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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Focus Group: Social Media - $150 or $200

Probe Market Research is conducting an opinion study on April 24 in San Francisco, on social media. If you qualify and are chosen, it pays $150 for one hour, or $200 for 2.5 hours. You can take the preliminary survey at

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Coming Up: Earth Week at the Presidio

The Presidio has some fun events coming up for Earth Week

Back into the Earth Day
Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 9-12
Where: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco
Phone: 415-561-4323
Price: Free, but registration is required.
Spring is here, and that means the archaeological field season is just beginning. Join the team as they get “back into the earth” and kick off the Presidio Archaeology program’s 2018 excavation season! As one of the only volunteer opportunities with the Presidio Archaeology team, this is your chance to get dirty with the archaeologists by removing that sand that covers last year’s discoveries on El Presidio de San Francisco, the Spanish-colonial archaeological site buried just below the ground in front of the Presidio Officers' Club. Don’t worry, we’ll provide the shovels!

Creative Family Fun: Back into the Earth Day
Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 11-3
Place: Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco
Phone: 415-561-4323
Price: Free
Drop in on Saturdays between 11-3 for fun activities, crafts, and learning based on the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage—featuring a different theme every week. This week the archaeologists at the Presidio open their site for the season. Visit their site and learn about archaeology with hands-on experiments!

Volunteer at Presidio Earth Day
Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 9-2
Place: Fort Scott Field
Phone: 415-561-4323
Price: Free, but registration is required.
The Presidio's annual volunteer event devoted to celebrating Earth Day, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Earth Week celebration. As a part of this event, Presidio volunteers are invited to bring friends and family for a morning of stewardship projects (9-12) with a BBQ potluck and lawn games to follow (12-2) at the Fort Scott field. All ages welcome, and there will be a volunteer project activity geared towards families with children 9 years-old and younger. Registration is required for this Earth Day event!

Presidio Nature Challenge 2018
Date: Saturday, April 28
Time: 9- pm
Place: Begin at the Presidio Officer’s Club, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco
Phone: 415-561-4323
Price: Free
The Presidio Nature Challenge is a chance to discover and record the many wild plants and animals that thrive in the Presidio in what is called a “bioblitz”— pairing volunteers with professional naturalists on a scientific adventure. Just bring your smartphone with the iNaturalist app, your curiosity, and your powers of observation to help catalog the natural wonders of our parks and open spaces. All of the observations recorded during the day will help San Francisco win the 2018 City Nature Challenge - a competition between more than 60 cities worldwide to see who can find the most species, and engage the most people. Help them celebrate and record the rich biodiversity of the Presidio.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Coming Up: CuriOdyssey - Bots and Bugs

Interact with robotic creations built by kids and professionals, make and wear technology-inspired art, meet living insects and learn how bugs influence imagination and innovation. Meet the Beetlelady, Dr. Stephanie Dole, and her insects. Meet the students involved with FIRST and take their robots for a drive. See Starship’s delivery robot rove around the zoo. Create a TechInsect from computer parts with the Museum of Craft and Design. Try on Giant Cardboard Robot arms. Learn about a bug you draw from a Customer X robot, or about augmented reality and 3D bugs. Be enchanted by Paul-Lous Agenau’s delightful, dancing teapot robot. Experience CuriOdyssey’s exciting combination of science and wildlife that is unique in the Bay Area.

What: Amazing “Bots and Bugs event
Where: CuriOdyssey
When: April 7-8, 10-3; opening night April 6, 5-8pm

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Easter Events in the San Francisco Bay Area 2018

If you're looking for some fun things to do to celebrate Easter with the family in the San Francisco Bay Area, here's the place to start.

Please add your favorites in the comments section!

What: Spring Eggstravaganza (egg hunt, inflatables, carnival rides, entertainment, carnival rides, food for sale, rib cook-off)
Where: Sharon Meadow at Golden Gate Park
When: Saturday, March 31, 2018 from 11-3 Cost: $10/person (free 2 and under). Get them in advance by calling 415-831-6800 or at the Maclaren Lodge Annex

What: Union Street Easter Parade (and festival with face painting, climbing wall, activities, characters)
Where: Union Street in Cow Hollow, San Francisco
When: April 11, 2018 from 10-5, parade at 2
Cost: Free

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Coming Up: Beautiful Oops! Opening in San Francisco

This Friday, Beautiful Oops!, a musical for families opens. It's inspired by the book of the same name by author-Illustrator Barney Saltzberg.
Andrew Mondello as Pig. Photo credit: Joshua Posamentier

Where: the Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco
When: Friday through March 31. Fridays at 6:30 pm., weekends at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
Ages: recommended for 3+
Tickets: $15-27 online or by phone 510- 296-4433

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Coming Up: Sunday Streets

This Sunday is the season's first Sunday Streets. Valencia Street becomes car-free. There are two activity hubs at 24th and 16th Streets. Pick up an Activity Guide at their info booths or at the new Intersection Jamborees. Bring bikes or blades - or just walk.

