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Friday, September 30, 2011

Coming Up: Jump Start Read for the Record - free Gymboree class

Gymboree joined with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a day when millions of families and celebrities read to promote early education. You can go to your local Gymboree Play & Music for a free “red pajama, reading party” on October 6th. In honor of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record day, Gymboree students at every location will read this year’s book,  Llama Llama Red Pajamaby Anna Dewdney and participate in themed activities. Getting involved is simple. Pledge today to read  at www.ReadfortheRecord.org and take advantage of your first free Gymboree class on October 6th, for a celebration of reading and learning.


Coming Up: Marin Headlands Family Hike

This weekend, NatureBridge is hosting “Animal Families of the Headlands,” an event for Bay Area families to spend the afternoon outdoors together, discovering the unique characteristics of animals who call the Headlands home. 


NatureBridge is a nonprofit organization that partners with the National Parks Service to bring kids outdoors, helping kids get into nature, to instill that sense of awe and appreciation for the environment that is so easily lost in the “digital age.” They have student and family programming in four locations, including in the Marin Headlands. NatureBridge works with schools across the Bay Area and many of their programs serve diverse or low-income students.



If you can't make this, but are still interested, NatureBridge is also hosting a series of “Golden Gate Play Dates” in October (11 and 25) and November 8th, a 2 hour, hands-on program that will help guide your child’s natural curiosity in outdoor adventures. It’s best suited for children ages 3-5. In fact, you can see a slew of similar family programs on NatureBridge’s website, too. The other programs look fabulous, including an arts fall open house, night hike and campfire and more.



When: October 9, from 1-4
What: Animal Families of the Headlands
Who: kids of all ages plus adults
Where: Headlands Institute, 1033 Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito
Cost: $15/person
RSVP: required here

Focus Group: Parents, Power Tools and Commerce


Focus groups for Plaza Research


Parents
Thursday, October 6th, a 2-hour focus group discussion
Requirement: Parents ages 26-64
Incentive: $100 

If you are interested in the Parents study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PSCSRWC

Power Tools
Monday, October 10th, a 2-hour focus group discussion
Requirement: Males ages 25-64 interested in power tools
Incentive: $100 

If you are interested in the Power Tools study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7BK8XCP 
Commerce
Thursday, October 6th ­ Friday, October 7th, 1-hour individual interview
Requirement: Males and females ages 18-45 
Incentive: $75.00

If you are interested in the Commerce study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEhDZXZSNHgyQkdSV1Q5RlAtYW5JNHc6MA

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coming Up: Bay Area Science Festival



10 days - 50 events. You're bound to find something you like!


"The Bay Area will come alive with science & technology activities – lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays, workshops, and more. This ambitious collaborative public education initiative brings together our leading academic, scientific, corporate, and non-profit institutions to showcase the region as an international leader in innovation. Science happens all around us and directly impacts our daily lives – are you ready to unleash your inner scientist?"

When: October 29-November 6, 2011
Info: Bay Area Science Festival

Discovery Days at Cal State East Bay - October 29 from 11-4
Representatives from UCSF, Chabot Space and Science Center, Lawrence Hall of Science, the Tech Museum and others. See the awesome list of activities here.

Coming Up: Free Museum Day - Bank of America

Bank of America's Museums on Us program runs this weekend, giving B of A cardholders (credit or debit) one free admission per card at participating museums. We've used this program and love it! It's this weekend, October 1-2 (some museums are only one day). The website won't let me give you an individual list of cities to click, so just check the main website and look for California in the pull-down menu.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Four Steps to Creating a Dazzling 'Witching Hour' Haunted House

Today I bring you a guest post!

Want to turn your home into a bewitching, "trick-or-treating" haunt for the kids? Read on to find our four simple yet devilishly delightful ways to make your home memorable for the holiday . . .

The Whimsy Within

The end of any good haunt is the indoors, and since it is the easiest to maintain we will begin here. Decorating indoors is also a great way to enjoy your own Halloween decorations as the outside, while you will take great pride in it, is designed more to impress the neighbors and passersby - and their awe is your glee! (Cackle!)

If you don't know where to start, a bookshelf or a mission table is a great place to begin adding your whimsy. Glass bottles or sand art bottles can be used to create potion vials. Simply fill them with colored water and place them within eye's line of the door.

Old broomsticks add a wonderful bewitching style, so don't forget to place one of these in a nearby corner and hang a witch's or wizard's hat on your coat rack. A bubbling cauldron can also be made with a simple punch bowl or store bought Halloween cauldron and food-grade dry ice – which makes for a great end-of-the-haunt treat when paired with fruit juice.

