Hometown online fashion favorites at Tobi.com

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coming Up: Trains and Planes

It's on it's way out - so stop by and see the 8th annual Planes & Trains display at Hiller Aviation Museum.

You'll see diverse and colorful passenger and freight trains from current and past times, from countries like Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland. Of course their planes will be on display too, including the one you get to walk through.

When: through May 1, 2011
Where: Hiller Aviation Museum (601 Skyway Road, San Carlos)
Cost: free with admission

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop night - tonight!

You got your free Ben & Jerrys, now it's time for 31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins. Take advantage tonight from 5-10 p.m., as the company donates money to the National Fallen Firefighters Association.  Find a Baskin Robbins near you.

Cinco de Mayo in the Bay Area 2011

Where: Dolores Park
When: May 7, 10 a.m. on
What: San Francisco Cinco de Mayo festival (dance, kids zone, music)
Cost: Free

Where: Downtown San Jose (parade starts at Santa Clara/Market St). Festival is at Discovery Meadow.
When: Sunday, May 1. Parade starts at 10, festival runs until 7 p.m.
What: Fair and parade
Cost: $2-$5 for the fair

Where: Habitot in Berkeley (2065 Kittredge)
When: May 5 from 9:30 to 12:30
What: create Mexican paper flowers, decorate pottery, "shop" in the Mexican mercado (for fun, not purchase), story time.
Cost: regular admission ($9)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Focus Groups: Ice cream, drinks, cat owners...

Some focus groups in San Francisco at Plaza Research...
Friday, April 29th ­ Tuesday, May 3rd, 1-hour individual interview in downtown San Francisco
Requirement: Males and females ages 19-65
Incentive: $100.00-$1250.00

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

Wednesday, May 4, 75-minute focus group discussion in downtown San Francisco
Requirement: Females 21-54 who eat ice cream
Incentive: $75.00-$100.00

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

Thursday, April 28, 45-minute focus group discussion in Mountain View
Requirement: Males and Females working in the web/internet security field
Incentive: $100.00

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

Thursday, May 5, 2-hour focus group discussion in downtown San Francisco
Requirement: Females 25-64 who own a cat
Incentive: $100.00

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

Wednesday, April 27 or Thursday, April 28, 2-hour focus group discussion in downtown San Francisco
Requirement: Males and Females 22-34 years old who drink alcoholic beverages
Incentive: $125.00-150.00

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


Thursday, April 28th ­ Tuesday, May 17th, 2-part study consisting of a 2-week product trial followed by a 20-minute individual interview in downtown San Francisco
Requirement: Males and females ages 25-35
Incentive: $150.00

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

Thursday, April 28, 45-minute interview in Mountain View
Requirement: Parents of preschoolers ages 2.5 to 5 years old to participate with their child
Incentive: $75.00

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

Monday, May 9 or Tuesday, May 10, 90-minute focus group discussion taking place in downtown San Francisco
Requirement: Males and Females ages 18 years or older suffering from certain medical conditions
Incentive: $125.00

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

Friday, May 13th ­ Saturday, May 14th, 1-hour individual interview in downtown San Francisco
Requirement: Males and females at least 18 years old
Incentive: $100.00

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


Coming Up: Queen's Day Dutch Fair and More

Last I heard we didn't have a queen in the United States, but we can celebrate one from another country. How does tulips, Danish cheese, a Dutch fair (where they'll sell herring and cookies, among other items), Dutch kids' games, live music, a beer garden (a beer garden!). Celebrate Queen's Day in Union Square on April 30th. Here are all the details.

Here's the partial schedule:

On the Square

noon – 6: Dutch fair, flea market & beer garden
12:30 – 1: kids soccer demo
1 – 2: kids activities & games
2 – 2:30: opening ceremony

Monday, April 25, 2011

Deal of the Day: Body Shop, Bay Area Discovery Museum, iFly Indoor Skydiving, SF Birth and Baby Fair

Some great deals for you this Monday!

Groupon has a fabulous deal right now if you're a Body Shop fan (which I am). Through Tuesday, you can get a $40 Groupon to the Body Shop for $20. Plus if you spend it by May 30, you actually get $45 in credit. Otherwise you need to spend it by August 27th. It's valid in-store only and you need to spend it at one time. If I can make a suggestion - their body butters are fabulous - even my husband uses them for his hands. Favorite scents are the Brazil nut butter and almond butter. I just bought one (full price) a few weeks ago (they're $16.50).

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here.
If you're already a Groupon user, click here for the deal.

Plum District has a deal for $4 discounted admission (normally $8) for the SF Birth and Baby Fair on June 25th. For you moms-to-be (or friends/relatives of such), you'll find new products, gear, info, mocktails, beauty treatments, play area for your kids, and workshops on topics like cord blood registries, sleep training, baby sign language, vaccines and more. All proceeds from this Plum District purchase will be donated to the American Red Cross to help victims from the Japanese earthquake. Get the deal here.

The Savvy Source has a good deal on now: $9 for two admission tickets to the fabulous Bay Area Discovery Museum. That's half off. Buy through Thursday. Buy as many pairs of tickets as you want - must redeem by December 31, 2011. Check out their new Imagination Playground, a playground concept written up in the New Yorker.

I've heard awesome things about indoor skydiving - the only kind of skydiving you'll get me to do. The Union City (East Bay) indoor skydiving facility is offering a deal - $40 for two indoor skydiving sessions including a DVD of the experience. Buy through Wednesday - use by October 28th - it would make a great Mother's Day or Father's Day gift (though there may be restrictions on using them those days).

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here.


Don't forget to support Frisco Kids by using the Amazon search box in the top right corner of the website. It costs you nothing extra if you're making a purchase through Amazon.

Free shipping if you spend $25 or more, using code MOMMYSHIP through April 26. 30% off all spring cards through April 30 using code APRILCARDS. 20% off jewelry using code MOMJEWELS through April 30.

Get a free 5X7 or 5x5 Mother's Day card using code MOMCARD (shipping/handling extra). Save up to 30% on photo books, up to 30% on cards, 25% on home decor, and 50% on collages - you need to sign in to get the discount, though they didn't offer a code. Free shipping on orders of $30 or more. Use code SHIP30 by April 28.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Craft: Chocolate-Covered Peeps

If you're looking for something to do with those colorful marshmallow Peeps, here's an easy craft!
Put that Peep on a stick (lollipop stick from a craft/cooking store, or even a popsicle stick). Melt chocolate, and dip the bunny in! Lay it out on wax paper to cool and harden (you can refrigerate it too). When it's hard, put a little frosting in a plastic baggie, cut a hole in the corner and squeeze on some eyes, nose and mouth.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Deal of the Day: Snapfish photo book for $10

Snapfish has a deal through April 25th - get an 8" x 11" linen cover 20 page classic photo book for $10. It's normally at least $20 Use code BOOK4TEN  at checkout. You must order the linen cover one to get the deal -offer good in the U.S. You can order additional pages for an additional cost (I think it's $1/page). Taxes and  shipping are extra. You can buy 5 of these books per account.

Easter Events in the SF Bay Area - 2011

Easter is coming up this weekend - if you are looking for things to do, don't forget to check our list of Bay Area Easter activities.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day Activities and Freebies 2011

Happy Earth Day! If you missed the previous posts, I did one on Earth Day activities in the Bay Area, and one on an Earth Day stroll on Saturday, at Chrissy Field.

Starbuck's is offering a free iced or hot brewed coffee or tea if you bring in your own mug on Friday, April 22 (thanks to Cookies and Clogs for the post), and Peet's retail locations is offering a free medium beverage with the purchase of any full priced mug or tumbler on Friday. Every day, though, they give you 10 cents off a drink with your own mug, 25 cents off when you reuse your coffee bag and free coffee grounds for your garden (Starbuck's offers free grounds as well).

