Hometown online fashion favorites at Tobi.com

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coming Up: Charity Concert and Bake Sale - Benefits Japan

If you're free Friday night, please consider attending a special concert to benefit the recent victims of the
Japanese tsunami and earthquake.

The two concerts feature Koto (Japanese harp), played by Ikuta-Ryu Seiha Hogakukai, Hiroe Utasue Yamauchi and Kayo Masakazu Toriya. Also, the Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) will be played by Michael Connelly.

The concerts are free, but donations are welcome. All proceeds will go to the Japanese Community Cultural Center of Northern California to fund local, nonprofit and community service organizations in Japan for citizen-to-citizen relief efforts. They set up a special fund called the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund

Here are details:
Where: St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, Sea Breeze School (900 Edgewater Blvd., Foster City)
When: April 1 at 6:30 and 7:30
Cost: Free, but donations are welcome. Bake sale goodies available for purchase as well.
Who: Everybody is welcome, including kids
Information: for more information, email hi_aroe@yahoo.com.jp or call Mrs. Hiroe Yamauchi at 650-302-5405.

Coming Up: Andy Z concert and special needs fair at HIllsdale Mall

If you're an Andy Z fan (and really, who isn't?), come to his free concert at Hillsdale Mall this Sunday. It's part of a monthly kids' club event for special needs families. Local vendors catering to special education will be there, along with entertainers like Andy Z, storytelling, puppets etc.

When: Sunday, April 2 from 11 -2 (Andy Z comes on at 11:30)
Where: Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, near Macy's

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coming Up: Home Depot Planter Workshop - Free

Home Depot offers some fun workshops for kids to make their own projects. Coming up? A planter/basket. Plus your kid will get a free Home Depot apron and pin.


When: Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. to noon

Age: kids 5-12

Where: Home Depot

Cost: Free

RSVP: none

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Focus Groups: online products/activities, shopping, digital gaming and technology


Plaza Research is recruiting for some focus groups:

~Online Products~
Tuesday, April 5, or Thursday, April 7 or Tuesday, April 12, a 45-minute interview taking place in downtown San Francisco  
Requirement: Males and Females at least 18 years old 
Incentive: $75.00 
If you are interested in the Online Products study, please click on this link and fill out the survey.
~Usability Lab~
Monday, April 4, 2.5-hour focus group discussion in downtown San Francisco  
Requirement: Males and Females at least 18 years old 
Incentive: $75.00 
If you are interested in the Usability Lab study, please click on the link and fill out this survey
~Household Shopping~
Wednesday, April 6- Friday, April 8, 1-hour in-home interview followed by a 1-hour shop-along, plus homework  
Requirement: Females ages 25-64 who live in Oakland 
Incentive: $200.00 
If you are interested in the Household Shopping study, please click on this link  and fill out this survey: 
~April Online Activities~
Wednesday, April 6- Friday, April 8, 90-minute individual interview in Mountain View 
Requirement: Males and females at least 18 years old 
Incentive: $100.00 
If you are interested in the April Online Activities study, please click on this link and fill out the survey. 
~Digital Technology ­ Gamers & Video Savvy~
Tuesday, March 29- Thursday, March 31, 2.5-hour focus group discussion in downtown San Francisco  
Requirement: People who own a smartphone and/or an iPad who play games and/or upload videos to social networking sites, ages 20-39 
Incentive: $150.00 
If you are interested in the Digital Technology study, please click on this link  and fill out the survey.

Deal of the Day: Gilroy Gardens tickets for $22

Plum District is offering Gilroy Gardens tickets today for $22 (normally $45). You can buy as many as you want. The tickets expire September 29, 2011. The tickets are on the San Jose and East Bay pages. Gilroy Gardens is a fun place -we've been several times.

If you miss the deal, there are discount coupons for Gilroy Gardens ($15/off a ticket) at SFBayFun.com.

