Category Archives: Weekend Fun

Weekend Family Fun, Nov 21st – 22nd

Happy Birthday Sparky! When I was a kid, my parents signed me up for ice skating lessons. For years I took lessons at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena.  If I was lucky, my dad would get me hot chocolate at Warm Puppy Café. In the corner sat a table with a “Reserved” sign on it where Charles Schulz sat on occasion to watch families enjoy skating at his ice arena. This Sunday, he will most likely be watching from his “Reserved Table” in the sky as locals gather at the Schulz museum to celebrate what would have been his 87th birthday (November 26th is his actual birthday) celebration. In honor of Sparky’s birthday, the museum is offering free admission all day long, and will be serving ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery from 1 – 3 pm.
Sun Nov 22nd, 11am – 5pm
Ice cream served 1pm – 3pm
Charles Schulz Museum

Family Day and Green String Fest at Green String Farm The third Saturday of the month, Green String Farm hosts Family Day, an event that introduces farming to kids and parents alike through fun activities on the farm. Through arts & crafts projects and some fun games, families will be able to learn about things like composting, water, and farm animals. After the event, families can stay for some farm fresh snacks. Stay a little longer, and you can take part in the Green String Fest! Meet local organizations and local food vendors from around our community, take a tour of the farm, and end the night grooving to the sounds of Faith in Phantoms and the Green String Band. There will be food, hot drinks, and kids’ activities throughout the day. Don’t miss this full day of exciting events at Green String Farm.
To reserve space for Family Day, email Jenny at To learn more about the Green String Fest, be sure to check out their blog entry on the event.
Saturday Nov 21st, 2pm – 3pm Family Day, 3-10pm Green String Fest
Green String Farm – 3571 Old Adobe Rd. Petaluma
Cost: $10, kids get in free. Barter accepted, no one will be refused.

Vintage Holiday Boutique Craft Fairs during the late fall and early winter months always put me in the holiday mood. One fair that has gone all out to give a festive feel to anyone who enters is the Vintage Holiday Boutique in Petaluma. All vendors are selling vintage goods, or vintage-inspired crafts. Set in the historic building of the Open Door Church, even the building is vintage. Get yourself in the holiday spirit at this fun boutique, and maybe even take care of a few people on your holiday gift list!
Sat, Nov 21st, 9am – 3pm
Open Door Church (5th and B streets)

Polar Express Pajama Storytime The holidays in our house always warrants the annual reading of the Polar Express, a fabulous book by Chris Van Allsburg. Borders Bookstore feels the same way. That’s why they will be retelling the story in many of their stores. But wait, it gets better! They are inviting the public to come in their jammies to enjoy the story while being as comfy, cozy as possible. So don those feet pajamas, get out that stuffed rabbit or bear, and curl up at Borders while hearing the exciting tale of a young boy on his train adventure to the North Pole!
Sat, Nov 21st, 11am
Local Borders Bookstores
Located at 2825 Santa Rosa Ave, and at the Coddingtown Mall

Tree Lighting Celebration at Pier 39 The magic of the holidays starts early over at Pier 39 with their annual tree lighting celebration. And to help light the tree, Mickey Mouse and a couple of his friends have come all the way from Disneyland to join in the festivities. Bring the munchkins and take part in the excitement of meeting their favorite Disney friends, and enjoying live entertainment before the official lighting takes place at 5:30pm.
Sun Nov 22nd, 2pm – 5:30pm
Pier 39, San Francisco

Ways to Give

One reader, Amy, suggested giving to She says that she and her son “yearly buy gifts for those on our list from their gift list. Great site to buy something for someone who has everything. Give them the gift of giving!” At the site, you can buy a family a pair of goats, a child a bicycle so that they can get to school, and even a water purifier for a school.

Another reader, Zoe, wants to remind everyone that “the Redwood Empire Food Bank is giving out more food than ever in these tough economic times. Some cans of healthy soups (low sodium, low fat) or other easy to prepare items would be welcomed, I’m sure.” Their Winter Food and Funds Drive is going on now through January 31, 2010. You can drop off cans of food in barrels conveniently located at several local stores. Click here for a list of participating merchants.

