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Friday, July 31, 2009

Coming Up: Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus


August 12-16 in Oakland and August 19-23 in San Jose

Get your peanuts that don’t cost peanuts! Get your really expensive cotton candy!

It’s circus time again.

We’ve gone three of the past seven years, and it’s actually a good show, with motorcycle riders in the big flashing cage-ball. There are tightrope walkers, clowns, dancing dogs and cats, and of course the animals (see below for more on them). And there's a free pre-circus show an hour before the regular show starts (plus you can see th animals).

If your kid is under 12 months, you can sign junior up for a FREE TICKET – with no expiration date! My daughter has one (but we still haven’t used it). Here’s the deal: they send you the coupon, but you have to cash it in at the box office or mail it to the box office. BUT if you just show up at the door and don’t care where you sit (bring binoculars), you should still be able to do it all that day. Especially if you get the cheapie nose-bleed seats like we do (you can see just fine). It’s usually empty up there – plenty of room for the kids to run around. And you save on the nasty Ticketmaster fees (plus they’re notorious for spamming your email before every Def Leppard concert).

Now I can’t post this without mentioning the circus controversy. Each year we see protesters decry the treatment of these animals, especially the elephants. I’m not sure what the truth is, so I’ll print both sides. Animal welfare activists are suing the circus, claiming the elephants are chained up far too long, and claim the trainers use inhumane bull hooks on them. The circus argues that they treat the animals well. You can judge for yourself.

Dates:
Oakland Oracle Arena – August 12-16
San Jose HP Pavilion – August 19-23
Cost: $15-100
Once you're on their mailing list, you'll start getting promo codes and coupons for any upcoming Ringling Brothers Circus in Oakland or San Jose.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Get 'Yer Tickets - Les Miserable at Hillbarn


Get 'yer tickets for Hillbarn's summerstage show, Les Miserables. Ah, what's not to love about this show? It will have you singing out the door.

Shows are:
July 30, 31 & August 1 at 7:30PM
August 1 & 2 at 2PM

Get your tickets: 650-349-6411 or online
Hillbarn Theater, 1285 Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City


Monday, July 27, 2009

Coming Up: AMC Movies for $1 - Nim's Island

Getting bored with the kids at home? Take them to Nim's Island at an AMC theater for $1. AMC's Summer Moviecamp offers movies this summer for $1, and kid-packs of treats for $3. Money raised from these shows goes to AMC's charitable partners.

July 29, 2009 - Nim's Island (PG)
August 5, 2009 - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG)

Shows are Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at participating theaters. In the Bay Area, you can see these shows for a buck at three theaters in Emeryville and San Jose.

Like this post? Sign up to get Frisco Kids by email (box on the right), or follow me on Twitter (@FriscoKids).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coming Up: SF Poetry Festival - Kids' Events

It's time for the second biennial International Poetry Festival in San Francisco. While I know you're jumping out of your seats in excitement, there is actually some fun stuff in it for kids.

Children’s Poetry Storytime on Saturday July 25 (12-2 p.m.).
Poet/Authors Ambar Past (Mexico), Jorge Argueta (El Salvador), Tony Robles (Philippines) and Cletus Nelson Nwadike (Nigeria and Sweden) will be featured at the Richmond Branch Library (351 9th Avenue) for a story time, reading and book giveaway. Free

Youth Poetry Reading with Writers Corps on Saturday, July 25 (12-2 p.m.).
This is at the Western Addition Branch Library (1550 Scott St.), and moderated by Friends of SFPL’s Anne Wintroub and featuring California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes.

The poetry festival starts July 23, and is sponsored by the SF Mayor’s Office and Friends of SFPL. The event features 26 poets from 21 countries, speaking at libraries at other venues around the city.

