Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

LEGO Extravaganza

legoThe Annual Holiday LEGO Extravaganza at The Museum of American Heritage has been underway since early December 2016. The last day is upcoming Sunday, January 15, 2017.

LEGO creations include train layouts, Bay Area landmarks, castles, miniature cities, sculptures, portraits, and more.

The exhibit is weekends (11:00 am to 3:45 pm, Friday, Saturday, Sunday).

Admission is $3.00; The Museum of American Heritage members and the Bay Area LEGO User Group members, admission free.

There is street parking, or take Caltrain.

Museum of American Heritage
351 Homer Ave
Palo Alto, 94301

Noon Year’s Eve Family Celebration

childrens-discovery-museum
Saturday December 31, 2016 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm is the Noon Year’s Eve Family Celebration at the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Celebrate the arrival of 2017 with “countdown to noon across time zones” and the Museum’s version of the famous Ball Drop in Times Square.
Purchase your tickets in advance and get a free Celebration Fun Pack while supplies last, including a hat, noisemaker, and other items to help you ring in the New Year.  Adult & kids: $13; Senior: $12

Children’s Discovery Museum
180 Woz Way
San Jose, 95110

Saturday December 31, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. — Museum closes at 4:00 p.m. on December 31
Admission: $13; Seniors: $12

Public parking info.

Public Transit (VTA) :

Light Rail: Take the Alum Rock-Santa Teresa line to the Discovery Museum station.
Bus: Take County transit bus lines to stops on Almaden Boulevard.

Doggie Sale! $20 at San Jose Animal Shelter

Through May 31

Through May 31

There is a major sale for lovable dogs needing forever homes at the San Jose Animal Care Center throughout May.  Until May 31 all full grown dogs (not puppies) are only $20! Even better, any dog who has been at the shelter for more than two weeks is ABSOLUTELY FREE.

I adopted a dog at the shelter last December, and Simon is now a wonderful addition to our family. I can’t recommend the shelter enough. Dogs are spayed/neutered, have their shots, and are microchipped, all for the one very low price. You also get a certificate for a free first vet appointment. My dog Simon is wonderful with children and came home already housetrained and knowing all his commands. Shelter dogs are wonderful dogs and will love you forever.

The San Jose Animal Care Center is a full-service animal shelter serving the cities of San Jose, Milpitas, Cupertino, Los Gatos and Saratoga, located at 2750 Monterey Highway, San Jose.

There are currently four pages of dogs up on their website. Here are just a few who need homes today – for only $20!! Dogs are first come, first serve, so get down to the shelter today!

MEISHA $20 ID#A987556

MEISHA $20 ID#A987556

BONNIE - FREE ID#A988272

BONNIE – FREE ID#A988272

JACK $20 ID#A992511

JACK $20 ID#A992511

 

Wings of History Air Museum Free Open House

Wings History Museum
Wings of History Air Museum free open house to the museum and displays Saturday May 14, 2016 from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Airplanes of all kinds, including antique, modern and Warbirds will be on display, along with antique farm equipment and steam engines.

Take a free ride on a tethered balloon between 7:00 am to 9:00 am, weather permitting, wind calm.

Kids get a free airplane ride for those 8 years to 17 years old —  limited space, pre-register.

There will be kids’ activities including model-making and a maze.

Breakfast (from 8am) and lunch (11:00am to 2:00pm) will be available for purchase.

Wings of History Museum
12777 Murphy Avenue, San Martin, 95046
(408) 683-2290

LEGO Fun for Kids

legoKids supply the creativity. Library supplies the LEGO of all sizes, this Monday (2/22/2016) from 4:00 pm at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 1st floor Children’s Room.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, 95112

408-808-2000

A Magical Evening at Opera San Jose

Well, I was at the afternoon matinee, but still. It was one of the best times I’ve had at the opera, and I’m so happy that there is still time for you to see it. The Magic Flute is a show for adults and children, oldies and newbies, opera and theatre lovers. And it includes a majestic dragon!!

The dragon attacks Tamino in The Magic Flute. Photo credit Pat Kirk

The dragon attacks Tamino in The Magic Flute. Photo credit Pat Kirk

This may not be the best show I’ve ever seen at Opera San Jose, but I still enjoyed it so much and it is a great show for other Opera Novices and Newbies.  As always, the performances were incredible, the story was great, the music was beautiful, the costumes were gorgeous, …but there are some stand-outs that make this a show you should not miss.

1.  This is a great opera for Newbies and families with children.  The Magic Flute is sung in German but has spoken words in English. It always throws me off when an opera is not entirely sung, which is probably the only issue I had with this show, but for newbies and children this is a great plus and makes for an easy introduction to opera.  As always, the lyrics (and spoken lines) are projected in super titles above the stage so you can follow along.  The show has children involved, though they are not the stars, and there were many children in the audience. Although I wasn’t sure they would be able to follow the story entirely, there was not a peep from any of them during the entire three hours.

2. Chris Salinas, Daniel Ostrom and Winter Felton-Priestner are three very young men who can now add “Soprano, Opera San Jose” to their resumes and I don’t think they’ve even hit middle school yet. This certainly trumps my own resume and I might be a tiny bit jealous.

3. There are a couple scenes with children silently wearing beautifully painted animal masks, and the animal-like choreography was riveting. Kudos to both the choreographer and the kids for nailing each of their parts and creating a magical tableau whenever they were on stage.

4. The show is often very funny, usually thanks to Matthew Hanscom as hapless Papageno.  Papageno just wants a wife to love him, but how will he find a woman who wants to marry a poor bird trainer?

5. Isabella Ivy (soprano) is breathtaking as the Queen of the Night.  Two of the songs she sang were so intricate and complicated that any Newbie could see these must be some of the most difficult pieces in opera.  Even more amazing, she sang one of these very complicated pieces in the upper ranges of the scale, while kneeling down, and as she stood her foot got tangled in her skirts. She not only calmly untangled herself, but she never missed a beat or a note in one of the most amazing sections of music I have ever heard. Every jaw in the theater was hanging open. She was incredible.

6. THE DRAGON.  The dragon was simply the most beautiful prop I have ever seen. It was huge and graceful and gorgeous and majestic.  Its wings moved, it spouted smoke from its mouth (the kids in the audience LOVED this), and for me it was the star of the show.  During intermission I voiced my hopes that the dragon would make another appearance, and it did when everyone came out for a bow. That dragon earned its ovation, and so have the operators, the designers and creaters of that piece.  More dragons like that need to be in opera!!

When the entire thing was over I realized that I had had a really fun time. I haven’t always enjoyed every opera I’ve attended, and it has taken me a while to appreciate some parts of opera. But ever since Madama Butterfly, Opera SJ has been drawing me in. I may still be the Opera Novice in most aspects, but I am also quite certainly becoming an Opera Lover.

Recently I have noticed the shows have not had two casts, and are instead having one cast do a shorter run of each show. I don’t know if this is a financial decision (or just a coincidence), but I can say that the performers have upped their game, and the performances are tighter than I’ve ever seen. Try if you can to make one of the last performances (I have heard they are close to selling out all shows) but if you don’t make this one, mark your calendars quickly to get seats for next season. It starts with Puccini’s Tosca, and after that come The Marriage of Figaro (YAY!), Carmen (YAY!), and then A Streetcar Named Desire. That is going to be one amazing season and this Opera Novice is looking forward to it more than ever.

The Magic Flute
Opera San Jose
Thru May 3

Tinkerers and Crafters-Get to Maker Faire Sunday!

Maker Faire is back at the San Mateo Event Center May 17, 18 and well worth taking some time away from watching the grass grow in the back yard!

What is Maker Faire you ask? It’s actually hard to fully describe it. Sure, there are tons of do-it-yourself robot competitions, workshops and kits and 3-d printers galore, but this isn’t strictly a faire for geeks and techies. Basically it’s a place for all ages, kids and adults to go and learn about everything from crafting and up-cycling, creating art from recycled materials and a lot of ingenuity and electronics of all kinds. Where else can you learn to make a tub of grass play music?

