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Archive for February, 2010

ALICE in Wonderland Ticket Giveaway!

Alice in Wonderland (AP Photo/Disney) Here’s something cool for you Bay Area-ites: Dolby is hosting an opening night showing of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” – in Dolby 3D, naturally – at the Sundance Kabuki theater, 1881 Post St., San Francisco. The curtain goes up at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5, and we’ve got four free tickets plus $20 in concession gift cards to give away to one lucky family, thanks to the very nice folks over at Dolby.

How do you win them? Click “comments” and tell us, who’s your favorite Wonderland character and why? We’ll draw a winner’s name on Tuesday, March 2.

UPDATE: OK, folks, just drew a winner’s name and it’s Corina – who needs to respond to my e-mail by this evening to get those tickets!

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2010
Under: Movies | 16 Comments »

HOT Dog Warning Labels?

Wiener Wars (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) U.S. pediatricians are calling for a redesign of the noble frankfurter – or they want a choking warning slapped on ye olde hot dog. The reason, they say, is that while the federal government mandates warnings on toys intended for tots, no such danger signs appear on food – hmmm, perhaps because of the difficulty of printing “Warning: Choking Hazard” on each grape. But each year, more than 10,000 children go to the ER after choking on food and more than 70 die as a result.

I get all that, but here’s the thing. One of the first things you’re taught as a new parent – by your pediatrician, your new moms group and every baby care book on the planet – is not to feed your little one objects that approximate the dimensions of his windpipe. Dice or slice ’em first. Do we need warning labels on food? Or redesigned hot dogs? You tell me…

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

BOSTON Pops Contest

Fourth of July (Specialist 1st Class Paul J. Phelps/U.S. Navy News Photo/MCT) This is cool — The Boston Pops is celebrating its 125th Anniversary with a special contest to bring a family of four to Boston to celebrate Fourth of July with the Pops. Yep, airfare, hotel, fireworks and music on the Charles River Esplanade.

How are they picking that lucky family? Submit a 125-character-or-less message – via text, Twitter or Facebook – explaining why they should choose you. Deadline is May 15. And wow, 125 characters is not very much. (That last sentence was 41 characters, in case you’re wondering – and yes, spaces count.) Deadline? May 15. Details?

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: Family Travel | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Chabot Space & Science Center (MERCURY NEWS PHOTO BY MERI SIMON )
BLAST OFF: Celebrate black history month at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center (pictured above) this Saturday, Feb. 27, when the museum hosts all its usual hands-on demos and activities, plus a live web chat with NASA representatives, discussing the contributions of African-Americans in space and science. Free with museum admission.

LUNAR NEW YEAR: Lion dancers, thundering drums, acrobats and hands-on art activities fill the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco’s free Spring Festival Celebration on Feb. 27 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

SPRING Kid Flicks

Alice in Wonderland (Disney/MCT) There’s a slew of kid-friendly movies heading to your cineplex in the coming weeks, starting with Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” a completely revamped tale – Alice is 19, for one thing – which opens March 5. Then, in quick succession, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” on March 19, and “How to Train Your Dragon” on March 26.

So what do you think? What are you planning to see?

Posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

PERCY Jackson Reviews…

PERCYJACKSON  (Courtesy 20th Century Fox/MCT)
Anyone seen “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” yet? What’d you think? Reviews have been been mixed, but I’m still eager to see it because I loved the books so much.

San Francisco-based Common Sense Media, a nonprofit advocacy group that focuses on families and the media, says, “Parents need to know… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Scooby Doo Laff-a-Lympics Giveaway

Scoobys-All-Star-Laff-A-Lympics (Courtesy Warner Bros.) If your family is anything like mine, you’ve been glued to the Olympics coverage of  all those athletes swooshing down impossible ski jumps, racing around rinks and – wait, seriously? Skiing and shooting?

So it seems only right that this week’s giveaway features that famous comics superstar, Scooby Doo and his “Laff-a-Lympics.” This brand new DVD features the Scooby Doobies, the Yogi Yahooeys and the Really Rottens (hey, they’re the ones naming the teams, not me) competing in Olympics-like sports, including Skateboard Polo and a 3-Legged Kilt Race.

And all you have to do to win it is click “comments” and tell us, what’s your family’s favorite Olympic sport?

(Meanwhile, congrats are in order for Lauren from the Shooting Stars blog, who won the Garfield Noir DVD!)

Posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Under: Contest | 22 Comments »

And we’re baaaack!

Tech haze (Illustration copyright MCT/KRT) As you guys may have noticed, we’ve been dealing with blog server issues for dayyyyyyyys. Up, crash, back up, crash… But we’re back now and racing to upload new content before the dang thing crashes again! (P.S. Missed you, guys!)

Posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Teens, Homework & Facebook

Teens (Illustration by Charles Bloom/MCT) Living in the World of Texting, Video Games, and Facebook
Feb. 22 at 7 p.m., Miramonte High Theater, Orinda
Are texting, video games and Facebook modern means of essential connection or tools of addiction? Therapist Steven Freemire, MFT, discusses the many issues families face with communication technologies. Sponsored by Acalanes Adult Ed.

Helping Teens With Homework Headaches
Feb. 28 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on
The fifth in Childhood Matters’ six-part series on navigating the teen years. Nurse Rona and co-host Beth Samuelson, MA, of Student Organizational Services, discuss ways to help students manage their homework load.
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Posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Aboard the U.S.S. Hornet (Photo by Dean Coppola/Contra Costa Times)
Flashlight Tours: What could be spookier than exploring an aircraft carrier’s off-limits areas by flashlight? The U.S.S. Hornet, which is berthed in Alameda, is offering flashlight tours on Feb. 20 at 8:30 a.m., followed by a “Living Ship Day,” a historical re-enactment that lets participants watch simulated flight operations as planes are lifted to the flight deck and readied for launch. Admission is $6-$14, flashlight tours are $35;

Princesses & Peas: The witty, musical spoof of the old “Princess & the Pea” legend took on new life when “Once Upon a Mattress” landed on Broadway back in 1959. Now, the tale of Prince Dauntless and Princess Winnifred the Woebegone — and that famous legume — is headed for Berkeley’s Julia Morgan Performing Arts Center. The show runs Feb. 20- 28. Tickets $10-$22;
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Posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »