Tag Archives: Weekend Fun

Places to go: The Beach

This has been a really foggy, cold week, hasn’t it? And next week it’s supposed to rain. The weekend is coming, and inevitably the kids will be saying, “I’m bored!” But with the weather as cold as it is, what exactly can you do to keep the kids from tearing apart the house and driving you crazy?

Go to the beach!

I know, I know. It’s not like Sonoma County beaches are known for their warmth at any time of the year. And yes, it is going to be cold. But hey, it’s cold already. You might as well bundle the kids up and take a trek out to Bodega, brave the winds, and watch your red cheeked child grin toothy smiles as they dig into the sand and chase seagulls away. Be sure to check out one of the many kite shops on the way there, or bring one of your own. The windy weather is perfect to bring out the stunt kite and whip it around the sky. The beaches are less crowded right now, so parking is not an issue. And there is plenty of room on the beach to walk the length of it, or to throw a Frisbee around. And right now is the start of the whale migration. If you go to one of our whale watching areas (such as Bodega Head), you may see a family of gray whales make their way through our ocean!

The beach is my family’s favorite place to go, well, anytime! But we especially like to go in the winter. We run around on the sand to keep warm, discover new caves or things in the sand, try to keep the kite in the air (instead of accidentally divebombing unsuspecting victims), and take lots of pictures. And when our fingers are so chilled we can barely move them, and our noses are running faster than we are, we get into our warm car and take a drive over to the Tides Restaurant. In their deli they sell the best tasting clam chowder I have ever had. We buy a pint of that and a loaf of sourdough bread, and then split it between the three of us. It’s the perfect way to warm our insides after a day of outside cold fun! Oh, and we never leave for home without a bag of salt water taffy, quietly munching them the whole ride back.

Weekend Family Fun, Dec 18 – 20

This is the last weekend of the holidays – enjoy it! This weekend is when the Sebastopol Ballet performs their version of The Nutcracker, and when homes up the ante in their light displays. If you find time in between shopping for that last minute gift or finishing up your wrapping, grab the munchkins and head out for some local weekend fun!

Sebastopol Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”   Last year, my kids and I had the pleasure of seeing Sebastopol Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. Let me say, if you happen to go to this show you are in for a treat! The ballerina’s are incredibly talented and sweep you into their story through dance. And the little Ginger Snaps hiding under Mother Ginger’s skirts? Precious! This year is the school’s 18th year performing the Nutcracker. On opening night, be sure to partake in some complimentary treats, or the Sugar Plum party before each matinee. Call (707)576-3906 for more information, or visit their website.
Fri – Sun, December 18-20, 2009
Friday 7:00pm
Saturday 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm
Analy High School Theater, Sebastopol, CA
Price: $18.00 Reserved, $15.00 General, $10.00 Senior/Youth

Holiday Lights and Dessert  This holiday season as you troll the neighborhoods for festive lights to ooh and ahh over, be sure you don’t miss 2045 Filamina Place, Santa Rosa. They will be serving hot chocolate, candy, and cookies on Saturday evening from 5:30pm – 9:30pm. For a full listing of holiday light displays in the area, be sure to check the Press Democrat’s list of homes that have gone all out, sent in by readers like you!
Sat, Dec 19th, 5:30-9:30pm
2045 Filamina Place, Santa Rosa

2nd Annual Holiday Wonderland Craft Faire   Don’t miss your last chance to find beautiful gifts and homemade crafts for yourself, or for someone you love! The Monte Rio Recreation & Park District is hosting their 2nd annual craft faire at the Monte Rio Community Center. Vendors will be selling a multitude of wonderful items, including soaps and candles, pottery, children’s toys, knit hats, and more. Call 707-865-9956 for more information, or visit their website.
Fri – Sun, December 18-20, 2009
Friday, 11-7pm
Saturday, 10-6pm
Sunday, 10-4pm
Monte Rio Community Center, 20488 Highway 116.

