San Francisco

Spring Fun at the San Francisco Zoo

March 20, 2013

Come celebrate spring at the San Francisco Zoo! The annual crowd pleaser Big Bunny’s Spring Fling takes place on Easter weekend, March 30 and 31, from 11 am to 3 pm. This fun event features a meet and greet with Quicky the Nestlé NESQUIK Bunny, puppet shows, crafts, play time with Princess Honey Bunny, an Alice in Wonderland-themed nature trail walk, a barnyard stampede, a chick hatchery tour, and a duck pond feeding. With the help of the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control, visitors can also have up-close encounters with live bunnies.

In April, the zoo holds an Earth Day celebration on Sunday, April 21, from 10 am–3 pm. The theme for this event is “Slow Down for the Planet." Families are encouraged to visit and “get back to basics.” Visit the Nature Exploration Zone and get your hands dirty creating art and building play structures and forts using natural items such as sticks and leaves, enjoy climate change “Power Down” keeper talks and activity stations, and meander through Greenie’s Conservation Garden.

Pay a Visit to the Girl with a Pearl Earring at the de Young Museum

January 26, 2013

Girl with a Pearl EarringYou've read the book and seen the movie, now go see the painting that inspired them! Johannes Vermeer's renowned, enigmatic, and alluring painting Girl with a Pearl Earring is now on view at San Francisco's de Young Museum, along with over 30 additional Dutch Golden Age paintings from the prestigious collections of the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague, in the exhibition Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis.

This special exhibition is a fantastic art experience for the whole family. Kids will love works ranging from Fabritius's tiny The Goldfinch to the large and raucous As the Old Sing, so Twitter the Young by Jan Steen. There's even an audio tour ($7/$6 museum members) designed especially for families.

The works on view represent some of the finest examples of 17th-century Dutch painting, but the focus is on the Girl, who gets a whole gallery to herself. Incidentally, the Girl with a Pearl Earring isn't a portrait per se, but a "tronie," an idealized depiction of a person probably intended to be a historical or biblical character.

Win Tickets to the December 30 Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover at the Cal Academy

December 17, 2012

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe had a blast at the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover when we attended last summer—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Sunday, December 30, 2012, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader! This special 'Tis the Season for Science sleepover will include live reindeer, snow flurries, winter-themed programming, and live music and games from Radio Disney!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at a planetarium show, and enjoy a special live animal presentation. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the aquarium's California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for a continental breakfast.

Holiday Fun at the San Francisco Zoo

November 28, 2012

San Francisco Zoo Reindeer Romp and Wild LightsThis holiday season, get up-close-and-personal with Santa's favorite reindeer friends Belle, Holly, Peppermint, and Velvet! These four reindeer will be on exhibit at the zoo through New Year's Day. Swing by the reindeer area near the Lion Fountain to visit and learn more about this unique animals. Reindeer Romp is free with Zoo admission.

Later on in December, the Zoo comes to life at night with Wild Lights. Take a nighttime stroll through the Zoo as it sparkles under magical holiday lights. Visit with the reindeer, get some hot apple cider or cocoa at the Zoo's Leaping Lemur Cafe, take your family's picture with the beautiful Princess Zoo-roar-a, and enjoy special holiday entertainment every evening at on the Main Stage at 6 pm. Wild Lights takes places December 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30 from 4:30 pm to 8 pm. Admission is $5 for adults and children over 3 years of age; free for Zoo members.

The San Francisco Zoo is located at Sloat Boulevard and the Great Highway in San Francisco. Regular hours are 10 am to 4 pm (last admission at 3:30 pm). Regular admission prices are $15 adults, $12 seniors 65+, and $9 children 4–14; children 3 and under are free.

Family-friendly Holiday Concerts from the San Francisco Symphony - Win Tickets!

November 23, 2012

San Francisco Symphony family friendly concertsIntroduce your children to classical music and the centruy-old tradition of the San Francisco Symphony with the Symphony's acclaimed Music for Families concerts, special holiday concerts, and other family-friendly events.

Ticket prices range from $7.50 to $70, depending on the program. Kids' concert tickets (for children under 17) are half price! Most concerts are recommended for children ages 7 and older.

This holiday season's family-friendly offerings from the San Francisco Symphony include:

Deck the Hall: Children's Holiday Concert and Party, Sunday, December 2, 11 am and 3 pm
Deck the Hall performances and lobby activities offer tons of fun for the entire family, but the really special thing about this event is that it raises money to present a Community Deck the Hall performance that hosts over 2,000 children from Bay Area schools and local charitable organizations who might otherwise not be able to attend a symphony event. All of the beautifully decorated trees in the lobbies of Davies Hall are sponsored by local organizations and decorated by community groups, and they remain up for the entirety of the holiday season.

Appel & Frank "Babes & Babies" Shopping Event Saturday, November 3

October 23, 2012

Babes & Babies shopping eventIt's that time again—the Appel & Frank Babes & Babies Shopping Event takes place at St. Mary's Cathedral Patron's Hall in San Francisco on Saturday, November 3, from 9:30 am–2 pm. New and expecting moms, you are invited for a fun day of shopping, education and information!

Shop from 65 local designers and companies offering baby and toddler clothing, accessories, gear, toys, resources, and much more, all at discounted prices, of course. There will be awesome gift bags for the first 200 families, play spaces and activities for the kids, and a raffle with great prizes including a Stokke highchair, Joovy stroller, and a Medela Pump in Style breastpump.

You'll also find informational seminars from on topics including sleep training, diapering, cord blood registry, and more.

Marin Mommies readers get discounted admission of $5 for two people with the code MARINMOMMIES when ordering in advance at www.appelandfrank.com. Regular admission is $5 each online or at the door.

Win Tickets to the October 12 Penguins+Pajamas at the California Academy of Sciences

September 23, 2012

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe a blast at the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover when we attended last summer—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Friday, October 12, 2012, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at a planetarium show, and enjoy a special live animal presentation. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the aquarium's California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for a continental breakfast.

Sink Your Teeth into Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park this Fall

September 19, 2012

Dino Discovery in Golden Gate ParkThis fall, families can sink their teeth into prehistoric fun in Golden Gate Park, where dinosaurs and ancient plants spring to life at three unique destinations: the California Academy of Sciences, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. As part of “Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park," each attraction will offer a variety of dinosaur-themed programs and events, all of which are within easy walking distance of one another.

At the California Academy of Sciences, visitors can travel through time and learn about the fascinating animals that once roamed the earth during a series of Jurassic in the Park programs from through November 15, 2012. This new series of events focuses on the evolution of dinosaurs, sharks, birds, and living fossils that still call this planet home and features the 3D show, Dinosaurs Alive! All programs are free with Academy admission (unless otherwise noted).

Off to See the Wizard with the San Francisco Symphony!

July 14, 2012

Wizard of Oz SF SymphonyWho doesn't love the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz? With its beloved characters and songs, it's a classic we've all watched since we were kids and maybe even introduced to our own children. Now see it on the big screen at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall accompanied by the renowned San Francisco Symphony! If your kids haven't seen it, it's a fantastic introduction, and if they have, it's a whole new amazing experience.

Conductor Michael Francis leads the symphony in not only performing the movie's score, but, through the use of some technological magic, accompanying Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Burt Lahr, and the rest of the cast in their songs, too. It sounds like a fun event for the whole family. Come in costume and you can enter a raffle to win great prizes.

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