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January 1 - January 2, Go ice skating, Sonoma: Skate into the New Year with your little ones at the ice skating rink at Cornerstone Sonoma. Your future Olympic star can skate the afternoon away on the area's only outdoor skate rink, or enjoy an early evening skate under the stars. Adults are welcome to join the fun, or sip a warm beverage rink side. Admission includes skate rental and starts at $10 for kids and $20 for adults. All proceeds benefit the North Bay Fire Relief Fund. (Courtesy photo)
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Now through January 7, Explore a tiny town via tiny trains, Healdsburg: Choo-choo! The trains are back for the annual Model Trains Spectacular in Healdsburg. Lionel scale-model trains are displayed in a small town winter setting dating from the 1940s to the 1960s, making it a fun sight for kids, parents and grandparents alike. Check out the mini Swiss Colony, famous passenger trains, and all the lights, bells and whistles of tiny, charming train sets. Free. (Photo by Beth Schlanker)
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January 2 - January 5, Keep learning at the Children's Museum, Santa Rosa: Keep kids entertained - and learning - during their winter school break with a workshop at the Children's Museum of Sonoma County. For the science curious child, check out "Fun with Physics" (Jan. 2), where kids explore hands-on gravity and building activities, or "Yummy Science" (Jan. 4), which looks at the science behind kid-friendly foods like hot chocolate and ice cream. For the creative spirits, try "Messy Art" (Jan. 3), or "Superhero Adventures" (Jan. 4) when kids channel their inner superhero with costumes, art and storytelling. Classes start at $37 each. (Courtesy photo)
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Now through February 28, Enjoy fun with your little one on Museum Monday, Santa Rosa: Storytelling, games, crafts, and other fun for children ages 1-5 is offered every Monday at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Parents and kids can enjoy activities focused around the famous Peanuts cartoon characters and other educational and hands-on fun, with a different theme presented each week. Families displaced by the recent fires are welcome to participate for free through the end of February. $5 per child, two adults free before 11:00 AM. (Courtesy photo)
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January 11, Tour a sticker factory, Petaluma: Did you know that Petaluma is home to the oldest and largest sticker factory in the country? For over 30 years, Mrs. Grossman's has been making stickers and have even been recognized for their eco-friendly sticker making practices. Take your sticker loving kiddo to tour their factory, where you can watch stickers being printed, die-cut and perforated - including by laser! You'll also get free stickers at the end of the tour. Free for children under 3, children ages 3-11 $5 each and 12 years and up $7. Reservations required. (Photo by Beth Schlanker)
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January 13, Go birding, Sonoma: Every year birders around the world flock together for winter bird counts, when they count all of the birds they see or hear during a 24-hour period. Sonoma Birding is partnering with Sonoma State Historic Park to host the CBC4Kids Winter/Christmas Bird Count at the Sonoma Barracks. The event starts with an orientation and brief training, crafts, and plenty of birds to spot and watch. Kids 5-14 welcome. 9 am-1pm. Sign up via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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January 14, Unravel the mysteries of wildlife, Windsor: Join park guides at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in Windsor for a guided hike to uncover the clues that animals leave behind, including where they sleep, what they eat, and how animals spend their day. Children 3-7, accompanied by an adult, can enjoy a 1-2 mile hike to track animals and learn more about the daily (or nocturnal) lives of animals that reside at the park. (Photo from Facebook)
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January 18-23, Explore California Carnivores, Sebastopol: Plants that eat bugs are the speciality of California Carnivores, which is believed to house the largest collection of carnivorous plants in the world. Kids who like creepy crawlies will love the nursery, which is chock full of easy to understand explanations on how the many types of plants, including Venus flytraps, eat and grow. Props and toys create a fantastical and creepy environment. Staff members offer tips on growing your own at carnivorous plant at home, too. (Photo by Conner Jay)
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January 27, Join comic book and fantasy fans for a day of fun, Petaluma: The 4th Annual Lumacon, a mini Comic-Con for kids, takes place at the Lucchesi Center in Petaluma. The event features appearances from popular comic book writers and illustrators, a fiction writing contest (enter now!), live action role playing, cosplay, crafts, games, vendors, and Artists Alley, where kids in grades 5-12 can display and sell their own artwork. (Photo by John Burgess)
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January 28, Enjoy Dr. Seuss set to music, Rohnert Park: Join Sam-I-Am (Michael Boudewyns) for a fun-filled performance of "Green Eggs and Ham" at Weill Hall, with a classical music twist. This inventive, whimsical performance features a "feast of endless surprises" including a little help from Tubby the Tuba. From red polkadot yo-yos, a dapper bullfrog puppet, to a small piece of ribbon, the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra guarantees that "dreams do come true." Arrive early to visit the Instrument Petting Zoo.
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February 2, Learn how to code, Rohnert Park: Tech-savvy kids ages 9-12 can learn the basics of computer coding during the Hour of Code at Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library. The 1-hour program is designed to "demystify code," all with the intended goal of broadening participation in computer science. Kids receive a certificate upon completion. (Stock photo)
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February 3, Attend a magic show and eat ice cream, Santa Rosa: Only in Sonoma County can you bring your kids for an afternoon of magic served with a side of hand-crafted ice cream (with gluten free options!). Every Saturday, Shuffle's Magical Ice Cream Shoppe offers a kid friendly magic show hosted by owner J.P. Scirica (a.k.a. The Brooklyn Kid to magic fanatics), featuring cards, street magic, illusions, and more. If your kid turns out to be a magic maniac, you can pick up starter kits and tricks in their on-site magic shop. Each ticket comes with a scoop of ice cream.
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February 11, Learn how to make cheese, Sonoma: Cheeseheads and culinary kids can learn how to make their own cheese with local chef and cheesemaker Sheana Davis. The fun, hands-on, small group, 90-minute class lets kids and adults try their hand at making fresh, warm ricotta cheese. Davis shares the history of fresh cheesemaking, the science behind it, and provides everyone with their own cheesemaking tools to go home with - oh, and you get to eat the cheese, too!
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February 17-18, Go cat crazy, Santa Rosa: Kids will have a purrrfect time at the annual Santa Rosa Cat Show, where they can pet purebred and rare breed cats - and even house cats - until their hearts are content. The weekend includes a juried show and the always fun Feline Agility Show, where kids can register their own cats (ahead of time) to participate in jumping through hoops, hopping barriers - and sometimes not. Your little one can even sign up to be a steward to help maintain the cat cages and interact up close with cats and their owners. Children under 5 free, children 6-12 $5, adults $6. (Photo by Beth Schlanker)
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February 25, Catch the big one, Santa Rosa: Grab your gear and bring the kids to the annual Fishing Derby at Lake Ralphine in Santa Rosa. Hundreds of children gather around the lake, anxiously watching their lines while hoping to catch "the big one." Prizes are awarded for the best catch in each age group. Register at the boat launch at Lake Ralphine the morning of the derby. 7:30 AM-11:30 AM, Howarth Memorial Park, 600 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. (Courtesy photo)
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February 26, Go bowling, Windsor: A favorite rainy day activity, bowling at Windsor Bowl gets colorful every Monday night when the bright lights go down and dance club lights come on and LED lights fill the lanes, creating a disco-like atmosphere. Rock N' Glow is kid-friendly, with special bumper rails that raise at the push of a button so kids (or sore loser grown-ups!) will always score. No need to leave for dinner - order a pizza to be delivered from their on-site cafe to your lane. (Photo by Chad Surmick)