Ice Skating Fun at Snoopy's Home Ice in Santa Rosa

January 2, 2018

Snoopy's Home Ice Redwood Empire Ice Arena

One of our must-do family tradions during the holidays is to visit Snoopy's Home Ice, as well as the Charles M. Schulz Museum right next door. The arena was a gift to the North Bay community from the late Santa Rosa resident and Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, and has been going strong since 1969.

Family Friendly New Year's Eve Events in Marin and the Bay Area

December 30, 2017

New Year's Even Bell Ringing Asian Art MuseumWelcome in the New Year by ringing a 16th-century Japanese temple bell at the Asian Art Museum.

Say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in the New Year at one of these family friendly events taking place in Marin and elsewhere in the Bay Area. Many of these celebrations take place earlier in the day or evening on December 31 so little ones can get a taste of New Year's Eve fun without staying up past their bedtimes. Unless otherwise noted, all these events take place on New Year's Eve, Sunday, December 31, 2017.

Candy Cane Red Velvet Roulade from Chef George Ennis and Whole Foods Market

December 21, 2017

Red Velvet Roulade

Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Whole Foods Market and Chef George Ennis. Make sure you check our Chef George's food blog at for other great recipes, reviews, and more!

The holiday season has always been a favorite time of year for me. There’s something about the combination of brisk walks during early evenings, houses outfitted with blinking lights while ornament-adorned trees poke out from behind curtains, and the smell of wood smoke wafting from chimneys. The season evokes vivid memories of wrapping paper-filled garbage bags, and stockings hanging on the mantle, overflowing with candy canes.

Merry Days, Holly Nights, and Family Fun at Squaw Valley

December 19, 2017

Holidays squaw valley village

Last weekend, we paid a visit to one of our favorite places in California, Squaw Valley, to check out their Merry Days & Holly Nights holiday festivities and winter fun for families. We had a great time, and with the holiday decor and activities, we really felt like we were in a Christmas wonderland!

Squaw Valley, which was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, is of course well known for its skiing and snowboarding, but offers other family winter fun like tubing and mini snowmobiles. Merry Days & Holly Nights brings Santa Claus himself to Squaw Valley, along with holiday performances and activities, throughout the month of December for wintertime magic.

Some of Our Favorite Family Holiday Movies

December 19, 2017

Christmas Movie Collage

During the holidays, we're inundated with Christmas-themed movies and TV specials of all different kinds. But what's really worth spending your time watching? Being something of a family of movie buffs, we decided to put together our list of favorite holiday movies and specials, so here are seven seasonal offerings that we think are worth repeat watching each December. You can find all of these films on DVD or Blu-ray at the Marin County Free Library.

Family Holiday Fun at Novato's Sundays on Sherman: Winter Edition

December 16, 2017

Sundays on Sherman: Winter Edition Downtown Novato

Sundays on Sherman: Winter Edition takes place this Sunday, December 17, from 11 am to 5 pm on Sherman Avenue and Novato City Hall in downtown Novato. Sundays on Sherman is a chance for community members of all ages to come participate in all kinds of unstructured play.

This edition of Sundays on Sherman brings ice skating to downtown Novato! Skating begins at 11:10 am and costs $5 You can register in advance for your preferred time slot, and spots are available for walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis. Resigter for your spot in advance here. Note that children must be at least 4 years old and 42 inches tall to skate.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for December 15–17

December 15, 2017

Mickey Mouse Christmas House MarinwoodThe San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker is a wondrful family holiday tradition.

Other Holiday Happenings: holiday ice skating, visit with Santa Claus, North Bay Christmas Tree Farms and Lots, festive holiday teas, holidays in San Francisco, and visit one of Marin's Amazing Lighted Houses

Friday, December 15

  • Christmas House at West End Nursery
    San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 am–5 pm, Sunday 9 am–4 pm

    Get in the holiday spirit and visit the amazing Christmas House at San Rafael's West End Nursery. This magical setting includes lights, decorated trees, and more. It's a holiday must-visit in Marin. Free admission; ornaments and decor are for sale. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. Event details.
  • Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
    San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–11:30 pm

    Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. 90-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission: $18 for adults (includes skates), $13 for children 8 and under. For info, call (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
  • Children’s Magical Tea
    Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, noon–4 pm

    Magical Holiday Tea is open to kids and adults of all ages, and features Raul the Master Balloonatic, Face Painting by Drea, Wendy the Whimsical Elf, and a Cookie Decorating Station. Santa will visit on Saturdays, too! $75 per person; $70 with toy donation to the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive. Advance reservations required: (415) 616-6941. Location: 999 California Street. Event details.
  • Film: Lady and the Tramp
    Walt Disney Museum, San Francisco
    Friday & Sunday, 1–2:30 pm

