Spring has sprung at the Marin Art and Garden Center and Pixie Park’s Spring Fair is about to bloom! In fact the Fair has blossomed at MAGC each year for the last 58 years making its occurrence almost a rite of spring. While many generations of Marinites have enjoyed the Spring Fair, you don’t have to be from Marin to soak in its nostalgia. Kids of all ages are welcome to step back in time and explore the Fair’s Candy Land, Autopia, and Tot Town. The fair also offers families rides on an old-time train, storytelling performances, and a petting farm. Admission is free so there is really no reason not to make Pixie Park’s Spring Fair a new family tradition.
Get your tickets for the Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24, 2016. There will be two sittings for this one-of-a-kind tea party, at noon and 3 pm, each day.
Join Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse for this whimsical Wonderland tea party, complete with tea sandwiches, beverages, and dessert. The company of characters in original costumes, from the Stark Ravens Historical Players, will entertain and make the little ones giggle and dream as they sip their hot chocolate. Falkirk’s beautiful and elegant Victorian setting is the perfect place for this fanciful spring tea party.
The cost is $27.50 for adults, $22.50 for children, or $48 for an adult and child. Admission includes all the food you can eat and a goodie bag for each child. Bring your camera for photos opportunities! Reservations are required; call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.
Springtime is a perfect time to take a family hike at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve near Tiburon. The preserve's renowned wildflower display will soon be in full swing (it's simply stunning), and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, and the entire Bay Area. It's one of our all-time favorite family hikes.
Right now, you'll see California poppies, yellow lupines, buttercups, white and purple Douglas iris, and other colorful flowers coming into bloom. If you haven't been to Ring Mountain, it's definitely worth a visit. It's especially lush this spring after all the rain we've been having lately. Make sure you bring a camera—it's a great place for a family photo.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Karen Horton, M.D., Marin mom and board-certified plastic surgeon.
Spring is finally here! While it has been an unseasonably warm Bay Area winter, we will soon spend more time outdoors with our families. This means greater exposure to the elements and the sun. While some sunshine is important for natural vitamin D production by the body, limiting unexposed UV radiation is vital to skin health! The sun contains three wavelengths of ultraviolet energy: UVA and UVB cause free radical damage and aging of the skin, while highest energy UVC rays are increasingly allowed into our atmosphere as the ozone layer becomes depleted.
Sun damage is cumulative in our lifetime, meaning small changes in our cells occur yearly starting in childhood and add up over time with years of sun exposure. Damage to DNA in deep skin cells is usually not evident until our 30s and 40s, when women often "wake up" to changes in their skin become more interested in sun prevention and skin care. Pigmentation changes such as "hyperpigmentation" (brown spots) and freckles, white spots, "telangiectasias" or spider veins (broken surface blood vessels), fine lines, wrinkles, decreased collagen and loss of skin elasticity are all consequences of chronic sun damage.
Get a jump on the spring season with this ladybug craft made from a recycled egg carton. These ladybugs are adorable, easy to make, and of course environmentally friendly. Use colorful paints to brighten and make these cool ladybugs standout. My daughter loves to make this craft with our old egg cartons and then use her ladybugs to decorate her bedroom windowsill.
Supplies you'll need:
Empty egg carton
Black pipe cleaners
Small or medium black pom poms
Small wiggle eyes
Crayola or other watercolor kids paints in black and other colors
Come celebrate spring at the San Francisco Zoo! The annual crowd pleaser Big Bunny’s Spring Fling takes place on Easter weekend, March 30 and 31, from 11 am to 3 pm. This fun event features a meet and greet with Quicky the Nestlé NESQUIK Bunny, puppet shows, crafts, play time with Princess Honey Bunny, an Alice in Wonderland-themed nature trail walk, a barnyard stampede, a chick hatchery tour, and a duck pond feeding. With the help of the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control, visitors can also have up-close encounters with live bunnies.
In April, the zoo holds an Earth Day celebration on Sunday, April 21, from 10 am–3 pm. The theme for this event is “Slow Down for the Planet." Families are encouraged to visit and “get back to basics.” Visit the Nature Exploration Zone and get your hands dirty creating art and building play structures and forts using natural items such as sticks and leaves, enjoy climate change “Power Down” keeper talks and activity stations, and meander through Greenie’s Conservation Garden.
These decorative sand-covered flower vases are a perfect craft for spring. They're easy to make, and look really beautiful, especially placed by a window where they catch the light. My daughter was so proud of her colorful creatiions. Use them to hold daffodils or other bright spring flowers.
Raid your recycling bin and find some containers like glass or even plastic jars and bottles for this craft. You'll also need colored sand, white glue (like Elmer's), a paint brush, and paper plates. We found colored sand at Michael's, but most craft or art supply stores should have it.
Pour sand on paper plates, and "paint" the outside of your jar or bottle with white glue. You can also paint patterns like dots and swirls with the glue to create special decorative effects.
Now that spring is here, work with your children to create some beautiful seasonal crafts to decorate your home. One of our favorite spring crafts this season is these charming butterflies made from things you probably have on hand at home: old magazine pages and 12-inch pipe cleaners. This craft is best done by children of kindergarten age and up, as it involves some coordination and folding skills and might be difficult for younger children.
To make these butterflies, cut out colorful pages from magazines (instead of just throwing them in the recycling bin), and cut out two squares: one four-inch and one five-inch. Turn squares diagonally (like a diamond), and fold in 1/4-inch accordion pleats.
Bend a pipe cleaner in half and twist the folded end so it makes a loop. Pinch the middle of each square together, and carefully place them between the two arms of the pipe cleaner, with the smaller four-inch square on the bottom. Hold everything in place by twisting the ends of the pipe cleaner and pressing the loop flat. The two pipe cleaner ends can now be curled into antennae.
In case you haven't noticed, it's strawberry season, and the delicious red berries and popping up in farmers' fields and markets all over. We've been getting especially sweet and tasty strawberries from vendors at the Marin Civic Center farmer's market, as well as at local stores. Recently, we found ourselves with a surplus of strawberries, and wondered momentarily what to do with them. Fortunately, an answer was immediately at hand—strawberry pie.
Unlike our equally delicious strawberry rhubarb pie, this refrigerated pie requires little baking or cooking, and is something that the kids can help with in the kitchen safely and easily. Here's what you'll need: