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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on June 4

It's not just Homer Simpson who loves doughnuts. Especially free ones! June 4, 2010 is National Doughnut Day. I originally thought that was a bogus holiday made up by a doughnut company, but alas...it's a real holiday created by the Salvation Army (as a fundraiser), to honor women who served doughnuts in WWII to the soldiers.

National Doughnut Day is celebrated the first Friday in June, which this year is June 4, 2010. Krispy Kreme is apparently offering free doughnuts that day. I couldn't find confirmation on their website, but in the past, they've advertised it through their Friends of Krispy Kreme email list (which I'm not on). However I have it on good word from a national magazine, so that's good enough to publish here.

You can find a Krispy Kreme here.

Have you joined Frisco Kids on Facebook?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Coming Up: Foster City Art & Wine Festival

The Foster City Art & Wine Festival is a fun, famiily-friendly home-town event. Look for traditional offerings (like art and wine and entertainment, fire truck, ambulance etc.), and the kids' favorite, the popular carnival area, with rides for kid/teens/adults.


The festival is Friday, June 4th to Sunday, June 6th. The booths shut down earlier than the rides, in case you planned to do some late-night shopping.

Friday June 4 - 5 pm. to 11 p.m.
Saturday June 5 - 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday June 6 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking is free at Parkside Towers (exit 92 at Foster City Blvd, and follow the signs). The festival is next to the lagoon at Leo Ryan Park (corner of E. Hillsdale and Shell Blvd.)

By the way, you can order discount tickets or wristbands for unlimited rides until 4:45 p.m. on June 4th. I highly recommend these if you're planning to come. You'll save a lot of money and the kids can go on a lot more rides with you looking like the best parent ever. Discount tickets are $20 for 30 tickets (35% savings), or unlimited one-day wristbands for $20 ($5 savings). I think the kiddie rides are around 3-4 tickets each.


Discount tickets are available at the Foster City Recreation Center, 650 Shell Blvd. Monday through Friday 8-5, or at the Foster City Chamber of Commerce, 1031 E. Hillsdale Blvd, Ste. F - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Call  (650) 537-7600 to get them by mail, or send a check made payable to the Foster City Chamber of Commerce, 1031 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Suite F., Foster City 94404 or send your Visa/MasterCard info and send a SASE.

Coming Up: Volunteer With the Kids - My New Red Shoes

I love finding volunteer projects that incllude the kids. It's a great way to teach the kids about helping others and a fun way to spend family time.

The Peninsula Jewish Community Center is sponsoring a Family Day of Service on June 6th.  They'll be going to the My New Red Shoes warehouse in Santa Clara. If you're not familiar with My New Red Shoes, it's a Bay Area nonprofit that provides new clothing and shoes for 5,000 Bay Area homeless youth. Read more about them here.

I'm not sure what they'll do at the warehouse, but the program is open to kids 4 and older, and adults.

When: June 6, 2010 from 3-5 p.m.
Where: 2400 Cordensa Street, Santa Clara
Cost: $6 for adults, $3 for kids
RSVP: Spots are limited and you need to sign up here or call (650) 212.7522 or stop by the welcome desk at the PJCC and do it in person.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day Trip: Harley Farm in Pescadero

If there’s something I love even more than factory tours, it’s farm tours. And we took a great one at Harley Farms in Pescadero.

We went on a class field trip, though you can make your own family reservations (or take a group of kids yourself) with advanced registration. You could try walking in and signing up too, but they do book up. It’s a popular place!