Coming Up: A Year with Frog and Toad


If you love the Frog and Toad books, you'll want to check out A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, produced by Bay Area Children’s Theatre in Berkeley.        
In the show, you'll welcome spring with outgoing Frog and his reserved pal, Toad, as they awaken from a long winter’s sleep, plant a garden, discover that “toad looks funny in a bathing suit,” rake crunchy autumn leaves, and take a scary winter sled ride—all the while singing up a storm, launching their own version of “snail mail,” and learning what it means to have patience, compassion, loyalty, and love.


The show is based on the classic children’s Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel, with music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale. It made its debut in children’s theatre before moving to Broadway and being nominated for three 2003 Tony awards, including Best Musical.

WHO:  Bay Area Children’s Theatre (formerly Active Arts Theatre for Young Audiences)

BERKELEY PERFORMANCES:   Weekends, March 26 – April 17 at 2 p.m., with additional performances on Sunday, April 10, and Sunday, April 17, at 11 a.m.; Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley  
SAN RAMON PERFORMANCES: Weekends April 30 – May 8, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., with an evening performance on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m.; the Front Row Theatre, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon  
TICKETS:  Children $14-15Seniors $16-$17, Adults $18-20, Groups $12-13
BOX OFFICE:  http://www.bactheatre.org/  and (510) 296-4433  

Monday, March 28, 2011

XANADU extended - take your kid for free

Earlier I blogged about Xanadu, the live musical in San Jose. The show has been extended to May 8th, and added new deals to the ones they already have.

1. Take your child for free to matinees, using the code FREECHILD when ordering your tickets online.

2. Double date night - book 4 tickets for $120. They're normally $44/each. Use code 4PACK when ordering online.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Coming Up: Marin Camp Fair

Marin Summer Camp Fair is coming up! See a list of camps represented, both day and overnight - more than 70 so far. Find camps for kids ages preschool through high school.

When: Thursday, March 31 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Dominican University of California, Conlan Center Gymnasium, 1475 Grand Avenue, San Rafael,
Who: Children welcome. Pizza and snacks served. Bounce house, storyteller etc.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Coming Up: Spring Fling at CuriOdyssey

This weekend, CuriOdyssey (previously known as Coyote Point Museum) is hosting its Spring Fling. Lots of hands-on activities with science educators. Look forward to the kids mixing color and light to cast a spectrum of rainbow-colored shadows, float bubbles on different substances, and make your own craters.

When: Saturday, March 26 from 10-3
Where: CuriOdyssey - Coyote Point, San Mateo
Cost: Free with admission ($8/adults, $4/kids age 2-12)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coming Up: Robot Demonstration

Come see a Robot Demonstration & Exhibition Preview event, showing combat robots, walking humanoids, soccer bots, sumo bots, kung fu roids’ and more. The event is free, at Hillsdale Shopping Center (outside Macy’s). This preview kicks off the 7th annual RoboGames, the world's largest robot competition, which takes place soon after - April 15-17th, at the San Mateo Expo Center.

When: Saturday March 26, from noon to 3 p.m.
WhereHillsdale Shopping Center (60 31st Ave., San Mateo)
Cost: free

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Coming Up: Chipper Storytime at REI

Join Chipper the squirrel for an eco-educational story time at REI, with crafts and activities for kids ages 2-8 (though all ages are welcome). 
Gather around the "campfire," as Let's Go Chipper author Stephanie Rach reads from her series of books, which teaches kids a love and respect for the environment. The first 20 kids to register will receive a free Let's Go Chipper activity set, compliments of REI. Click here to register and receive your activity set. 
Sunday, March 13
REI Fremont
10:30 am-12 noon
43962 Freemont Blvd.
(510) 651-0305
Saturday, March 26
REI San Francisco
10:30 am-12 noon
840 Brannan St.
(415) 934-1938
Saturday, March 26
REI Berkeley
2 pm-3:30 pm
1338 San Pablo Ave
(510) 527-4140

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Purim!

Purim is one of our favorite holidays - some liken it to Halloween, because we get dressed up in costume and make a lot of noise.

It centers around the ancient Persian town of Shushan, and the heroine is Queen Esther, a Jewish woman who helped saved her people from being killed by the evil Haman. It's a long story, and I'll let you read it here.

