Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Coming Up: Little Nemo - Free Movie for Kids

Roxie Theater in San Francisco (3117 16th Street) is showing the movie Little Nemo this Sunday, as part of their Roxie Kids free films. These are free for kids 12 and under ($7.50 for adults). They selected films to appeal to kids and adults - and not the typical Hollywood films either. These are more artsy. They want to expose kids and adults to more independent and foreign films.

This film is directed by Chris Columbus, who did Home Alone 2 and Harry Potter. Details about the show at the bottom.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Friendsgiving - the movie

Who do you spend Thanksgiving with? For us, it's usually my in-laws, and maybe some cousins and aunts and uncles too. This year it's with other cousins, and we'll be in New York City checking out the holiday festivities (but alas, not the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, because my kids don't want to get up early to wait in the cold to get a good spot).

Lots of people, though, spend the holiday with friends. I hadn't actually heard the name "Friendsgiving" until this year. Is it new or am I just out of it?

In any case, if you're looking for some friends-based shows and movies to watch this holiday weekend, we have a few suggestions for you.

Charlotte's Web - you read the book (perhaps to your kids) - now watch the movie.

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends - this Cartoon Network show is from 2005. "When his mother doesn't believe in his best friend, a young boy takes him to Madame Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and they have fun adventures."

Do we think our kids would appreciate Saved by the Bell the way we did? Only one way to find out.

The pickings are awesome for the parents! Did you miss any of Desperate Housewives, the group of neighbors who were (sometimes) close friends? You can catch all eight seasons on Netflix.

And of course there's the Office. We saw the original British version first, so it was a bit hard at first to adjust to the new crew. But we adjusted just fine.

And great news for those who have WAY too much time on their hands - all 10 seasons of the awesome TV show Friends will be available on Netflix streaming, starting in January.

Thanks to Netflix for sponsoring this post!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bay Area Tree Lighting Ceremonies 2014

It's more exciting to watch a giant tree get lit up, than watch your own. So head to these tree lightings for some holiday fun.

What: Rec and Park's 85th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
When: Thursday, December 4, time TBA (last year it was 4-8)
Where: McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park
Activities: TBA - last year they had train rides, live entertainment and Santa visits.

What: Union Square, Macy's 25th annual tree lighting
When: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 6 p.m. for the ceremony, actual tree lighting at 6:40
Where: Union Square
Activities: entertainment; it gets crowded so arrive early

What: Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting
When: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 5:30 (activities 4-9)
Where; Ghirardelli Square
Activities: live music, kids' entertainment, Santa visit

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gingerbread House Activities in the Bay Area - 2014

My kids are begging me for a gingerbread house kit again this year, but every year they start and don't finish it. And then they don't clean up. So I'm looking into other options. Fortunately the Bay Area has many.


The Mandarin Oriental is hosting "ho-ho-ho homes for the holiday" on Saturday, December 7, which includes gingerbread house making from 2-4. Kids get their own aprons and chef hats, decorating gingerbread houses and sugar cookies. For drinking, there's a hot chocolate bar (parents can hit the adult bar and get small plates on their own dime). Cost is $60/kid. RSVP at or call (415) 276-9784.
St. Francisco sugar tree. Photo by Peter Medilek

Not for your own making (okay, and not gingerbread), but check out the Westin St. Francis' 12 foot tall sugar tree. It has 1,000 pieces of hand-crafted candies and ornaments, including handmade snowmen, sugar ribbons, gift boxes, Christmas trees, candy canes, elves and stars in the rotating tree. It's in the lobby November 26-January 2, at 335 Powell in SF.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Coming Up: Chick Tech Event - free

If you or someone you know has a high school age girl who is interested in technology, check out the Chick Tech 2014 High School Tech event this Sunday. The girls in the organization create their own tech project and will display them in workshops.

Chick Tech's goal is to close the gender imbalance in the technology industry. By showing these girls that coding is fun, this gives them fewer barriers as they decide what they want to pursue after high school.

The event is free

Where: **new location** 88 Colin P Kelly Jr. Street at Brannon, San Francisco
When: Sunday, November 23 from 4:15-5:30

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Coming Up: Storytelling in Music with Joel Ben Izzy - free

The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra is back with a fabulous FREE program for families: Storytelling in Music, with Joel ben Izzy.

This Bay Area storyteller has some tales to share, accompanied by music provided by the SFCO. This program features a reprise of last season’s Main Stage hit Luck or Wisdom?, a folktale paired with an energetic klezmer-style score by Stephen Saxon.

When/Where: Venue info here.
Saturday, November 22 at 2 p.m. - San Francisco Calvary Presbyterian Church
Sunday, November 23 at noon - Oakland Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Sunday, November 23 at 3:30 - San Mateo College of San Mateo Theatre

Coming Up: The Stumpers Book Launch

I don't write about a lot of book launch events, but this one seems very sweet. Local author and artist Karima Cammell created a book called the Stumpers, about the doll family she fashioned, below.

She also owns A Castle in the Air, a crafting store, which will host a fireside chat with her, as well as musician Laura Cortesi, followed by live music and a book signing (they'll be giving away a gift with every book purchase). Hot cider will be provided too. Stop by if you're available! I can see how kids (and adults) would be enchanted with this Stumper world.

You can see more about it on this YouTube video.

When: Thursday, November 20 from 5:30-7:30
Where: Castle in the Air, 1805 4th Street, Berkeley