If you are looking for something festive to do with your kids in these final few days until Halloween - maybe something a little bit spooky, sweet, something to elicit giggles and gasps - our family-friendly county of Marin is abundant with options. And it's nice that not only do they tend to be fun, but many are free to attend, including most of the ones listed below:
Farm-Hosted Pumpkin Patches
If you are up for a change in your pumpkin patch experience, and haven't been to one of the farm-hosted pumpkin patches, you should consider going to one. Your kids will be in for a treat, as they trade the bouncy house of parking lot-variety pumpkin patches for something different - a hay maze, hay ride, tractor ride and/or a giant haystack to climb on. Additionally, they may get to milk a cow, or pet other farm animals (don't forget the hand wipes or sanitizer), and perhaps enjoy deliciously creamy homemade ice cream! Of course, you and/or your kids are also likely to get to pick your own pumpkins right from the vine or growing area.
Here are two such pumpkin patches (the amenities vary, so click the names to learn more about their specific offerings):
Peter Pumpkin Patch, Spring Hill Jersey Farm, 4235 Spring Hill Road, Petaluma, 707-762-3446. Open dawn-to-dusk. At this farm, you can also dig up your own red, white and/or purple potatoes - they are delicious!
Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch (after clicking, select "October" to scroll down to the event description), 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio, 415-662-9100. Open 10 am-6 pm. The patch is located a short distance north of the cute Nicasio center square.
Novato residents deserve some kind of prize for their holiday spirit! A couple of residents have apparently decorated their own homes elaborately for public enjoyment and trick-or-treating on Halloween night this year: 50 Laurie Drive (at Center Road) will be open from dusk to 9 pm and at Brookside and McClay roads, there is a haunted house that will be open from 5:30 pm until midnight.
What Novato is really famous for is its Christmas homes, so you'll have to remember to come back to see those in a couple of months!
Halloween sing-along at the Novato libraries
Most kids I know love to sing and Halloween songs have a way of livening things up! The sing-alongs take place on Wednesday October 27, 6:30-7:30 pm, at the Novato library and on Thursday, October 28, 6:30-7:30 pm at the South Novato libraries.
Halloween Spooktacular Storytime (scroll down until you get to the name of this event)
Novato Library, Monday, October 31, 7-7:30 pm; 1720 Novato Blvd, Novato, CA 94947. Kids are encouraged to wear a costume. This event is for kids 4 and over.
Winnie the Witch Puppet Show
Corte Madera Library, Wednesday, October 26th at 7 pm; 707 Meadowsweet, Corte Madera, CA 94925. Kids are encouraged to wear a costume. This event is for kids 4 and over.
Magic Circus Halloween Show at the Sausalito Library
October 27 at 4 pm, at City Hall, Council Chambers, 420 Litho Street, Sausalito; 289-4122. Open to kids of all ages.
Town-sponsored and organized events. It seems every one of Marin's towns has something planned, and in a coordinated fashion, so you can go to more than one or all of them, if you have the energy or maybe a sweet tooth! Here is a selection and they are listed in order of occurrence.
San Anselmo Goblin Parade, Wednesday, October 27th, from 5 - 7 PM. Starts at the US Bank building. For kids 7 and under.
Strawberry Halloween Faire, Friday, October 28th from
10:30 am-12 pm. Strawberry Recreation,
118 E. Strawberry Dr.,
Mill Valley, CA. 94941. For kids 6 and under. This one charges $8/child (adults are free).
Downtown Novato Trick-or Treating, Saturday, October 29, 11 am-2 pm. This event takes place along Grant Avenue.
Fourth Street Trick-or-Treating in downtown San Rafael, Saturday, October 29, 1-2:30 pm. You can start trick-or-treating at either the San Rafael City Plaza or the West-End Village. Enter the costume party at 2 pm at City Plaza! Check out the nearby haunted house at St. Raphael's school at 1100 Fifth Avenue (goes from 11-3). San Rafael is encouraging a green Halloween.
Sausalito Halloween Parade and Haunted House, Monday, October 31st, 5:45 pm-8 pm. The parade begins at the Fire Station at 33 Johnson and Caledonia Streets. Parking is always tricky, but this might be a good time to check the free smartphone app, Parker, that apparently will tell you where there's an empty space!
This is but a selection of events, culled from a number of resources, including the Ross Valley Mother's Club newsletter, the Marin Mommies website (a wonderful, informative site for things to do in Marin) and the Marin Independent Journal.
However you decide to spend your Halloween weekend, may it be a fun and safe time for you and your families!
HEIDI PHAN-PETERSON, Realtor, MBA
Marin Modern Real Estate
Modern Representation for Modern Times
DRE # 01324327