Another great idea to go along with our theme? Fill these sand bottles with drinkable liquid like Kool-Aid dyed black. Don't forget to dim the lights and light the candles!

Think it Outside

Indoor scenes are easily set because we know our living room's layout in the dark. But outdoor scenes are a bit more tricky. Local corn maze experts and haunted house owners recommend beginning with a graph or sketch of what you want to do and where. The best way to do this is to take scale of your yard – what bushes, shrubs or nooks and crannies make good hiding places for figures, lights or other haunt worthy items?

Pulling off the Theme

There are many great themes out there for haunts but the best is the one that strikes your imagination the most. If you aren't a fan of our Witching Hour haunt, you can alter the steps in this article to better suit your favorite theme.

We love the idea of spells gone wrong, which is a great way to lead kids to the doorstep of the wicked witch. Use your imagination. A scarecrow can easily become a disaster with a mask from the Halloween store. Animal masks make the most peculiar sights but you can go for scarier masks if you are aiming for an older audience. This is a great place to hide a tape player that repeats "Don't mess with the witch." Check out this scary sound effects tutorial on how to make your voice really scary! Or if you chose to complete our sand bottle ideas for passing out to children you know, you could say "Don't drink the water."

Plastic feathered ravens are a hot commodity at Halloween so they are easy to find. Place them high in trees with lighted features. Again, a great place for a recording. How about "Quote the raven – Nevermore. Nevermore."

Storing Your Haunt

Depending on how complicated your haunt is you will need to store items in different ways. Decide what items can be safely housed and what items may need to be rebought. Flimsy props like scarecrows and garbage bags will need to be tossed but other pricier items like lighting and other sturdy props can be recycled.

Halloween lights are easily stored with garden hose holders. Small items can be tossed into clear bins for easy finding. Larger items may be best served in the garage or attic. Thus you might consider going vertical with large shelving units or hanging racks to safely store these items that can be dangerous with little ones around.

While these four steps are just the basics of bringing your haunt to life, the true spell of Halloween lies within your imagination. Garage sales, junk yards and other like stores are a great place to find items. Remember, it doesn't have to make sense . . . if you like it, get it and work into your decor. The results might just be magic!


Written by Chris Molnar, editor of the Halloween blog Halloweenalliance.com. With the leaves falling, the air growing crisper and the wind beginning it's cold howl at night, friends around him will note a springier step and strange look in his eyes that they don't see during the summer! 

I Read Banned Books

Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a few yourself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween Costume Links

We're working on Halloween costume ideas in our household. Looking at these links bring some inspiration.

Frisco Kids' classic Halloween costumes on the cheap

Groupon has an onlline deal today and tomorrow, $30 in credit for $15. It's at Halloween Mart and it's an online deal. I saw it on the San Jose page.
If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here.
If you're already a Groupon member, get the deal here.


Red Tricycle has a list of local costume stores (that include thrift and consignment stores).

Halloween deals and coupons online - by Bargain Babe. Some of the discounts might be gone by the time this posts, but many are still good.

Frisco Kids Survey - Results - and you can still fill it out!

Thank you to those who filled out the Frisco Kids survey! The responses are SOOO helpful in planning this site.


If you haven't filled it out, it's still up and I'd love to get your input. It's only 7 questions and it's really easy and anonymous too. 

Click here to take survey
The survey gave me a really good understand of your Bay Area region, how old your kids are and what content you're looking for. I'll be making adjustments to the site based on what you said. Just know that there were sometimes opposite statements made by different readers. A few readers said there were too many deals posted, while others wanted more. Some readers said there's too much posted about events in the South Bay, while others said there weren't enough. It's nice to know it's not just parents raising young kids reading Frisco Kids - grandmothers read it too, to find things to do with their grandkids! 
I appreciate everyone's enthusiasm for the site and wonderful comments. I'll take all the comments into account and refocus what's posted. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's new at the Monterey Bay Aquarium?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has some new things this fall. If you haven't been in awhile, now may be the time to plan a day trip!  This summer they reopened the Outer Bay galleries as the Open Sea, a million gallon tank. It focuses on the migrations of ocean animals across the Pacific and the constant motion of life in the open ocean. You'll see swirls of schooling fishes (sardines), jellies, predators such as sharks (hammerhead and sandbar) and tunas, barracuda, stingrays, ocean sunfish, sea turtles and seabirds share this wild territory. In one instant the water appears empty; in another, it teems with life.

The aquarium's pioneering white shark research project resumes this year, and a young great white shark  is currently on exhibit. 


