Best Youth Services in Marin

It’s important for kids to have as many resources setting them up for success as possible during the crucial developmental years — and Marin has solutions. The 2023 readers’ choice Best of the County winner is Play Marin (pictured above). For the rest of the Marin Magazine‘s Best of Marin County Youth Services picks see below.

Our 2023 Philanthropy category sponsor is Chambers + Chambers.

We’ve broken it down by region: Southern and Central Marin.

Southern | Central

Southern Marin

Play Marin

Marin City and Sausalito

Every child needs more in their day than just school, and Play Marin is here to provide all kinds of enrichment for kids of all ages. Be that through their impressive sports program that runs through all season, their vibrant summer camps, or their movie trips and craft events, Play Marin helps hundreds of kids explore their passions, build social skills, and simply play.


Central Marin

Esporterz Gaming and STEM Center


It’s sad but true that some gamer circles can easily become insular and toxic, but Esporterz is working against that, creating spaces and programs where kids can game with a healthy community of like-minded players. They also teach coding and various STEM classes, as well as provide a great space for birthday parties.

586 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, 415.570.9991

Kids Cooking for Life


With home economics classes vanishing from most schools, it’s a challenge for kids to learn proper nutrition and food preparation. Fortunately, Kids Cooking for Life is here to fix that. Their well-trained staff will bustle into a classroom to walk students through how to cook healthy, delicious meals. They also offer virtual home lessons.

Side by Side

San Anselmo

Founded in 1895 in Marin County as an orphanage, Side By Side operates across the Bay Area as a support network for youth that have been impacted by trauma and adversity. All their services are tailored for what each young person needs, from mental health assistance to transitional housing.

300 Sunny Hills Dr, San Anselmo, 415.457.3200

Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium

San Rafael

This international consortium is dedicated to researching and treating brain tumors in children, bringing new therapies to children of all ages and young adults. Patients and families are at the heart of what they do, resulting in clinical trials and therapies that are precisely designed for that individual patient.

1005 Northgate Dr #224, San Rafael


Chambers + Chambers Architects: 2023 Best of the County Philanthropy

Focused primarily on custom residential and interior design services, Chambers + Chambers is a boutique architectural practice in Mill Valley. Understated elegance, richness in color and texture and classical detailing are signature elements of Barbara Chamber’s award-winning designs.

What got you interested in philanthropy?
Giving is an expression of spiritual gratitude that makes the world a better place for everyone. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for children and so I’m compelled to give to those organizations.
Do you have a favorite charity?
Tribe Rising India is working to lift the Santal tribe out of abject poverty through education. By building the first-ever high school dedicated to Santals, they are overcoming caste prejudice and creating generational change. 
Why is it important for someone to give?
I believe our gifts are meant to be shared. When we do, we change individual lives and also impact our world.