October 2014 Quick Links

Ronnie’s Awesome List – October 2014

Q&A with Tony Award-nominated songwriters of James and the Giant Peach, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Q&A with Denise Albert, The MOMS

Q&A with Comedian Shayna Ferm, The Pump and Dump: A Parentally Incorrect Comedy Show and Night Out For Once

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Q&A with Tony Award-nominated songwriters of James and the Giant Peach, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

pasekpaul7473RTsmallTickets on sale NOW!
Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley, Nov 6-Nov 9
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, Nov 16-Dec 14
Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, San Ramon Dec 20-Dec 21
Children’s Creativity Museum Theater, San Francisco, Dec 27-Jan 4

The Bay Area Children’s Theater (BACT) brings the surreal world, inspired by Roald Dahl’s classic tale of James and the Giant Peach, to theaters all around the Bay Area. The story is about James, an orphaned boy, who escapes from his wicked aunts aboard an enormous enchanted peach inhabited by a bevy of bugs. I had a chance to speak to the Tony Award-nominated songwriters of James and the Giant Peach, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, to give some insight on their creative process and background about writing the music for James and the Giant Peach.

What was your childhood like?
Justin I grew up in a musical home. My parents played piano, guitar and sang. When I was 10, my parents were looking for an outlet for me to do something that included singing. At that age, there were not a lot of options but they found musical theatre. Growing up, I performed in lots of plays. I loved singing, dancing, piano, acting and percussion. I had a very rich musical and theatrical childhood.

Benj Writing, poetry, and music was introduced early in my life. My mom is a developmental psychologist and on the side she liked to write songs to capture moments in our lives. This became very popular at my preschool. My mom and her friend became a children’s music duo and continued to write many albums of kids music about growing up such as “Jumping in a Puddle” and “Hugs and Kisses.” I grew up in an environment of turning every moment of life into song. As I got older, I became interested in writing my own songs. I was so lucky to grow up in a very supportive environment where theatre and music was accessible and encouraged.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Justin I knew musical theatre was something I had a passion for but I didn’t know I could do this as a career. I thought of it as just a fun way to express myself, exercise that creative muscle, and develop my talent. It wasn’t until high school when I realized that people do this for a living. Then I knew musical theatre was going to be more then just a fun hobby.

Benj Career day at school, there was no one who came to say “We write musicals, come and join us.” Even in most drama programs, the only thing you are ever given access to is the idea of being an actor. When you are a sophomore or junior in high school you start thinking about where you want to go to college. You’re not thinking, is there a song writing school. There is not an undergraduate program for song writing for musical theatre out there anyway. No one is told all the professions that exist in theatre. We both really love performing in the world of musical theatre but then when we got to university, other doors opened up to us as possibilities in the field of musical theatre. When that happened, it became a real ah-ha moment for us.

james_onpeach

Actors Derek Collard, Betsy Picart and Jack Sale. Photo by Melissa Nigro.

What advice would you give to a kid interested in pursuing theatre?
Benj What I have realize is the work we like the most and that we are most proud of is what we enjoy doing. If you can find joy in what ever you are pursuing you’ll find a career for that. Within song writing itself, when I find songs I have a passion for, I want to keep working on it.

For a kid, you might like painting and could look into a career in set design, or perhaps you prefer being in charge as oppose to being on the stage and you can manage the performance. People don’t realize, that in the arts, there are so many careers that you can pursue. We aren’t told that as kids. Both of us are very lucky that we were encouraged to follow our dreams as actors but that was the only option presented to us at the time. Follow what you love to do and eventually there is something that exists or create the career that you want just by following your passion.

For instance, Jennifer Ashely Tepper, created her own career by becoming a musical theatre historian and enthusiast. She’s not an actress or director. She created her own very specific career because she loves the world of Broadway and musical theatre. There is no one else like her. She is an historian of what is happening in the Broadway world, is a champion of new work, has written books, and she does this by creating her own path. Follow something that you love. Trust there will a way to make a living at it. I guarantee there is no college major or high school program that focuses on what Jennifer is most passionate for but it’s what she loves and she developed a career for herself because no one else does it the way she can.

Were there any special teacher that supported you?
Justin Too many to name. I grew up in Connecticut and went to public school. I was really lucky, the town I lived in had a real emphasis on the arts. The best part was the opportunities I was given. In high school, they let me conduct the orchestra and lead the choir. My teachers were very encouraging and realized by giving kids responsibility and letting them rise to that challenge, that it was an incredible way of teaching. I was surrounded by supportive teachers. I had an intense, strict, classical piano teacher that knew I didn’t practice. She saw I had musical talent and ability but classical piano wasn’t the thing for me. She was so patient and I continue to take lessons with her. To this day she comes to all my shows and she was at my wedding. It was a really supportive arts community. I couldn’t do anything I am doing without those teachers.

Benj I have a relatively similar experience. I grew up outside of Philadelphia and also had so many teachers who were fantastic and challenging me to learn about things outside what kids typically learn about. My 9th grade high school teacher had us perform “Angels in America.” Not many schools would have done such a mature play. Being exposed to challenging work makes kids rise to that level and aspire to excel. One thing Justin and I learned when writing for kids is that if you don’t challenge them, you are doing them a disservice. Kids want to be challenged, they want to lean in and take on more then what is expected of them. My favorite teachers are the ones that challenged me and introduced me to more sophisticated work meant for adults. It gave me an appetite to work more and it felt like I was not being talking down to. I am so appreciative to those teachers that exposed me to challenging work. This is the kind of work you have in the Bay Area. It is more complex and interesting and not all rainbows and puppy dogs. With James and the Giant Peach, we tried to create something that is a little edgy, makes you want to lean in and grab a piece of it.

james_sliderWhat advice would you give to a parent to help support a kid passionate in theatre?
Justin It’s tough finding that balance. Like with the piano; I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit piano lessons. As a parent, you need to pay attention and know what your child really wants. My parents knew me well enough that when I said I wanted to quit piano, which I said a lot, they knew that I really didn’t want to quit piano. I just didn’t want to put in the hard work and practice. It was one of the things my parents did push me to do but to they knew me well enough to know that I would regret dropping it. I had to force myself to do the hard work, practice and prepare, because, ultimately I love music and playing piano. It’s important knowing when to push your kids. They’re just being kids.

Also make sure it is what they actually love. There were so many things I wanted to do but didn’t have time for. When you’re a kid in school, I don’t think you know exactly what you are going to do as an adult. Do you play baseball in 5th grade because you really love baseball or is it because all your friends are playing it? When thinking about how your kid spends that extracurricular time, it’s important for parents to really know what truly motivates their kid. A parent can tell what their kids are passionate at, excelling at, what is it a phase or fad, or just doing it to be with friends. Helping kids sort through all that will help you understand what it is they really love to do.

Both of our parent were very supportive. There have been times where I’ve said this seems crazy to do theater, can I really make a profession of that? My parents had faith at times when I did not have faith in myself. They encouraged me to keep going. You would think it would be the opposite where a kid will say I want to be an actor or musician and a parent says how are you going to make money? It was the opposite for me; I said how am I going to make money and my parents would say you can figure it out if this is what you want to do.

You met at the University of Michigan. What was that spark that helped you realize you wanted to collaborate on projects together?
Justin We met at our freshman orientation the summer before we started at the University of Michigan and clicked as friends right away. We were members of the musical theatre department which was separate from the regular theatre department. There was only about 20 kids per class. In our freshman year, we dabbled in writing songs together, played piano, wrote lyrics, and had fun. In our sophomore year, we were both cast in very small roles in the school musical. This was embarrassing for us, but it inspired us to write our own shows that we can form our identity with and not be known as the guys that got cast in the really small roles. We wrote our first show together called “Edges” and people were receptive to it.

This happened in 2005, which was same year Facebook and Youtube first appeared. We were writing songs about 19 year olds, because we were 19, the people using the technology were our age, and we were able to spread our songs online using this new technology. It was a really exciting time.

You trained as actors and not musicians. How did you make that transition and how does this benefit what you are trying to achieve?
Justin We started by looking into other peoples songs to interpret. As actors, that led us to think about how we create our songs? We applied rules you learn as an actor to songs. Asking questions like “whose my character speaking to”, “what does my character want,” and figure ways to learn how to act a song. We used our knowledge as performers as much, if not more then, anything we learned about composition or technical music. So much of theatre is about the emotions you are capturing, what feels right and what feel honest about the characters and the story. That trumps any conventional musical training or other things you might study up on. What we learned as actors guides us as songwriters.

Do you have favorite composers?
Benj We were always fans of the Golden Age of songwriters in Broadway. We moved to New York and and got involved in a number of writing programs and met amazing people in our industry. We had the opportunity to meet and be mentored by our contemporary peers. We were in a year long program with Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens where we would bring in songs and notes and they would give us feedback. Steven Schwatrz and Alan Menken would come to our shows or listen to our albums and send us notes. The amazing things about theatre is that so many of our heroes we’ve gotten to actually meet and they are eager to help and pass along what they’ve learned. There is nothing better then to meet, work and learn from a living legend.

What do you each bring when you collaborate on a piece?
Benj Justin is a wonderful musician and handles that component of what we do. I write poetry and stories and like the lyric element of musical theatre. We have very different personality types. Sometimes we get frustrated with each other but this is advantageous for us because we approach life from different perspectives and challenge each other. That spark means there is a lack of complacency. There is such a great advantage to disagreeing, and I mean it as a positive, because that fight is what allows something to go from being good to being great. This tension, coming at things from different angles, is what propels the song forward.

Can you give me the inside scoop about what it takes to create a Broadway musical?
Benj The biggest part of writing is creating something that people can relate to, respond to and that resonates with them. That all comes down to the music, lyrics, script, and song. Then you have 60-100 people coming together, working on their different specialities, to tell one story. There is sets, lights, choreography, wigs, make-up, sound, actors, dancers, back up, music, costumes, producers, marketing, etc. There are so many people doing so many different things and some how they all have to align in a magical way. It is a difficult and miraculous thing to get all those creative people to come together. When it does work, that is the magic of Broadway.

Roald Dahl’s book has a very heavy dark humor to it. What is at the heart of this story that you are telling and how does the music support it? How do you turn such difficult subject matters into something upbeat?
Justin At the heart of the story is a young boy who is an orphan and looking for some sort of family and place in the world. What you see is a bizarre family that forms and it’s a wonderful thing. We all have our ‘found family.’ Sometimes that includes blood relatives or friends. There are dark elements in the book but it would not translate well on stage to an audience, especially a family audience. In an earlier iteration of the show, we explored some of the darker elements of the story and ended up taking it out. James has these horribly abusive aunts that we kept but with musical theatre we are able to add humor to these characters. While they are still horrible, they are fun as a vaudevillian type of characters and we’ve written some fun songs for them. Audiences know in the end James will prevail but having a musical aspect helps us get a funnier side to those characters. They are so over the top you have permission to laugh at them. Audiences enjoy going with these characters instead of just hating them and they end up being audience favorites.

