Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Deals of the Day: Baja Fresh, Summer Camp, USS Hornet, Snapfish, Photo Collage

Some deals for your day after Memorial Day...

BAJA FRESH
Today and Wednesday, for $7, you'll get $14 worth of Baja Fresh.

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



PHOTO COLLAGE
Get a really cute photo collage made into frameable art, that looks like something else (like this dog above). Choose from 30 different designs - and obviously use your own pictures. For $12, you get $30 in credit. Buy through KGB  Deals today only.

Get the deal here.

SUMMER CAMP
If you still haven't signed your kids up for summer camp, Savvy Deals has a ton listed today- all with discounts. See them here. Camps range from Bay Area Discovery Museum, to sailing, to fencing, to art and nature, lacrosse, ice skating, sleepaway camp, theater...

USS HORNET
KGB Deals has a great deal on the fabulous aircraft carrier museum in Alameda. We went there with my dad, who loves this stuff. Even the kids had fun. Take a tour and go to the lookout tower. Ride the platform elevator that is so big it transports planes between decks. See a model of the Apollo 11 command module Columbia, that the first astronauts to walk on the moon, came back to earth in. The USS Hornet picked them up and had astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins in  in, and was recovered from th USS Hornet and put in quarantine (you can see the quarantine trailer). If that's not enough, there are all kinds of helicopters, airplanes, a simulator ride (extra fee), and you can tour the living quarters. This would be a great Father's Day activity.

The KGB deal: for $12 you get $42 in admission credits (typically, adults are $15, seniors are $12, students 5-17 are $6. You can get two adults and two kids in with this $12 deal. Buy through Thursday, June 2, and use by December 31, 2011. You canpurchase multiple vouchers and even use them at the same visit.


SNAPFISH
Get 100 4x6 photos, including shipping, for $10 on Snapfish. Good through June 6, 2011. Use code MEM100PICS at checkout.


REDBOX
Rent 2 Redbox movies at once between now and June 12, 2011, and you'll get a promo code (within 72 hours) for a free rental to use within the next week. Details here.

Restaurant.com
Get $25 in restaurant certificates for $2, using code code FLAG through today at restaurant.com.

Free Donut on National Donut Day 2011

Friday is National Doughnut Day. Get your free Krispy Kreme on Friday, June 3rd. Get a free Dunkin' Donuts donut with purchase of any drink. Of course, there aren't any in the Bay Area (or California for that matter), but for my out-of-California readers...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Deals of the Day: Peet's Coffee, Lemos Farm, USS Hornet, Snapfish

Peet's Coffee has a coupon for today, Monday (Memorial Day) - but a (nonbottled) beverage and get $1 off. Good for retail locations only, not the airport or grocery store.

Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay is offering a deal for $13 - which includes one day admission for a child and adult ($25 value). It includes train rides, petting zoo, pony rides, tractor digs and other play areas. You'll also get a $5 coupon for a Christmas tree (if you go at the right time of year!). Buy today, use through June 1, 2012 (next year) on Plum District Deals.

USS HORNET
KGB Deals has a great deal on the fabulous aircraft carrier museum in Alameda. We went there with my dad, who loves this stuff. Even the kids had fun. Take a tour and go to the lookout tower. Ride the platform elevator that is so big it transports planes between decks. See a model of the Apollo 11 command module Columbia, that the first astronauts to walk on the moon, came back to earth in. The USS Hornet picked them up and had astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins in  in, and was recovered from th USS Hornet and put in quarantine (you can see the quarantine trailer). If that's not enough, there are all kinds of helicopters, airplanes, a simulator ride (extra fee), and you can tour the living quarters. This would be a great Father's Day activity.

The KGB deal: for $12 you get $42 in admission credits (typically, adults are $15, seniors are $12, students 5-17 are $6. You can get two adults and two kids in with this $12 deal. Buy through Thursday, June 2, and use by December 31, 2011. You canpurchase multiple vouchers and even use them at the same visit.


SNAPFISH
Get 50% off everything on the Snapfish site today, May 30. Use code 50ALLCART  at checkout.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Deals of the Day: USS Hornet, Mel's Drive-in, support Soldiers with Mental Health Services

A few deals to start out your holiday weekend:

MEL'S DRIVE-IN
As part of a Groupon burger bonanza, you can get $20 in Mel's Drive-In fare for $10. Buy the deal through Sunday, use by August 30.

