Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

OMG, It’s the Brand-New ELINOR FRIEND PLAYGROUND at Your San Francisco Zoo – It’s Huge – It’s Lovely

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Mike Billings has the deets:

Toddlers climbed all over the smaller River Play Area, which is designed for kids 6 months to 2 years old, while gaggles of older children scaled the nearby Polar Zone’s white structures, built for kids ages 2 through 5, and climbed through the Banyan Tree structure, constructed for kids ages 5 through 12.”

I defy you to visit and photograph this place well – sure is hard to show what it looks like. But Mark Simmons gets the job done here, with drawings.

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So what you do is check the place out on Free Day (free for San Francisco residents, that is – the next one is January 8th, 2014) and then decide if it’s worth it for you and the fam to get an annual Family Membership for $115.

If you all live close enough, it very well could be worth getting a membership just for the new playground.

See you there!

Ever more deets 

“After several years of fundraising, planning, and design, and over one year of construction, the Elinor Friend Playground at the San Francisco Zoo is ready for its grand re-opening. As part of The Americas Campaign capital campaign chaired by Dianne Taube, this $3.2 million project has been made possible in large part by the Friend Family and other generous donors. Additional naming rights within the Playground are still available at this time, totaling approximately $1 million (see the form below to help with this important project). This 36,000-square-foot, state-of-the art project is sure to ignite the imaginations of the 300,000 children of all ages and abilities who visit the Zoo each year.  

The new playground is modeled after three distinct bio-regions, which take their themes from specific ecosystems and appeal to distinct age groups: a River Play Area for toddlers (6 months-2 years), a Polar Zone exploration space for pre-schoolers (2-5 years), and a Banyan Tree climbing structure for pre-teens (5-12 years). Along with striking natural forms, the architecture integrates a wide range of materials and textures in glorious detail that mimic those found in nature and encourage curiosity among young explorers. As an example, a charming frog sculpture in the River Play Area acts as a symbol of the Zoo’s mission to connect people with wildlife, inspire caring for nature, and advance conservation action. In support of this mission, a portion of the funds raised for the playground will go toward the Zoo’s Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog Conservation Program. Click here for more information about this program.

Crawling through a beaver dam, sliding down an iceberg, or swinging through a tree, all children share opportunities for unique wildlife adventures, take age-appropriate risks, and immerse themselves in naturalistic environments. Each of the play structures is built with fully compliant ADA accessibility features to accommodate children with physical and mental disabilities, with a strong emphasis on exploration and adventure encouraged for all. 

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office on Disability, the unique design of the Playground is the work of Scientific Art Studio, a multi-faceted design and fabrication facility located in Richmond, California. Led by Founder and Creative Director Ron Holthuysen, the Zoo’s Playground team includes artists and skilled craftspeople with experience in every material and technique imaginable, in particular reclaimed redwood tree trunks, sculptural cement composite on steel frames, woven rope, and even living vegetation. The contracting work on the project was done by Rudolph Commercial Interiors, Inc. (RCI), located in Emeryville, California. 

Near the entrance to the Fisher Family Children’s Zoo and adjacent to the expansive Playfield Lawn, the Playground is located at the historic heart of the San Francisco Zoo. A natural extension of the Zoo’s Wellness Initiative, which focuses on the quality of life for all Zoo animals and visitors, the Playground will encourage movement and creativity for its guests and provide an excellent value to Zoo Members, who receive free admission each day of the year. Join today!

Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Aiden, Jackson, Ethan, Liam, Mason: The Top 10 Baby Names of 2012

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Or so they say:

“Top 10 Baby Names of 2012

Sophia
Emma
Olivia
Isabella
Ava
Lily
Zoe
Chloe
Mia
Madison

Aiden
Jackson
Ethan
Liam
Mason
Noah
Lucas
Jacob
Jayden
Jack

To wit, here’s Aiden Jayden and Brayden:

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All the deets, after the jump

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OMG, Now You Can Buy the Lorax’s Breakfast at IHOP: Green Eggs and Ham, Truffula Trees, the Works

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The Truffula Trees offered at IHOP’s brand new Lorax’s Breakfast special are actually broccoli, so consider yourself warned.

But the creamed spinach to make the eggs green, well that’s a genius move:

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See you there!

Brace Yourselves: “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” Author Amy Chua to Speak at Commonwealth Club January 12th

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Look out! “Tiger Mother” Amy Chua is coming to town.

Get your tickets right now, as this one will quickly sell out.

“Thu, Jan 12 2012 – 6:00pm - Amy Chua: Tale of a Tiger Mother

Author, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother; John M. Duff Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Parenting in public is a gutsy move, and no one knows that better than Chua. The Yale Law School professor’s 2011 memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, took an honest and often provocative look at the rewards – and the costs – of raising her children the strict “Chinese” way. Join us as best-selling author Chua talks about the parenting cultural divide, her struggles and aspirations as a parent, and what it really means to be a tiger mother.

Location: SF Club Office
Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing
Cost: $20 standard, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)
Also know: In association with Ascend”

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All the deets:

“Yale professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua, will discuss the rewards and costs of raising her children with a strict Chinese upbringing.  Chua will highlight the parenting cultural divide, her struggles and aspirations as a parent, and what it really means to be a “tiger mother”.

Chua is also the author of two other books, Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers rise to Global Dominance – and Why they Fall and World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability which was a New York Times Bestseller and selected by The Economist as one of the Best Books of 2003. 

Chua’s latest book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has received much coverage for igniting a global debate on parenting with its controversial story of a mother’s strict Chinese parenting techniques. She has been a featured guest on “The Today Show,” “Charlie Rose,” and “The Daily Show with John Stewart.” 

Currently a professor at Yale, Chua has also taught at Duke, Colombia, Stanford, and NYU. Chua received her A.B. from Harvard in 1984 and her J.D. from Harvard in 1987.”

San Francisco’s Civic Center Snow Park 2011 a Huge Success – Local Youth Sure Enjoyed the Slopes

Monday, December 19th, 2011

See?

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AAAAAAAAAAGH!

Early morning setup:

Civic Center looked just like the North Pole, complete with Santa and at least one elf:

See you next year!

Safety vs. Self Parody – The 99% Guarding the Kids of the 1% – And, “Won’t Somebody PLEASE Think of the Children!”

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I don’t know, I’m all for safety and whatnot, but something about this Bye-Bye Buggy convoy struck me.

What is it, the orange and yellow safety vests, the orange pennant, the back-up orange pennant, the hand-held stop sign (held by a person with no authority to use a hand-held stop sign on Van Ness), and/or the flashing white LED light on said hand-held stop sign?

Crossing U. S. Route 101, aka Van Ness Avenue:

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I don’t know.

Oh wait, that’s right, it’s missing its BABY ON BOARD! sign hanging off the back. I just knew something was wrong with this scene. I’ll obtain one (or a half-dozen) and make a gift to this crew the next time I see them on McAllister or in front of City Hall.

All right, play us out of here, Helen Lovejoy.

ZOMG, October 16th, 2011 is Yerba Buena Family Day – Free Admission to SFMOMA – Thanks Target!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

October 16th, 2011 will be on a Sunday so I’ll prolly be breakin’ in the malls, breakin’ on the streets, natchbut you, you’ve got kids, so you should head down to SoMA for Yerba Buena Family Day 2011.

It’s:

“…San Francisco’s biggest daylong family block party with free admission, special art activities and free performances for children and families at the following venues within 1 or 2 blocks of each other in the Yerba Buena arts district at 3rd Street and Mission Street in downtown San Francisco.”

That means that Target will pick up the tab when you visit the SFMOMA, the Jew Mu, the MoAD and the Children’s Creativity Museum.

Hurray! (Hey Target, why are you taking so long to open down there in Metreon? Or for that matter, Geary and Masonic. C’mon, wiki wiki.)

 All right, see you and your fam there!

All the deets:

SFMOMA

  • Be inspired by the exhibition Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective
  • Sketch, scribble, and squiggle your way through the wonderful world
    of drawing

Contemporary Jewish Museum

  • Marvel at Harry Houdini’s famous escape acts in the exhibition Houdini: Art and Magic
  • Thrill to a live performance by The Magic of Chin-Chin

Museum of the African Diaspora

  • Tour the exhibition COLLECTED: Stories of Acquisition and Reclamation
  • Make a memory box to take home, participate in a drumming workshop,
    and more

Children's Creativity Museum

  • Be among the first to experience the Museum’s freshly redesigned exhibits including the new Imagination Lab
  • Create clay animations, music videos, digital art, and more
  • Ride the historic carousel for free

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

  • From hula dancers to taiko drummers, enjoy live performances on the
    Esplanade Stage in the Gardens from 11 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Delight in the clowning of Unique Derique and the grooves of the
    Venezuelan Music Project on the Children’s Stage near the Children’s
    Creativity Museum from 12 – 3 PM

The Presidio Gets Into Geocaching: A New Wildlife-Themed, Outdoor Treasure Hunt – You Know, For Kids!

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Grab your GPS device and head on over to the Presidio to get in on the Geocaching craze.

All the deets, below.

HIGH TECH HIDE-AND-SEEK” IN THE PRESIDIO

GEOCACHING TAKES FAMILIES, ADVENTURERS OFF THE BEATEN TRAIL

Presidio of San Francisco (August 11, 2011) — “I found it!” exclaimed Alex, his face beaming with pride and the excitement only a 7-year old can muster. With a little help from his mom’s smartphone and a lot of perseverance, Alex had located his first geocache, discreetly hidden near a trail in the Presidio’s Lobos Creek Valley.

The Trust, in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation, has brought Ranger Rick’s Geocache Trails—a new wildlife-themed, outdoor treasure hunt—to the Presidio.

Sometimes referred to as a game of “high-tech hide and seek,” geocaching is relatively new to national parks, but the phenomenon has been around for more than a decade. Using a smartphone or handheld GPS device, people hunt for “caches” (typically small boxes) hidden in public places around the world.

“Geocaching in the Presidio combines the excitement of a treasure hunt with the reward of discovering lesser known parts of the park,” says Damien Raffa, education and volunteer program manager for the Presidio Trust. “Offering this kind of adventure helps us bring new people into the park and expose them to some of the Presidio’s hidden gems.”

The Presidio offers two ways to play. Visitors can go to www.presidio.gov/kids/trails/ and download GPS co-ordinates, while those without a GPS device can download a map for a self-guided experience. Then simply follow the co-ordinates to uncover the geocache. The cache will never be buried but could be tucked inside a log or tree stump, under a bush or behind a wall. Inside the cache, searchers will find a logbook to sign and a unique stamp depicting a member of the Presidio’s wildlife community.

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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Oh the Places You’ll Go and the Things You’ll Do in the Richmond District of San Francisco!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Heading west to the beach on an other-wise dreary day:

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Here They Are – Meet the Winners of Gap’s Annual Casting Call Contest 2010

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Well, here they are, the winners of Gap’s Annual Casting Call Contest 2010.

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Look forward to the 6th annual contest, certain to be coming soon…

All the deets:

Gap Unveils 2010 Casting Call Winners in babyGap and GapKids Stores Nationwide

Selected from More than One Million Entries, America Chooses the Four Adorable Winners of Gap’s Fifth Annual Casting Call Contest

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20, 2011 — Today, Gap revealed the four cute and charismatic winners of its fifth annual Casting Call contest. Chosen by America from more than one million entries, the new faces of babyGap are Evie Sowers from Tecumseh, MI; Dylan Bandale from Pompton Lakes, NJ; and for GapKids, Sofia Jaworovich from Skillman, NJ; and Keyghan Burns from Hereford, AZ. In addition to receiving a $1,000 Gap GiftCard, the winners’ bright smiles and twinkling eyes will be lighting up the newest babyGap and GapKids campaign in store windows coast-to-coast starting today.

“Every year, we’re overwhelmed by parents’ incredible enthusiasm for Casting Call,” said Mark Breitbard, executive vice president of babyGap and GapKids. “Now in its fifth year, Casting Call continues to break records and we’re so excited to introduce this year’s winners – Evie, Dylan, Sofia and Keyghan. On behalf of the entire Gap family, I’d like to congratulate the newest faces of babyGap and GapKids.”

Shot in San Francisco, the campaign features the winners in colorful, perfect-for-the-playground looks. Rooted in denim and khaki, the outfits get a kick of color with the addition of arch logo hoodies [$24.95 - $29.50] and graphic tees [starting at $14.50 for babyGap and $16.50 for GapKids] in colors like havana yellow, orange blaze, cupid pink and ruby red. The windows also highlight each child’s hometown and favorite activities – from ballet and soccer to dancing and drawing.

About Gap’s Fifth Annual Casting Call:

From September 27 to October 24, 2010, parents across the country uploaded photos of their babies and kids wearing their favorite denim looks at gap.com/castingcall. Judges then narrowed down the pool of more than one million entrants to 20 finalists – 10 babies and 10 kids. The finalists were announced in early December and it was up to America to cast their vote for their favorite finalists at gap.com/castingcall.

The Prizes:

The four winners of this year’s Casting Call – Evie, Dylan, Sofia and Keyghan – are featured in the windows of babyGap and GapKids stores nationwide and will receive a $1,000 GapGiftCard.

Meet the Winners:

babyGap:

Evie, from Tecumseh, MI, has a great imagination and a fun personality to match. This blondie likes to read, draw and play with her dolls. Evie loves to rock out to Animal Collective’s My Girls.

Dylan, from Pompton Lakes, NJ, has been called a “Will Smith look-alike” and is always flashing his “million-dollar smile.” He likes to sing and dance to his favorite Latin, Reggaeton and Hip-Hop tunes. His favorite meal is pizza with chocolate milk.

GapKids:

Sofia, from Skillman, NJ, is a real “spitfire,” according to her parents, and is super outgoing. She loves meeting new people and making friends. This girly-girl likes to wear dresses and pretty shoes like her favorite singer, Taylor Swift, and her favorite hobbies are ballet and swimming.

Keyghan, from Hereford, AZ, is fun loving and always makes others feel important. When he is not playing soccer or baseball, you can find Keyghan collecting Pokemon cards or hanging out with his friends and little brother.