    When a pampered pooch living in luxury with her human family crosses paths with a fun-loving stray from the wrong side of the tracks, she finds exciting new adventures and a little romance await her just outside of her comfort zone. Join us for this heart-warming classic just in time for the holidays. (Run time: 76 minutes). Cost: $5 members or with general admission, $10 adults, $8 student and youth. Purchase tickets here. Location:104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio, San Francisco. Event details.
  • San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
    War Memorial Opera House

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 & 7 pm
    San Francisco Ballet’s awe-inspiring production is like no other, with colorful, larger-than-life scenery, over 200 dazzling costumed characters, and of course Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score performed live by the world-class San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Ticket prices start at $59. For more info, call (415) 865-2000 or visit their website.
  • Holiday Party! (ages 0–6)
    Sing Dance Play, Novato
    Friday, 3:30–6 pm

    Celebrate the holidays, Music Together style! Musical play, followed by unstructured play for the whole family, geared toward children under 6. Refreshments provided. Open Play members are free; otherwise $10 per family at the door. Location: 5420 Nave Drive, Novato. Event details.
  • Holiday Sing-Along at the Presidio Officers' Club  
    Presidio Officers' Club, San Francisco
    Friday, 6–7 pm

    Gather around the piano to share music and holiday cheer, led by performers from 42nd Street Moon. Experience wonderful seasonal favorites! Festive drinks from Arguello restaurant will be available for purchase.
    This event is free but due to space constraints registration is required.  Event details.
  • Zoo Lights
    San Francisco Zoo
    Friday–Sunday, 5–8 pm

    Come enjoy the San Francisco Zoo at night under magical holiday lights. Shop at the all-new Holiday Marketplace, see the reindeer romp, enjoy hot apple cider and cocoa at Cafe Playfield, and hum along to seasonal music as you play in the Elinor Friend Playground. Adults $10, kids 14 and under $8, kids 3 and under: free. Parking $8. For more information, visit their website.
  • Zoo Lights
    Oakland Zoo
    Friday–Sunday, 5:30–9 pm,
    Soar over the Oakland hills in our festively-lit gondolas and see the entire Bay Area like never before! Check out the cool new laser light shows, candy cane lane-themed Adventure Landing with rides your kids will love, an adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees and a music-themed light show. Santa will be here from 6-9 pm this weekend too. ZooLights is a separate event and is not included in regular Zoo Admission. $10 adults, $9 children 2–14 and seniors 65+, free for children under 2 and adults over 80. Event details.
  • Holiday Movie Night: Elf
    Diesel, A Bookstore, Larkspur
    Friday, 6 pm

    Meet us at the Mart to get in the holiday spirit with a screening of Elf! Enjoy complimentary hot cider or hot chocolate from Fisher's Cheese & Wine and settle in for a treat of a movie night at our favorite bookstore, Diesel. Event details.
  • Rombeiro Christmas House
    Devonshire Drive, Novato

    Friday–Sunday, 6–10 pm
    Their home is something that truly has to be seen to be believed, and photos don't really do it justice. There are something like 140,000 lights as well as countless figurines, dioramas, and decorations adorning the front and side yards, walls, and roof of the Rombeiro house. If you think the outside is impressive, then you need to go on inside and get a healthy dose of Christmas spirit. You'll find model trains, more figurines, Christmas trees, and the biggest lighted holiday village you've ever seen. Location: 34 Devonshire Drive, off of Center Road, Novato. For more info, read about our visit here.

Christmas in Marinwood: The Nisja Bear House

December 15, 2017

The Nisja Bear House Marinwood Christmas

Marin is home to many communities that really go above and beyond the call of duty when getting into the holiday spirit, and of all the places in the county I think Marinwood, the neighborhood sandwiched between Novato and San Rafael, has the most decorated holiday houses per capita!

It's only natural then that one of our all-time favorite Christmas houses happens to be located in Marinwood: the Nisja Bear house, which has been delighting Marin and Bay Area families for well over three decades. Every year there's something new to look at, and plenty of old favorites to visit again. The 2017 holiday season will be the last one for the Bear House in Marin, so make sure you experience it while you can!

10 Fun Outing Ideas for Winter Break

December 14, 2017

Tubing in Tahoe

Winter Break is almost here! While you'll probably spend plenty of time with family and friends for Christmas, you'll also need to keep the little ones occupied, and there are plenty of fun things to do in and around Marin with the kids during their time off! Check out our list of 10 fun family activities and outings, both indoor and outdoor, for winter break.

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