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Free (almost) Cold Stone Ice Cream

Cold Stone's annual Make-a-Wish fundraiser is coming up on September 27, 2011, from 5-8 p.m. For a donation, you'll get a scoop of Sprinkled with Wishes (sweet cream ice cream, brownie, rainbow sprinkles and fudge). It doesn't sound as bad as some previous years. Actually, it's almost identical to Jack's creation in 2009, except it has fudge instead of caramel. It's a little scary how I knew that.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Link love - What I'm reading

The Kitchen Hour - by Meagan Francis. The Happiest Mom writer talks about how her daily hour (or so) in the kitchen makes space for the family and for bigger picture thinking. What do you do to give yourself time to think?

My friend Heather is spending a year traveling around the world with her family (the kids are under 10). Here's a great post on what it's like to BE the attraction in China.

In time for school and fall organization, here are free printable planning worksheets from Mommytracked. For some other cute designs, check out LobotoME (they're not free).

I'm not really a foodie, but reading my cousin Ilana's blog Whisked makes me feel like one. She recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and she catalogues her time there, as well as many of the other meals she makes or eats. The photography is great, and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Sex on Six Legs Insect Sex excerpt - from the New York Times.

Best bike trails for kids - from Red Tricycle

Is SpongeBob bad for your kids? Maybe you saw the headlines. Read one mom's view.

What to do this weekend?

What to do this weekend?

--See a museum for free with Smithsonian's Free Museum Day.

--Get some used books at the SF library's giant book sale.

--Dine at the food truck even in Larkspur.

--Pick some apples or visit a pumpkin patch.

--Find your way through a corn maze.

--Go see Shrek the Musical.

--Check out Red Tricycle's list of weekend events.

--Check out Savvy Cities' list of weekend events.

--Check out SFKids.org's calendar of weekend events

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Focus Groups: Money, Transportation, Wellness, Radio


Three new focus groups recruiting for Plaza Research in SF.

~Health and Wellness~
Monday, September 19th-Tuesday, September 27th, a 2-hour pairs interview
Requirement: Couples ages 30-60 interested in Health and Wellness
Incentive: $300 per couple

If you are interested in the Health and Wellness study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N36PR9L 

~Radio~
Friday, September 2, 2011- Friday, September 23, 2011, an 80-minute online survey
Requirement: Females between the ages of 37-48 who are interested in the Radio
Incentive: $60

If you are interested in the Radio study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CWSQYQ9

~Transportation~
Thursday, October 6th, 90-minute focus group discussion
Requirement: Males and females ages 19-64 who use certain transportation
Incentive: $85.00

If you are interested in the Transportation study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M3QYMK3

 

~Money Services~
Tuesday, September 27 ­ Wednesday, September 28th, 1-hour individual interview
Requirement: Males and females ages 19-64 who use certain money services
Incentive: $125.00

If you are interested in the Money Services study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PWVGHYJ

Coming Up: Food Trucks in Larkspur

Food trucks are all the rage these days, and I've done (and have posted for the future) food truck events in the Bay Area. Here's one for Marin:


The last two Fridays for the Food Truck Crush at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal are tomorrow (September 23) and Friday, September 30  from 4-8 p.m. The event tomorrow celebrates the end of summer, and there will be two new trucks:  Toasty Melts and Fork Catering, along with several old favorites. 

The party includes the Big Dog Trouble band, jamming live music and KIND Food Truck will also be there as a scheduled stop on their US tour passing out complimentary full-size samples of their all-natural whole nut and fruit bars.

DINNER TRUCKS include:
Toasty Melts – Tasty grilled cheese sandwiches with various unique combinations that make you feel nostalgic. 
Fork Catering – Local, organic street food that is healthy and includes dishes like wild salmon BLTs, local grass fed burgers and healthy salads. 
Sanguchon-Peruvian – A Peruvian Sandwich truck featuring delectable, hearty sandwiches with classic and contemporary Peruvian fillings. 
Suzie Q's Lunch Box - Amazing Cajun food from a New Orleans native. 

DESSERT TRUCKS include:
Pacific Puffs – A family-run bakery featuring premium homebaked style cream puffs. 
Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar - Decadent and delicious desserts featured on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars"



Find Frisco Kids on Facebook and Twitter

Frisco Kids Survey - REALLY short!

Thank you to those who have filled out the Frisco Kids survey! The responses are SOOO helpful in planning this site.

If you haven't filled it out, please take 2 minutes and respond! It's only 7 questions and it's really easy. And it will make the site more customized to what you want. Did I mention it's really short? It's completely anonymous.

Click here to take survey


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coming Up: Starlab Sky Show - Hiller

Hiller Aviation Museum has a Starlab Sky Show in their planetarium, coming up on September 24th). Kids will learn how to identify constellations, and learn how these constellations helped early explorers find their way. Show are at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. - each show is 30 minutes.


