Friday, October 30, 2009
When: Monday, November 2nd at 4:30
Where: Ingleside Branch Library, (1298 Ocean Ave at Plymouth, SF)
Also on the same day - a Day of the Dead Celebration with stories and crafts.
Where: Ocean View Branch Library, 345 Randolph Street (at Ramsell)
When: Monday, November 2nd at 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The SF library is hosting an event to help you. Join Parents for Public School-SF for a presentation on choosing the right elementary school. You'll hear firsthand experience from parents about their public school choices, and from those who recently went through the SFUSD enrollment process. You'll get tips and advice on key information and resources.
What: Public Schools 101: Choosing an Elementary School
Where: Western Addition Branch Library, 45 Leland Avenue (near Bayshore)
When: Tuesday, November 3rd at 4 pm.
For whom: adults: parents/guardians
What: Parents for Public Schools presentation: Going public: Parents talk about choosing and improving public schools for their kids.
Where: Portola Branch Library, 380 Bacon Street (at Goettingen)
When: Wednesday, November 4th at 6:30 p.m.
For whom: parents/guardians of kids ready to enroll in kindergarten.
Amy Graff's K Files and getting into SF public schools.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This Halloween, they're having a Harvest Festival complete with beer tasting AND kids events/arts & crafts. That's my type of event!
They'll feature local micro-breweries like Steelhead Brewery of Burlingame, Faultline Brewery of Sunnyvale, and Tied House Brewery of Mountain View.
While you're there, check out my favorite Italian shop, La Bottega. Run by two Italian moms with the most wonderful accents (and the best hostesses ever), they have great gift items at a range of prices. I like them so much I wrote about them for Spaces Bay Area. I was just checking out their website and drooling over their leather handbags and Murano glass.
So go to the Harvest Festival and post here after and let me know YOUR favorite store there. And tell me how gorgeous their gardens are.
Where: Allied Arts Guild,
Cost: $20 for adults, $5 for kids
Includes: food, drinks and commemorative glass
Tickets: Reservations requested
What will you see? Real Egyptian mummies. Plus your kids can prepare their interactive mummy for eternal life too.
Get a sneak preview of their upcoming exhibition, "Lost Cities of North Africa" (which opens November 2nd), and partake in storytime, complete with cider and cookies. They invite you to come in costume, or regular clothes.
When: Friday, October 30, 2-4 pm
Where: Museum of Ancient Civilizations, Humanities Bldg., Room 510 (on Tapia Drive @ Font Blvd)
When: Friday, November 6th against the L.A. Clippers
What: upper level seats are $12 (lower level are $50)
Where: Oracle Areana, Oakland
Tickets: click here and use code WARRIORS
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
If interested, click here.
Hiller's Halloween Event and Helicopter Pumpkin Drop. Hiller's flying witch arrives each day by helicopter and drops a pumpkin "to get things off to a smashing start."
Check out the Halloween Haunted Hangar, and the Museum's Gallery which has "hidden haunts." You can build a creepy craft, join the games at the Aerial Carnival, or take off on a moonlight mission in the Flight Sim Zone in a festive celebration of Halloween Flight. Candy, prizes and spooky surprises! Go in costume.
Friday, October 30th, 5 PM - 8 PM
Helicopter Arrives at 6:30 PM
Saturday, October 31st, 12 PM - 3 PM
Helicopter Arrives at 1 PM
Cost: free with admission.
Where: Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
If you haven't yet carved your pumpkin, check out these free pumpkin carving stencils.
Monday, October 26, 2009
You'll ride on a catamaran, and you can bring your own snacks and wine/beer. In addition to looking for whales, you'll get a sight-seeing tour of Fort Cronkite, Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Bolinas and the Golden Gate Bridge. The boat also has an enclosed heated cabin (as well as a sun deck).
As for the whales, you should spot them in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, with a bonus of spotting elephant seals, dolphins, and porpoises too.
Tours begin December 1st, and you can buy up to six tickets with this deal.
For more info on the Groupon $35 whale watching deal, click here.
Coming up: the Special Needs Day of Learning
This event will give families with special needs children, Jewish educators, lay leaders and interested community members the opportunity to come together to learn, share, and build relationships by providing a multi-track conference.
The conference features workshops on: recognizing red flags in development, estate planning, the grieving process, finding your spirit, training sessions to become volunteer classroom aides to individual children.
When: Sunday, November 1, 2009, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Where: Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
Sponsored by: Temple Beth Jacob, Peninsula Temple Sholom, Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, North Peninsula Region, Jewish Family & Children's Services.
The North Peninsula Special Needs Initiative is a collaboration of 10 partnering organizations and synagogues, including: Bureau of Jewish Education; Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties; Jewish Family and Children's Services; Peninsula Jewish Community Center; Congregation Beth Jacob; Peninsula Temple Beth El; Peninsula Sinai Congregation; Peninsula Temple Beth El; Chabad of the North Peninsula; and Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School. The Special Needs Awareness Shabbat is presented with the support of the Union of Reform Judaism/Jewish Family Concerns.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The hands-on, multimedia arts and technology experience for kids in SF is hosting Oz-some festivities.
What to expect?
11am - 12pm -- "Go Green" Emerald City Citizens Costume Contest at the Zeum Carousel with *honorary* guest judges: Patty Duke, who stars as Madame Morrible, and other WICKED cast members. The winner of the best all-green costume gets a pair of tickets to WICKED and a sneak peek backstage!
11am - 5pm – Throughout the day, kids and families can check out WICKED-infused exhibits and hands-on activities at Zeum
Zeum's Animators Studio – Create WICKED animations with clay characters: Elphaba, Glinda, Wizard of Oz… and bring them to life with stop-motion animation
Zeum's Music Production Lab – Make an original music video with lyrics from WICKED
WICKED family workshops with make-and-take craft projects
Check out costume and set design showcase from WICKED
When: October 31, 11 a.m .to 5 p.m.
Where; Zeum (221 4th Street in Yerba Buena Center, SF)
Cost: free with admission ($10/adults, $8/kids)
Free carousel ride for kids 12 and under from 11 a.m. to noon with paid admission
Basically, if you purchased a DVD between June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009 you're entitled to one of the following:
-1 Baby Einstein book of your choice
-1 Baby Einstein CD of your choice
-1 coupon for 25% off purchase of a Little Einstein product through DisneyStore.com
-refund (maximum of 4) of $15.99 per DVD
Find complete rules and a downloadable form here.
-For more on the controversy over the Baby Einstein DVD, see this Wikipedia article.
-CCFC published this fact sheet on infants, toddlers and screen-time.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Get a $100 gift certificate for $50 at Cocoon Urban Day Spa (on First St in San Francisco). The logo looks a bit like ladies ta-tas, but the spa looks modern and hip. Choose from waxing, massage, mani/pedi, tanning or facials. And drink sparkling wine (or herb-infused water) while you're there. Open evenings, so the hubbies can watch the kids while you're getting pampered.
Also on Groupon today, get Golden State Warriors tickets for $18 (instead of $40) to games on November 4th, November 9th or November 30th.
To get these deals, click here.
When: October 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Michael's (store locator button is at the top of the page
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Space age Jet Packs! Check them out at Hiller Aviation Museum
This Hiller Jet Pack Show will be two days of personal vertical flying machines including Jet Packs and Rocket Packs, Ducted Fan flying machines and other various flying machines related to personal vertical flight – James Bond style.
12:30 Flying the Jet Pack Simulator – learn how to fly a Jet Pack
1:00 Andy Filo – Inventor and Jet Pack Expert
1:45 Bill Suitor – Original Jet Pack Pilot presenting his new book "Rocketbelt Pilot's Manual". Book signing after the presentation.
When: October 24-25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission
-Buy 50 cards, get 25 free (no code - put 75 in your cart, you'll get the 25 free - S&H apply)
-Buy one photo book, get one at 50% off (no code)
-Free shipping on orders of $30+ in U.s.
Promo code: SHIP30
Deals end October 28th.
Is your child ready for kindergarten? Many things to think about, so check out this free event/teleconference and find get all the info you can. Though sponsored by a private day school and preschool, you don't need to be part of these schools to join in.
What: In this teleconference you'll learn: what specific skills a four year old program focuses on for Kindergarten readiness, how to know if your child is ready for Kindergarten for next year, what is expected in a Kindergarten class & children's developmental stages during the Kindergarten year.
Experts speaking include Foster City's Wornick School (head of school, head of middle school & general studies), PJCC Early Childhood Education Director and Bay Area Psychologist Dr. Jessica Rosenbaum, a leading specialist in learning development strategies.
RSVP online or by calling (call for location if joining in person). Ask for Judy Thalheimer, Director of Admission at 650-378-2635 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can attend via teleconference.
When: Friday, October 30th from 9:30 - 10:30 am
Bags are 40% and more below retail prices, with brands like Fossil, Le Sportsac, Juicy Couture, the Sak and more. I can't remember all the hip brands they usually feature, but the buyer for this sale worked at Macy's and is very well connected.
The sale also includes jewelry, men's accessories and sunglasses. Stock up on presents for the holidays!
When: Friday, October 23rd from 1-5 pm
Saturday, October 24th 7 - 10 pm
Sunday, October 25th 1 -5 pm
Where: private home - 199 Ridgeway, Hillsborough
Bring a checkbook or cash - I'm not sure if they take credit cards.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The coupon code is GER9A2, good nationally through November 11th. Find a location near you.
Monday, October 19, 2009
What: Dia de los Muertos Family Concert
When: Sunday, November 1st, at 2 p.m.
Where: Davies Symphony Hall
Cost: $15 and up (half price for kids 17 and under)
Tickets: http://www.sfsymphony.org/ or (415) 864-6000
Friday, October 16, 2009
She and the Laurie Berkner Band will perform in the pajamas, and encourage kids to come dressed that way too. They'll also be collecting new kids' pajamas and children's books to donate to the Pajama Program, which provides them to kids in need (many of them entering foster care).
Check out some of her videos here .
When: November 27th at 11 a.m.
Where: Oakland's Paramount Theater
Tickets: $25-$35 in person at the box office, or through ticketmaster.
When: Saturday, November 21st at 3 p.m.
Where: Richmond Branch Library, 350 10th Avenue (near Clement)
For: kids 5 and older
Thursday, October 15, 2009
When: Sunday, October 18, noon AND 2:00
Where: Yerba Buena Center in SF (Marina Blvd and Buchanan)
Cost: Free (thanks to Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and Target)
Bring the kids for a free, outdoor one-ring circus! Circus Bella is performing its full-length show DOINK! on Sunday, October 18th in San Francisco.
If you remember Pickle Family Circus and Make*A*Circus, you'll love this home-grown circus show. Circus Bella is a one-year old Bay Area circus, run though the San Francisco Circus Center. Enjoy original music (performed by live musicians), trapeze and other aerial artistry, clowns, contortionists, jugglers and more.
And since the show runs about an hour, the kids should be able to sit through it.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Free admission with special art activities and performances for children and families at
--San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) (151 Third Street, between Mission & Howard)
--Contemporary Jewish Museum (736 Mission Street (between Third & Fourth)
--Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) (685 Mission Street, @ Third)
--Zeum: San Francisco¹s Children's Museum (221 Fourth Street (@ Howard)
--Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Mission Street (between Third & Fourth)
When: Sunday, October 18, 2009
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When: November 18th at 4 p.m.
Where: Mission Bay Branch Library (960 Fourth St, at Berry)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1-1:30 - Elegance swirl and stone dangling earings (make it/take it)
1:30-2 - Bead Gallery - pearl and shell necklace demo
2-2:30 - Darice seed bead spinner (make it/take it)
3-3:30 - Beadalon chain tassel (demo)
3:30-4 - bead hoop earrings (make it/take it)
Find a Michael's near you (click store locator at top right).
Snapfish: This is the code I wait for each year to buy my holiday cards. I know, it's only October and yes, I can't believe the Christmas decorations have been up in the mall for a month already. But take advantage of this if you order photo cards for the holidays. FREE SHIPPING is huge! And you check the item off your "to-do" list. Order your Snapfish card and use SLIMSHIP in the code box. Good until October 31st.
---other offers - 35% off a 12x12 calendar. Use code 35CAL12 before October 18th.
---send a free card to someone for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Use code SHARETOCARE by October 31st. (You still pay taxes/shipping, which comes out to $1.50+ for one card)
Shutterfly: Three codes:
--Free standard shipping on orders $40+. Enter code: SHIP40
--3 free 5x7 folded greeting cards. Enter code: 3FREECARDS - good through November 4th (I did this - you have to pay taxes/shipping, which came out to $1.06 total for the three cards)
--Buy 50 Greeting cards, Get 25 more Greeting Cards free (no code needed)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Before we get to the massage portion, I’ll cover the highlights of the day spa. It was enormous, with single-sex waiting rooms, a “conservatory” for both sexes, a wave room, salt grotto, and the spa area.
Highlights of the rooms:
Salt Grotto – we called this the salt lick. The mosaic tiled room is off the Conservatory. Half the room is a tiled bench (supposedly heated), where you sit back and get misted ever so slightly with salt water. Or nothing happens if the nozzles are plugged, like they were in the area we sat. You face a trickling fountain and tiny lights on the ceiling change colors. We sat in there for a few minutes and then said “now what?” We didn’t get the point of the room.
Wave Room – this one is also off the Conservatory. It’s a circular room with individual recliners. The middle is a raised pool of water, reflecting onto the domed ceiling. You sit back in your chair and meditate on the reflections. This room was awesome, unless you get motion sick. Part of the fun is watching others try to get out of the chairs once they’re reclined. There’s a trick to it, and if you haven’t figured out the trick, you’re good for a few laughs. But you’re supposed to be quiet in there, so don’t laugh out loud. We liked this room a lot, especially when others started snoring.
Canyon Ranch features Aquavana, a "European-inspired aquathermal oasis" with an igloo, herbal laconium, experiential rains and more. When you enter, you’ll get a brochure on how to take advantage of these (the order, timing etc.) and if you commit it to memory, you’ll get stressed out. Instead, we just hopped between them to check them all out. In no particular order:
Igloo – this room has three “arctic mist experiences enhanced by twinkling fiber optic lights.” Basically it’s a slightly large blue-hued shower that’s supposed to snow on you, but instead just mists you with cold water.
Herbal Laconium – (picture on left) this small, tiled room has a few seating areas, where you sit your body is “gently warmed” through warm herbal-infused steam. Didn’t do anything for us.
Crystal Steam Room – yes, Canyon Ranch is into the crystal thing. This sauna had a crystal in the corner that was usually hidden by the steam. You can meditate on it, or just look at the Lite Brite pin pricks in the ceiling which changed color. Those were cool.
Experiential Rains – (photo on left) This was our favorite, if for nothing else than the novelty factor. Two shower areas (you can fit 2-3 people in there), and you choose what kind of rain shower you want. Complete with thunder and multi-color “lightening,” warm and cold rain, hard driving rain, and mist. The surprise factor is the best part, and throughout the day we would hear yelps and screams from those pelted with cold water when it was least expected.