As with every Jewish holiday, there are traditional treats, and the hamentaschen cookies are among my favorites. They're supposed to resemble the three-cornered hat worn by Haman. We made our cookies last weekend (so good, they're almost gone), so I thought I'd share the recipe.


I got it from Chabad, though the recipe on the website is different than this one.

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of margarine (butter is good too)
1/2 cup of orange juice
4 cups of flour
2 lb. filling (see below)
3 tsps. baking powder
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 egg beaten (for glaze)

Cream the sugar, oil and margarine. Add the eggs and juice and mix well. blend with dry ingredients and roll into a ball. Divide into four and refrigerate for 30 minutes (like sugar cookie dough). Take one ball out at a time and roll it on a floured board. You'll want to coat the ball with flour and add more flour as more dough gets exposed - it's very sticky. I don't even bother with the rolling pin because it sticks. I just use my hands. They recommend rolling it out very thin, 1/8 inch thin. Mine tend to tear, so I make mine thicker.

Use the rim of a glass and cut the dough into circles. I use wider-rim glasses (highballs) for mine. Put the dough on the cookie sheet and put a little filling inside. A little goes a long way. To shape it into a triangle, lift up the right and left sides, but leave the bottom down. Bring those sides together and pinch them. Bring the bottom to the middle of the cookie and pinch the sides together. The recipe says to grease the cookie sheet, but I just use cookie sheet liners.

Preheat the oven to 350 and put a little beaten egg on top of the cookie. Bake for about 20 minutes. The recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Use your imagination for the fillings. Traditional fillings include mohn (poppy seed), jams and prune filling. This year we tried peanut butter and chocolate chips, jam, and mashed up nut fillings (bought in a can in the baking section). If you use jam, know that some of them can get runny (especially raspberry) and may ooze out of the cookie.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coming Up: the Little Mermaid - live

Come see the Little Mermaid at the Hillbarn Theater this weekend. It's performed live by their conservatory's winter class. By the way, this is the Hans Christian Anderson version.

When: Saturday, March 19, at 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 20 at 7 p.m.
Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m.
Cost: $5
Tickets: call 650-349-6411

Get tested for bone marrow donation

Sometimes I will pass along a request to help out those in our community in need. Here's an easy way to help! A 13 year old on the peninsula area has been diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia (AA).   AA is a disease of the bone marrow and happens when the bone marrow stops making enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets for the body.  Unfortunately, the cause for this child's AA and the child is facing a bone marrow transplant.

How can you help? It's easy and free. Please get tested to determine whether you would be a bone marrow match.  Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 can get tested from anywhere and be part of the bone marrow registry.  This is such a simple and non-invasive test -- just a cotton swab of the mouth.

There are two easy ways to get tested.  First, on Sunday March 20, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., there will be a bone marrow drive in the Peninsula Temple Sholom parking lot.  It only takes a few minutes. The address is 1655 Sebastian Drive in Burlingame.

Second, you can go to following website http://join.bethematch.org/ 4bryce, request a free test kit, and use the following promo code:  4bryce.  The registry will send the kit to you, and you use the cotton swab and then send it back.  It is very easy, and you could save a life.  (Note: if you are on the bone marrow registry list already, you do not need to do this again). I'm already on the donor list -  very easy indeed.



Here are some FAQs on bone marrow donation. There's  a Jewish saying, "if you save one life it's as if you saved the whole world." Do your part to save the world!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coming Up: SF Family Summer Resource Fair - Free

Not sure of your summer plans? Check out the annual San Francisco Family Summer Resources Fair this Saturday, March 19th. They'll have hundeds exhibitors offering...family summer resources. Learn about camps, arts and crafts, activities, jobs (for teens), classes and sports. Look for free kid activities as well.

