Last week, my son and I experienced summer camp for the first time together; we had lots of fun and wanted to share it with you as another one will take place in Marinwood this August. I also review a fun surf-themed restaurant in Greenbrae to try out this summer. Enjoy!
“Parent & Tot Camp”
Marinwood Community Center, 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael:
Tel: 415-479-0775 & view website
Every summer the Marinwood Community Center provides summer camp for children aged 3 and up. This year they are introducing a "Parent & Tot Camp" for 2 ½ - 3 year olds to introduce younger kids to summer camp with a view to continue it next summer based on how popular it is.
I signed my two year old son and me up (at an extremely reasonable rate) and attended it last week with a friend and her daughter. The camp took place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30 - 12.30 pm, which was perfect timing to entertain a toddler all morning before their afternoon nap.
Each day there were different activities planned around the camp's weekly theme which was "beach party". The format of the day would start with a welcome circle time with the two group councilors playing games with the other children and then a sing song with the other children in the different camps.
One day we would do some dancing or play with bubbles and each day there was a different arts and crafts activity. This included painting with sand, decorating a sun visor and beach bag with paint, sequins and feathers, and marble painting which we hadn’t done before. It involved placing a piece of colored paper into an aluminum tray and then dropped marbles covered in different colored paint into the tray and rolling the marbles up and down to create an abstract piece of artwork across the paper.
After snack time the children had 30 minutes in the tot's pool and then fun running through the water sprinklers on the grass in the park. We ended each session with a picnic lunch together with a story for those who could tear themselves away from their food.
We really enjoyed it and thought it was a great introduction to camp and even preschool for the younger children, with the added confidence that their parent was by their side throughout the experience.
They are planning on doing another one during the first week of August (same times as before) and I highly recommend signing up through the Marinwood Community Services website: view website
Restaurant of the Week
‘Wipeout Bar & Grill’, 302 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae, 94904, (Sir Frances Drake exit off Hwy 101); view website
Looking for a fun place to take the kids for dinner, look no further than ‘Wipeout Bar & Grill’ in Greenbrae's Bon Air Center. It opened in the fall of 2007 when the Simmons family took inspiration from exploring the California coast with their children looking for the best beach shacks and surf food. They opened up branches in San Francisco and Marin, and use the freshest seafood and meat, and organic produce when available.
A friend of mine introduced us to this surf themed restaurant by inviting us to join her family for dinner on “Tiny Tuesdays” when the kids eat for free with the purchase of an adult’s entree. There is also supposed to be complimentary balloon animals and face painting, but not the night we were there.
It was an extremely hot evening but the outdoor seating was taken by a large group so we took refuge in the air conditioning. Inside there are large tables and booths, and my least favorite thing in a restaurant; multi TV screens, but most of them were showing surfing rather than the game. We arrived at 5.30 pm and within 30 minutes it filled up quickly with lots of families.
Our waiter was a fun entertaining guys who interacted well with the kids, but didn’t remember our orders very well. The slogan on the menu read: "We take our margaritas seriously", so as advised we went for the premium tequila 'top shelf Margaritas' something I don't have often but decided to treat ourselves as it was such a hot day, and it hit the spot!
My husband and I asked to share the gorgonzola salad with candied walnut and apple, but got two salads each which were fine as they were refreshingly delicious. I had the regular cheeseburger which was nice and my husband asked for the California Burger cooked medium with blue cheese, but got it well done with jack cheese. My son enjoyed his cheeseburger and fries and then proceeded to also tuck into his friend’s Teriyaki salmon and coconut rice. Our friends also had the cheeseburger and grilled steak salad with mixed greens and chimichurri sauce which she recommends.
There are fun things for the kids to see after they have finished their meals such as novelty painted surf boards, bicycles, beach signs and a cool camper van cut in half and mounted onto an outside wall opposite a colorful outdoor seating area with fire pit where lots of kids were running off their burgers. There is also a bar area with small side tables made out of surf boards that are great for adults to eat at during happy hour from 3 – 6.00 pm.
My husband was a bit underwhelmed by the food but this isn’t gourmet cooking, more of a fun place to eat with the kids while you kick back and enjoy the colorful surroundings with a cool drink in your hand.
Baby & Toddler
Weekly Activities Calendars
Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?
Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”.
I am a fan of both Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks, so looking forward to seeing them in another movie together, that Hanks also directed called “Larry Crowne”. It is about a man who loses his job and heads to his local community college to start over. There he develops a crush on his teacher played by Roberts and helps her find her passion for teaching again.
The 80’s girl group ‘The Pointer Sisters’ whose hits include “I’m So Excited”, “Automatic” and “Jump (For My Love)”; will be performing at the 'Marin County Fair’ on Sunday evening at 7.30 pm. view fair's website