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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Coming Up: Million Dog March

Do you have a dog? Do you love dogs? Then come to the Million Dog March in San Francisco. The event is a "fabulously large dog walk and festival of fun and games." And they're raising money for the Friends of SF Animal Care and Control, to benefit the city animal shelter. You'll be part of a group trying to break the Guinness World Record for largest dog walk. You'll walk three miles through grassy fields, by scenic lakes, by redwoods and over bridges. Then there's a festival with music, vendors, info tables and pet-friendly games and activities.

When: Saturday, June 2 from 10-2
Where: McLaren Park, SF
Cost: $25/advance, $30/that day - includes registration for one dog and its human family, plus a dog bandana and human t-shirt.
Register: here

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Activity Hero: Sign up for Camp/Classes on One Site AND Easy Earn Money for Your School - Sponsored

Is your school or organization looking for an easy way to raise money, while also helping parents simplify their lives? Bay Area-based ActivityHero can help. It’s offering a program where your school or organization can get $5 for each new camp or class a parent books using ActivityHero.

ActivityHero was started by Bay Area  moms who, like all of us, found the process of finding and signing up for after-school and summer programming cumbersome, confusing and time consuming. They started a company that makes the process easy. I’ve posted a few times in the past about, a website that aggregates different summer camp options and allows you to learn about and plan your camp registrations on one site, and coordinate with friends if you want. With similar goals and users, Sign Up For Camp merged with ActivityHero – so now you have camps AND classes all on one website – making it useful year-round.

If you’re interested in getting your school or organization on board, you need to have your representative send the school/organization name to Once you’re in the program, you’ll get $5 for each new class or camp registration (a minimum of two registrations needed to activate payment).

The site has a very strong presence in Palo Alto (485 camps alone within 10 miles of Palo Alto), Berkeley and San Francisco, but covers other parts of the Bay Area as well including the San Jose area. The beauty with using ActivityHero is that many of the camps/classes use the EasyEnroll form, so you only have to fill out the paperwork once . The website uses that information to help you register for multiple classes and camps, so no more filling out forms over and over with the same information. It’s all online and saved.

Disclosure: ActivityHero is sponsoring this post, though Frisco Kids is a big supporter of any website that helps us earn money for our schools, makes our lives easier and helps us find cool things for our kids to do.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Memorial Day with Kids Bay Area 2013

What are you doing for Memorial Day? We're going camping. Here are some ideas for you if you're staying local:

SF ZOO - Hullabuzoo
See the animals AND join a performing circus group. They'll have an inflatable obstacle course and climbing wall challenge. Highlights include a circus performance on Patas Lawn and inflatable bounce house plus basketball hoop in the Pacyderm building.
When: May 25-27 from 11-4
Cost: free with zoo admission; $3/person for climbing wall (though they'll donate $1 to animal conservation programs every time someone gets to the top and rings a bell.

Treasure Island Flea Market
Celebrate the Treasure Island Flea Market's 2nd birthday by visiting! They're having some festive games and activities, including magicians, hula hooping competitions, retro pinball and other things. Learn how to make goat milk soap from one of the vendors. Go for regular admission, or upgrade for the celebration package. For $20 you get admission for two, two chef's specials from the food trucks, two flight of wine samples, and discounts on additional wine tastings or purchases.
When: May 25-26 from 10-4
Cost: $3/person. Free for kids under 12. Free parking and dog friendly.

Friday, May 17, 2013

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 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.

As for performances, the Coke/Mentos demonstration won't disappoint (especially since it's modeled after the Bellagio fountains!). The life-sized mousetrap game is back. There are pedal car races, and battle pond with Battleship type boats. Learn about CAD for Kids, try making your own moldy cheese, learn how to make perfect noodles, make chocolate pudding in 30 seconds or less, learn how to parent young makers, listen to a Girl Scout talk about her high school robotics experience.

Tons of things to do, see and experience.

WhatMaker Faire
When: May 18-19, 2013 (Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Where: San Mateo County Event Center (near 92 and 101). Check here for directions and info on free parking lots.
Tickets: get them at the door for $30/adult, $15/kids 4-12, $20/students 13-20.  Get them at participating stores and save $5 a ticket. Here's a link to ticket info and participating stores (which include Whole Foods. Group and military discounts area available too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coming Up: Plowing Play Day at Jack London State Historic Park

Jack London State Historic Park is hosting its 30th annual Plowing Play Day, which is a free family event presented by the North Coast Draft Horse and Mule Association. You'll see harnessing and plowing demonstrations, get free horse-drawn wagon rides, and medieval horseback Skill at Arms. You'll see all kinds of horses (including the famous Clydesdales). Picnic food is available.