The original farm was for dairy cows in the early 1900s. It ran til the 1940s, then sat vacant. About 17 years ago, Dee Harley and her husband started farming. They learned the art of making goat cheese from their friend Nancy, who used to buy their goat milk. After Nancy moved away, the farm started making its own cheese with milk from their six goats. Now Harley Famrs keeps 200 goats – all related to the original six (that’s called a “closed” population).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coming Up: Free National Park Entrance

Vaationing at a National Park has to be one of the best bargains around. But the national park service is offering entrance several times in 2010. So mark your calendars and make your plans. About 100 national parks are included in the list, with 12 from California. Those include Lava Beds National Monument, San Francisco's Maritime National Historical Park, Muir Woods, and Yosemite. You can see the entire list of 100 free parks here.:

--June 5-6, 2010


--August 14-15, 2010

--September 25, 2010 (Public Lands Day)

--November 11, 2010 (Veterans Day)


You still might need to pony up for camping reservations, but the entrance fee will be waived.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coming Up: Carnaval in San Francisco 2010

Carnaval is coming up this weekend in San Francisco! This parade features lots of scantilly-clad ladies (which keeps the men interested), and colorful floats, music and candy - which keeps the kids interested. After going several years ago, Zachary told the babysitter "we saw naked people dancing in the street today." We had some 'splaining to do!

There's a lot going on the whole weekend. The festival is on Saturday and Sunday, May 29-30th, on Harrison Street ( between 16th and 23rd streets) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There's a kids' area (Ninolandia) and live music, plus lots of food!

The parade is on Sunday, May 30th, starting at 9:30 a.m. Obviously the further down on the parade route you are, the later it starts (and you don't have to get there super early to get a spot). The route starts at 24th and Bryant Street, then west to Mission Street. Then it heads north on Mission to 17th Street - where you'll find the festival.

Take public transit to Carnaval - it will make your life much easier!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Coming Up: Stern Grove Kids' Activities - and Kids Days - FREE

Stern Grove Sundays were one of my favorite things to do before kids. We'd bring a blanket, picnic and the newspaper and grab our spot in the (hopefully) sunny area to await the fabulous free concerts. I know some people bring their kids to these events, but my kids aren't so good at sitting still in a crowded area and waiting for the show to start. It turns out there are activities for kids from noon to 1:00 for these Sunday concerts. Crafts, dance lessons, singing and hands-on music.

But there's also Stern Grove Kids Days. These are free workshops with dance, music, drumming and more. You just have to sign up ahead of time. As of this posting, only one of the sessions was full.

Look below for the schedule info:

African Drum and Dance Kids Day with Amadou Diawara

When: June 22, June 23, and June 24
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco

Presto! Interactive Opera Kids Day with Kristen Jones and Jennifer Ashworth
When: June 29, June 30, and July 1
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco

World Dance Kids Day featuring Bomba dance with Shefali Shah and Hector Lugo, Salsa/Merengue with Mario Luis Alabi and Swing Dance with Hep Jen
When: July 13, July 14, and July 15
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco

World Dance Kids Day with Stacey Blakeman of the San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education
When: August 3, August 4, and August 5
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco

Thanks to Linda for reminding me about these!
And don't forget to join Frisco Kids on Facebook for even more great info!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Frisco Kids is now on Facebook

If you're on Facebook, please join us on the new Frisco Kids Facebook page. On Facebook, we'll be posting additional content that won't appear on the blog. Please stop by today, and tell your friends too!

We're at http://www.facebook.com/friscokids

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coming Up: free admission to Bay Area Discovery Museum for Asian Pacific Heritage Festival

Visit one of my favorite Bay Area kid museums for free! They're celebrating the 16th Annual Asian Pacific Heritage Festival on Saturday, May 29th. In addition to free admission, they'll have performances and you can sample foods from Asia (you pay for the food).

It's in celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Month, and this is part of the Asian Pacific Heritage Festival. You'll learn about and experience the different traditions of the Bay Area's Asian and Pacific Islander communities through performances, food and the arts. Look for the Dragon Horse Lion Dancers!

Where: Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito

When: Saturday, May 29, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Coming Up: Sunday Streets



There's a popular San Francisco Sunday Streets this Sunday, May 23rd at Bayview!

