Dec 1st: 'Jack and Jill's', Petaluma & 'The Baby Cuisine Cookbook' Reviews & Festive Events

Welcome this week’s edition that features lots of fun festive events and reviews of a wonderful indoor play space in Petaluma and a fantastic cookbook that will inspire parents to make delicious recipes from around the world. Enjoy!

Weekend Events

Friday December 3rd

‘Tiburon Holiday Festival’ from 5.30 pm, Main Street to end of Historic Ark Row, Downtown Tiburon, free entry, ($5 ice skating session & $5 rental fees);
For one night only, families can enjoy an outdoor ice skating rink in Tiburon while enjoying the backdrop of the San Francisco skyline. The festival will also include the traditional Fountain Plaza tree lighting ceremony at 6.00 pm, with holiday carolers and costumed characters strolling along Main Street. The Gingerbread building sittings are already sold out but you can come and enjoy winterland snow globe making, photo shop for kids, holiday treats and more. The local shops and restaurants will be offering specials too!

Saturday December 4th

Breakfast with Santa’ at 9.00 – 10.00 am, Applebee’s, Northgate Mall, $3 per person in advance, please RSVP to Guest Services at (415) 472-3212 or $5 at the door. 
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at Applebee’s with Santa and his balloon twisting elves, with all proceeds donated to the Marin Community Food Bank.

Breakfast with Santa’ at 8.30 – 11.00 am, Sausalito Yacht Club, El Portal (next to Ferry Landing), Sausalito, $5 – 10 ($1 off with toy donation, & children under 2 are free);
Bring your wish list and camera to have your picture taken with Santa while the elves make a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, milk and juice. Bring a toy to donate to the Southern Marin toy drive to receive $1 off admission.

‘Greenwood School’s Winter Faire’ from 10.00 – 4.00 pm, 17 Buena Vista Avenue, Mill Valley; 
Live music and entertainment with games, crafts, stories, food, bake sale and a vendors market selling arts, crafts, toys and seasonal items

Quacking Up for Christmas’, from 11.00 – 1.00 pm, The Boardwalk, Tiburon;
The party will be held next door to the Boardwalk Market (in the former Custom House). Santa & Mrs Claus will be arriving at 11.10 am with gifts for all the children. There will be music, a Giant Duck, Balloon Elf, Kandy Kane King and others.

‘Downtown Novato Tree Lighting’ from 4.30 – 8.00 pm, Sherman Avenue, Downtown Novato, free;
Pre-event entertainment begins at 4.30 pm leading up to Santa, Mrs Claus and his elves arriving. There will be face painting, food and craft booths and the holiday tree lighting ceremony after 5.30 pm.

Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony’ from 5.00 – 7.00 pm, San Anselmo Town Hall, San Anselmo Avenue.
Complimentary refreshments and photos with Santa, while you enjoy the sounds of the Marin Girls Chorus.

Holiday Craft Fair’ from 10.00 – 5.00pm, Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, free;
The fair features more than 55 new and returning artists selling a wide variety of items including woodwork, jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, decorations and more.

Saturday December 4th & Sunday 5th

‘Muir Beach Quilter’s Holiday Arts Fair’, Sat 11 – 5pm & Sun 10 – 4 pm, Muir beach Community Center, 19 Seascape Drive, Muir Beach, free entry;
Arts and crafts show featuring home and garden gifts, fine art, holiday ornaments and textiles. There is also gourmet buffet and free fun for children in the Gingerbread Attic.

Sunday December 5th

Breakfast with Santa’ from 9.30 – 12.00 pm, Margaret Todd Senior center, 1560 Hill Road, Novato, $5 adults & kids under 12 free;
Have your picture taken with Santa while enjoying festive pancake, egg and sausage breakfast. Reservations not needed.

Play Date of the Week

Jack and Jill’s, 217 Western Avenue, Petaluma, 94952,

If you are looking for a fantastic indoor space to entertain your children especially on rainy days, then you must head up to Petaluma and explore ‘Jack and Jill’s: A Place for Creative Play’.

The bright airy space is really well laid out with tables and chairs on one side of the room for eating snacks and hanging out, and there is complimentary coffee or tea served until 11.00 am. There are chairs and comfortable couches dotted around the room where parents can relax and chat to other parents, there is even free WiFi to use while you watch your children.