When: March 11 from 11-4
Where: Duboce Ave to 26th Street

Monday, February 12, 2018

Coming Up: Lunar New Year at the Asian Art Museum

Welcome the Year of the Dog with acrobatics, art, drumming and stories! The Asian Art Museum has a big celebration planned:

--Red Panda Acrobats for an afternoon of circus arts and tumbling
--End the day with Lion Dance Drumming, believed to scare away evil spirits and ensure a bright beginning to the year.
--Storytelling with author Oliver Chin, reading his story about Chinese zodiac animals’ characteristics
--Have your name written in Chinese calligraphy
--Make art projects to bring you prosperity in the Year of the Dog.

Where: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin, SF
When: Sunday, February 18 from 10:30-4
Cost: Free with admission. Always free for kids 12 and under

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Get 'Yer Tickets: Junot Diaz at Kepler's

Junot Diaz, the New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winning writer of  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This Is How You Lose Her, is introducing his new picture book, Islandborn at Kepler's in March. The book is about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination. The book poses questions about identity and belonging, in the story of a young girl's imaginary journey back to her birthplace.

"Every kid in Lola's school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places."

When Lola's teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can't remember The Island--she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories - joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening - Lola's imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. Through their anecdotes she creates her drawing and comes to understand the truth of her abuela's words: "Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you."

When: March 21 at 6 pm
Where: Kepler's Books - 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Tickets: $5 (entrance only) or $25 (entrance plus book) - plus fees

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Aero Design Challenge at Hiller - Free Program

There are a few spots left for the final public session of the Aero Design Challenge. This is an annual event providing middle school students with opportunities to experience the engineering process with hands-on. They'll be challenged to design, build, test and improve a catapult-launched glider in an attempt to set a new distance record.

The challenges starts with a series of experiences on the theme of gliding flight, including wind tunnel tests, observations of real gliders and sailplanes, and flight simulation. Participants then work in small teams to construct and test a glider before competing their design against other teams. Aero Design Challenge is available at no charge to participants, thanks to sponsors Peaxy and SAP.

It's a 3-hour program open to grades 5-12. Engineers Week is a 1.5-hour experience for Grades 4-8. During each program, students will explore various stations throughout the Hiller Aviation Museum with their teachers, parents or chaperones while completing a design challenge. A parent, teacher or adult chaperone must accompany participants at all times while visiting the museum.

Registration is required.  Individuals or small groups can register through this link. If you have a group of 12 or more, reaching out to Hiller directly.

Hiller Aviation Museum is in San Carlos.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Free Zoo Entrance Through January 31

Okay, so it's really just free kids' admission to the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens, but that is something! They're letting in all kids ages 14 and younger in at no cost through January 31, 2018, as part of the zoo's “Happy Zoo Year” promotion.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Opinion study: Social Media - $125 or $150 in Menlo Park

Probe Research is doing an opinion study on January 30th and January 31st. The incentive is $125/$150 the time commitment is 30/130 minutes. The study takes place in Menlo Park and the topic is social media.

If interested, fill out their pre-survey at: and they'll contact you if you qualify or they want more information.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Coming Up: Mochi Pounding at the Asian Art Museum

Funny that this came across my desk, as I just saw videos of another travel writer pounding mochi in Japan. Well, now we can all try. The Asian Art Museum is hosting its mochi pounding Japanese new year tradition ceremony and you can get in on the action. This sweet rice doughy treat will be pounded (with lots of entertaining ceremony involved) from noon to 1 on January 20.

Please note that this is on the same day as Women’s March at Civic Center (rally at noon, march at 2 pm), so some streets will be closed. The museum emphasizes that their mochi celebration is about community and building intercultural communication through the arts, which connects to the values of the Women’s March: diversity, communication, and a safe space for all cultures. They encourage those attending the march to come, even if you just want to entertain the kids before the walk begins.

When: Saturday, January 20 from noon to 1 - capacity is limited.
11-2 - paper crane folding
Where: Asian Art Museum - 200 Larkin
Cost: free with entrance - kids 12 and under always free

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson - with Kids

We visit Tucson almost every year, and the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures has been on my list to see for the last few. I finally made it a priority, and am glad I did.

This historic dollhouse opens its front automatically to reveal the rooms and dolls inside at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The fun start when you walk in. There's a miniature door on the side, a regular size door within the large door (and a massive handle too). We got a kick out of that. The museum hosts 400 miniature houses and room boxes, with permanent and temporary exhibits. They have three main areas: the Enchanted Realm, History Gallery and Exploring the World.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Review: Tipsy Tea Party in Phoenix

When in Phoenix visiting family, the ladies sometimes go for tea (while the guys find a craft brew pub). With the  2017 opening of the Tipsy Tea at the Camby, we had to go there.

The tea is in the Bees Knees, a dark paneled classic bar with mirrored walls and banquettes. Casablanca was silently playing on the wall above the fireplace. 

Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan