September 10th: Weekend Events, Playdate Idea, Restaurant of the Week & Weekly Calendar of Activities

Welcome to this week's edition of 'The Marin Scoop'! As everyone goes back to school and the summer festival season comes to  an end, enjoy the changing colours of September, which is a beautiful month in Marin. Get out and explore Marinwood and Miller Creek for this week's Play Date Idea, and cool down under the tropical shade of the Panama Hotel Restaurant in San Rafael.

Weekend Events

Saturday September 11th

'Concert for Kids', Robin Sweeny Park, 420 Litho Street, Sausalito, 10.30 am - 11.15 am
Bring a blanket and enjoy Miss Kitty perfoming a sing along concert in the park.

'Happy 60th Birthday Fairyland', Lake Merritt at Grand Ave & Bellevue, Sat & Sun 10 - 4pm
Puppet show, arts & crafts, dance performances, 50's Sock Hop, a variety of plays and musicians perform at the Children's Theatre, and a fantasy costume party so come dressed as your favorite storybook chararacter or in a 50s outfit.

Chocolate Festival, Ghiradelli Square, San Francisco, Sat & Sun 12.00 - 5.00 pm
Enjoy chocolate inspired family activities and indulge in delicacies with the proceeds benefiting 'Project Open hand.

Farmer's Market, Marinwood Plaza, from 9.00 am - 2.00 pm

'Art in the Park', Walnut Park, Petaluma Blvd & D Street, Petaluma, Sat & Sun, 10 - 5.00 pm.
The annual Art Show and Sale in Walnut Park with live music, food and raffles to benfit local schools.

Sunday September 12th

Sunday Morning Story Time, Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, at 11 - 11.30 am
The wonderful Christopher Smith is back at the Book Passage after his summer vacation, join him for an uplifting sing song and story time.

Annual Kid's Fair, Peace Lutheran Church Parking Lot, from 11.00 - 3.00 pm
Food and drink available at this annual Kid's Fair with lots of entertainment including jumpees, kid slides and a petting zoo full of sheep, goats chickens, Alpaca, and a Pot Belly pig.

Play Date Idea

Now that Marinwood has quieted down after the bustling activities during the summer holidays with various summer camps, it is an ideal place for a play date. There is a playground with a sand box shaded from the hot sun by large trees, and surrounded by an open grass area, picnic tables and a new improved BBQ area (available for group bookings). The Marinwood Fire Station next door is also available to hire for birthday parties.

The community center building has a preschool with a great reputation and offers classes and workshops all year round like children's music classes and Toddler Mini Sports. Check them out on  The swimming pool has a wonderful warm tot's pool that has a gated grass area with loungers and large parasols, perfect for a little group get together!

Also running behind the park is Miller Creek which is a wonderful stream that is great for little ones to search for rocks and take a stroll in the running water in their crocs or rain boots hand in hand with Mom or Dad!

Restaurant of the Week

Panama Hotel Restaurant, 4 Bayview Street, San Rafael

An unexpected delight situated in the quiet Gerstle park neighborhood of San Rafael sits the Panama Hotel Restaurant. A charming place just a few minutes walk from San Rafael's Community Center's park and the free wildlife sanctuary 'Wild Care'!

The restaurant has a patio with a secret garden feel, shaded by trees and tropical flowers, with some cute guest houses painted in vibrant Caribean colors, just peeping through the branches. It is a quiet place to go for early dinner from 5.30 pm or to hide away from the midday sun over a weekend brunch.

The staff are very friendly and accommodating by supplying some toys while we waited for our food. The kid's brunch options are the 'Panama Waffle' with bananas, warm chocolate sauce and whipped cream or the Jack Cheese Quesadilla with salsa fresca and sour cream. Alternatively our son just prefers the scrambled egg and sausage or bacon from the main menu. My husband enjoyed the Mediterranean Scramble Eggs with sun dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and basil served on a toasted English muffin, and I found their Eggs Benedict to be a winner or if i am really hungry I like to tuck into their Panama Burger with avocado, cheese, tomatoes and bacon with hand cut fries, which is also available for dinner.