What: Plowing Play Day
When: May 19 from 10-4
Where: Jack London State Historic Park (2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen)
Cost: free (but $10/parking)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coming Up: Moving to Marin - Free Seminar

If you and your family have been considering a move to or within Marin County, California but want to understand about the towns, schools and communities, this seminar is for you! Given by a Marin mom and Realtor, you'll learn about:
-Marin Preschools
-Marin Schools
-Micro climates within Marin County
-Marin communities and towns
-Average home prices per town
-Marin summer camp
-Mortgage update
This informative two-hour seminar is well worth your time. Presenter, Liz McCarthy has been holding this seminar to rave reviews for over three years and continues to receive requests for the next seminar date.
Upcoming dates in Mill Valley:
5/21/13 (Tuesday) 6:45 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.
6/11/13 (Tuesday) 6:45 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.
Both are at 1040 Redwood Highway, Frontage Road in Mill Valley, in the McGuire Real Estate room.

There's no cost to attend, and you can RSVP here 
Questions? Please contact Liz McCarthy at (415) 250-4929 or email
This post is sponsored Liz McCarthy.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kudos for Frisco Kids

I hope all my mom readers had an excellent Mother's Day! My kids treated me well, not fighting too much, and giving me some wonderful homemade gifts and coupons. I planted flowers, prepped my garden for vegetables, enjoyed a home spa day with mani/pedi and scrub (all done by my daughter) and then home-made dinner by her as well (salad and grilled cheese sandwich).

I wanted to share some news that made my Mother's Day even more special. Frisco Kids was recognized by Red Tricycle as one of their "best favorite family travel blogs we love." Given that Red Tricycle is an awesome website, I was thrilled to be included - especially with the other fabulous blogs they chose. Check them out!

Also amazing, is that FamilyFun Magazine included Frisco Kids in their "go to guide" in their May, 2013 article on traveling to San Francisco. It's on page 58 for those of you get the magazine.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tips for Kids Traveling Alone using the Unaccompanied Minor Airline Program

My kids do a lot of traveling, but they've never traveled on the plane alone. Until now. I just booked my daughter on a cross-country flight to stay with her best friend for a week.

If you're considering sending your child on a flight alone, here's where to start. has a list of airline fees, which includes unaccompanied minor fees. You'll see that the fees vary a lot according to the airline, ranging from $25 on Alaskan Airlines (one way), to United's $150 fee one way. That's in addition to the airline ticket. Some charge by the kid, some charge by the family, and some change the rate depending on the flight length. Of course you'll want to confirm the rates with the airline as well.

When you start looking into flights you'll want to ask yourself these questions:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Coming Up: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive - May 11

Every year, the postal carriers run a food drive. This could not be easier for you! Put out a bag of food along with your mail (if you have any outgoing mail) on Saturday, May 11, 2013. They will take your bag and bring it to a local food bank.

They're looking for nonperishable food items (not in glass containers) like: canned meat, fish, soup, juice, veggies, pasta, cereal, peanut butter and rice. Nothing expired.

So you don't forget, get that bag ready NOW and leave it by the front door so you trip over it every day until Saturday.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Coming Up: Gilt City Warehouse Sale

You probably know the flash sale site Gilt City. They're having a warehouse sale in San Francisco (1290 Sutter Street) on May 18, featuring  designer brands, including men's and women's fashions, home accessories, kids goods and more. Prices are up to 90% off retail.

Sadly, you have to pay to enter! Cost is $10, but you do get some drinks (prosecco, vodka and coconut water - all designer of course!) and snacks with that, plus live music to get you in the mood, and a photo booth. Also sadly (or not) - you can't bring the kids. But you'll only get entrance for two hours, so babysitting (or spouse sitting) shouldn't set you back much. And don't forget your credit card. Your cash is no good with them.

Get tickets ahead of time, and choose mid-morning, afternoon or late afternoon shopping. Let me know what you buy!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Coming Up: Access to Adventure - for kids with disabilities

This weekend, head to Golden Gate Park for Access to Adventure, an exploration of recreation opportunities for children with disabilities. They'll have live music from the Honey Belles and Jeannie and Chuck's Country Roundup, plus activities. Sign language interpretation will be provided.