Little Hoopers- Basketball Basics for Tots  By the time kids are 2, you can pretty much tell if they are geared for sports. I knew this of my own son as he threw a perfectly arced ball right at my head from across the room, giggling as I ducked for cover just in time. Two former college basketball players with preschoolers of their own have developed Little Hoopers, a fun class for your ball hucking munchkin. The class is geared towards 2 – 4 year olds, and will include fun games and simple drills. They’ll learn to pass, shoot, and even slam-dunk a basketball! Call 707-775-8951 for more information, or visit their website.
Saturday, Dec 19 10:00a to 10:45a
Price: $ 7 per child or two for $10 sibling or friend
Sebastopol Community Center, Sebastopol, CA

Note: There will not be an events blog for the weekend of the 26th & 27th, or the 2nd & 3rd.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!  Enjoy this time with your families and I hope you have a wonderful holiday week!

Weekend Family Fun Dec 12 – 13

A story by the fire at an inviting hotel, breakfast with Santa, hoping Eeyore finds his tail…..  This weekend is filled with lots of fun activities for you to enjoy with your children!

Light up a Life Tree Lighting   The holidays are especially hard when you have lost someone close to you. In Railroad Square this Saturday, you can join others in honoring your loved ones in a special and touching ceremony put on by Hospice of Petaluma and Memorial Hospice. This event is now in its 25th year. During the community tree lighting, there will be music, inspiration, and remembrance.
Free
RR Square, Santa Rosa
Sat Dec 12th, 6 – 7pm

Once Upon a Gingerbread House   My mom used to go to the neighbor’s house for a ladies’ night in December and then come home with a special Gingerbread House that she had made for display. I never understood why the house was for looking only and not for eating. It didn’t matter. By the time Christmas came around, it looked like little mice had taken bites out of the house, stolen all the M&Ms, and left only half eaten walls and the yucky black licorice. Don’t be like my mom.* Take your precious child to create a house of their own at the Sonoma County Library this Saturday. And if they can’t just look at it, let them have a nibble.
Free
So Co Library, Santa Rosa
Sat Dec12th, 11am – 12pm

*Let it be known that my mom was actually a great mom, and pretty much knew that my sisters and I were the little mice massacring her lovely gingerbread creation.

Breakfast with Santa   Mark this on your calendar! Santa is taking a little time off from the busy work being done at the North Pole, and headed to Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg for breakfast! Dine on a decadent quiche or a buttery croissant with the Big Guy himself. Be sure to bring your camera so that your munchkins can take advantage of a great photo op!
PDF of the Breakfast Menu
Costeaux Bakery, Healdsburg
Sat Dec 12th, 9 – 11am

Holiday Storytelling   A warm cozy fire, riveting tale after tale being told, all the makings to bring the coziness into the holiday season. Come enjoy the warmth of Hotel Healdsburg in a classic family setting before heading back out into the freezing December air.
Free
Hotel Healdsburg in front of the FP
Sat Dec 12th, 1 – 2pm

Magical Toyland Exhibit and Kid’s Open House   The Healdsburg Museum is opening its doors for this wonderful event showcasing toys from the 1860’s – 1960’s. What? No Guitar Hero in the 1800’s??? How did kids ever have fun? Give your kids an entertaining view of how toys used to be, and how cool these toys really are. Beyond toys, there will be games, crafts, storytelling, carols, and plenty of treats.
Free
Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society
Sat Dec 12th, 1 – 3pm

Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail   Oh dear. Eeyore has lost his tail, and it’s just before Christmas! Luckily he has plenty of friends in the 100-acre wood that can help him find it. Watch this musical adventure put on by the Raven Theatre players in Healdsburg this weekend or next. Tickets can be purchased at door, or in advance by calling 707-433-6335.
Sat Dec 12th or 19th, 11am, 2pm, or 7 pm
Sun Dec 13th and 20th, 2pm and 4pm
Raven Theatre, 115 North Street, Healdsburg
$10 adults, $5 kids under 12

Weekend Family Fun, Dec 5th – 6th

You know what I love about the holidays?  It seems like everyone is in the holiday spirit as they decorate their homes and businesses, and the reasons to get together and celebrate multiply.  As the weather turns a bit crisper, breath comes out in puffs of fog against the chilly air, and cheeks are a bit rosier behind wool scarves and hats, the smiles are contagious as each town celebrates this festive time of year. 