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here. It's on the San Francisco page.
If you're already a Groupon user, get the deal here.

USS HORNET
KGB Deals has a great deal on the fabulous aircraft carrier museum in Alameda. We went there with my dad, who loves this stuff. Even the kids had fun. Take a tour and go to the lookout tower. Ride the platform elevator that is so big it transports planes between decks. See a model of the Apollo 11 command module Columbia, that the first astronauts to walk on the moon, came back to earth in. The USS Hornet picked them up and had astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins in  in, and was recovered from th USS Hornet and put in quarantine (you can see the quarantine trailer). If that's not enough, there are all kinds of helicopters, airplanes, a simulator ride (extra fee), and you can tour the living quarters. This would be a great Father's Day activity.

The KGB deal: for $12 you get $42 in admission credits (typically, adults are $15, seniors are $12, students 5-17 are $6. You can get two adults and two kids in with this $12 deal. Buy through Thursday, June 2, and use by December 31, 2011. You can purchase multiple vouchers and even use them at the same visit.

SUPPORT SOLDIERS WITH COUNSELING SERVICES - MATCHING DONATIONS
Groupon is matching donations to provide military personnel with support services through Not Alone, a nonprofit organization. All money raised goes directly to the organization (Groupon does not take a cut). The funds will be matched, up to $350,000. Make your donation, as little as $1, here.

Clicking on some Frisco Kids' links support the blog and costs you nothing extra.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day in the Bay Area - 2011

Trying to figure out what to do this Memorial Day weekend? Join the club! Here are a few ideas:

Mary Poppins - the Singalong Version at the Retrodome. I love this movie and the songs. Feed the Birds. Chim Chimmeree. A Spoonful of Sugar. Ah, my kids hate hearing me sing. So we probably won't be there. But you should go. The Retrodome is in San Jose. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Get more info here.

Wicked Plants - Botanical Rogues & Assassins - at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Paralysis, strangulation and derangement. Need I say more?

Carnaval! in San Francisco. This parade is so much fun. The first time we went, my son told the babysitter that we saw naked ladies dancing in the street. She gave us a strange look. Technically, they weren't naked. Carnaval runs May 28-29, with the parade on Sunday, starting at 9:30 a.m. The parade and festival are free.

Great America has a lot going on this weekend. If you're in the Armed Forces (active or retired) you can get free admission - bring ID. Boomerang Bay opens May 28. May 29 is Asian Fest, plus fireworks.

Roaring Camp's Civil War Enactment - we've spent many weekends in Roaring Camp in Felton (near Santa Cruz). This weekend they're hosting a Civil War enactment to commemorate the Civil War's 150th anniversary. The event is May 28-30 (Saturday through Monday), with trains still running. Get more information here. Read a little about what I wrote for FamilyFun Magazine about Roaring Camp.

Bay Area Discovery Museum - if you are part of a military family, you can get in free to the Bay Area Discovery Museum from Memorial Day through Labor Day (I'm not sure if includes the whole Memorial Day weekend, or just starting Monday). This fabulous kids' museum is actually on a former military base at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge - how appropriate! Here's a list of all Blue Star Museums.

Also for military personnel, check this list of 133 Military Discounts posted on Gift Card Granny. Discounts on everything from airfare, hotel stays, products, Legoland, Seaworld, cruises, restaurants, and clothing.


Red Tricycle has this list.
Bay Area on the Cheap has this list.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Deals of the Day: Cupcake class, Mabel's Labels, Vistaprint, Abe's Market, Wax Museum

Lots of good ones today!

VISTAPRINT
If you need new business cards (I also use this company to get personal cards with our family info, to hand out to other parents when planning play dates), personalized t-shirts, invitations, stationary, return address labels or anything like that, this is a GREAT deal. I bought it last time LivingSocial ran the deal, to buy some Frisco Kids magnets and business cards. The deal! You get $50 in products for $10. Buy today only, and use  by late August.

MABEL'S LABELS
Get ready for camp with personalized labels from Mabel's Labels. For $10, you get $20 to spend on them. We have some, and you can choose cute designs to put on the labels.  Put them on lunch boxes, thermoses, water bottles, clothes...Deal is offered today only, must use it by June 30, 2011.