Mobile Rec will also be there from 10:30-2, with the rock wall, BMX bikes, skateboards nad Freshpark ramps. Not sure if this is accessible for all kids with disabilities.

When: Saturday, May 4 from noon-3
Where: Golden Gate Park Music Concourse Bandshell (between the CA Academy of Sciences and the deYoung Museum)
More info and preregister: to preregister, call Support for Families at (415) 920-5040. For info call the Inclusion Center at (415) 206-1546.
Volunteer: call Ramona McGary at (415) 831-6334 or email

More Bay Area Camp Ideas

A few days ago I posted about some awesome Bay Area camps. I wanted to add a few more to that list.

Youth Spark Summer Camps by Microsoft - emphasizing technology and creativity, these camps focus on digital movie making, storytelling, digital photography and making video games. take place at Microsoft stores (one theme per week). The bad news: the parent/guardian has to stay IN THE STORE during the camp. So no dropping off and going to work, to Peet's Coffee, to the grocery store or to clean the house (as if!).

Where: Bay Area locations with in-store theaters, including Palo Alto, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Corte Madera
When: varies by store. For example, Palo Alto's camps run through August, for 2 hour sessions (each week is a different theme/time). You sign up for a week at a time.
Who: Ages 8-13
Cost: Free
Additional info: finding the info you need is a little tricky on their website. Pick your store and look for the "Register Now" bar on the right side after scrolling down. That will pull up the dates/times/details. It doesn't look like a link, but it is. Then use the calendar function to find out when the camps are running, and details. It's easier going once you get to that page.

Star Wars Camp - This isn't a freestanding camp, but rather a blueprint for how to run your own Star Wars Camp. For those homeschooling readers out there, or parents who have their kids home in the summer, it can also provide some ideas for you to do with the kids too. LucasFilm came up with a Star Wars camp kit where you can make your own Star Wars camp with movie-related games, crafts and activities. And it's free!

Laurel Street Art Camp - this arts camp features pottery, glass fusing, mosaic, soap making, glass painting, polymer clay and weaving projects.

Where: San Carlos
When: 6/17 - 8/30/13 - sessions run one week, and they're 3 hour sessions; some sessions already have wait lists
Who: Grades 2-7
Cost: $245-295 per week

Gailileo Camps - learn to be innovators and explorers with this kids. Themes this summer include

Medieval Adventure, African Safari, and the Art and Science of Circuses, Rides and Carnivals. The themes are created in cooperation with Klutz, the de Young Museum, the Tech Museum of Innovation and the Chabot Space & Science Center.
Where38 campus locations including the Peninsula, East Bay, South Bay, San Francisco and Marin
When: Dates vary by location; full days, though Pre-K and K can by half day.

Age: Pre-K through 8th, broken up into appropriate age groups
Cost: $25 discount through May 31, using code 2013INNOVATE. One week starts around $399 but discounts for additional weeks

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Unique Mother's Day Gifts

Trying to figure out what to get your mother for Mother's Day (or ideas of what the partner/kids could get you)? Here are a few ideas of goods made BY moms (well, two moms and one daughter).

Chocolate - Food writer, cookbook author and chef Monica Bhide teamed up with Co Co Sala to create these delicious chocolates seasoned with flavors like jasmine, curry and cherry blossom. They're coming to you from our nation's capital, so order soon! They'll be on sale May 1-6.

Monica Bhide and Co Co Sala bring to you chocolates flavored with flowers and spices.

Laura Madrigano City Charm - I own several of Laura's bags and a scarf (and have given her bags as gifts). They're beautiful, unique and well made. See them here.
Laura's famous for her flowers.

The scarves can be worn a number of ways and are very cozy.
Dori's Jewelry Breaking the Chains through Jewelry - Help end child slavery in Ghana with beautiful beaded jewelry made by a 12 year old U.S. girl, who is selling the jewelry as her Bat Mitzvah project to help build a school in Ghana to redeem child slaves there (how is that for a run-on sentence?). Buy on Etsy or get a custom-made item. More info on her blog.
Support mothers in Ghana who want to provide an education for their children. You can do so through Dori's jewelry .

This custom bracelet/necklace set was designed and beaded by Dori.

Want to buy something from Amazon? Amazon has a special Mother's Day section.