Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Did Somebody Say #Bacon Festival AND Fireworks?

Bacon Festival

What’s not to love about a bacon festival with fireworks too? July 4th and 5th is the second annual Movable Feast Bacon Festival on the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. They’ve expanded to two full days of food, entertainment, music and SJStreet Mart vendors with everything from henna tattoos and organic indigo to jewelry, clothing and more.

The food
Throughout the day there will be a load of food trucks including the famous Bacon Bacon and Baconbot trucks. Even if bacon isn’t your favorite thing there are plenty of other options from Grilled Cheese bandits, Madd Mex Cantina, Tastee Bytes, Chromatic Coffee, Treatbot and Fairycakes. Here’s the list of food vendors.

Entertainment
Kick up your heels to Yeshua and the Hi-Tones, Anya and the Getdown, The People and The Honey Wilders and watch the Pro Wrestling Revolution at several times both days. Silly Ricky the stilt juggler will be there as well as Brian the Bubble guy to entertain the kids. This is definitely a family friendly event.

Fireworks will start at 9:30 on July 4th courtesy of the San Jose Rotary Club

Here’s the full schedule and be sure to get tickets in advance at a discounted price. (Kids tickets are free online)

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Reading Adventures


Kristi Yamaguchi’s second annual Reading Adventures at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo on Saturday May 17, 2014.

Joining Ms. Yamaguchi to read their favorite childhood books are celebrity authors and athletes including Bob Barner and Dave Keane.

Check out the zoo’s animal education exhibits and take part in the many literacy-themed stations.

Schedule —
11:00      Kristi Yamaguchi welcome & reading (book signing to follow)
12:00      Dave Keane illustration & reading presentation (book signing to follow)
12:45      Conservation Ambassadors Animal Show
1:30        San Francisco 49er’s Will Tukuafu
2:00        Bob Barner – Music and drawing presentation (book signing to follow)
3:00        entertainment – Disney Jr.’s Choo Choo Soul

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
1300 Senter Road
San Jose 95112
(408) 794-6400

Saturday, May 17, 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

General Admission (ages 2 – 69) — $12.95
General Admission for 70 years+ — $9.95
General Admission (ages 0 – 1) — FREE

The Best Valentine of all time

So you’re looking for someone who will love you forever and ever, never withhold their affections, and ask for nothing in return?

Head over to the Humane Society Silicon Valley this weekend.  All bonded pairs are priced 2 for 1 through Sunday. 

Take Honey and Holly, above.  They love to play together and will occupy each other for hours, and they will love you forever if you can give them a good home.  But they aren’t the only pups looking for a forever Valentine!

Foster dog showcase tomorrow 12-2! Through February 16th all adoptions are 2-for-1 fee so you get twice the love!

Prefer online dates with purrr-fect profiles? Check out these available singles, ready to warm your lap immediately!

Humane Society Silicon Valley
901 Ames Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035
Phone:(408) 262-2133
Hours:  10:30 am – 8:00 pm

“Like” their Facebook page to get regular adoption updates and deals.

 

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Free admission to the Santa Cruz Museum on the the first Friday of every month!

Museum exhibits focus on the natural history of the Santa Cruz region and the Monterey Bay.

Wildlife & Habitats — On display… Owls, Hawks, a Golden Eagle, Reptiles, Amphibians, Foxes, Coyotes, Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Jack Rabbits, Brush Rabbits, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret,
California Quail, Hummingbirds Song Birds, Nests, Calls, Squirrels, Raccoons, Skunks
Monarchs and Banana Slugs

The Garden Learning Center provides examples of sustainable garden techniques and was designed to promote water and soil conservation, increase ecological diversity, and keep harmful chemicals out of our watershed. Interpretive panels throughout the garden illustrate concepts in sustainable gardening, and introduce visitors to common native plants suitable for planting in our region.

Geology of Santa Cruz — The Museum features fossilized bones of whales, dolphins and an entire sea cow skeleton – related to several species of manatee and dugong gliding through different waters today.

Learn about Monterey Bay Marine Life in the touch pool, featuring live local intertidal plants and animals. Adjacent to the touch pool you’ll find examples of shells found on regional beaches. Examples of typical marine and shore birds are also displayed.

Parking is available on Pilkington Avenue or in surrounding streets. From April-September you must get a free parking permit from inside the Museum to park on the museum-side of Pilkington Ave. Public transit, Santa Cruz Metro.

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
1305 East Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Friday, February 7, 2014
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Free admission also on:  03/07, 04/04, 05/02, 06/06

Evergreen Tree Tour

Our City Forest’s guides lead you on a free tour to discover fascinating evergreen trees at the San Jose State University main campus. From familiar Bay Area trees to the rarest oddities.

Tours are Saturdays January 25, February 1 and 8 at 2:00 PM.

Meet at 9th Street Plaza, near the Art Building. RSVP by emailing  treetours@ourcityforest.org or by calling 408-998-7337 x 108.

Dress appropriately for the weather, tours are rain or shine.
Limited free parking available on South 10th Street. VTA (bus routes 63, 64, 72, 73, and 81; light rail lines 901 and 902).

Our City Forest mission statement: The mission of Our City Forest is to cultivate a green and healthy San Jose metropolis by engaging community members in the appreciation, protection, growth and maintenance of our urban ecosystem, especially our urban forest.

Our City Forest is a 501(c)3 organization.

San Jose State University
January 25, 2014
February 1 and 8, 2014
2:00 PM
Admission: Free ($5.00 donations suggested)
Remember to RSVP 408-998-7337 x 108

Legendary Bounty Hunter Appears at the Tech

Boba Fett

Jabba the Hut sent his best to capture Han Solo, and we all knew that Boba Fett was a force to be reckoned with. Now joining the Tech for the final months of the exhibit, fans finally get to see Boba Fett up close and personal in the Star Wars®: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit through to March 23, 2014.

In case you haven’t been to the exhibit yet, it’s well worth the trip, even if you’re a Star Wars noob. There are hands-on labs where you can engineer  Droids™ and defy gravity. You can even drive an actual hovercraft!

Of course if you’re a hard-core fan there is plenty to see too, starting with a full size replica of the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,  costumes for Mace Windu, Princess Leia, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Stormtroopers, and Lightsabers belonging to Luke, Obi-Wan, Darth Maul and Count Dooku. Of course Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO make an appearance as well. This is a 10,000 Sq foot exhibit with over 80 authentic costumes, props and models from all 6 of the star Wars films. Plan to spend some quality time reliving your favorite scenes. Get your tix here.

Star Wars®: Where Science Meets Imagination, presented by Bose Corporation®, was developed by Boston’s Museum of Science in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd. and the exhibition makes use of an extensive archive collection on loan from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

 

 

Bay Area Pet Expo 2014

The Bay Area Pet Expo at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds is Saturday January 11, 2014. Admission is free (Parking $8.00) and pets are welcome — all pets must be on a fixed lead or in a carrier with proof of age-appropriate vaccinations.
The Expo features pet-friendly exhibitors and rescue groups, pet care tips, along with live demonstrations in agility, obedience training, and more.
Fun includes the pet fashion show, costume contest, and the pet/owner look-alike contest.
In addition, low-cost immunizations and pets will be available for adoption.
Free nail trims, discounted vaccinations, microchipping and heartworm & flea preventatives.

You will be required to sign a pet waiver at the entrance or you may fill your pet waiver form out in advance here.

The Expo is indoors.

Bay Area Pet Expo
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
44 Tully Road, San Jose 95111

Saturday January 11, 2014
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Admission: Free
Parking: $8.00

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II is an orchestra-and-film concert this weekend (December 28-29, 2013). Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Pepe Le Pew, Tweety, Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote, and Road Runner along with others are projected on the screen while their original scores are played live by Symphony Silicon Valley.

Symphony Silicon Valley
Center for the Performing Arts
255 S Almaden Blvd, San Jose, CA ‎

Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 at 2:30pm, 7:30pm
Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 at 2:30pm

Tickets here

Little Women brings Big Surprises and Holiday Joy

Little Women the musical, produced by TheatreWorks, is quite simply one of the best shows I’ve seen this year (and this year has been full of some fantastic shows).  One of the best (and rare) parts of reviewing theater is coming across an unexpected gem, and Saturday evening’s Opening Night was the Hope Diamond.

“Little Women”, by Louisa May Alcott, is the story of four sisters who vow to stick together forever when they are young in the 1860s.  Father is off in the war, and while the family is short on money, they have an abundance of love.  Jo March, the second sister, narrates the story and has ambitions of being a writer.  For many young girls who read the book, Jo is the favorite as she insists on living life according to her own terms and not 19th century society’s.