The other side has various play stations for every interest to feed their imaginations. It has low spaced out tables where children can build castles, play with trains and trucks, dinosaurs and a construction area. It has a cute dressing up area full of costumes and a vanity table to prepare for their big moment on the stage where they can perform in front of a camera that is shown on the wall mounted plasma screen TV! There are tool benches, a pretend house with a toy kitchen, and little individual stores like the Petaluma Market where the children can collect their groceries in their shopping carts and pay for them at the cash register. The space also has an art activity area to sit down and create arts and crafts. There have thought of everything!

It is great as a drop in option any day of the week, at a very reasonable $9 from 9.00 am – 1.00 pm or even 3.30 pm on certain days. You can check out their website for more information on opening hours, special deals, upcoming events and rates for birthday parties.

Book of the Week

The Baby Cuisine Cookbook’ by Shane Valentine with Dr Tamara Cullen, ND.

The Baby Cuisine Cookbook is both an excellent tool for parents introducing tasty solid food to babies, and a great resource for parents who are looking for inspiring recipes for their toddlers from all over the world!

Author Shane Valentine created the cookbook to broaden his daughter’s experience of food, and partly out of frustration due to the lack of inspiring baby food recipes already out there. He took inspiration from what other parents around the world fed their babies, and from conversations with parents abroad, he came to the conclusion that most families fed their babies what the rest of the family eat. Doctor Tamara Cullen also came on board the project to make sure all the appropriate nutritional bases were covered and put her seal of approval on the recipes included.

This book gives great advice for parents starting their babies on solid food and gives a refresher course to those about to go through it a second or third time, and explains why you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors once allergies have been ruled out.  The book also highlights current research that disagrees with rice cereal being the best first food, due to problems with digestion, and how seasonal vegetables and fruit are a much better first step introduction to solid food.

There are delicious recipes that can be adapted for toddlers with more advanced eating habits and lots of ideas for parents preparing meals for picky eaters. Carrying on our theme in this blog about how to creatively get your children to eat their vegetable, in sometimes a less obvious way, it gives some helpful tips. Such as pureeing the vegetables in the delicious Moroccan Vegetable Stew recipe, or creating Puerto Rican ‘Sofrito’ which is a blend of vegetable and herbs that can be cooked, frozen into ice cubes and later added to sauces, soups, stews and rice dishes. Be sure to check out their Puerto Rican Rice & Beans recipe, it is delicious!

The recipes are very simple to follow, especially the hummus recipe which you can find below this review, it is such a quick and nutritional snack that can be used on the go with toasted Pitta bread or crackers. Another simple recipe is the Greek Tzatziki, a mixture of Greek-style yogurt, cucumber, mint, dill and garlic which can be used as a dip or poured over fish or meat. We added it to an Indian Chicken Curry dinner the other weekend, it is a refreshing dip with Naan (or Pitta) bread, and we poured it onto our son’s Chicken Korma.

You can also find ways to make homemade versions of convenient foods like yogurt with added ingredients that can boost nutrition. The Yogurt Parfait recipe is a healthy alternative to the shop bought yogurt pots, and by including flaxseed oil it adds Omega-3 fatty acids that are important for nerve cell development!

You can find ‘The baby Cuisine Cookbook’ in Wholefoods, Paradise Foods, (click on link) and specialty stores like Tyler Florence in Mill Valley. You can also follow Shane and his wife Chantal’s company ‘Alina’s Cucina’ through their website

Recipe from ‘The Baby Cuisine Cookbook’ for Humus


1 can of garbanzo beans (15 ounces)
¼ cup of olive oil
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 small clove of garlic, whole
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
¼ cup of water

1.  Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans in very cold water for 1 minute, as this helps dispel the gases for infants.

2.    Using a hand blender or food processor fitted with steel blade. Mix until well combined, the garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and water, for about 1 minute. Stop occasionally to scrape down the bowl.

3.   Serve at room temperature.

4.  Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days. You may need to add more water after storage to create desired consistency for your child. Freezing is not recommended.

5.   Makes about 2 cups.  

Note to parents: Bring this as a dip to your next party – it is that good!

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 Sarah Bonnet, San Rafael Library, 618 B Street, San Rafael

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...