Where: Hiller Aviation in San Carlos
Age: 5 and up (kids 3+ can attend the 10:30 show)
Cost: $5/person, $4/members plus museum admission. Get $1/off coupon here.

Frisco Kids Survey - REALLY short!

A few years ago I posted a really short Frisco Kids survey so I could learn more about what readers wanted. I'm doing it again. Please take 2 minutes and respond! It's only 7 questions and it's really easy. And it will make the site more customized to what you want. Did I mention it's really short? It's completely anonymous.

Click here to take survey

I'll leave the survey up for a week, and will remind you daily. So please, please take the survey!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Contest winners

I've made contact with all the Frisco Kids contest winners. Apologies to those who didn't win the awesome prizes. I wish I had more sets to give out. The winners are:

Shrek: Martha
Cirque du Soleil: Stephanie
Lord of the Rings: Kerry
Yo Gabba Gabba: Shelby

Shrek was a hugely popular choice in the contest. The show starts tonight, and ends on September 25 - consider buying tickets! Thank you to all the sponsors for the tickets.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Coming Up: Giant Book Sale

If you're a book lover (I can't imagine anyone who isn't), there's a huge book sale coming up to benefit the San Francisco Public Library. All children's books are $1 or less. Adult hardcovers start at $4, and paperbacks start at $2. Sunday, the books are all $1. They expect a crowd of 15,000, and they expect to raise about $250,000.

On stock: more than 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs etc.

Where: Fort Mason Festival Pavilion
When:  Members preview is September 20. It opens to the public Wednesday, September 21, ends on September 25.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday it's 10-8. Sunday it's 10-6
More info: Friends of the San Francisco Public Library

Frisco Kids Survey - REALLY short!

A few years ago I posted a really short Frisco Kids survey so I could learn more about what readers wanted. I'm doing it again. Please take 2 minutes and respond! It's only 7 questions and it's really easy. And it will make the site more customized to what you want. Did I mention it's really short? It's completely anonymous.

Click here to take survey

I'll leave the survey up for a week, and will remind you daily. So please, please take the survey!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Group-Buying Website for School Fundraising

Earlier this summer, I posted on ways that your schools can make money from the group-buying deal websites. Read it here.

A new deal company is now out there - I haven't used it. Instead of just donating a few dollars for signing up, or a small percentage from each purchase you make to the school of your choice, this company offers larger school profits. How? By having you source the deals for your school, and promote it to your minions. It's called QlubbGive, and I admit I haven't used it yet and don't know anyone who has. But the idea is intriguing, and I thought I'd pass it along. Here's an overview of how it works. The school gets up to 30% of the proceeds. Here's an example of one of their deals.

Let me know what you think.
A few years ago I posted a really short Frisco Kids survey so I could learn more about what readers wanted. I'm doing it again. Please take 2 minutes and respond! It's only 7 questions and it's really easy. And it will make the site more customized to what you want. Did I mention it's really short? It's completely anonymous.

Click here to take survey

I'll leave the survey up for a week, and will remind you daily. So please, please take the survey!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Please vote! Nominated for Most Awesome Local Mom Blog

I've been nominated (again) by the awesome Red Tricycle for its Most Awesome Local Moms Blog. I'm in good company, with some awesome other bloggers. Please consider stopping by to check it out - and vote for me!
Vote for Me

Best Hikes with Kids

My friend Laure Latham from Frog Mom just published her book Best Hikes with Kids - San Francisco Bay Area. She wrote a great post on how she wrote the book (including doing 90 hikes in 5 months!).

She's also doing a book giveaway on her blog (enter here) and also doing speaking engagements at REIs:

- Wednesday September 21, REI Concord, 7-8.30pm
- Monday October 24, REI Saratoga, 7-830pm
- Tuesday October 25, REI Fremont, 7-8.30pm



Congratulations Laure, and everyone else should get a copy of the book!

Frisco Kids Survey - REALLY short!

A few years ago I posted a really short Frisco Kids survey so I could learn more about what readers wanted. I'm doing it again. Please take 2 minutes and respond! It's only 7 questions and it's really easy. And it will make the site more customized to what you want. Did I mention it's really short? It's completely anonymous.

Click here to take survey

I'll leave the survey up for a week, and will remind you daily. So please, please take the survey!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area

I love this time of year, with all the fall colors and fields teeming with pumpkins! I'm going to point you to some helpful sites with information on where to go pumpkin picking, apple picking and corn mazing (is that a word?) in the Bay Area.

