The amazing Christmas House at West End Nursery in San Rafael is now open.
Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.
Friday, November 11 (Veterans Days)
NPS Free Entrance Days
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley
Friday, 8 am–sunset
Visit Muir Woods and its majestic redwoods for free on Veterans Day! For more info, visit their website.
Christmas House at West End Nursery
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. Read about our visit here. Location: 1938 5th Avenue. For more info, visit their website.
Learn to Ride
Stafford Lake Park, Novato
Friday, 9–11 am
Learn to ride pump tracks and rollers with a ranger at the Stafford Lake Bike Park. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Wear comfortable athletic clothing and sturdy shoes. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at this park. Rain will cancel. Questions: Contact Supervising Ranger Adam Craig at (415) 897-0618. Park entrance is waived for participants. Location: 3549 Novato Boulevard, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
Holiday Ice Skating in Union Square
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: $11 for adults, 7 children 8 and under. Skate rental $6. Information: (415) 781-2688 or visit their website.
Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink
Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco
Friday & Saturday, 10 am–11:30 pm and Sunday, 10 am–9:30 pm
The Bay Area's largest outdoor ice rink offers 90-minute skating sessions Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 9:30 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 11:30 pm. Admission is $11 for adults and $7 for children ages 7 and under; skate rental is $5. They also offer group rates, as well as birthday parties and private rentals. For more info, call 415) 837-1931 or visit their website.
Free Day: Charles Schulz Museum
Friday, 10 am–5 pm
Enjoy free admission all day in honor of Veterans Day and Charles Schulz's birthday month. Location: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. For more info, visit their website.
Mediterranean Holiday Bazaar
Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, Novato
Friday, noon–7 pm & Saturday, 9 am–7 pm
This 2nd annual Mediterranean Holiday Bazaar is hosted by the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church in Novato. The event will be held on the church's campus on Highland Drive, the same venue as the annual Marin Greek Festival, This holiday shopping event will showcase the work of over 30 local Bay Area artisans. Location: 1110 Highland Drive, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
Marin on Ice
Northgate Mall, San Rafael
Friday, 2–10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
This Saturday, Marin on Ice opens for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
Friday Nights at the de Young
de Young Museum, San Francisco
Friday, 5–8:45 pm
Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. For more info, visit their website.
Kids' Pajama Party with Elisa Kleven
DIESEL, A Bookstore, Larkspur Landing
Friday, 6–6:30 pm
Pull on your PJs and bring your teddy bear to the bookstore! Author/illustrator Elisa Kleven will be here to read you a bedtime story from The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy: A San Francisco Story. Get cozy, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed. Then head home for bed. Free. For more info, visit their website.
Sonoma Evening Nature Hike
General Vallejo Home, Sonoma
Friday, 7 pm
Come out and explore the trail at dusk with the Sonoma Petaluma Parks Association. Interpretation will focus on local wildlife and nocturnal animals. This is a one mile, slow-paced hike with minor elevation change. Sturdy shoes and water recommended. Meet at the Vallejo Home parking lot. All ages, free of charge. Location: 363 3rd Street West, Sonoma. For more info, visit their website.
The Berkeley Playhouse: Disney's Beauty and the Beast
The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley
Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 1 & 6 pm, Sunday, noon & 5 pm
Location: 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley. Tickets: $25–40. For more info, visit their website.
Marilyn Izdebski Productions Presents Gypsy
The Playhouse San Anselmo
Friday, 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 & 7:30 pm and Sunday, 1 pm
Start the holiday season with the whole family to this classic American musical. Performed by young people from throughout Marin County, is directed and choreographed by Marilyn Izdebski with musical direction by Judy Wiesen. No babies or children under three pls. Tickets: $15. Puchase tickets here. All tickets must be picked up from will call 10 minutes prior to performance. For ages 3 and up. Location: 27 Kensington Rd., San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.
Saturday, November 12
Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
Saturday, 9 am–2 pm
Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm, crafts by SCRAP from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from 11 am–12:30 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
Pizza Party on Horse Hill
Horse Hill Open Space Preserve, Mill Valley
Saturday, 9 am–1 pm
Help pull broom and sow native grass seed on Horse Hill. Participants will get a chance to meet the horses up close. The work requires considerable strength and stamina. OK for volunteers as young as 5 if teamed with a parent or guardian. Dress in layers you can get dirty, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. Snacks, lunch, and extra water will be provided. RSVP’s are appreciated but not required: (415) 473-3778. For more info, visit their website.