Get out and walk, run, bike, skate - all without cars on the road. Check out the schedule here.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Bayview
Cost: free

Future Sunday Streets:
June 20 - Mission
July 11 - Mission
August 22 - Great Highway, Golden Gate Park
September 19 - Western Addition
October 24 - Civic Center, Tenderloin

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coming Up: Maker Faire in San Mateo

This weekend you must head over to the Maker Faire. Science. Technology. Craft. Art. Creativity. As one visitor calls it: "It's a bit like a family-rated, local Burning Man but not in the desert and without naked people.'

This annual event is sponsored by Make magazine, and from what I've heard. It's a great place to take the kids. Lots of tinkerers sharing their innovations and creations. You can admire, you can learn and you can create.

The event features tons of kid-friendly activities. The Bay Area LEGO users group has a huge display, including a model train layout made entirely of LEGOs. Kids can build their own blinking electronic bugs. And in case you haven't done the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment at home, you can watch it here, and not have to clean up the mess. There are lots of robots, marshmallow shooters, magic mirrors, a human mouse maze,

For those who like to make things themselves, in the "how to" area of the Maker Faire, you an learn how to becomea  bee-keeper, how to turn toys into jewelry, how to make a robot from paper pipes, how to make a pick a lock (don't take your kids to this one!), how to make and launch a compressed air rocket, how to make 3-D animated sculptures, how to make soap, how to juggle, and lots more.

When: May 22-23, 2010 (Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Where: San Mateo County Event Center (near 92 and 101). Check here for directions and info on free parking lots.
Tickets: get them at the door for $30/adult, $10/kids 4-12, $15/students 13-20. Get them at participating stores and save $5 a ticket. Here's a link to ticket info and participating stores (which include AAA, Whole Foods, Whole Foods, Exploratorium, Radio Shack, Copperfield's Books and Cartoon Art Museum). Group and military discounts area available too.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Field Trip: Whole Foods and Safeway - Behind the Scenes

A field trip to the grocery store at first seemed rather silly. I take my kids to the grocery store all the time, after all. They’ve seen all the departments and sampled foods from several of them.


But the behind-the-scenes tours of Safeway and Whole Foods were actually fascinating. Safeway let us go behind those swinging doors, where they store produce and crush boxes for recycling. We got to tramp through the bloody meat cutting area and see the giant mixers in the bakery.

The trip to Whole Foods, though, didn’t take us into any of the back areas. But it was still quite interesting. And the tour guide gave us factoids the kids could rattle off back home.

The kids were horrified to hear that the bakery staff had to arrive at 4 a.m., and the produce workers showed up at 5:30 a.m. The employees preparing the cased foods arrive early as well. “When do you wake up?” the kids asked of the guide. Fortunately for her, she gets to sleep in a little longer!

The favorite stop was the bakery, where the kids got to try Whole Foods’ cookies, and see the ovens that bake 20 loaves a bread at once.


Recycling and reusing was a big part of the tour. The kids learned that food that doesn’t sell at Whole Foods goes to the Samaritan House, which serves 500-600 donated meals from this store and other food venues. Whole Foods also recycles 80% of the store’s waste, whether recycling cardboard or composting food scraps. In fact, this store’s compost is combined with compost from other Whole Foods, and sold to customers for a few dollars a bag.
The kids were excited to visit the cheese shop, where they tasted cheddar and another type as well. They learned that Buffalo Mozarella actually comes from buffalo milk (not cow’s milk), and that many of the cheeses arrive in rounds weighing as much as 200 pounds. Cheddar cheese is not naturally orange. Rather, annatto is added to give it the distinctive orange coloring.

Oh - and if your kids like to cook, Whole Foods offers cooking classes, some of them geared toward kids.

Free Ice Cream at Haagen Dazs May 18th

Don't forget: tomorrow is free scoop day at Haagen Dazs. The ice cream seller is celebrating its 50th anniversary with free scoops of its original flavors: chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Stop by a participating Haagen Dazs on May 18th from 4-8 p.m. for your free scoop.


Find a Haagen Dazs near you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Coming Up: Kids World Events at Serramonte Center

Come to Serramonte Center for "KidsWorld," a free, fun and educational after school monthly program.