The event is free and is at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove Street between Larkin and Polk. 10 a.m.  to 3:00 p.m. For more info check sfkids.org.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coming Up: Sunday Streets - Free

Sunday Streets starts up on March 20! The first one will be along the Embarcadero, from Fisherman's Wharf to Mission Bay. 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 are the remaining ones for 2011:

  • April 10: Great Highway and Golden Gate Park; ‘Penguins to Penguins’:
  • May 8: Mission route, including the popular route along 24th and Valencia Streets;
  • June 12: Bayview route, 3rd Street from Mission Bay, Dogpatch to the Bayview Opera House;
  • July 10: Great Highway route #2;
  • August 14: Civic Center/Tenderloin route;
  • September 11: Western Addition route, including North of Panhandle, Alamo Square and Fillmore and Japantown neighborhoods;
  • October TBD; Mission route #2

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some new things to try out in the Bay Area

I was catching up on my Sunset and Food and Wine magazines and found some inspiration - things to go out and do and try. Here they are:

The Richmond Plunge - now open for aquatic programs. In the retro Municipal Natatorium building, this swimming pool doesn't have the fancy play structures, but it's awesome to look at and swim in! You have to really watch your kids here - kids under 60 inches tall or under age 7 have to be at arms' length - of you. Read its history here.
Where: 1 East Richmond Avenue, Richmond, CA


The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
We eat a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches at home, and I love adding different things to it. Here's a restaurant doing a much better job at it!
Where: 1 South Park Avenue (415-243-0107)

Ag Venture Tours
Okay, so this would be a pricey day trip with the kids (maybe have your parents babysit and go alone). Ag Venture Tours offers wine and agriculture tours. I'd be interested in trying the Salinas Valley Agricultural Tour, where you'll learn about 40 different crops, organic farming, irrigation, harvesting and more. Half day tours are $60-70/person (2-12 people). Full day is $85+.


Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Wine tasting with the kids was never this much fun! The scenic pool is open for business April 1st, for weekend use. Pool pass (and cabine rental) prices coming soon. The winery has several bars and a huge assortment of movie memorabilia. And free bocce courts and game tables (backgammon, chess, checkers).

Bike Basket Pies
Little pies (the size of cupcakes) delivered to your SF door via bicycle for $5 each (or if you find her on the street, you pay $1 less). Get a whole pie for $25. Sweet or savory. The menu is seasonal and changes weekly. Owned and operated by Natalie.

Zero Zero Soft Serve Ice Cream
This SF restaurant serves soft serve, where you choose the base (like warm chocolate cake, marscapone cheese cake, date toffee cake or ricotta doughnuts). Add toppings (peppermint patty, cocoa nibs, pumpkin seed brittle, saba, olive oil & sea salt, pomegranate seeds with saffron, citrus compote with orange oil...) and enjoy!

The Cheese School of San Francisco
Take a cheese-making or cheese pairing class for $65. The owner has been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine (in addition to the Sunset mention).

Coming Up: Lego Master Builder - Yoda - you can help!

Join a LEGO master builder as he constructs an eight foot tall Yoda at Hillsdale Shopping Center. You can apparently help, too.

When: Friday, March 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Hillsdale Shopping Center, San Mateo
Cost: Free

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Make Easy Flower Cupcakes

Zachary made this cute cupcake at a class. It uses a regular size cupcake and frosting, mini marshmallows, sprinkles and fondant. After frosting the cupcake, he cut mini marshmallows (use any color) in half at a diagonal. Put sprinkles on, and stick on the frosting like a petal. For the middle, use balls of colored fondant.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Affordable Summer Camps in the Bay Area

Today we have a guest blog post from our friends at Sign up for Camp. Learn about more than 500 Bay Area camps, and sign up for them on their site. Plus you can coordinate schedules with your friends by sharing information with them through the website. Read their full bio at the bottom.



Summer camps are a necessity for many families. If both parents work, summer camps are a must and parents need coverage for the whole summer. If one parent is at home, summer camps provide some variety and break up the long summer. Yet many families are still feeling financially pinched this year and may be looking a little more closely at the cost of camps for their children.

In addition to cost, there are many important factors to choosing a camp including location, staffing, and your child’s interests, just to name a few. However, one way to assess summer camp value is by examining dollars per hour of camp time.  While most camps list their cost per week, sometimes the camps don’t cover the entire day, so parents need to pay for hourly day care before or after camp.  In the end, some of camps end up being more affordable when you take into account the longer day they provide for your child.

To help you with this comparison, the folks at signupforcamp.com analyzed summer camps on their website and came up with a list of Bay Area camps that cost less than $10 per hour. The prices below are for the camp hours listed, but most camps offer before and/or aftercare for very reasonable rates as well. Except where noted, prices listed below do not include promotional discounts for siblings, early registration, or multiple sessions (so yes, they could be even less expensive!). You can find more information on all of these camps at Sign Up For Camp.

Please post a comment if you know of additional camps which are a great value. What else do you do to stretch your summer budget?

EAST BAY
A World of Peace

Berkeley
9 am-4 pm
$465-$520 per 2 weeks (depending on age)

Downtown Oakland YMCA Summer Camp
7 am – 6 pm
$200-$235 per week

Kinetic Arts Center Summer Circus Camp
Oakland
9 am – 5 pm
$290 per week
$475 per 2 weeks

Park’n It Day Camp
East Bay Regional Parks
9 am – 4 pm
$200 per week


BALL Summer Camp
Oakland
9 am-4 pm
$275 per week

SAN FRANCISCO
ArtLabbe
San Francisco (Bernal Heights)
9 am-4 pm
$250 per week

San Francisco
7:30 am – 6 pm
$350 per week


MARIN
Camp Doodles
Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael
9 am-3:30 pm
$275 per week
$1600 for the whole summer if registered by 5/1/11  (Less than $6 per hour!)

PENINSULA
Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA)
Mountain View
9:30 am-3:30 pm  (half day sessions also available)
$570 per 2 weeks

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
Multiple Bay Area Locations
7:30 am – 6 pm
$75 per day
$1200 for 20 days
$2100 for entire summer (10 weeks)  (About $4 per hour!)

Summer camp planning made easy! Sign Up For Camp is a website designed by local parents to make it easier to plan children's summer camps. Parents can search for camps by age, location, dates and activities.  There are over 500 SF Bay Area camps for all grades as well as overnight camps. Camps can be saved to a summer calendar and shared with friends. Sign up for our email newsletter (on the website's home page) to hear about camp discounts and other timely information.
(note from Frisco Kids - their email newsletter is great)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coming Up: Hayes Valley Farm - Get Dirty!

If you don't have your own garden, help a community build one at the site of a former freeway ramp.  The Hayes Valley Farm welcomes volunteers twice weekly, including this Sunday from noon to 5. It's at 450 Laguna (at Fell) in San Francisco. Volunteer orientation is at 12:30, with a tour at 1 p.m. For frequently asked questions (including more on their Magic Monday kids' classes), click here.

Coming Up: Free Family Craft at MOCFA

Join in at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art this Saturday. The exhibit, E is for Everyone: Celebrating Sister Corita. Kids will use specially-designed rubber stamps, ink and paper to make different styles of collage and paper art, like in the exhibit.

WHAT: MAKE IT @ MOCFA Family Saturday
WHEN: Saturday, March 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Museum of Craft and Folk Art (51 Yerba Buena Lane, SF)
COST: $5 for admission for adults, free craft event
AGES: 4 and up

How to Make Easy Panda Cupcakes

Thought I'd bring you another installment in cute cupcakes. Pretty easy to make. You need a normal size cupcake and a mini cupcake. Chocolate and vanilla frosting. Black writing icing. Mini chocolate chips, normal size Oreos and mini Oreos.

Frost the normal cupcake with chocolate frosting. Crush up a few Oreos and put them over the frosting. Frost the mini cupcake with vanilla. Use writing icing to make the face, and use mini chocolate chips for the eyes and nose. Put that mini cupcake on its side, on top of the bigger cupcake.

Cut a mini Oreo in half and separate it - use one half for each ear, attached with frosting. Do the same for the arms, but attach them to the bigger cupcake. For the feet, cut a bigger Oreo in half, and attach to the plate with frosting.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Candy Man, the Documentary about Jelly Bellies

After reading my review of the Jelly Belly Factory tour, the producers of the documentary film the Candy Man contacted me asking if I would review their film. The documentary is about the rise and fall of the Jelly Belly inventor, David Klein. Because I love stories of how things get started, I was game. And I was intrigued. Years ago, when I posted the review of the factory tour, I got a comment from someone saying he was the inventor of the Jelly Belly. I started doing some research, because why would the inventor of the Jelly Belly comment on my blog post? After looking through a bunch of websites, including the man's 13 year old candy company website, I realized it probably was him. 