A Frog Mom goes apple picking in Santa Cruz.  
A Little Yumminess has a great post on apple picking in Sebastapol (and going for ice cream and wine tasting after). Somehow this writer only left with 7 pounds of apples. When we went recently we spend $60, which equaled 48 pounds of apple goodness. I've made 8 apple pies (fortunately we have a second fridge/freezer, and ate the last pie two weeks ago). See my recipe at the bottom.

Travel is More Fun with Kids wrote two excellent posts - the first is a comprehensive listing of Bay Area pumpkin patches with helpful information. Travel is More Fun with Kids
 also wrote a review on a Petaluma pumpkin patch and corn maze. 

Red Tricycle also has a thorough listing of pumpkin patches. Check it these Bay Area pumpkin patches!

Debbie's Famous Apple Pie:
I used store-bought pie crust (if I have to make it myself, we just won't have apple pie). I like Mrs. Smith's crust. Peel and slice enough apples to fit overstuffed, in the pie shell. Keep the apples in a bowl, though. Mix with a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, a big dash of cinnamon, some mace and nutmeg. You can see I'm not big on following exact recipes. Mix that all together and dump it in the pie shell (in a mound).

Separately, mash together 1/2 stick of salted soft butter with a bunch of quick oats (like Quaker Oats - just plain), along with some brown sugar. I don't measure. When it's mixed into crumbly pieces, put that on top of the apples. It won't cover the whole pie. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for maybe 80 minutes (til it's brown on top but not burned). Serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!



Join Frisco Kids on Facebook!





Tips on Corn Mazes and Kids

you can't see over it!
We've now done corn mazes two years in a row, and we're making it a yearly tradition. The kids are now old enough to last in there for more than 10 minutes. The first year we went without my husband (he was on a business trip), and we wandered around for probably two hours (maybe an hour longer than was really fun for the kids). I was dizzy when we got out. So many twists and turns. I let the kids take turns picking the direction. If it weren’t for the staff positioned at one spot in the maze, we never would have made it out. Even after getting directions out (it was something like – turn right at every turn until after the bridge, then turn left at every turn), it still took us 15 minutes to exit! 
The next year we all went together, and he was armed with the map (which you could only view under one of those red films). He was insistent on trying to figure out the way, until I told him that maybe the kids should get to figure it out and choose which way to go. It was a bit of a parenting style struggle. Ultimately we did let the kids take turns picking a direction (they didn't care about the map, like my obsessed husband), but they definitely accepted his help at several times so they didn't have to be in the maze as long as the previous year. We were there about an hour, which was enough time for them to have fun, but not so much they hated me after. 
Here is a list of Bay Area corn mazes from the Mercury News.

FRISCO KIDS TIPS ON TAKING KIDS IN A CORN MAZE
–Before you go in, use the bathroom. This cannot be stated enough.

–Bring food and water. Your kids will need some nourishment (and treats) during their breaks. Bring your own, or buy something on site. Most farms sell food too.
–Wear comfortable shoes – that can get muddy.
–Put on sunscreen
–Wear layers of clothing. No sense in getting lost…and cold (or being too hot because there’s nothing underneath that gorgeous sweater).
–Bring a pair of 3-D glasses with that red film on them. Some corn mazes give you a map that you can decode with the red film (of course they also sell it). Even with the map, you still may not figure out where you are or how to get out.
–Bring a durable stroller or baby carrier for little ones – though some corn mazes have bridges you need to cross
–Make sure your kids see some of the treats being sold at the farm (like doughnuts or pumpkin pie). Make sure they know that if they’re good in the maze, that’s what they get when they exit.
–Take allergy medicine before you go – you don’t need to sneeze your way through!
–Keep track of landmarks,  usually pieces of garbage (the corn all looks the same) to figure out where you are and if you’ve been there before.
–Leave yourself enough time
–Ticket sales often close an hour before the maze closes.
-Have fun!

Frisco Kids Survey - REALLY short!

A few years ago I posted a really short Frisco Kids survey so I could learn more about what readers wanted. I'm doing it again. Please take 2 minutes and respond! It's only 7 questions and it's really easy. And it will make the site more customized to what you want. Did I mention it's really short? It's completely anonymous.

Click here to take survey

I'll leave the survey up for a week, and will remind you daily. So please, please take the survey!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coming Up: Weekend activities in SF Bay Area

Tons of stuff coming up this weekend.

