My family loves to go to the beach, and there are plenty of places to do this in and around Marin. While many of the beaches along the Pacific Ocean are unsuitable for swimming, there are also many beaches that are ideal spots for swimming, wading, and splashing in the water, especially on warm summer (and also spring and fall) days. Here are some of our favorites. Click on the links for more info.
A one-and-a-half mile hike takes you over bridges and sand dunes to this beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore. It's home to many shorebirds, including the endangered snowy plover. A great beach for playing in the sand, but not for swimming due to dangerous surf and rip currents.
The San Francisco Zoo and Gardens celebrates Mother's Day, with free admission for all moms. All moms who come to the zoo with their children this Sunday, May 8, 2016, will receive one free admission.
Come visit some of the zoo's new animal moms, like Barbro the giraffe, pictured here with her daughter Ingrid, Evita the giant anteater, and Sukari the African lion. Ingrid the baby giraffe was born just last month!
Mother's day guests at the zoo will also enjoy Baby Loves Disco, a daytime disco dance party for kids, which takes place on the Elinor Friend Playground from 11 am to 3 pm. This fun interactive activity also includes arts and crafts, face painting, and more.
For more info on the zoo's Mother's Day celebration and other fun family programs, visit www.sfzoo.org.
Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this Mother's Day weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.
Also, make sure you check our our guides to family-friendly Mother's Day brunches in Marin. Happy Mother's Day!
Friday, May 6
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. Recommended for children 7 and under. Drop in any time. Cost: $15 for one child & $10 per each additional child siblings under 7 months free For more info, call (415) 652-2474 or visit his website.
Fiddler on the Roof
The Playhouse in San Anselmo Friday & Saturday, 7:30 pm, Sunday, 2 pm
The Stapleton Theatre Company presents Fiddler on the Roof. Kid-friendly. Tickets: $22 adults, student $16. Purchase tickets here. For more information, visit their website.
Family Film Night: The Good Dinosaur Presidio Community YMCA
Friday, 6–10 pm Bring your sleeping bags and camp out on the gym floor while you enjoy a fun free movie on a big screen. Free popcorn and It's It ice creams. Food available from Off the Grid at 6 pm, cartoon shorts at 6:30 pm and movie starts at 8 pm. The event is indoors at the Presidio Community Y Gymnasium, 63 Funston Avenue at Lincoln Boulevard in the Presidio. Stay warm and cozy with BYO blankets and cushions. For more info, visit their website.
Saturday, May 7
Marin Human Race 5K Race
Marin Center Fairgrounds and Lagoon
Saturday, 7–11 am
The Marin Human Race is the largest collaborative fundraiser in our county! Join over 3,000 Marin residents to run, walk, or roll the five-kilometer racecourse at Marin Center Fairgrounds and Lagoon. Enjoy a community fair highlighting local nonprofits and businesses, kids’ races, live music, pancake breakfast, complimentary refreshments, prizes, kids' fair with games and activities, giveaways and more. Location: 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
Petaluma Kids Gran Fondo
Lucchesi Park Community Center
Saturday, 9 am–1 pm The Petaluma Kids Gran Fondo gives youth and their families the opportunity to donate and/or fundraise for children with disabilities, local schools, and other groups. Individuals and families will celebrate together by biking, running, walking, skating, skateboarding, or rolling (wheelchairs) on one of the four course options. Participants will enjoy a complimentary lunch and a kids expo filled with bounce houses, a climbing wall, balance bike races, clowns/balloons, face painting, Three Twins ice cream, Clo the Cow, and much more. Registration fee: $10 per event. Location: 320 North McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.
Mother's Day at the Farmers Market
Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
Saturday, 9 am–2 pm In celebration of Mother's Day, join us for complimentary herbal tea, for cupcake decorating with Mom and to make a special card for her. Or toast Mom with a treat from the Farmers' Market Mimosa Bar! We’ll be pouring Champagne and mixing it with Pressed Juicery’s fresh-pressed orange juice. The bar is located beneath the Big Tent, so stop by from 10-2 for a mimosa or a glass of champagne. For more info, visit their website.
