October 8th: Nicasio Valley pumpkin patch, 'Brick and Bottle' restaurant review, weekly calendar of activities

Welcome to this week’s edition, full of fun things to do, see and eat in Marin! Check out a “Most Excellent” festival taking place in Point Reyes, an Oktoberfest in Corte Madera and a chance to stock on books for bargain prices in San Rafael.  Pick up a pumpkin while enjoying live music and BBQ surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Nicasio Valley, and tuck into delicious comfort food in Corte Madera.

Weekend Events

Friday October 8th

Friday Night Fusion, Village of Corte Madera, Center Court, 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Local musician Pulse Brasil performs while you enjoy a wine tasting presented by Sonoma County Vintners for $15 per person including a local cheese plate.

Downtown Novato Autumn Music Series, Novato City Green (next to City Hall), 901 Sherman, Novato
Carlos Reyes – harpist, violinist playing jazz and rock

Saturday October 9th

The ‘Most Excellent’ Fall Festival, Point Reyes Surf Shop, from 12.00 – 6.00 pm. www.lagunitasmontessori.org
A fundraiser event for the Lagunitas Public Montessori Program that will feature live music by Tom Huebner and the Real Deal band, a petting zoo, jumpy house, fall craft making face painting, the 2nd annual CornHole (bean bag toss) tournament, and a pumpkin patch. Food and drink available including Amy & Barbara’s famous paella.

‘Library Book Sale’, San Rafael Library, 1016 E Street at Mission, from 10.00 – 4.00 pm, www.marinlibrary.org
I really recommend this book sale for finding some great children’s books for as little as 50 or 25 cents! Also includes adult fiction, arts books, CDs and DVD to benefit the library.  

Corte Madera Oktoberfest, Noon – 5.00 pm, $3 or $17 with beer tasting, kids under 12 yrs are free, Menke Park in Old Corte Madera square, Tamalpais & Redwood, Corte Madera, www.cortemaderacommunityfoundation.org
Fundraiser event that will feature kid’s activities, festive music by German band, traditional food by local vendors, beer and ale produced by the Northern California microbreweries.

Sunday October 10th

Author Susan Katz launches ‘ABC Baby Me!’ Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera at 10.00 am. www.abcbabyme.com
Susan Katz’s clever rhyming text uses the alphabet to take babies and toddlers through their busy day, featuring Alicia Padron’s adorable illustrations. 

Play Date of the Week

Nicasio Valley Farm Pumpkin Patch, Nicasio Valley Road (quarter of a mile west from Nicasio Square), open 7 days a week from Oct 2nd – 31st, 10.00 – 6.00 pm.

A great way to get into the spirit of fall and Halloween is to visit the various pumpkin patches located around Marin. Our favorite is the one at Nicasio Valley Farm which is located in the most beautiful setting. It recently opened and has a whole host of entertainment throughout the month.

It is the place to pick from their wide selection of certified organic pumpkins, that are spread out in their large meadow. Kids can take a hayride, get lost in their mazes (one designed for little kids), bounce on the jumpy house or inflatable slide and visit the farm animals. Fresh produce can be bought at a stand that includes squash, gourds, apples and other organic vegetables. Snack and drinks are available and there is an organic ice cream stand, you can also get delicious cheese from their own ‘Nicasio Valley Cheese Co’ on Thursdays – Sundays. Big Ned’s BBQ provides a hearty lunch at weekends, and there is plenty of seating and picnic areas with shade.

At weekends you can catch the musician Tim Cain performing every Sunday 10th, 17th & 24th at 11.00 am.  The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) Day is on Thursday October 7th which will serve wood-fired pizza, Mexican food and beer by Iron Springs Brewery, there will also be an educational booth set up by MALT, beneficiary of pumpkin sales that day, from 10.00 – 4.00 pm.

Last year a bunch of us brought our children here for their first experience of a pumpkin patch, and were able to wheel groups of them around the meadow in wagons and wheelbarrows, this year they will be running around the field choosing their own pumpkins!

Restaurant of the Week

Brick & Bottle, 55Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, www.brickandbottle.com

On Sunday morning, we decided to get some brunch at the Brick and Bottle restaurant, after enjoying story time with Christopher Smith at The Book Passage store next door. The restaurant has a great outdoor seating and lounge area, but we decided to eat inside the chocolate and copper toned dining room that has dark wooden tables and leather seating, lit by glass lamps hung from the walls and ceiling. It makes you feel cozy and comfortable straight away and gets you in the mood for their classic comfort food.

Our son’s Orzo Mac n’ Cheese with bacon arrived quickly, which is always a relief, and I have to say it was the best mac n’ cheese we have ever eaten. It arrived in a mini iron skittle that wasn’t boiling hot, phew, the perfect kid’s temperature. It was rich in flavor and texture, and my husband and I couldn’t stop picking from it as we waiting for our food.

My husband chose the Duck Confit Pizza with caramelized onions and fontina cheese, which was nice but he felt it lacked something, maybe an acidic quality that could have be filled with a squeeze of lemon, some capers or olives maybe.

I ordered the Pimento Cheeseburger with French Fries, and I wasn’t disappointed! It was just the right size burger and oozed with chili, cabbage slaw and cheese that was, in my opinion, perfection.  My husband sipped on his Bloody Mary while spooned up the excess chili and cheese from my plate with envy!

All these dishes are also on the dinner menu, which includes Rotisserie Chicken served with the Orzo Mac n’Cheese, Halibut with Heirloom tomato, zucchini and white beans, Lamb Loin with mint salsa verde, and a Grilled Gruyere & Braised Short Rib sandwich with tomato soup and horseradish cream.   I look forward to sampling their ‘simple California Cooking’ one evening, as Bottle and Brick offer a two course dinner for $20 on Monday – Fridays, at 5.30 – 6.15 pm, perfect for early bird family dining!

A Weekly Calendar of Toddler Appropriate Activities in Marin


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

10.00 – 10.30 am – Book Babies, San Anselmo Library, 110 Tunstead Ave Town Council chamber

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.


9.30 – 10.45 am – Baby Bounce Storytime – Larkspur Library, 400 Magnolia Ave, 1st Floor

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 - ‘Playdate for 2 and Under’ 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


9.30 - 12.00 pm - 'Indoor Power Play' at Cal Star Gym, 70 Digital Drive, suite 3, Novato

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

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

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

11.00 -11.30 am – Preschool Storytime, Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd

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

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, balloon lady, Jumpy Houses & music)

9.30 - 12.00 pm - 'Indoor Power Play' at Cal Star Gym, 70 Digital Drive, Novato

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

10.15 -10.45 am – Toddler Storytime, San Rafael Library, 1100 E St, 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

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

10.30 – 12.00 pm – Jumping Jacks, Strawberry Recreation District, 118 Strawberry Drive, 2nd floor gym

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

1 comment:

Adam said...

That burger at the brick and bottle is truly amazing, the chill om the burger is fantastic stuff.... Will be going back for that alone!!!

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