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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Coming Up: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Children's Musical Theater San Jose is presenting the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Several casts (of 112 kids total - ages 14-20) will perform in this show

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is based on the Victor Hugo novel and the Disney animated film. It beginat the stately cathedral in 15th century Paris where Quasimodo, the lonely bell-ringer, is held captive in his tower. He's enchanted by the kind and beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda, but has two rivals for her attention—one of whom is his devious keeper, Frollo, who will stop at nothing to have what he wants. The show has a powerful Oscar-nominated score. The epic and unforgettable love story redefines what it means to be a hero.

When: July 28-August 6 (various times - including matinees)
Where: Montgomery Theater (271 Market Street - San Jose)
Tickets: $20-25

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Coming Up: Girls Who Code Founder and Author Reshma Saujani Speaks

Kids have a chance to meet Reshma Saujani , the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization championed by Sheryl Sandberg, Malala Yousafzai and John Legend. She is a former Deputy Public Advocate of New York City who galvanized industry leaders to close the gender gap in STEM education and empower girls to pursue careers in technology and engineering. In 2010, she became the first South Asian woman to run for Congress. Since 2012, Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired over 10,000 girls across America.

The book (Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World) shows what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be. It's part how-to and part girl-empowerment.

Tickets are free, but they ask for an RSVP.
When: August 25 at 7.00 p.m.
RSVP: here
Where: Kepler's Books in Menlo Park (1010 El Camino Real)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Coming Up: Sunday Streets in the Mission

This Sunday is Sunday Streets! It's in the Mission district neighborhood. Look for activity hubs will be located between 14th and 16th and 24th and 26th, with dozens of free activities in between offered by local merchants. Combined with the always festive atmosphere of the Valencia Corridor, July 16th will be a special day to explore old and new.

When:  July 16 from 11-4
Where: Duboce to 26th Street on Valencia

Monday, July 3, 2017

Coming Up: Tarzan at Berkeley Playhouse

The Berkeley Playhouse presents Tarzan, the the musical adventure based on Disney's Oscar-winning animated film and the classic novel, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The score is by Phil Collins (and includes the 2000 Oscar winner for Best Song, "You'll Be In My Heart"), and the book by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face),

Tarzan is the story of a unique family drawn together by fate and bound by love. You'll journey to the African jungles in this production that explores what it means to be a family.

Tickets: $22-40 - call (510) 845-8542 x351 or by visiting berkeleyplayhouse.org. Pay what you can performances are on Friday, July 7 at 7 pm and Thursday, July 13 at 7 pm. That promotion is cash only at the door one hour prior to performance time. They request a donation of $20 per ticket but are able to accept a minimum of $5 per ticket.
When: July 7 - August 13 (various times)
Where: Julia Morgan Theater (2640 College Ave., Berkeley)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Coming Up: Stern Grove 2017

The Stern Grove festival started last Sunday. That's one down, with plenty of free summer concerts to go! This is Stern Grove's 80th season. Here's what's happening there this summer:

July 2 - Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers plus FantasticAMADOU & MARIAM Ibibio Sound Machine Negrito
July 9 - San Francisco Symphony (Mozart and More)
July 16 - Eric Burden and the Animals, plus the Stone Foxes
July 23 - Los Angeles Azules
July 30 - the San Francisco Ballet
August 6 - Amadou and Mariam plus Ibibio Sound Machine
August 13 - War plus Malo
August 20 - Brazilian Girls plus Moon Hooch
August 27 - Mavis Staples plus Key Choice Ensemble

Here's a guide to Stern Grove with kids. Of course the dates have changed, but it will give you an idea of other things going on there, like kids days, kids stage and kids camp.

Monday, June 26, 2017

$500 Youth Grants for Volunteer Projects - Disney Summer of Service


Youth Service America (YSA) and Disney are sponsoring $500 grants to support youth community volunteer projects. It's part of the Summer of Service youth campaign.

Use fun summer activities including arts, sports, reading and doing outdoor activities to make the world better. Kids in the U.S., ages 5-18 can apply for a $500 Be Inspired Summer of Service grant to create a project or expand an existing project throughout the rest of the year. They'll be awarding 250 grants for youth-led service projects. The money will be awarded to the organization to support that project.

They're accepting applications through September 30, 2017, but you must begin the application process by September 15. Find details about the Disney Be Inspired Summer of Service program here. Also, here are some examples of projects that were awarded grants last year:


  • Splish Splash, led by a 13-year-old in Clayton, Missouri, engages experienced youth swimmers to teach swimming to and form friendships with kids with autism.

  • Hack Night, created by a 17-year-old in New York, is an initiative to introduce middle and high school students in underprivileged communities to the computer science industry through panels, workshops, and demos of software development projects.

  • Peace, Love, and Chess, organized by a 12-year-old in Sturgis, South Dakota, aims to build a supportive learning community based on love of chess, composed of students who might not normally know each other or socialize together.

  • Make Good Decisions Soccer Game, an effort of a 16-year-old and his teammates from Carmel, Indiana, uses soccer to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kid-Friendly SF Symphony Concerts in July

If you're symphony fans and want to take your kids to a family-friendly concert with the symphony, here are a few summer options:

Stern Grove
The SF Symphony performs yearly at Stern Grove, in a free concert in this gorgeous outdoor location. While you'll be packed in with your picnic blanket, you'll still be comfortable (and able to leave if the kids need to go). They're performing on July 9 at 2 p.m. The program is still TBA.

John Williams Music
Listen to the Symphony perform John Williams music, ranging from Star Wars to Jurassic Park to Harry Potter and Indiana Jones movies. Note that there will be no film clips playing. Plus a special 40th anniversary celebration of Star Wars. Tickets are $20-85. This is at Davies Symphony Hall on July 6 and July 7 at 7:30.

It's Jaws! Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan


Jaws - Feature Film with Live Orchestra
Probably not for the young ones! Enjoy a screening of Jaws with the live orchestra. Did you know the shark used in the film is named Bruce, after Steven Spielberg's lawyer? You can see Bruce at Universal Studios Hollywood (look for our review!). Jaws will be on July 13 and July 14 at 7:30. Tickets are $39-139.

Pixar in Concert
Enjoy a musical celebration of the entire canon of Pixar’s feature length films, including selections from Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars and Inside Out. It's on Saturday, July 15 at 7:00 and Sunday, July 16 at 2. Tickets are $35-139, with half-price tickets for kids.

Waterfront Free Symphony Concert
Listen to the Symphony in the great outdoors, at James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27. The concert is free (program TBA) on July 23 at 12 noon. No tickets required.

For concerts requiring tickets, you can get them at San Francisco Symphony's website or box office.