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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Coming Up: Barbie Rock 'N Royals Concert in Milpitas - Free

If your kids are into Barbie, head to the Great Mall in Milpitas this Sunday for a Barbie in Rock ‘N Royals Comes to Life interactive concert experience. The new Barbie movie Rock ‘N Royals debuts nationwide on September 8. The concert features live performances of songs from the movie, and you can meet Princess Courtney and Rockstar Erika. There will also be a sing-along with interactive karaoke, a Barbie photo-opp, and kids can play with the new Barbie in Rock ‘N Royals dolls and toys.

For more info available now To learn more about the movie or tour, visit their site 

When: Sunday, August 30 from 12-6
noon - the activity area opens
1 and 4 - live concerts
6 - activity area closes
Where: Great Mall Grand Court, Entrance 2 (447 Great Mall Drive) Milpitas

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Get 'Yer Tickets: Once the Musical

You've seen the movie. Should you see the musical? I reviewed the show for Jersey Kids and you can read my Once the Musical review here and see whether it might be good for your kids, or better as a date night.

What: Once the Musical
When: October 27 - November 1
Where: SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco
Tickets: get them at the SHN website 
Ages: recommended for 10+

Monday, August 24, 2015

Coming Up: Proud of my Family Weekend at Children's Discovery Museum

film projector graphicChildren's Discovery Museum is hosting activities to celebrate Bay Area family diversity this weekend with activities throughout the museum. You and the kids can make rainbow friendship bracelets, explore what family means to you, learn the meanings of the colors in the rainbow flag, and more.

CDM representatives will also be at the Silicon Valley Pride Festival on Sunday, August 30 at Almaden Boulevard. Look for the Museum activity "Bubbles are Rainbows" between noon and 4 p.m. in the Family Garden area.

When: August 29-30
Where: Children's Discovery Museum, San Jose
Cost: free with admission

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Coming Up: Free Concert in Foster City Friday Night

This Friday, grab your picnic blankets and head to Leo Ryan Park in Foster City for a fun concert. You'll hear Rick Reynolds and his 37 piece orchestra play Broadway music. Bring a dinner, or buy from the food trucks. The concert runs from 6-8.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Coming Up: Saturday in the Park McLaren Concert Series - Free

This Saturday launches the Saturday in the Park McLaren concert series and Acoustic Soul Festival. Rebel Soul Records, Friends of the AMP Jerry Garcia Amphitheater and Saturday in the Park McLaren presents the festival, which features San Francisco native Martin Luther McCoy with Faye Carol (Jazz vocalist), YouNique Girl, The Three Bells and Viveca Hawkins. You'll also see youth dance performers, poets and other family fun. Bring lunch. They'll have small snacks available for purchase.

When: Saturday, August 22
Where: McLaren Park, San Francisco
When: Pre-show starts at noon. Live Acoustic Soul starts at 1 p.m
Parking: free

Other concerts in the series:

August 29 – Flavor of the South Side – A day of bluegrass, classic rock, folk and jazz music featuring, Pucci and the Pups, Back Porch Band and Delmarva.

October 10 – The Kids’ Festival – with Charity and the JAMBand, the Alphabet Rockers and, from 11-3, a day for the whole family of art, music, magic, science, hikes and dance and more.

October 17 – The Blues Show – season finale concert presenting: a Tribute to B. B. King presented by SFArtsEverywhere. It celebrates 44 years of the Amphitheater with their annual Birthday Party celebration and 10 years honoring the naming of the Amphitheater after Jerry Garcia, frontman for the Grateful Dead Band.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Prolong Summer With Movies and TV Shows

Unlike most Bay Area kids, mine are still in camp! We are starting big school years this year, so life will be full of exciting changes. We're not ready to let summer go, so we're keeping a few things on the agenda to keep summer in mind.

