Family Getaways, Wine Country, Day Trips, Family Travel

Sonoma & Napa Wine Country Family Holiday Fun

November 13, 2017

Cornerstone Lighting of the Snowmen
Don't miss the annual Lighting of the Snowmen Holiday Festival at Cornerstone Sonoma

One of the benefits of living in the North Bay is having the Wine Country of Sonoma and Napa right in our own backyard. It's a short trip from Marin but a world away, especially during the holidays, when the area does itself up in style.

Here are some selected family-friendly holiday events and happenings in Sonoma and Napa, as well as a few of our favorite places to visit in the Wine Country. Some of these events require tickets or advance reservations, so make sure you check for availability before you go.

Sonoma Valley

Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza
Downtown Sonoma
Saturday, November 18, 5–8 pm

Experience Sonoma Valley and celebrate the fourth annual Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza. Enjoy 8-acres of 100,000+ sparkling lights plus music and holiday treats! Free to the public and family friendly. Bring a picnic, including wine and beer! For more info, visit their website.

Lake Tahoe Ski, Snowboard & Snow Play Family Fun

November 11, 2017

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

It's November, which means it's time to get ready for the start of ski and snow play season in Lake Tahoe! Many of Tahoe ski resorts have already announced their anticipated opening dates for the 2017–2018 season, and some are already open. Generally, big resorts with their own snow-making equipment open earlier in the season.

Magical Holiday Train Rides in the Bay Area and Northern California

October 29, 2017

Napa Valley Wine Train Santa Train
Photo: Napa Valley Wine Train

There's something magical about taking a special holiday outing with the family on a train! While the popular Polar Express train ride at the California State Railroad Museum sold out back at the beginning of October, you can still find plenty of other opportunities in the Bay Area and Northern California to celebrate the holidays on board a train, including the Polar Express Train Ride at Railtown 1897 in the Gold Country. But get your tickets as soon as you can—most of these rides will sell out.

Our Ultimate Guide to Family Ski and Snow Fun in Lake Tahoe

October 28, 2017

Ski Lesson Tahoe

With this year's abundance of snow, Tahoe has become the ultimate family getaway destination this winter! Get ready for winter and plan your ultimate Tahoe vacation with the help from our guide to family fun in the Sierra.

Whether you're skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or just looking to play around in the snow, there's something for you and your family in the mountains this winter.

Support Sonoma County by Visiting for Family Fun

October 24, 2017

Sonoma Plaza

While devastating fires that swept through Sonoma County last week may have been destructive, the area remains open for business. I know we're all looking for ways to help Marin's neighbors to the north in this time of need, and one of the things we can do is go there and patronize local restaurants, attractions, and businesses. Here's our rundown on family fun to be had in Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa in the wake of the fires.

Five Fantastic Fall California Getaways for Families

October 17, 2017

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Fall can be a fantastic time to travel in California, with less crowded destinations and wonderful weather, especially at the coasts. There's no shortage of fantastic destinations for families—from the Pacific to the Sierra mountains, there's something for the whole family! Here are our picks for five fantastic places to head to this fall, all of which are only a few hours away from Marin and the Bay Area.

Experience Life on the Farm at McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

September 26, 2017

McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

McClelland's Dairy is a family-run, certified organic dairy farm located just west of Petaluma, and their annual Halloween pumpkin patch just keeps getting better and better every year. McClelland's offers a lot of fun for families, especially if you are looking for a genuine farm experience. If you haven't been there yet, it's definitley worth putting on your fall family itinerary. Attractions and activities here range from a farm animal petting zoo and a look into the dairy's milking barn to a giant slide and obstacle course to a new Haunted Forest and an air-powered pumpkin cannon. You can hang out here and play all day!

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.

Easy and Healthy After School Snacks

September 15, 2017

Whole Foods after school snacks

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Whole Foods Market.

Kids running for the fridge as soon as their backpacks are off? These tasty after-school snacks are not only easy to prepare, they’re delicious and kid-approved!

Busy school days mean busy brains need a refresh. What better way than with a wholesome after-school snack? These snack recipes use familiar flavors (PB&J anyone?) prepared in new ways. From poppable bites to savory spreads, these snacks will satisfy any kid — or kid at heart.

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