Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category
No one would ever accuse me of being a “hippy.” Not by a long shot. Sure, I live in Marin and vote accordingly, but “hippy?” No. Not that I have anything against the hippy culture, of course. I just like wearing commercial perfumes over patchouli and have never been a fan of tie dye.
Which is why I always found it so curious that everyone would always tell me about the Fairfax Wednesday afternoon Farmer’s Market. The funny part is, they would tell me I would love it, and in the same breath describe it as a cute “hippy dippy” (which doesn’t sound like a positive phrase, if you ask me) collection of crafts, music, yummy food and organic produce.
At the description, my mind would flash to the overly crowded Noe Valley Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. I would picture the tiny parking lot where they would bring in a handful of tents, throw some chalk down for the handful of toddlers, bring a couple of folk singers and make the already congested area even more annoying. Picturing a version of that in down town Fairfax didn’t really sound appealing. So I spent my first entire year in Marin completely avoiding it. Naturally.
The first sign that I might be making a hasty decision about the Wednesday night Fairfax Hippy Fest was when I was having dinner at a friends house. They revealed the most delicious pre-roasted chicken from a bag, still steamy hot, and started carving. First of all, not having to make dinner is such a plus. And sure, you can get “warm” chickens every where. But this wasn’t a normal “warm” chicken. It was so hot and delicious, that the addictive smell wafted into every corner of the house, promising home roasted deliciousness. It didn’t stop there. There were potatoes, and grainy and crunchy rosemary salt that I could almost stick my tongue directly into. I refrained. Afterall, I was a guest at someone else’s house.
I could go on about the chicken, but the point was, it all came from the Fairfax Farmer’s Market. Wow, I thought. Maybe I should just check it out.
Coincidentally, the next week, I got an invite from some friends to join them there. With the roasted chicken still fresh in my mind, I agreed. I arrived on bike, although I could have easily have driven. Sure, it was crowded, but there were still plenty of parking at that point. (Side bar, I go several times a month in the summer and almost always drive – and have never not been able to find parking.)
When I arrived, yes, there were the folksy singers, and the throngs of toddlers dancing in circles, but it wasn’t a parking lot. It was the lush green center of Fairfax, under the redwood trees. It was warm, but shaded, and there were blankets thrown everywhere with neighbors laughing and sharing snacks.
I found my friends, spread out on several blankets, letting their kids play around them. There were piping hot sweet and savory crepes on sale, delicious grilled sandwiches and beautiful baked goods. And of course, there were the chickens.
I sat down and for the next two hours I felt like time stood still. Everyone was laughing, sharing sandwiches, lush ripe strawberries, cherries and plums. Kids were getting faces painted, and donning balloon dogs and swords. After a long work day this beautiful scene before me was such a pleasant alternative to grocery shopping in florescent lights and cooking.
Am I a hippy convert now, you may ask? No, I wouldn’t say so. But, I certainly see the merits in going native.
Jacquelyn Warner is a Marin based photographer. She was born in LA, raised in Texas, and has been sipping, dipping, hiking, bbqing, shopping and drinking here in the Bay Area for the last 14 years. She remains constant in her endless search for the perfect spot for just about anything in Marin.
Itâ€™s that time of year again when you need to start planning for your kids’ summer activities. Either of these resources can help you make a decision that’s right for your child.
Check out Marin Magazine’s Summer Camps Guide which has listings for a wide variety of day and overnight camps, or you might want to stop by the Marin Camp Fair being held at Dominican University this Saturday, March 9 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. More than one hundred day and overnight camps for kids from Preschool to High School will be sharing information about their programs. There will also be a bounce house, professional hula hooper, free pizza and door prizes for the first 250 families.
Location: Dominican University of California Campus, Conlan Gymnasium, 1475 Grand Ave, San Rafael.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Service is launching a new notification system tomorrow, on Alert Marin Day, Jan. 26th. It’s an upgrade to the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS), that calls you when there’s an emergency. Now you can register your cell phone or VOIP number to receive emergency alerts by text, voice and email. You may register multiple geographic locations for notification, such as home, work, childrenâ€™s school, or a parentâ€™s home.
Go to www.alertmarin.org for info and registration. It just takes a couple of minutes, and it could save your life or property!
I thought I’d share a wonderful blog that I frequent often when I’m looking for something to do with the kiddos. Marin Mommies has loads of ideas, mostly focusing on Marin, but with some branching out to other parts of the Bay Area too. They list weekend events, local beaches, hikes, family friendly recipes, birthday party venues, and day trips in the area. If you have kids and live in Marin, or visit often, you should definitely check it out.
We’re always looking for parks in Marin that have a lot to offer kids and families, and what we really like about Miwok Park in Novato are all the cool things for kids to do.Â The grassy field is perfect for throwing the ball around or playing soccer, and there are plenty of shady spots to get out of the sun. There’s a large play structure area and lots of picnic tables in the trees with BBQs, and the creek provides a great place for the kids to play. Then the really unique thing about the park is the Museum of the American Indian, which educates kids about the local Native American tribeâ€¦super cool. Parking can be limited for big groups but there are also spots in the surrounding neighborhood.
With so many parents from SF with small children moving to Marin for the schools, this isn’t surprising. From the IJ:
The new school year is just underway, with some big changes.Â San Anselmo’s Brookside Elementary School was previously divided into two campuses. Lower Brookside was kindergarten through second grade, and third through fifth grades were at the Upper Brookside campus.Â With the big increase in enrollment of younger students, and after much thought about how to accommodate everyone, the district decided to split the two campuses into separate schools altogether.Â With last year as the transitional year, for this 2012-2013 school year Upper Brookside has been renamed Hidden Valley, and will be K-5. Lower Brookside will keep the Brookside name and is still in transition, with K-4 classes for now, and plans to become a complete K-5 next year.
Brookside Elementary has a new principal, Billy Cameron, who was previously assistant principal at Bacich Elementary School in Kentfield.Â Hidden Valley Elementary also has a new principal, Kristi Fish, who was previously a dean of students, assistant and interim principal at Ross Elementary in Ross.Â To read more about her and the new school check out the PTO website.
The Kindergarten Readiness act of 2010 will start to be implemented this year, which gradually will move up the eligibility cutoff so that in 2014 kids will need to be 5 years old by September 1st, where they previously had to be 5 by December 2nd to be eligible for Kindergarten admission. There is a Transitional Kindergarten program at Brookside that will allow children affected by the change to have a pre-kindergarten class on campus before their year in actual kindergarten.Â Further information on the requirements can be found here.
Big things are in the works in the Larkspur-Corte Madera school district. Bond Measure A, which passed last year, is providing funds for upgrades to Neil Cummins Elementary and Hall Middle School, and the biggie–a brand new elementary school at the site of the old San Clemente School on Paradise Drive, which has been leased to the Lycee Francais. The plan is to tear down the old facility and build a brand new public school, with construction slated for 2013 and 2014. I talked to someone in the district office who said they haven’t yet decided on enrollment boundary lines or what will determine which kids go to which elementary school, but she said to keep an eye on the website for updates.
I know it reopened in February, but we just finally took the kids by Hal Brown Park (formerly Creekside Park), across from Marin General, and the renovation is impressive.Â It has great play structures, a large grassy area for playing soccer, an awesome loop for kids to ride their bikes around, and really sweet views of the lagoon and Mt. Tam. Great spot to picnic or have a kids birthday party. If you haven’t made it by it’s worth checking out while the weather is still nice.
If youâ€™re looking for a good place to get some friends together for a picnic in Marin, then look no further than the Lake Lagunitas Picnic Area, just eight minutes from downtown Fairfax. The kids can go fishing, play in the creek, or ride their bikes around in the parking lot. We like to bring our mt. bikes and ride around the lake with the whole family. We also like this spot because it’s set in a redwood grove with lots of shade, and has good sized picnic tables with large bbq/grill areas.
We usually reserve the large tables and grills when we know itâ€™s a large group, but if you’re just going with a couple of families you might not need to reserve in advance as there are almost always enough tables to go around. A good hike is to make a loop with the kids around the lake…it takes about 30 minutes. In the summer when it gets hot this is the perfect place to hang out in the shade and be with friends. I have to say itâ€™s one of the most beautiful places in Marin.
The picnic area is at the end of the road adjacent to the parking lot.Â You’ll find directions and info on reservations here.