Coming Up: Parent-Child Cooking Class

Our friends at A Little Yumminess are hosting a parent-child cooking class - making empanadas, dumplings and mocktails. Yummy!

When: Saturday, May 7 from 3-5 p.m.
Where: 18 Reasons (Guerrero and 18th Street, SF)
Details and tickets: Here
Cost: $40 for one parent/child combo ($10 for each additional child)

Deal of the Day: General Mills products

Okay, this has to be one of the most bizarre deals of the day ever. So bizarre it was worth posting.
The picture says it all:
For $20, which includes shipping, you get:

  • 12.8 ounce Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
  • 13 ounce Reese's Puffs cereal
  • 12 ounce Kix cereal
  • 12.8 ounce Cascadian Farms Organic cereal
  • 5.8 ounce Fiber One 90-Calorie Chewy Bars
  • 5.8 ounce Hamburger Helper
  • 11 ounce Green Giant Corn Niblets
  • 9.5 ounce Old El Paso Tortilla Stuffers
  • 5 ounce Fruit Roll-Ups
  • 10.5 ounce Chex Mix Muddy Buddies snack mix
  • 17.5 ounce Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix
  • 13.7 ounce Wanchai Ferry Orange Chicken dinner kit
You also get a coupon book ($40 in coupons) including:

$1 off 2 Nature Valley Granola Bars
$1 off 2 Chex Mix Snack Mix
$1 off 1 Bisquick
$1 off 2 Betty Crocker Supreme Brownies or Bars
$1 off 3 Pillsbury Refrigerated Baked Goods
$1 off 2 Pillsbury Frozen Baked Goods (ex-Savorings)
$1 off 2 Suddenly Salad
$1 off 2 Old El Paso
$1 off 3 Hamburger Helper
$1 off 8 Yoplait Yogurt Cups
$1 off 2 GoGurt, Trix or Splitz Yogurt
$1 off 2 Cheerios
$1 off 2 Adult Cereals
$1 off 2 Kids Cereals
$1 off 1 Kix Cereal

And you get up to $10 in shipping. I don't know if shipping would cost more than that, but it also says shipping is included. The deal is today only on Groupon.

If you're already a Groupon user, get the deal here (if you clicked on the link earlier - for MN - it's sold out there. I changed this link, which is still open)

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here - it's on the San Francisco page.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Focus Groups: drinks, oral hygiene, homeowners

Some focus groups coming up through Plaza Research:
Wednesday, April 27 or Thursday, April 28, 2-hour focus group discussion in downtown San Francisco 
Requirement: Males and Females 22-34 years old who drink alcoholic beverages
Incentive: $125.00-150.00 
If you are interested in the DRINKS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

~Oral Hygiene~
Thursday, April 28th ­ Tuesday, May 17th, 2-part study consisting of a 2-week product trial followed by a 20-minute individual interview in downtown San Francisco 
Requirement: Males and females ages 25-35 
Incentive: $150.00 
If you are interested in the ORAL HYGIENE study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

~Research Class Homeowners~
Thursday, April 28, 45-minute interview in Mountain View 
Requirement: Males and Females ages 18 years or older who own their home
Incentive: $75.00 
If you are interested in the RESEARCH CLASS HOMEOWNERS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

Research Class~
Thursday, April 28, 45-minute interview in Mountain View
Requirement: Males and Females ages 18 years or older 
Incentive: $75.00 
If you are interested in the RESEARCH CLASS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:

~Medical Conditions~
Monday, May 9 or Tuesday, May 10, 90-minute focus group discussion taking place in downtown San Francisco 
Requirement: Males and Females ages 18 years or older suffering from certain medical conditions 
Incentive: $125.00 
If you are interested in the MEDICAL CONDITIONS study, please click on the link below and fill out the survey:


Deal of the Day: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom pass

Get an unlimited pass to Six Flags parks for $49.99-$59.99, which includes lots of other freebies. Including:
-unlimited admission to all 13 Six Flags parks
-free tickets for friends on select days
-free admission to Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park events
-a $300 coupon book
-pass is good through 2011

Get a season pass for $49.99 (same price as a one-day admission) if you and three others buy tickets together. Otherwise, pay $59.99 for the pass. Get them here on Travelzoo through May 31. The Bay Area Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is in Vallejo.

Deal of the Day: Domino's Pizza for $8

Okay, so Domino's isn't exactly known for gourmet pizza, but for $8 (a large pizza with up to 10 toppings), who cares? I just bought my Groupon to use at the end of Passover (we're on day two if you're counting).

Today you can buy your Domino's Pizza deal - but you must use it by May 19, 2011.

If you're new to Groupon, buy it here.
If you're already a Groupon user, buy it here.

Coming Up: Earth Stroll at Crissy Field

Take a stroll for Earth Day at Crissy Field, and meet rescue animals, Tree Frog Trek's traveling reptiles, check worm compost bins, play parachute games, build sandcastles, enter a bike rodeo, build enviro-sculptures, plus more fun games and activities.

For other Bay Area Earth Day activities, see this Frisco Kids' list.

When: Saturday, April 23 from 10-3
Where: Crissy Field Center, 1199 East Beach in the Presidio
Cost: Free

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coming Up: Big Bunny Spring Fling at SF Zoo

Check out the Big Bunny Spring Fling at the San Francisco Zoo. Explore the world of rabbits. Story time, bunny time close-up, puppet shows, bunny crafts, dancing and more. And meet the Nestle Quick Bunny at 11, 1 and 3.

When: April 22-24, 10-4
Where: SF Zoo (1 Zoo Road0
Cost: Free with admission

Sunday, April 17, 2011

$1 off Peet's beverage Monday, April 18

Peet's Coffee & Tea is celebrating its 45th anniversary, by offering $1 off any beverage on Monday, April 18th - retail venues only. Get the coupon here.

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, April 19, at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17, at 5:30
Tuesday, June 20, at 5:30
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, in the JC Penny wing, between Diamonds Forever and For Love 21)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Coming Up: April events at Play Cafe in Oakland

Play Cafe in Oakland has some fun events coming up in April:

Fur, Scales, and Tails Petting Animal Show: 
You'll see a variety of animals, including baby chicks, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, turtles, snakes, ducks, tortoises, lizards, tarantulas, roosters, giant millipedes, frogs, chickens, hairless rats and more! The animals are tame and child-friendly.

After the last animal is presented, the audience will then get additional time to hold and pet some of their favorite animal stars. Additional photos and videos may be taken at this time. 

Note: (pictures and videos may be taken throughout the entire show).

Date: April 19th
Time: 11am
Price: $7 per person 

His unique combination of talents has made him the only choice for the U.S. Marine Corps in Japan four times and for film legend George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch. He once logged 20 plus shows in one week at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. He's also performed for 187 billionaires in Sun Valley, Idaho. Google put him in front of 10,000 people at its company picnic. Circus Circus, Circus Chimera, and Cirque Du Soleil put him backstage to entertain their cast.

Date: April 20th
11 am
Price: $7 per person

Bubble lady
Setting the scene to arrive in Bubble Land, Rebecca introduces her Bubble Family: Spirit Bubbles, Baby Bubbles, Brother & Sister Bubbles, Momma & Poppa Bubbles.

With creative stories woven throughout the show, she selects volunteers to help her in creating a variety of amusing bubble sculptures.

Date: April 21st
Time: 11am
Price: $7 per child 

Andy Z
His story adventure performances feature a full host of Andyland characters, traditional and contemporary music plus original songs from his multiple award-winning "Andyland" CD series and his debut CD "Pockets."

When: April 22nd at 6 p.m.
WherePlay Cafe in Oakland (4400 Keller Ave)
Cost: $7/person

Friday, April 15, 2011

Free Kara's Cupcakes Saturday

I bet that headline got your attention!