How would you describe the musical style of the James?
Benj It’s a wide palette we are working in because it is such a fantastical bizarre story and we have over the top aunt characters and anthropomorphized insects. It’s a wacky world so we wrote it in what ever style felt best for the moment and characters. We have everything from the aunts singing in a vaudevillian style, to James as our emotional musical theater and song, the insects often sing in a big band-swing-gospil style and scat makes all these great sounds that insects make. The earthworm has to put on a show to attract the seagulls and performs a latin number. It’s wide open stylistically. Once you have 6ft earthworm singing and dancing, in my opinion, you are not beholden to any rule. Then you can write what feels right for that moment. We had a chance to explore all types of music which made writing James really fun.

How did the Artist Showcase at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley go?
Justin The Artist Showcase was great. We got to come somewhere new and meet a group of people who are so passionate. From the kids who got up on stage and performed with us, to the actors and getting to meet Nina Meehan, the director of Bay Area Children’s Theatre. It has been amazing to be introduced to a community that is doing such great work and getting a whole new generation of theatre goers and families to the theatre to create amazing memories with their kids.

What is the best comment you ever received from a young audience member?
Justin Sometimes they have “talk backs” after the shows where we have a chance to meet the audience with the actors. In Seattle, there was a boy, about 7 years old, who said he had lost his friend. The story of James deals with very real issues of kids loosing people that they love and what happens to people after they leave us. The way we handle death in the play is everywhere that you are, the people you loose never leave us but are apart of us, they surround us and are there for us and that resonated with this boy. It was incredibly moving to see something we had written was the catalyst that made him speak and connect to this loss that he had. It was the first time he talked about loosing his friend because he was in a place that he felt safe and supported. To us, that’s what the goal of art is, to be able to reflect what is happening in our lives and allow us to explore ourselves in the world around us and how we feel about the lives we are living. For this boy, what we had written was so inspiring that he felt he could talk about friends death and how to process that, it was so moving. You don’t think you are there doing anything but to tell a good story; but when it actually resonates with kids it is a real inspiring thing.

If I sat in your car and turned on the stereo – what would be playing?
Benj We both listen to eclectic music. We like everything from Judy Garland to Taylor Swift. We have a real diversity of music. We draw inspiration from a lot of different styles. For us when we think about writing, it’s all dictated by the story we are telling. We never say, “we’re gonna write this style of music and hope that the story works.” We approach the story we want to tell and figure out what kind of music serves that. We have an appreciation for a lot of different styles because that means you can tell lots of different stories so we love diving into different worlds. We have an appreciation for anything from Broadway musicals to pop.

Finish this sentence – The best thing about being a composer, songwriter is…..?
Benj You get to encapsulate little moments that live on forever. It’s like a photograph except you are setting words to music. The words are what tells you the idea while the music contains the emotion. You combine it with this emotional feeling and create a mood that last the rest of your life.

What’s next?
Justin We are working on a couple of films that are movie musicals and also stage musicals. We love writing for Broadway stage and companies like the Bay Area Children’s Theatre. We’re really excited to dive into the film world more and the things we are able to do in film are different, exciting, new and challenging. It’s an exciting new chapter starting for us.

We are so excited about the production of James. It’s a great wacky colorful show that all families will enjoy experiencing.

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Quick links for October 2014

Ronnie’s Awesome List – October 2014

Q&A with Tony Award-nominated songwriters of James and the Giant Peach, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Q&A with Denise Albert, The MOMS

Q&A with Comedian Shayna Ferm, The Pump and Dump: A Parentally Incorrect Comedy Show and Night Out For Once

 

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The MOMS

The MOMS inviteDenise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein, THE MOMS, have turned motherhood into a thriving business venture that reaches millions of parents each year. The MOMS have collaborated with Fuel Up to Play 60 – American Dairy Association with NFL & Real California Milk on Tuesday, October 14th, 3:30pm – 5:30pm in Santa Clara for a very special event for families. Experience an active drill with the San Francisco 49ers Training Camp, giveaways, fun activities, photo booths, after school snacks and drills with the 49er’s Training Camp! Plus one lucky family will win tickets to a 49er’s game. I caught up with one very busy mom, Denise Albert, to learn more about The MOMS.

Q. Tell me about The MOMS.
My partner, Melissa, and I started The MOMS in 2010 because we felt there was a conversation missing in the parent space. Our backgrounds are as television journalists and producers so we wanted to create a company in a profession that we are familiar with. We started with a newspaper, then a television show, and then the Sirius XM radio Stars program The MOMS with Denise & Melissa. The premise is to engage other parents in a conversation. We focus on empowering moms by featuring moms on our show who are doing great things. We’re really just spreading the powerful word of moms.

Q. You and Melissa each had successful careers in broadcast before getting together. How did you meet and what made you realize you wanted to collaborate together and create The MOMS?
First time we met, I was a producer at Good Morning America and interviewing candidates for a position. Melissa’s resume landed on my desk. At the time she was living in Toronto launching Canadian Idol and wanted to move back to the states. The second time we met, I was still with Good Morning America and Melissa was working at CNBC. When she moved back we connected, realized we had a similar idea and started working on it on the side for three years while we kept our day jobs.

Q. When did you know you wanted to let go of your day job and take a chance on making The MOMS work full time?
It wasn’t easy. I left Good Morning America after had my first son. I found it very difficult to try to be the kind of mom I wanted to be and continue my career with Good Morning America. After I left, my old boss was running a show with David Blaine so I went to run his company and produced his television show. Melissa and I continued working a few years until we were able to make The MOMS work full time. We were working two jobs: after coming home from a full day at the office, we would be with our kids, put the kids to sleep and back to work on The MOMS at night. That’s how we got started.

damg-300x187Q. Can you give me a little history of how it branched out into other business channels?
We had no business plan which is why we were able to make this work. It goes against everything that anyone who went to business school has learned. We have a lot of different pieces of what we do because we love what we do. When we get an idea we go for it. The MOMS is a lifestyle brand. We have the Sirius XM radio Stars program The MOMS with Denise & Melissa, a media company, our Mamarazzi® events hosting celebrity moms and dads in a unique town hall setting, television appearances, we have a new fashion line called Musen Albert, and show we call Strut, the fashionable Mom Show.

Q. What are the ongoing challenges you face in your business?
We have challenges every day because we are a start up. It’s just the two of us and we finally got a wonderful assistant. But the biggest challenges we face is that there is not enough people, not enough time, but the one thing Melissa and I have, that is so incredible that works, is we have each other. We are so lucky that we have the right partner. We both work hard, both have strengths and weaknesses and it balances out perfectly. When we have a challenge, we get through it together.

Q. You mention strengths and weaknesses. What are your strengths and weaknesses balancing one another?
It’s not really about strengths or weaknesses. We are different people socially, in our work lives and it works out perfect for us. We make appearances on many TV shows to discuss various parenting topics because we are known for how very different we are as parents. We write about it on our website called MOMmentary. We are very different people, Melissa is from a small town, I am from NY, she is madly in love with her husband, I couldn’t be happier divorced, the way we parent is very different.

Q. You said you are a better mom because you work. What does motherhood bring to your business and what does your business bring to motherhood?
It’s everything. I couldn’t do what I do without being a mom. I have to pinch myself how lucky I am. We pick our children up from school and get to be with them. We get to do what we love everyday which is what we worked so hard to build and not have to answer to anybody. I can’t believe how much my life has changed. Melissa and I work so well, together. Although we have a long way to go, we get to be moms and work without guilt.

Q. You write a column for the Huffington Post, had many television appearances, you’ve produced televisions shows, celebrity events coordinator, radio show presenter, and a mom. It’s hard to image one person doing all of this.
It’s who we are. There is still so many more things I want to do. I feel lucky that Melissa and I found each other and that we created something special. It’s not that hard for us. We worked 20 years building our careers and with rigorous hours. We pulled many late nights when we were covering a story. We still working extremely hard and long hours but were doing it on our time and that makes a big difference.

Q. Where do you envision The MOMS brand in the future?
We want to keep growing. We want it to be the best place for all moms to have a conversation and feel empowered. We love everything we do. We want to grow our Mamarazzi® events and include more people through social media. We dream of doing our own television show again but we don’t want to do it just because. We’ve had offers and turned them down. We want to choose the right project that aligns with our business and is true to who we are. We still think there is more for us to do in television, we just want the right opportunity.

safe_image.phpQ. You grew up in a broadcasting family. Now that you work in the field, do your boys show any interest in what you do for their future?
One of the best things about what we do is we can bring our kids to everything. My older son is coming with me to our San Francisco event this Tuesday which he is really excited about. We just did a Mamarazzi® even with Jennifer Garner who was there as we screened her new movie, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” My kids were so excited to be there. My older son is 9 1/2 years old and is interested in every aspect of what we do. He’s the first person at every event asking questions, inquisitive, a natural, and has the reporter like me in him. My younger son is 6 years old and born with the family sports gene. He knows every single thing about forts and is not as interested in what I do.

Q. If you can go back in time, what advice would you give to the 10 year old Denise?
Everything always works out for the best. My grandfather used to say that. It’s true. Hard to see that when you are going through something but always works out.

R3t8fRDdQV41I1F2V6IGewYjslC-ext2HByiYr46X0Q. Who was your favorite person to interview?
They’re all so great. Jennifer Garner was so impressive to me. She walks into the room, she shook Melissa’s hand and said “Hi Melissa, so nice to meet you.” Then she did the same to me. Does she know who we are? Probably not, but she cared enough to find out our names, and that tells you something about a person. She’s very real.

Hugh Jackman is also one of my favorites. We’ve done three events with him and every time we do an event with him, he remembers us, he does his homework. He is one of the most sought after and talented actors and yet he takes time to learn about who he is going to be talking to and that to me is extraordinarily special.

Celebrities love our Mamarazzi® events because no one is there asking them who they slept with, are they getting divorced, or other gossipy questions. We’re just a bunch of moms wondering what they do with their kids. It’s the kind of conversation they are talking to their friends about. Real people simply asking how they are doing in a very real conversation. We’re very fortunate that Mamarazzi® events are going so well.

We are doing something different to what all others are doing.

Denise Albert and her partner, Melissa Musen Gerstein, The MOMS, are co-creators of a multi-platform lifestyle brand featured on TV, online, and now on radio nationwide. The MOMS are hosts of the Sirius XM radio Stars program The MOMS with Denise & Melissa., moderators of Mamarazzi®, have their own fashion line Albert and Musen, fashion show co-founders for Strut, The Fashionable Mom Show, hosted a half-hour TV show with NBC called Moms & the City and A Dad Named David, are regular contributors to The Huffington Post Parents, have appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America and Fox News Channel among many others. And first and foremost, they are moms!

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The Pump and Dump: A Parentally Incorrect Comedy Show and Night Out For Once

Mill Valley Promo Image FullTickets on sale NOW for:
The Pump and Dump: A Parentally Incorrect Comedy Show and Night Out For Once with Guest Comic, Nato Green
October 15, 2014
Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
$22-$25
Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley

[DISCLAIMER: This interview contain explicit language.]

