Even though school's back in session, it's still summer. In fact, September usually sees the nicest weather of the year in San Francisco and other places along the coast. Take advantage of sunny September and head over to the Park Chalet at San Francisco's Ocean Beach to catch a fantastic family performance at the free Summer JAMBand Family Festival.
This Sunday, September 11, the whimsical and exuberant Octopretzel takes the stage at 3 pm, followed by Charity and the JAMBand at 4 pm. It all takes place on the family friendly Park Chalet's expansive lawn, where they'll be serving up tasty food, house brewed beers, and cocktails for you to enjoy during the show.
Octopretzel, a group of five Bay Area musicians and educators, performs folk-inspired music that crosses genres and cultures, incorporating a wide array of styles including bluegrass, rock-and-roll, klezmer, African drumming, lullabies, and more.
The Park Chalet is located across from San Francisco's Ocean Beach at 1000 Great Highway (at John F. Kennedy Drive). For more information, visit www.parkchalet.com.
Northern Marin's newest dining hot spot, Ghiringhelli’s Pizza, Grill and Bar in Novato, presents fun for the whole family with Family Fare every Monday evening in July from 5:30–7:30 pm. Families can enjoy a great dinner along with terrific children's entertainment.
Kids can sing along, dance the Hokey Pokey, take part in arts and crafts activities, play games, and watch movies. Performers include Richard J. Rogers the Music Man, Marin kids' favorite Miss Kitty, and even a magic show, who will alternate on different Mondays.
Family Fare admission is $5, and Ghiringhelli's entire menu plusa a kids' menu will be available. Ghiringhelli's menu features pizza, pasta, salads, burgers, steaks, and more. Reservations are advised, but walk-ins are welcome, too.
Update: We've just been given another 10 family packs (4 tickets each) for this screening! The last 10 went really fast, so if you want them, make sure you redeem the RSVP code below as soon as possible.
We're giving away more movie stuff! Ten lucky winners will win a family four pack of passes to attend an advance screening of the family action movie The Spy Next Door in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 29 at 7 pm. Simply visit www.gofobo.com and enter the RSVP code 4HF0N6 to win. The first ten people to enter the code will get a set of passes. Easy, right? If you win, please note that the screening is overbooked to ensure full attendance, so please arrive early.
Disney's newest animated feature, The Princess and the Frog, opened this past Friday to rave reviews. Featuring elegant old-school hand-drawn animation and Disney's first-ever African American princess herione, this take on the classic fairy tale is set in Jazz-age New Orleans, and was created by the team responsible for The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. The Princess and the Frog also boasts music by award-winning composer Randy Newman.
We're giving away a cool The Princess and the Frog prize pack filled with goodies related to the movie as well as a pass for two to see it. (The pass is good in San Francisco only, so unless you live there you'll have to make a trip into the city to see it, but that's part of the fun, isn't it?) To enter, send an email to email@example.com with "Princess and the Frog" in the subject line. Enter by 11:59 pm (PST) on Friday, December 18. We'll choose a random winner on Saturday, December 19. Good luck!
Take a trip back to the 18th century and learn about music with eight-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart via the children's TV show Wunderkind Little Amadeus. This animated series is designed for children ages 4 and up, and not only keeps them entertained, but educates them about music through the adventures of young Mozart and his friends. Wunderkind Little Amadeus can be seen on KQED Kids daily at 8:30 am, or on a new four-DVD set of the entire first season (which we're giving away here to one lucky reader; keep reading for details).
Each episode features a colorful mix of real historical and imagined characters, including the precocious boy Mozart, his sister Nannerl, his parents Leopold and Anna Maria, his best friend and neighbor Kajetan Hagenauer, and Mozart's dog Pumperl. Also prominently featured, of course, are the musical works of Mozart. There's also a villain, Lorenzo Devilius, an official at the court of Salzburg's Prince-Archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach, who, along with his talking rat sidekick Monti, plots against the young Mozart and his family (but thankfully never succeeds). Obviously not all of the characters in this German-produced series are historical people. I'm pretty sure Devilius is made up, for instance, and I can't find any evidence that Mozart ever had a dog named Pumperl, but it's all in good fun.
When I was in grade school, my favorite book was Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox. I checked it out from the school library and read in numerous times, and I even committed to memory the little limerick about the story's antagonists, farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.
Boggis, Bunce, and Bean
One fat, one short, one lean
Those horrible crooks
So different in looks
Were nonetheless equally mean
So I was really excited to learn about the upcoming animated movie version of the Fantastic Mr. Fox, which opens everywhere on November 25, 2009. You can also imagine how excited I was when Fox Searchlight generously agreed to sponsor a Fantastic Mr. Fox contest on Marin Mommies! We're offering one lucky winner a family pack of four tickets to see this fantastic new movie, which Salon.com audaciously declares to be "Better than Pixar." But wait, that's not all! The winner will also receive four movie posters and four furry fox tail ties to wear.
All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in the subject line. You'll have until 11:59 pm on Wednesday, November 25, to submit your entry, and we'll select a winner at random and announce the results on Friday, November 27. (As always, we promise not to use your email in any way other than to notify you if you've won.)