30 of the Best Things to Do in September in Marin

Big Bounce, 30 of the Best Things to Do in September in Marin, Marin Magazine

September 1

Free Fishing Day

Only two days per year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife lets you fish to your heart’s content without a license. Grab your pole and worms, head out to Bon Tempe, Lake Lagunitas, Stafford Lake or another body of water in Marin and drop a line in the water to catch something for dinner.

Various spots throughout Marin, wildlife.ca.gov


Free Fishing Day


September 1–3

Sausalito Art Festival

Set against the bay over Labor Day Weekend, the popular event is arguably the biggest fine art festival of the year in Marin. With booths featuring world class artists and big name entertainment such as George Clinton and Dave Koz, prepare to spend the whole day.

Marinship Park (Sausalito), sausalitoartfestival.org


September 6


Heavy metal and mariachi music are two vastly different musical genres, but somehow this band of renegades have managed to meld the two into a one-of-a-kind sound that somehow feels like being in a Mexican restaurant seated between Ozzy Osbourne and Slash.

Sweetwater Music Hall (Mill Valley), sweetwatermusichall.com



September 7–30

A Chorus Line

Novato Theater Company presents the Tony award-winning, classic musical of a group of aspiring professional dancers striving to achieve stardom on the Broadway stage.

Novato Theater Company (Novato), novatotheatercompany.org


September 7

Steve Poltz

Singer-songwriter and High Sierra Musical Festival favorite Steve Poltz makes his debut appearance at Terrapin Crossroads, bringing his acoustic-only tunes and improvisational style to the stage.

Terrapin Crossroads (San Rafael), terrapincrossroads.net


September 8

Sound Summit Benefit Concert

Trek up to the amphitheater on Mt. Tam (where the annual Mountain Play is held) for a day of grooviness with Herbie Hancock, Grace Potter, Nikki Lane and special guest Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. Proceeds benefit Mount Tamalpais State Park.

Cushing Memorial Theater on Mount Tamalpais (Mill Valley), soundsummit.net


September 8

Makers Market

Support small business and shop from local artists selling handcrafted goods including jewelry, handbags, ceramics, glassware, soaps, candles and more at this outdoor monthly market.

Mill Valley Lumber Yard (Mill Valley), millvalleylumberyard.com


Makers Market


September 9

Brunch Show with the Plage Boys

This informal gathering of musicians first formed years ago in downtown Mill Valley on warm summer evenings, but still gets together to continue their tradition of entertaining others, always for free.

Sweetwater Music Hall (Mill Valley), sweetwatermusichall.com


September 9

The French Market

Make your way over to this popular street market with plenty of Francophile items to browse through before it says au revoir in mid-October.

Veterans Memorial Auditorium Parking Lot (San Rafael), goldengateshows.com


September 13–27

Laurel and Hardy Restored Films

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were the most beloved double act in the movies from 1927 to 1955. Slapstick comedy lovers will savor this batch of beautifully restored films from the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), rafaelfilm.org


September 14–16

Gem Faire

One of the largest gem, jewelry and bead shows in the country returns to Marin.

Marin Center Exhibit Hall (San Rafael), gemfaire.com


September 14–16

Big Bounce America

Catch some big air in the world’s largest bouncy house (10,000 square feet!) that is open to all ages. There are even special sessions for grown-ups only.

Marinship Park (Sausalito), thebigbounceamerica.com


Big Bounce America


September 15

Coastal Cleanup Day

Show some love to Marin’s beautiful beaches and shorelines by spending a morning picking up debris and doing other cleanup tasks at one of 40 designated sites throughout the county. Volunteers are invited to enjoy a free lunch at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito afterwards.

Various locations throughout Marin, spn.usace.army.mil


Coastal Cleanup


September 15

Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams

Join the Marin Symphony for an evening showcasing Academy Award-winner John Williams’ most popular movie scores, including Star Wars, Harry Potter, E.T, Jaws and Jurassic Park.

Marin Center Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium (San Rafael), marinsymphony.org


September 15–16

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

In its 62ndyear, this longstanding family friendly festival is dedicated to supporting local artists and promoting art education. Features visual artists as well as a range of entertainers and performers.