Do you know of any family friendly events coming up? Or are you aware of a need that local families can help out with? Leave a comment, or email me at

Weekend Family Fun, Nov 7th – 8th

Here at SantaRosaMom, I am always on the lookout for fun family events that cost little to nothing to attend. Let’s face it, when you have small children, the costs add up pretty quickly. But it’s also worth every penny to be able to escape the “I’m bored” blues – or worse, trouble that is created due to boredom (hellooooo permanent marker all over couch……). I am all about saving pennies AND having things to do on the weekend. So read on for some fun events going on this Saturday and Sunday. And if you know about inexpensive events coming up on any future weekend, let me know by emailing me at so I can share it with all the other parents of little crumbgrinders.

www.ninazhito.com1-Day Cat & Kitten Adoption  Has your family been looking for a furry member to add to the brood? Several Sonoma County shelters are participating in an adopt-a-thon to find homes for some very loving cats and kittens. And they have reduced the fee to adopt these felines to only $30. This fee includes an exam by a licensed vet, viral testing, vaccinations, spay & neutering, worming, microchip, a collar with an ID tag, and a travel box. Seriously folks, $30 for all that is like getting a cat for free! Oh, and that sweet kitty in the picture?  Her name is Marcia.  You can adopt her with the ID #A240343.  Participating shelters include Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, S.C. Animal Care & Control, Pets Lifeline in Sonoma & The Humane Society of Sonoma County. Call (707)565-7100 for more information. 
Sat 11/7
See flier for more information.

Operation E.L.F. The holidays are that time of year when families get together, fill their bellies with delicious morsels and hearty meals, and exchange gifts to the soundtrack of laughter and love. But not all families get such a luxury. The Community Christ Church is holding their annual charity event to help raise money for families that aren’t able to afford the provisions of Christmas. They will be hosting a giant yard sale, serving food, offer plenty of fun activities, and will hold a drawing for prizes. Help families in need while enjoying yourself at a fun event.
Sat 11/7
Community Christ Church
1495 W. Steele Lane @ Range Ave., Santa Rosa.
For more info: (707)944-9409 x2

Home Depot Kids Workshop The first Saturday of the month, Home Depot hosts a free kids workshop. Kids 5 -12 years old can build their own creation while learning about tool safety and earn do-it-yourself skills. In an age where most kids’ entertainment comes from video games, computers, and toys that have to do something, this is a chance to introduce your child to something “new” – and for you to witness the pride in their smiles as they show you what they have created all by themselves. This weekend’s project is a trivet – a hot plate that is placed between a serving dish and the table to protect the table from heat damage.
Ages 5 – 12
Sat 11/7
9am – noon
Home Depot Locations:
100 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa
4825 Redwood Driveway, Rohnert Park
6280 Hembree Way, Windsor

40th Anniversary of the San Francisco Exploratorium  In honor of their 40th anniversary, the Exploratorium is offering a multitude of events for FREE at their facility. That’s right, I said FREE. There will be fun with bubbles, giant bolts of electricity, dissection of a cow eye and brain (perfect for those little rascals that love all things gross), an ice demonstration involving a huge block of ice, a wire, and a suspended motorcycle (you won’t believe what happens!), and lots more interactive activities. There is way too much going on at the Exploratorium to even list here, so check out their site, and make it a point to attend this event!
Sat 11/7 and Sun 11/8
10 am – 5 pm
Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco

Recipe on the forums

Windsor Farmer’s Market  With only three weekends left, the season is almost over for Windsor’s Farmer’s Market. This weekend it’s all about persimmons, pomegranates, figs, and apples. Ever tried cooking with figs? They are one of those amazing fruits that can be used in desserts, or to compliment an autumn dinner. I found a great recipe for figs that I placed in the recipe section of the SantaRosaMom forums. Check it out, then shop for your ingredients at Windsor’s Farmer’s Market.
Sun 11/8
10 am – 1 pm
Windsor Town Green
Old Redwood Hwy to Windsor River Rd to Bell Rd.

Halloween Family Fun 2009!

Halloween is only a day away. Are you spooked because you still don’t know what fun things there are to do with your family on Saturday’s Fright Night? Fear no more, I have compiled a list of the best bets for some ALL DAY Halloween enjoyment!  Be sure to also check my list for best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating, as well.

All events listed here are Saturday, October 31st.

