Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coming Up: Jack London Sustainability Farm Festival - Free

A Sustainability Festival doesn't sound inherently fun to me, but after reading the description, I got a lot more interested. The Jack London Sustainability Farm Festival will highlight Jack London’s legacy as a farming pioneer and connect with today's innovators and their vision to preserve the land for tomorrow. This is crucial in Sonoma County, where the park is, and practiced today.

The park used to be famous writer Jack London's “Beauty Ranch,” where he experimented with many of these same sustainable farming ideas, which weren't common then.

The free family-friendly festival brings together the today’s sustainable farming culture to share ideas and celebrate good farming and food. The festival includes music, food, “DIY fun learning” activities for kids and adults, plus information stations staffed by park docents explaining Jack’s early farming techniques. It will be a time capsule-like experience. In 1915, Jack London experimented with groundbreaking methods of farming, along with more humane methods of dealing with farm livestock. A recent Modern Farming article said that “Jack London has been called many things throughout history, among them, an author, explorer, visionary and a socialist. He has even been called the greatest romantic of his time. However, above all these fancy titles, he was a farmer – and an inventive one at that.”

If you want to see rare footage of Jack London working with his farm animals a few days before he died, check out this YouTube video.

Schedule highlights:
11 a.m. “Autumn Farm Forum,” about food and farming in Sonoma County, presented by Marcy Smothers and Clark Wolf.
12 noon - Information stations open. Participants include Benziger Family Winery, Fiber Arts, Luther Burbank Experimental Gardens, Nana Maes Organics, Oak Hill Farms, Quarryhill Botanical Gardens, Quarter Acre Farms, Sonoma County Beekeepers Association, Sonoma County Waste Management, Sonoma Water Agency, The Green Team – Sonoma Valley High School Wolf Pack Recycling Team, Two Moon Farm as well as Breck Parkman, Senior Archaeologist California State Parks, Jack London State Historic Park Master Gardner, and other current local innovators in the sustainability movement.

What: Jack London Park Sustainability Farm Festival
Where: Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road in Glen Ellen
When: Sunday, October 5 from 11-4
Cost: Free (except for $10 per car parking fee)
More info: website or call (707) 938-5216

Coming Up: Lift Off Festival - CuriOdyssey

CuriOdyssey is hosting it's first Lift Off Festival on Saturday, October 4, where families can see firing rockets, flying discs, floating bubbles, soaring falcons, and other things that go up in the air.

View demonstrations of “lift” by the San Jose Spiders Ultimate (Frisbee) Team, Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company (ribbon dancing), and Rebels Elite cheer team. You can also see new CuriOdysssey exhibits, including a Pneumatic Ball Launcher, which allows visitors to explore air pressure by launching a ping-pong ball high into the air. And also their massive pinwheel installation of more than 100 weather vanes, that highlights the chaotic wind patterns present on the San Francisco Bay.

What: Lift Off Festival
Where: CuriOdyssey - 1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo
When: Saturday, October 4 from 10-5
Cost: Free with admission ($9/adult, $6/kids 2-12, $7/kids 13-17 and seniors

Coming Up: Diwali Festival at Santana Row

Celebrate Diwali,  “the Festival of Lights” at Santana Row Park. This ancient Hindu festival is celebrated on October 4, signifying the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. It's presented by WomenNow. Diwali Utsav 2014 will be the first Diwali carnival at Santana Row and will feature Indian cultural
 activities for all ages. The entertainment program includes chef demonstrations by Amber India, Bollywood dances and dramatic performances depicting the significance of Diwali.

When: Saturday, October 4, noon to 7 p.m
Where: Santana Row Park
Cost: free

Monday, September 29, 2014

Coming Up: Paws on the Square - free

Jack London Square is hosting a Wednesday evening event series in October. Dogs and their families can enjoy festive four-legged fun including free tips, tricks and puppy pampering – doggy treats, pet caricature artists, canine massages, dog walkers, doggie musical chairs, pet behavior, educational pet programming, Oakland Police Department K-9 demos, patio pooch drink specials and more. 

When: Wednesdays in October from 5-7 p.m. (October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29)
Where: Jack London Square (Broadway and Embarcadero)
Cost: free

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Get 'Yer Tickets: Pippin In San Francisco

If you love Broadway theater, you probably know that Pippin is playing at the SHN Golden Gate Theater right now. While I don't recommend you take the kids to see it (read my "Is Pippin appropriate for kids?" Broadway Pippin review here and you'll see why), I do highly recommend that you go on a date night.

Andrea Martin will perform as Berthe in Pippin's last two weeks of the run, October 7-19. I saw her in the role on Broadway and she was amazing and a show stealer. I'm sure the actress Lucie Arnaz, performing the role until then is also great, but I haven't seen her in it. Matthew James Thomas, who performed the Pippin role on Broadway, is also performing in San Francisco.

For more about Pippin, read my review, which is comprehensive.

When: now through October 19 (Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m., Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.)
Where: SHN Golden Gate Theater,
Tickets: $45-210. Buy online here or call (888) 746-1799

Friday, September 26, 2014

Get 'Yer Tickets: Ivy and Bean

The mischievous second-grade heroines of Annie Barrows' New York Times best-selling Ivy + Bean series are back, with toe-tapping tunes and their special brand of witchcraft.

The Bay Area Children's Theater (BATC) created this original stage adaptation, with book, music and lyrics by Scott Elmegreen.

It's recommended for ages 4 and up.

Where: OSHER STUDIO, Berkeley
When: now through October 26 (Saturday and Sunday matinees)
More info: (510) 296-4433, or visit
Cost: $18-22

Coming up: Treasure Island Flea Market

Check out the Treasure Island Flea Market this weekend! They keep adding more fun to the mix. This weekend they'll have a collection of vintage teardrop trailers to view, with a dozen vintage trailers outfitted with modern amenities like custom-built bars, kitchens, etc.

Other family fun includes a bounce house, face painting, ponies and scavenger hunts (this month look for Rafael Ninja Turtle on a roll). Their Maker's Class is making wooden toys (cost is $1 and up). There's a farmer's market, with at least 15 local farm stand vendors. In addition to the 400 vendors, you'll find 25 food trucks, live music, drinks (cocktails, wine and beer) and a great city view.

When: last weekend of each month - September 27-28 - from 10-4
Where: Treasure Island Cost: $3/person for those 13 and older. Free for 12 and under.
Other: free parking and pet-friendly