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Celebrate Fall in Tiburon with Blackie's Hay Day

September 21, 2017

Bring your family to come celebrate fall this Saturday, September 23, from 10 am to 4 pm at Blackie's Hay Day. This annual fundraiser and community tradition is reminiscent of an old-fashioned country fair and helps raise money for children's and teen programs at the Belvedere-Tiburon Library.

Get Ready for the Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

September 19, 2017

Goblin Jamboree

Come get a jump on Halloween at the 31st annual Goblin Jamboree fundraiser at the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Bring your little goblins to this year’s spooky family event on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 from 10 am to 4 pm. This year’s theme is "Witches and Wizards" and they have put together a cauldron of spooky themed programs and activities to entertain your entire family.

Ride a train or real ponies, create your own wand and potions, make your way through a broom obstacle course and some hay mazes, play with glow-in-the-dark trains in the Bay Hall, explore the spooky sticker room, and and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment. This year's event will feature live musical performances from the JimBo Trout, Juice and Jelly, and Beau Mathews. This event is the perfect Halloween party for kids ages 6 months to 10 years.

Marin and Sonoma Pumpkin Patches 2017

September 19, 2017

Fall is almost here, and for those seeking that true Halloween pumpkin patch experience, here's our annual guide to pumpkin patches in Marin and southern Sonoma counties. Most pumpkin patches open in late September or early October.

In Marin County, Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch offers a real on-the-farm experience and the Godmother's Pumpkin Patch at St. Vincent's is a local tradition and an exciting Halloween experience for families. For more real live farms offering pumpkin patches this season, head up north a short distance to rural Sonoma County, where you'll find them in relative abundance. We visited as many of these pumpkin patches as we could last year, and have posted links to our reviews of them below.

We've included dates and hours for pumpkin patches when available. Hours are correct as of the time of publishing, but it's still a good idea to check a pumpkin patch's website or give them a call before you go in case anything changes. As a rule, most pumpkin patches are open during the whole month of October, although a few open in late September. Pumpkin patches listed here are open through October 31 unless otherwise indicated.

Pumpkin Patches Further Afield

September 19, 2017

Pumpkin Patch

While there are plenty of awesome pumpkin patches to choose from in Marin and southern Sonoma counties (see our list of those here), you can find other great places to pick up pumpkins and other Halloween and autumn treats throughout the greater Bay Area. Maybe you're headed on a road trip to the south bay, or bound for the grandparents' house in Sacramento this October—there's probably a pumpkin patch on the way. Here are a few out-of-town pumpkin patches, in Solano, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties, that we've visited at one time or another or had recommended to us.

Get Your Tickets Now for Pumpkins on Pikes at Tara Firma Farms

September 18, 2017

Pumpkins on Pikes at Tara Firma Farms In addition to producing healthy and sustainable local food, Petaluma's Tara Firma Farms also puts on fantastic family-friendly events throughout the year. This fall, their annual Pumpkins on Pikes event continues this tradition. Come on out to the farm for Halloween fun with pumpkin carving, live music, dancing, a corn maze, BBQ and more.

Pumpkins on Pikes takes place on Saturday, October 28, from 2 to 10 pm. Bring your pumpkin carving tools, blankets and coats to stay warm after dark, a sheet to cover hay bales for seating, and favorite treat for the dessert potluck. Free pumpkins for carving will be provided with admission. The carved pumpkins are placed on pikes out in the cornfield, and when the sun goes down, the pumpkins are lit. It's an amazing spectacle! A BBQ dinner will be available for purchase $10 a plate at the event.

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?

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.

Fantastic Family-Friendly Labor Day Recipes

September 4, 2017

Chicken skewers

Today is Labor Day, and what could be more traditional for this last gasp of summer than a backyard BBQ? We've put together a selection of our most popular family-friendly grilling recipes, along with a few great summer sides, desserts, and other treats. So fire up the grill and cook a feast for family and friends today!

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