If you're new to Groupon, get the deal here. It's on the North Jersey page (if it doesn't come up, go to the top middle of the page where it lists the city, and click on the arrow. Go to New Jersey, and then North Jersey).
If you're already a Groupon user, get the deal here

PARENT/CHILD CUPCAKE CLASS
Make cupcakes with your child and let someone else clean up the mess! This Plum District Deal at La Victoria Bakery in the Mission (SF) costs $40, a $85 value. You'll learn some cupcake making techniques, and take home six cupcakes and two Mexican hot chocolates. Purchase by Thursday, May 26, and use by 11/24/11.

You could also skip the class and just buy two dozen mini cupcakes from Mission Minis in San Francisco. Those go for $12 (a $24 value). Purchase by Friday, May 27 and use by 6/23/11. That's also a Plum District Deal.


ABE'S MARKET
Get $40 in natural products for only $20 at Abe's Market, through mom.com. Buy deal through Sunday, May 29, use by December 31, 2011.

WAX MUSEUM AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF
Get 4 tickets to the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf for $20 at Mamapedia. Buy deal through Friday, May 27, use by November 27, 2011.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hiking with Kids - Tips by Jeff Alt

Our recent post about camping in the Bay Area is a perfect companion to today's post - hiking with kids, with tips by author Jeff Alt, who wrote A Walk for Sunshine: a 2,160 Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail.


In addition to walking the Appalachian Trail, he also trekked across a 50-mile path of Ireland with his wife, young daughter, and extended family. Some of these tips might be a bit advanced for beginning hikers, so use the ones that work for you, and start small!
Start Early - Develop A Routine
Start hiking with your newborn. Carry infants and children weighing less than 15 pounds in a front body carrier or a sling. Children weighing 16 to 40 pounds can fit into a child carrier backpack. Children weighing more than 30 pounds might be ready to hike short distances and carry a little day-pack.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Free Summer Fun Deals - reading, movies and bowling

BOOKS
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program - Your kids can join Barnes & Noble summer reading program, and read 8 books and get one free.


Scholastic Summer Challenge - encourage the kids to read and win prizes through the
Scholastic Summer Challenge. 

Check with your library for other free summer reading challenges.


BOWLING
Free Bowling for Kids - get up to two games and free shoes (depending on location) every day for the whole summer through the Kids Bowl Free program. Details here.

MOVIES
Cinemark Movie Clubhouse - 10 shows for $5 paid in advance, or $1/show at the box office
Check the individual theater for dates, times and shows. Some of the movies featured include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Tale of Despereaux, Despicable Me, Megamind, Kung Fu Panda, Charlotte's Web, Ramona & Beezus and Planet 51. How is that I've actually seen ALL those movies????

Take advantage of them at these Bay Area theaters:
Hayward, Century at Hayward 
Newark, Cinedome 7 
Novato, Century Rowland Plaza 
Pleasant Hill, Century 16 Downtown Pleasant Hill
San Bruno, Century at Tanforan and XD 
San Francisco, CinéArts at the Empire 
San Mateo, Century 12 San Mateo 
San Rafael, Century Northgate 
Sausalito, CinéArts Marin 

Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek 14 and XD 


Regal Movies - Summer Movies Express. Get $1 admission on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to the 10 a.m. show. It runs for 9 weeks. The Bay Area is not well represented with theaters, but if you're going outside the area, look into this program.

Buy One, Get One Free Movies on Friday
If you have a Visa Signature card, you can get one movie ticket free when you buy one on Fandango. This is only good on Fridays through 7/29/11. You have to buy and use the tickets on that Friday. Details here. Thank you Cookies & Clogs for the heads-up.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Coming Up: Free zoo entrance Saturday if you wear orange

Tillamook Cheese's Loaf Love Tour (trying saying that one time fast) is kicking off their SF tour at the San Francisco Zoo tomorrow! The first 100 fans wearing bright orange clothes, get free admission, starting at 10 a.m. And everyone gets cheese samples. Look for them at the Baby Loaf Bus. It should be the only bus there that looks like cheese. If you miss out, they'll be in the Bay Area through July 24

Camping with Kids in the Bay Area

If you haven't made your camping plans, you better get started! Campsites book up quickly, and the state recently announced it's closing 70 state parks.

