Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween treats - candy free

Do you always give out Halloween candy? You don't have to, and no one will throw eggs at your house if you give out something good.

I'm an Organizing Junkie wrote a post with the 10 best allergy-safe Halloween treats.

I wrote my own candy-free Halloween post early on. And a few years back, published 8 ways to cut back on candy this Halloween. I also have some great Halloween links here.

Halloween treats don't have to be tricky, is the message behind this Spoonfed blog post, which looks at artificial colors and other junk in candy.

What are we handing out this year? Not candy! It's still not good for you, but we're handing out Glow in the Dark bags of Cheetos (the Cheetos hopefully don't glow in the dark). We also picked up some snack bags of popcorn, that are easy to throw into the lunchbox.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Coming Up: Bay Area Science Festival

10 days - 50 events. You're bound to find something you like! And most events are free.

"The Bay Area will come alive with science and technology activities – lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays, workshops, and more. This ambitious collaborative public education initiative brings together our leading academic, scientific, corporate, and non-profit institutions to showcase the region as an international leader in innovation. Science happens all around us and directly impacts our daily lives – are you ready to unleash your inner scientist?"

Explorer Days are the family events, and you can find them in green on this schedule. They also have teen events in blue. The hands-on family Explorer Days include events like Marin Headlands Native Plant Science, Hawk Talk and Banding Demo, BioBlitzing at Muir Woods, Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour, Wonders of the Parasite World, and Paleontology and Geology at Brighton State Beach. As you can see, the events are all over the Bay Area. They have adult events too, in case you want a romantic night out.

The festival concludes at AT&T Park for a Discovery Day on November 1, for a free science extravaganza from 11-4. They'll have 150 experiments, shows, games and more. It includes robots, STEM programs, life sciences, marine science, and chances to meet scientists and engineers. They expect 30,000 people to attend!

When: October 23-November 1, 2014
Info: Bay Area Science Festival

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Orange is the New Animal Print: Preparing Teresa Guidice for Prison with Netflix

For those of us who follow reality show crazies, the news of Teresa Guidice getting a prison sentence was BIG NEWS. Since I'm in the middle of the second season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix, of course my first thoughts were that Teresa needs to binge watch this show before showing up in early January for her jail stay. And also that Bravo should consider a new prison TV reality show featuring Teresa. I'm sure I'm not the first to think that.

For my monthly Netflix post, I thought it would be timely to write about adult shows with a prison theme, and later about kids shows with right versus wrong (and consequences) themes. But first, the adult ones.

Teresa Guidice may be feeling sorry for herself, but it could be worse. She could end up in one of Russia's Toughest Prisons. By watching this National Geographic Special, she can go behind the scenes of these Russian prisons to see how the biggest criminals live in jail there.

Get 'Yer Tickets: Golden Moment Ice Skating with Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano

Have you or your kids wanted to see Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano skate? Now's youre chance. Their show Golden Moment is coming to SAP Center at San Jose on Sunday, November 2. The cast includes skating performances by Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Evan Lysacek, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Dorothy Hamill, Tanith Belbina and Ben Agosto, Nancy Kerrigan, Jeremy Abbott and Polina Edmunds. Also featured are Yuka Sato, Ryan Bradley, Karen Chen and many more.

When: Sunday, November 2 at 4 p.m.
Where: SAP Center, San Jose
Tickets: $50-200, though you can get discounted pricing through the Children's Discovery Museum, including a family four-pack for $124. Order here through October 29.

Proceeds support the Always Dream Foundation's early childhood literacy program, Always Reading.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Halloween Happenings 2014 in the Bay Area

Halloween is coming up. And if your kids are anything like mine, they've been talking about it since school began. Here's a list of activities to consider (we'll have a separate post on Halloween at the malls). Please add your favorites to the list!


What: Celebrate with the creepy-crawlies, including trick-or-treating, face painting, dancing, jugglers, aerial acrobats, costume parade, crafts, magicians, live music, animal shows, giant pumpkin carving demonstrations, planetarium show, food and drinks and more. Come in costume and get a reusable trick-or-treat bag!
Where: California Academy of Sciences, SF
When: Friday 10/24 from 5-9 p.m.
Who: everyone
Cost: adults $50, kids 17 and under $35. Kids one and younger are free. And anything over $30 is tax-deductible
More info: here 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Books, Apps and Sites To Check Out - My Colleagues are Busy!

Some of my colleagues have been busy publishing books, apps and helpful posts. I wanted to share them with you.

Today, you can get my travel blogging colleague Terri Weeks' book for free. It's called Adventures Around You: a Plan to Create Unforgettable Family Memories While Exploring Locally. It provides ideas on how to find family adventures without needing to travel. Of course the Bay Area is great for that! Today you can download on it Amazon for free, otherwise it's $2.99. I just downloaded mine.

The talented food writer Monica Bhide debuted her first work of fiction - short stories called The Devil In Us. It's a collection of stories about how your life can change in a second. It's gotten some wonderful reviews which you can read here. It publishes October 15 but you can preorder it on Amazon now for $3.99, which I just did!

And this isn't an ebook, but if you're thinking of traveling to Italy with kids, check out Ciao Bambino's 52 things to know before going with your kids.

Another travel blogging colleague just released version 2 of this popular app, now called TripDoc 2. It's a travel organizer that makes it easy to organize all the things you want to do on your trip, in a easy-to-view map form. It's only for the iPhone, so I haven't tried it out, but those who have the earlier version love it. It's free.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Coming Up: Lawrence Hall of Science Fun October Events

The Lawrence Hall of Science has some fun events coming up in October:

Meet the Makers: Xunfeng Zhao
When: Saturday, October 11 12:30–3:30 p.m.

Participate in the Maker movement that's spreading across the country, at the Lawrence Hall of Science. At this event you'll meet Xunfeng Zhao, a noted woodworker, artist, designer, and inventor who designs and builds unique furniture and crafts to inspire kids. Work alongside Xunfeng on exciting and innovative projects, and get inspired by his work.

Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
When: Thursday, October 23, 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Eclipse timing: 1:52–4:32 p.m.

Experience a partial solar eclipse through solar telescopes at the Hall while learning the ins and outs of solar eclipses from Hall experts. Have your questions answered in our Planetarium, watch live demonstrations in Science on a Sphere, and participate in a special lava tile activity designed exclusively for this event.

Their popular Design Quest exhibit is now back, through January 19. You'll act like an engineer as you come up with ideas, build prototypes, and test your designs in a variety of stations, including two brand new activity stations.

The Hall also has a Halloween event the weekend of October 25-26, which Frisco Kids will feature on our Halloween round-up soon!

The Hall has open registration now for their Little Explorers Workshops (ages 3-6), Techtorials (ages 12+), and Homeschool classes. These classes are a great way to get your little one involved with science while participating in fun activities with other like-minded kids.