According to Serramonte, "KidsWorld events include festive, interactive performances with singing, dancing, games, crafts and fun learning opportunities. Each event teaches students a variety of topics including music, culture, art and even etiquette. The after school program also provides a place for kids to come and socialize in a fun, safe and educational environment. Each monthly event is themed and filled with arts and crafts activities, hands-on fun, festive music and more."

Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, May 18, at 5:30 p.m. – World of Dinosaurs

Tuesday, June 15, at 5:30 p.m. – Filipino Festival

Membership is free, and is good for discounts throughout the shopping center, entry into free monthly events and more.

The event is at the Serramonte Center, between the Elephant Bar and Starbucks (formerly the Mervyn's wing)

Friday, May 14, 2010

What to do in Las Vegas with Kids

I can think of a lot of places I’d rather go with kids than Las Vegas. But given that Vegas is close, and their pools are open in the summer, there are plenty of things to do to keep you and the kids busy. Here are a few ides:


MGM Grand Lion Habitat – it’s a little odd to see lions in the middle of a hotel, but so be it. You can walk into this lion habitat, and see the lions on top of the glass tunnel you’re in, or maybe on the side. It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and it’s free.

New York, New York roller coaster – how awesome to ride a big roller coaster outside a Vegas hotel. With multiple barrel loops, drops and other fun features, this is something you’ll talk about for days. The coaster costs $14 for the first ride, and $7 if you want to go again (though you’ll need to decide that when you buy your ticket). Kids need to be 54” to ride. If they’re too short, or aren’t into thrill rides, you get a great view outside. And if you’re not already married, you can do so on the coaster for $600-$700 – including the minister. Send photos if you do!

Bellagio Fountain – this is a staple of any trip to Vegas. Bring the kids to see the dancing Bellagio outdoor fountains, choreographed to music and lights. The show runs every 15-30 minutes. Check the Bellagio Founain schedule here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coming Up: SFMOMA Free Family Days

SFMOMA has an upcoming Free Family Day with hands-on activities, performances, exhibitions, films, and book readings for the whole family. You can also join the Mods, a new club for kids. Plus it's free!

Celebrate International Museum Day at SFMOMA with their Joy of JUNK program. You'll be able to collaborate with local artists by "reviving scraps and cast-offs, doohickeys and deelybops". A demonstration on renowned revamper, artst Robert Rauschenberg, will inspire you and the kids to make your own amazing art.



When: Sunday, May 16th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Museum and program admission are free for families with children 12 and under (providing you actually bring said kid/s)

Family Health and Fitness Day in Foster City

The Peninsula JCC is hosting its second annual free family health and fitness day on Sunday, May 16th from 1-4:30 pm.
What's happening?
-try to navigate the Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Program's Kids Obstacle Course
-have the kids bring a teddy bear for a checkup by Kaiser Permanente doctors at the Teddy Bear Clinic
-get a security ID card for your child made by the Foster City Police Department
-tour a Foster City fire truck and meet real firefighters!
-fitness themed events and activities
-Jump House, Family Gym, and much more!
-live entertainment

They'll also feature Foster City's first and only farmer's market starting at 12:30.

When: Sunday, May 16th from 1-4:30 p.m.
Where: PJCC - 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
RSVP: They recommend reservations so they can know how many people to expect. Call (650) 212-PJCC (7522).
More info: visit the PJCC site.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Free Haagen Dazs ice cream May 18th

If you love Baskin Robbins' 32 cent scoop night, and Ben & Jerry's free scoop day, you love even more free scoop day at Haagen Dazs. The ice cream seller is celebrating its 50th anniversary with free scoops of its original flavors: chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Stop by a participating Haagen Dazs on May 18th from 4-8 p.m. for your free scoop.