I put together a list of helpful links for camping, many of them from my friend Laure at Frog Mom in California, who has a book coming out in September (you can preorder it now). It's called Best Hikes with Kids: San Francisco Bay Area, and it would make a great Father's Day gift. It's got a very cute cover (alas, not the one I chose, but...)

We'll start off with some the basics of camping with kids.
And then you're ready for great Bay Area campgrounds for families.

What are you going to eat? Read on to figure out what to make for breakfast while camping.

Stay local by camping out in San Francisco at the Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio

If you need to convince your kids about how fun camping is, check out these Chipper items - my kids are still singing one of the Chipper songs, several years after they listened to the CD and watched the video. More Chipper info here.

Free National Park Entrance Days - June 21, September 24, November 11-13. Check out which parks are included.

Check out Jeff Alt's post on Frisco Kids, tips for hiking with kids.

Where do you like to camp in the Bay Area?

Find Frisco Kids on Facebook.

Coming Up: Growing a Healthy Baby in a Toxic World

If you're confused about what foods and products are good for a healthy pregnancy and baby, join Julia Getzelman of Getzwell Pediatrics and Molly Arthur of EcoBirth, for advice on what foods to eat, lotions to use, and cosmetics to apply in order to help avoid toxins and to increase your health while pregnant. This event includes a light vegetarian dinner.


It's held at the nonprofit community center called 18 Reasons in San Francisco, affiliated with Bi-Rite Market. Their focus is educating and inspiring the community to make smart decisions about food. 


When: Monday, May 23, 7-9
What: GMO. BPA. WTF? Growing a Healthy Baby in a Toxic World - a dinner conversation
Cost: $20 for 18 Reasons members; $30 for the general public
Ticketshttp://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/173795

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Coming Up: Street Festivals

This weekend there are a bunch of festivals, including street festivals:

San Carlos Hometown Days (May 20-22)
A La Carte and Art in Mountain View (May 21-22)
The International Children's Food and Dance Festival in SF (May 21)
Hands on the Arts in Sunnyvale (May 21)
Annual Redwood City Pet Parade (May 21)
Maker Faire (May 21-22)
Boogie on the Bayou in Campbell (May 21-22)
Alameda County Children's Fair in Hayward (May 21)
Asian Heritage Street Celebration in SF (May 21)

Deals of the Day: Lemos Farm, Restaurants, Candle Making

A few deals today:

LEMOS FARM
Every kid loves Lemos Farm, the Half Moon Bay farm with pony rides, train rides and petting zoo. Plum District Deals has a deal today for $13, which gets you one child and one adult admission and a $5 credit toward a Christmas tree (they grow them too). Value: $25. Buy today, use through June of 2012. Save an extra 20% by entering "SUPPORTSMALL" in the coupon area when checking out, to celebrate National Small Business Week.

RESTAURANTS
Restaurant.com's promotion right now is to get $25 certificates for $3. Use code PLATE through 5/24.

CANDLEMAKING IN MARIN
My daughter would love this one - do a candle making package, $12 for one person or $24 for two at Art Start in Mill Valley. Get the deal at LivingSocial.

MONTEREY BAY WHALE WATCH
Go on a whale watching tour in Monterey Bay for $23.50 (value is $47). Two tours daily, use by 11/18/11. Get the deal here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Coming Up: Maker Faire

Don't forget, the Maker Faire is coming up this weekend. Science. Technology. Craft. Art. Creativity. As one visitor calls it: "It's a bit like a family-rated, local Burning Man but not in the desert and without naked people.'


It's May 21-22 in San Mateo,  get details here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Win a PlanetBox lunch box

Okay, it's not Earth Day (do we really need an official day?), but my friend Kris at Attainable Sustainable is giving away a very cute metal lunchbox. While I hope I win, I'm giving you the chance too. Check it out, and check out her site too

Get 'Yer Tickets - Lick Observatory Summer Visitor Program

Tickets go on sale today for Lick Observatory's summer visitor's program. At the program, you can look through the 36 inch Great Lick Refractor and the 40 inch Reflecting Telescope. In the event of low visibility (fog, rain), they'll have two programs. Other informal and formal talks go on that evening as well.

Ages 8 and older recommended. Programs begin at sunset, with viewing after dark.

Here are the dates of the program (the latter date) and ticket purchase date per program (the first date). Six tickets per household per date. Tickets are $5 each, including service fee. Get tickets and more information here.

