Complete with beaches, hiking, biking, farmers’ markets and fun community events, summer in Marin County is a dream come true. But summer vacation is quickly coming to an end. To help you make the most of these last few weeks, we rounded up the essential, kid-friendly activities to cross off your summer bucket list in Marin County.
These include outdoor adventure, educational experiences and local events — so get ready for an exciting end to a fantastic summer.
Photo courtesy of Osher Marin JCC
Each summer, the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center hosts Summer Nights, an outdoor concert series in San Rafael offering fun for the whole family. Concerts take place on Saturday evenings from July through August at 7 p.m. and additionally attractions include local pop-up restaurants, snacks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, a Kid Zone and playground. Kids 17 and under are admitted for free and the last event of the summer is scheduled for August 3rd! For more details, click here.
The Bay Area Discovery Museum features seven exhibition spaces and daily drop-in programs for children between 6 months of age and 10 years old. Located in Sausalito on 7.5 acres of National Park land, the museum offers research-backed, STEM-focused, inquiry-driven experiences that encourage early learning and skill development. Check out the museum’s current exhibits here.
Photo courtesy of Bill Hunnewell © The Marine Mammal Center
Nestled in the Marin Headlands in the beautiful Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marine Mammal Center works to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. A visit during the summer means you can see some of the last northern elephant seals and harbor seal pups from the spring getting ready to return to the wild. Admission is free and the facility is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more details on your visit, click here.
With locations in San Rafael and south of the city in Redwood City, 101 Surf Sports is one of the Bay Area’s best water sports companies. From their shop on the water in San Rafael, they offer retail products, lessons and rentals to support stand up paddleboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, surfskiing and kiteboarding. Check out their event calendar here to see all upcoming classes, events and even specially designed kids camps!
The largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, Angel Island has a dense history that dates back to the Coast Miwok. Later, it became a safe refuge and supply stop for Spanish explorers, operated as a U.S. Immigration Station from 1910 to 1940, and a detainment center for Japanese and German POWs during World War II. In total, the island has over 100 years of military history and today, as a California State Park, the entire island is open to park guests. To get to the island, you’ll have to take a ferry—like Blue & Gold Fleet or Angel Island Tiburon Ferry. Then, the tours, the hikes, the bike rides and the 360-degree views await. With Angel Island Company, you can embark on a Segway Tour or a Tram Tour!
Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument is famous for its towering, old-growth redwood trees. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, the 550+ acres consists of more than 200 acres of redwood forests and a diverse array of plants and wildlife. The tallest tree on this land is 258 feet tall and most of the redwoods are between 500 and 800 years old!
The Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito is a free education center operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Here, their team maintains a working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Approximately 320-feet-by-400-feet, the model is made out of 286 five-ton concrete slabs and shows features that affect the water flow of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, like ship channels, rivers, piers and more. For more information on visiting, click here.
Explore Point Reyes National Seashore with Five Brooks Ranch.
At Five Brooks Ranch, the team specializes in guided trail rides through Point Reyes National Seashore so guests of all ages can explore more than 120 miles of trail on horseback. These trails can take you from forested mountain tops and grassy meadows to coastal scrub and white sand beaches. To learn more about guided trail rides, click here.
Photo courtesy of Marin Museum of Bicycling
Located in Fairfax, the Marin Museum of Bicycling is a premier bicycle history museum and cultural center, and it’s the home of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Their collection of bikes spans almost 200 years and bike displays include texts and photographs with a wealth of information. They have a growing library of cycling-related materials, a screening room showing a variety of cycling-related programming, and more. To learn more about visiting, click here, and remember kids 5 and under are admitted for free!
Nestled on the waterfront in San Rafael, McNears Beach Park is a 55-acre park that sits in a sheltered cove alongside San Pablo Bay. In addition to offering expansive views of the Bay, the park boasts a public pool and snack bar open through Labor Day, water access for paddle sports, tennis and volleyball courts, and a fishing pier which does not require a fishing license. For more activities and details, click here.
Novato’s 17-acre Stafford Lake Bike Park offers exciting bike riding opportunities for all experience, age and skill levels. Beginners can pedal the perimeter trail or test their skills in the learn to ride zone. More experienced riders can enjoy the progression jump course with three jump lines at varying degrees of difficulty. Intermediate and advanced riders are invited to ride the only dual slalom course west of Truckee, also located in the park! To learn more, click here.
Shop the farmers’ market.
Marin County is home to some of the country’s most lush landscape and farmland, and our local farmers’ markets offer the perfect settings to experience those lands closer to home. In Your Ultimate Guide to Farmers’ Markets in Marin County, you’ll find five seasonal markets to hit before the season ends and six other year-round options to continually visit when school is back in session.
We hope you enjoyed your summer!
For kid-friendly fun throughout the year, check out The Top 11 Children’s Museums in the Bay Area and The Coolest Classes for Kids in the Bay Area.