Do you know what you’re doing this weekend?   

Wolcott Family Light Show  Remember the Halloween display on Jose Ramon Ave? Well, the Wolcott’s have done it again for Christmas. Their lights are sequenced to Christmas music, and are sure to wow the crowds that are on a hunt for Christmas lights around town. The show starts this Saturday, and goes on until the end of the month. This year they have even wirelessly included their neighbors in the show, rigging their lights to blink and shine with the music. The shows last 35 minutes apiece, and are a must see on your journey for Christmas displays in the area!
Starts Saturday, Dec 5th, and goes on till Dec 31st.
Sunday – Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
472 Jose Ramon Ave, Santa Rosa

Guerneville Parade of Lights   Colorful floats and live music will rock Guerneville’s Main Street under the theme of Rockin’ Holiday. Residents of Guerneville won’t want to miss the traditional lighted parade Saturday night. If you want to see what the parade was like 2 years ago, here’s a link to Farmtube’s video on YouTube.  Fun for adults and toddlers alike!
Saturday, Dec 5th, 7pm – 8pm
16209 First St. Downtown Guerneville

Mrs. Grossman’s Warehouse Sale  Can I just say that I am a little more than excited about this event??? I remember my mom taking me when I was a kid. There were tables upon tables, filled with every kind of sticker you could imagine at extremely discounted prices. We would load up on stickers, bringing them to the checkstand by the armload. And then after, we’d go up to the storeroom to see what was new over at Mrs. Grossman. If you are a scrapbooker, or you have a child that loves stickers, or if you are just plain human, this event is one that can’t be missed. Mrs. Grossman’s stickers are known for their great quality and originality, and they are acid free, so they won’t ruin your pictures. Get there early, because this event is anticipated by everyone in the know.
Saturday, Dec 5th, 9am -5:30pm
Mrs. Grossman’s Warehouse – 3810 Cypress Dr. Petaluma
Join their
Facebook page for more info.

Merchants’ Holiday Open Houses   Various merchants in Downtown Petaluma will be taking part in an Open House that kicks off the annual “Shop and Crawl” in Petaluma. The event includes Horse & Carriage rides as well as Rickshaw rides, caroling by the Petaluma High School Choir, Fairy Dust Face painting, dancing, balloon animals, and lots of activities and discounts/freebies at all of the participating stores. See site for a list of participating vendors.
Sat, Dec 5th, 10am – 6pm
Downtown Petaluma

Lighted Boat Parade, sponsored by the Petaluma Yacht Club. After the Holiday Open House, come down to the Petaluma River and watch a fleet of decorated and lighted boats make their way from the Petaluma Marina to the Turning Basin. The boats will remain docked there as folks gather in Downtown Petaluma for caroling, and to enjoy entertainment and food at the surrounding shops. Santa will be there too, handing out treats to all the kids.
Saturday, Dec 5th
Boats leave Petaluma Marina at 6pm, and dock at Turning Basin at 6:30pm

Ways to Give

This Saturday is the Winter Whiskers & Wine Event at the Sonoma Humane Society, open from 12noon – 5 pm. While there, you will have the chance to help animals with a sponsorship of $5, $10, or $25. There will be hot cocoa, sparkling wine, a bake sale, and a drawing for a prize. Dogs are welcome also, and you can get a holiday picture taken of your pet for a donation of $10. See the website for more details on this fun event to support a worthy cause.

Weekend Family Fun, Nov 28 – 29

If you’ve come out of your turkey coma and can tear yourself away from the Black Friday doorbusters (be sure to see my blog entry on not-to-miss events going on today), here are some festive events that will be happening this weekend.

