San Francisco

The Ultimate Summer KidsBash at Ghirardelli Square

June 11, 2013

Kidsbash at Ghirardelli SquareThis summer San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square transforms itself into the Bay Area's largest playground for kids and families for its fourth annual KidsBash, taking place on Saturday, June 15 from 11 am to 3 pm. Hosted by Ghirardelli Square and presented by Plum Organics, KidsBash will present activities for all ages, with events expanding onto Beach Street adjacent to the Square and Aquatic Park, guaranteeing even more fun by the Bay!

KidsBash proceeds supports Plum Organics' social impact program The Full Effect, which donates organic baby food meals to children in need across the US, so you and your family can have a blast and know you're making a difference, too.

At this street festival for kids, families are invited to explore historic Ghirardelli Square, discover unique boutiques and restaurants, and enjoy family-friendly activities that are sure to bring out the kid in everyone. KidsBash attractions and activities include a pirate ship ride, a climbing wall, face painting, bounce house, games with prizes, a Flax art booth, science experiments, temporary and henna tattoos, a special visit from the San Francisco Fire Department and much more, including a few new surprises for 2013. KidsBash is geared for children 10 years old and younger.

Win Tickets to the June 15 Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover at the Cal Academy

June 7, 2013

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe can't think of a better way to spend Father's Day weekend than at the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, 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, enjoy a special live animal presentation, explore the fastest fish and swiftest sailboats in the Academy's Built for Speed special exhibit, and dance and sing along to your favorite tunes from the Radio Disney AM 1310 Road Crew. 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.

Butterflies and Blooms Abound at San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers

May 26, 2013

Butterflies and Blooms at the Conservatory of FlowersOne of our favorite destinations in San Francisco is the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, especially when they're presenting a special exhibit. This spring and summer, visitors to the Conservatory can get eye to eye with a butterfly in Butterflies & Blooms, in the special exhibits gallery through October 20, 2013.

Butterflies & Blooms transforms the Conservatory's special exhibits gallery into an intimate cottage garden that plays host to hundreds of butterflies! You'll see over 20 species of North American butterflies, including monarchs, western swallowtails, red admirals, and more, as well as several giant moths like the colorful cecropia moth.

We paid a visit to Butterflies & Blooms last week. When you first walk into the room, you realize you're walking into the butterflies' habitat. The gallery is draped in a giant white net that contains the fluttering inhabitants. The hundreds of butterflies are free to fly around the room and land on the butterfly-friendly plants and flowers like daisies, sunflowers, and zinnias, and the effect is magical. Some will even land on you—we were told it's good luck!

Hullabuzoo at the SF Zoo This Memorial Day Weekend!

May 24, 2013

HullabuzooCome to the San Francisco Zoo this Memorial Day Weekend, May 25–27, to see the animals (including the Zoo's adorable baby Sumatran tiger who now has a name—Jillian). Then make sure you stick around for a Hullabuzoo!

What's a Hullabuzoo? It's what you get when you bring a performing circus group, an inflatable obstacle course, and a climbing wall challenge to the zoo! Bring the kids to the zoo's Pachyderm Building to blow off a little steam in the free inflatable playhouse, where they can climb, play, and shoot baskets. Then relax and re-energize with a picnic on the Patas Lawn as you watch a circus group perform.

Kids can also test their skills on the climbing wall ($3). Every time someone rings the bell at the top of the wall, the zoo will donate $1 to animal conservation programs!

Win Tickets to the May 10 Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover at the Cal Academy

May 1, 2013

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe had a blast when we attended the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2013, 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.

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.

Syndicate content