Win Tickets to the Little Folkies Family Band Concert at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley

August 25, 2016

Little Folkies Family Band at Sweetwater Mill ValleyCome down to the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley for an all-ages concert of folk music for grown-ups and kids alike! The Little Folkies Family Band performs at "Date Night with the Tots" at the Sweetwater on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 4 pm. Read on to learn how to win tickets to the show.

The band plays a mix of Little Folkies originals and old traditional folk songs for children. Inspired by the children's music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Ella Jenkins, Jean Ritchie, Ruth Crawford Seeger's American Folk Songs For Children, David Grisman and Jerry Garcia's Not For Kids Only, Doc Watson's Songs for Little Pickers and more. You might even hear a little Bob Dylan or Grateful Dead cover songs as well if you're lucky. The four-piece band features Irena Eide (founder and composter of Little Folkies) on vocals and guitar, Matt Porter on banjo, Julay Brooks on mandolin and harmonies, and Grammy-nominated bassist Paul Knight.

Marin Ballet Spring Showcase Tickets for Marin Mommies Readers!

May 19, 2016

Marin Ballet Spring ShowcaseJoin Marin Ballet for its 2016 Spring Showcase performances this weekend! Come support and applaud dancers from level 1 through 9 (ages 7 to 18). Performances showcase students from levels 1 to 4 (ages 7 to 10) and include a student choreography piece from a level 9 student, a piece from our beginning boys class, as well as solo excerpts from two graduating seniors.

Performances are recommended for families and children ages 3 to 8 years old and are approximately 30 minutes long, with no intermission. Information about summer classes will also be available at the performances.

Marin Ballet has reserved 20 complimentary tickets for Marin Mommies readers for their Spring Showcase performances Saturday, May 21 at 1 pm and 20 tickets for the Sunday, May 22 performance at 1 pm. We'll give away the tickets on a first-come, first-served basis until they run out! To claim your tickets, send an email to with "Marin Ballet" as the subject along with your name, the number of tickets you'd like (maximum 4 per person), and which performance you'd like to attend in the body. Ticket winners will be notified via email by Friday, May 20.

Win Tickets to a Family Friendly Lunar New Year Concert with Kronos Quartet

January 30, 2016

Vân-Ánh Võ - Kronos Quartet Join the celebrated Kronos Quartet on Sunday, February 7, for Around the World with Kronos and Friends, a family-friendly celebration of Lunar New Year, featuring Kronos performing with special guests from musical traditions around the globe. Guest performers include Vietnam-born dàn tranh player Vân-Ánh Võ, UK-born multi-instrumentalist David Coulter, and Malian balafon player Fodé Lassana Diabaté, with a lion dance performed by San Francisco’s own Chung Ngai Dance Troupe, whicj has been part of the Bay Area’s cultural landscape for 50 years as a proponent of Chinese performing arts.

The concert, part of the Kronos Festival 2016, takes place in the Robert N. Miner Auditorium at SFJAZZ Center. Before the concert, the VA’V Young Ensemble, directed by Vân-Ánh Võ, will perform in the Fisher Family Lobby. The ensemble features students from San Francisco, San Jose, and Fremont playing traditional Vietnamese instruments, and performing a selection of Vietnamese folk songs, medleys, arrangements of pop music, and more.

Special Marin Ballet Nutcracker Storytime for Marin Mommies Readers!

October 29, 2015

Marin Ballet Nutcracker Storytime Marin Ballet's Nutcracker Storytime is a lighthearted introduction to the full-length Nutcracker production they perform in December. With a live storyteller and music, combined with special choreography for Marin Ballet's Level 1 students, and surprises from the Nutcracker cast, young children learn the story of how Clara makes her way from a Victorian Christmas Eve to the Land of the Sweets. It's a wonderful way to get ready for going to the big theater this holiday season!

Marin Ballet has offered us 40 free tickets to this special Nutcracker Storytime on Saturday, November 14 at 10:30 am. All tickets have been given away.

The performance will take place at Marin Ballet's Phyllis Thelen Theater at 100 Elm Street in San Rafael, near Dominican University of California. The show is approximately 45 minutes long, and is suitable for families with children ages 3 to 7. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early to park and get settled in your seats.

Win a HUE Animation Studio Kit!

September 26, 2015

HUE Animation StudioAre your kids ready to make their own stop-motion movies? One of the best ways to get started is with the fun and easy-to-use HUE Animation Studio, and we're giving one away to one lucky Marin Mommies reader!

HUE Animation Studio includes a USB 720p HD camera with built-in microphone, animation software for Windows and Mac, and the 60-page HUE Book of Animation, which contains instructions, tips, and inspiration for creating your own stop-motion movies. You can read our review of HUE Animation Studio here.

To enter to win, send an email to with "HUE Animation" in the subject line by Friday, October 2, 2015. We'll choose a winner at random on Saturday. Read our complete contest rules here.

Win Tickets to the December 19 San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker Family Matinee!

December 2, 2014

SF Ballet NutcrackerHow would you like to go see the San Francisco Ballet's celebrated Nutcracker this holiday season? We're excited to give away two tickets to the special family matinee performance of Nutcracker on Friday, December 19 at 2 pm. This exciting San Francisco holiday tradition is truly spectacular and not to be missed!

Family performances include a special gift for the first 500 children in the door, a special photo op and with costumed Nutcracker characters, and sweet treats during the intermission. You'll definitely want to get there early, since lines at the Opera House can get long.

To enter to win, send an email to with "Nutcracker 2014" in the subject line by noon PST on Friday, December 5. We'll select a random winner on Saturday, December 6. Our thanks go out to San Francisco Ballet for generously sponsoring this exciting giveaway. Read our giveaway rules and terms here.

Wisdom for Fathers from "Dad's Playbook"

June 1, 2014

Dad's PlaybookSometimes even Dad needs some great parenting advice, and who better to offer that than some of the greatest sports coaches ever? That's the idea behind Bay Area parent educator and author Tom Limbert's book Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time (Chronicle Books, 2012).

Dad's Playbook gathers together more than 100 inspiring quotes from the all-time great sports coaches. This makes a lot of sense, since dads do the same things that great coaches do: motivate, mentor, discipline, lead, inspire, teach, praise, and love. Tom's book contains bits of wisdom from coaches like John Madden, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda, Phil Jackson, and many others, and applies them to all aspects of fatherhood. The book also contains a foreword by 49ers hall of fame quarterback (and dad, of course) Steve Young.

Win Tickets to The Snowman at the San Francisco Symphony

December 10, 2013

The SnowmanThe 1982 animated film The Snowman is one of our favorite holiday classics, and it's even more magical when accompanied by a live orchestra and choir. It's a great way to introduce kids to the symphony, too. This season, The Snowman is part of the San Francisco Symphony's special All is Bright Christmas matinee concert featuring the Pacific Boychoir, directed by Kevin Fox.

The first half of the All is Bright program will feature orchestral holiday favorites and sing-alongs with the Boychoir and soloists. Highlights include A Christmas Festival Overture and Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson, Carol of the Bells, Do You Hear What I Hear?, and more.

The second half of the program includes the 26-minute animated film The Snowman accompanied by the orchestra. All concert-goers will receive a complimentary glowing concert favor from the Symphony. Performances take place on Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21 at 2 pm.

The BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat Makes Summer Travel Easier

June 19, 2013

BubbleBum inflatable booster seatCalifornia law mandates that all kids under 8 must use a booster seat when riding in a car. While it's easy to make sure your kids use a booster seat when you're driving them around, it's harder to make sure they're safe when they're carpooling to school, riding in a friend's or grandparent's car.

This being summer travel season, you also need a booster in rental cars and even taxis, and who wants to haul one of those around? Regular booster seats, with their armrests and cup holders, take up a lot of room, too, as anyone who's had to ride in the back seat with two kids' booster seats will attest to.

Enter the BubbleBum! Before BubbleBum gave me a sample to try out, I had no idea that an inflatable booster seat existed, and in fact the BubbleBum is the first one on the market. Upon unpacking, the BubbleBum doesn't look like much, but free it from its restraining zip ties and unroll it and it begins to take form.

To use it, just unscrew the valve, inflate (it doesn't take all that much air), and thread a seat belt through one of the belt positioning clips on the side. That's it!

The BubbleBum is made using the same advanced inflatable technology used in life jackets and air bags, and uses memory foam for structural integrity. It also meets all US safety testing standards, of course.

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