'Tis the season of rampant consumerism and over indulging. As we rush about, the magic of the holidays often gets lost. What are some of things that make the holidays special? The sparkling and colorful lights, the decorations, the pageantry and the music. All of these things are available, and often for free, around Marin County (and one in San Francisco). Here are some special outings that bring you back to the mystery and the beauty of the holidays…

The Rombeiro Family Christmas House

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Since 1991, The Rombeiro Family has plugged in their 75,000 Christmas lights to the power grid and covered their home in fake snow and icicles to welcome the holiday season. The entire house is open to the public for four hours each night and crammed to the rafters with decorations, snowman statues and angels, nativity scenes and even a train set with trains racing madly around the tracks surrounding a twinkly winter carnival. The question on everyone's mind is "where do they sleep?"

WHEN: Open nightly from December 2nd through January 6th from 6-10pm, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

WHERE: 34 Devonshire Drive, Novato, CA 94947 - but you can probably see it from space!

The Tam Valley MegaTree

A 30 foot tall tree of 4000 LED lights set to holiday music on a rotating playlist. In the Tamalpais Valley neighborhood of Mill Valley, neighbor Jeffrey Brown brings a entertaining and mesmerizing display of lights and sounds to anyone who wants to park in front of his home and tune their radios to 96.1FM to hear the music that is synchronized to the light show. Enjoy! Through January 5th.

WHEN: Nightly from 5-10pm through January 5th

WHERE: 340 Jean Street, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Sausalito 31st Annual Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks

Watch this show of brightly lit and beautifully decorated boats making their way along the scenic shoreline by the Sausalito Yacht Club and Ferry Landing. The finale of this colorful and stately procession is a rollicking fireworks display. Sausalito knows how to kick off the holiday season!

WHEN: Saturday, December 8th from 6pm-9pm

WHERE: Along the shoreline by the Sausalito Yacht Club and Ferry Landing

Holiday Wreath Making and Caroling


Towards the end of every year, the Fairfax Volunteers sponsor a holiday wreath-making and caroling potluck party. Open to all, this celebration is a great way to get in the holiday spirit.

Wreath-making materials are provided for the creation of a holiday wreath of your own design and imagination, and you’re welcome to bring your own ribbons and decoration for personal flare. 

Holiday-themed caroling is led by local musicians and singers, and there’s almost always an appearance by Kris Kringle himself, courtesy of a Ross Valley Fire District 'sleigh'!

WHEN: Sunday, December 9th from 2pm- 5pm

WHERE: Fairfax Women's Club, 46 Park Road, Fairfax, CA 94930

Ice Skating at NorCal Ice

Hit the Ice! At the Northgate Mall in San Rafael, there’s an ice rink through January 21st, 2019. There is 6,400 square feet of rink of real skating ice. Skate rentals are $15.00 and include skates all day with in and out privileges.

WHEN: Rink hours are Monday-Friday from 2-9pm and Saturday & Sunday from 11am-10pm through January 21st, 2019

WHERE: Northgate Mall, 5800 Northgate Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903

IlluminateSF - Festival of Light

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37 installations spanning 17 neighborhoods and 30+ artists. What an amazing and festive way to travel the nooks and crannies of the City by the Bay at night amidst this electric spectacle.

WHEN: On display through New Years Day

WHERE: Various Installations listed here