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Marinwood Christmas Houses


Marinwood Bear House
2011 Marinwood Christmas HousesMany Marin residents truly get into the holiday spirit. However, the community of Marinwood; which is tucked in between San Rafael and Novato, takes it a bit further each year. That’s because Marinwood always has the most Marin decorated holiday houses. As almost every family makes it trek around the neighborhood each year to see the Marin decorated holiday houses, you can be sure special notice will be taken of these holiday treasures.
During the holiday season when it get’s dark too early to go to the park, you’ll often be able to find me walking the streets of Marinwood with my double stroller and two children in tow checking out all the Christmas houses.

The Bear House

The first stop on the tour is one of my favorite Marin Decorated holiday homes; the Nisja’s Bear house. This house of Christmas lights has been a traditional sight for the residents of the Bay Area for more than 30 years. You just have to make plans to see the Bear House several times throughout the holiday season. The fun never seems to stop and there is so much happening. I need several viewings to be sure I take it all in.
This Christmas house is a fantasy land set up in its front yard. As the name implies, the emphasis is on teddy bears and how they get along with the model trains that are also set up there. All kinds of bears are positioned to play a role in each of the many lighted display scenes. The central feature of many of these scenes is the model railway layouts that have large-scale trains winding their way through model neighborhoods with their own Christmas trees, decorations, Christmas lights and, you guessed it, bears. My personal favorite this year is the display that shows a bear blowing bubbles from the house of Christmas lights. My family has even been on hand when jolly old Saint Nicklaus has made an appearance!

The Christmas House

Suppose you spent the Christmas season in Marin — especially in Novato or San Rafael — during the past 40 years? If so, then you have the fondest memories of the amazing Christmas House. Over the years, this house became the measuring stick for all other Christmas houses. The Adobestone Court house is decorated with lighted animated figures, dolls and colorful holiday scenes. It’s open daily through New Year’s Day 5–10 pm.
This year’s version of the Christmas House is definitely not to be missed. You can get complete details and see photos on the Friends of the Marinwood Christmas House Facebook group.

The Mickey House


The Mickey Marinwood House

Our family’s favorite Christmas house in Marinwood is Mickey Mouse’s Christmas House. The very first time you see it will show you why it is so popular. The Mickey Mouse House; which is located at the corner of Blackstone Drive and Las Gallinas Avenue, can easily be mistaken for a any old lighted Christmas house. However, just get out of the car and take a short stroll up the driveway. You will see why so many kids just can’t wait to see this house each year. Each night, from 6pm to 10pm, the garage door is opened revealing two galleries showing what can only be just about every Walt Disney toy and decoration ever made. All are artfully arranged in two amazing holiday gallery displays.

Linda’s Snow Village

Linda’s Snow Village is a unique holiday display; as opposed to a lighted Christmas house. It has been set up at the front of a Miller Creek Road home near Quietwood Drive. Make sure you take a good look at it when you are closeby. When you see the elf holding a colorful sign you’re there. The Snow Village is actually a wooden white kiosk that occupies the driveway. Its size and wrapping of colorful Christmas lights makes it hard to miss. Inside you will be treated to hundreds — maybe even thousands — of small lighted cars, buildings, figures, animals, a model HO-scale train, and a flying saucer, no less. And, all are arranged in what can only be described as a mid-century winter wonderland. One of the fun things to do at Linda’s Snow Village is to treat the display like it is a “Where’a Wally” puzzle. Every one of the windows on the kiosk has a small note challenging you to find specific things that have been hidden somewhere in the decoration. Sometimes it’s various animals. Sometimes it’s musical instruments or even candy bars. You have to have a good eye! Some items can be quite a challenge to find!
This is one of the Marin decorated holiday houses that is both fascinating and mesmerising. Linda’s Snow Village is definitely a welcome diversion from the more ornate Christmas houses.

Rombeiro Christmas House

The electricity supply throughout Marin is put on alert every December when the Rombeiro Christmas House (Devonshire Drive, Novato) is unveiled yet again. Obviously, each community has its decorated Christmas houses, however this one is an entirely different kettle of fish. The Edmundo Rombeiro family has put together the ultimate Christmas house for the last 2 decades. Each and every year it grows bigger and gets more outrageous. This has got to be seen to be believed. Photos just won’t do it it justice. The Rombeiro house boasts in the neighborhood of 120,000 lights; along with countless decorations, dioramas and figurines all adorning the houses walls, front and side yards and rooftop.

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