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September 1 - September 15: Movies in the Park, Santa Rosa
Bring the kids, a picnic, and a blanket for an evening under the stars, and with the stars on the big screen. Santa Rosa's annual family-friendly movie festival continues with a free showing of the Disney movie Moana. Upcoming September films include the hits Sing and Beauty and the Beast. Free. Through September 15.
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Now through September 17: "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown", Santa Rosa
The only Broadway musical devoted to the famous Peanuts comic series, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown celebrates its 50th anniversary as the season opener at 6th Street Playhouse. Kids and parents alike will enjoy the fun loving energy of the famous cast of characters, including Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally, Snoopy, and of course, Charlie Brown. From flying kites to playing football, it's a celebration of all things lovable, weird, and warm-hearted about childhood. Tickets start at $15-$38.
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September 5-7: National Heirloom Exposition, Santa Rosa
The world's largest gathering of all things heirloom vegetable and fruit, the National Heirloom Exposition will fascinate and educate food and science lovers of any age. Bring the kids for a fun day of hands-on learning, tasting and games - all focused on produce of all shapes and sizes, from tiny tomatoes to giant gourds. Kids will love the fruit carving displays, meeting Sustainable Santa, tasting food from around the world, dancing to live music, and more. The event is free for kids and $10 for adults.
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September 9: Wine Country Nature and Optics Festival, Sonoma
The largest nature festival in Northern California, the Wine Country Nature and Optics Festival, returns to the historic Sonoma Plaza to celebrate all things flora and fauna. Kids can get up close and personal with bats, bees, owls, and other rescue animals that are native to the Bay Area. It's also a great way to learn about family-friendly outdoor experiences in the area with the over 60 organizations that will be on hand. Kids can also learn about binoculars and how to use them to spot birds and other creatures in their own backyards. Free.
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September 15-17: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sonoma
Fast cars and free fun abounds for kids at the final race of the IndyCar season. Kids under 12 are free for the weekend and Sonoma Raceway offers an opportunity to get up close and personal with race cars and the racing stars who drive them. Don't miss the Patriots Jet Team Air Show, the IndyCar driver autograph session, the Kids Club booth which is filled with games and meet and greets, and a chance to build Lego race cars to "drive" at home. Kids are free, adult tickets start at $15.
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September 16: Sonoma Plein Air Festival, Sonoma
Your little artist will love the chance to try their hand at painting alongside professional artists at the annual Sonoma Plein Air Festival. The event, which benefits arts education in local schools, features award-winning paintings from regional artists who showcase the landscape, cityscapes, and life of Sonoma County through their artwork. After exploring the art on display and watching professional artists create artworks on the spot, kids can create their own masterpiece on the Sonoma Plaza with the guidance from an artist. Free.
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September 23: Santa Rosa Toy Con, Santa Rosa
Does Wonder Woman or Iron Man live in your house? If so, then Santa Rosa Toy & Comic Con is a must for your wee superheroes. Dress the kids up and check out the cosplay contest, the biggest in Northern California, and explore exhibits and booths showcasing toys, games, comics and all the fantasy and sci-fi you and your kids love. While the kids ooh and ahh cool toys, you can meet movie star Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns, La Bamba) and Star Trek legends Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and Walter Koenig (Scotty). Tickets start at $15.
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September 24: National Acrobat & Martial Artists of the People's Republic of China, Santa Rosa
Chinese acrobats and martial artists have gained a reputation for being the finest in the world and for one night only, the best in the country will take to the stage for fans of awe-inspiring feats and dance. Kids will love the dazzling costumes, aerial stunts, juggling acts, contortion tricks, and feats of balance. There will also be martial artists, celebrating the elegant - and dangerous - art form. Your kids will be begging for dance and martial arts classes afterwards, guaranteed. Tickets start at $25.
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September 27: Read to a Dog, Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library, Rohnert Park
Have a beginning reader in your family? Help them develop their reading skills by reading to a dog at local libraries. Trained therapy dogs sit next to children as they read out loud to them, serving as non-judgmental, patient, furry listeners. It's a great way for beginning readers who may be too shy or self-conscious to read to an adult to develop their new skill. It is also offered at Sebastopol Regional Library on the same day and throughout county libraries monthly.
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September 30: Dav Pilkey's Supa-Epic Tour O'Fun!, Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
It's not everyday that Captain Underpants and Dog Man visit Santa Rosa! The Charles M. Schulz museum is hosting the stars of the bestselling series and their creator, Dav Pilkey, for a fun afternoon of comics, creation and conversation. Pilkey, a Caldecott award winner, will present on his work, live draw, and sign kids' favorite books in his series. They can also meet Dog Man and Captain Underpants for photos and enjoy activities and giveaways. Free.
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October 3 & 10: Fantasy Mask Making at the Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma
Crafty kids will love a chance to express their creativity with a class at the Sonoma Community Center. Kids will channel their wildest imagination, with the guidance of artist-teacher Jennifer Joyce, to sculpt masks depicting animals, humans, insects, flora and fauna. Masks will also be decorated with crowns, hats, mustaches, hair, eyeglasses and more. Finished masks will be ready to hang on the wall at home! The Center offers weekly art classes for kids. Enrollment starts at $109.
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October 5: Hot Dog Thursday at the Pacific Coast Air Museum, Santa Rosa
Aspiring airplane pilots will love the chance to walk among airplanes, meet some of the men and women who flew them, and enjoy an all-American meal - a hot dog, chips and a drink - at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. For a mere $5 per person, you can have a fun lunch with your little ones and learn about the history of aviation at the museum, including looking into vintage airplanes. Bowls of chili and ice cream bars are also available for $1.00 each. For an additional charge, kids and adults can experience what it is like to fly an airplane in the Museum's 3D Flight Simulator.
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October 11: Go, Dog. Go!, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa
P.D. Eastman's famous book, Go, Dog. Go!, about a musical dog party will come to life at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts as part of the Clover Sonoma Family Fun Series. Arrive early for free arts and crafts projects and to enjoy an early dinner (pizza!). Then, watch a live performance of Go, Dog. Go!, where six lovable dogs drive cars, wear crazy hats, play a wild game of ball and interact with the audience. Preschool friendly. Tickets are $5 for 2 and under, $12 for children, and $17 for adults.
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October 19: Third Thursday Festivals, the Barlow, Sebastopol
Bring the family and celebrate fall with the last Thursday Festival of the year at the hip and happenin' Barlow in downtown Sebastopol. Parents can sip craft wine and beer while kids enjoy crafts, face painting, a bounce house, and old fashioned fun on the green. The soundtrack is provided by local musicians accompanied by dancers, choirs and more. Free.
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October 21: Floating Pumpkin Patch, Ridgway Swim Center, Santa Rosa
The fall family trip to the pumpkin patch is no longer limited to farms and fields: now you can swim to your selected squash of choice. The 4th annual Floating Pumpkin Patch returns to Ridgway Swim Center for a day full of games, pumpkin decorating, and the highly competitive in-water pumpkin hunt. Swimmers and non-swimmers welcome for the fun. $10, tickets required. (Photo by Alvin Jornada)
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October 28: Halloween at Howarth Park, Santa Rosa
Dress the kids up in their costumes and head down to Howarth Park for the 12th annual Halloween at Howarth. Kids under 12 can trick-or-treat throughout the park, stopping by treat stations hosted by local businesses and organizations. Kids can also ride the historic Howarth Park train and carousel and giddy up on a pony ride. Tickets start at $6.
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