  • May 17 for June 24 SVP
  • May 19 for July 8 SVP
  • May 24 for July 22 SVP
  • May 26 for August 5 SVP
  • May 31 for August 19 SVP
  • June 2 for August 26 SVP

Monday, May 16, 2011

$1 Flip Flop Sale at Old Navy

Granted, I usually get $1 flip flops at Target and the dollar area selection lasts more than 1 day, but if you are an Old Navy fan, you can get $1 flip flops this Saturday, May 21. Old Navy has a 30% off summer toddler and baby items right now, and up to 40% off all swimwear. Use code ONSECRET30 when checking out online only through May 18, for 30% off. There are some restrictions (and it says only for certain customers...maybe only those with the code?).

Deals of the Day: Redbox, Snapfish, Restaurants, Peet's

PEET'S COFFEE
If you haven't yet had your morning (or mid-morning) java, stop by Peet's with this coupon and get $1 off a beverage and baked good.


RESTAURANT.COM
Get $25 restaurant.com certificates for $4, using code DINE through Tuesday, 5/17.

REDBOX
Redbox has 10 days of deals May 16-26. To get the deals, which range for 10 cents to $1.50 off movies, text 727272 every day during that period, and they'll send the deal to you. Of course since I'm a luddite without unlimited texting, that deal would probably cost me money instead of saving it!

SNAPFISH
Get an 8"x11" photo book, with shipping, for $15. Use code BOOK4MAY by May 20. Limit 5 books per customer, 20 page books. Would make a GREAT teacher gift!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coming Up: Kids World Events at Serramonte Center

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

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

Here's the schedule: 

Tuesday, May 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)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Coming Up: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive - May 14



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

Leave it by your mailbox so your postal carrier can pick it up on Saturday, May 14th, 2011.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Toy Story Cupcakes

Check out these cute Toy Story cupcakes - the alien and the pig. the alien uses three white meltable candies, with a dot of frosting on top. Then take some fruit gels and cut them into interesting shapes.

The pig cupcake uses mini chocolate chips on top of the frosting. To make the snout, cut a minicupcake in half, and use the flat half. Use those same fruit gels for the ears.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coming Up: San Francisco Chamber Orchestra Concerts - Free

This weekend, May 14-15, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra is offering free family-friendly concerts in San Francisco, San Mateo and Oakland. The concert is "Voices around the World" with the Cantare Children's Choir of Oakland and the Vallejo Chorale Society. An additional concert is in Vallejo on Saturday, March 27th.

For details, check the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra website.

Free Redbox movie rental Thursday 5/12

Redbox is offering a free movie code on Thursday, May 12 to everyone who "likes" then on Facebook. Details here.

Coming Up: Kooba Game Day at Paxton's Gate for Kids

The unique Paxton Gate store on Valencia Street recently opened up a kids' store, called Curiosities for Kids (check out the photos) - here's the home page - with local art, nostalgic toys, pre-digital era toys and science-type games. Check it out this weekend, when they demonstrate a new game called Kooba, a "totally original and unique physical game, played using a pair of sticks to launch an "Aero" at a wall-mounted game board." It's designed for 2-4 players with rounds lasting 10-20 minutes. This store is apparently the first to have it! Check it out on YouTube.



They'll be demonstrating the game on Saturday - stop by if you're interested. Click here to find out about other events at Curiosities for Kids.

Where: 766 Valencia Street
When: Saturday, May 14 from 2-4
Cost: Free

Monday, May 9, 2011

Deals of the Day: Children's Fairyland, Peet's, Starbuck's, Wax Museum, Marinwood Pool

A few deals for you:

CHILDREN'S FAIRYLAND
If you have preschool age kids, or maybe through first grade, you have to check out Children's Fairyland in Oakland (right by Lake Merritt). They have kiddie rides, story times, puppet show and other live shows every weekend. Get a family membership to Children's Fairyland for $49 (value: $99) through Friday on Mamapedia.

BAY AREA CHILDREN'S THEATER
Get 2 tickets to Go, Dog, Go, at the Bay Area Children's Theater (in Oakland), plus free admission to Children's Fairyland the same day, for $15. Purchase through Thursday at Plum District Deals, and look at the entry above if you want a deal on an annual membership to Children's Fairyland.