Get scary on Halloween with the Red Cross   They’ll help you with the best Halloween costume ever and you can help the Red Cross! Get gashes, bruises, broken bones, poked-out eyeballs and more applied by Red Cross moulage (make up) artists. Adults and older kids welcome. Your donations to American Red Cross help people recover from life’s emergencies.
$5 – $15 per fake wound
10am – 5pm
Coddingtown Mall, Santa Rosa

Best Yard Haunt in Sonoma County  Their annual Haunted Graveyard started Oct. 3. The show features a walk through crypt, an automated execution chair, and over 100 other props that turn our yard into one of the best yard haunts in Sonoma County. The entire lighting system has been upgraded this year, and they have sequenced their lights to over 10 new Halloween songs.
6:30p to 12:00a
Haunted Graveyard is at 472 Jose Ramon Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Free Harvest Party  Hope Chapel Santa Rosa presents a FREE Harvest Party complete with carnival games, photo booth, chili cook-off and costume contests for all ages! If your family’s costumes share a common theme, your family could win an incredible prize.
4:30p to 7:00p
Hope Chapel (look for the big yellow barn on Sonoma Highway)
5680 Sonoma Highway in Santa Rosa.

Trick or Treating at Skyhawk Village  Come down to Skyhawk Village Market on Halloween at 3pm for trick or treating. Each merchant in the shopping center will open their doors from for early trick or treating. Skyhawk Village Market will be setting up a small Halloween tent to hand out candy in, also get your picture taken in front of the pumpkin wall.
Event is free, pizza dinner is $5 – $12.
3:00p to 6:00p
Skyhawk Village
Just ½ mile East of Calistoga Road on Hwy 12.

Chops Halloween Carnival  Come to Chop’s Halloween Carnival for an evening of safe and ghoulish fun! Activities include trick or treating, a jumpy house, game booths, face painting, costume contest, mask making, cake walk and more.
$3 per person
5pm – 9pm
Chops Teen Club
Corner of West 6th and Adams St, Santa Rosa (near Railroad Square).

Family Day of the Dead & Halloween Party  Join in on a fun filled afternoon at the museum with Halloween & Day of the Dead themed arts, crafts & goodies! Contact (707) 579.1500 x17 for more info.
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sonoma County Museum
425 Seventh Street, Santa Rosa

14th Annual Spooktacular Trick-or-Treating  Free trick-or-treating at Petaluma Village Premium Outlets at participating stores. Children must be accompanied by an adult Call (707) 778-9300 x 0 for more information.
5:30p to 9:00p
Petaluma Village Premium Outlets, Petaluma, CA

Petaluma Downtown Trick or Treat Trail  Join your local Downtown merchants for Halloween at our annual Trick or Treat Trail. A fun and safe community environment for collecting goodies with your little goblins (for children 12 and under, please). Look for the orange & black balloons and posters in participating businesses. Merchants will be handing out candy to costumed children. Call for more information.
3:00 PM – 5:30 PM
All over Historic Downtown Petaluma
Contact Marie or Jenny at 707-762-9348

The Knack™ Free Halloween Event  
Kids Halloween Fun at Michaels
Come and get your FREE trick-or-treat pail! Plus enjoy a free coloring activity, FREE Crayola® Model Magic® Fusion™ and a Make-It Take-It Halloween frame. Children will also receive a balloon and candy. While supplies last.
Michael’s Craft Stores
10 am to noon
1359 N. McDowell Blvd. Petaluma
2775 Santa Rosa Ave. Santa Rosa

Kid Friendly Ghost Hunt at the Slaughterhouse Haunted House  Bring the Lil Caspers out for facepainting, photos, and of course trick or treating! End the night with a ghost hunt through our kid friendly haunted house (ages 1-10)
15 Copeland, Petaluma (between Grocery Outlet and the Transit Mall)
5:30- 7 pm

Dr. Evil’s House of Horror Free Haunted Maze for Kids  On Halloween Night there will be a safe & free Haunted Maze for little ghouls and boys.
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
16101 Neely Road, Guerneville (J’s Amusements)

Carnival and Pumpkin Run  Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Parkpoint Health Club are hosting a Harvest Carnival and Pumpkin Fun Run for the kids at the winery! The carnival is free, and includes games, face painting, and a whole lot more. Carnival foods are available for purchase. The Pumpkin Fun Run costs $20, and includes a t-shirt and goodie bag. Sign up at Open to children ages 4 – 12, awards for top 3 runners in each category. Race segmented by age group. Ages 4 – 6 only run 1.8 of a mile.
Carnival 12pm – 2:30pm free
Pumpkin Run 12:30pm – 1:30pm $20 (includes goody bag and t-shirt)
300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville Ca
Take Hwy 101 to the Independence Lane Exit, go west.