I spent the better part of the day there on Saturday and I saw:

  • A dramatic dragon sculpture you can ride
  • A fire breathing Pegasus on wheels
  • A race of up-cycled kids toy cars
  • Crafting from making tie-dyed t-shirts to jewelry, scrapbooking,  knitting and tapigami.
  • Robot wars
  • A number of flying drones, one even had a facial recognition scanner (scary!)
  • Do it yourself kits to build computers, robots and 3-d printers
  • Kids creating their own rockets, computers and making music
  • Kids and adults alike playing like kids in a candy store.

There is so much to do here plan to spend some time. Many of the exhibits are hands on. You can really play with the toys and learn.

Getting there
I highly recommend taking Caltrain to the Hillsdale station. From there it’s a short walk to Maker Faire. If you absolutely must drive I saw lots of parking at the Caltrain lot, but anywhere else within a mile of the event is nearly impossible and the traffic was quite heavy coming in.

Tickets
Ticket prices vary, check Eventbrite for buying online. I also recommend getting your tickets in advance. You can then easily scan your phone at the entrance and skip the lines.

 

When and where?
Maker Faire is at the San Mateo Event Center Saturday May 17 10AM-8 PM and Sunday 10AM-6PM.

Maker Faire is brought to you by Maker Media.  Maker Media publishes MAKE magazine, produces Maker Faire, and offers DIY electronics, tools, kits, and books through its online and pop-up Maker Shed stores.

 

Holiday Train 2013


This weekend (December 7 & 8) the Caltrain Holiday Train, a special non-passenger train decorated with more than 60,000 lights, will be making stops at nine different Peninsula Caltrain stations; four on Saturday four other stations on Sunday, and begins at the San Francisco station on both days.

This free, family event gives you a chance to sing along with live holiday music (various chorus and bands) and the kids get a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus along with other holiday favorites; they will get off the train to greet children. Performances at each station begin about 30 minutes before the train’s arrival.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a new toy or book to drop into toy barrels at the stations for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program and the Salvation Army’s holiday toy drive.

Visitors are invited to visit the stations and view the Holiday Train show but are not permitted to board or ride on the train.

Always stand well back from the train and behind the yellow line on the platform. Hold onto children’s hands while waiting on the platform. The Holiday Train show will be on the stage car in the middle of the train.

Saturday, December 7 —
San Francisco: 4:00 pm
Burlingame: 5:15 pm
Redwood City: 6:15 pm
Palo Alto (California Ave.): 6:50 pm
Santa Clara: 8:10 pm

Sunday, December 8 —
San Francisco: 4:00 pm
Millbrae: 5:15 pm
San Mateo: 6:20 pm
Menlo Park: 7:45 pm
Sunnyvale: 8:40 pm

Downtown Ice San Jose

Downtown Ice is located in San Jose’s the Circle of Palms from November 15, 2013 thru January 12, 2014.

You can show off or get embarrassed; of corse, all in fun.

Note: food or drink are not allowed (except water), no in and out privileges (not even to visit the restroom), no lockers or secure storage on site, children 13 and under must be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.

Hours /Admission and Directions /Parking

Downtown Ice — Circle of Palms
120 S. Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 291-0525

Tony Hawk and the Birdhouse Left Coast Tour 2012

Want to see past, present and future skating legends in action? Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark will be hosting Tony Hawk and members of the Birdhouse team this Sunday, July 15. Demonstration from 2:00pm to 3:30pm. The event is free but the standard Lake Cunningham parking fee of $10 applies.

See skating demonstrations by Tony Hawk, Kevin Staab and Willy Santos, members of the Birdhouse team, including Aaron “Jaws” Homoki, Shawn Hale, Clint Walker, David Loy, Shaun Gregoire, Clive Dixon, Michael Davis and Elliot Sloan.

Also, a halfpipe event will also feature guest appearances by Mitchie Brusco, Neal Hendrix, and Lincoln Ueda.

Lake Cunningham Skatepark
2305 S. White Road
San Jose, California 95148

Sunday, July 15. 2:00pm to 3:30pm.
The event is free but the Lake Cunningham Regional Park parking fee of $10 applies.

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