PEET'S
Peet's Coffee has a buy one, get one free deal through May 29. Click here to get the coupon. Or try this link.

STARBUCKS
While we're speaking of coffee, don't forget - Starbucks has its Frappuccino happy hour through May 15. Half price Frappuccinos from 3-5 p.m. (Personally I like the Peet's Freddo better, but the Frappuccinos are yummy too).

WAX MUSEUM
Get a ticket (child, junior or adult) ticket to the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf for $3-$7 through Sunday, May 15 on LivingSocial. Half price tickets - $3 for children, $5 for juniors, $7 for you. Or if you prefer, get it via KGB Deals, which is offering two admissions for $14. Also buy through Sunday.

MARINWOOD POOL
For my Marin readers, for $12 get 5 admissions to the Marinwood Pool in San Rafael ($25 value).  This is also on LivingSocial.

PLANT TREES IN HAITI
Do some good by buying trees (half price) from the Carbon Fund for $10. This deal allows you to buy 20 trees, through KGB Deals. You can also buy 60 trees for $25. The deal is available through Sunday or Monday.

SNAPFISH
A few photo deals - get 100 prints, including shipping, for $10 on Snapfish. Use the code MOMDAY100 through May 11. Buy one flip book, get one free using code 2FLPBKS through May 31. Good for 10 pages (you pay for extra). The books don't need to be identical.

Coming Up: Maker Faire

Coming up - check out the Maker Faire. Science. Technology. Craft. Art. Creativity. As one visitor calls it: "It's a bit like a family-rated, local Burning Man but not in the desert and without naked people.'

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

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

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

When: May 21-22, 2010 (Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Where: San Mateo County Event Center (near 92 and 101). Check here for directions and info on free parking lots.
Tickets: get them at the door for $25/adult, $10/kids 4-12, $15/students 13-20. Discount for buying them before May 12. Get them at participating stores and save $5 a ticket. Here's a link to ticket info and participating stores (which include  Whole Foods, Exploratorium, Technology Credit Unions, and Cartoon Art Museum). Group and military discounts area available too.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Free Haagen-Dazs cone day

I'm going for the trifecta - after posting about free Ben & Jerry's cone day, and Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop night, now it's time for Haagen-Dazs free cone day.

When: May 10, 2011 from 4-8 p.m.
Where: Find a Haagen-Dazs location here. There's one in Palo Alto and two in San Francisco
No coupon needed.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: Synonyms the Game

We’re always looking for new games to play, so I was excited when a game publisher contacted me to review their word game. It’s called Synonyms, which should give you a decent idea what it’s about. I’ll give you a hint – maybe you can think of three other words to substitute for the game title.


The game in a nutshell:  When it’s your turn, you pick a card with a word on it and you have to name a certain number of synonyms within one minute (the synonyms are on the back of the card). If you succeed, you get one of the letters that makes up the word SYNONYMS. When you get all the letters, you win.

Frappuccino Happy Hour begins

Half price Frappuccinos? I'm in! Starbucks is having Frappuccino happy hour from 3-5 p.m. today through May 15th.

Thanks to Cookies & Clogs for the tip!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Coming Up: Sunday Streets - Free

Sunday Streets  is coming up on May 8! This one will be in the Mission, including the popular 24th and Valencia Streets. 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:
  • 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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Coming Up: Annual Sheep Shearing at SF Zoo

Come watch the animals get a haircut at the San Francisco Zoo. From the zoo:  


The Zoo’s Jacob and Navajo Churro sheep and two alpacas will go from wooly to bare. It will be shear fun for everyone!

Children and guests will see the Zoo’s Chief Sheep Shearer, David Melcon, in action, as he shaves each sheep from head to toe. David has sheared sheep at the San Francisco Zoo for more than a decade and is a master at his craft.

Friends of the barnyard will demonstrate the wonders of working with wool through spindle spinning demonstrations, needle felting, and scarf weaving. Visitors will also have a chance to spin the wool and enjoy a variety of other activities taking place at the Zoo’s Family Farm.
.
The San Francisco Zoo will send the wool to a Native American Reservation where it will be used for traditional weavings. This helps ensure the culture and rituals of weavings among the Native American tribes continues.

Zoo Members will have an exclusive Members’ only preview event on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Meet the Chief Sheep Shearer and enjoy a fun interactive art activity – make your own sheep using real wool.