SATURDAY
Family day at Green String Farm in Petaluma
Dragon boats at Treasure Island
Renaissance Fair in Sebastapol
Rancho de Fiesta in San Mateo
Family Day Kite Festival
Renaissance Fair - Hollister

SUNDAY
Sunday Streets - in Chinatown and North Beach, Sunday, September 18
Dragon boats at Treasure Island
Weekend list from Red Tricycle
Family Day Kite Festival
Renaissance Fair - Hollister

Save the Date: Yerba Buena Family Fun Day


Yerba Buena Family Fun Day is coming up - it's free! It includes admission and hands-on art activities from four museums there, and two stages with live performances.

Museums include:
-SFMOMA
-Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM)
-Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
-Children's Creativity Museum (formerly Zeum)
-Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Highlights:
**Exhibit on Harry Houdini at the CJM
**Imagination Lab - new at Children's Creativity Museum
**Performance by the Magic of Chin Chin
**Make your own optical illusions
**Decoupage your own memory box
**hula dancers, Japanese drummers
**carousel rides
Thank you Target for sponsoring.

When: Sunday, October 16, 2011 from 11-4
Where: Yerba Buena gardens
Cost: Free
More info: see the Yerba Buena website

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family Fun Coastal Clean-up at Marine Mammal Center

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert. Also, we're giving away a facial/massage package.***

This Saturday, September 17, the Marine Mammal Center in Marin is rewarding families who participate in a coastal clean-up, with a free family fun day. Get details from Sonoma on the Cheap.

Coming Up: Pony Rides and Petting Zoo

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert. Also, we're giving away a facial/massage package.***
Coming up at the Play Cafe in Oakland (4400 Keller Ave):

Pony Rides & Petting Zoo
Date: Sept. 17th
Time: 11:30am
Price: $8 (per child with one paying adult)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Focus Groups: Health and Wellness, Online Videos, Radio, Household Finances, Medical Conditions

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert. Also, we're giving away a facial/massage package.***

Some focus groups with Plaza Research.


~Health and Wellness~
Monday, September 19th-Tuesday, September 27th, a 2-hour pairs interview
Requirement: Couples ages 30-60 interested in Health and Wellness
Incentive: $300 per couple

If you are interested in the Health and Wellness study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N36PR9L 
~Online Videos 2~
Friday, September 16th, 1-hour individual interview
Requirement: Males and females ages 18 and older interested in Online Videos
Incentive: $75

If you are interested in the Online Videos study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFQxNUcyOE5tY1NmU1dBUXVxVmFoMFE6MA#gid=2 
Radio~
Friday, September 2, 2011- Friday, September 23, 2011, an 80-minute online survey
Requirement: Females between the ages of 37-48 who are interested in the Radio
Incentive: $60

If you are interested in the Radio study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CWSQYQ9 
~Household Finances~

Tuesday, September 13-Wednesday, September 14, two hour in-home interview
Requirement: Males and females ages 35-43
Incentive: $150-$200

If you are interested in the Household Finances study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CQ97KMK 
~Medical Conditions~
Wednesday, September 14th, a 1.5-hour focus group discussion
Requirement: Males and females ages 18 and older suffering from a certain Medical Condition
Incentive: $125

If you are interested in the Medical Conditions study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2BYJGJB

Coming Up: Babies and Babies Shopping Event

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert.***

If you're a new or expecting mom (or know one who is), this should be a fun - and economical - shopping event in San Francisco. It's called Babies & Babies - run by Appel and Frank. There will be 55 local designers and companies offering unique baby and toddler items. They also have a raffle, with the top prize being a $500 gift certificate to Tea Collection, or win a Stokke high chair, diaper bag or other goodies. You can bring your other kids. The event has a play space plus photo sessions, and workshops and seminars as well.

Want a free or discounted ticket? Read on. 

Check out the speakers and workshops here.

Frisco Kids is helping to sponsor the goody bags, which go to the first 200 women through the door. What great item did we put into the bag? You'll have to go to find out!

Where: San Francisco JCC (3200 California Street @ Presidio)
When: Sunday, September 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Online tickets are $8 for 2 tickets, or $5 each otherwise or at the door. (If you order online, the discount price for 2 tickets/$8 will appear if you enter "2" in the quantity section)

Want a free ticket? Make a comment below, with your email address, and I'll pick 5 winners.
Plum District Deals is offering a deal through Thursday, where you get two tickets, two goody bags and two raffle tickets for $10 (or $8.50 if you use the code fall2fab at checkout - you'll save 15%). Basically, that means if you bought the tickets at the door, you get the raffle tickets for free, and guaranteed goody bags. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sponsored Post: Shrek the Musical comes to Broadway San Jose

This post is brought to you by Broadway San Jose, whose show Shrek the Musical plays September 20-25, 2011. At the bottom there's a chance to win tickets to the show.