Hot of the heels of their sold out show last March, Shayna Ferm, comedian, musician and mother of a two and a three year old, and her coach, Tracey Tee (a.k.a. MC Doula), mom to a three year old, return to host another raucous evening of comedy, inappropriate music, prizes, drinking, and swearing. Mark your calendars, get ready to knock a few drinks back and laugh your ass off because you’re in for another wide ride with the moms of Pump and Dump. I caught up with Shayna to see what these crazy moms are all about.

How did you get started in comedy?
I had been doing comedy for 11 years in New York City before I had my first kid. We moved to Denver when I was pregnant with my second. I knew I would produce something in Denver, I just didn’t know what. Then I had the idea of the Pump and Dump while I was in the shower and my son was a few weeks old, and I was obviously in the throws of pumping.

How did you and Tracey come together?
We went to junior high and high school together in Parker, Colorado. Then I moved to Chicago and New York and Tracey went to Los Angeles. Tracey did comedy at “The Groundlings”  and a lot of writing in Los Angeles. We reconnected through Facebook when we found out that we were having babies three weeks apart. She was living in Denver and I was moving to Denver so she asked me for a play date.  It was very natural to ask her to do this show with me.  We created her persona of MC Doula as my sidekick and the partnership was born.

Tell me more about your show, The Pump and Dump.
I was reading some of the local mommy websites and community boards and I just kept thinking, “Man, these moms need a night out.” It’s so hard to just stop for a second and laugh about how truly fucked up being a parent is. I also think that there is something to be communicated to moms who have experienced lives of independence before children and are trying to reconnect with their identity. We need to step back and realize that it’s okay to miss who we were before children, celebrate who we are now and realize that we’re all just doing the best that we can. So we put together a night out (for us too) for moms to go out for an hour and half and still get home in time to get sleep – because we knew they’d have to wake up in another three hours (like us).  It’s grown exponentially over the last two years. Now we tour the country and we have two venues we perform at monthly in Denver that sell out every show.  In Denver alone, we reach over 500 moms, LIVE, a month.

What did you do to become a comedian? 
I was an actor in Chicago and then moved to New York City with a play in 2001. I started doing comedy because I could write and perform anytime I want to rather than wait for someone to hand me a job. I started in the NYC sketch and alternative comedy scene which was big in early 2000’s. I never ever imagined that parenting would become a part of it.

What kind of surprises are in store for your audience?
The show is so much fun – a lot of audience participation, we give away a lot of wine.  I don’t think people know what to expect because the concept seems a little cheesy, but when people come to see the show they realize there’s nothing cheesy about us. It’s an honest and real approach to what is funny about being a parent. We say the things you want to say. I think people are surprised at what a great time they have. The positive response is overwhelming and the word we hear and are touched by the most is “validation.” So, to answer your question, audiences will be surprised at how genuinely hard they laugh and how great of a time they have.

Your March show sold out and was a smash hit. Is there anything different that we can expect? 
It’s always a little different.  Tracey and I pull from our own experiences which change day to day, really.  We have some new songs, new trivia questions, new things we’ve developed since March.  The nice thing about music is that people do want to hear their favorite songs again.

Do dads ever come or is this pretty mom focused? Should a dad be concerned about being in the audience?
Dads are welcome!!  In fact, we give them free shots we call “The Emergency C-Section.”   We also lovingly refer to them as “Motherfuckers” because, well, they fuck mothers.  Dads come all the time, people without kids come. This is as much of a Date Night as it is a Girls’ Night Out. There is no dad or kid bashing.

Are you pleased that the show gets people laughing about things that would normally make us want to cry?
Yes, I feel like it is the pressure gauge for a lot of moms – it’s certainly our own. The response we’ve had is overwhelming. The people who come tell us they needed us.  There is a camaraderie in the commiseration. We end the show with a song called “You’re An Awesome Mom.” We’re all so hard on ourselves and so critical of ourselves, it’s nice to be in a room full of all kinds of parents, with all kinds of different views on parenting – from people who eat placentas to people who have never tried a cloth diaper – all of us in the same space, laughing about the same things. It’s all part of a movement that we have created called the The Mom to Mom Project.  Our mission is to spread generosity and humor, mom to mom.

As a comedian, musician and mom you’ve carved out a unique niche for yourself. What obstacles have you encountered bring so much diversity to the stage?
It’s really more that other people don’t know what to do with me. But after all these years, I know clearly what I want to communicate to the audience. I definitely consider myself a comedian. My music isn’t anything but funny.   And, I just want to be clear – I could not do the show with out MC Doula. She is my co-host and guides us all through the experience. She is not only an amazing business partner but also an integral part of who we are.

Which comedians inspired you to get on stage?
I grew up in love with abstract comedy. I am a huge Steve Martin.  I loved Saturday Night Live as a kid.   I’m not sure I aspired to be like anybody because my goal wasn’t necessarily comedy.  In doing it, though, I found a great deal of people that I highly respect. One of my favorite comedians is John Mulaney who was just starting out when I was in New York. I was fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of young comics – Kristen Schaal, Demetri Martin, Nick Kroll, Eugene Mirman – who have all gone off to do awesome things.  I was really lucky to be a part of the glory days of NYC alternative comedy.

Can you tell me about how juggling motherhood with two young children and a career is working out for you.
Tracey and I are work at home moms. We do travel, but only once a month.  We are actually bringing our kids with us on this San Francisco trip and we’ll see how that goes.  The balancing act and day to day with the kids is not easy at all.  More so, juggling the exhaustion from having really young kids and finding energy to do all that we do is the biggest challenge.  My youngest was 6 weeks old when we started this show. I still wasn’t sleeping through the night. People would say “I can’t come to the show. I’m going to have to get up in a couple of hours.” and we’re like “Yeah, us too!

Do your spouses ever comment about using them as material or embarrassed by some of the things you say? Does your spouse think you’re funny?
Our husbands are so proud. They love that we are making it work.  People talk to us, share their stories with us, we’re on tv, we’re in the newspaper. They are 100% behind us. I think the thing they enjoy the most is watching other people experience the show.

Your comedy has been described as sexy, risqué and raunchy. Do you agree?
I think my brand of comedy, my persona on stage, has always been irreverent and a little “off color,” as my parents would say. Any comedian will tell you it takes ten years to perfect your persona. So what I am communicating on stage, I’ve been developing my entire career. I’m always writing edgy material. It’s my sense of humor and I don’t see anything wrong with it. That’s just who I am as a comic. I think that in this show, we say the things that people want to say but don’t and it’s a relief to hear someone get up there and talk about it. We’re certainly not trying to shock anybody – just do it the way we do it.

What is your process for writing, editing, to forming a great joke like?
There are two sides to this. There is the song writing which is where I am inspired by concept. Then I decide how to approach it, think of rhymes and things that make me giggle, then it comes together. For the show itself, we are always writing new questions to ask our experts, new “Never Have I Ever” ideas,  trying new segments, etc.  We sketch an outline for the show, decide the order of the performances and figure out the new stuff we need to write. The music is a separate entity.  I’m happy when I can get my shit together enough to write a new song.  I actually  just wrote a song for the last show that has a very Joanie Mitchell style, which surprised me. The concept is that I would do anything for you; I’ll clean your puke, I’ll wipe your butt, I’ll drive you to school – but please don’t make me push you on the swings. Every mom has that ONE thing they just don’t want to do, right?  I fucking hate the swings.

When it comes to motherhood and marriage, there’s always a good dollop of recurring topics. What would you say today is the biggest modern day buzz with being a parent?
It comes back to what we talked about before; trying to remember who you were before kids. There is something about when you have little kids, you lose yourself for like 5 years. I’m not sure our parents felt they could complain. The truth is, complaining doesn’t make you a horrible person, it’s difficult or maybe impossible to enjoy every minute of this.  It’s SO HARD!  So lets just talk about it. The best thing you can do, we feel, is tell another mom they are doing a great job. When someone tells you that, you remember it.

You are from Denver. How do you think Marin moms are similar &/or different from Denver moms?
The reason we are coming back to Sweetwater is because we loved the Marin moms so much. Despite the requests for appearances at cities we have not been to yet, this is the first venue we’re coming back to a second time because we had such an amazing time. I am not sure why there is such a strong connection but it’s a really beautiful place to live like Denver, great place to raise kids, a lot of people who appreciate culture have a great sense of humor. It was such a great experience that we cannot wait to come back.

What do you have planned for the future?
We will continue to tour thru 2015.  We have some great partnerships in the works, we’re working on a book deal, we are making music videos to a lot of the songs, and we are keeping our show going in Denver. Ultimately, though, we just want to bring this show to more people.

We also have developed a product line alongside The Mom to Mom Project. We sell gifts for moms to give to other moms including cards, gifts, bags, and more. So keep an eye out for us.

For more information about the Pump and Dump show visit their website at thepumpanddumpshow.com.

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Ronnie’s Awesome List – October 2014 and Great Prizes!

Looking for something AWESOME to do every day of the week. Be sure to check Ronnie’s Awesome List – October 2014.

I also have 2 great drawings happening now! Winners will be chosen from my Facebook followers, click the “Like” button at the top. You will be automatically entered.

thumb_Photo 1.bmp4 tickets to see Disney on Ice, Worlds of Fantasy
The Oracle Arena on October 8-12 or SAP Center at San Jose October 15-19.
The winner gets to choose the date and place!

3dsideshow_win2 Tickets to the 3D Sideshow 
October 12, 11am, Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael

Winning names will be drawn this Wednesday at 5pm. Winners will be notified directly.

More great prizes to come soon!

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Win 2 Tickets to see Disney on Ice, Worlds of Fantasy

I have 2 tickets to see Disney on Ice, Worlds of Fantasy at either The Oracle Arena on October 8-12 or SAP Center at San Jose October 15-19.

The winner gets to choose the date and place! To win you must be one of my Facebook followers. Go to https://www.facebook.com/ronniesawesomelist and click the “Like” button to be automatically entered into the drawing.

The winning name will be drawn next Wednesday, October 8th at 5pm. Winners will be notified directly.

Posted in 0 years - 10 years, 11+ years, Marin Tweens & Teens, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

October 2014, Enter to win 2 tickets to see the 3D Sideshow at the Mill Valley Film Festival!

 3dsideshow_winEnter to win 2 tickets to see the 3D Sideshow at the Mill Valley Film Festival!

I have 2 tickets to give away for EACH show! Sign up on my Facebook Page to enter. The first winning name will be drawn from my Facebook followers tomorrow at 5pm for the October 4th show. The second winning name will be drawn next Wednesday at 5pm for the October 12th show. Winners will be notified directly.

Be sure to check out Ronnie’s Awesome List for the latest greatest events happening in and around Marin. October 2014 is a month chock full events. Keep checking back – you don’t want to miss anything!

Check out my AWESOME interview with the producer of “The 3D Sideshow” and one of the world’s leading contemporary stereo photographers, Robert Bloomberg.

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3D Short Flicks for Kids at The Mill Valley Film Festival

3dsideshow_tkt

The 3D Sideshow
Age Recommendation: 6+
* Saturday, October 4, 11am, Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael
* Sunday, October 12, 11am, Sequoia Theatre, Mill Valley

The 3D Sideshow is one of the many innovative programs showing in the Children’s Festival portion of this years Mill Valley Film Festival. It includes many shorts from around the world in a wide variety of styles. I’m extremely excited to share an exclusive interview with the producer of “The 3D Sideshow” and one of the world’s leading contemporary stereo photographers, Robert Bloomberg.

allisnotlost_tktHow did you come up with the idea of the 3D Sideshow?