The film was released last fall, and is out on video. The timing was interesting, though, since we recently went to the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour in Vermont. And after watching a documentary about the Ben & Jerry’s story while eating ice cream there, I was struck by some of the similarities and differences.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coming Up: St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival - Free

Before kids, St. Patrick's Day meant happy hour (and beyond) with green beer after work in the financial district. Now it means the 160th Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival and Parade on March 12th.

In addition to the parade, look for a petting zoo, kids' carnival, pony rides, bounce houses, music, dancing, food and more.

When: March 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The parade begins at 11:30 (at Second and Market)
Where: Civic Center Plaza, SF
Cost: Free

Red Tricycle has a list of other St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Focus groups: media, technology, small business, pens (yes, pens), personal finance


Tons of focus groups that Plaza Research is recruiting for... 
~Personal Finances
Friday, March 11th ­ Wednesday, March 23, 1-hour in-home interview at your home
Requirement: People using personal finance software, ages 21-59  
Incentive: $100.00 
If you are interested in the Personal Finances study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRFZKRJ 
~Pens
Tuesday, March 22, 90-minute focus group discussion in downtown San Francisco in the afternoon or evening 
Requirement: People who use pens on a daily basis, ages 25-44 
Incentive: $85.00 - $100.00 
If you are interested in the Pens study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WG95DPM 
~Small Business
Friday, March 18th ­ Monday, March 21st, 90-minute individual interview in San Francisco 
Requirement: Small business owners or managers, ages 22-45 
Incentive: $150.00

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

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PX9Z2WL

 
~Media
Monday, March 21st ­ Friday, March 25, 1.75-hour individual interview 
Requirement: People 18 years and older who watch TV 
Incentive: $100.00 
If you are interested in the Media study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P5JQ38G 
~Technology
Monday, March 21st, 2-hour focus group discussion 
Requirement: People who use technology, ages 20-55 
Incentive: $100.00 - $125.00 
If you are interested in the Technology study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P379XKQ

Coming Up: Abby and the Pipsqueaks

Coming up at the Play Cafe in Oakland (4400 Keller Ave):


Abby and the Pipsqueaks
"What a treat for families!!! Abby and the Pipsqueaks is a wonderful show for families; it's entertaining and interactive.  The children enjoyed the music and dancing and the parents will have a great evening sharing the fun and excitement (and watching their children go "wild" and dance to the music).  Truly, this show has all the elements of being a four star event and guarantees that parents and their children can experience special quality time together". 
American Canyon Resource Center -Sherry Tennyson

Date: March 11th
Time: 6pm
Price: $7 per person

Monday, March 7, 2011

Coming Up: San Francisco Chamber Orchestra Concerts - Free

This weekend (March 12-13), the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra is offering free family-friendly concerts on Saturday and Sunday, in San Francisco, Oakland and San Mateo. And on Saturday, March 26th in Vallejo. The focus is on South American Journeys in Music and Stories. Thirty minutes prior to the concert, there will also be some children's art activities (but not in Vallejo).


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Coming Up: Craft Events at Michael's - free

Michael's Arts and Crafts stores have some free (and fee-based) craft projects you can do at their store this month:

When: Saturday, March 5th from 10 a.m. to noon
What: Make it/Take it - Ribbon Flower and Custom Invitations Demo
For: Adults only

When: Sunday, March 6th from 1-3 p.m.
What: Fine Art Make it/Take it
For: ages 12+, while supplies last
Cost: free with purchase of fine art canvas

When: Saturday, March 12th 10 a.m. to noon
What: The Knack Family Event - Make it/Take it - Yarn Doll
For: ages 3+
Cost: Free

When: Saturday, March 19th from 10 a.m. to noon
What: The Knack Family Event - Make it/Take it - Clay Cup and Saucer (turn it into a giant cupcake)
For: ages 3+
Cost: Must purchase of cup/saucer

