Summer is fast approaching, and with the turn of the season comes the promise of longer (and hotter) days here in the North Bay.
Luckily, Marin County has a million ways to beat the heat. From entertainment to nature, fairs and festivals, and all the ice cream in between, it’s time to start filling up that summertime agenda with fun, festivities and all-around merriment.
Marin Shakespeare Company’s Summer Shows
Nothing says summer quite like soaking up some Shakespeare under the open sky. Under the watchful eye of the Marin Shakespeare Company’s new artistic director, Jon Tracy, two plays are in the works. For Hamlet fans, shows begin as early as June 16 and run to July 16. Those who prefer a lighter tale may tune in from Aug. 4 to Sept. 3 for Twelfth Night, directed by Bridgette Loriaux.
The Marin Shakespeare Company’s summer shows will take place at the Forest Meadows Amphitheater, located at 890 Belle Ave. in San Rafael. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the website at marinshakespeare.org.
Valley Summer Music Series
Barry “The Fish” Melton Band is the first act to make a splash as part of this year’s Valley Summer Music Series presented by the San Geronimo Valley Community Center.
The Fish dives in at 5 pm, Sunday, June 4, at Giaco’s Valley Roadhouse, 625 San Geronimo Valley Drive, San Geronimo. Tickets are $25. Events run through September. For more information visit bit.ly/sgvms23.
Mountain Play is again taking advantage of the summer months to present yet another great outdoor theater adventure with its rendition of Into the Woods. This production will play from May 21 to June 18. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to mountainplay.org.
Marin County Fair: ‘Electrifying!’
The Marin County Fair returns in its full glory for the first time since 2019 with the 2023 theme: “Electrifying!” Attendees will not only partake in all the fan-favorite fair fares, but will also help in celebrating sources of clean, renewable energy.
The Marin County Fair will open daily from 11am to 11pm and will span from June 30 to July 4. The fair is located at the Marin County Fairgrounds at 10 Ave. of the Flags in San Rafael. For more information or to pre-purchase tickets, visit the website at fair.marincounty.org/2023.
The Gem Faire is coming back to town this summer—this stone-centric celebration will take place the weekend of July 21 to 23 and will be open from noon to 6pm July 21, 10am to 6pm July 22 and 10am to 5pm July 23. The Gem Fair is located at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Ave. of the Flags, San Rafael. See gemfaire.com/venue/marin-centerexhibit-hall for more information.
Jazz & Blues by the Bay
If the desired vibes this summer include listening to some smooth jazz and blues by the water, drink in hand and a song in heart, then Jazz & Blues by the Bay is the way to go. The 2023 lineup will include well over a dozen different performers, from June 2 to Sept. 15. To learn more, view the performance lineup or reserve a table, visit sausalito.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/events/jazz-and-blues-by-the-bay.
Terrapin Crossroads Sunday Daydream Festival
This one-day festival in San Rafael promises the works: a fun run, music, food and more! Terrapin Crossroads Sunday Daydream Festival is set for July 9. Visit sundaydaydream.com for more information.
Fairfax Festival (& Ecofest)
The 44th annual Fairfax Festival (& Ecofest) is a two-day-long celebration that includes music, a flea market, arts and crafts, wine and beer, a 10am Saturday parade and a Friday night movie on a baseball field. The Fairfax Festival will take place June 10 and 11. Visit fairfaxfestival.com to learn more.
Green Gulch Farms Summer Solstice Retreat
For a more mindful start to the summer months, consider this unique retreat opportunity at Green Gulch Farms. Unplug and explore various ways to reconnect with nature and oneself through meditation at the Summer Solstice Retreat, which will take place on June 23. To learn more about the event, visit sfzc.org/locations/green-gulch-farm.
San Rafael Bead & Design Show
Bead enthusiasts rejoice for this summer’s schedule, including the San Rafael Bead & Design Show. This means attendees can peruse displays, consider collectibles and connect with the 125-plus other bead lovers from the lineup of show members. This event will run from June 9 through 11 in San Rafael’s Embassy Suites. For more information, visit the website at beadagio.com.
Novato Art, Wine & Music Fest
The Novato Art, Wine & Music Fest is back with its usual promise of festive cheer, art galore, food and wine to spare, and, of course, free admission. This festival is set to take place on June 10 and 11 and will run from 11am to 7pm Saturday and 11am to 6pm Sunday. To learn more about the event, visit novatochamber.com/2023-art-wine-music.
Rancho Compasión Film Night
Rancho Compasión is a non-profit dedicated to the cause of providing both sanctuary and care to farm animals in need. This summer, the organization is hosting a Future of Food Film Night on Aug. 5 with Miyoko Schinner. Visit the website at ranchocompasion.org to learn more.
Rancho Nicasio’s BBQs on Lawn Music Series
Rancho Nicasio’s BBQs on Lawn Music Series will begin on May 28 and run through September. Guests can gather ’round, eat some BBQ, kick back and relish merry musical entertainment outdoors. To learn more about the Rancho Nicasio music series, go to ranchonicasio.com.
Summer Concerts in the Garden
Get your garden on this July when the Marin Art & Garden Center’s “Summer Concerts in the Garden” series returns from 5 to 7pm, every Thursday. Guests are encouraged to pack a picnic, throw down a blanket and kick it in their low-backed chairs for an evening of topnotch music. The series begins July 6 with Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums. Beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are available for purchase, and a KidZone will keep kiddos busy with activities. Tickets are $20. The performance is at the Gazebo Lawn at the center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross. More info at maringarden.org/events.