Novato Horsemens Arena
Saturday, 9 am–4 pm
See horse demonstrations, get to know local horse businesss, and more at this one-day equine expo. Free! Location: 600 Bugeia Lane, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
Children's Day Festival in Japantown
Japantown Peace Plaza, San Francisco
Saturday, 9 am–4 pm There will be entertainment, food and hands-on craft activities for children in recognition of Japan's national holiday to celebrate children. Free. Food available for purchase. Location: 1610 Geary Boulevard, Japan Center, Nihonmachi Mall, San Francisco. For more info call (415) 567-5505 or visit their website.
Flower Crowns for Mothers and Children Saturday, 10–11 am
UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
Come make a beautiful floral crown to wear with mom to celebrate Mother's Day. We'll use a variety of greenery and flowers to put together our crowns. A fun and festive way to spend the day! Sip some tea made from flowers while you craft away. Cost: $20 Adult, $20 Child, $18 Member Adult, $18 Member Child, $12 Additional Sibling or Parent Chaperone. Registration required here.
Mother's Day Art in the Park Saturday, 11 am–1 pm
McNears Beach Park, San Rafael
Don’t wait until the last minute; bring your kids out to McNears Beach Park to make something special for mom! Work with rangers to create your own piece of art to give to your mom on Mother's Day. This event is self-paced, and encourages creativity in the beautiful outdoors. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Meet at the South Shore Picnic Area. Park entrance fee waived for participants. Location: 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
Moms & Nature Hike Saturday, 11 am–12:30 pm
Point Bonita, Marin Headlands What's better than a giving the gift of nature and relaxation? Let's celebrate more than one mother: Mother Nature and you, your mother, or mother figure by stretching and strolling around the Headlands with one of our naturalists. Following the free program event, we serve a delicious, optional lunch in our popular dining hall where we serve local and organic food for only $10/adult and $5/children up to 12 years old. Learn more on their website.
Spend Mother's Day on a Goat Farm
Redwood Hill Farm, Sebastopol
Saturday & Sunday, 11 am–3 pm
Spend Mother's Day on a family-run goat farm in Sebastopol where you can sample yogurt and artisan cheese, see newborn kids, pet baby goats, climb hay bales, and more. Admission is free! Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery is located at 5480 Thomas Road in Sebastopol. Find out more on their website
STEAM Saturday: Building with the Three Little Pigs
San Rafael Public Library
Saturday, 11–11:45 am
STEAM powered stories, rhymes, songs, crafts, experiments, and sensory experiences for preschool children ages 3–6 and their caregivers. Please wear comfy clothes that are OK to get messy!Register at the Children’s Reference Desk, or at (415) 485-3322. Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
Castles and Kites 2016
Doran Beach, Bodega Bay
Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
Castles and Kites is an annual celebration of sandcastle building and kite flying at Doran Beach in Bodega Bay. At Castles and Kites, amateurs and experts are welcome to join in the fun. For kite flying, you can bring your own kite or sit back and watch others show off their kite-handling skills. For sandcastle building, free tools and molds are on loan from Sonoma Regional Parks, and long-time sand sculptors will be at work on elaborate creations. Castles and Kites is a spring tradition! Admission is free. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Location: 201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay. For more info, visit their website.
This Mother's Day, why not make an old school dessert for Mom—pineapple upside down cake. Pineapple upside down cake is really old school, dating back to the 1920s when canned pineapple from was introduced to the US market by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which would eventually become Dole Foods.
Featuring moist and light cake topped with sweet pineapple and a caramelized brown sugar topping, it's no wonder this dessert has been popular for nearly a century. In our recipe, we use fresh pineapple, but you can substitute canned if you don't want to mess around with cutting up and trimming a fresh one. It's equally good with both.
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8. Pack a picnic and celebrate Mom's day outdoors at one of the many great picnic spots in and around Marin and Sonoma County. Here are some of our favorite places to bring our lunch (or brunch) and dine al fresco. If you want some more ideas for fantastic Mother's Day activities and outings, read our article here.
Bear Valley in the Point Reyes National Seashore is home to the park's visitor center as well as a large picnic area complete with tables, restrooms, charcoal grills, and drinking water. Have a leisurely lunch outdoors, and then take a hike—there are a number of different hikes and walks you can do here that are suitable for everyone in the family, including the Earthquake Trail, the Bear Valley Trail, and the trail leading to the Morgan horse ranch. Read more about Bear Valley in our article here.
A leisurely Sunday brunch is a Mother's Day tradition for many, and you can find plenty of family friendly options in Marin here. If your family is the more adventurous type, however, why not check out some of these fun alternatives in Marin and the North Bay. From wineries to museums to hikes to BBQ's, there's plenty of fun to be had by all! Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 8, 2016.
Sunday, May 1, 12–2 pm
Stafford Lake Park, Novato Don’t wait until the last minute; bring your kids out to Stafford Lake Park to make something special for mom! Work with rangers to build a beautiful flower press. Dress for outdoor weather. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. We will provide supplies, smocks, and healthy snacks. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at this park. Please reserve your spot in advance, as this event is limited to 30 participants. Park entrance is waived for participants. Learn more on their website.
Mother's Day is coming up, and one of the traditions for this holiday is to make breakfast or brunch for Mom (serving it to her in bed is optional). Here's a selection of delicious and easy-to-make breakfast recipes that we've published here on Marin Mommies, all of which would be perfect for a Mother's Day breakfast! So go get Dad and the kids ready to cook something up in the kitchen early next Sunday morning…
A breakfast treat that's fun, delicious, and easy to make is the oven-puffed pancake or "Dutch baby". We like to incorporate fresh fruit into this big eggy pancake that you cook in a skillet in the oven. Let the kids beat the eggs and do the mixing, but a grownup should handle taking the hot skillet in and out of the oven. Try this version with fresh blackberries, or, for something really special, make this chocolate variation and top if with fresh sweet strawberries from the farmer's market.
French toast is our favorite way to use up leftover bread. Use any sort of crusty artisan bread in our recipe for French toast with homemade berry sauce. If you want to get really fancy with your French toast, check out this recipe from our friend Chef Scott Howard (formerly of Brick &
Mother’s Day is coming up, and one of my favorite gifts that I've received is this whimsical and beautiful heart brooch made from decorative buttons and gold paint. My son made one of these for me when he was in kindergarten, and I was amazed at how creative and sophisticated it looked. We even entered it in the kids’ jewelry design competition at the Marin County Fair where it won first place! Whenever I wear this brooch, I get compliments on it, and I’m sure most moms would love one of these for a Mother’s Day gift.
Fortunately, this craft is easy, fun, and inexpensive to make, so why not have the kids make one for Mom or Grandma this Mother's Day? All you need are a few supplies, many of which you may have on hand already, and otherwise can find at any craft or art supply store.
Our friend Chef Scott Howard, of Brick & Bottle restaurant in Corte Madera, offered us this fantastic family-friendly recipe for Mother's Day. This special version of French toast is something that kids can help prepare, and would make a great centerpiece to a Mother's Day brunch or breakfast.
If cooking (and cleaning up the kitchen) on Mother's Day is not your style, Brick & Bottle is offering a fantastic Mother's Day brunch buffet on Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm, featuring treats like smoked salmon, beet salad, eggs benedict, rotisserie leg of lamb, honey clove roasted ham, Scott's famous rum cake, and of course this brioche French toast.
Call Brick & Bottle at (415) 924-3366 for information and reservations, or visit www.brickandbottle.com. Brick & Bottle is located at 55 Tamal Vista Boulevard, in the Marketplace shopping center, in Corte Madera.