Happy to answer your questions again. Having lived in both CM and Larkspur!
As you know, Marin County has a varied terrain all throughout the county due to our famous Mt. Tamalpais and the Bay. So your interest is a common one with a growing family. It seems that most of my clients with small children prefer to be in or near the flats and in a kid friendly environment, like yourself.
Let's begin with Corte Madera:
1. On the West side you have the very flat neighborhood of Madera Gardens (Lakeside, Birch) near the local elementary public school (Neil Cummins) with ranch style homes and a VERY family environment. The whole family can walk or bike on these amazing paved sidewalk like trails - to school, the local town park, the CM Post Office and to shopping at the Town Center which has a fabulous weekly farmer's market. I just did a version of this walk on a loop this past weekend from the Old Town Square (Menke Park) thru Corte Madera and then looped thru Larkspur back to The CM Old Town Square - about 45 minutes to an hour. It's all flat, and families are on their bikes, etc...
2. Then there is Chapman Park right across Tamalpais - on the S. side of Tamalpais Drive (which is the main artery off Hwy. 101 to CM and LK. ) No too many sidewalks in this area, but it's very quaint with a mixture of different types of architecture, size, and level of remodel (not as much of a planned neighborhood lay out as Madera Gardens) This area again is VERY family oriented as well, and is another perfect neighborhood for your family. Prices can be quite varied in this area .
Both neighborhoods afford a great walk able score.
3. On the Bayside of Corte Madera (east of Hwy. 101) are again very flat neighborhoods. Some are in the CM schools and a section of E. CM is in the Tiburon School District as well.
a. Mariner Cove with lots of ranch style homes (Spindrift Passage, Pacific Queen Passage) with lots of sidewalks in this neighborhood, close to Paradise Foods, and the Bay Marsh. VERY family oriented.
Some of these homes require flood insurance as well due to the proximity to the Bay.
b. Mariner Highlands is also on the E. side, but is on the S. side of Paradise Drive with a mixture of homes in the flats but some slightly hilly. Some of these homes are in the Tib. school district. Lots of families here as well.
c. There is relatively new subdivision called Madera del Presidio which is a planned unit development comprising of about 150 single family detached homes built about 10 years ago. This neighborhood has a community toddler park and is full of families as well. Great hiking on nearby Ring Mt.
4. Larkspur is full of flat neighborhoods as well:
Heather Gardens, the streets on the west side of downtown, lower Palm Hill, and Hillview.
Hillview is a bit further N. of the downtown area - has great large ranch style homes.
Halloween in these neighborhoods are amazing. Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions about any of these neighborhoods.
Madeline Schaider Real Estate
In Corte Madera the best family neighborhhod is Madera Gardens.
Generally the weather in Larkspur is a bit warmer and milder with less fog and wind tha Corte Madera.
I hope this info is helpful. Lou La Gatta, Marin Realty Group