Free Storytelling Series
Marin Waldorf School, San Rafael
Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am
Bring the kiddos ages 3–6 years to this free storytelling series at Marin Waldorf School in San Rafael. This is free and open to the public. Please arrive early-story starts promply at 9:30 am. Location: 755 Idylberry Road San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-8190 or visit their website.
Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, Mill Valley
Saturday, 10 am–3 pm
There will be hand made gifts, food, baked goods, a children's boutique, children's activities, music, and more. Location: 410 Sycamore Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, call (415) 388-4456 or visit their website.
Free Junior Chef Class - Thanksgiving Helper: Pumpkin Pie!
Williams-Sonoma, Corte Madera
Saturday, 10 am
If dessert is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast, this is the class for you! Join us and learn how to bake an amazing pumpkin pie that your family and friends will love. Suitable for ages 8-13. Call the store to reserve your spot (415) 924-6799. Location: The Village at Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
Kindermusik Saturday Playdate
Saturday, 10–10:45 am
Join us with your baby, toddler or preschool for a fun-filled morning of singing, dancing, instrument play and fun with props like parachute, scarves & balls! Cost: $20 one child, $30 (2) siblings, $35 (3) siblings. Location: 1530 Center Rd #12, Novato. Register online here. For more info, visit their website.
Creative Family Fun: Art Celebrating Our Veterans
Presidio Officers Club, San Francisco
Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–1 pm
For this special Veterans Day Creative Family Fun event, drop in and create artwork celebrating the spirit of community and service. Open to kids of all ages. Registration not required, but preferred. For more info, visit their website.
Pixie Park Open House
Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross
Saturday, 10:30 am–noon
Open Houses are a great way to learn about the history of Pixie Park and what it means to belong to this co-op playground. The new member open house is conducted in a casual environment where you can speak to a board member about the benefits and responsibilities of being a Pixie family, as well as ask questions and meet other prospective families. After learning about the park, interested families can sign-up and receive their key. Location: 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross. For more info, visit their website.
San Rafael Public Library
Saturday, 11 am
Come to the San Rafael Library for STEAM powered stories, rhymes, songs, crafts, experiments, and sensory experiences for preschool children ages 3–6 and their caregivers. Registration required: register at the children’s reference desk or call at (415) 485-3322. Location: 1100 E Street, San Rafael. For more info, visit their website.
"Art From the Heart" Trunk Show
Twin Cities Community Preschool
Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
"Art from the Heart" is an annual trunk show hosted by Twin Cities Community Preschool for local moms to showcase their small businesses. We will have unique jewelry, clothing, pottery, gifts, and wreaths for purchase - just in time for the holidays. There will be beverages and nibbles as you shop. Please invite a friend and enjoy an hour or two away from the kids for this unique Holiday shopping experience. Location: Twin Cities Community Preschool 56 Mohawk Ave, Corte Madera. For more info, visit their website.
Clay Gingerbread House Building Workshop
Saturday, 1–4 pm
Our 9th Annual Gingerbread House Workshop for ages 7+ (children younger are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult). Create your own gingerbread house that with last for several years to come. The cost covers all supplies, tools, instructions, and enough clay to build a 8-10" tall clay gingerbread house, and an additional visit to the studio for glazing (at the customer's convenience). Cost: $55 per house. Register online here. Location: 1133 Grant Avenue, Downtown Novato. For more info, visit their website.
Lighting of the Sonoma Plaza
Downtown Sonoma Square
Saturday, 4–8 pm
Experience Sonoma Valley California as we celebrate the fourth annual Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza. Enjoy 8-acres of 100,000+ sparkling lights + music + holiday treats!! Free to the public and family friendly. Music starts at 5 pm, with performances starting at 5:45 pm. Bring a picnic, including wine and beer! Location: Downtown Sonoma Plaza. For more info, visit their website.
Family Halloween Events in Marin & the Bay Area
Easter Egg Hunts in Marin & the Bay Area
Marin Family Weekend Fun for February 5, 6 & 7
Marin Family Weekend Fun for October 7, 8 & 9
Marin Weekend Family Fun for May 13, 14 & 15