Hydrospa – otherwise known as a hot tub. For a day spa with 80 massage rooms and additional facial/treatment rooms, this was the smallest hot tub I’ve ever seen (photo is at top of blog post - with a guy in it - there's a reason they only put one person in for the photo - it makes it look bigger). You could squeeze six people in there if they were good friends. Otherwise you probably want to wait til the soakers move on so you don’t violate their space. Plus the jets didn’t go all the way around. Half the spa had a reclining area (near the steps) where you lie down. The area features some egg-shaped heated loungers which looked comfortable.
Canyon Ranch Grill
Canyon Ranch justifies the liquor and soda service by using organic liquor and pure cane sugar soda. We indulged (drinks were yummy) and realized later why it’s a bad idea to drink at the spa. Headache and light headedness in the steam room is not a good thing. The food here was fine, but service was slow and the food slightly overpriced.
My massage was fantastic. As with any massage place, the quality depends on the individual therapist. Mine was Alissa, and she was among the best I’ve ever experienced. Which is good because massages at Canyon Ranch are $3 a minute. Alissa looked like was about to give birth at any minute, so by the time you read this, she should be back to work (though very tired from lack of sleep). My mom and sister had good (not great) massages, and were brought to the Canyon Ranch store after by the therapist, who tried to sell them products.
At the end of a massage, the therapist lets you pick a random card (pick a card – any card). The card has a Daily Action with Stuart Smiley type sayings like “Moderation in all things – even moderation.” Or “Exercise – walk if you do nothing else.” Or "Laughter relaxes and energizes. Find something to laugh about every day." I think I just found it!
If you’re at Canyon Ranch Las Vegas, walk you will because there are more than 80 massage rooms (yes, just the massage rooms). Walking from the waiting area to the massage room took what seemed like 5-10 minutes.
Overall, we enjoyed our day at Canyon Ranch. Having been to Canyon Ranch Tucson, however, this one didn’t measure up. It seemed inconsistent, and the Aquavana “oasis” was more show than substance. The restaurant experience wasn’t memorable. Next time in Vegas we'll check out a different spa.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito) - Annual Goblin Jamboree
Come in costume, and see the museum transformed into a haunted wonderland complete with games, attractions, and live entertainment. Enroll in the witches' school, take a train or pony ride, visit the petting zoo andenjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment.
When: Saturday, October 17 & Sunday, October 18, 2009
Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: Bay Area Discovery Museum (Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito
Tickets: available at the door. All activities are included. Members $12; General $14. Children under age 1 are free.
Trick or Treat at the SPCA - East Bay
Sunday, October 25, 2009, 3 pm – 5 pm
East Bay SPCA, Tri-Valley
4651 Gleason Drive, Dublin
Saturday, October 31, 2009, 3 pm – 5 pm
East Bay SPCA, Oakland
8323 Baldwin Street, Oakland
These SPCA Trick or Treating events are geared toward grade school-aged children accompanied by an adult (but all ages are welcome).
More info: call (510) 569-0702 or (925) 479-9670 or check the website
Michael's Arts and Crafts - two mostly free craft events
Sunday, October 25 from 1-3 pm. - buy a t-shirt and decorate it for free using Michael's paint supplies.
Saturday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to noon - come by for a free trick-or-treat pail. Plus they'll hve coloring activities, a free Crayola pencil topper demo using Model Magic Fusion, and a make it/take it Halloween frame. Plus free balloon and candy.
Halloween Haunt at Great America
Through Halloween, on Friday and Saturdays in October (and Sunday, October 25) from 7 p.m. to midnight, you can experience 6 haunted mazes, 4 themed scare zones, 4 head-turning live stage shows, plus the park's rides.
Halloween Haunt is a special ticketed event and requires a separate ticket. Admission to Great America's Halloween Haunt is free for 2009 & 2010 Gold and Platinum Pass holders. Season Pass holders receive discounted admission. Kids must be 13+.
Boo at the Zoo
Dress in costume (but no rubber masks - too scary for the animals). Visitors can watch zookeepers provide the animals with tasty holiday-themed treats, and check out the haunting adventures on the Zoo’s Haunted Nature Trail. Also, visit candy stations throughout the zoo, do take-home crafts, enjoy puppet shows and live entertainment.
When: Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25
Where: SF Zoo
Cost: Free with admission
P.S. The Oakland Zoo has a similar event on October 24-25 and October 31. And kids in costume get a free train ride.
Halloween Trick-or-Treating at Serramonte Center
When: Saturday, October 31st
Time: 1-4 p.m. – Spook Parade and Costume Contest
4-6 p.m. – Trick-or-Treating inside participating stores
Plus, Grandpa Kevin's pumpkin patch in the Target parking lot has bouncy slides, a jump-house and pumpkins for sale.
A member of CityMommy posted this fabulous list of Halloween events. I have not verified any of these.
