Dec 8th: Boca Steak restaurant review & take action with Students First!

This weekend there will be an open house at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, lots of holiday fairs and breakfasts with Santa, who arrives by boat in Petaluma this Saturday. If you are in need of a steak dinner in a cozy holiday themed surrounding then check out the review of Boca in Novato.

Also take action with ‘Students First’ revolution, to make sure all children in America are entitled to a good education by signing up on their website; see below for further information:

Weekend Events

Saturday December 11th

‘Home for the Holidays Open House’ from 10.00 – 5.00 pm, The Marine Mammal Center, 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito;
Various events happening at their open house including author Jeanne Harvey’s book reading & signing of “Astro: The Steller Sea Lion’ (a former patient) at 12.30 – 2.30 pm. A film screening of ‘In the Wake of Giants’ about humpback whale rescues in Hawaii at 1.30 – 3.30 pm. Pick up a free tote bag with a min. $30 purchase in their gift shop, and bring your camera for photo opportunities with Frannie the Fur Seal all day!

'Breakfast with Santa’ from 9.00 am – 8.30 pm, Tamalpais Community Center, 305 Bell Lane, Mill Valley; Breakfast is $15;
Online reservations are a must for three breakfast sittings at 9am, 11am & 1pm, with unlimited time in the show. Santa will arrive by fire engine (free) from 3 – 6.00 pm, and “Holly Jolly Jingles” (free) from 7 – 8.30 pm; 

'Breakfast with Santa’ from 9.00 – 10.00 am, The Cheesecake Factory, The Village at Corte Madera, Paradise Drive exit off Hwy 101, $5 per person.
Annual breakfast with Santa in support of the Twin Cities Police Authority Toy Drive, please RSVP by calling the Village concierge at (415) 924-8921 by Dec 9th. Don’t forget to visit Santa’s cottage near Macy’s:

‘Hawaiian Holiday Craft & Bake Sale’, from 10.00 – 4.00 pm, St. Patrick’s Parish center, 49 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur.
A tropical fun filled day of unique arts and crafts, delicious baked goods, local style mini plates, continuous music and spontaneous hula!

Pixie Park Annual Bake Sale’ from 10.00 – 4.00 pm, Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo.
Enjoy delicious baked goods and have your picture taken with Santa in the Livermore Room, there is also a Teddy Bear Tea in the Garden Room with sittings from 11.00 – 4.00 pm. All proceeds to the holiday bake sale will benefit Pixie Park & Marin Art and Garden Center;

Holiday Craft Fair’ from 11.00 – 5.00 pm, Fairfax Pavillion, 142 Bolinas Road, Fairfax.
Handmade gifts by local artisans including vintage fabric items, greeting cards, jams, jellies, organic chocolate and clothing. There will be seasonal music and educational crafts and activities. Remember your BYO mug for 50 cents off the chili and cornbread or mac ’n cheese lunch;

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade’ at 6.00 pm, Petaluma Yacht Club, Downtown Petaluma.
A spectacular flotilla of decorated boats on parade starting at the Marina at 5.30 pm and arriving between 6.00 - 6.30 pm at the Petaluma River Turning Basin. Holiday caroling and the ‘Hub Bub Band performing holiday songs from one of the boats as it arrives into the dock. Viewing best at the Petaluma Mill or Golden Eagle Shopping Center;

'Students First'

For parents wanting to make sure all children in America are entitled to a good education please read this message from ‘Students First’ and sign up now on their website:

Students First's mission is to build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world.



Our Beliefs:

• Great teachers can make a tremendous difference for students of every background; all children deserve outstanding teachers.

• Attending a great school should be a matter of fact, not luck; every family should be able to choose an excellent school.

• Public dollars belong where they make the biggest difference—on effective instructional programs; we must fight ineffective practices and bureaucracy.

• Parent and family involvement is key to increased student

Company Overview:

We need a new voice to determine the agenda for public education in this country, so that all families can choose excellent schools and all American children will be educated by outstanding teachers. With your help, vested interests will take a back seat to children's achievements and your voices will guide every decision in public education. Take the pledge today.

Restaurant of the Week

Boca, 340 Ignacio Blvd, Novato;

On a wet and cold Saturday evening in Novato we decided to take refuge in the warm dining room of Boca Steak restaurant. The Argentinian style dining room with its high beamed ceilings and open kitchen is beautifully decorated for the holidays, with Central American Poinsettia blooming everywhere.

It has been well over a year since we have eaten here, especially since their Boca Pizzeria opened around the corner, but as the cold weather rolls in, the need for comfort food in a cozy environment is much needed!

There is always a friendly welcome here and great service, so we settled down and tucked into the warm bread rolls and their signature jar of pickles while we waited for our food. We usually order a couple of the delicious Empanadas as appetizers that come with chorizo, lamb, zucchini or smoked chicken, or you can get a basket of all four. This time we decided to dive straight into our steak dinners.

Our son’s sliders and baked potato arrived in no time, and he quickly tucked into the potato topped with sour cream and tried his best to get his little mouth around the sliders with cheese and pickle.

My husband ordered the 14 oz Hanger steak with intense bold flavor and a side dish of truffled Mac n’ Cheese (which our son mostly devoured for him, on top of his potato!), washed down with a glass of the Lang Zinfandel.

I enjoyed an 8 oz marinated Skirt Steak with green beans, duck fat fries (as an alternative to the baked potato) and a side order of sautéed spinach. Both grass-fed steaks cooked over a hardwood fire, were done to perfection and complemented with a choice of four sauces; two kinds of Chimichurri, Béarnaise and a Cognac green peppercorn sauce, which was my favorite and I actually polished it off to myself.

If you are not in the mood for steak or prefer a vegetarian option, there are fish or shellfish options like the “Penn Cove” mussels, the Dungeness crab cakes or the Pacific red snapper with Boca spiced rub. Soups like asparagus bisque with crème fraiche or salads like the roasted beet with goat cheese, horseradish and creamy lemon dressing.

We were tempted by the “El Diablo” chocolate tower and the Crème Brulee for dessert, but were more than satisfied with our wonderful steak dinners.

Boca restaurant also makes a romantic date night when you can indulge in a 3 course menu inspired by ‘the flavors of the fall’ for $21.95, or their buzzing bar is a great place for drinks and bar food during their Happy Hour with friends!

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)


Winter Holidays Concerts and Sing-Along with Dream Circle at 9:30 AM & 11 AM, Showcase Theater, Marin Civic Center in San Rafael

Sing Along Concerts by Dream Circle, featuring Tim Cain, Miss Kitty, Christopher Smith and Cindy Cohen and band members Peter Penhallow, Paul Johnson, and Dick McThune. Dream Circle presents a musical concert featuring both familiar and original songs of the winter season and its various traditions and holidays including Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and Chinese New Year. Contact for ticket information.

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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