Thursday, April 28, 2016

Coming Up: Frozen Singalong (Plus Mamma Mia and Sound of Music)

I know this is last minute, but if you are looking for something to do with the kids this weekend, and they love Frozen (who doesn't?), get your tickets to the Frozen Singalong at the Retrodome in San Jose. Seats are limited for the matinees, so hop on it!

While you're at it, consider getting a three-pack of tickets to other singalongs, including the Sound of Music and Mamma Mia.

Frozen Singalong: April 29-May 1
Mamma Mia: May 6-8 (a great Mother's Day outing!)
The Sound of Music: May 13-15

Where: Camera 12 Downtown, 201 South Second Street, San Jose
Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Your reservation includes reserved seating, a fun pack of props, a 15 minute pre-show that includes contests, previews and/or trivia, on-screen lyrics and free validated parking when using the adjacent parking garages.

Coming Up: Bay Area Theater Productions Fit for Kids

Here's what's happening in children's theater right now.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee just passed away, which makes this a great time to delve into this book. Have the kids read the book, and then get tickets to see it live at the Berkeley Playhouse.

When: April 30-May 22
Where: Berkeley Playhouse, 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley
Tickets: $25-60

Rickshaw Girl
The show is about a daughter in a Bangladesh village, where boys can work for pay, but girls are expected to stay home and help with the cooking and the cleaning. The girl, Naima desperately wants to help her father earn more money, and she thinks she knows just how to do it. Includes theater, dance and music. This is a world premiere, and it's recommended for age 6 and up. The book author will be at the May 22 performances to sign books.

Tickets: $18-22 at Bay Area Children's Theater
When: now through May 1
Where: Children's Creativity Museum Theater, San Francisco

When: May 7-22
Where: Osher Stdio, Berkeley
Elephant and Piggie, photo courtesy of BACT

Elephant and Piggie's We are in a Play
This play based on a Mo Willems book is so popular it already sold out in Berkeley and San Francisco (and the SF performances haven't even started yet). Good news: there are tickets available for the San Ramon performances. What's it about? "Piggie is excited, because she has no idea what is going to happen today—which means that anything is possible. Like skipping. Or ping pong. Or a party invitation! Party invitation?! Good thing Gerald knows how to party!" The characters sing and dance and celebrate friendship. Recommended for all ages.

When: May 7-8
Where: San Ramon, Dougherty Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road.
Tickets: $18-22 at Bay Area Children's Theater




Monday, April 11, 2016

Coming Up: Old Enough to Vote at Habitot - Free

This Saturday, Habitot Children’s Museum has a free admission day to celebrate its 18th anniversary, with an “Old Enough To Vote” theme. Families are encouraged to come dressed up at politicians, suffragists, or famous presidents. They'll have a voting box for the kids to stamp their vote for cutest insect. This week, the kids can also vote on the Habitot Facebook page to vote on their favorite color playdough, best juice flavor, and cutest insect. In the art studio, the museum will have an enormous three-foot sculptural birthday cake for kids to douse in paint, glue, sparkles and confetti.

This is a great time to teach your kids about the voting process, if you haven't started already, since the presidential primary is June 7.

When: Saturday, April 16 from 9:30-4:30
Where: Habitot, 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley
Cost: free

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Art of Risk (and Family Travel) – a Q&A with Author Kayt Sukel

As a family travel writer, I often hear that going abroad with my kids is a risky proposition—and it’s always confused me a bit. Kayt Sukel, a fellow writer and travel blogger at Travel Savvy Mom, has been fed that line a time or two herself. Her new book, The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution and Chance, takes a hard look at “risk” – what it is, what it isn’t, and why we should, as parents and individuals, be encouraging more of it, at home and abroad. I’m excited to share this Q and A with her—and encourage you to pick up a copy of the book (I'll be posting a review myself soon)!

Frisco Kids: You’ve traveled with your son across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. What do you say to people who tell you that it’s too risky? 

Kayt: I usually start by quoting Mark Twain and say something about travel being fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness—and that I think it’s a bigger risk for my children not to explore and learn those important skills. For those who are terrified of travel, that usually ends the conversation. They think I’m nuts and we just agree to disagree. But for those who are honestly curious—and, often, I think, looking for permission to travel with their own kids—it usually leads to a wonderful discussion about how to best travel with kids. I usually learn a thing or two myself in the process.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Coming Up: The Wild Bunch - Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers is getting ready for a new exhibition. Called the Wild Bunch, they're featuring "some of the more ornery gangs of the plant world." What does that mean? They'll have plants that hoard water (cacti), "fat" plants called caudiciforms, and succulents. "These fleshy, and often thorny, plants are distinguished for their ability to survive the most extreme, arid conditions, and their swollen stems and leaves come in a stunning variety of weird shapes and unexpected colors."

You'll see hundreds of varieties like Lithops, which look like pebbles, some Dr. Seuss-like fat plants such as the flowering Adenium obesum or desert rose. You and the kids will learn about how the succulents have unusual adaptations to hostile environments, like their water storage abilities, drought resistance and sharp defenses against predators (hello, cacti!).

What: the Wild Bunch: Succulents, Cacti and Fat Plants – a special living exhibition that explores the dramatic world of water hoarding plants
When: May 6 – October 16, 2016. Closed Mondays.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays – Sundays
Where: Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Cost: San Francisco Residents: $6 general; $3 youth 12-17, seniors and students with ID; $2 children 5-11; children 4 and under FREE Non-residents: $8 general, $6 youth 12-17, seniors and students with ID; $2 children 5-11; children 4 and under FREE.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Coming Up: ADHD with Katherine Ellison

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Ellison will be talking about ADHD at a special evening at Kepler's. Her new book is ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know.

She'll be in conversation with Melissa Belle Anderson. She'll discuss all of the most controversial ADHD topics, including:
-does it even exist?
-is it just for kids?
-how much do meds really help?
-how does it affect women differently than men?

Rates of diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are skyrocketing, throughout America and the rest of the world. U.S. rates of youth diagnosis have increased 40% from just a decade ago. Adults with ADHD are now the fastest-growing segment of the population receiving diagnosis and medication. The disorder is painful and sometimes disabling for individuals and tremendously costly for society; yet, widespread misinformation, skepticism, and unanswered questions have jeopardized effective diagnosis and treatment. The book is researched and written by Stephen Hinshaw, an international expert on ADHD, and Ellison.

Moderator Melissa Belle Anderson is the mother of two, and was diagnosed with ADHD late in life. Since receiving treatment, she is now a full time, first-generation college student, entrepreneur, and ADHD advocate.

When: Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m.
WhereKepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
RSVPRequested
Cost: free

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Coming Up: Jack and the Beanstalk live in Marin

Jack and the Beanstalk comes to life in March.


Actually, it's Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Giant, and the Goose, and the Really Truly-Uly Rotten Day, a one hour, interactive musical . This fractured fairytale version of Jack and the Beanstalk includes singing and dancing, plus comedy and magic.

Stay after the show for a meet-and-greet, photo opportunity with the characters. The show is put on by the Masque Unit Junior Theatre of Marin, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. This is its 54th consecutive year presenting fully produced stage performances retelling classic children's stories.

For: Ages 3+

When: Saturday, March 5, 2016
Three performances at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Tickets: $10 and $12; $10 children (up to 12 years old); $12 adults Get them online here. or call the Marin Center Box Office at (415) 473-6800.

Where: Theatre Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael

www.masqueunit.org