Dec 16th: The Christmas House in San Rafael, 'The Night Before Christmas' book review & festive events in San Francisco & Marin

As the holidays are approaching check out the oldest lightened boat parade in San Francisco Bay and a holiday concert at the Bay Area Discovery Museum this weekend. Sparkle up a rainy day with a trip to the ‘Christmas House’ at the West End Nursery in San Rafael, and create a family tradition by reading ‘The Night Before Christmas’ book while anticipating of Santa’s arrival!

Weekend Events

Friday December 17th

Holiday Lights & Sights Boat Parade’ at 6.00 pm, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.
The oldest and largest lighted boat parade on San Francisco Bay, with over 75 boats decorated with lights parading along the waterfront starting just east of Pier 39. Get a great view from the walkway along Aquatic Park, Pier 39 Marina Green and the restaurants along the Wharf offering holiday menus. If you can’t make it then the boats will continue to be lit until January 9th on Jefferson Street between Jones & Taylor Street at the Sportfishing harbor.

‘Marinwood Winter Fest’ from 5.30 – 7.30 pm, Marinwood Community Center, 775 miller Creek Road, San Rafel,$7 in advance by 12.17 3 pm or $10 on door for all inclusive wristbands
Enjoy live music while you have your picture taken with Santa, bounce house, holiday arts and crafts, face painting and cookie decorating. Food & wine are available to purchase.

Saturday December 18th

Winter Holidays Concert & Sing Along with Dream Circle’ at 11.30 & 1.00 pm, Bay Area Discovery Musuem, Sausalito.
Concert featuring Tim Cain, Miss Kitty, Christopher Smith and Cindy Cohen featuring familiar and original songs of the winter season and it’s various traditions during the holidays.

Gingerbread Doghouse Workshops’, 10.00 – noon, Charles M. Schulz Museum, San Rosa, RSVP required.
Build and decorate Snoopy’s doghouse out of gingerbread complete with a marshmallow Snoopy on top! Classes available for Pre –K & up with an adult.

Sunday December 19th

Book Signing at 3.00 pm, Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, free.
Author Nouzha Evans presents children’s book; “Cooper the Compost Worm, The Butterflies are Teasing Me”, the first of a book series by the Early Discovery Program;

Book of the Week

‘The Night Before Christmas’ by Clement C. Moore & Illustrations by Tom Browning.

My son’s Grandma makes sure she passes on the family’s traditions at Christmas by sending over gifts that her sons grew up enjoying in England. Such as sachets of Bread sauce, a traditional English accompaniment at Christmas dinner. This year my son received his own copy of ‘The Night Before Christmas’. This is a book that his father and uncles enjoyed reading every Christmas and now we can pass that tradition on to him. 

‘The Night Before Christmas’ was written by Clement C.Moore who was born in New York City in 1781, he wrote this story as a Christmas gift for his children, and the tradition was to read it after they hung their stockings over the fireplace on Christmas Eve, anticipating the arrival of St. Nicholas.

The story begins…”Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” After the children hang up their stockings and go to bed, their father awakes from a noise and looks outside the window to see a sleigh and eight reindeer appear in the moonlight. The book tells the tale of how St. Nicholas lands on the roofs of the houses throughout the land, climbs down the chimneys all dressed in fur with a sack on his back. Describing his unique appearance and demeanor that children come to love: “His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!” Once he fills the stockings he rises back through the chimney, onto his sleigh and away he goes, but as he drives out of sight he exclaims; “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

The book is illustrated with richly colored traditional images of Santa by Tom Browning. The story is written as poetry and the beautiful rhymes can be dipped in and out of each night leading up to Christmas, until your children are old enough to enjoy the book all the way through.

The story is a classic and I hope you enjoy it too or find a book like this that will become a family tradition to evoke the anticipation of a very special evening.

Play date of the Week

The Christmas House’ at West End Nursery, 1938 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael.

The Christmas House at the West End Nursery in San Rafael comes alive each year with displays of over 50 beautifully decorated Christmas trees, each with a different theme making the ornaments ideal gifts for friends and all members of the family. There are also wonderful gifts from all over the world (and the most glamorous Nutcrackers that I have ever seen) that will get you and your little ones into the holiday spirit.

The perfect play date to add sparkle to a rainy day!

Weekly Calendar of Ongoing 
Toddler 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

10.00 -10.40 am - Toddler class, Studio 4 Art, 1133 Grant Avenue, Novato (until Dec17th)

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

9.00 - 1.00 pm - 'Jack and Jill' indoor play space, 217 Western Avenue, Petaluma (every day)

10.00 - 6.00 pm - 'Jump n Bounce, 718 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo (every day)


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

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

9.30 – 10.30 am - ‘Jumping Jacks’ (up to 24 months) at the San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael

10.30 – 11.30 am - ‘Jumping Jacks’ (24 months & up) at the San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael

10.00 – 11.30 am - ‘Play date 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

10.00 -10.30 am – Music Together, San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael

10.15 – 10.45 am - ‘Music Circle’ (Under 1 yr),The Parents Center, Heller’s, 514 4th St, San Rafael 

10.00 - 10.45 am - Fun & Funky (age 2 - 4), Fairfax Community Center, 

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 Story time, Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd

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


8.00 – 1.00 pm – Farmers Market, The Civic Center

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

9.30 – 10.30 am - ‘Jumping Jacks’ (up to 24 months) at the San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael

10.30 – 11.30 am - ‘Jumping Jacks’ (24 months & up) at the San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael

10.15 -10.45 am – Toddler Story time (2-3 yrs), Mill Valley Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley

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


10.30 - 11.30 am - Story Time with Sara Bonnet, San Rafael Library, 618 B Street, San Rafael (ON VACATION UNTIL JAN 7TH 2011)

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

10.30 – 12.00 pm – Free Playgroup (Under 5), Marin Head Start, 610 Drake Ave, Marin City

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