· Scare on the Square - Redwood City, October 3 & 10
·Pumpkins in the Park - San Jose, October 10
·Western Railway Museum Pumpkin Patch Festival - Suisun, October 10-25
·Haunted Railroad at Ardenwood - Fremont, October 17-25
· Jelly Belly Haunted Swamp - Fairfield, October 21-31
· Ghost Train at Roaring Camp - Felton, October 23-24
· Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Patch at Dunsmuir - Oakland, October 24
· PartyKidz Halloween Family Event - San Francisco, October 24
· Halloween Spooktakular - Redwood City, October 24
· Jackolantern Jamboree at Fairyland - Oakland, October 24-25
· Halloween Cabaret Carnival - Berkeley, October 25
· Gamble Garden Halloween Haunted House - Palo Alto, October 25
· Pumpkin Pandemonium at Pier 39 - San Francisco, October 25
· Halloween Camp Out at Gilroy Gardens - Gilroy, October 30-31
· Halloween Parade - Suisun City, October 31
· Not Too Spooky Halloween at Habitot - Berkeley, October 31
· Gardens Halloween Costume Walk - San Francisco, October 31
· Halloween on the Wharf - Santa Cruz, October 31
· Halloween Stomp with the Timeouts - Sausalito, October 31
· Munchkin Masquerade Parade - Fairfield, October 31
· The Haunted Presidio - San Francisco, October 31
· Halloween Haunted Hangar at Hiller - San Carlos, October 31-November 1
Friday, October 9, 2009
This in from Kepler's! Don a Star Wars or LEGO costume and join in the celebration of the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary book release. This book is called the definitive guide to the LEGO Star Wars universe.
There will be prizes for the best costumes, exciting raffles, and a LEGO building station.
Kepler's says: "In true DK style, LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary is sure to elucidate, illuminate, and excite even the most discerning LEGO and Star Wars fans around the world. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and more are brought to life with dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos, as are accessories, vehicles, weapons, and even the Death Star! Learn about the history, manufacture, and construction of the minifigures of the "Star Wars" galaxy, and come away a LEGO Jedi Master. "
The party is free at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park.
Saturday, October 10, 2:00 p.m.
I selected some great events happening in the Bay Area. I have discovered a very useful resources called Haunted Bay. This site is amazing and allow you to browse pumpkins patches, harvest festivals, haunted houses in the Bay Area. If you can not find something that you like in my post, feel free to browse their lists.
October 10 and 11
NorCal Renaissance Fair Oktober Fest, Hollister
Every week-end has a different theme. On October 10 and 11, the Germans are here to assist the Queen in selecting the new Brewmaster of Willington. Home brewers may bring a home brewed bottle for submission in our contest. Her Majesty, Elizabeth will award the Grand Champion.. Read my review on going to the Renaissance Fair with children
October 10 & 11
Felton Roaring Camp
Celebrate Harvest Time and Halloween. View demonstrations on quilting, knitting, embroidery, fashion design and candy making at the Craft Faire presented by the Twisted Stitchers. Quilts will be for sale. Be creative with hands-on crafts activities for adults and kids. Make and take your own scarecrow. Free pumpkin for each child holding a steam train ticket.
Saturday, October 17, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Earthbound Farm Harvest Festival
Bring the whole family to our grand harvest celebration! The Farm Stand becomes a pumpkin-packed wonderland for a great fun-filled day of games, pumpkin carving demos, squash and pumpkin tastings, live music by the Money Duo, farm tours, train and hay rides, and more! General admission is free.
October 17 and 18 - 9 AM to 5 PM
The one and unique Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival Halloween arts and crafts, specialty foods, blockbuster entertainment, a Great Pumpkin Parade, a haunted house, the giant weigh-off of champion pumpkins, and contests for pie-eating, carving and costume.
Admission is free.
October 10 and 11
Ardenwood Historic Farm Harvest Festival, Fremont
You will be able to pick pumpkins, play some games, and enjoy all the perks from Ardenwood farm. The perks include cooking demonstration, touring the farms (do not forget to pick your tickets at the entrance), feeding the animals, cider pressing and much more.This is definitely one of our family’s favorite place to visit in the Bay Area.
Regular Park admission
October 24, 11 am to 4 pm
Dusmuir House Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Patch, Oakland
A family event with old-fashioned games, crafts, hay rides, pumpkin carving, cider, and doughnuts. There will be some suds and sausages for the grown up crowd and Oompah music. The event will be held in and around the Carriage House at Covington Gate.
October 25 10 am – 2 pm
Moraga Halloween Carnival
It's the 33rd Annual Halloween Carnival sponsored by the Moraga Juniors. Come in costume for games, including “Oscar” and “Spiderman” with prizes for all; take your picture at the photo booth and decorate your own frame; bring your own trick or treat bag and receive three free game tickets; try your luck at the ever popular cake and toy walks; and purchase lunch, snacks, drinks, and various ghoulish goodies!
October 17-18 – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Goblin Gymboree at the Bay Kids Museum, Sausalito
Kids and their families are invited to come in costume and explore the Bay Area Discovery Museum, transformed into a haunted wonderland complete with games, attractions, and live entertainment. Ride a train and ponies, enroll in the witches’ school, visit the petting zoo, and enjoy a full brew of games, activities, and live entertainment.
October 24 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Harvest Festival at Connolly Ranch, Napa You will enjoy meeting farm animals (geese, ducks, Olivia the Pig, miniature horse, and chickens), face paintings and free pumpkins,
October 24 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Thursday, October 8, 2009
For those in the know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days (book 4) is coming up next week (October 12th, if you must know). Have you preordered your copy?