Highlights from their dinner menu includes Fire Roasted Poblano Chile stuffed with quinoa, mushrooms, goats cheese, pine nuts and smokey red chile sauce served with rice and roasted squash, or Beef Short Ribs with sauteed rainbow Swiss chard, potato mash and crispy onion rings, also Pappardelle Pasta with grilled asparagus, poached egg, garden peas, pine nuts and brown butter, yum!

This popular neighborhood restaurant is also a great place for date night as you can enjoy dinner and jazz music every Tuesday and Thursday, and there is a special performance on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month. See full listings on their website;

A Weekly Calendar of Toddler Friendly Activities around Marin


10 .00 - 10.30 am - Kid's Story Time Club, Pharmaca, 7514 Redwood Blvd, Novato

10.30 – 11.15 am – ‘Music Together of Marin’, The Parent’s Place, 600 Fifth Ave, San Rafael

3.00 – 5.00 pm – Crawlers Camp (up to 23 months) at Stretch the Imagination, 47 Tamal Vista Blvd.


10.00 – 10.30 am - ‘Baby Bounce’ Story time at Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd

10.00 – 11.30 am - ‘Jumping Jacks’ at the San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael

10.00 – 11.30 am - ‘Drop in Play’ at The Parent’s Place, 600 Fifth Ave, San Rafael

10.15 - 10.45 am - 'Music Circle', at The Parents Center, Heller's Store, 514 4th Street, San Rafael

11.00 - 11.30 am – ‘Book Club Story Time’ at ‘Pottery Barns Kids’ store, Corte Madera Village

4.00 – 8.00 pm - Farmer’s market, Grant Avenue, Novato


9.30 - 12.00 pm - 'Power Play' at Cal Star Gym is back! Digital Drive, Ignacio

10.15 – 10.45 am - ‘Music Circle’ at The Parents Center, Heller’s store, 514 4th St, San Rafael

10.30 – 10.50 am – ‘Story Time with Miss Kitty', Civic Center Library

10.30 - 11.30 am - Drop in Play, MLK Gym, 610 Colma Street, Sausalito

11.00 - 11.30 am – Story Time at Giggle Store, Corte Madera Village

3.00 – 5.00 pm – Crawlers Camp (up to 23 months) at Stretch the Imagination, Corte Madera

3.00 - 3.30 pm - New Music Circle for 2 - 3 year olds, The Parents Center, Heller's Store, 514 4th Street, San Rafael

4.00 – 8.00 pm - Farmer’s Market, Bolinas Park, Bolinas Road, Fairfax


8.00 – 1.00 pm – Farmers Market, The Civic Center (Puppet Show and balloon lady by Jumpy Houses)

9.30 - 12.00 pm - 'Power Play' at Cal Star Gym, Digital Drive, Ignacio, Novato

9.30 – 10.30 am – ‘Jumping Jacks’, San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael

10.30 – 11.00 am – Story Time at San Rafael Library, 618 B Street, San Rafael

11.00 - 11.30 am - Story Time at Barnes & Noble, 313 Corte Madera Center

3.30 - 4.00 pm - 'Stories with Phil Sheridan', Sausalito Library, 420 Litho Street

3.00 – 7.00 pm – Farmers Market, Marin Art & Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross

6.00 – 9.00 pm - Farmers Market, 4th St, between Lincoln and B St, San Rafael


10.30 - 11.30 am - Story Time with Sarah Bonnett, San Rafael Library, 618 B Street, San Rafael (until Oct 1st)

10.30 - 11.30 am - Tot's Club, City Hall Parks & Recreation, 420 Litho Street, Exercise Room, Sausalito

9.00 – 2.00 pm – Farmers Market, Alto Shopping Center, Mill Valley

9.00 am – 2.00 pm – Farmers Market, Bank of America parking lot, Downtown Sausalito

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