I’ve been involved with the National Stereoscopic Association (NSA) for decades and was the Northern California director for over 20 years. Each year the NSA hosts a convention called 3DCom, and a main feature of the convention is the Stereo Theater, which showcases the works of both amateur and professional photographers and filmmakers. I thought it was a shame that the general public, especially kids, had little opportunity to see these innovative 3D films. So I had the idea to put together The 3D Sideshow.

diaryofafridge_tktCan you tell me more about the variety of shorts a family will experience?

Included in this collection you will see innovative shorts showcasing both big budget films as well as low to no budget films. There is a wide variety of distinctly different approaches to 3D, including computer generated imagery (CGI), hand drawn animation, stop motion, time lapse, as well as live action. There are different genres including music videos like OK GO’s “All Is Not Lost” and “White Knuckles” and Jeff Boller’s “A Geek Like Me”, two submissions from Disney, “Get a Horse” and “Feast”, an amazing historical film by Georges Méliès, an incredible 2D to 3D conversion of the classic sequence from Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last”, a Simpson’s short “The Longest Daycare”, and the world premiere of “One Night in Hell” from Queen guitarist, Brian May’s London Stereoscopic Company.

What were some of the challenges you faced in bringing this culmination of short films together?

Deciding which films to include in the program was a big challenge. There are so many great films out there, and I wanted to choose not only my favorites, but ones that complimented each other and made for a good program.  It’s like planning a dinner party where you want all your guests to get along and have a good time.

Then there was making sure all the films were in the proper format to show on the theater’s projection system.  This DCP (Digital Cinema Package) system usually requires expensive conversions by a large production house.  Fortunately, there are now several free shareware programs online, such as OpenDCP, which I used to convert those films that were sent to me in other formats.

frogsandfriends_tktMy 11 year old daughter just signed up to be in the filmmaking club at her middle school. What advice would you give to a kid who aspires to be a filmmaker? Any advice for parents, like myself, to help encourage these future filmmakers/storytellers?

Just keep encouraging them and give them the space to create. If you can afford it – get them equipment and help with whatever they need to pursue their dream, watch their work and be positive. The nice thing about growing up today is that there are so many opportunities, inexpensive software and computers available. At one time this software and hardware was only available to large studios and was very expensive. Now, people are shooting movies with iPhones and editing movies on their laptops.

Also, watching films together with your kids, talking about them, the editing, camera positions, sound and music, etc. The more films you see with your kids, the more you can talk about them in that way. Ask what they think makes them good, what they don’t like about them, and help them look at what they’re watching more critically.

ageeklikeme_tktAs a parent, I worry about my child getting into 3D because I don’t want her on the computer all the time. How can a parent, like myself, help encourage this interests without feeling like she is spending too much time on the computer?

I’m old school in terms of filmmaking. The last film I did for the Mill Valley Film Festival was “How to Draw a Cat” which I did in my living room with a one man-one cat crew. Ask what she is interested in and what is out there in the world that she would like to share with other people. Perhaps she likes visiting the animals at WildCare or enjoys a particular sport or activity;  this could be the perfect subject  for her film. That way she is out there and not sitting in front of a computer but engaging with a subject she’s excited about. These days the computer is a necessary part of the process for editing, but the actual experience of making and sharing the film doesn’t have to involve sitting in front of a computer all day.

infernalcauldron_tktAlthough 3D has been around for a long time it was not fully embraced by movie studios – it was a novelty. I remember seeing “Jaws 3” with 3D glasses I got off the back of a cereal box. Now with computer technology, many films seem to get caught up in 3D – especially kids films. Do you see this trend continuing?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of prejudice about 3D because of its hit and miss history. It was often done by people who really didn’t understand the 3D process or care enough about the final product to put the effort in. It does require attention to detail. In the past there were limitations with technology. The big 3D films in the 50’s involved having 2 projectors lined up on the screen in exact registration and synchronization. The sad fact was many of the projectionists were not trained or familiar with the process.

Honenightinhell_tktow does 3D change the type of story you can tell?

Movie making is fairly young, only a little over 120 years old, and filmmakers have had a chance to experiment and learn their craft and develop a film language.  3D has existed in some form since 1915 but filmmakers haven’t had the time to develop the language of 3D filmmaking they way they have with 2D. To me, Avatar was the first big 3D success because James Cameron is interested in doing 3D the right way. Now, several Academy Awards have gone to both animated and feature films in 3D. Films like “Life of Pi” and “Hugo” and prominent directors like Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese are using 3D in an intelligent way, and not just using it as a gimmick. Ideally, 3D should become a natural thing so that people don’t even think about it. For me, I have to ask “Is 3D important for the subject?” You have to have a reason for using it.

How does 3D lend itself to the overall experience of the 3D Sideshow that you would not get from 2D?

We see in 3D. Everyone is walking around shooting 3D all the time. Your 2 eyes are like 2 lenses of a camera that your brain is fusing into 3D. So it’s a natural way of seeing the world. Hopefully in the near future you won’t be thinking about whether a film is in 3D or 2D, the way you don’t think about a film being in color as opposed to black and white. 3D can really add to a film. In Werner Herzog’s film, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” the 3D lets the audience see how prehistoric painters incorporated the surface of the cave into their art. 3D brings you into their world, and makes it so much more immersive.

safetylast_tktYou have included classic snippets of films from Georges Méliès and Harold Lloyd. If Méliès and Lloyd were alive today, how do you think they would receive this film?

I’m positive they would both love it! Harold Lloyd was a 3D buff and was the inaugural President of the Hollywood Stereoscopic Society. He had access to the most elite Hollywood’s stars and shot many of them in 3D. He would be amazed at how his granddaughter, Suzanne, has converted his iconic clock sequence from his 2D film, “Safety Last,” into 3D.

The 3D Sideshow also features a remarkable discovery and rare treat from the father of special effects filmmaking, Georges Méliès, whom many people may know from Martin Scorcese’s 3D film, “Hugo”.

HTDAC-art secretsI know some people interested in having their film in the Mill Valley Film Festival. What can you tell my audience about the process of getting a film into the Mill Valley Film Festival?

Just send it in. In my case, I was encouraged by a friend to submit my “How To Draw a Cat”, so I sent an email with a description of film, posted a video online for them to view, and it ended up being selected for showing by the festival.  One of the nice aspects of the Mill Valley Film Festival is their interest in and support of local filmmakers.

Is this compilation of shorts going to be shown any where else?

No, these two screenings will be the only opportunity to see this particular compilation of films. Perhaps if “The 3D Sideshow” is a hit with audiences, the festival may wish to run it as a yearly event, similar to John Goddard’s wonderful “Hi De-Ho Show.” There were so many great shorts I had to cut out because of time restrictions and I would love a chance to showcase them in the future.

piecesofthefair_tktCan you give me some insight on what surprises audience members will experience?

On October 4th we will have five filmmakers for a Q & A after the program, me (Robert Bloomberg), Bob Venezia  (“Pieces of the Fair”),  Jeff Boller (“A Geek Like Me”), Eric Kurland (lead stereographer for “The Longest Day Care” and OK GO videos), and Patrick Osborne (“Feast”).

On October 12 we will have a screening of Jeff Boller’s “The making of  “A Geek Like Me“, followed by a live presentation by Patrick Osborne on the making of his film, “Feast”, from conception to final product.

We will also have a special door prize giveaway at both screenings of a yet unreleased, wonderful new 3D product.

movingstill_tktMany young people today are interested in learning 3D. We have camps and classes for kids in elementary school who are interested in learning 3D. Any last bits of advice for young artists just embarking on 3D as a potential path of interest?

There are so many tutorials online, How- to’s, equipment and DIY projects available. The National Stereoscopic Association has a magazine which has great articles. There are local film groups such as The Oakland Camera Club, which has a 3D division, festivals such as Mill Valley that supports and shows 3D. They have a wonderful program, CFI Education which encourages young filmmakers. I’m sure if your daughter came up with an interesting film, they would definitely take a look at it.

Also there are several 3D smartphone Apps, such as i3DSteroid and 3D Camera, that make it fast and simple to produce 3D that you can share online or email to a friend. The technology these days is so amazing.

whiteknuckles_tktWhere do you see this technology going?

I think it is just going to become easier for everyone to create art. There is hardly anywhere you can go in the world these days where people are not shooting photos and videos. I can’t think of a single major event that doesn’t get recorded. It’s just a matter of having the vision and taking the time to put it together. It’s one thing to shoot—there are so many people out there with thousands of photos and movies on their computer—it’s another thing to take that raw material and create something special. That is the hard part and where the work comes in, but it can be the most rewarding. For me, it’s a way to combine all my passions.

Microsoft_party_posteretteThe Mill Valley Film Festival runs October 2-12. In addition to the 3D Slideshow, this years children’s selection features innovative family films including a FREE outdoor screening of the classic Mr. Bug Goes to Town at the Old Mill Park Amphitheatre in Mill Valley and a selection of nonverbal foreign films including Miniscule: In the Valley of the Lost AntsThe Boy and the World, and This Bird’s Gonna Fly.

PLUS a Children’s Film Festival Celebration on October 12, 3-5pm, including live entertainment, Oliver Twist, The Family Bug Band, Glitter Tattoos, short films and more at the Microsoft Store in the Village at Corte Madera.

For a free pair of 3D glasses, mail a SASE to Box 227, Forest Knolls, CA 94933. You can use them to better view the images on Robert’s website.

 

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Ronnie’s Awesome List – October 2014


Pick a Date to Play

October 2014
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SoiStock_000013749619XSmall-300x208me of my favorite family friendly events happen in October:

and every year we plan an outing to the fabulous pumpkin patches and gear up for all the Halloween fun (listed below in orange).

October also hosts ‘Blessing of the Animals,’ one of the Bay Area’s greatest traditions and performed in the ways of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment. I am not religious but because of my personal passion in this area, I look forward to this event every year. I love watching kids line up, excited to have their beloved pets blessed with a special prayer to honor their loyal companions who love us unconditionally. It is a very special experience. There are many places across Marin to line up and have your pet blessed:

amelia_munroFriday, October 3

Saturday, October 4  

Sunday, October 5th

Sunday, October 26

Here are some other fun family and pet friendly events worth a mention:

If you know any other family and pet events in the Bay Area, please let us know.

Wednesday, October 1

Eggy Storytime, 11am, ages 3+, enjoy egg experiments and stories, Corte Madera Library.

Spaceships & Wings: A story time about flying things, 3-3:30pm, all ages, come to this special story time all about things that fly! Sausalito Library.

img_4673_medProfessor Smart’s Fun with Physics Show, 4pm, Kick off SCIENCE MONTH with this wild and crazy show! You just might learn something, Corte Madera Library.

Tween Movie: Coraline, 4pm, Sausalito Library.