Kepler's is hosting an ice-cream social on the book release day, October 12th from 4:30-6:00.
Author Jeff Kinney will be appearing at the Menlo Park Library for just one night Tuesday, October 20th, in a signing only. There will be no formal presentation.
Entrance to the signing line will require a free ticket, available only at Kepler's Books.
On Sunday, October 18th Keplers will begin handing out regular signing-line tickets at the bookstore from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. These will be handed out by the store on a first-come, first-served basis and will have your line-up time on them. After 4 p.m. on October 20th, tickets will be handed out at the Menlo Park library by order of arrival.
Priority Signing Line at 5PM
Regular Signing Line begins at 5:30PM
Special Priority Signing Line Hall Passes: Anyone who pre-purchases Dog Days at Kepler's before the release date of October 12th will receive a Hall Pass which can be exchanged for a copy of the book anytime after 9AM on October 12 AND a Priority Hall Pass that will give you access to the first signing groups at 5PM on October 20th.
It's all very confusing, so please check out Kepler's event page for more information.
SHARKtober will star San Francisco Bay sharks (so yes, that answers the question): the Sevengill, Soupfin, Leopard, Brown Smoothhound and Spiny Dogfish, as well as others which live just outside the Golden Gate, including Swells and Angel Sharks.
Here's a list of events, including a sleepover in the shark tank! Well, almost.
SHARKtober Family Sleepover
When: October 17, 2009, 7:30 p.m. (ending at 9 a.m. October 18)
Sleep in the Aquarium’s crystal clear tunnels, just inches away from more than 70 sharks and thousands of other aquatic animals. You'll get guided tours of the Aquarium, shark-related activities and trivia from the Aquarium naturalists, hands-on meeting and greeting with select animals, evening snacks, paid overnight parking and a continental breakfast.
Cost: $60 per person; $50 for Aquarium of the Bay members.
Reservations: email@example.com or (415) 623-5326
SHARKtober Daily Events
When: daily, October 1-31, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Shark-related scavenger hunt, live shark touching, shark hats, shark talks and shark films. Special shark feeding presentations on Thursdays and Sundays only at 1:30 pm.
Cost: free with Aquarium admission
When: Friday, October 16, 2009, 6:30 – 10 p.m.
SHARKtoberFest is a festive fundraiser benefiting Aquarium of the Bay’s landmark Sevengill Shark research and education projects. The evening takes place throughout the Aquarium, featuring more than 70 sharks from the San Francisco Bay and surrounding waters. Guests will enjoy live entertainment by the Ukulele Friends Ohana Hawaiian Strings Band, food and drinks, a silent auction and a presentation of the first SharkSaver award, granted to Sherman’s Lagoon creator Jim Toomey. Toomey will be onsite to receive the award, recognizing the important role that he has played in increasing the public’s awareness for issues facing sharks, including shark finning.
Tickets: www.aquariumofthebay.org or 415-623-5326
When: Saturday, October 17, 2009, 1-5pm
Dive deeper into the underwater world of sharks to learn more about these animals and their importance to a healthy San Francisco Bay. The event is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival and features films by local and international filmmakers. Between screenings, renowned shark experts and scientists will share their insight during presentations and panel discussions.
Cost: $17 (includes Aquarium admission)
Info: www.aquariumofthebay.org or 415-623-5326
Additional Tricycle Music Fest West performances are scheduled at San Francisco branch libraries this month. Click here for that schedule.
WHAT: Tricycle Music Fest West, the biggest little music fest in San Francisco
WHEN: 10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Saturday, October 10
WHERE: Fulton Street steps of Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco
WHO: Performances by:
· Charity and the JAMband
· Frances England
· The Devil-Ettes and Pip Squeak a Go Go
· The Hipwaders
· The Time Outs
When: Saturday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: $5/pumpkin (includes supplies)
Where: Michael's - store locator button is at the top of the page
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This in from Travelzoo - King Tut tickets are 50% off when purchased in pairs..
Admission is for entrance after 2 p.m. on Tuesdays-Thursdays, October 6 - 29th at the de Young Museum.
In this National Geographic exhibit, you'll see 130 ancient artifacts, including many from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Read my King Tut review here.
If the pair of tickets doesn't work for you, you can buy an individual ticket for $20.60 with a free audio tour on any date and time in October (you'll save $13 over the same combo full price). You'll pay fees of $3.25-$3.75 per ticket and $3.50 per order are additional, which you'd have to pay ordering online anyway.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
But in honor of the upcoming school year, I’ve vowed to stop buying organizer tools, and actually USE them.
Here's my list of eight top organizing tools you need for your sanity
#1. Mouse Pad “To Do” List:
This mouse pad is actually a pad of paper with 60 pages (sealed on two sides), with 5 days worth of slots on each page for the “to do” list. It’s from Pier 1 and cost $9.95 (I couldn’t find a link to it online, but I bought there in August). I can note my things to do and write down any other little thoughts, and not lose the piece of paper.
#2 Car Pad
For my car, I got a tri-part notebook with 3 sets of sheets for “do” “call” and “buy.” I bought this at Marshall’s for $8. It’s helpful to jot down notes in the car, and to have another list to look at when I’m running errands.