Old Mill Park (Mill Valley), mvfaf.org


September 16


The Tourist Club’s yearly Bavarian style festivals are filled with folk music, dancing, bratwurst, lederhosen and of course, German beer. Kinderfest is the most family friendly one, with special kid-friendly games and dances.

Tourist Club (Mill Valley) touristclubsf.org


September 22

Tiburon Taps Beer Festival

Featuring more than 70 craft brews, free food samples from local restaurants and music by cover band Decades, all set to the dramatic backdrop of the San Francisco Bay.

Shoreline Park (Tiburon), tiburontaps.org


September 22

Free National Park Day at Muir Woods

Never cease to be amazed at the glory of the giant coastal redwoods that make this park one of the most visited attractions in the Bay Area. Make sure to secure your parking and shuttle reservation in advance.

Muir Woods National Monument (Mill Valley), nps.gov


Muir Woods


September 26

Balboa Café Blood Drive

The participants in this do-something-good blood drive get something way better than a glass of juice or a cookie — everyone who donates gets a free Balboa burger.

Balboa Café (Mill Valley), balboacafemv.com


September 27

Comedian Don Friesen

Catch some laughs with this two-time winner of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, whose satirical takes on parenting, marriage and everything in between will have you holding your sides.

Trek Wine (Novato), trekwine.com


Through September 27

San Rafael Farmer’s Market

This seasonal farmers’ market on Thursday evenings is a great place to pick up a casual dinner, delicious produce, fresh flowers or to listen to live music. Catch it before it wraps up in late September.

Fourth Street between B and Lootens (San Rafael), sanrafaelmarket.org


September 29


Support Marin’s senior community through this fundraiser that benefits Whistlestop and stars Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio and Tommy Castro and the Painkillers.

Lagoon Park (San Rafael), whistlestock.com


September 30

San Anselmo Country Day Fair & Parade

Come see why San Anselmo is a small town with a big heart. Start the day off early by stuffing yourself with pancakes at the local firehouse, then stroll down San Anselmo Avenue to find all sorts of vendors and booths from nearby businesses. Don’t miss the hometown parade for a touch of nostalgia.

Downtown San Anselmo (San Anselmo), townofsananselmo.org


September 30

The House Jacks

This professional a capella group from San Francisco not only sings, but vocally imitates instruments such as trumpets, guitars, harmonicas and strings, all while performing mostly original material.

Osher Marin JCC (San Rafael), marinjcc.org


September 30


Join hundreds of dog lovers and their four-footed furry friends at this annual music festival benefitting Marin Humane.

Marin Humane (Novato) marinhumane.org


September 30

Tiburon Half Marathon

Choose between a half-marathon, 10K or 5K race course along the scenic backdrop of Richardson Bay.

Tiburon Blvd and Beach Road (Tiburon), tiburonhalfmarathon.com




Through October 15

Victoria Mimiaga’s Food in Plastics II: The Masters

The pervasiveness use of plastics in modern day society is the theme of the artist’s interpretations of master works in this exhibit, making a bold statement about the excessive use of potentially harmful materials in our world.

Friends of Marin Center Gallery (San Rafael), friendsofmarincentergallery.org


Through November 3

Italian Film Festival

Fall is a big film season in Marin, kicking off with this long-running festival beginning on September 22. Tickets to the festival’s films tend to sell out, so get yours early.

Showcase Theater (San Rafael), italianfilm.com


Through December 31

Friday Farm Tours

Spend the afternoon in gorgeous West Marin learning about how artisanal cheese is made, followed by a cheese tasting. Arrive early to be rewarded with a homemade ice cream sandwich.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese (Point Reyes Station), pointreyescheese.com

Donna Glass

A freelance writer in Marin who writes about family, kids and parenting, Glass is the mother to one son, one dog and a hamster named Miss Geri. When she’s not writing, trekking up steep hills in Marin or driving her kid to sports practice, she and her family spend time in their tiny cabin in Lake Tahoe. She avidly supports the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to Bay Area seniors and disabled adults. Glass is obsessed with baking the perfect loaf of banana bread, something she makes so often she no longer needs to look at a recipe card.