The History of Shrek the Musical
Shrek The Musical, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage. In 2001 a well-loved, but lesser known children’s book became an overnight sensation when DreamWorks Animation launched the film Shrek to overwhelming, worldwide acclaim.

Over seventy years earlier, famed illustrator William Steig began his career spanning over 600 drawings and 117 covers for The New Yorker before beginning a late-in-life career as a children’s book author and illustrator. In 1990, the semi-retired illustrator penned the now famous story about a loveable ogre and his quest to reclaim his home from the evil Lord Farquaad. Along the way, the ogre meets the love of his life and his life-long best friend taking a conventional fairy-tale and turning it upside down.

This twist and modernization of a fairy-tale caught the eye of DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg who immediately fell in love with the story and characters. Academy Award-winning film director Sam Mendes thought the project would be perfect for a Broadway musical, but Jeffrey felt the first step in the process would be to see how these characters came to life on the silver screen before taking on the Great White Way. Shrek had its fairy tale ending, going on to become one of the most successful film series of all time.

With its Hollywood success, it was time to take Broadway by storm. DreamWorks assembled some of the most celebrated, talented and slightly twisted creatives working on Broadway with David Lindsay-Abaire (Book and Lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (Music), Jason Moore and Rob Ashford (Co-Directors) at the helm. They turned to the top notch designer Tim Hatley for sets and costumes. Shrek The Musical debuted in the summer of 2008 at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre before opening on Broadway December 14, 2008. During its Broadway run it played over 500 performances, garnered eight 2009 Tony Award nominations, and ranked as one of the top 10 highest grossing musicals of 2009. Shrek and Donkey packed their bags for a whirlwind, cross-country adventure which began in Chicago the summer of 2010. Cross-country became global when Shrek The Musical opened in London in May 2012.

THE WORLD OF SHREK
Once upon a time in a land not so far, far away… history was made by afilm that captured the world’s imagination. In 2001, DreamWorks Animation released a film about a big, lovable, ugly green ogre in search of love, winning the hearts of millions and going on to be awarded the first ever Academy Award for Animated Feature film. Based on the children’s book by the famed New Yorker illustrator William Steig, Shrek told the story of an unlikely hero and his quest to find true love. Shrek went on to be the third highest grossing film of 2001 and the #6 highest grossing animated film of all time.

Shrek 2, in 2004, went on to prove the popularity of the beloved ogre, having one of the biggest opening weekends of all time and going on to take the number one spot as highest grossing animated film of all time (to the tune ofover $441 million) and the number five top movie of all time behind Star Wars. Shrek the Third followed in 2007 having the biggest animated movie opening ever and becoming the third biggest movie opening of all time. Now a trilogy, Shrek had cemented himself and his princess Fiona, Donkey and the whole gang as some of the most beloved movie characters ever.

A successful holiday special, Shrek The Halls, has since debuted and is in its third year as a new holiday classic both on TV and DVD. On May 21, 2010, the loveable green guy and all his pals were back on the silver screen with the final chapter in the Shrek series, Shrek Forever After.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 Reflections

As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, the crash into the Pentagon, and the attack on United flight 93 to San Francisco, this image below comes to mind.


This comes from a tile painted by a child who lost his/her "Poppy" in New York that fateful day. It hung (along with many other tiles painted by children who lost parents) in the World Trade Center transit area, between the subways and the street. I saw it on a trip to New York in 2007.

We're grateful our friend Jordan, who was scheduled to fly on flight 93, caught a flight out the night before. We're grateful that our cousin was late for a meeting in the second tower. At least one of her coworkers who went to the meeting died.

I've been spending a lot of time recently reading and listening to stories of those who lost loved ones in the attack. StoryCorps has some tear-jerkers here. And maybe you saw the "famous 9/11 faces: where are they now" spread by the SF Chronicle. Here are some Bay Area reflections from Tales Told from the Road and NPR.

Where were you on 9/11, and what stories about that day can you share?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Coming Up: Free Museum Day - Smithsonian

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert.***

We had a great day at the Exploratorium - for free! Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day made is possible, and they are doing it again on Saturday, September 24th. Download an admission card here, and get into museums like Hiller Aviation Museum, Coyote Point Museum, the Exploratorium, Cartoon Art Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Bedford Gallery, Blackhawk Museum, Chabot Space & Science Center, and others.

The card is good for you and one guest - one card per household. Participating Bay Area museums are listed here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coming Up: Soar with Books

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert.***


Hiller Aviation Museum has a special program this Saturday, Soar with Books. This preschool reading program includes a special tour, aviation book reading time inside a Boeing SST, and an aviation craft project 


When: Saturday, September 10 from 11 to noon
Where: Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos
Cost: $1.50 plus admission (free for members)
RSVP: not needed


The program runs periodically: in 2011: October 8
2012: January 7, February 4, March 3, May 5

Focus Groups: Many

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert.***


Some focus groups for today. These are through Plaza Research. Apologies for the formatting. Whenever I cut and paste these in, the formatting goes haywire.