For more information on what to do around Sonoma County for Halloween, be sure to check out these sites.
Press Democrat’s Halloween events

Weekend Family Fun Oct 24th – 25th

Halloween at Howarth Park  Join Recreation, Parks & Community Services for the 5th annual Fall Festival and Costume Parade at Howarth Park for Kids (Age 12 & Under).  Come in costume for the parade and trick-or-treating around the Land of Imagination playground and the park. After the parade, ride the train & carousel with your ghostly friends! If you miss the parade, you can still purchase a pumpkin pass at the Train station for the train, carousel and trick-or-treating. Must be in costume!  Fee: $5 pumpkin pass includes train & carousel, trick or treating, parade.  $8: all of the above with a pony ride and ice cream treat.  Adults need a ticket to ride the train with child: $2/ticket
Pumpkin passes will be for sale at 12 noon at the registration table near the snackbar.  AFTER the parade, they will be for sale at the train station.
Saturday, Oct. 24, 12:00-3pm, parade at 12:30, rides and trick-or-treating: 1-3pm

Trunk or Treat An Annual FUMC Fun-Filled Family Spooktacular! Decorate your car! Put on a costume! Hand out candy to trick-or-treaters! Haunted house, hay rides and more! All are welcome at this free community event. Contact Leslie Horak with questions or to volunteer to help. Those decorating their cars should arrive at 2 pm. Folks will be on hand to show you where to park.
Sunday, Oct 25th, 3 – 5 pm
Stony Point Campus
2150 Giffen Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

Railroad SCARE! Come to Railroad Square for their family Halloween Event and Scarecrow Festival, sponsored by the Western Farm Center. Bring the whole family and join the parade led by Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Vote for your favorite scarecrow featured in Depot Park and in Railroad Square shops. Trick or Treat. Bring your dog in costume and join in the Scare-dy Dog Parade, and possibly win a prize!
Sat Oct 24th, 11am – 4pm.
Railroad Square

Halloween at the YMCA Come join the YMCA for a spooktacular carnival! Enjoy carnival games, prizes, a haunted house, a jump house, face painting, a cakewalk, costumes, a DJ, dancing and much more! Youth admission is $4, adults are free. All proceeds benefit the YMCA Youth Outreach Program.
Admission: $2 per child Raffle Tickets: $1
Sat Oct 25th, 2008
From 4:00 – 7:00pm
Sonoma County Family YMCA, Activity Center
1111 College Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA

Altars Workshop is hosting a workshop and talk about the building of Altars, or ofrendas, and the accompanying traditions, elements and symbols that are used to celebrate Muertos season. Afterwards, each participant will create his/her own Nicho or Retablo (personal shrine). The workshop will be led by Liz Camino-Byers and Patricia Robles-Mitten. Materials will be supplied. However, it is recommended that participants bring small items or miniatures to include in their shrines. Reservations required. Please email: or 707-579-1500 x 17.
Cost: $15 non-members/$12 members
Saturday October 24, 2009
11:00am – 12:30pm
Sonoma County Museum

Thrill the World is a worldwide attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Simultaneous Dance with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Thousands of people in cities around the world will learn the “Thriller”, dance and perform it together on the day that Thrill the World takes place. Need more info? Consult their FAQ page.  Our city’s Thrill the World event will take place at Montgomery High School, Santa Rosa in the quad. Come in your best Zombie Garb! Learn the dance at
Event will be Sat Oct 24th 4- 5:45 pm
Montgomery High


Our latest contest is underway! Post past and present Halloween photos in Santa Rosa Mom’s Halloween Photo Gallery and you will be entered for a chance to win tickets to see “Charlotte’s Web” at the Wells Fargo Center! 

See forum for details!