Santa’s Riverboat Arrival This has become a yearly tradition for us. We park downtown and make the trek over to the bridge so we can see it lift for the riverboat that carries Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all of their crew. After they greet the kids and pass out candy canes, they will journey over to Haus Fortuna for some free photo ops. We hope to see you there!
Sat, Nov 28th, Noon
Historic Downtown Petaluma

Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart There’s been a lot of buzz about this event. Even Frank Simpson of Petaluma Spectator wrote up on this event. There will be lots of great raffle prizes, tons of crafts, and free swag  for the first 50 patrons. This Craft Mart was even named a “Holiday Show You Can’t Miss” by Bazaar Bizarre.
Sun, Nov 29th from noon-5pm
Hotel Petaluma – 205 Kentucky Street, Petaluma, CA
$1 donation
Free Parking

Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair Being that this is Arts and Craft season, I couldn’t miss including the Holiday Faire being held by the Rohnert Park Recreation Department. This will be its 30th year running, and a great opportunity to see the work of talented artists and crafts people from all corners of Sonoma County. Santa will be there as well, busy guy that he is, and will be available for pictures.
Sat, Nov 28th 10:00a to 4:00p
Rohnert Park Community Center, Rohnert Park, CA

Cottage Gardens Holiday Open House What could be more festive than enjoying fresh baked cookies, cider, music, and good times in a beautiful garden setting? Cottage Gardens of Petaluma is opening their garden gates for an open house to start planning your garden, or finding that perfect gift for someone on your list. With any purchase of $25 or more, you will receive a free vintage ornament.
Sat, Nov 28th, 9:00a to 5:00p
Cottage Gardens of Petaluma, Petaluma, CA

Holiday Barn Sale Oilcloth Churcherias is holding their holiday barn sale where they will be selling oilcloth products, including oilcloth by the yard. Along with their market and computer bags, aprons, and tablecloths in a multitude of funky prints, there will also be jewelry, hand-painted crafts, photos, and so much more. Don’t miss the tamales and salsa put together by Mi Fiesta Catering (mmmmm!).
Sat, Nov 28th 10:00a to 3:00p
9201 Ross Station Rd, Sebastopol

Christkindlemarkt (Christmas/Holiday Market)
For a holiday market with a worldly flair, the Christkindlemarket will be a sure bet. Enjoy the many hand-made crafts, food, and music from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Munch on some brats and sauerkraut, and take the kids to get their photo with Santa.
Sun, Nov 29th 10:00a to 4:00p
at Hermann Sons Hall, Petaluma, CA

 

WAYS TO HELP

The Secret Santa Program, partnered with The Volunteer Center’s Giving Tree program, KZST’s Secret Santa Marathon and letter, and with support from Friedman Bros, has provided holiday joy to over 13,000 underprivileged children, vulnerable adults and lonely seniors in Sonoma County – just last year! This year is an especially marginal time as the economy has hit many of our Sonoma County neighbors. Dig a little deeper this year and help make the holidays brighter for a family in need. The Secret Santa Program spells out several ways to do this. First, you can pluck a heart from a tree at many of the businesses around the county that have a name on it and what they are hoping to receive for the holidays. Second, you can visit the KZST website, located at www.kzst.com, and adopt a family or person in need. They also read letters every morning. Or third, the volunteer center is looking for more volunteers. Contact them at www.volunteernow.org   to find out how you can help so that more needs are met in our county.

For more ways to help out this season, and all year round, be sure to check out Good Deeds, a blog on ways to serve our community.

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Just a reminder, today is the last day to mail out your child’s letter to Santa so that it might run in the Press Democrat’s Holiday Gift Guide on December 10th. See forum for details.

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
Free

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 jenny@greenstringfarm.com. 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)
Free

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
Free

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
Free

Ways to Give

One reader, Amy, suggested giving to ChildFund.org. 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 crissi@santarosamom.com.

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 crissi@santarosamom.com 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
12-4pm
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.
FREE
Sat 11/7
9am-5pm.
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.
FREE
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!
FREE
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.