Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for May, 2010

LEGOLAND’s New Water Park

egoland Water Park (Courtesy Legoland)
Contemplating a SoCal summer vacation? LEGOLAND California just unveiled its 5.5 acre, Lego-themed water park during a sneak peek for the media. Unfortunately, we’re NorCal-ites, so we had to settle for the media kit, instead of the lovely sunny jaunt, but we’re excited nonetheless.

The new splashy park opens May 28 at the north end of the amusement park, behind Fun Town. Among the attractions: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Under: Family Travel | 1 Comment »

70 Ways to Fight Childhood Obesity

Michelle Obama (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT Photo)The White House unveiled a mammoth proposal to reduce childhood obesity on Tuesday, with a 124-page report and 70 recommendations to slow what has become a health crisis among children. The goal? To get the nation’s childhood obesity rate from the current, staggering 20% down to 5% by 2030.

Among those recommendations, everything from a direct attack on the amount of junk food advertising aimed at kids, restaurant portion sizes and consideration of a sugar and fat tax, to ensuring that kids can safely bike and walk to school and play outdoors. Read more about the White House task force’s plan here and get a thoughtful perspective from Catherine Holecko,’s guide to family fitness, here.

Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Under: Health & Safety | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Exploratorium baseball exhibitEXPLORATORIUM HOME RUN: San Francisco’s Exploratorium is exploring the science of baseball this summer. Pick up an exhibit guide when you visit the Exploratorium from May 14 to September 6 and discover why ball players run on the balls of their feet, how it feels to have tens of thousands of cheering fans, why singers have to wear earplugs to sing the national anthem, and what’s inside a baseball. Free with regular museum admission.

GO GREEK: Imagine three straight days of Greek music, dancing, souvlakia and baklava. It’s Oakland’s annual Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, May 14-16. Tickets $6, kids under 12 are free.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Mt. Diablo Musicians Fest

Sheet music (Stock photo by Hiden84) More than 20 Mt. Diablo district schools are joining together for the first ever district-wide music festival May 15 at the Concord Pavilion (aka the Sleep Train Pavilion). Hear a choir of 500 elementary students, Concord High’s award-winning jazz ensemble, College Park’s incredible orchestra and more at this fundraiser to help save music programs at Mt. Diablo’s cash-strapped schools. The show begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 for kids, $12 for adults.

Posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Under: Family Outings, Schools | No Comments »

Slow Family Movement

Relaxing with a good book (Illustration by the Fresno Bee) It’s been awhile since I’ve been this enamored with a new parenting movement, but I’ve been hearing rumblings for awhile, then spotted a mention on StrollerDerby , followed various links and there it was:  the Slow Family Movement.

It’s like  Slow Food  but it’s aimed at families and how they spend their time.  It’s the brainchild of two Austin moms, Carrie Contey and Bernadette Noll, and it’s like a breath of sanity breezing through the insanity of end-of-school scheduling. They do classes and workshops and their web site brims with various helpful things, but to get the best sense of what they’re advocating, read this recent Slow Family blog entry… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

Jellybeans Book Giveaway

jellybeans Someone please make it stop raining. This is getting downright depressing … fortunately, there are enough fun little children’s books out there to brighten even a day as soggy as this one.

Take “The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonanza.” for example. In fact, do – we’re giving this copy away! It’s by Laura Numeroff, of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” fame, and it’s just the ticket for little book-loving girls. And all you have to do to win it is click “comments” and tell us, what are your kids reading right now? We’ll draw a winner’s name on Monday.

Meanwhile, the last book  – “The New Dad from A to Z” – is going out to 4tunate Dad whose advice for new fathers is: Just tell your wife “the men’s bathroom was extremely clean and it looked like the changing table was brand new, probably never used.” :-) Love it.  And there’s more fatherly advice here too!

Posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 6 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Docs, Teens & More

Teen Drinking Forum
May 12 at 7 p.m. Alhambra High, Performing Arts Building, Martinez
Community forum hosted by the Martinez school district.

The Doctor Is In
May 16 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on
Join Nurse Rona and her guests as they discuss ways to help kids deal with spring allergies, food allergies, coughs and colds.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Lil Kahunas Waterworks at Waterworld California
SPLASHY PLAYGROUND: Concord’s Waterworld California reopens for the season on May 9 with a new attraction, Lil Kahuna’s Waterworks (pictured), a huge sprayground with giant waterfall arches, geysers, water-powered seesaws and more than a dozen other attractions for kids. Tickets $19.95-$31.95, season pass $39.99.

TOTALLY TIBET: Hear folk tales and immerse yourself in Tibetan culture when Naomi Rose, author of “Tibetan Tales from the Top of the World,” hosts family art and story workshops at Pleasanton’s Towne Center Books at 4 p.m. May 4, and at the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch at 1 p.m. May 8. Free.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

BABIES? Babies, babies, babies…

A scene from "Babies" (AP Photo)
We are loving the Village Voice review of the new documentary, “Babies,” which opens on Friday. The movie follows a year in the life of four babies from Mongolia, Namibia, Tokyo and Oakland (pictured) and, well, this is what the Village Voice film critic said:

Babies babies “Babies” babies Babies? Babies babies.
Babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies babies Babies? Babies babies, babies.

The Huffington Post took a more cynical view – “Sure, they’re cute, but what’s the point?” Well, OK, but let’s not underrate cute. For more on “Babies,” check out this interview my buddy, reporter Jessica Yadegaran, did with the filmmaker last week.

Are you planning to see it?

Posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Under: Movies | 1 Comment »

RECALL: More Simplicity Cribs

Recalled crib - CPSC If that headline looks familiar, it should. It’s the latest in a very long line of crib recalls involving the now defunct Simplicity company. So far, more than 2.3 million of these things have been recalled. The walls fall off or the structure collapses. Now the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled all Simplicity full-size cribs with tubular metal mattress-support frames. The frames can bend, causing the mattress to collapse, taking your baby with it. A Massachusetts 1-year-old suffocated after becoming wedged in the folded mattress. Another child hurt hit head after he fell out through the bottom of the crib. And at least 12 other cribs have collapsed this way. The CPSC is not specifying how many cribs this recall involves because there are no longer any sales records for this wretched crib company. This particular structural collapse problem is not fixable, so if you’ve got one of these cribs, contact the store where you purchased it for a refund.

Want to see what the collapsed mattress support looks like?
Recalled crib - CPSC

Need more crib safety info? Click here for the CPSC Crib Information page.

Posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots, Health & Safety | 1 Comment »