Marin Blog · Outdoor Adventures Collection

Playful Escapades in Marin: A Guide to Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures

Posted in Blogging Marin on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 by MCVB Staff

Marin is a Californian gem located just north of San Francisco where land and aquatic adventures await at every turn. From towering redwoods to shimmering shores, this guide is your ticket to thrilling kid activities that promise laughter, learning, and boundless fun.

Kid-Friendly Land Adventures in Marin

If you’re looking for adventures that keep you out of the water, try the following:

Exploring Point Reyes National Seashore

One of our favorite things about Marin is Point Reyes National Seashore, where adventure is just a stone’s throw away.

Start an educational journey with Field Guides Outdoors—from bird mist-netting and tide pooling at Agate Beach to scenic hikes at Limantour Beach and explorations of the redwood forest ecosystem at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, there's something for every curious mind.

With classes taught by skilled naturalists and experts, the Pt. Reyes Field Institute allows visitors to explore natural history, the visual arts, and local folklore. Don't miss out on upcoming events such as animal tracking, the artistry of drawing spring flowers, and the geological wonders of Northern Point Reyes Beaches.

Moreover, their Get to the Point programs offer free and low-cost opportunities for friends and families to fully immerse themselves in the wonders of the park. With a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for all, these programs ensure that everyone can experience the magic of Point Reyes National Seashore.


Stafford Lake Park: A Haven for Bike Enthusiasts

Stafford Lake Bike Park offers 17 acres of exhilarating trails that are appropriate for riders of all ages and skill levels, so pack your bags for a family bike trip there. Whether you're a BMX enthusiast, mountain biking aficionado, or dirt jumper extraordinaire, this award-winning park has something for everyone.

Beginners can hone their skills at the learn-to-ride zone complete with a pump track, while seasoned riders can tackle the perimeter trail or test their mettle on the progression jump course featuring three lines of varying difficulty. For the daring, the park has the only dual slalom course west of Truckee, guaranteed to raise your heart rate.

There is plenty of time to test out your bike at Stafford Lake Park with convenient hours from 8 am to 5 pm until March 9th, then 7 am to 7 pm until May 24th, and finally 7 am to 8 pm until September 2nd. Kids eight years old and younger need to be accompanied by an adult.


Horseback Riding at Five Brooks Stable

Have a child who loves horses? Stop by Five Brooks Stable, where families of all ages can saddle up for an unforgettable adventure amidst the breathtaking scenery of Point Reyes National Seashore. With guided trail rides catering to park visitors seeking an alternative way to explore this pristine landscape, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Choose from a variety of scenic routes, such as a beach ride that offers spectacular views of Alamere Falls or the Glen Trail. For young buckaroos and buckarettes under 6 years old, pony rides around the picturesque Mill Pond provide a gentle introduction to the world of horses, fostering a lifelong appreciation for these majestic creatures.

Enjoy the Outdoors at McInnis Park

Spend quality time outdoors with the kids at McInnis County Park! Enjoy a variety of activities like skateboarding, softball, soccer, canoeing, tennis, and golf. Explore nature trails and picnic areas while taking in scenic bay views. Leashed dogs are welcome, but please respect sensitive wetland areas.


Aquatic Adventures

If you’re more interested in getting a little wet, try these adventures:

Sailing with Call of the Sea

Set sail on a maritime adventure with Call of the Sea aboard the magnificent Brigantine Matthew Turner. This vessel was modeled after the ship Galilee, constructed by shipbuilder and designer Matthew Turner in the late 1800s. With its state-of-the-art hybrid system harnessing wind power for propulsion and rich historical connections, Brigantine Matthew Turner serves as a captivating platform for youth and the public to explore the wonders of the Bay and beyond.

As students set sail under the guidance of an experienced crew, they’ll get hands-on learning experiences conducted in small groups. From navigating the bay's waters to exploring life below deck, each 30-minute learning station offers a unique opportunity for discovery and exploration.



Kayaking with 101 Sports and Blue Waters Kayaking

Go kayaking in Marin for your next family adventure with 101 Sports and Blue Waters Kayaking.

101 Sports offers private lessons and Kayaking 101 classes, perfect for families looking to learn together, while Blue Waters Kayaking provides a wide range of guided tours and specialized outings tailored to families, friends, and groups of all sizes. Whether you're paddling along the scenic shorelines of Tomales Bay or venturing out on a self-guided adventure, kayaking offers a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

So pack a picnic, gather the family, and set out for a day of exploration and adventure on the tranquil waters of the West Marin area.

Kid-Friendly Hikes to Beaches and Waterfalls

If you love water but need something a little more affordable, take a picturesque hike through Marin and discover our stunning waterfalls. Whether you're exploring the gentle slopes of Hamilton's Bay Trail or marveling at the cascading waters of Cascade Falls in Mill Valley, there's a waterfall hike perfect for adventurers of all ages.

Take a stroll along the flat and accessible paths of Hamilton, ideal for families with strollers, or venture deeper into the lush wilderness of Point Reyes' Chimney Rock for breathtaking views of Drakes Bay. For those seeking a peaceful retreat, Fairway Waterfall in Novato offers a short and easy hike through tranquil woodlands, while the Waterfall Trail at Indian Valley promises a magical journey through enchanting forests and free-flowing streams.

With options ranging from the scenic Cataract Falls Loop to the hidden gem of Carson Falls, Marin County's waterfall hikes offer something for everyone to enjoy.

See also: The Best Waterfall Hikes in Marin County


Cultural and Artistic Experiences

The following cultural and artistic outings are all kid-friendly:

Transcendence Theater: Kid-Friendly Performances

Transcendence Theatre Company presents a series of captivating outdoor musical revues in the picturesque setting of Sonoma Plaza, featuring top talents from Broadway and beyond. Before each performance, delight in a unique Sonoma-style picnic experience, creating cherished memories for the whole family.

Transcendence offers Broadway Kids Camp to young aspiring performers, where they can participate in singing, dancing, and acting workshops led by Broadway artists, fostering creativity and confidence in a nurturing environment.



Mountain Play Association: Theater Events for Kids of All Ages

The Mountain Play Association invites theater-goers of all ages to Mount Tamalpais for an annual outdoor theatrical extravaganza. Enjoy breathtaking views and award-winning entertainment while picnicking amidst nature's beauty. With youth tickets free on Opening Day and ASL interpretation available for select performances, these kid-friendly productions promise an unforgettable blend of art, nature, and community for audiences of all ages.


Explore Marin County's natural beauty and cultural offerings, from scenic waterfall hikes to captivating outdoor performances. Don't miss out on the chance to create lasting memories with your family this year—and if you need a place to stay, visit the Marin CVB at