Find a Haagen Dazs near you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New website: Playplanit.com

I just got an email about a newly launced website and it looks fabulous. It's called Playplanit and it has listings of all kinds of kid-friendly things to do. No, of course it doesn't have as much fabulous commentary as Frisco Kids, but it has a lot more ideas. And a calendar you can click on to tell you where, when, how much...for any given day. Plus you can search by location, activity type, timing, age range, price etc.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How to pack for a move - staying organized

I've moved homes around enough to know what I'm doing. While my office will probably always be a mess, my organizational strategies for moving are steller. So my buddy June Bell invited to me to be a guest blogger on her organizing blog, Enough is Enough! to share some moving tips.

Please check out the post at Enough is Enough!

And if you're looking for any professional Bay Area organizational help, June is your gal. She does garages, houses, kitchens, etc. And she's a lot of fun (and a great listener). She runs Organize SF. She did a two part Q and A with Frisco Kids on organzing kids' stuff. See part one here, and part two here.

Enjoy your Mother's Day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Things to do with kids on Mother's Day in the San Francisco Bay Area

If you're scrambling for last minute ideas for Mother's Day, don't forget to look at the Things to Do on Mother's Day in the San Francisco Bay Area list I compiled recently. And let me know if you have ideas to add!

Happy Mother's Day!

Coming Up: San Francisco Zoo Sheep Shearing

My memories of sheep sheering are from my honeymoon in New Zealand. I got to feed a baby sheep on stage with a bottle, while my husband was laughing at me in the audience. We then watched the sheep get sheared. Quiet an experience to see a naked sheep versus one covered with wool. And to feel the lanolin in the wool.

Now it's your turn. The San Francisco Zoo has a sheep shearing event this Saturday, May 8th from 10:30 to 2 p.m. You'll also learn how wool is turned into scarves via a spindle spinning demo, needle felting and scarf weaving demos. Then you can try it at the Family Farm at the zoo.

If you're a zoo member, come early, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., and you'll get to do other activities, like making a sheep from wool!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coming Up: Letter Carriers' Food Drive - Saturday May 8, 2010

You have NO excuse to skip the Letter Carriers' annual food drive. All you have to do is fill a bag, however full, with nonperishable food. Pasta. Beans. Rice. Canned soup. Peanut butter. Cereal. All that stuff you bought on sale that's just sitting in your pantry!

Leave it by your mailbox so your postal carrier can pick it up on Saturday, May 8th, 2010.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Coming Up: Chomp 2! Return of the Carnivorous Plants

With an exhibition called Chomp 2! Return of the Carnivorous Plants - you'll have no trouble convincing your kids to go to San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers. The exhibition opens May 7th. In it you'll see:
  • Dionaea B-52, the world¹s largest species of Venus flytrap with traps up to two inches square
  • Pitcher Plants (I love these), like the one named "Abandoned Hope" - it's a pitcher plant hybrid that can grow up to two feet tall. The photo on the right one I took of a pitcher plant from the California Academy of Science.
  • Curved Cobra plant, with a bulbous green head and twisted red "tongue"
  • Flytrap Theater with weekend demonstration.
  • Investigation stations to give you a  bug's eye view of the plants.
The exhibition will be there through Halloween (how appropriate!). Let me know what you think!

Where: Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park
When: May 7, 2010-October 31, 2010
Cost: $1.50-$7.00

***If you haven't already, please take a brief Frisco Kids survey! Click here to take survey

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

San Francisco theme travel at Ciao Bambino

Instead of posting here today, check out my guest post at Ciao Bambino. There, I write about theme travel - comparing different versions of the same type of adventure. In this post, you'll learn about three fabulous San Francisco carousels, and three Bay Area small kids' museums.

And while you're there, look through the rest of Ciao Bambino. They review great hotels perfect for families, travel tips, destinations and a blog with posts about all different locations.

***If you haven't already, please take a brief Frisco Kids survey! Make sure you get the type of content YOU want to read.*****


Click here to take survey

Sea World Tickets: $39

If you plan to go to Sea World during the next 12 months, you'll want to get online around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5th to snatch up some $39 tickets. They're normally $59-$69. Daily Getaways and American Express are offering the deal (though you can pay with any valid credit card - even if it's not AmEx).