Where: Children's Zoo Family Farm (at the SF Zoo)
When: Saturday, May 7 from 10:30-1
Cost: free with admission

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Link love - what I've been reading

Thought I’d share with you some of the sites I was visiting yesterday (when I should have been doing my medical writing assignments).

Ice Cream – what’s your favorite in the Bay Area? I wrote about 3 great ice cream places in San Francisco,  but Red Tricycle wrote about more than a dozen throughout the bay area. Read Red Tricycle’s list here

Best Travel/Family Bloggers – I was excited to see some of our Frisco Kids’ friends listed on the Babble list of Top 25 Travel Family Blogs/Family Bloggers. Those included Travel Savvy Mom, and Ciao Bambino .


California Academy of Science – Red Tricycle posted an insider’s guide to the Academy of Sciences. Read it here: Frisco Kids reviewed it awhile back – you can read our review here.  The Academy also offers birthday party packages – at $75 a child. Read more about that here, along with scores of other birthday party ideas.

Marin - I’m trying to increase my coverage of Marin, and was excited to discover the Marinhood blog, with great lists of things to do in the Bay Area, as well as Marin.

T&L Magazine - Last, if you love traveling (with or without kids), you can’t pass up this deal for a $5 one year subscription to Travel & Leisure, good through May 14. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother's Day in the San Francisco Bay Area - 2011

Here's a list from Celebrate-Family.


Is it just me, or does Mother's Day seem REALLY early this year? Here are some ideas for you and/or the kids/spouse/partner:

Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 at 4:30
The Retrodome is in San Jose.

Saturday, May 7 starting at 10
Very wholesome. It's on University Ave.

If you're a B of A customer, use your bank card to get in free to museums like the Tech Museum in San Jose, the DeYoung Museum in SF, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Zeum, the Chabot Space Center and more. When I did one of these free days, my bank card covered me only (my husband's card covered him). You might have to pay for the kids.

Sunday, May 8 from 10:30-4:30
Performances, tours, hands-on activities, etc. Free with admission.

Have some yummy food and then look at exhibits!
Sunday, May 8 from 11-2

Mom gets a free cup or cone on Mother's Day
Sunday, May 8
Sunday, May 8 from 12:30-4, leaving from Alameda
Cost is about $90 for adults, half that for kids ages 3-11, about $10/kid under 3.

Sunday, May 8 from 11-2, leaving from Sausalito
Cost is $95/adult (or two for $180), kids under 10 are half price.

Nothing says Mother's Day like Andy Z in concert! Plus crafts and inflatables.
Saturday, May 7 from 11-1
Concert is free, at Courthouse Square in Redwood City

Sunday, May 8 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Learn about birdwatching
Alviso, CA

Saturday, May 7 starting at 9 a.m. - goes all day. Palo Alto
Sessions on yoga, meditation, getting your passion back, posture, nutrition. Evening music performance. And massage.
Cost: $15-40

Take a run on Marina Green. Kids are welcome for their own run.
Sunday, May 8 starting at 9
Cost: $3-5 (kids' 1/2 mile run is free)

Sunday, May 8 from 10:30-1
Leave the kids behind and take a cooking class, where you'll make a delicious brunch and enjoy champagne.
Cost: $75

Sunday, May 8 from 3-5
Concert with Chelle & Friends. Los Altos Hills
Cost: $15/person

Also, Travel is More Fun with Kids posted some good museum-type outings.


They sent an email with events I couldn't find on their website - they're listed here:

Rule it! Young Families Day at Civic Center Park. Saturday. FREE

Jewel It! Jewelry Making Workshop at Paxton Gate's Curiosities for Kids. Saturday. FREE

Dance It! Grrrrl Brigade Dance Performance. Friday through Sunday. $12

Prance It! Children's Day Festival in Japantown. Saturday. FREE

Shear It! Annual Sheep Shearing at SF Zoo. Saturday. Free with Zoo admission.

Whip It! Creative Prototyping Lab at Zeum. Thursday through Sunday. Free with Zeum admission.

Bloom It! Free Flowers for Moms in Golden Gate Park. Sunday. Free for first 100 families.

Zoom It! Sunday Streets in the Mission. Sunday. FREE

Celebrate It!  Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Children's Fund.  May 10, 5-7pm, City Hall. FREE