Weekend Family Fun Oct 17th-18th

Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries is a not-for-profit corporation that sells donated used books and other library-type materials in support of the Santa Rosa Central, Northwest, and Rincon Valley branches as well as the Local History and Genealogy Library. The Book Faire runs Friday through Monday. Phone: 707-545-0831 ext. 541
October 16, 17, 18, 19, 2009
Fri. – 3p to 7:30p; Sat. & Sun. – 10a to 5p; Mon. – 2p to 7p
Finley Hall, Sonoma County Fairgrounds
Admission: Friday – $5.00 / Saturday thru Monday – Free

Target Family Day is downtown San Francisco’s biggest family block party, with free admission to four leading museums, special art activities for kids, and free performances on three stages. Explore a sculpture garden, make an animated film, enjoy a live circus, and more. Participating organizations include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, Zeum: San Francisco’s Children’s Museum, and Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
For information, call 415-614-3216 or visit
Sunday, October 18, 2009, 11am – 4pm
Museumwide – Yerba Buena arts district at 3rd Street and Mission Street in downtown San Francisco.

Free Airplane Rides for Kids with EAA Young Eagles  Pilots from the local EAA Chapter 124 are volunteering to fly young people ages 8-17 for free to see Sonoma County from the air. EAA chapter 124 has done this for the last 20 years giving more than 2,000 kids in Sonoma County the adventure of a lifetime.  Contact or 707-584-9682 for reservations. Only available for kids from the ages of 8 – 17. All participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Contact or 707-584-9682 for reservations.
Saturday, Oct 17 8:30a to 1:00p
Pacific Coast Air Museum, 2230 Becker Blvd., Santa Rosa

Petaluma Mothers’ Club Fall Carnival Would you like some Fall fun for the whole family with FREE admission? Join the Petaluma Mother’s Club for their Fall Carnival! Costume contest for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers – register by 12 noon, contest begins at 12:30. Musical performance by “Miss Kitty”, live snake show, “Museum on the Go” from North Bay Children’s Museum, petting zoo sponsored by Petaluma High Agriculture department, soccer demonstration by Lil’ Kickers, jumpy houses, carnival games, and more! Hot dogs, baked goods, ice cream, and drinks available for purchase
Sunday, Oct 18 11:00a to 2:00p
Kenilworth Jr High School, 800 Riesling Rd., Petaluma

Family Day  The third Saturday of each month, Green String Farm has fun activities set up for children and their parents. Arts & crafts projects and games will focus on basic concepts of natural food and farming, like compost, animals, and water. Come to the farm store at 2 for an hour of fun, and stay for some farm fresh snacks after. RSVP:
Saturday, Oct 17 2:00p to 3:00p
at Green String Farm, 3571 Old Adobe Rd., Petaluma
Suggested donation $2 per person.

ARTrails This is the second weekend for the annual ARTTrailsHeld annually in the fall, ARTrails provides a rare opportunity for the public to meet local artists in their studios and learn about their diverse creative processes and techniques. Through hands-on demonstrations as well as intimate conversations, ARTrails artists will take you into their world where colors, shapes, materials, and textures merge into unique and collectible works of art. A number of the open artist studios are located in or near downtown Santa Rosa.
Sat Oct 17th – Sun Oct 18th, 10am – 5pm
Info on sites and venues at

Next weekend’s preview:  On Sunday October 25th, there will be a worldwide phenomenon – trying to beat the record for most people dancing to Thriller at the same time.  We got off lucky, our time will be 5:30 pm.  Others, like Ireland, will be at ungodly hours like 1:30 am.  Ick.  The reason I am mentioning this now is because you’ve gotta learn the dance to be a part of the Thrill the World event!  There are events going on around town this weekend for learning the dance.  But I can’t find any exact locations or times.  If you know of one, can you leave it as a comment?   For now, go to this link to learn the dance in the comforts in your own home.  —-> Thrill the World – Learn the Dance

Weekend Family Fun, Oct 10th – 11th

There are so many things to choose from for this weekend that it’s easy to ask, where to start?  From Apple Festivals to Fleet Week to ARTrails, good luck on making a choice for your family outting this weekend! 