On Saturday, Tretorn (the Swedish footwear brand - I used to wear them for tennis) will be sponsoring free Kara's Cupcakes to anyone who can prove they follow Tretorn on Twitter (that would be @TretornSWE). The cupcakes are blue and yellow and have the Tretorn logo. The Tretorn wagon will be parked outside Kara's.

And while you're at it, you can follow Frisco Kids (@friscokids) though you don't get anything other than my undying love for doing it. And even Kara's Cupcakes (@karascupcakes)

Where: Kara's Cupcakes (3249 Scott Street at Chestnut)
When: Saturday, April 16 all day starting at 10 a.m.
Cost: Free! No purchase necessary.

Coming Up: Reading is Freedom Book Drive and Easter Bunny Photos - Free!

This Saturday, Honeys & Heroes in Palo Alto is hosting a book drive. Donate a new or gently used children’s book for “Reading is Freedom” and get your kid's photo taken with the Easter Bunny for FREE.
When:  Saturday, April 16 from 11 - 1

Where:  Honeys & Heroes/Gumshoe at Town & Country, 855 El Camino, Palo Alto  

What:  Face painting, treat bags, photos with the Easter Bunny and a raffle. 

Book Drive:  Bring a new or gently used book for first to fifth graders and receive a FREE photo taken with the Easter Bunny.

About Reading is Freedom: The organization focuses on helping children in East Palo Alto improve their reading skills and develop a love of reading during their elementary school years. According to recent research conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 6.6 million low-income children in the US, ages 8 and below, are at risk of failing to graduate from high school because they won’t be proficient readers by the end of third grade. Reading is Freedom was founded in 2010 to help reverse this trend. The organization matches adult volunteers with students at Brentwood Academy Elementary School. The students and their reading partners spend at least one hour per week during the after school program reading together. Reading is Freedom is recruiting additional volunteers. For more information about Reading is Freedom, contact Maren Christensen at 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Deals of the Day: Silliman Aquatic Center, Peninsula Beauty Supply, Speed Boat

Some great Bay Area deals today:

This Newark indoor pool complex is so much fun for adults and kids. It's owned by the East Bay city and is a good value on a regular priced day. But for now through Saturday you can save more than 50% through Groupon, which is offering a one day family pass for $13 (up to $28 value). Limited quantity available, so the deal could close early. You can use it through October 17, 2011. It's valid for 2 adults and 2 kids.

Read my review of Silliman Aquatic Center here.

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here.
If you're already a Groupon user, click here instead.

This was a popular Groupon last time it posted. Peninsula Beauty Supply has 10 Bay Area locations (including Burlingame, San Mateo, Palo Alto, Campbell and others). I've shopped there before and like the store. Anyway, you can get $20 worth of beauty supplies for $10. Buy through Saturday and use by October 17, 2011.

If you're already a Groupon user, click here instead.

This is a great one for the whole family - a speed boat ride in the SF Bay. We did one of these in New York Harbor, and my kids were grinning the entire time. Even my husband (who thought it was going to be too dorky) had a great time. This is for the RocketBoat, and it leaves 5 times a day in summer from Pier 39. You'll zoom past Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, AT&T Park and more, at 50 mph. You can get tickets for $12 ($26 value), redeemable starting Wednesday, April 20, 2011. They're good through October 30, 2011. Note that kids must be at least 40" tall, and no pregnant women allowed.
Get the RocketBoat deal here through Travelzoo.

This is a great kids' magazine. You can get a one year subscription for $10 on Mamapedia through Sunday. Use code EASTER10 when you checkout, and save another 10%.

Girls Night Out - Diva Night at Laurel Street Arts

Get creative with your gal pals at Laurel Street Arts this Friday night. Paint pottery, fuse glass, make silver clay jewelry or make a mosaic.

When: Friday, April 15 from 8 until midnight
Where: Laurel Street Arts, 733 Laurel Street, San Carlos
Cost/RSVP: $15, unless you pay by Thursday (today!) at noon, then it's $10. Call them at 650-591-1005

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coming Up: Cal Day

This Saturday is Cal Day, a kid-friendly day with demonstrations and activities galore. Check out the links and info on Travel is More fun with Kids.

Coming Up: Healthy Kids Day Carnival at Tenderloin YMCA

Join with the Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA in the Tenderloin for a fun carnival day and Bingo night. It's part of a national YMCA Healthy Kids Day and will feature performers, bounce houses, games, prizes, exercise demonstrations, gardening lessons, nutrition information and asthma screenings. Food will be available for purchase.

At night, the bingo fundraiser is held to support YMCA youth programs for underprivileged at-risk youth in the neighborhood. Programs include tutoring, homework help, music/video technology classes, culinary classes, sports, field trips and more.

What: YMCA Healthy Kids Day
When: Saturday, April 16; carnival is from 2-5, Bingo night is from 6-8
Where: Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA in the Tenderloin (387 Golden Gate Ave in SF)
Cost: Free, but donations are encouraged

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Free Cone Day - Ben & Jerry's

Today is Free Cone Day - a Ben & Jerry's tradition stemming back to their first anniversary. Read more about that (and the Ben & Jerry's factory tour) here.

Free cones are available noon to 8 p.m. (and they don't care if you get in line again after eating yours). I recommend the new flavor Bonnaroo Buzz, which I had twice this year already - it's light coffee and malt with whiskey caramel and toffee chunks thrown in. Yum! Find a Ben & Jerry's near you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Deals of the Day: Kirkwood Ski Ticket Discount, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Krispy Kreme, Chinatown Architectural Walking Tours

Some deals for you today:

Get a discounted Kirkwood ski ticket for use during April, for $39 (value $79) on Groupon through this Wednesday, April 13. Good for weekday or weekend visit.

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here.
If you're already a Groupon user, get the deal here.

Get 2 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts in Daly City or Mountain View for $8 (value $17) through Tuesday, April 13 on Groupon. Must use by August 13, 2011.

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here. For Daly City, visit the SF page. For Mountain View visit the San Jose page.

The deal is not as good as getting a wristband, but if you know you're going to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk before April, 2012, and want a few cheap tickets, go for it. For $3, you get $8 worth of tickets (i.e. tickets to 2 boardwalk attractions). It's available today in limited quantities, and will only be sold to SF Bay Area residents (they check your mailing address at purchase). Use them for laser tag, mini golf, climb-n-conquer wall, fright walk, lazer maze, one game of bowling plus shoes, or 12 tokens in the arcade.  The offer says nothing about using the tickets for rides. You can only buy one deal per household. Get the deal here.

Get $25 restaurant.com certificates for $2 through Thursday, April 14, using the code STEAK at checkout.

If you don't know what your parents/in-laws are going to do during their next visit with you, buy them Chinatown Architectural Walking Tour tickets for $40 for two tickets ($80 value). The tours last three hours, and run daily at 2 p.m. The guide has won awards from Travel + Leisure. Not bad! Buy today only, use by December 31, 2011.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Coming Up: Imagination Playground Opens

The Imagination Playground is opening this Saturday, April 9th at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. This is not just a playground, but a play movement. Here's what the museum says about it:

"Imagination Playground is a breakthrough playspace concept conceived and designed by architect David Rockwell to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play, the kind of play that is critical to nurturing children’s creativity. With a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground offers a changing array of elements that allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment and to design their own course of play. Giant foam blocks, fabric, slides, noodles and balls overflow with creative potential for children to play, dream, build and explore endless possibilities."

The New Yorker did an article on the concept last year - read it here. The Imagination Playground opened in New York City to rave reviews.

Learn more about the concept, and how it's carried out at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. And then go - and post here about what you thought!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coming Up: Family Health & Fitness Day - Free

The Peninsula Jewish Community Center (PJCC) is hosting their 3rd annual Family Health and Fitness Day this Sunday, April 10th. Open to the entire community, they'll have a Kaiser Permamente educational theater program, hands-on family cooking demonstrations, a kids' fingerprinting station, Foster City fire trucks to tour, a family guy with bounce house, a local farmer's market, and your kids can bring teddy bears to the teddy bear clinic, to get a check-up from a real doctor.