I did some internet pricing research, and this is indeed a very good deal. I could find some $6-10 off discounts, and maybe if you combine Sea World with some other attractions you could get a package ticket. But if you want a one day ticket, this is it.

For the price, you'll get a single admission ticket - adult or child - that can be redeemed until April 11, 2011. After purchasing the ticket, you'll get the voucher by mail in about 20 days. There are some additional small print details, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Get the deal here, starting Wednesday at 7 a.m. PST. Details are on that site. They're selling only 700+ tickets, but that's nationally for all three Sea World sites. If you want them, you should go on early. Their deals are selling out for other days.

***If you haven't already taken the brief Frisco Kids survey - please do! It's only 4 questions.***
Click here to take survey

Monday, May 3, 2010

Coming Up: Giants Baseball Game

Yes, I know, there are many San Francisco Giants baseball games. But this one is a fundraiser. Get your $18 tickets for the May 12th game against the Padres, and the San Mateo/Foster City school district gets $10. the game is at 7:15 at AT&T Park on May 12th. They'll have tickets available through May 5th.

Get your tickets and more information here..

Deal of the Day: Color Me Mine Camp - $75

For the next three days, Mamapedia is offering a deal on Color Me Mine camp in Daly City (Westlake Shopping Center). For $75, your child can do a five day (two hour sessions) camp . The sessions are from 10:30-12:30 or 1-3, and they take kids ranging from 4-13. It's valid this summer, May 1-August 1 2010. The camp is normally $150.

To learn more about the Color Me Mine camp deal, click here.

Magzines for Moms - $5 sale at Amazon

If you're looking for some more reading material (and really, who isn't with such vast amounts of spare time on our hands?) - check out the $5 magazine sale at Amazon for Mother's Day. If your kids are looking for an inexpensive gift to buy you - that will have them saying "I bought that for you Mom" the whole year, this is a great option.

Mother's Day Magazines for $5

For $5, get a subscription to:
-Prevention
-Good Housekeeping
-Marie Claire
-Redbook
-Garden Design
-Parents
-Ladies Home Journal
-Pregnancy
-Spa

For $10 - get a subscription to Oprah.

Kids' Health News

Okay, this is a new one for me, but I'm reading through my daily health news update this morning, and came across three that pertain to kids. So here they are:

H1N1 FLU
The H1N1 flu killed four times as many kids in the U.S. its first two waves, as kids died fom the flu in the last five years. Let me break that down. 317 kids in the U.S. died from the H1N1 flu, whereas 82 kids died from the regular flu during the last five flu seasons. Of the H1N1 deaths, 65% were from older kids who had underlying, high risk medical conditions (neurologic and pulmonary topped the list).

The research found that the H1N1 vaccine was safe for kids, though adults showed a statistically signficant increase in Bell's Palsy in some cases.

MEDICINE RECALL
MacNeil is recalling some children's and infant cold, allergy, Zyrtec, Benedryl, Motrin and Tylenol products. For a full list of recalled items, click here. Apparently no kids have been hurt by the items, however some may have higher concentrations than stated, or have been contaminated with bacteria.

SUNBLOCK YOUR KIDS
A recent "Suntelligence" report showed that people aren't so smart about protecting skin from harmful rays. Put sunblock on your kids daily (SPF 30 at least) and don't use tanning beds! To read more about the Suntelligence report, click here.

OBESE KIDS AND BULLYING
Obese kids are twice as likely to get bullied. Is this really news? Apparently it is when a study is published about it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coming Up: Free Kids' Party at Larkspur Hotel in Mill Valley

When I hear about a kids' party at a hotel, I usually envision a sleepover sponsored  by parents who don't want rowdy kids in their own house. But this kids' party is different.

Larkspur Hotel in Mill Valley is celebrating its grand opening with a party for kids on Wednesday, May 5th from 4-6 pm. They'll have free activities including face painting, crafts, snacks, and a special children's concert by musician Enzo Garcia.

