The 1982 animated film The Snowman is one of our favorite holiday classics, and it's even more magical when accompanied by a live orchestra and choir. It's a great way to introduce kids to the symphony, too. We're giving away four tickets to the San Francisco Symphony's performance of The Snowman this Saturday, December 22! This special performance also includes holiday favorites and sing-alongs that the whole family will love.
The Snowman is a 26-minute animated film that tells the tale of a young boy's magical friendship with a snowman who comes to life on Christmas Eve. For this performance, the film will be accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by Donata Cabrera, and Pacific Boychoir.
To enter to win, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "SNOWMAN" in the subject line by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. We'll choose a random winner on Wednesday. Read our complete contest and giveaway rules here.
This 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.
Introduce 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 arerecommended 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.
It'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.
We 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.
This 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).
Who 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.
Just across its namesake bridge from Marin County lies a perfect day-trip destination for familes: San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. This urban oasis boasts over 1,000 acres of forests, meadows, lakes, gardens, museums, playgrounds, and other attractions. There's so much to do here that you'll probably want to visit several times to take it all in.
Established in the 1870s, Golden Gate Park stretches from Ocean Beach in the west to the city's Haight-Ashbury district in the east, and is bordered by the Sunset and Richmond districts on the south and north, respectively. Whether your family wants to play at an historic playground, visit the penguins at the Cal Academy, take in some art at a world-class museum, or have lunch with a view of the Pacific Ocean, there's something for you to do here.
Although my daughter is only six, she's dead set on being a fashion designer. She's serious about it, too—she constantly draws pictures of original clothing designs and even makes outfits for her dolls and stuffed animals. When she heard about the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, she decided we had to take her to see it.
I was a little hesitant at first, since the flamboyant Gaultier has the reputation for being edgy and often risqué, and the museum itself put out notices that the show contained "adult content," but I'd also heard great things about it. Rather than pass on what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we decided to go, with the idea that I'd help guide the children through the exhibition.
The show itself is fantastic. Even if you're not into fashion, or if you don't know anything about Jean Paul Gaultier, it's worth going for the spectacle and artistry of it. It's unlike any museum exhibition I've ever been too before, with a musical soundtrack, videos playing in monitors on the walls, and talking mannequins. Yes, that's right: many of the mannequins (including one that represents the designer himself) talk, as well as sing, smile, and even wink. In fact, my son was convinced one of the mannequins actually winked right at him! Even though this effect is accomplished through video projection, it really does seem like the mannequins are interacting with you. It's a little unusual, but it's also fun and mesmerizing and really contributes to the overall atmosphere of the show.