Here are some suggestions for keeping your tween or teen busy till school starts…as you can see below, some schools start earlier than others!
School Start Dates for Marin Public Schools:
- Bolinas/Stinson Union District 8/22/12
- Dixie School District 8/23/12
- Larkspur/Corte Madera School District 8/22/12
- Mill Valley School District (Elementary and Middle): 9/10/12
- Novato Unified School District: 8/22/12
- Reed Union School District (Tiburon) 8/23/12
- Ross Valley School District 8/20/12
- San Rafael City Schools 8/23/12
- Shoreline Unified School Districtn (West Marin) 8/29/10
- Tamalpais Union High School District (Drake, Redwood, Tam) 8/22/12
As always, this information is simply a list of ideas. Please verify information before visiting as rates, hours of operation, locations, etc. are subject to change.
AMUSEMENT PARK – Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – If you live in Marin, this is the best amusement park to venture to as it’s less than an hour’s drive. There’s something to do for everyone, from toddlers to teens. The Superman Ultimate Flight ride is their newest attraction. It’s a 15-story high speed launch coaster! Make sure you bring lots of sunscreen as it gets extremely hot.
ART – Precita Eyes Murals on 24th Street. Located in the Mission District in San Francisco, the Precita Eyes Murals on 24th Street are art that even teens will appreciate. Local artists have decorated the streets with their colorful murals. A friend of mine who has been there suggests taking the guided tour.
Bead Store – Whether you take a class, or just stop by for a visit, Beads of Marin is a great place to get creative. This place is definitely eye candy for the crafter! They offer private classes, or group classes as well.
Hiking – I came across a great website for hikes in Marin called “Every Trail.” It features a list of hikes throughout Marin. What I like about the site is that includes the general timeframe needed for the hike, difficulty level, and ratings by other hikers!
Japan Town – In addition to the many restaurants, the Japanese dollar stores have become an attraction of their own. Who does’t love a good bargain? Daiso is located in the East Building on the ground floor (to the left of the pagoda if you’re standing on Post Street facing the Peace Plaza). Most items are $1.50. Ichiban-kan is located in the Miyako Mall between Post and Laguna (22 Peace Plaza #540). Not everything is a dollar, but $5 per kid will get you more in this store than most. If you want just a light snack, stop by Sophie’s Crepes at 1581 Webster St (between Geary and Post). Or for kid-friendly sushi, visit Isobune known as the sushi boat place, or one of my favorite’s Takara (I like the boxed set lunches).
Kayaking One of the perks of living in Marin is that we’ve got the beautiful bay right in our own backyard! At Seatrek you can rent kayaks (one or two people) or a paddle board and let the kids explore the Bay. When I took my 9 year old here, the cost was half price because she didn’t go beyond the docks.
Outlet shopping. If you’re looking for some back-to-school clothes, check out one of these factory outlets:
Napa Premium Outlets. Click here to view the list of stores.
Vacaville Premium Outlets . This is the mother of all outlets as it is HUGE! It’s a great way to break up the drive to Tahoe. Click here to view the stores. You can spend hours, if not days at this place!
Waterparks – We recently went to Raging Waters in San Jose. I was impressed at how clean, and safe the park seemed to be. There is a lifeguard at every ride, and the lines weren’t bad at all. I’ve seen reduced ticket prices at Costco for Waterworld in Concord.
Rock Climbing at Planet Granite – The 25,000 sq. ft. facility is a mecca of climbing structures! You don’t need any experience or a partner to climb on the boulders, but do need to take a class if you plan to use the climbing ropes. All participants need to sign a liability waiver as well.
Surf Lesson at the Bolinas Surf Shop. Have your ‘tween or teen catch a wave while learning how to surf in Bolinas. They offer camps throughout the summer.
Trampoline Park – House of Air. Even the most energetic tweens and teens will be tired after an hour of jumping! Make reservations ahead of time so you can be sure that there will be openings. They limit the number of jumpers (thankfully!).
Volunteer! If you want to get your teen involved with volunteering, a good way is to have them work with animals! Here are a couple of animal organizations in Marin.
Save a Bunny! Located in Mill Valley, SaveABunny was founded in 1999 following the rescue of a neglected stray rabbit,and has grown into a nationally recognized adoption, education and foster center.
Milo Foundation With limited space at their San Rafael facility, the Milo Foundation needs families to foster dogs short on a short and long-term basis. The facility is not open to the public Sunday evening through Wednesday, so it helps them if you care for the animal over the weekend. It’s a great way to introduce pet ownership (and all of its responsibilities) without having to completely commit! Warning: the animals are so lovable, you just might adopt them (as we did!).
Ziplining in Sonoma County at Sonoma Canopy Tours. Owned by the Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds, the company offers two-and-a-half hour guided eco-tours that include 7 ziplines, 2 sky bridges, a majestic spiral staircase, a rappel to the forest floor, and the unparalleled beauty of the world famous California Coastal Redwoods. Children 10-17 are $59, and adults are between $89-$99 per person depending on the day of the week. I haven’t had a chance to do this yet (it’s on my hit list), but over 70 Yelpers gave it five stars!