All Things Apple Festival  Bringing community together through art and celebration, this event is promising for the whole family! There will be special music by members of the Polkanomics Band, free art & an origami making booth, apple tasting, the Sweet Treat Cafe and more. All proceeds support the after school program: The Purple Apple: Creative Arts and Self-esteem.
Sat Oct 10th, 1pm – 5:30pm
Monroe Hall
1400 West College Ave, Santa Rosa
Adult – $5.00, children 12 and under – FREE

Community Safety Fair In celebration of Fire Prevention Week, the Santa Rosa Fire Department is hosting the 3rd Annual Community Safety Fair. Bring friends and family to enjoy a free BBQ (first 300 to arrive), see demonstrations, participate in events, play some games, and most important – learn about safety.
Sat, Oct 10th, 10am – 3pm
SRFD Training Tower, 2126 West College Ave., Santa Rosa
(Parking at 55 Stony Point Road)

ArtTrails  While little kids might not appreciate ARTrails (though, who knows? You might have a well cultured toddler), the older kid will most definitely enjoy going to different studios and experiencing different levels and venues of creativity. In fact, my 11 year old daughter wanted to make sure that this was included.  Held annually in the fall, ARTrails provides a rare opportunity for the public to meet local artists in their studios and learn about their diverse creative processes and techniques. Through hands-on demonstrations as well as intimate conversations, ARTrails artists will take you into their world where colors, shapes, materials, and textures merge into unique and collectible works of art. A number of the open artist studios are located in or near downtown Santa Rosa.
Sat Oct 10th – Sun Oct 11th, as well as next weekend, 10am – 5pm
Info on sites and venues at

Multicultural Food and Music Festival showcases Cotati’s rich cultural and traditional heritage through live entertainment, food stations, vendors, and other activities. The festival is being held to bring Cotati and other Sonoma County communities together for a fun-filled weekend of art, food, music, and dance while also learning a little more about the rich cultural diversity that exists in our community. The festival is a signature event for the city and region, offering a quality and festive experience in the comfortable settings of downtown Cotati. The event will feature world class food, music and dance. For more information, call (415) 725-0157.
Sat Oct 10th & Sun Oct 11th, 11am – 6pm
North Gateway Field – Highway 101 North and Gravenstein Highway 116 exit, Cotati

San Francisco’s Fleet Week  This is a spectacular family event featuring the Navy Blue Angels, Navy ships and other exciting demonstrations. This weekend there will be the Air Show, the procession of Navy ships, live music, the Italian Heritage Parade (Sunday) from Fisherman’s Wharf to North Beach, and a spectacular display of fireworks on Saturday. Join in on the celebration of the men and women of our armed forces.
Oct 8th – Oct 13th, see website for information on event schedules
Parade of ships will be at Piers 27 and 30/32
See website for further details and locations of events (too many to list!)

Fiesta Italiana  Bring the family for a fun-filled day of good food, folk dancing, classic auto show, silent auction, face-painting, travel education programs, mercato shopping, cooking demonstrations, bocce ball for adults and children and much more. The 19th Annual Festival at the Santa Rosa Veterans Hall is sponsored by the North Bay Italian Cultural Foundation to benefit Italian Cultural Programs. The theme this year is Discovering Florence, Italy.
Sun, Oct 11th, 11am – 6pm
Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building
$5.00 Pre sale ~ $8.00 at the door, under 10 FREE

Weekend Family Fun 10/3-10/4

Levi’s Kids Only Cross Race!  Bummed about missing the registration to take part in Levi’s Gran Fondo Race? Well, it’s not too late for your kids to take part in their own race with Levi Leipheimer! This fun race is for children ages 9 and under and will follow the King Ridge Gran Fondo Ride. Kids must wear an approved helmet and bring their own bike. Parent or legal guardian must be present and sign a release waiver. Parents are allowed to walk or run with their child during the short race and help them over barriers and through obstacles if necessary.
Saturday, Oct 3rd  2pm start time (subject to change)
Start and finish will be at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa

Redwood Empire Live Steamer’s Interactive Railroad Museum  Have a little nostalgia for the steam power from Handcar Regatta?  Relive some of the excitement with a good old fashioned train ride on the new portable track at Youth Community Park!  The last public run of the summer season is this weekend, so don’t miss it!  Donations accepted. 100% of all proceeds will further fund development of museum.
Saturday, Oct 3rd – 4th 12pm to 4pm
Youth Community Park (near Piner High on Fulton Rd)
$1 per ride

Autumn Faire & Market  The Monte Rio Amphitheater will be filled with artisans, farmers, kids games and contests and entertainment. Come celebrate the bounty of all Sonoma County with the quirky flair of the Western County. Incredible food will be available all day including star chef Gerard Nebesky and his famous paella! This is an occasion to get out and enjoy the fine weather offered in October and sample the wares and flavors that we have all come to love in our region.
For information contact Dawn Bell at 707-865-9956 or at
Sunday, Oct 4 10am to 6pm
Monte Rio Ampitheater

Community Harvest Celebration  The festivities will include live music, a farmer’s market, a pumpkin carving contest, kids’ talent show, face painting, home baked goods, and so much more! Info & contest applications: Rebecca 707-869-4105 or Beth at email
Saturday, Oct 3 10am to 5pm
Guerneville Community Church, 14520 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville

And of course, I can’t forget to mention…..

Harvest Fair  There is so much that Sonoma County has to offer – especially in the fall. Join the community at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair for FREE Harvest and Farm Ag-tivities and other special things for kids and families to enjoy. Be sure to catch all of the special contests, pumpkin carving, scarecrow building and the spooky haunted room. There are enough events going on at the Harvest Fair to keep the whole family entertained! And of course, don’t miss the grape stomp! Kids will get a kick out of seeing the various teams getting sloshed with purple grape juice! Visit the events page to get a full rundown on the calendar of events scheduled Friday through Sunday.
Fri Oct 2rd to Sun Oct 4th
Fri 10am-8pm, Sat/Sun 10am-7pm
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
Admission Free – $6
Tasting combo $25

Best Bets for the Weekend, 9/26-9/27

This weekend it’s all about the FREE! Lucky for us on a budget, there are several really great events going on around the area for us to choose from.

Photo courtesy of SittersPlace.comBaby & Child Fair  Everything you need in one day from pre-conception to pre-K! Come to the fair and find out about mom & baby health, working from home, maternity & baby supplies, medical & dental care, preschools & childcare, adoption & foster care and much more. Heads up, the Santa Rosa Mother’s Club will be giving away two annual memberships at the event. Stop by their booth and enter their drawing. For more information on the event, go to
Finley Community Center, Santa Rosa
Saturday, Sept. 26th, 10 am – 4 pm

Smithsonian Museum Day & FREE Family Day  Join some of the members of the Sonoma County Woodworkers Assocation to celebrate a family day and the nation-wide Smithsonian Museum Day. Kids will be making traditional birdhouses, cars & trucks, all out of wood. Chess for Kids will also be there. You can also make your own Sundaes, courtesy of Clover-Stornetta.
Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa
Saturday, Sept. 26th, 1 pm – 4 pm

Handcar Regatta 2008Handcar Regatta  This event was first introduced last year, and was such a hit it is being brought back again this Sunday! See hand-built railcar races, arts, crafts, and performances. Experience live music, fine foods, costumed rabble & more.
For more info on the event, and ideas for costumes (yes, you should wear a costume if you can…) go to
Sunday, Sept. 27th, 11 am – 6 pm
Railroad Square

Now and Zen Fest  This might be a weird event to put in a blog about family friendly happenings. But let me tell you, this is actually a blast for families. I took my daughter when she was 4, and she enjoyed listening to the music, and bouncing along with the songs that she knew. That year, Train was the headliner. This year they’re back, and they will perform alongside Colbie Caillat, Dashboard Confessional, and Howie Day. And to make it even sweeter, this year the event will be free for the first time ever!
Sunday, Sept. 27th, Noon – 5 pm
Golden Gate Park in San Francisco
(put on by Radio Alice)

Do you know of a family friendly event coming up? Perhaps you are hosting an event. CLICK HERE to find out how you can get your weekend event highlighted!

Best Bets for the Weekend, 9/19 – 9/20

GlendiGLENDI  Enjoy foods from Middle Eastern, Eritrean, Kenyan, Russian, Greek, Balkan, Romanian, & American cultures, dancing to live Balkan music, and let the kids play in the Children’s Craft & Play Area, complete with a moon bounce and other children’s game booths. Proceeds benefit the St. Seraphim Orthodox Christian Church.
St. Seraphim Orthodox Christian Church, 90 Mountain View Ave.
Saturday, 11 am – 9 PM, Sunday, Noon – 6 PM
$10 for adults and teens, children under 12 free, $6 for seniors.