When: Sunday, March 20th from 1-5 p.m.
What: Bead Event (different projects each hour)
For: adults
Cost: must purchase appropriate items

When: Saturday, March 26th from 10 a.m. to noon
What: Make it/Take it - Free Scrapbook Page - Free Shadowbox demo
For: Adults
Cost: Free

When: Sunday, March 27th from 1-3 p.m.
What: The Knack Family Event - Make it/Take it - Bottle Caps
For: ages 3+
Cost: free

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coming Up: Mardi Gras in the Fillmore

This weekend, March 5-8, head to Mardi Gras in the Fillmore, as in the Fillmore district in SF.

While many of the events are fee-based (and probably not as interesting to kids), on Saturday from noon to 5 is the kick-off. There will be a band processional, jugglers, live music, and a kiddie carnival at Fillmore Minnie Park (Turk and Fillmore).

Coming Up: Home Depot Race Car Workshop - Free

Home Depot offers some fun workshops for kids to make their own projects. Coming up? A race car. Plus your kid will get a free Home Depot apron and pin.


When: Saturday, March 5, 9 a.m. to noon

Age: kids 5-12

Where: Home Depot

Cost: Free

RSVP: none

Coming Up: Xanadu - live!



Oh my, do I have memories of Xanadu! Like Kim's birthday party where we rented the movie and watched it while eating popcorn. I guess you had to be there. I'm sure you have your own Xanadu memories, of Oliva Newton John. After the silver screen (or should I say the TV screen), it became a Broadway musical. And now it's coming to the Retrodome. Take the kids! Or get a babysitter and relive your youth on a date.

If you somehow missed this cult classic, it's about a Greek goddess on roller skates in the 1980s. You'll get to hear 11 songs from the movie, including my favorites Xanadu (title track), and You Have to Believe We are Magic (both of which I can still sing). Tunes sung by ELO and Olivia herself. Awesome!

The show is 90 minutes without intermission (i.e. there is no intermission).

What: Xanadu the musical
When: Weekends (Friday and Saturday at 8, Sundays at 2) through April 3rd -extended to May 8th.
Where: Retrodome in San Jose (1694 Saratoga Ave., San Jose)
Tickets: $44/adults, $24/kids 12 and under, $34/students with ID. Buy online or at the box office.
Discounts:
1.  Use the code FAN20 for a discount (not sure how much)
Retrodome, if you're reading this, PLEASE change your website to include links to specific pages not just the home page!


2.  TravelZoo has for $12.50-$24.  The $12.50 tickets are for this weekend. Use code TRAVEL10 for this weekend, and code TRAVEL22 for the other shows.


3. More deals (including taking your kid to a matinee for free (FREECHILD), and getting 4 tickets for $120 (4PACK)  click here for details.

Coming Up: Bedknobs and Broomsticks

It's retro movie time at the Retrodome! This weekend, take the kids to see Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the 1971 musical Disney movie with both live action and animation. It stars Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson. It's long, at 2 hours and 20 minutes, but good!

Where: Retrodome (1695 Saratoga Ave., San Jose)
Tickets: $7/kids, $10/adults. Or call 408-404-7711.
When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m.

User Testing - Read if Pregnant

I got this from an email list I'm on. If you're pregnant, read on!


Ingrid & Isabel is looking for 20 pregnant women to test a new maternity apparel product/accessory they are considering for launch.

The test will run for three days, starting Monday, 3/14 in the afternoon. You would take the product home  and use it over three days. Then you'd give your full and unedited opinions, comments, suggestions, etc. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Coming Up: Music For Families

The San Francisco Symphony has a great program, Music for Families. In addition to the concert, you'll get a concert guide to take home. Recommended for ages 7 and older.

When: Saturday, March 19, 2011
Where:  Davies Symphony Hall
Cost: $15-57 (half price for those 17 and under)
Tickets:  Get them here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Deal of the Day: Great America - season pass for $55

Great America is offering a 2011 season pass for the price of one full price admission ($54.99 for adults, $34.99 for juniors and seniors). It does not include parking or the Halloween Haunt.

To get the deal, click here.