Have you been watching the new Netflix show Wet Hot American Summer - First Day of Camp series? This campy show (truly) has some bizarre moments that leave you shaking your head and thinking "did they really just do that?" (I'm mean about you, talking vegetable can, and you girl who came out of the bathroom stall in an unexpected way). I don't recommend you put this show on for your kids, but we will be screening the 2001 movie with my kids when they return. The cast is phenomenol: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and the list goes on. Most of these actors are in the television series 14 years later, still playing camp counselors, which is hilarious.

To get the kids in the mood for school (and let them watch TV, which they haven't done for a month), there's School of Rock with Jack Black and a new Netflix series, Project MC2 (that's supposed to be a "squared" mark but I can't do that on my blog). The show features four supercool teen spies who show how girls can use their science smarts and math problem-solving skills to save the world. Not a bad premise!

Disclosure: I am a Netflix StreamTeam member.

Coming Up: Hello Kitty Cafe truck Coming to Santana Row

In case you missed the last Hello Kitty Cafe truck at Santana Row in San Jose this spring, they're making a return appearance August 22-23 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. They'll be by Santana Row Park and Left Bank Brasserie. Expect lines.

The truck is selling Hello Kitty themed treats, which may include pettit fours, doughnuts, macaroons and some non-food items as well. You can see some of the cute offerings on their Instagram account. They're on tour to promote the first mainland Hello Kitty Cafe opening some time in the near future in Orange County. If you go, post a picture on Twitter and tag us @friscokids!
Photo courtesy of Porcupiny/Flickr

Friday, August 14, 2015

Coming Up: Sunday Streets - Free

This Sunday is Sunday Streets, joining forces with The Excelsior Festival and The Excelsior Art Walk. The streets will be transformed into a safe space for community to gather, kids to play, and neighbors to socialize. You'll find healthy activities, music, performances, and arts, Look for activities from the Excelsior Branch Library. They include drumming and dancing, free bike rentals, bookmark making, a MommyNearest play zone, an interactive art installation and more.

When: Sunday, August 16th between 11-4
Where: Mission Street between Theresa and Geneva

Coming up: Taiwanese Hand Puppet Fantasy - in Mandarin - Free

For the Mandarin speaking kids and parents in the crowd, come to the Taiwanese Hand Puppet Fantasy show this Sunday in Foster City. The Chiao Wan Jan Puppet Troupe from Taiwan's hand puppet fantasy show includes Chinese folklore. The troupe is made of students of Taipei Pingdeng Elementary School, touring the Bay Area this summer,

When: Sunday, August 16, at 2 p.m.
Where: Children's Room, Foster City Public Library
Cost: free

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Coming Up: Kidgits Club Carnival Event at Stoneridge

Coming Up, the Simon Kidgits Club Carnival event. There will be a balloon artist, magical bubble act, and a meet and greet with The Sheriff of Fun, plus carnival games and activities, contest and giveaways!

You have to be a Kidgits member (cost $5 for annual membership - register here or at Simon Guest Services).

When: Saturday, August 15th starting at 11
Where: Stoneridge Shopping Center starting at 11.
Cost: Free to Kidgits members

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Coming Up: Off Broadway Summer Pop Up Festival

Check out the free family festival coming up, the Off Broadway Summer Pop Up. It's to celebrate San Francisco’s Broadway District by featuring more than 100 artists, makers, designers, antique collectors, live music, food and more. It's curated by the folks who bring you Treasure Island Flea and Jack of All Trades Market.

They'll have DIY activities, art stations for kids, community games like corn hole and giant Jenga.

When: August 15, noon to 6
Where: Kearny Street and Pacific Avenue, San Francisco
Cost: Free

Monday, August 10, 2015

Coming Up: California Symphony Presents The Wizard of Oz

I have many happy memories of watching the Wizard of Oz on television with my sister. How fun would it be to see it outdoors, with live music? So fun!

The California Symphony is accompanying the 1939 movie with a live concert, as it's shown on a large screen. You'll still be able to hear the singing, with original vocal performances preserved and enhanced.

