9, 2017

Marin Comics Fest Celebrate art and storytelling at libraries across the county at the first Marin Comics Fest! Taking place starting today, September 9, 2017 and running through September 16, the Marin Comics Fest features fun family-friendly happenings at local Marin libraries and other venues, including Blue Moon Comics and Copperfield's Books in San Rafael.

Learn about comics, graphic novels, a from renowned cartoonists, artists, and writers like Art Roche, Thi Bui, Judd Winick, Serena Valentino, Brian Fies, and others. There will even be a Latino comics expo at the Novato Library on Saturday, September 16.

Check their page on the San Rafael Library's website for a full schedule of events and locations, and follow the Fest on Facebook for updates and info. The Marin Comics Fest is produced in in partnership with Friends of the San Rafael Public Library, Copperfield's, and Blue Moon Comics.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for September 8–10

September 8, 2017

Pick your own organic apples at Chileno Valley Ranch. RSVP to reserve your spot and read about our visit here.

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, September 8

  • Breakfast with Enzo
    Sports Basement, San Francisco Presidio
    Friday, 10 & 11 am
    Enzo Garcia plays guitar, banjo, accordion, musical saw, jew's harp, enzotar, appalachian dulcimer, slide flute, percussion and more. He has been performing and recording professionally for over fifteen years, the last ten of which he has spent in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $7 per person additional child siblings under 7 months free. Lots of free parking too. For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his 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.
  • Picnics on the Plaza
    Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo
    Friday, 5–8 pm

    The popular Picnics on the Plaza events feature music and family fun in downtown San Anselmo. Bring your picnic basket or buy food at the event. Sponsored by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee. Location: 525 San Anselmo Avenue, Town Hall Lawn, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Parents' Night Out
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Friday, 5–10 pm

    Drop off the kids and enjoy a night out! While you relax, the kids will be having fun with the Marinwood staff. Games, park time, arts and crafts, dinner and a movie at the end of the night! Activities include a toy room, dodgeball or just hanging out. Ages: at least 2 but less than 11. Cost: $25 per child. Register here. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
  • Broadway Under the Stars Gala Celebration
    Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
    Friday–Sunday, 5 pm
    Don’t miss this fast-selling, end of season celebration packed full of powerhouse performances, community tributes, sentimental reflections and more. Bring a picnic before the performance. The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $45–$149. Purchase tickets here. Location: 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. For more info, visit their website.
  • Kids Night Out: Night at the Museum
    Rolling Hills Club, Novato
    Friday, 6–9:30 pm

    Some men are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them! At Rolling Hills, we know all our kids are great! Join us for a Dum Dum bubble gum blowing contest, Night Watchman Games, and “Night at the Museum Bingo”. This is a PG movie and may not be appropriate for all children. A pizza dinner will be served. Ages 5 and up
    $24  Members and $34 Guests. Register here. Location: 351 San Andreas Dr, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Free Movies at Old Mill Park
    Mill Valley
    Friday, 8 pm (starts at dusk)

    Bring your family, blankets, low beach chairs, flashlights and picnics and enjoy this free movie in the park: Beauty and the Beast (live action). Location: 352 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Fall Family Fun Runs in Marin and the Bay Area

September 7, 2017

Marin Turkey Trot
Work up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner at the Marin Turkey Trot on November 23.

Running is a fantastic way for the whole family to get outside, get fit together, and enjoy the beauty of the Bay Area. Families have plenty of opportunities to race together in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area this fall, from family fun runs and walks to cross-country half-marathons! There's something for every fitness and experience level.

September

Clo-Cow Half Marathon

Sunday, September 17
Downtown Petaluma

The 7th running of the Clo-Cow Half Marathon & 5K takes place in Historic Downtown Petaluma. This beautiful half-marathon course takes you through rural Sonoma County farm country, over rolling hills where you'll be cheered on by sheep, horses, and of course cows! The trip out there is a challenging one, but the inclines just make the views even more rewarding! Find event details and registration here.

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