Anyway, there are two specific events, one for kids and one for bit older youths.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coming Up: KQED Science Weekend at Children's Fairyland in Oakland

Meet Sid the Science Kid at Children's Fairyland throughout the weekend of July 25-26. And check out the interactive show, Mad Science at Mt. Diablo with fun science experiements. If that doesn't do it for you, the park offers puppet shows, crafts, children's theater, animal show and rides!

KQED members save $1 on admission all weekend.

Contest Winner: Banana Slug String Band

Congrats to Shelley who won the family 4-pack of tickets to the Banana Slug String Band concert this Sunday at the PJCC. Have a great time at the concert! And if you didn't win, but still want to go, get your tickets here.

Here's what the day looks like:
2:00-4:00 - eco-activity and info fair
2:30-3:00 - Earthcapades Environmental Vaudeville H2O show
4:00-5:00 - Banana Slug String Band

Where: PJCC (800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City)
When: Sunday, July 26 from 2-5:00
Cost: $12/members, $15/non-members, $18/door. Babies under 1 year old are free

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coming Up: Free Kids' Day Music Activities at Stern Grove

Stern Grove (you know, with those awesome free concerts on summer Sundays?) is offering interactive arts education programs for kids ages 4-13. For Free.

You have to register, though last time I checked, there were still some available slots.

Coming up:
Dholrhythms – Bhangra dance July 28, July 29, and July 30, 2009 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Capoeira Mandinga - Brazilian dance August 4, August 5, and August 6, 2009 11 a.m. – 1:30
p.m.

Sign up here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Contest! There's still time to win the Banana Slug Concert 4-pack

Don't forget about the Banana Slug concert contest coming up! Winner gets a family 4-pack of tickets to the concert and Eco-Fair at the PJCC on Sunday, July 26.

Look for all the information for the fair, and the contest entry on Frisco Kids - July 17 posting.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coming Up: AMC Movies for $1 - Spiderwick Chronicles

Getting bored with the kids at home? Take them to the Spiderwick Chronicles at an AMC theater for $1. AMC's Summer Moviecamp offers movies this summer for $1, and kid-packs of treats for $3. Money raised from these shows goes to AMC's charitable partners.

July 22, 2009 - The Spiderwick Chronicles (PG)
July 29, 2009 - Nim's Island (PG)
August 5, 2009 - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG)

Shows are Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at participating theaters. In the Bay Area, you can see these shows for a buck at three theaters in Emeryville and San Jose.

Like this post? Sign up to get Frisco Kids by email (box on the right), or follow me on Twitter (@FriscoKids).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Get 'Yer Tickets: SF Jewish Film Festival

You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Each year, this festival presents some amazing films. Get a babysitter and get some tickets now! Movies show in SF, Berkeley, Palo Alto and San Rafael, so location shouldn't be an excuse.

And production locations aren't the same either. Films are from Israel, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, U.K., U.S.A, Slovakia, Russia, Hungary, France, Germany, Canada, Australia...

While I don't have reviews, J Weekly reviews some as it gets closer. Some highlights (from reading the brochure):

Mary and Max - by the Oscar-winning animator Adam Elliot, a "bittersweet comic fable of an unlikely yet extraordinary friendship between a middle-aged, obese New York Jew with Asperger's syndrome and his 8-year-old pen pal from Australia." Voices by Philip Seymour Hoffman & Tony Collette.

The Yes Men Fix the World - "Exposing corporate greed and environmental degradation is serious business - but that doesn't mean you can't behilarious going about it."

Woody Allen's Manhattan - free outdoor screening on July 11 at Union Square (SF) at dusk (8:45 p.m.)

Jews in Shorts - Natalie Portman's directorial debut about great things coming in small packages (short programs).

Dates:
San Francisco/Castro - July 23-30
San Francisco/JCCSF - August 8-9
Berkeley - August 1-8
Palo Alto - August 1-6
San Rafael - August 8-10

I highly recommend you get tickets in advance if there's something you want to see. Many shows (especially evening) sell out and you may not get in if you just show up.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Contest! Win Family 4-Pack to Banana Slug String Band Concert

Contest time on Frisco Kids! Win a 4-pack of tickets to the H2Ooooh Family Eco-Fair and Outdoor Concert at the PJCC - featuring the Bay Area's own Banana Slug String Band.