#3 - Calendar
For years I used a bulky Franklin Planner, which in theory is a fabulous system. But I didn’t use it effectively and mine was too bulky to carry around. What I really like is a 2-page per month calendar, with some individual page space later on for the days. momAgenda sent me this calendar to try out, and so far I like it. It’s small enough to fit into my purses (Mom-size purse that is), and it has some other helpful pages too (like the reference pages with national 800 numbers for many hotels and airlines, helpful websites, pages for gift records etc.)
#4 - To-Do Pads
Michael’s craft stores often has pads of paper (with magnets on the back) and helpful list makers in their dollar section. They're not online, however.
momAgenda also sent me this fun “Honey Please Do” pad – which is fun to fill out and give to Mark with my list of his proposed projects.
For those who want to print out some helpful tools and list pages, I recommend these:
#5 - Mommy Track’d free download sheets, including a week at a glance calendar, a work/home “to do” list, a menu/grocery planner, party planning sheets, and a week-at-a-glance calendar.
#6 - Mommy Track'd also has some cool organizing pads and tools for sale –
- use the code “2009” to save 15%.
#7 - Simple Mom has some great free downloads too – a big selection including a “daily docket,” Christmas budgeting sheet, preschooler chore chart, monthly calendar and a master weekly checklist.
#8 - I need to spend some more time at DIY Planner – a free website where you can create your own planner from their templates.
So check these out and let me know what you think!
It's Fogbythesea, who commented: "I have been looking at these as a way to help my autistic son learn how to read. The pen looks like it may also help with fine motor skills."
I wish I had more to give away, since there was obviously a lot of interest. Thank you to everyone who entered, and I hope to have some other great contests coming up soon.
Flight Explorers Half-Day Programs
Join an exploration into the world of flight with our popular Flight Explorers programs. Three different topics are offered on select weekends and holidays this fall. Each program features a hands-on model aircraft construction project, an exclusive Gallery Tour, and a special flight simulation mission in the Museum's Flight Sim Zone.
For: Kids Grades 1-6
When: Saturday Programs on October 3rd, November 7th, November 28th & December 5th
Holiday Programs November 11th and November 27th
Time: 1 PM-- 4 PM
After-School Aviators Afternoon Programs
Launch a four-week after-school adventure for young aviation enthusiasts! Programs meet one day per week for four consecutive weeks at the Hiller Aviation Museum and provide an in-depth investigation into a particular area of aviation. Fabulous Flight students build and fly model aircraft, and Test Pilot Lab participants pursue a challenging series of flight simulations using a variety of aircraft under increasingly difficult conditions.
For Kids Grades 1-8
--Fabulous Flight (Grades 1-5) Wednesdays 1:30-3 PM
October 7th & 28th
--Test Pilot Lab (Grades 4-8) Thursdays 3:30-5 PM
October 15th & November 4th
Space for all programs is limited and advanced registration is required.
Call (650) 654-0200 or visit website here for additional information or to download a registration form.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
We were fortunate enough to get a peek inside the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco a week ago Sunday. The museum opens on Thursday October 1st and is located in the Presidio.
Before going, I made sure that my two daughters (7 3/4 and 11) knew that this was not a walk in Disneyland but an insider view on the life of the man behind the company. If you do not want to risk disappointment, your family needs to be aware of this.
What we liked
Learning about the personal and professional life of Walt Disney through videos, family pictures. It is the whole purpose of the museum and it is a success. My youngest daughter's reaction after a couple of galleries was priceless: 'Oh no, his real name is Disney! He gave his own name to his company. How funny, his real name is Walt Disney!' We had told the children about it but for some reason, that detail got lost on the youngest child. And this is the main purpose of the creation of this museum: Diana Disney, his daughter, was afraid that the general public will forget about her father and the man behind the mouse.
There is too much to tell and it was such a pleasure to discover the museum that I do not want to give too much away but you will discover the original drawings (it was interesting to see the original Mickey Mouse sketches), the Alice series, the awards, especially the Oscar(s) received for Snow White (you will locate the award right away), the process behind the music, the sounds, the colors, the cartoons, the movies, etc, there is so much to learn and enjoy about the achievement of Walt Disney. Make sure that you make your child notice the lack of colors and the lack of sound in the first cartoons.
You think that you know so much about the man, well, think again, unless you are a die hard fan, I am sure you will spend a lot of time in the first two galleries discovering his life before creating Mickey Mouse. .
The interactive screens: my daughters played some game of pairing some music and characters. Lots of kids had fun playing that game. There were also some synchronizing images and sounds activities.
My 11 year old really enjoyed seeing the drawings come to life and particularly enjoyed the galleries where you can see movies on the upper side of the walls, you can watch side by side the colorless drawings and and the actual cartoons.
My 7 year old liked all the photos and drawings, especially the ones where she could actually discover who Walt Disney was.
Meeting people passionate about the life of Walt Disney and sharing additional knowledge. We talked with a book writer who wrote several books about Disney and the artists who knew him and enjoyed sharing insight with a visitor who is a Disney fanatic.