~Health and Wellness~
Monday, September 19th-Tuesday, September 27th, a 2-hour pairs interview
Requirement: Couples ages 30-60 interested in Health and Wellness
Incentive: $300 per couple

If you are interested in the Health and Wellness study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N36PR9L


~Electronics 3~
Tuesday, September 13th-Thursday, September 15th, 1-hour individual interview
Requirement: Males and females ages 18+ who are interested in Electronics
Incentive: $75

If you are interested in the Electronics study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGVadTFQcVFsS3RCWEtDQVdudUVnSXc6MA#gid=2 

~Online Videos 2~
Friday, September 16th, 1-hour individual interview
Requirement: Males and females ages 18 and older interested in Online Videos
Incentive: $75

If you are interested in the Online Videos study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFQxNUcyOE5tY1NmU1dBUXVxVmFoMFE6MA#gid=2 

~Radio~
Friday, September 2, 2011- Friday, September 23, 2011, an 80-minute online survey
Requirement: Females between the ages of 37-48 who are interested in the Radio
Incentive: $60

If you are interested in the Radio study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CWSQYQ9

~Household Finances~

Tuesday, September 13-Wednesday, September 14, two hour in-home interview
Requirement: Males and females ages 35-43
Incentive: $150-$200

If you are interested in the Household Finances study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CQ97KMK 

~Medical Conditions~
Wednesday, September 14th, a 1.5-hour focus group discussion
Requirement: Males and females ages 18 and older suffering from a certain Medical Condition
Incentive: $125

If you are interested in the Medical Conditions study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2BYJGJB 

~Communication~
Tuesday, September 13th, a 2-hour focus group discussion
Requirement: Males and females ages 18+ who are interested in Communication 
Incentive: $85

If you are interested in the Communication study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F7HTWV3
Here's one from Fleischman Field Research, who has a research sessions on Buying Habits, taking place in the afternoon and evening on Monday, September 12th at their downtown SF office. If you qualify and are invited to participate, you will be paid $100 for your time and opinions on an interesting and fun topic.
If you are interested in participating, click the link below to take their short pre-qualification questionnaire.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coming Up: Weekend activities in SF

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert.***

Thought I'd share some links to some fun weekend activities.

Red Tricycle has a list including the San Francisco Children's Art Center Open House, sailboat racing, SF Opera and Symphony's 100 year celebration, free Opera in the Park, Autumn Moon Festivals, Shakespeare and Renaisance Festival in Ardenwood and more. Find the list here.

Here's more about the Moon Festival from Travel is More Fun with Kids.

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival is this weekend.

Coming Up: Sunday Streets - Free

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert.***

Sunday Streets  is coming up on September 11! This one will be in the Western Addition, including north of the Panhandle, Alamo Square and the Fillmore/Japantown neighborhoods. Streets will be closed to auto traffic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

They need volunteers. If you can spare 3 hours (no kids!) you get a t-shirt, lunch and other prizes. Sign up here.

Here is the remaining one for 2011:
  • October TBD; Mission route #2

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coming Up: Tricycle Music Fest in San Francisco - free!

***Don't forget to enter Frisco Kids' contest - where you can win tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Totem premiere, Shrek the Musical, Yo Gabba Gabba or Lord of the Rings in Concert.***


The second annual Tricycle Music Fest is coming to San Francisco, sponsored by the public library. All concerts are free and open to the public.

MAIN STAGE EVENTS
Sunday, October 23
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Main Library (100 Larkin St.) Larkin Street Steps
Presented in Partnership with Sunday Streets Mission
Featuring:  *Lucky Diaz and the Family Jazz Band and The Time Outs


3 p.m.
Merced Branch Library
155 Winston Drive
Featuring:  The Monkeybutts

3 p.m.
Ortega Branch Library
3223 Ortega St.
Featuring: Rhythm Child

11 a.m.
Park Branch Library
1833 Page St.
Featuring:  The Sippy Cups –
Rudy Trubitt and Alison Faith Levy
11 a.m.
Main Library
100 Larkin St.
Featuring: *Lucky Diaz and The Family Jazz Band

3 p.m.
Presidio Branch Library
3150 Sacramento St.
Featuring:  The Hipwaders


3 p.m.
Bernal Heights Branch Library
500 Cortland Ave.
Featuring: *Lucky Diaz and The Family Jazz Band