The PJCC graciously offered to give one Frisco Kids reader a chance for the whole family to enjoy it for free!

Here's what the day looks like:
2:00-4:00 - eco-activity and info fair
2:30-3:00 - Earthcapades Environmental Vaudeville H2O show
4:00-5:00 - Banana Slug String Band

Where: PJCC (800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City)
When: Sunday, July 26 from 2-5:00
Cost: $12/members, $15/non-members, $18/door. Babies under 1 year old are free
Tickets: call 378-2702 or click here.

To enter, leave a comment here guessing the California university with the banana slug as its mascot. If there are multiple correct answers (UC Santa Cruz) the correct winner will be chosen randomly from those. If you make me laugh out loud, you get two entries.

Don't forget to leave your email address in case you win (or you need to send it to me -along with your comment - to blog@friscokids.net. You still have to leave a comment here to win, though!)

Winner will be chosen July 22nd.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Free Car Seat Safety Checks in Berkeley this Saturday

Did you know…four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly? Get your car seat installation checked for safety, and receive a free pass to Habitot Children’s Museum. The free Car Seat Checks are sponsored by State Farm Insurance, and done by officers from the Berkeley Police Department.

They’ll be on the 5th level of the Allston Way Garage, 2061 Allston Way between Milvia and Shattuck in Berkeley. Parking will be validated by Habitot.

Time is 10 a.m. to noon
-July 18
-September 26.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Coming Up: SF Symphony at Dolores Park - free

Grab a blanket and picnic lunch and head over to Dolores Park on Sunday for a free SF Symphony concert at 2:00. Plus there will be kids activities, vendors selling food/drinks, and a chance to meet symphony members and see their instruments before the concert.

They'll play an excerpt from the Nutcracker, Haydn's trumpet concerto, and a Dvořák Slavic dance number.

When: Sunday, July 19 at 2:00
Where: Dolores Park - 18th/Dolores, San Francisco
Cost: free

Like what you're reading? Sign up for Frisco Kids by email (box on the right). And follow me on Twitter. I'm @FriscoKids.

Coming Up: SF Zoo Teddy Bear Festival

This weekend, make sure your teddy bears are healthy by bringing the to the zoo. No, they won't get trapped by zookeepers. Instead, they can watch puppet shows, muciscal entertainment, do crafts and face painting.

The bear can be examined by Sutter Health's Teddy Bear Clinic, and meet some larger costumed bears. Oooh - and even see REAL bears receive some treats from animal keepers - from grizzlies to polar bears, to spectacled bears.

Plus, if your kid brings a stuffed bear, you get $1 off your kid's admission (if they're 14 or under).

What: Teddy Bear Festival at the San Francisco Zoo
When: July 18-19, 2009
Where: SF Zoo
Cost: Free with admission

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pick Fruit with the Kids - and Do a Good Deed!

If you want your kids to see that some fruit actually grows on trees (and doesn't just grow on the grocer's shelf), then sign up to pick fruit with Village Harvest. This nonprofit holds 10-15 events a month, of which you can go to as many (or as few) as you'd like.

The concept? Many people with fruit trees can't consume all the fruit they grow. Volunteers from Village Harvest (like you) will go in a group to those houses, and pick the fruit to give to organizations that provide food for the hungry.

Check out their calendar to see upcoming events and locations.

Thanks to my friend Robyn for reminding me about this great organization.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Contest Winner: UV Skinz Rashguard

Congratulations to May, who won the Frisco Kids contest for a UV Skinz rashguard. May's comment was: "My fantasy location would be anywhere where I can see the ocean life. I've been scuba diving once and would love to do it again."