Reduce Test Stress: A Free Program for Parents and Students, 7-8pm, Presented by Dr. Ben Bernstein, Clinical Psychologist & Performance Coach, and author of Test Success! How To Be Calm, Confident, and Focused on Any Test, Novato Library.

Film of the Month, 1:30pm & 4pm, films vary, every day except Wednesday, Walt Disney Museum.

Thursday, October 2

uncleeyejulia_mustacheUncle Eye and Julia, 4pm, ages 5+, listen to tales and sing along with Uncle Eye (Ira Levin), and Julia’s songs and singing stories – the Palace of Wonders. Join the fun, hear about Ruby the Rescue Cow and sing your heart out! Belvedere-Tiburon Library.

Young Writer and Artists Club, 4-5pm, ages 8-11, Are you an aspiring writer or artist? Come to the Young Writer and Artists Club! We’ll write stories and poems, and draw, paint and collage. You don’t need to come every week, join us when you can, Sausalito Library.

Friday, October 3

Kids’ Pajama Party with Kathryn OtoshiKathrynOtoshi, 6pm, cozy in front of the fireplace, listen to a story or two, have some milk and cookies and get your books signed before heading home for bed, diesel, A Bookstore.

Afoutayi 5th Annual Haitian Festival, 6-9pm, free, live music, dance and more! YIA Gallery, 917 C Street, San Rafael.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair, 4-9pm.

Saturday, October 4

Toddler Days, 9am-12pm, enjoy milking a goat, holding a warm egg from the chickens, and hearing the baa of the sheep, activities are toddler appropriate, but all ages welcome on this very friendly day, Slide Ranch.

Home Depot to the Fire Rescue, 9am-12pm, ages 5-12, build a fire rescue plane, Home Depot.

tennis-racquetTiburon Challenger: USTA Kids Day, free, enjoy fun games, activities and soft serve ice-cream cones, Tiburon Peninsula Club, contact Michelle at 279-1973, skipwith@norcal.usta.com.

Junior Chef Class, 10am,  ages 9–13, Mac & Cheese – You Way!, Williams-Sonoma, The Village at Corte Madera.

Nature for Kids: Deer Island, 10am-1pm, follow the 2.3 mile loop trail around this “island” as we walk through oak forests and open meadows. This beautiful little ridge that rises above the surrounding marshland is a great place to enjoy an autumn day with the family. Don’t forget to bring your lunch! Meet at the gate on Deer Island Ln in Novato.

Hand Painted Halloween Rocks, 10am-12pm, $2 per child for 30 minutes, ages 3+, Michaels, San Rafael.

3dsideshow_tktMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: The 3D Sideshow, 11am, short films, special music videos, & animations including an old Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse with 3D characters jumping in and out of the film, a rare clip from Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, the Disney short Feast, and Georges Méliès Infernal Cauldron, the first film in 3D, Rafael Theatre, San Rafael.

Science for Small Hands, 11am-12pm, hands-on exploration of science, technology, math and engineering. For young learners, ages 3-6, with caregivers, Novato Library.

Hawk Talk & Banding Demo, 12-2pm, about hawk migration and identification, Marin Headlands.

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants (Minuscule: La Vallée des Fourmis Perdues), 12pm, A real forest landscape is the backdrop for a 3D animated story about the tiny, scuttering creatures that live there, including our petite protagonist: a recently hatched ladybug who is minus one wing and one family after an encounter with a gang of flies, Sequoia Theatre, Mill Valley.

Marinwood Oktoberfest! 12-5pm, music, food and more, San Rafael.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Nike Missile Site Open House, 12:30-3pm, volunteers and Nike Veterans available to interpret each of the areas on the base.

flora-and-the-penguin_fc_loresMolly Idle – Flora and the Penguin, 1pm, innovative, wordless picture book with clever flaps that reveal Flora and the penguin coming together, spiraling apart, and coming back together as only true friends do, Book Passage, Corte Madera.

Professor Smart’s Fun with Physics Show, 1-2pm,  Science will come to life with an interactive performance combining theatrical storytelling and very cool demonstrations, Marin City Library.

Historic Fort Baker Tour, 1-2pm, learn about the Colonial Revival buildings and how this 1905 army post represented a new and improved standard of living for the officers and soldiers stationed here with architectural historian Kristin Baron, Cavallo Point reception building, Sausalito.

boxtrolls_tktMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: The Box Trolls, 1:15pm, Laika (Caroline and ParaNorman) is one of the animation world’s great new wonders, using pioneering creative technologies and approaches to storytelling. Where do they fit into the storied history of the medium and who is driving their creative visions? A chat with some key leaders of the Laika will provide a window in their wonderful world, and meet Directors: Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi and Producer: Travis Knight, Rafael Theatre, San Rafael.

LEGO-Engineering, grades 2-5, Build a GEAR CAR and have an ISLAND VEHICLE ADVENTURE with Nancy from Play-Well TEKnologies! Class size limited: pre-registration required. Fairfax Library.

Ian Lendler – The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth, 2:30pm, The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo… until the gates shut at night. That’s when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare’s greatest works. Book Passage, Corte Madera.

Cover_IsisA Treasury of Glorious Goddesses Series, 4pm, Meet authors Shirin Yim Bridges, Janie Havemeyer and Gretchen Maurer as they discuss their lively middle grade novels that bring world mythologies to life! Book Passage, Corte Madera.

Owl Wars, 6:30-9:30pm, 5 mile strenuous hike at dusk, look and listen for the owls that call Muir Woods home, reservations required; call (415) 388-2596, Muir Woods.

North Bay Mobile Drive-In, Lord of the Rings, 8:30pm, fun, authentic, drive-in experience, movie is projected on the side of the Old Hamilton Theater building (closed for many years now) and transmit the audio over the FM band (88.3FM) just like modern drive-ins. By donation, small concession snack bar available at each performance, Old Hamilton Theater Building, 520 Palm Drive, Novato.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People, 2-4pm, hiking, beginner exercises and family games, you’ll get to know your various National Park sites while getting those hearts and waistlines happy, Presidio, San Francisco.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park.

October Fireworks Series, 6pm, fireworks at 8:30pm, music and more, Pier 39, San Francisco.

Sea Chantey Sing Along Aboard Historic Ship, 8pm, sing-along of sea chanteys and sailor songs aboard a historic ship at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

acfArab Cultural Festival, 12-6pm, San Francisco’s Union Square transforms into an Arab bazaar offering food, games and entertainment to the whole family.

Fandango, 10-4, welcome autumn’s arrival as they did in 1840′s by experiencing the dance and music of a “Fandango”, Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, 3325 Adobe Road.

Lift Off Festival, 10am-5pm, see firing rockets, flying discs, soaring falcons, floating bubbles, and all sorts of things ascend into the air, CuriOdyssey, San Mateo.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair, 10:30am-5pm.

TarantulaFest & Barbecue, 10am-6pm, food, games, contests, entertainment, and enlightenment including a leisurely nature walk with a volunteer naturalist and search for tarantulas on the move, Henry Coe State Park.

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Sunday, October 5

ShowImage.aspxNovato Fire District Open House, 10am-1pm.

Green Gulch Farm Sunday Children’s Program, 10am, After a short talk, the children leave the zendo to participate in their own special programs. Activities include crafts, seasonal projects on the farm and garden, yoga, and ritual. Please check in before the program at the table near the southwest side entrance of the zendo.

Boogie with Emily Bonn, 11-11:45am, ages 2-5, Emily will bring her favorite old-timey, folk and classic children’s songs to create a playful learning environment for children. This 4-week course nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence while developing singing and rhythm musicality, body awareness and social skills. Registration Required, Mill Valley Library.

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: The Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo), 11am, Handdrawn animation and music from luminaries in Brazil’s contemporary music scene enhance this wordless tale of a boy’s travels to find his father, who no longer can earn a living from the land, Sequoia Theatre, Mill Valley.

thisbirdsgonnafly_tktMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: 5@5 This Birds Gonna Fly, 11am, animated shorts from around the world is sure to delight children of all ages, Rafael Theatre, San Rafael.

Hawk Talk & Banding Demo, 12-2pm, about hawk migration and identification, Marin Headlands.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

The Last Gun, 11am-3pm, How can a 50-ton gun simply disappear? Learn this and more while helping load and aim the last operational gun of its kind. Photos of the century-old Endicott system batteries in action are on display in an underground cartridge room, Presidio at Battery Chamberlin, north end of the Baker Beach parking lot.

Story Time & Family Walk, 10:30am, ages 4-8, Cloud Forests and Conservation, San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair, 10:30am-5pm.

FAMILY PROGRAM: Foods of the Americas Family Day, 10am-3pm, Crafts, Food, Talks, Docent Tours, Corn Husk Dolls and Food tastings and Demos, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley.

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Monday, October 6

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, 5pm, Century Cinema Corte Madera.

Museum Monday for Little Ones, 10am-Noon, Schultz Museum.

Tuesday, October 7

Build a Body Storytime & Workshop, 3:30-4pm, ages 5+, Corte Madera Library.

Sunset/Full Moon Walk to the Point Bonita Lighthouse, 6-7:30pm, tour down the Point Bonita Trail, through the hand carved tunnel and out to the Lighthouse, Reservations required; call (415) 331-1540.

10639524_826935347350987_5751421220374992775_nMarin Private School Fair, 6:30-8:30pm, sponsored by Southern Marin Mothers’ Club, Greenwood School, Mill Valley.

Muir Woods After Hours, 8-10pm, ages 8+, This is an easy, 2-mile walk on paved trails. Bring your flashlight and discover Muir Woods when the sun goes down. Reservations required, 388-2596.

Wednesday, October 8, Full Moon, Total Lunar Eclipse

Amazing Animals Storytime, 11am, ages 3+, learn about penguins, otters, sharks, and more, Corte Madera Library.

LEGO Club, 3-4:30pm, ages 4+, We’ve got a huge LEGO collection. Come play, build and geek out with us! No children under 3 will be allowed, although we will have Duplos in the Children’s Room for them to play with, Sausalito Library.

Free Bike Repair Day for kids and families, 1-4pm, Bay Area Bike Mobile presents a free day of bike repair for kids and families. Bring your bike to the San Anselmo Library lawn. We can fix most everything! Arrive Early. Space is Limited.

Creatures of the Night Flashlight Program, 5-7pm, discover what nocturnal animals are and how their adaptations help them survive. By playing with flashlights and using a form of Morse code, learn about the effects of light pollution on nocturnal animals, Muir Woods.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, Oracle Arena, Oakland.

Thursday, October 9

Fleet Week, Enjoy the celebration honoring the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, watch the Parade of Ships, feel the roar of the Blue Angels.

Bird Walk, 10:15am, Birders or aspiring birders of all levels are welcome. No worries if you don’t have your own binoculars, we can loan you a pair during our walk, Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Tiburon.

Young Writer and Artists Club, 4-5pm, ages 8-11, Are you an aspiring writer or artist? Come to the Young Writer and Artists Club! We’ll write stories and poems, and draw, paint and collage. You don’t need to come every week, join us when you can, Sausalito Library.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, Oracle Arena, Oakland.