I loved the book when I was young, but even so I never imagined a Jo as charismatic and exuberant as the one Emily Koch brings to the stage.  Her joy in narrating her stories to the audience is palpable, and her physical acting makes it clear this character is made for pants, not long and stuffy skirts.  I cannot state enough how much every single actor in this show is perfection, and yet Ms. Koch raises it to a level even beyond that.  Jo is the girl we want to be, and later the woman we look up to as a role model.

I was not so sure how well it would work turning Little Women into a musical, but this show is so perfect, and the actors are such incredible singers, that it becomes one of those shows you don’t even realize is a musical.  The songs fit so well they are just part of the story and the experience.

And what a story for the young women of today, or any day.  This is not merely a story of a girl who refused to put aside her wants and needs in life so she could be someone’s wife, but neither is it a story against marriage.  It is a story of deciding what you want from life and accepting nothing else – and sometimes that means changing your mind.  Sometimes it means getting married.  The right choice is the choice that a woman makes for her own self.  And every character in this story does just that.

It’s a joyful story and a heartwarming one, but of course it also has a couple incredibly sad scenes that left everyone in my row wiping their eyes, and the theater was full of sniffling and shaking shoulders when Marmee sings “Days of Plenty”.

I had had a very long day holiday decorating with my family, and neither my daughter nor myself were keen on driving to Palo Alto to see a show, but never have we felt more grateful that we had done so.  We were enthralled from the first moment, mesmerized by the balletic beauty of Meg (Sharon Reitkerk), the sweetness of Beth (Julia Belanoff), the spoiled petulance of Amy (Arielle Fishman), and the utter joyfulness of Jo.  We never for a moment wanted to close our eyes or miss one moment.  This show is for everyone, including kids perhaps as young as ten (they should be old enough to deal with a very sad death), and it is a perfect show for the holidays and a cold winter night.  My highest praise, from one who sees a lot of shows:  I would see this show again. And again and again.

Little Women the Musical
TheatreWorks
Extended through January 4
Lucie Stern Theatre
1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
Holiday Tea Luncheon at the Garden Court Hotel
with matinee this Saturday, December 14

 

The Snow Queen warms winter hearts at The SJ Rep

 

When San Jose Rep artistic director Rick Lombardo and associate artistic director Kirsten Brandt were planning for this year’s winter show, they soon realized they had already produced most of the popular seasonal shows (some of them to death).  In order to bring something new to the stage, they went above and beyond: they created their own show, and a musical to boot.

The Snow Queen is a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen.  It follows the fateful travels of young Gerda (Eryn Murman) as she seeks the realm of the Snow Queen (Jane Pfitsch) to rescue her kidnapped friend Kai (Tim Homsley).  Along the way, Gerda comes across many different obstacles in her path, in the form of groups of criminals and magical creatures who want to keep her for themselves.  My daughter described it as having a Wizard of Oz feel.

After partnering with friend Haddon Kime, Lombardo and Brandt were able to turn this into an original pop rock musical, and set the scene in a steampunk world of interesting, quirky characters.  Everyone sings, and almost everyone plays an instrument. It’s a musical, magical show that is perfect for Winter.  With themes focusing on love, friendship and family, it is also a perfect holiday show.  When the show finished on Opening Night most of the audience gave a standing ovation, and everyone was excitedly talking about the show on their way out. It appeared to be loved and adored by all.

There were many stand outs in the show.  I would have loved to see Rhett George have a bigger part (or appear in future shows!) as his rich voice brings the troll to life and his narration sets the tone for the story to come.  Tim Homsley, who I thought was terribly miscast in last season’s The Minister’s Wife, brings his acting skills to play in this show. Starting out as a fun loving boy, he makes a startling transformation to the hypnotized mathematician under the spell of the Snow Queen.

Cindy Im makes the most charismatic rose you will ever see on stage, and her steampunk flower friends Janice Engelgau (Tiger Lily), and Summer C. Latimer (Hyacinth) were fun and sexy and great singers.  More special attention goes to Jason Hite (Daisy) who also plays Old Crow.

Costume designer Frances Nelson McSherry not only created some terrifically fun steampunk costumes for all, but she made the decision to leave bare the amazing upper arms of Jane Pfitsch’s Snow Queen.  Seriously, those arms were scene stealers. (more…)

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