Sonoma County Book Festival  For the past decade, the Sonoma County Book Festival has provided a free day of locally treasured and nationally recognized poets, novelists, essayists, reporters, children’s writers, aspiring writers, book group experts, publishers, bookstores, and other delightful and instructive displays on Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa. This year the tradition continues by bringing the literary arts to the public connecting authors, readers, and publishers.
Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm.
Old Courthouse Square

Build for Veterans  HobbyTown is hosting a special event to raise money to support the Petaluma Veteran’s Day parade. You can bring your child to HobbyTown USA to build a free snap together model with help from local model club members and members of the Petaluma American Legion. Parents are encouraged to make a donation to the parade while they are there.
(Models for the event have been donated by Great Planes Model Distributors and Revell USA.)
Saturday – Sunday during store hours
HobbyTown USA, 171 N. McDowell Blvd. Petaluma, CA 94954 (in the Petaluma Plaza, next to Trader Joe’s)

Wild Cats AdventureWild Cat Adventure  The Wild Cat Adventure presentation features 5 live wild cats. You may see a cougar, African leopard, cheetah, snow leopard, ocelot, Siberian lynx, Canada lynx, serval, caracal or an extremely rare king cheetah. Each cat is shown on the stage as information about its habits, habitat and threats is shared with the audience. While not a circus act, natural behaviors like climbing, leaping and hunting are demonstrated in a safe and exciting manner. The audience, from preschool age children to grandparents, learns, first hand, about these amazing cats that share our planet with us and what all of us can do to help save these magnificent animals from moving toward extinction.
Sunday, 3 PM
Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol
$10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

Sonoma County CHANGE Program  is having their 2nd annual BBQ & Fundraiser. Proceeds go to care of horses rescued by Animal Control in Sonoma County! Equestrian entertainment, wine tasting, door prizes, silent Auction and lunch catered by “Blazing Saddles!” Tickets at or call Betsy @ 707-479-5639. Tickets also available at S.R. Saddlery and Dave’s Hay Barn.
Sunday, 11 am – 3 pm
New Santa Rosa Junior College off River Road, Healdsburg
$35 adults/kids $15.

Human ChessHuman Chess  In cooperation with the Sonoma County Arts Council, 8-Track Minds Productions present “LORDS of the BOARD!” a chess tournament which will be played by children who are part of Chess for Kids, a local non-profit. Each child will make their move on a normal board for reference, an announcer will broadcast the move, and then the player will come and physically move each performer according to the game on a 24’ x 24’ human sized chessboard. Each piece will then perform his/her lines and interaction according to who he/she is up against on the opposing team, so it is a different performance EACH GAME!  There will be three games on each performance day. There will be a 10 minute break between games for photo opportunities with the costumed characters.
P.S. Look for SantaRosaMom Crissi Dillon, aka WineCountryMom, in the crowd.
Sunday, 12 noon – 4 pm
Courthouse Square


Do you have a family friendly weekend event coming up? CLICK HERE to find out how you can get it highlighted in the Best Bets for the Weekend blog.

Best Bets for the Weekend: 9/12-9/13

Best bets for the weekend:

Katmandu Fall Festival
Saturday Sept 12th, 11 am – 5 pm


(Photo courtesy of

Celebrating Nepalese culture, the Katmandu Fall Festival is a benefit for the Children’s Medical Aid Foundation. Enjoy the many cultures of Nepal, India and Tibet with exotic food, world music, and ethnic dance performances. The event is kid friendly, and is even located near a playround. Located at Depot Park, 270 1st St. W in Sonoma.

Free Grandparent’s Day at the Zoo
Sunday Sept 13th, 10 am – 4 pm


Sunday will be free for all grandparents, from opening time at 10 am until the zoo closes at 4 pm. But here’s a secret tip: Bring in any type of hand-colored picture of a zoo animal – one for each child and you’ll all get in FREE. For more information, call (415) 753-7201.

Saturday Farmer’s market
Saturdays (and Wednesdays) 8:30 am – 12 noon

farm market

(Photo courtesy of

When we’re able to, this is one of the kids and my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning. Just the sight of wonderfully colored veggies at all the booths is enough for inspiration for that night’s dinner. And it’s a great way to get the kids motivated to eat their veggies. The Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market is open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. It’s located in the Veterans Bldg East Parking Lot 1351 Maple Ave. For more info, email mail

Do you have or know of a family event that you want other moms to know about? Email me at by Wednesday to make it into Friday’s blog of “Best Bets for the Weekend”.