Friday, October 10

Fleet Week, Enjoy the celebration honoring the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, watch the Parade of Ships, feel the roar of the Blue Angels.

Not Afraid of the Dark Hike, This hike has been CANCELED

Hoppity-british-poster1

Joanne Rocklin – Fleabrain Love Franny,  6:30pm, Franny starts up a correspondence with an eloquent flea named Fleabrain, who lives on her dog’s tail. Book Passage, Corte Madera.

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: Hoppity Goes to Town AKA Mr. Bug Goes to Town, 7:45pm, free outdoor screening of a croony, swoony animation classic that’ll delight the young—and the young at heart! Old Mill Park, Mill Valley.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, Oracle Arena, Oakland.

Saturday, October 11

Fleet Week, Enjoy the celebration honoring the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, watch the Parade of Ships, feel the roar of the Blue Angels.

Redwood Creek Before the Storms, 9:30am-12:30pm, Visit the creek at its driest and learn how coho bide their time before the onslaught of winter storms, meet at the Muir Woods Visitor Center.

Family Fun Day, 10am-1pm, pumpkin patch, games, face painting, crafts, bake sale, raffle and more, St. Vincent’s Pumpkin Patch, St. Vincent’s exit off Hwy 101, San Rafael. All proceeds donated to the boys at Timothy Murphy School at St. Vincent’s.

litquakePoster_webLitquake, 10am- 9pm, sci-fi to be heard at Gamescape, new works by local teens under the spreading tree on the library lawn, edgy “wild side” lit at Triumph Skateboards, and Muriel Johnson and Phil Sheridan will be telling stories from 11:15a – 12:15p at the Friends of the Library Bookstore, 1016 C Street, the entire 4th Street corridor in San Rafael.

Bay Area Pet Fair, Free admission (& parking), lots of free entertainment, giveaways, kid and dog activities PLUS more than 1,000 pets for adoption! Marin Civic Center.

Harvest Celebration, live music, local organic cuisine, nature craft activities, food and gardening workshops, meet our farm animals, and more, Slide Ranch.

Stars Wars Reads Day, 9am, fun-filled day of giveaways and activities in stores nationwide for Star Wars fans of all ages, Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera.

AppleFaireRVMCMountain School Apple Faire, 10am-2pm, ages 3-7, games, crafts, puppet show and more, 50 El Camino Dr., Corte Madera.

Junior Chef Class, 10am,  ages 9–13, Waffle Mania, Williams-Sonoma, The Village at Corte Madera.

Bon Air Car Show, 10am-4pm, Over 100 of the finest vintage cars in the area come to Bon Air Center, Kentfield.

Concert for Kids, 10:30am, Christopher Smith, Robin Sweeny Park. Bring your family, a blanket and enjoy FREE concerts.

miniscule_tktMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants (Minuscule: La Vallée des Fourmis Perdues), 11am, A real forest landscape is the backdrop for a 3D animated story about the tiny, scuttering creatures that live there, including our petite protagonist: a recently hatched ladybug who is minus one wing and one family after an encounter with a gang of flies, Rafael Theatre, San Rafael.

Science for Small Hands, 11am-12pm, hands-on exploration of science, technology, math and engineering. For young learners, ages 3-6, with caregivers, Novato Library.

legomovie_tktMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: The LEGO Movie, 11am, Conversations with filmmakers from films that are part of awards season, these discussions are designed to illuminate the creative filmmaking process with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Rafael Theatre, San Rafael.

Biketoberfest, 12-5pm, Family Fun Including Bike Decorating, Bike Carousel, Kids Bike Skills Zone and Face Painting! FairAnselm Plaza 765 Center Blvd. Fairfax.

Oktoberfest, 12-5pm, music, food and kids activities, Old Corte Madera SquareCorte Madera.

Fall_Flyer_FullPage_2014Fall Fest, 12-4pm, Music, Food, Cake Walk, Games, and AMAZING Raffle prizes. Join us and bring a friend to this thrilling community event for a great cause, San Geronimo Valley Community Center Arts & Events, 6350 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Geronimo.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Picnic Hike at Tiburon Uplands, 11am – 2pm, hike of the Tiburon Uplands Preserve, enjoy a picnic lunch, and spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay. This hike is moderate-to-strenuous, Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon.

youthreel_tktMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: Youth Reel, 3pm, stellar youth-produced shorts from all over the world, Lark Theatre, Larkspur.

LEAP Sand Castle Contest, 10am-4pm, Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

Tolay Fall Festival 

Family Matinees, ages 5-12, provide a window into the exciting world of live jazz and feature amazing artists from around the globe! This month is Zakir Hussain, SF Jazz Center, Miner Auditorium, San Francisco.

Crissy Field Aviation Walk, 10am-12pm, Explore Crissy Field and learn about its role in early aviation history on this easy, one-mile walk.

Science Saturday: Butterflies 101 – Butterflies of Mountain Lake and Beyond! 2-3pm, overview of these beautiful invertebrates, and discuss the rich history of Lepidoptera in San Francisco.

In the Footsteps of Anza, 2-4pm, walk through the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail and hear some of the stories of this trailblazing and inspirational expedition through treacherous and uncertain territory, 2.5 miles through sections of moderately strenuous terrain uphill; we’ll see and hear how this historic landscape has changed over 200 years, Presidio.

Pier Crabbing, 10am-12pm, We’ll discuss bait, equipment, and regulations, then try your luck with our nets. Fills quickly so call early. Reservations required; call 556-1693.

Family Friendly Restoration, 9-10:30am, help plant native plants, removing unwanted weeds and various other activities to help preserve native habitat.  Snacks are provided and we will be finishing off the day with a story circle! RSVP requested to (415) 561-4280 or nature@presidiotrust.gov, Mountain Lake Outdoor Classroom, San Francisco.

IMG_0290October Fireworks Series, 6pm, fireworks at 8:30pm, music and more, Pier 39, San Francisco.

Indigenous Peoples Day, 10am-6pm, free, traditional dancing, music, crafts, food and more, Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, Berkeley.

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, Oracle Arena, Oakland.

Sunday, October 12

Fleet Week, Enjoy the celebration honoring the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, watch the Parade of Ships, feel the roar of the Blue Angels.

Marin Waldorf School’s Annual Children’s Faire, 10am-4pm, games, puppet shows, story telling, crafts, local vendors, a visit from the Sleeping Giant, and activities such as the Knight’s Quest, Hero’s Maze, 755 Idylberry Road, San Rafael.

Sunday Special: Dholrhythms Dance Company, 11am, highlights the ancestral and ethnic roots of the Punjabi dance form while pushing boundaries with contemporary influences, Mill Valley Library.

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: 5@5 This Birds Gonna Fly, 11am, animated shorts from around the world is sure to delight children of all ages, Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley.

boyandtheworld_tktMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: The Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo), 11:15am, Handdrawn animation and music from luminaries in Brazil’s contemporary music scene enhance this wordless tale of a boy’s travels to find his father, who no longer can earn a living from the land, Rafael Theatre, San Rafael.

Bay Area Pet Fair, Free admission (& parking), lots of free entertainment, giveaways, kid and dog activities PLUS more than 1,000 pets for adoption! Marin Civic Center.

Grand Opening at Dairy Knoll, music food, entertainment, and more! Dairy Knoll Rec Center, 600 Ned’s Way, Belvedere-Tiburon.

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: The 3D Sideshow, 11am, , 11am, short films, special music videos, & animations including an old Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse with 3D characters jumping in and out of the film, a rare clip from Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, the Disney short Feast, and Georges Méliès Infernal Cauldron, the first film in 3D, Sequoia Theatre, Mill Valley.

Duck-Derby-web-banner-V1Duck Derby, Point Reyes Station.

Marine Science Sunday, 10am-5pm, takes a look at Creatures of the Deep, Join us for classroom presentations, Docent-led tours, and more! Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

2ArchaeologyDayMAI2014International Archaeology Day, 1:30-3:30pm, Paleo Technology Demonstrations and Activities, Native Food Processing, Crafting Shell Beads, Flint Knappin,g Projectile Points and more, Museum of the American Indian, Miwok Park, 2200 Novato Blvd, Novato.

Microsoft_party_posteretteMILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: Children’s Party at Microsoft, 3-5pm, fun for the whole family including live entertainment, Oliver Twist, The Family Bug Band, Glitter Tattoos, short films and more! Microsoft at The Village at Corte Madera.

Drop-In Art Making, 1-3pm, Sound Sculptures, Contemporary Jewish Museum.

As You Like It, 2pm, free, RSVP required, All are invited to join Rosalind, Orlando, Celia, and Touchstone as they escape to the forest of Arden in this classic comedy focusing on love, loss and redemption, the show runs an hour and the cast will take questions, stay for a PLAYSHOP – a one-hour, hands-on session featuring activities that will enhance your appreciation of the play! The newly restored Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco.

Tolay Fall Festival 

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, Oracle Arena, Oakland.

642Artist Showcase, 2 shows: 11am Creativity Museum, San Francisco & 4:30pm Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, featuring Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Tony Award-Nominated composers of our upcoming main stage show James and the Giant Peach. Do you have young performers in your family who love theatre? Then you won’t want them to miss this unique opportunity to meet these two brilliant Broadway songwriters!

Monday, October 13, Columbus Day

Fleet Week, Enjoy the celebration honoring the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, watch the Parade of Ships, feel the roar of the Blue Angels.

Boogie with Emily Bonn, 11-11:45am, ages 2-5, Emily will bring her favorite old-timey, folk and classic children’s songs to create a playful learning environment for children. This 4-week course nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence while developing singing and rhythm musicality, body awareness and social skills. Registration Required, Mill Valley Library.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Museum Monday for Little Ones, 10am-Noon, Schultz Museum.

Tuesday, October 14

Colored Pencils For Field Sketching, 10-11:30am, with John Muir Laws, a free hour and a half workshop, Learn how to get the most of a small set of colored pencils and create a fast, portable, intuitive, and inexpensive sketching system, Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Tiburon.

Test-tube Terrariums Storytime & Workshop, 3:30-4pm, ages 5+, Corte Madera Library.

Expeditioners2S.S. Taylor – The Expeditioners: The Secret of King Triton’s Lair, 7pm, Kit, Zander, and M. K. West are settling into their new lives as students at the Academy for the Exploratory Sciences when Kit finds another mysterious map left for him by their father, the brilliant, famous — and presumed dead — explorer Alexander West, Book Passage, Corte Madera.

Wednesday, October 15

Science Experiments Storytime, 11am, ages 3+, Corte Madera Library.

Collage Workshop with Bethanie Murguia, 3pm, ages 4+, Come to our collage laboratory: experiment with line, color, and shape to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind collages. Local author and illustrator Bethanie Murguia will demonstrate a variety of collage techniques and approaches. Bring your imagination, we’ll provide the supplies., Sausalito Library.