When: Sunday, April 10 from 1-4
Where: PJCC (800 Foster City Blvd)
Cost: Free

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coming Up: Sunday Streets - Free

Sunday Streets  is coming up on April 10! This one will be along the Great Highway and Golden Gate Park (from Penguins to Penguins). 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:
  • 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

Coming Up: Dia del Niño at Monterey Bay Aquarium - free admission for kids

This Sunday, the Monterey Bay Aquarium celebrates Día del Niño, with special presentations, activities, performances, and free entrance for kids 12 and under.

The animal feeding shows will be bilingual, including a penguin feeding at 3 p.m., a sea otter feeding and training session at 3:30 p.m., and a kelp forest feeding show at 4 p.m.
Aquarium staff will debut a new bilingual presentation, “The Littlest Sea Turtle,”  at 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Mariachi Tapatio will perform traditional Mexican melodies  on the Great Tide Pool Deck with 12-year old Gabriela Sepulveda, as featured in the national shows, “Sábado Gigante” (“Giant Saturday”) and “Tengo Talento” (“I’ve Got Talent”).  Visitors will also be able to take in a performance by local children’s glee club, “One Voice.”
Children and families can decorate and take home their own ocean guardian in the craft room, located in the Discovery Labs from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.  While the craft room is open, the Arts Council will host an art exhibit in the Discovery Labs.
Visitors to Día del Niño can enjoy the aquarium’s special exhibition, “Hot Pink Flamingos: Stories of Hope in a Changing Sea.” Colorful wading birds, playful penguins, and coral reefs help you explore a world with a changing ocean. Adjacent to “Hot Pink Flamingos,” the aquarium’s special exhibition “The Secret Lives of Seahorses” continues to enchant visitors of all ages.
Admission for adults and kids 13 and over is the same price as usual ($29.95 for adults). 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

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, April 9 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

Monday, April 4, 2011

Coming Up: Elmo and Sesame Street Live meet-and-greet at the zoo

Join the San Francisco Zoo for a very special Sesame Street Live meet and greet with two special characters on April 9 & 10. The characters will kick-off on-sale tickets for the upcoming performance of Sesame Street Live “Elmo’s Healthy Heroes!” coming to San Jose and Oakland in June. Zoo guests will have an opportunity to meet and take photos with them and enjoy live entertainment, coloring, music and an adventurous scavenger hunt. Additionally, visitors will have the chance to enter and win tickets to the popular Sesame Street Live performances. 

When: April 9 & 10, 10-4
Where: San Francisco Zoo
Cost: free with admission

For discount admission to the zoo, check out Bay Area on the Cheap.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Earth Day 2011 Celebrations around the San Francisco Bay Area

Some Earth Day events coming up this month:

When: April 23, 2011, 10-6
Where: Civic Center Plaza
Details: What DON'T they have is the better question. Okay, they have kids' zone, wellness and holistic zones, hands-on workshops, beer/wine tastings, raw food demos, green film festival, eco fashion show, kids' playground and more. Details here.

When: April 9-10, 2011 (10-7 and 11-6)
Where: SF Concourse Exhibition Center
Details: Well, not Earth Day, but a Green Festival.

When: April 22-23, 2011
Where: California Academy of Sciences, SF
Details: Tons of activities, including story time, crafts, frogs, living roof, and lots of demonstrations/exhibits. More at the California Academy of Sciences' website


When: Friday, April 15 from 2-4
Where: Gamble Garden
Details: Garden scavenger hunt, art projects, juice and cookies. Free.

When: April 16, from 8-5
Where: Marine Science Institute
Details: Touch tanks with marine animals, canoe rides in the creek, entertainment, environmental fair. Free admission, fee for 2 hour boat tour. Details here.

When: April 17, 2011 from 11-5.
Where: CuriOdyssey (formerly Coyote Point Museum) in San Mateo
Details: Learn about urban farming, backyard beekeeping, tree planting, composting. Sustainable foods available for purchase. Details here.

When: April 16 from 10-3
Where: City Hall
Details: Free paper shredding, free e-waste collection, pharmaceutical waste drop-off, freecycle event (swap/take your unneeded items), music, entertainment, vendors, raffles

When: April 9, 2011 from 10-2
Where: City Hall Plaza, Cupertino
Details: Lots of hands-on projects, workshops and more - get a list of them here.

When: April 17 from 10-3
Where: Full Circle Farms
Details: kids activities, presentations, entertainment, farm animals, face painting, garden arts and crafts, obstacle course, composting and bee keeping demonstrations. Free. Details here.


When: April 23, 2011 from noon-5
Where: Civic Center Park - Berkeley
Details: here

When: April 22, 2011 from 9:30-4:30
Where: Habitot, Berkeley (2065 Kittredge Street)
Details: create your own "litter bug" with recycled goods. Work together to create a giant "green" city. Make paper from recycled paper.

When: April 16, 2011 from 10-4
Where: Doyle-Hollis park, Emeryville
Details: here

When: April 16, 2011 from 10-3
Where: Crown Beach, Washington Park, Alamdea
Details: Activities, giveaway, demonstrations, food for purchase. Beach cleanup from 8:30-10 for people ages 10+. Details here.

If that's not enough, check out more Bay Area Earth Day events here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Free Bowling All Summer for the Kids

It's time to sign up for free summer bowling! Sign up at Kids Bowl Free, and your kids can bowl two games a day (per kid) for the summer. Dates depends on the specific bowling alley, as does shoe rental rules (for some it's free, for others you pay). If you think you'll be bowling as well, purchase the family pass starting at $24.95  and you'll get two games per adult per day (up to 4 adults) as well. You can sign up with more than one bowling alley, but you have to reregister using a different email address (this is kosher, according to the website).

The Bay Area locations include Daly City, Albany, Castro Valley, Palo Alto, San Mateo and South San Francisco.

We did this last summer. To sign up, pick your bowling alley and register on that page. After signing up, you'll get an email a week with your bowling coupons (or you can log in and print them). That's it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Easter Events in the SF Bay Area - 2011

What: Spring Eggstravaganza (egg hunt, inflatables, carnival rides, entertainment, carnival rides, food for sale)
Where: Sharon Meadow at Golden Gate Park
When: Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 11-3
Cost: $5/person

What: Union Street Easter Parade (and festival with face painting, climbing wall, activities, characters)
Where: Union Street in Cow Hollow, San Francisco
When: April 24, 2011 from 10-5
Cost: Free

What: Easter Egg Hunt (plus crafts and photos with the Easter Bunny)
Where: Play Cafe (4400 Keller Avenue, Oakland)
When: Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 11-1
Cost: $7/kid

What: Underwater egg hunt, plus egg dying on the pool deck and shallow area games
Where: King Pool, Berkeley (1700  Hopkins)
When: April 2, 011, from 12-1:30
Cost: $4.50

What: Egg Scramble and Alameda Spring Fling (egg hunt, face painting, crafts, music, beach exploration)
Where:  Crab Cove, Alameda
When: April 9, 2001 from 10-4 (egg hunt at 11:30)
Cost: Free

What: Children's Easter Party (puppet show and egg hunt)
Where: Gamble Gardens, Palo Alto
When: April 23, 2011, several times available
Cost: $20/child, $10/adult for members, $5 more for nonmembers

What: Easter Bunny arrives by helicopter (plus model trains, face painting
Where: Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
When: April 23, 2011 at 10:30
Cost: Free with museum admission

What: Egg Citing Spring Celebration (egg hunt, arts and crafts, photos with Easter Bunny)
Where: Camden Community Center, San Jose
When: April 9, 2011, from 10-1
Cost: $5

For more San Francisco Bay Area 2011 egg hunts, see Kid Matters.