The hotel is at 160 Shoreline Highway in Mill Valley. Just show up - no RSVP required.

***If you haven't already, please take a brief Frisco Kids survey! Click here to take survey

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mother's Day Ideas for San Francisco Bay Area 2010

If you're looking for Bay Area Mother's Day ideas for 2011, click here.

Trying to figure out what to do this Mother's Day? Ideas to give your spouse? Ideas for you? For your mom? For your daughter? Here are some fun happenings to consider!

See the movie Babies – even my husband thinks this looks like a great movie. It opens Mother’s Day weekend (Friday, May 7th), and features four babies from around the world (including San Francisco) for their first year of life. Watch the trailer here - the movie is beautifully shot. In the Bay Area, it's playing in Alameda, Albany, Campbell, Cupertino, Dublin, Emeryville, Mountain View, Redwood City, San Francisco (four locations), San Jose and Union City. Find the full list of theaters showing Babies here.

Three hour tour – let Mom try olive oils, chocolates, coffee and more on a three hour San Francisco food tour through Local Tastes of the City Tours. Cost: $59.


Mother’s Day Brunch Cruise – cruise the bay with Commodore Events, from 1-4 p.m. on Mother’s Day. This brunch cruise leaves out of Alameda and includes everything but the drinks. Cost is $75/adult, half price for kids age 3-11. Or try Hornblower, which has a 2-hour brunch cruise (includes champagne) and a dinner dance cruise. The brunch cruise is $81/adult (half price for kids). They offer a choice of ports.

Mother’s Day Cooking Class – I like to get out of the kitchen on Mother’s Day, but it is fun to cook new things with someone else cleaning up! Try this cooking class at the Ferry Plaza from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It includes mimosas and you’ll eat your work (brunch!). Cost is $75.

Run a race! The Marina 5-K in San Francisco lets Mom get hot and sweaty, starting at 9 a.m.

See Peter Pan in San Francisco – shows at 1 & 5 p.m. With puppets, music and flying scenes, this Peter Pan show is supposed to be like none other. It’s not recommended for kids under age 5, and the show is 2 hours and 20 minutes (including intermission), so keep that in mind if bringing the kids. The show is across from the Ferry Plaza. Tickets are $45-125.

Prepare meals for Mom – it doesn’t have to be hard if you use Dream Dinners. The Belmont (peninsula)location is hosting 30 minute meal prep sessions on Saturday, May 8th for dads and kids (or any kid/adult combo). You’ll prep meals that are easy to cook later – like Hershey’s Cocoa Chili-Rubbed Chicken with Ranch Sauce, Apricot Glazed Pork Chops with Corn Cakes, Sweet Cider BBQ Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries or Buffalo ranch Chicken. Vegetarian options available, and all meals include side dish, dessert & gift bag. Cost: $30 for 3 serving package (or $40/6 serving package). From personal experience, Dream Dinners are really good and putting them together is fun! RSVP by calling (650) 595-4545, or email BelmontPlazaCA@dreamdinners.com

Jewish Contemporary Museum - free admission for moms! So go by yourself, or bring the kids. there's a free 3-D card making activity for kids from 1-3 p.m. Kid 18 and under get in free everyday.

The Asian Art Museum has its Spring Family Festival: Stories from my Popo's Attic on Sunday from 10:30-4:00. Kid-friendly tour, music, dancing and more. Free with admission. Or get your $35 yearly membership - more than half off - with Groupon deal this weekend.

Coming Up: Go backstage with Gypsy for Teens

If you have a kid ages 10-17 who loves theater, this is a great opportunity. Hillbarn Theater in Foster City is performing Gypsy (a great show which I saw on Broadway two years ago). Hillbarn does a terrific job with its shows too. Gypsy is about a stage mom who wants her kids to make it big in show business.

They have a Backstage Pass program for this show, where the kids can have a pre-show pizza party, then watch the performance of Gypsy, followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew.

When: May 14th from 6:30-11 p.m.
Cost: $10
RSVP: call (650) 349-6411 x 306