When: Friday, August 21 at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Concord Pavilion
Tickets: $25 to $75 for adults, $10 for students 18 years old and younger. Buy them at California Symphony.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Coming Up: Jack of All Trades Market

This weekend, head to Jack London Square for their Jack of All Trades Market. The fun includes about 100 vendors, food trucks, live music, DIY workshops and kids' activities. The kids' activities are run by Planet Xone and are free before noon. Look for giant sumo wrestling and Nerf gun tag.

Where: Jack London Square, Oakland
When: Saturday, August 8 from 11-5
Cost: free

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Coming Up: Ultimate Frisbee Championship Weekend

This weekend is the Championship Weekend for Ultimate Frisbee. If you want to show your child what Ultimate Frisbee is, this is a great opportunity. More than 5 million people played ultimate in 2013, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. The biggest increase has been those starting to play in middle school and high school. It's a great non-contact alternative to other sports.

What will happen this weekend? The Bay Area Disc Association is hosting a youth clinic that will teach basic throwing and catching skills, and run through two short drills and hold a contest for prizes. And then there are the championship games, of course.

Where: Avaya Stadium, 1123 Coleman Ave., San Jose
When: August 8-9
The youth clinic is from 3-350 on August 8
Semifinal championship games will be played August 8 at 4 and 7 p.m. The final game will be played August 9 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: Range from $18 to $45, and a 16-and-under day pass is $12, available through Ticketmaster.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Coming Up: Chronicle Books Warehouse Sale

Chronicle Books is having a warehouse sale, where everything in the store will be 65% off. This is a great time to start shopping for the holidays. They'll have cookbooks, kids' books, lifestyle and home, art/craft/design, photography, travel, pop culture and music titles. And journals and stationery. 

Where: Chronicle Books Corporate Headquarters - 680 Second Street, San Francisco
When: August 5-7, from 9-7

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wednesday Summer Fun Days at Lawrence Hall of Science

There are still a few Wednesday Summer Fun Days left at Lawrence Hall of Science this summer. These add-on science fun projects are free with admission. Here's what's coming up this month:

August 5 - Space, the Final Frontier

Is there life on other planets? Are there more Earths in our universe? Get up close and personal with some of the most exciting space explorations, as you find answers to these and other questions. Interact with planets in Science On a Sphere® or take to the stars in their Kepler-inspired Planetarium shows.

August 12 - Real-life Robotics

Scientists are making robots more human every day. Catch a free screening of Robots 3D and learn how scientists are working to make complex and humanoid robots that can tackle human challenges. A robotic cast member from Robots 3D may show up! Free showings at noon, 1 and 2 p.m.

August 19 - Fizzy Foamy Science

Learn to make fizzy paint and create beautiful artworks on the hall plaza. Use vinegar, pigment, and baking soda to bring your art to life. Take the science with you and re-create this fun and nonpermanent painting activity at home.

All Summer Fun Day activities run from noon to 2, and they're included with admission price. The Lawrence Hall of Science is in Berkeley.

SCRAP giveaways - school supplies for teachers and students

If you or your kids like doing craft projects, you probably know about SCRAP. This nonprofit group collects all kinds of awesome new and reuseable things that might otherwise end up in the garbage. And they sell it for cheap or give it away.

They have an annual giant Teachers' Give Away for supplies, and it's coming up on Saturday, August 15th. All Bay Area teachers are welcome. Just bring your teacher ID and get supplies for your classes. What can you get? Paper, cloth, markers, pens, easels, pads, and all sorts of handy materials - and it's all free if you're a teacher. Come between 10-5 on August 15th.

And for those going back to school (non-teachers), there's a sale going on all of August. Bring a student ID or Teacher ID (if you can't make the teacher day) and get 25% off all items. The Back to School Sale runs now through August 31.

You can see some of the recent finds on their Instagram page, including colored tape, fancy wrapping paper, art supplies, yarn, glass vases and more.

What: SCRAP (Scroungers' Center for Reusable Art Parts)
Where: 801 Toland Street (Entrance on Newcomb), San Francisco