While May won't win her fantasy trip from Frisco Kids (I gotta work on getting bigger contest sponsors) - she will win her choice of any rashguard item from UV Skinz.

Just so I don't get any complaints from others who entered, I chose the winner by entering all your names into the "list" function at random.org. It generated the list for me, so I didn't have to cut up scraps of paper to draw from a hat. Too bad for Jody, who I think was the person who mentioned this trick on another forum. She entered the contest too, but alas, her name wasn't top on the list.

If you didn't win the rashguard, but still want one, check out the selection at UV Skinz.

Coming Up: Happy Birds Show at Hiller Aviation Museum

While Hiller Aviation Museum usually focuses on non-living flying machines (like helicopters and planes), they have two shows this summer demonstrating feathered flight.

The Happy Birds show, with its colorful and talkative team of macaws, parrots and cockatoos, will perform special behaviors and a flight demonstration in the Museum's Atrium. Learn how the birds uniquely adapt to survive in the wild.

Shows are included with museum admission.

When: July 15 and August 5th at 11 a.m.
Where: Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Get 'Yer Tickets: Alice in Wonderland Jr. at Hillbarn


Get 'yer tickets for Hillbarn's summerstage show, Alice in Wonderland Jr. This would be a great show to bring the kids, since kids are performing!


Shows are:


July 16 & 17 at 7:30PM
July 18 & 19 at 2PM


Get your tickets: 650-349-6411 or online


Hillbarn Theater, 1285 Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City

Coming Up: AMC Movies for $1 - Horton Hears a Who

Getting bored with the kids at home? Take them to Horton Hears a Who at an AMC theater for $1. AMC's Summer Moviecamp offers movies this summer for $1, and kid-packs of treats for $3. Money raised from these shows goes to AMC's charitable partners.

July, 15 at 10 a.m. - Horton Hears a Who
July 22, 2009 - The Spiderwick Chronicles (PG)
July 29, 2009 - Nim's Island (PG)
August 5, 2009 - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG)

Shows are Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at participating theaters. In the Bay Area, you can see these shows for a buck at three theaters in Emeryville and San Jose.

Like this post? Sign up to get Frisco Kids by email (box on the right), or follow me on Twitter (@FriscoKids).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Contest - there's still time to enter

You have until 7/13 to enter the Frisco Kids contest to win a UV Skinz rashguard of your choice! For details click here.

Get 'Yer Tickets: Family Eco-Fair & Banana Slugs Concert

Family-fun afternoon on 7/26, Sunday, with the H2Ooooh Family Eco-Fiar and Outdoor Concert at the PJCC.

2:00-4:00 = eco-activity and info fair
2:30-3:00 - Earthcapades Environmental Vaudeville H2O show
4:00-5:00 - Banana Slug String Band

Discounted tickets available for $11 each (when purchasing a family 4-pack) through 7/13/09.

Where: PJCC (800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City)
When: Sunday, July 6 from 2-5:00
Cost: $12/members, $15/non-members, $18/door. Babies under 1 year old are free
Tickets: call 378-2702 or click here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Coming Up: Gilroy Garlic Festival 2009


We’ve taken two family trips south on 101 to Garlic-ville, for this enormous, hot, dusty Gilroy Garlic Festival. Worth it? Not really. Like all festivals, this one has numerous ways for you to spend your money – many of them on water since it’s so darn hot (tip: bring your own bottles and refill at the water fountain – you’ll drink a LOT out there). Yes, there are cooking demonstrations that look awesome, but my kids can’t sit through them. Several music stages also provide entertainment, and you can find some shady spots spread throughout, with barrels of hay to sit on.
This photo is of Ariele Combs, the 2008 Miss Gilroy Garlic. According to the Garlic Festival's website, Miss Garlic performed a jazz dance for the talent portion of the competition and gave a speech titles "The Biggest Garlic." But that's another story.

The good: The money raised ($12 adult entry, $6 for kids over age 6) goes for community programs. There’s free parking and you won’t go hungry, with what seems like hundreds of food booths. The kids area has a few free activities – most cost. The garlic topping contest (more below) – my personal fave. The free tiny garlic ice cream in cones are also a bonus.

The bad: it’s hot. It’s dusty. Aside from half a dozen rides and bounce houses, there’s not a lot to do with the kids there (unless you want to win a hermit crab by throwing a ball in a bowl – that costs) . Ironically, the lovely playground at ChristmasTree Park is closed off during the festival. Perhaps because parents would rather have their kids play for free rather than forking out $2.85 per ride on the swirling teacups or soaring airplanes? Perhaps out of liability reasons? I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.

We loved:
The Home Depot booth in the kids’ area, offering free personalized kid-size orange aprons, and a free project to complete there – using hammers and screwdrivers! And there was enough staff to move you through efficiently, but without rushing you. We left with a cute orange wooden car and a bobsled. Of course my son picked the most complicated project and lost interest after hammering in part of one nail and two screws.

My other favorite activity: the garlic topping contest. Four local garlic pickers (last year: Fernando, Miguel, Alfredo and Juan) compete to see who could cut the tops and roots off the most garlic (by weight) in five minutes. Few of the spectators really care who wins the $50 first prize. We’re all waiting for the signal when we can gather the leftover garlic, spread out on the field, in our bags. It’s like a piñata breaking for adults. It’s a bit pathetic, really. We just paid $12 each to get in and we’re scrambling around the floor like pigs, for leftover garlic we can buy in bulk at Costco for a few bucks. Of course I was one of those pigs, and I paid my kids a dime for each head they scored. Now I’m ready to set up a stand to sell those 25 garlic heads. Think Costco is buying?

When: July 24-26, 2009
Where: Gilroy – here are directions to the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Cost: $12/adult, $6/kids over age 6



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Coming Up: PJ Library Storytime And Kids Crafts

Story time! Enjoy a reading of a favorite PJ Library book, Joseph Had A Little Overcoat, at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos. Bay Area Jewish Educator, Janet Harris, will make the story come to life with singing and earth friendly art and crafts activities. Storytime and arts and crafts for kids under 6 (older siblings welcome).

PJ Library members and non-members welcome.

When: Tuesday, July 14th, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Where: Linden Tree Books, 170 State Street, Los Altos
Cost: FREE (Snacks will be provided)
RSVP: By to July 10th to Vivien Braly at 415.499.1223 x 8106.

The PJ Library sends FREE high quality Jewish books and music to participating families once a month directly to your home to keep - and it's free for families with children from six months to five and a half years of age in the Bay Area.

Contest - there's still time to enter to win a UV Skinz Rashguard


There's still time to enter to win the Frisco Kids' contest for a UV Skinz rashguard of your choice! For details click here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sleepover at Children's Fairyland

Children's Fairyland in Oakland is hosting a sleepover! You'll pitch your tend in the teddy bear picnic area and go on night-time rides, with dinner and entertainment too. After a restful night's sleep, you'll be fed again with a continental breakfast.

Sleepover dates:
When: July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22
Cost: $40/adult, $20/kid
Registration: required at this web page

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Free National Parks weekend - July 18-19

Now that your national spirit is in full gear (yay Independence Day!) - get excited to explore a national park July 18-19th. That weekend, the park service is offering a fee-free National Park weekend. Locally (as in California), a few of the parks included in the fee-free weekend are Yosemite, Lava Beds, Sequoia, Lassen, Death Valley and Joshua Tree.

No excuses! Plan that camping or hotel trip to the park you most want to see - in California or elsewhere.

One more free National Park weekend is planned this summer:
August 15-16

Monday, July 6, 2009

Contest! Win UV Skinz Rashguard for You or Your Kid


A few months ago I reviewed UV Skinz, colorful rashguards that protect the wearer from harmful sun rays (read review here). The company graciously offered to give one Frisco Kids reader the choice of any item from the catalog!

