This weekend is your last chance to take in the holiday cheer and meet some real live reindeer at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Since its re-opening in an environmentally friendly new building in 2008, the Academy has served both as a prestigious center for science and nature and a popular destination for families from all over Northern California. Through this Sunday, January 2, you can take in not only classic Academy sights like the giant T-Rex skeleton, aquarium, planetarium, rain forest, and African hall, but special winter- and arctic-themed programming and attractions as well as part of its "'Tis the Season for Science" lineup.
The Fall 2010 San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair is coming to Fort Mason Center's Herbst Pavilion this Sunday, November 21, from 10 am to 5 pm. Event highlights include gift bags, door prizes, rejuvenating spa areas, refreshments, local resources for moms and moms-to-be, shopping, free workshops, demonstrations and more.
Tickets are $8 each or two for $12; children 18 and under are free. The first 150 families to enter will receive a gift bag with discounts and products from many of the fair exhibitors and sponsors. Free and discounted passes are available from event sponsors. Check their website at www.birthandbabyfaircom to see who's handing them out and to get all the details about this event. Fort Mason Center is located in San Francisco at 99 Marina Boulevard, at the intersection of Buchanan Street.
Generations of children and their parents love the classic Curious George books authored by the husband-and-wife team of Margret and H. A. Rey. This fall, San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum (the CJM) presents the fascinating exhibition Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey, which opens on Sunday, November 14, 2010 and runs through March 13, 2011.
The story of the Reys is an adventure in itself. H. A. Rey (born Hans Augusto Reyersbach, 1898–1977) and Margret Rey (née Margarete Waldstein, 1906–1996) were both born in Hamburg, Germany, to Jewish families. They lived together in Paris in the late 1930s, and fled Europe after the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, eventually settling in New York City by way of Brazil. They went on to publish over 30 books, including their iconic series about the little monkey with insatiable curiosity (and his friend the Man with the Yellow Hat, of course).
Discover some of the finest Italian children's literature available at the third annual Festa del Libro, a children’s Italian book fair extravaganza that takes place Saturday and Sunday, August 29 and 30 at Book Passage in Corte Madera, and September 5 and 6 at Book Passage's second location in San Francisco's Ferry Building. Both events run from 10 am to 6 pm. Festa del Libro is also taking place this year in San Jose, during the Italian American Festa at Little Italy Kids School, noon to 6 pm, August 28 and 29. Story time, in Italian, takes place at the Corte Madera location at 11 am and 4 pm on both August 28 and 29.
Over 400 illustrated children’s books from distinguished publishers will be on hand direct from Italy. With vivid illustrations and trademark Italian creativity. the selection on hand is ideal for children 0–10 and beginning Italian language students of all ages. If your child or anyone else in your family is learning Italian or is interested in Italian culture this is an event not to be missed! This year's event features additional multimedia materials, as well as works from smaller specialty publishers that are difficult to find even in Italy.
Looking for something fun to do during these last few weeks of summer vacation? Why not visit the San Francisco Zoo, especially since all children ages4–14 are admitted free during the month of August?
This offer is good from August 1–31, 2010, all children must be accompanied by a paying adult, and each paying adult can bring up to four children into the zoo for free (so you can take a whole carload of kids if you want).
This weekend, Target (you know, that place where you buy diapers and bathroom cleaner and toys and the occasional dress or shirt) presents Arts & Wonder, a free family event with free general admission to six of San Francisco's leading museums and free art activities and performances.
This weekend-long marathon of free family fun kicks off Friday, July 16, 2010 from 5–8:45 pm at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, where you can turn Target's canine mascot Bullseye into a work of Andy Warhol-inspired "Pup" art and watch a ballet performance celebrating the work of Impressionist painter Edgar Degas. General admission and activities and performances are free, but if you want to see the Birth of Impressionism exhibition (highly recommended!) you'll have to get a special timed ticket—$15 for adults, $10 for children 6–17, and free for kids 5 and under.
If you're looking for a fun and unique overnight experience for the family, why not consider sleeping over at a museum? Local institutions including the California Academy of Sciences, the Aquarium of the Bay, and the USS Hornet Museum all offer exciting programs where families, youth groups, and classes can spend the night. It'll kind of be like the movie Night at the Museum, except that the dinosaurs and dioramas won't come alive after hours (we hope)!
The California Academy of Sciences launched its new Penguins and Pajamas program this summer. Kids 6 and over and their adult chaperones can camp out overnight at the museum on June 18, July 16, and August 13, 2010. Starting at 6:30 pm, overnight guests can explore the Academy after hours, attend a special penguin talk, and take in a planetarium show. Settle in for storytime before bed with cookies, milk, and Pierre the Penguin, the Academy's new children's book about its famous wetsuit-wearing penguin. Breakfast is in the Academy Café, and the whole experience ends at 8:30 am.
King Tut is in the news again this week. While it seems he had some pretty miserable health problems, he also had a lot of really beautiful and amazing stuff, much of which is on view through March 28, 2010 at San Francisco's de Young Museum. If you haven't seen the show yet, this weekend may be the time to do so, because it's free! That's right, this Saturday and Sunday, February 20 and 21, admission to Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs will be absolutely free, courtesy of the generous folks at Target
The only catch is that the free tickets to see Tut are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, and a limited number of people can go through the exhibition each day. Expect the free tickets to be gone early in the day. There's a limit of four tickets per adult, and tickets will be timed and dated. The museum box office will open at 8:30 am on Saturday and Sunday; the first exhibition entry is at 9 am.
Fort Point's 2011 Civil War Living History Day takes place Saturday, January 29. More details here.
Directly underneath the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge sits one of the Bay Area's most evocative and exciting attractions: Fort Point. Fort Point was constructed on the northern tip of San Francisco in the 1850s to guard the entrance to the Golden Gate. It's the only 19th-century masonry fort located east of the Mississippi, and it's been run by the National Park Service as a National Monument since 1970. It's always well worth an outing, especially if a special event such as this weekend's Civil War Living History Days happens to be taking place.
Familar to fans of the movie Vertigo (it's shown in the scene where Jimmy Stewart fishes Kim Novak out of the Bay), Fort Point is sits right underneath the southern end of the bridge and commands a superlative view of the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay. Despite the traffic whizzing by overhead, it's not hard to imagine what this place would have been like a century and half ago when it was an active military intallation, and of course this stretch of the imagination is made easier by the living historians on hand at the fort this weekend.