Summer

Awesome Ice Cream Shops in Marin & Beyond

June 18, 2017

Lala's Creamery Petaluma

Ice cream is one of those foods that's synonymous with summer, although it's pretty wonderful at any time of year! On a hot day, there's not much better than getting a big scoop of your favorite ice cream on a waffle cone. To help you find that summer joy, we've put together this guide to our favorite ice cream scoop shops in Marin County (and we've thrown in a couple of our Sonoma County favorites that are worth the trip, too).

Here they are, arranged from south to north. Many of these shops are family owned and operated, but we've included a few of the popular chains, too.

Summer Swim Lessons in Marin

June 13, 2017

Summer swim lessons

Summer is here and one of the season's time honored traditions for children is swimming lessons. Not only are swimming lessons a fun way to get some exercise and cool off on a hot summer day, but knowing how to swim is essential from a safety standpoint.

Below is our list of local Marin County providers of swimming lessons for children. Although many of the facilities listed are private clubs, unless otherwise indicated, all locations offer public lessons open to all. Most programs require pre-registration; follow the links or call to sign up or for more information.

Kentfield:

Larkspur:

Summer Challenge for Kids and Teens at the Marin County Library!

June 10, 2017

Kids Summer Challenge Marin Library 

It's hard to believe that it's already the end of the school years. You can keep the learning—and fun—alive this summer by participating in the Marin County Free Library's 2017 summer learning program. To participate in the Kids Summer Learning Challenge, all you have to do is visit your local branch of the Marin County Free Library, pick up a summer reading folder, and start reading.

Young readers will earn a Book Buck for each 100 minutes that they read or are read to. Book Bucks can then be redeemed for a variety of prizes, and kids who complete the Learning Challenge will get a Gold Medal Reader button. Participants can also donate their Book Bucks to the library's Giving Program; this year the Friends of the Library will donate a dollar to Marin Foster Care Association for every Book Buck donated.

Teens can participate in the 2017 Teen Summer Challenge, where they can earn scratcher tickets by checking out books, writing book reviews, and attending teen events a the library. More visits to the library mean more chances to win!

Water Parks in the San Francisco Bay Area

June 6, 2017

Water World in Concord

It seems like one of the summer rites of passage is piling into the car and heading to a water park, preferably one with thrilling water slides, for a day of fun in the sun. If you grew up in Marin or the North Bay surely you spent a summer afternoon or two at the long-gone Windsor Water Works north of Santa Rosa.

Seven Sensational Summer Hikes for Families in Marin

June 4, 2017

Samuel P. Taylor

When it's summer and school's out, there's no better time to experience the outdoors in Marin County. Gather up the kids, lace up those hiking boots, fill your water bottles (very important in the summer heat!), slather on the sunscreen, and hit the trail.

All of these hikes are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, and many are manageable with a sturdy jogging-style stroller. We've included our favorite summer hikes from all parts of Marin.

Follow the links in the titles to read more about each hike. You can also visit our Outdoors page for more ideas for family hikes and outdoor adventures this summer.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Shaded by redwoods and nestled alongside a peaceful creek, this state park in West Marin is an ideal place for a hike and picnic when the weather's hot. It's also one of Marin's premiere camping spots, and has something to offer for everyone.

Inexpensive (or Free) Family Activities in the Bay Area for June

June 1, 2017

June is here, which means the end ofthe school year and summer vacation! It's time to start thinking of fun and affordable ways to keep the kids occupied when they're finally out of school. Fortunately, parents in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area will find plenty for kids to do!

Here are suggestions for great affordable summer activities and outings in Marin and the Bay Area taking for each day in the month of June. From hiking to swimming to movies to concerts, everything listed here is inexpensive or even free. You don't have to break the bank to have a great time!

All Month

Summer Reading Challenge
Marin County Free Library Branches

Join the Summer Challenge for Kids & Teens at the Marin County Public Libraries. Kids earn a Book Bucks for every 100 minutes of reading which can be redeemed for a variety of prizes. Kids who complete the Learning Challenge wil receive a Gold Medal Reader button. Teens can earn scratcher tickets by checking out books, writing book reviews, and attending teen events. Check with your local library branch for details.

Thursday, June 1

Presidio Twilight
San Francisco Presidio
5–9 pm
Presidio Twilight is the Bay Area's largest community campfire! Enjoy a large selection of international cuisine from the food trucks of Off the Grid, live music, sunset activities, and the ambiance of San Francisco’s national park for a one-of-a-kind experience. Lantern-lit cabanas and fire pits are available free on a first come, first-served basis. Additional activities include traditional games such as bean bag toss, hula hoops, and giant Jenga. More information.

Road Trip! Eight Exciting California Family Summer Getaways

May 22, 2017

Asilomar State Beach

School will be out and summer will be here before we know it! California offers countless opportunities for fantastic family getaways; after all, that's why millions of tourists visit our state every year. You don't have to endure and hours-long plane ride to visit some of the world's most beloved vacation destinations—many of them are right in our own backyard. Here are eight of our favorite family summer road trip destinations, ranging from beach towns to the High Sierra to an African wildlife preserve right in Sonoma County.

Summer County Fairs in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area

May 16, 2017

Marin County FairPhoto: Marin County Fair

Summer is almost here, and so are the San Francisco Bay Area's county fairs, which take place almost every week from June through August. In addition to our own fantastic Marin County Fair, which happens in San Rafael from June 30 through July 4, fairs take place in just about every county in the Bay Area. Your family can get its fill of fun all summer long with carnival rides, farm animals, concerts, competitions, games, performances, and much, much more! Each fair has its own unique offerings and fun activities for everyone.

Earth Day Craft for Kids: Make a Mini Terrarium

April 17, 2017

TerrariumsEarth Day is this Saturday, April 22. This fun and easy craft is a perfect Earth Day activity. My kids had a blast creating their own miniature gardens. It's fun to create your own world in a recycled glass container and decorate it with found materials. This project is great for all ages, with adult supervision, of course.

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