UV Skinz was started by a mom of three kids, Rhonda Sparks whose husband died of melanoma. The Mercury News recently reported that the melanoma diagnoses rose 5% annually among white folks during the study (1992-2004). BTW, 90% of melanoma sufferers are caucasian. And 65-90% of melanomas are caused by UV exposure via sunlight.
Hopefully you're covering up with at least sun block this summer, but a rashguard like one from UV Skinz is even better.
To win your choice of items (which includes short or long sleeve shirts, shorts and hats too), leave a comment below with your fantasy location for wearing your swim gear.
In order for me to contact the winner, I'll need your email address in the post (or you can send it to blog@friscokids.net and tell me which comment is yours). But to win, YOU MUST STILL COMMENT ON THE BLOG, NOT JUST VIA EMAIL. Yes, I'm yelling this in all caps, but you won't win if you don't follow directions. Winner will be chosen randomly.
I'll announce the winner on July 13.

Jelly Belly Contest - We Have a Winner

Congrats to Elizabeth for correctly guessing the top 3 Jelly Belly flavors: Very Cherry, Buttered Popcorn and Licorice (which Elizabeth rightly said "yuck").

Elizabeth very generously offered that if she won, Tracy should get the Jelly Belly prize. But I like random acts of kindness (like Elizabeth's) so I'll give away a bag of Jelly Bellies to both of them. Unless Elizabeth doesn't like the beans, in which case I'll keep 'em.

Happy munching! And keep an eye out for the next contest - win a UV Skinz rashguard item for you or your family!

Budget Birthday Bashes in the Bay Area

Birthday postings are one of the biggest draws to this blog, so I thought I'd share an article just published in Bay Area Parent. It's on Budget Birthdays, a popular theme this year given the dreadful economy. Looking for ideas to save some money? Looking for entertainment ideas? Looking to see how to incorporate themes? Read on.

Okay, so I was interviewed for the piece, so you can also look for details of my kids birthday parties in there, including the Race Car theme birthday we did the last two years. And you can get some great ideas from others as well!

As long as we're talking about budget Bay Area birthdays, I'll point you to a post on Birthday Freebies. And one more - on Bay Area birthday party locations. Please add your favorite locations to that post!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Looking for a Staycation Hotel? Try Sausalito

Whenever I'm in Sausalito I look longingly at the Casa Madrone, which is in the middle of town and oh so cute (at least from the outside - photos of inside look fabulous). The hotel is offering some great summer rates, advertised on Travelzoo.

It's Queen Victoria rooms are $89 on select dates through September (normally $199).

The $89 rate is good for:
July 14, 20, 23, 26-30
Aug. 2, 4-7, 11-31
Sept. 1-17, 19-30

The view rooms (mid-week) are $139 (normally $299) from July 14-September 30.

You need to book by July 10th. Book through the hotel, but mention Travelzoo for the deal.

If you bring the kids, make the short trek over to the Bay Area Discovery Museum, one of my favorite kid museums.

Like what you're reading? Sign up to get Frisco Kids by email (box on the right), And follow me on Twitter. I'm @FriscoKids.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Coming Up: SF Symphony at Stern Grove

I apologize for the late posting, but I'm having problems with Blogger's scheduled posts. They don't post. Ugh! This was supposed to go out a few days ago! I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July!

This Sunday, head to Stern Grove for a free concert by the San Francisco Symphony. It starts at 2:00, but you'll want to get there a few hours early to snag some room for your blanket. Then the kids can run around before the show starts and the grassy area fills up.

The symphony will play Inouye Jazz, with trumpet player Mark Inouye, followed by excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and some other tunes.

Be green and take the bus there!

When: Sunday, July 5 at 2:00
Where: Stern Grove, 19th Ave/Sloat in San Franciso
Cost: Free

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Camping With Kids


We've been camping with our kids since they were 5 months old, and it's been a lot of fun. I thought I had lots of great ideas on how to camp with kids until I read Frog Mom's missive about it. She's a pro! Check out her blog posting with ideas on the best ways to camp with kids. Even if you've never stepped into a forest with your kids, you'll feel like a pro after reading this!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What to do on July 4th in San Francisco Bay Area

With July 4th on a Saturday this year, it's much easier to plan for some fun festivities. Here are some ideas:

Palo Alto Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off - with live music, line dancing, food vendors and kids' activities, you can plan an afternoon of fun. Free admission, and a nominal fee for "tasting kits" for the cook-off. Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive.

Fireworks: They're all over the place! For a list of Bay Area fireworks locations, check this CBS website.

Pier 39 in San Francisco has activities starting at 1:00 p.m. Live music: Big Bang Beat from 1- 4 pm and Tainted Love from 6 - 9:30 pm. Then tune your radio to KISS-FM for the simulcast fireworks-to-music.

Children's Fairyland: Not a traditional July 4th day, but Children's Fairyland in Oakland has some fun puppet shows, crafts, acrobatics and juggling events during the day.

Fillmore Jazz Festival: good for the little ones who can't stay up for fireworks! This event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is free. And it's the largest free Jazz festival on the west coast. So there! It's 8 blocks of crafts, music and food.

The San Jose America Festival has it's 18th annual event that day (with 2 more days of other festivals in the same meadow location). With multicultural food, crafts, music, rides and games (in Kidland), make a day of it in downtown San Jose. And stay for the fireworks.

In the North Bay, check out the Marin County Fair, with traditional offerings like animals, carnival rides, a petting zoo, and more. Fireworks start at 9:30.

Gilroy Gardens is offering an Independence Day BBQ on July 4th ($9-15 plus admission ticket). The all-you-can-eat meal features patriotic offerings like hot dogs and watermelon. Get a $10 off admission coupon here at Bay Area on the Cheap.

Like what you're reading? Sign up to get Frisco Kids by email (sign up in the box on the right). And follow me on Twitter. I'm @FriscoKids.

4th of July Activities for the Bay Area

With July 4th on a Saturday this year, it's much easier to plan for some fun festivities. Here are some ideas:

Palo Alto Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off - with live music, line dancing, food vendors and kids' activities, you can plan an afternoon of fun. Free admission, and a nominal fee for "tasting kits" for the cook-off. Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive.

Fireworks: They're all over the place! For a list of Bay Area fireworks locations, check this CBS website.

Pier 39 in San Francisco has activities starting at 1:00 p.m. Live music: Big Bang Beat from 1- 4 pm and Tainted Love from 6 - 9:30 pm. Then tune your radio to KISS-FM for the simulcast fireworks-to-music.

Children's Fairyland: Not a traditional July 4th day, but Children's Fairyland in Oakland has some fun puppet shows, crafts, acrobatics and juggling events during the day.

Fillmore Jazz Festival: good for the little ones who can't stay up for fireworks! This event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is free. And it's the largest free Jazz festival on the west coast. So there! It's 8 blocks of crafts, music and food.

The San Jose America Festival has it's 18th annual event that day (with 2 more days of other festivals in the same meadow location). With multicultural food, crafts, music, rides and games (in Kidland), make a day of it in downtown San Jose. And stay for the fireworks.

In the North Bay, check out the Marin County Fair, with traditional offerings like animals, carnival rides, a petting zoo, and more. Fireworks start at 9:30.

Gilroy Gardens is offering an Independence Day BBQ on July 4th ($9-15 plus admission ticket). The all-you-can-eat meal features patriotic offerings like hot dogs and watermelon. Get a $10 off admission coupon here at Bay Area on the Cheap.

Like what you're reading? Sign up to get Frisco Kids by email (sign up in the box on the right). And follow me on Twitter. I'm @FriscoKids.