The MOMS inviteThe MOMS, Fuel Up to Play 60, American Dairy Association, NFL & Real California Milk Event, 3:30pm – 5:30pm in Santa Clara for a very special event for families. Experience an active drill with the San Francisco 49ers Training Camp, giveaways, fun activities, photo booths, after school snacks and drills with the 49er’s Training Camp! City Beach, 2911 Mead Ave, Santa Clara.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, SAP Center, San Jose

Thursday, October 16

Seans Shadows - Halloween.pub

Sean’s Spooky Shadow Puppet Show, 3:30-4:30pm, San Anselmo Library.

Haunted Tales for Halloween: a Shadow Puppet Show, 6:30pm, ages 4+, an entrancing and only slightly spooky shadow puppet show, Space is limited and reservations are requested. Please RSVP to library@cityoflarkspur.org or 927-5005.

Young Writer and Artists Club, 4-5pm, ages 8-11, Are you an aspiring writer or artist? Come to the Young Writer and Artists Club! We’ll write stories and poems, and draw, paint and collage. You don’t need to come every week, join us when you can, Sausalito Library.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, SAP Center, San Jose

Friday, October 17

girlandmonster_10Sean’s Shadow Puppets, 3:30pm, Shadow puppets and live music from master puppeteer Sean Powers, Sausalito Library.

Halloween Harvest Festival! 5-7pm, ages 2-12, Carnival Games, Pumpkin Carving and Decorating, Face Painting, Trick or Treat Bag Decorating, Carmel Apples, Bounce House, Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael.

Movie Night – How to Train Your Dragon 2, 5:30 – 8:30pm, free popcorn and more! Feel free to picnic and BBQ too. Movie begins 15 minutes after sunset, Stafford Lake Park, 3549 Novato Blvd., Novato.

9c9c4a48-4810-4d01-9884-e398bba4d678I Am Eleven, TBD, Do you remember when you were 11? Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey traveled the world for six years talking with 11-year-olds to compose this insightful, funny and moving portrait of childhood, Lark Theatre, Larkspur.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, SAP Center, San Jose

Saturday, October 18

Trails Less Traveled, 9:30am-1pm, enjoy a walk through cascades, ferns, and fragrant tanoaks of this quiet side canyon of Muir Woods.

Goblin Jamboree Sponsor Breakfast, 8am, Bay Area Discovery Museum.

PrintGoblin Jamboree, 10am-4pm, come in costume and explore the haunted wonderland complete with games, attractions and live entertainment. Enroll in the witches’ school, take a train or pony ride, visit the petting zoo and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment, Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Junior Chef Class, 10am, ages 5–13, Pumpkin treats, Williams-Sonoma, The Village at Corte Madera.

10575414_698722830211085_556644197096745995_oTwin Cities Co-op Halloween Carnival, 10am-2pm, featuring face painting, carnival games, a cake walk, raffle, jumpy house, bake sale, used costume sale and much, much more, 56 Mohawk Avenue in Corte Madera.

Science for Small Hands, 11am-12pm, hands-on exploration of science, technology, math and engineering. For young learners, ages 3-6, with caregivers, Novato Library.

Venetia Valley School Fall Carnival and Supply Drive, 11am-4pm, games and kids’ activities including jumpies; live, local entertainment; face painting, henna tattoos and a cake walk and more, 177 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael.

3cd003_4140ba05c90a4c5a8ee045ba52cd9f99.jpg_srz_979_401_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzCreole United Festival, FREE but suggested donation is $5, funds raised go to the Performing Stars “Zydeco For Kids” project and music education, enjoy Zydeco on the bay with authentic Louisiana cuisine, activities for all ages, arts & crafts for kids, dance lessons, exhibits, Sausalito.

Sharktoberfest2014PosterLetterSharktoberfest! 11am-4pm, free, shark related activities, food, music and more, “Build a White Shark” and “Shark Printmaking” $5/person, registration required for these two special programs, Contact Sara Heintzelman to RSVP for the event and to reserve a spot for special programs: sara.heintzelman@noaa.gov or 561-6622 x237, Gulf of the Farallones Visitor Center, 991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San Francisco.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Watercolors for kids workshop with local artist Diana Bradley for Kids, 1-3pm, ages 4-10, registration required, Bring a toy or some photos that you’d like to paint pictures of. We’ll supply all you need and give great tips to start you on your way to working with watercolors, Belvedere Tiburon Library.

Hands-On Learning: Scoubidou Woven Whatzit! Decorating Project, 2pm, ages 7+, Decorate your backpack, locker or notebook with the Scoubidou, Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera.

Rush Creek Bike Ride, 5-6:30pm, enjoy a moderate 9-mile mountain bike ride at the Rush Creek Open Space Preserve. This route has very little elevation change and offers sweeping views of the marshlands at Rush Creek. Dress in layers, bring water, and don’t forget your bike! Meet at the Pinheiro Fire Rd gate on Binford Rd in Novato.

Oceans Aglow: Family Night Hike & Campfire, 6–8:30pm, join us for a night hike to Rodeo Beach in search of bioluminescent plankton twinkling in the sand, NatureBridge, Sausalito.

International Archeology Day, 10am-3pm, stop by Pershing Square to see archeologists in action, make your own adobe brick wall, behind the scenes tour of the lab, and more, Pershing Square at the corner of Arguello and Moraga, Presidio, San Francisco.

Tolay Fall Festival 

Market Days, 11am-3pm, free, open-air mini-festivals that bring together museum and community scientists, artists, and educators, art and science demos, hands-on activities, exhibits, and craft displays, Exploratorium.

San Francisco Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, 12-3pm, birding, habitat restoration, quests, games and more, RSVP requested to (415) 561-4280 or nature@presidiotrust.gov, Mountain Lake, San Francisco.

TD-CircleLogo-IP-e1405383864269Trolly Dances, 11am-2:45pm, free with regular MUNI fare, tours leave every 45 minutes starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 2:45 p.m. from the Market St. Railway Museum, south of Embarcadero Plaza.

October Fireworks Series, 6pm, fireworks at 8:30pm, music and more, Pier 39, San Francisco.

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, SAP Center, San Jose

Sunday, October 19

Goblin Jamboree, 10am-4pm, Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Talk to a Planetary Geologist, 12-2pm, Dr. Georgiana Y. Kramer from The Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, and find out the latest news about our Moon. We hope to see a lot of budding young scientists. Bring your curiosity and questions. The event and entrance to the museum is free! The Space Station Museum, Novato.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

MCM_Diesel_IvyBean_WebIvy + Bean Day, 2pm, ages 6-10, join us for an afternoon of games and fun! Bring a friend or come and make new ones while you play musical statues on the lawn and have a 3-legged race around the green before marching back to the store in a parade, led by a trumpet player, to greet Ivy + Bean author, Annie Barrows at 2:30 pm. There will be a photo booth for you and your friends to take silly pictures in, crafts to make and giveaway surprises! deisel, A Bookstore, Larkspur.

Tolay Fall Festival 

Trolly Dances, 11am-2:45pm, free with regular MUNI fare, tours leave every 45 minutes starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 2:45 p.m. from the Market St. Railway Museum, south of Embarcadero Plaza.

Sunday Streets, Mission, San Francisco.

jalexander400dpiMaster Magician Jay Alexander, 11am, his illusions and sleight of hand are remarkable and amazing, Randall Museum, San Francisco.

AXIS Dance Workshop for Kids, Hop, dance, wiggle, and move to the beat in this series of drop-in creative dance workshops for children of all abilities, Contemporary Jewish Museum.

East Bay Mini Makers Faire, 10am-5pm, hack, make and remake things into new, personalized stuff. This is truly a Do-It-Together experience.

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Disney on Ice, enter the Promo Code MOM for a special discount, SAP Center, San Jose

Monday, October 20

ivanKatherine Applegate – Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, 10am, presents the extraordinary true story of a special gorilla who was captured as a baby in the Congo and brought to a mall in America to attract shoppers, Book Passage, Corte Madera.

Boogie with Emily Bonn, 11-11:45am, ages 2-5, Emily will bring her favorite old-timey, folk and classic children’s songs to create a playful learning environment for children. This 4-week course nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence while developing singing and rhythm musicality, body awareness and social skills. Registration Required, Mill Valley Library.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Museum Monday for Little Ones, 10am-Noon, Schultz Museum.

Tuesday, October 21

Storytime: Horton and the KwuggerBug by Dr. Seuss, 11am, Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera.

Explore the 5 Senses Storytime & Workshop, 3:30-4pm, ages 5+, Corte Madera Library.

Pajama Rama! 6:30-7:30pm, A family program of bedtime stories & songs. Come in your pajamas and slippers! Bring your favorite stuffy! Fairfax lIbrary.

Wednesday, October 22

Family Movie Afternoon, 3pm, Pirate Fairy, Sausalito Library.

Kiddo! Art Show Reception, 4:30-6:30pm, SweetE Organic, Strawberry Village, Mill Valley.

Thursday, October 23, New Moon

Young Writer and Artists Club, 4-5pm, ages 8-11, Are you an aspiring writer or artist? Come to the Young Writer and Artists Club! We’ll write stories and poems, and draw, paint and collage. You don’t need to come every week, join us when you can, Sausalito Library.

Hands-on Science at the Farmer’s Market, 3-7pm, North Berkeley Market, Shattuck @ Rose St, Berkeley.

Friday, October 24

ill-give-you-the-sunJandy Nelson – I’ll Give You the Sun, 6:30pm, Book Passage, Corte Madera.

Tam Valley Haunted House, Mill Valley.

ShowImage.aspxHalloween Music & Magic Show, 4pm & 6pm, Mill Valley Community Center.

The Witches, 6:30pm, This is a faithful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story in which Boy and his Grandmother defeat the Grand High Witch and her followers, who are holding a Conference in an English seaside hotel, Young Performers Theatre.

Super Natural Halloween Party, 6:30-9pm, This ghoulishly family fun event will feature trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, face painting and live science demonstrations, with more surprises added daily! California Academy of Science.

Explorer Days – Behind the Scenes of the Berkeley Natural History Museum, 4-5:30pm, Get a behind the scenes look in the collections which are normally closed to the public, including the Essig Museum of Entomology, the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology, Jepson Herbarium, and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Please arrive early to secure your spot as the tour will be limited to 20 people.

Saturday, October 25

Halloween costume swap, 2014Costume Swap, 9am-1pm, Marin County Mart, Larkspur.

Family Exploreres Bay Sail, 9:30am-12pm, Set sail for family adventureon the schooner Seaward. Navigate the bay, hoist sails, and learn a bit about bay ecology during this 2.5 hour experience filled with breathtaking views and one-of-a-kind memories, NaturesBridge, Sausalito.

Junior Chef Class, 10am, ages 5–13, Halloween Cookie Decorating, Williams-Sonoma, The Village at Corte Madera.

Kayak Paddle and Cookout, 10am – 1pm, after the paddle, stay for BBQ hot dogs and refreshments, free of charge, Tiburon.

get_to_knowGetting to Know WildCare, 10am-12:30pm, Enjoy a short hike in nearby Gerstle Park, where we may spot red-shouldered hawks and dusky-footed woodrat nests, WildCare, San Rafael.

Scream On The Green Faire, 10am-5pm, Trick or Treating 11a-1p, Little Chamber of Horrors” Haunted House, Pumpkin Carving & Costume Contest, Music, Food and more, Sherman Avenue and the Civic Green & City Hall complex.

WildlifeDiscoveryDayMarin Wildlife Discovery Day, 10am-2pm, over 150 species of birds that live and breed in Marin, our creeks support some of the best coho salmon populations in northern California, and our hills are home to California’s top predator, the mountain Lion, ‘Children’s Island’ in the lagoon at the Marin Civic Center.

Science for Small Hands, 11am-12pm, hands-on exploration of science, technology, math and engineering. For young learners, ages 3-6, with caregivers, Novato Library.

Halloween10.25Halloween Festival, 9am-1pm costume swap, 11am Pup Parade, Kids Music, face painting, crafts and more, Marin County Mart, Larkspur

Halloween Storytime: Click, Clack, Boo! 11am, join us in costume for this Halloween Storytime with fun-filled giveaways and activities, Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera.

Halloween Bash – A Community Arcade, 12-4pm, A mashup of Halloween and makers, celebrating community-made arcade games, with free trick-or-treating and a food drive, Bon Air Center, Greenbrae.

Trick or Treat on Fourth Street, 1-2:30pm, Haunted House at Saint Raphael’s School, games, crafts, and trick or treating, Downtown City Plaza, 990 Fourth Street, San Rafael.

Pumpkin Carving, 1-2pm, RSVP to Cindy or Carol, 388-6233, Goodman’s Hardware, Mill Valley.

Halloween Haunt, 4-8:30pm, Haunted House, Music, Food, Jump House, Face Painting, Scares, Laughs, Magic Show, and MORE!! Belvedere Community Center.

Haunted House, 5pm–5:30pm, child friendly, GAME ROOM, CITY HALL
Come see what spooky terrors lurk in this year’s inception of the annual Sausalito Haunted House. They’re dying . . . to meet you, Sausalito City Hall.

Mount Tamalpias Astronomy Programs, 7:30pm, bring a chair and picnic, stargaze and learn about “The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System” at the Mountain Theatre.

Explorer Days – Back in Time at the Bay Model, 1:30-2:30pm, watch the Bay Model fill and get familiar with the forces of nature that created the SF Bay Estuary and surrounding areas, limited to 40 attendees.

Hands-On Learning: ZOOB Building and Modeling Event, 2pm, ages 4-7, build something creative with the ZOOB moving, mind-building modeling system, Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera.

Marin Wildlife Discovery Day, 10am – 2pm, Children’s Island, Lagoon Park, Intersection of Avenue of the Flags and, Civic Center Drive, San Rafael.

Woodland Pet Food & Treats Halloween Pet Parade & Costume Contest, Mill Valley, Greenbrae and San Rafael locations. My favorite sweets shop, SweetE, will have several delicious, organic chocolate and fruity at the Mill Valley event!

Trunk or Treat, 5-6:45pm, Mill Valley Community Center Parking Lot.

Graveyard Stroll, 6 – 7:30pm, get a head start on Halloween! Experience our one-of-a kind program that uncovers one of Marin’s most interesting, but little known cemeteries. All treats (and tricks) are free, Marin County Parks Lucas Valley Field Office 18 Jeannette Prandi Way, San Rafael.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Hawk Talk & Banding Demo, 12-2pm, about hawk migration and identification, Marin Headlands.

Geology of the Golden Gate Headlands, 9am-2:30pm, Explore 200 million years of geologic history and learn the fascinating story told by the rocks at the Golden Gate, Reservations required 561-4323.

Tam Valley Haunted House, Mill Valley.

Halloween DayFlier2014_2Family Halloween Fest, 10am-2pm, Join us for a day of family-friendly, non-scary, inexpensive Halloween fun! Randall Museum.

History Comes Alive with Juana Briones at El Polín Spring, 1-2:30pm, experience a day in the life of Juana Briones, a legendary woman of the Presidio. We will start by grinding corn, and then continue with a short walk while listening to stories of the Presidio’s past inhabitants, registration required, 561-4323.

Pier Crabbing, 10am-12pm, We’ll discuss bait, equipment, and regulations, then try your luck with our nets. Fills quickly so call early. Reservations required; call 556-1693.

2014_wharffestWharf Fest, 11am-6pm, enjoy music and live entertainment, food and wine, a chowder competition, children’s rides, ship tours, street performers, art, fireworks, and more, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

The Witches, 1pm & 3:30pm, This is a faithful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story in which Boy and his Grandmother defeat the Grand High Witch and her followers, who are holding a Conference in an English seaside hotel, Young Performers Theatre.

October Fireworks Series, 6pm, fireworks at 8:30pm, music and more, Pier 39, San Francisco.

Hands-on Science at the Farmer’s Market, 10am-3pm, Downtown Berkeley Market, Center St @ MLK, Berkeley.

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Sunday, October 26

Marine Science Sunday, 10am-5pm, takes a look at Creatures of the Deep, Join us for classroom presentations, Docent-led tours, and more! Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito.

Explorer Days – BioBlitzing at Muir Woods, 10am-12pm, identify and document as many different plant and animal species as we can, limited to 25 total participants.

Scream On The Green Faire, 10am-4pm, “Little Chamber of Horrors” Haunted House, Pumpkin Carving & Costume Contest, Music, Food and more, Sherman Avenue and the Civic Green & City Hall complex.

WOW! Halloween Faire, 10:30am-12pm, carnival games, bounce in the jump house, enjoy the candy & prize hunt and costume parade! Strawberry Park & Rec. Mill Valley.

Explorer Days – Marin Headlands Native Plant Science, 12-2pm, tour the native plant nursery and take a short hike, limited to 15 total participants.

Explorer Days – SF State University’s Bayside Marine Laboratory, 2-4pm, ages 11+, ocusing on phytoplankton, ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and carbon cycling will be open and scientists and students will be available to answer questions, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, Tiburon.

Reading Together Book Group, 2pm, ages 8-10, The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm, diesel, A Bookstore, Larkspur.

Jeepers Jack-O-Lanterns, 10am – 12pm, ages 7+, carve your own spooky Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween! A limited amount of pumpkins will be available (otherwise, you are more than welcome to bring your own), and festive, healthy snacks will be provided, Paradise Beach Park, 3450 Paradise Dr., Tiburon.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Hawk Talk & Banding Demo, 12-2pm, about hawk migration and identification, Marin Headlands.

Beginning Birding, 9:30-11:30am, age 8+, easy walk along Rodeo Lagoon to discover our summer birds.

Tam Valley Haunted House, Mill Valley.

hoopla_5Halloween Hoopla, 12-1:30pm, Music, crafts, & costume parade for kids! Unique Derique is the master of ceremonies and will lead numerous games for families to play, Yerba Buena Gardens.

Meet the Banjo with Roger H. Siminoff, 11:30-12:30pm, upclose introduction to a classic bluegrass instrument—the banjo, Contemporary Jewish Museum.

The Witches, 2:30pm, This is a faithful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story in which Boy and his Grandmother defeat the Grand High Witch and her followers, who are holding a Conference in an English seaside hotel, Young Performers Theatre.

Drop-In Art Making, 1-3pm, Sound Sculptures, Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Hands-on Science at the Farmer’s Market, 9am-1pm, Temescal Farmer’s Market, 5300 Claremont Ave., Oakland.

Celebration of the Mind, 2-5pm, include a variety of talks and engaging performances and will feature interactive activities and a wide selection of mathematical games and puzzles.  Children are welcome to attend and participate in these fun activities, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, located at 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley.

Explorer Days – Paleontology and Geology at New Brighton State Beach, 3-5pm, we will discuss the formation of marine sedimentary rocks, examine the Purisima Formation fossils at New Brighton Beach, discuss the processes responsible for preserving fossils, and learn about the ancient seafloor environment in which these fossils are preserved! You are guaranteed to see fossils of ancient clams, snails, and whales,  limited to 40 total participants.

Children’s Fairyland, Oakland.

Monday, October 27

Boogie with Emily Bonn, 11-11:45am, ages 2-5, Emily will bring her favorite old-timey, folk and classic children’s songs to create a playful learning environment for children. This 4-week course nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence while developing singing and rhythm musicality, body awareness and social skills. Registration Required, Mill Valley Library.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Tour, 12:30-3:30pm, historic setting offers breathtaking views and many stories of what life was like living at the head of such perilous waters.

Museum Monday for Little Ones, 10am-Noon, Schultz Museum.

Tuesday, October 28

Nature for Kids: Cascade Canyon, 10am – 1pm, This beautiful canyon is a great place to enjoy the changing of the seasons and the colors of fall. If it’s warm we might find some lizards still out and about; if it has rained we might find some early season salamanders! Don’t forget to bring your lunch! Meet at the gate at the end of Cascade Dr.

Trick or Treat Bags Storytime & Craft, (for ages 5-8), 3:30-4pm, Corte Madera Library.

Silly and Spooky Pajama Storytime, 6-6:30pm, join us for some Not-Too-Scary stories, songs, and dancing! Wear your jammies or try out your costume! Novato Library.

Haunted House, Novato Youth Center.

Hands-on Science at the Farmer’s Market, 2-6:30pm, Lorin (South Berkeley) Market, Adeline & 63 St, Berkeley.

Wednesday, October 29

Make-a-Mask Crafter-noon, 3-4:30pm, ages 4+, Lion, princess, butterfly, ghost….what do you want to be? Come make masks with us! We’ll provide all the supplies, you provide the imagination, Sausalito Library.

Goblin’s Spooktacular – Trick or treat on San Anselmo Ave between Woodland and Tamalpais, 5-7pm.

Día de Los Muertos/Day of The Dead, 5-7pm, Come and Learn about Day of The Dead and Make art with Rachel-Anne Palacios /Venga y aprenda sobre el Día de Los Muertos y haga arte con Rachel-Anne Palacios, Novato Library.

Thursday, October 30

Timothy_James_Smoke_LargeMagician Timothy James, 4pm, ages 5 & up, Marvel at the magical skills of magician Timothy James, Belvedere Tiburon Library.

Silly and Spooky Pajama Storytime, 6-6:30pm, join us for some Not-Too-Scary stories, songs, and dancing! Wear your jammies or try out your costume! South Novato Library.

Mary Poppins, A musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film, Berkeley Playhouse. 2640 College Ave. Berkeley.

Friday, October 31, Halloween

Phil’s Halloween Story Time, 3:34pm ages 4-7, Sausalito Library.

Halloween Parade and Trick or Treat Lane, 5:45-8pm, Ghouls, Goblins, Princesses, Superheroes, Cats, Ghosts, and Monsters of all sizes, shapes and ages UNITE together at the corner of Caledonia and Johnson to haunt the street in search of free candy. We march at 6pm sharp so be ready to line up at 5:45pm. We will finish our Halloween Parade at Robin Sweeny Park, otherwise known as Trick or Treat Lane for more treats and Halloween fun, Sausalito.

ecb81ea4cbf80154687e413c_710x800Woodland Pet Food & Treats Halloween Pet Parade & Costume Contest, Novato.

Kids Costume Parade & Trick-or-Treating, 4-7, pumpkin decorating at The Poppy Store, Parade 5:30pm, Marin County Mart, Larkspur.

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