The view going before entering the last set of galleries: you are in front of a glass wall with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background: breathtaking.
We did not get to try
The theater. It will open on the actual opening day. To start: Fantasia, October 30 and 31 will see Halloween themed Disney stories (The skeleton dance, the Mad Pluto, Pluto’s Judgment Day, and more), later you will get Christmas stories. In November, Sleeping Beauty will be showed.
We got to meet our friends from Trekaroo at the visit. We trusted Brennan’s advice and skipped the food at the cafe. Our kids grabbed some cookies and apples: can not go wrong with this.
I was surprised by
The Gift Store: I thought the quality of the items is really high. Nothing plasticky as we often see in the Disney store. A lot of Art items are available.
What we did not like so much
My children lost interest at the Disneyland Park gallery. They liked the model of the park but for some reasons, this area did not touch them the same way the previous galleries did. They were more familiar with that part and instant of exploring the gallery,decided that they would rather whine about how they never get to go to Disneyland (even though their uncle took them to Disneyland Paris last summer!)
The Timed-entry. You have a window of 15 minutes to show up at the entrance with your printed ticket. My GPS sent us first to Montgomery Street in Downtown San Francisco and we arrived 5 minutes before scanning time even though we left really early. If you arrive after your window expired, they will try to get you in as soon as there is an opening or a slowdown in entrance. And if it never happens, you will have to come back another day. Well, you do not want this to happen, so plan accordingly.The galleries are not big and pacing out entries make complete sense. There were a lot of people in the museum but we never felt it was overcrowded so obviously it works.
Know before you go
--No strollers allowed
--Do not go with children under 7. I doubt they would like more than the cartoons in some of the galleries.
--Buy your tickets before you go, it is a timed-entry, make sure you do not leave in a hurry. You can buy the tickets 60 days in advance.
Is the the ticket price worth it?:
The tickets are not cheap. We stayed almost three hours in the museum and really had a nice time. I am highly recommending it if your children can read and are big enough to process all the information. I definitely do not recommend it with toddlers.
The Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio in San Francisco (415) 345-6800
--Open Wednesday-Monday: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Closed every Tuesday
The small print: The Disney Family Museum gave Lydie's family free tickets, but no other compensation, with no requirement to express a particular point of view.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
For dessert, we split the Fuji apple spring roll with Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream ($8) and chocolate raspberry won tons with the same ice cream ($9). Again, they were good, but not outstanding. I think the titles and presentation surpassed the taste.
What I remember most about that meal is the image of the main dining area – the red hues, the big Buddha, the great drinks and the warm, exotic vibe. The restaurant has style and we enjoyed that style immensely.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Lots of kid-friendly events, including free pumpkin carving for the kiddies (pumpkins are provided). Also, a pumpkin pie eating contest for kids under 12, a parade, pumpkin weighing contest (it’s fun to see the winners), a costume contest and more.
In addition to the usual carnival rides ($$), there are some fun stage shows including pumpkin carver Farmer Mike and magicians, a haunted barn ($5) and more.
Usually giveaways abound, with tons of businesses giving away freebies (it’s usually good quality stuff with lots of snack food). Plus there’s a mini farmer’s market on Main Street, just outside the festival (closer to Hwy 92).
Don’t miss the baked goods just before you enter the festival. I think it’s the Moonside Bakery on Main Street – they have an outdoor booth set up with delicious pumpkin breads, cookies and pastries (and coffee). A great stop if you get to the festival on the early side.
Don’t forget to bring layers and sunscreen – you never know if you’ll bake or freeze there.
What: Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival
When: October 17-18 from 9-5
Where: Main Street (just off Highway 92), Half Moon Bay
Cost: free (though you’ll pay $5-10 for parking)
Get out your calendars for the 14th annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch in Palo Alto. I went several years ago and bought my own little pumpkin (which now has a sister from the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival). It’s a beautiful sight, with various colored glass pumpkins and gourds decorating the grassy patch.
Today, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can wander through the patch and watch glass blowing demonstrations at various times during the day. Get a 10% off coupon off your purchase by filling out a survey on this website.
The pumpkins go on sale THIS WEEKEND, from 10-5 both days. Children are welcome (though my personal recommendation is to bring a stroller to contain your child if he/she is apt to wander around and break things).
When: Friday, October 2 for viewing and glass blowing demos (10-4)
October 3-4, Saturday & Sunday 10-5, sale
Where: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto
Where to go?
the Museum of the African Diaspora
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Legion of Honor
San Jose Musem of Art
the Tech Museum of Innovation
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Not sure where to send your little ones for preschool?
Head over to Preschool Preview Night 2009, where more than 100 preschools will have information to hand out, and questions to answer.
This information fair is sponsored by JFCS' Parents Place, Bay Area Parent magazine & First 5 San Francisco
When: Wednesday, October 21, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Where: San Francisco County Fair Building (9th & Lincoln entrance to Golden Gate Park)
Cost: $5 (free refreshments!)
Register: call (415) 359-2455 or go to Parents Place online.
Bay Area. She's got some great info there!
While you're there, check out the rest of Laure's blog posts - she writes comprehensively about some great outings to do with kids.