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FAB Five for the Weekend

An alpen horn at Oaktoberfest (Contra Costa Times)
Oaktoberfest: Oakland’s Dimond District joins the Oktoberfest festivities with its own Oak-town version (pictured), featuring German sausages, strudel and a children’s root biergarten, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 9; www.oaktoberfest.org.

Andean tunes: You could sleep in on weekends, but then you’d miss the fun at Berkeley’s La Peña. Its family-friendly concert series, designed for kids ages 2-6, runs every Saturday morning from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Oct. 9 show features Lydia Mills, director of Los Mapaches, an Andean youth ensemble, performing Latin American singing games. Tickets $4-$5.  www.lapena.org.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
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FAB FIVE: Keeping Young Athletes Healthy

College Basketball, Tennessee vs Stanford 2008 (MCT Direct)
Baseball season’s winding down – or rather sliding full speed into championships – and rec swimming, water polo and summer sports camps are revving up, and those achy knees, slipping shoulders and jammed fingers just keep going, don’t they? So, here’s a Fab Five list to help keep young athletes healthy and injury-free, with a little help from St. Louis University’s director of athletic training education Tony Breitbach:

1. Doublecheck the equipment. Kids grow fast, so gear that fit perfectly last year may be too small now. “Ill-fitting shoes can be an especially big problem,” says Breitbach. “Last summer’s baseball cleats will likely not be right for this summer.” And protective equipment – cups, helmets, shin guards – must fit properly to protect.

2. Watch the diet – low fat, lean protein and complex carbohydrates – and hydration. Athletes need lots of complex carbs – what Breitbach calls “high-energy foods” – right before and after a game or workout. And water, water, water. “People place way too much emphasis on energy and sports drinks,” he says, “hen good cool water will do just fine. Don’t give him a bottle of water for a long game. A jug would be better.”
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Posted on Friday, May 23rd, 2008
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FAB FIVE for TV Turn-Off Week

Family Fun This is TV Turn-Off Week, but wooing kids – and yourself – away from the TV can be challenging. So here’s a fab five round-up of alternative pastimes.

1. Make flower fairies. These Family Fun magazine creations play off one of our all-time favorite craft projects, the Beadle dolls from the Family Fun Craft book, by teaming up the basic body – a wooden bead for the head, pipe cleaners for limbs and torso, and embroidery floss for hair – with faux flowers and wings. Adorable. (If you’ve got non-fairy-loving kids, make mad scientists instead, using neon green embroidery floss for the hair and white felt for “lab coats.”)

2. How about a game of golf… on the driveway? Use sidewalk chalk to plan a course. Tape cups to the asphalt as “holes” and break out the plastic golf clubs, Swiffer or whatever impromptu clubs you’d like to use.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
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FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Diablo Bowmen open house
1. Every Robin Hood fan dreams of lifting that bow, notching that arrow and letting it fly, unerringly, toward the bullseye. Now, you can give it a shot at the Diablo Bowmen’s annual archery range open house this Mt. Diablo Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ($6, including lessons and lunch)

2. The clothes-obsessed emperor gets a new and unusual set stitched during this East Bay Children’s Theatre staging of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” Saturday at 10:30 and 1 at the Oakland Museum. (Free-$10)
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Posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008
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FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Peking Acrobats 1. The Peking Acrobats take the stage at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall Friday through Sunday. ($12 and up)

2. Saturday’s Old Fashioned Easter at Dunsmuir Historic Estate includes the big bunny, games and egg hunts from noon to 3 p.m. Bring an Easter basket. ($1-$5)

3. Get your celt on at the annual Celtic Festival in Oakland Saturday and Sunday ($20)
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Posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2008
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FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Jigu! Thunder Drums of China (photo by Brittany App)
Looking for some weekend family fun? Here’s a Fab Five round-up
1. Jigu! Thunder Drums of China arrives at Cupertino’s Flint Center this Saturday ($22 and up) for an earth shaking Chinese percussion spectacle.

2. Abby and the Pipsqueaks play a kids concert at Berkeley’s La Pena Cultural Center Saturday morning at 10:30 ($4-$5 or $12 per family).
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Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2008
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FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Baby Loves Disco
Here’s a round-up of Bay Area family fun…
1. Baby Loves Disco turns local nightclubs into toddler-parent dance joints, complete with tunes, healthy snacks and mirror balls – and it’s all happening this weekend at Aura in Pleasanton. Spring dates in the South Bay and San Francisco too. ($15)

2. Berkeley Rep hosts “Art Explosion,” a family workshop that combines storytelling, music, art and movement, this Sunday. Free.

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Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2008
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FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Filming
Here’s what’s up this weekend for Bay Area families:
1. Got a comic book fan at home? How about a film buff? This weekend San Francisco’s Moscone Center hosts WonderCon, Northern California’s biggest comics confab, and the San Francisco International Children’s Film Festival. Among the films, “Adina’s Deck,” a movie about cyberbullying tweens (pictured above). ($6-$12 for a one-day pass to both)
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Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2008
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FAB FIVE for the Long Weekend

Ballet Afsaneh (photo by Daniel Bahmani)
1. Ballet Afsaneh, a Persian and Afghani dance company, graces the stage at the Bay Area Discovery Museum this Saturday at 11 a.m. ($7.50-$9.50)

2. Then come back Monday for a little “Gung hay fat choy” at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Chinese New Year Festival, complete with lion dancers, 9 to 4. (Free with museum admission.)

3. Got a Dungeons & Dragons fan at home? A board game lover? Or “Hey, That’s My Fish” aficionado? Then check out the game fest at DunDraCon in San Ramon all weekend. ($30)
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Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2008
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FAB FIVE: Pirate Supplies

Pirates and ship, Hearthsong There are few things that seize a kid’s imagination as thoroughly as pirates (or Mom’s imagination, for that matter, but we won’t talk about Johnny Depp here). So here’s a Fab Five round-up of pirate play essentials, including the ultimate, atmospheric pirate experience right here in the Bay Area.

1. First, of course, you’ll need some scallywags and a ship. We’re particularly partial to these wooden, poseable pirates from Hearthsong ($34.95), although Playmobil’s eye-patched guys are pretty swell too.

2. Then get in the mood with appropriate bedtime reading – “Captain Abdul’s Pirate School” and other tales by Colin McNaughton are perfect for both boys and girls ($6.99). Or try William Captain Lubber’s “Pirateology” ($19.99).
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Posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2008
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