Keep the kids Cool this Summer - Shady Park in Marin

As the temperatures soars this week most families will be hitting the pools, but I thought I would share some suggestions on cool parks in Marin to take the kids to, where they can play in the shade without fear of burning.

Miwok Park, 2200 Novato Blvd, Novato 

Miwok Park in Novato is surrounded by huge trees so it feels like a little cool haven where the kids can cool down while playing on the climbing structures and in the sand box. 

There are plenty of great trees to climb and lots of picnic tables making it an ideal place for a large play group or birthday party. If you feel like an adventure, walk down to the Creek and go for a walk in the water and hunt for fish, rocks and other treasures.

Marinwood Park, 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael

Creek walking - The Marin Scoop
Marinwood Park is an ideal place for a cool play date. There is a great playground with a sand box shaded from the hot sun by large trees, and surrounded by an open grass area, picnic tables and a BBQ area (available for group bookings).

For fire truck fans there is the Marinwood Fire Station next door (also available to hire for birthday parties).Their friendly staff usually comes out to greet the little ones and offer them a sticker, even a chance to sit in the driver’s seat and pretend to ride the fire engine!

The Marinwood Community Center has a preschool with a great reputation that offers kid’s classes and workshops all year round like children's music classes and toddler mini sports. Check out details about these and their regular family-friendly Music in the Park on their website on  The swimming pool also has a small warm tot's pool that has a gated grass area with loungers and large parasols, perfect for a little group get together!

Also running behind the park is Miller Creek which is a wonderful stream that is great for little ones to take a walk in the Creek’s running water searching for rocks and fish in their crocs or rain boots hand in hand with Mom or Dad!

Terra Linda, San Rafael

Weezy's Grass fed Shed - The Marin Scoop 
The Terra Linda Community Center not only has a great outdoor Tots Pool, but it is next to the hidden Terra Linda Park. The park has an open grass area to run around in and a large shady tree to enjoy picnics under. 

You can find the Terra Linda Fire Station next door, where the kids love to see the shiny Fire Engines sat outside.

There is also a perfect view of the fire station from a great local mom owned business across the street called 'Weezy's Grass Fed Shed', 621 Del Ganado. It is a great place for a lunch where you can try their mini organic sliders and sweet potato fries (cooked in rice bran oil). 

For a sweet treat, head to 'Three Twin Ice Cream', ice-cream parlor at 641 Del Ganado for an organic scoop of Madagascar Vanilla, Strawberry Fields, or my favorite flavor, Bittersweet Chocolate!

Freitas Park, Montecillo Road, San Rafael

A fun alternative is to take the kids to Freitas Park, Montecillo Road (next to the Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael) which has a water sprinkle structure. The structure looks like a giant red coil that is controlled by a hand print sensor that varies the strength of the water. Toddlers enjoy running through the sprays of water showering them from every direction.

Once dried off and in need of lunch or a snack, the Northgate Mall is a just few minutes’ drive away. 'Panera Bread' is a great place for a delicious variety of sandwiches, soups and salads with patio seating. 'Berry Twist' opposite Panera Bread and offers a variety of frozen yogurt such as pomegranate & green tea with lots of fun toppings, in a cool modern parlor, that also has outdoor seating.

Millennium Playground at San Anselmo Memorial Park

San Francisco Blvd (off Sir Francis Drake Blvd), San Anselmo

If you are looking for a park that the children can spend hours having adventures while discovering new areas and hidden corners of the playground then check out the Millennium Playground in San Anselmo Memorial Park.

The playground was built by a team of volunteers in May 2000 and was designed by the local children to reflect various San Anselmo themes. It has a variety of complex designed castle fortresses that represent the Seminary Tower and Town Hall Tower which are a lot of fun to get lost in. There is also a train depot with a wonderful wooden train, a giant dinosaur, sand box, swings and various slides that pop out of the wooden structures.

San Anselmo Memorial Park also has grassy areas, a picnic area, several sports fields, tennis courts and clean bathroom facilities.

Are you a fan of these parks or have any other suggestions on cool places for the kids to play in Marin, share your feedback by leaving a comment! 

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